3/8 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. Lots of congressional campaign news today.

Sestak Fundraising for ‘Occupy’ Challenger to Schwartz: Former Congressman and 2010 Senate candidate Joe Sestak is raising money for Nate Kleinman, the Occupy movement candidate challenging Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Montgomery) said today.

10 Congressional Candidates Meet in York: The 10 candidates vying to replace Rep. Todd Platts met in York Wednesday night, and there was more agreement on the issues than not. So we got them on the record about term limits.

State Senate Passes Voter ID Legislation: The Pennsylvania State Senate passed a controversial bill today requiring voters to present photo identification when they cast their ballots. The final vote was 26-23.

3 Lackawanna Dem Committees Endorse Holden: Rep. Tim Holden is new to NEPA; the 20-year Congressman acquired Scranton and Wilkes-Barre in the latest round of redistricting. And since his challenger, attorney Matt Cartwright, hails from Moosic, those areas will be a key bellwether in the race. This week Holden picked up three local endorsements.

And the Award for First State Rep or Senate Candidate on TV Goes to… Brian Rich, the energy company executive challenging Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) in the GOP primary, is airing a 30-second bio spot.

Enviro Groups Launch Big TV Buy in Pa: Two major environmental groups are seeking to change the conversation about regulations and clean air standards. In a 30 second spot, the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Fund make the case that the top issue is children’s health.

Legislative Election Updates

SD-15: Community Organization Harrisburg Hope is hosting a debate tonight at 6pm at the Midtwon Scholar bookstore. Confirmed: Rob Teplitz, chief counsel to Auditor General Jack Wagner, Josh First, Harrisburg businessman, and Bill Seeds, Lower Paxton Township Supervisor. Invited: Alvin Q. Taylor, former county commissioner candidate, and John McNally, former Dauphin County Republican Committee chairman.

SD-15: Democrat Rob Teplitz, one of Senate Dems’ top recruits in Pa., pulled in the endorsement of York Co. Commissioner Doug Hoke Wednesday. “Rob Teplitz offers us new leadership with the experience we need to end politics as usual in the Capitol,” said Hoke.

SD-15: Republican Josh First is taking issue with the decision of the Pa. Chamber of Commerce to endorse attorney and former Dauphin GOP chairman John McNally. “It is a fact that neither I nor the third candidate for this seat were interviewed for the endorsement.  While I do not begrudge the endorsed candidate his endorsement, I do believe that ChamberPAC should clarify that its decision was made long before either of the other two candidates were in the race,” he wrote to the Chamber.

SD-29: Brian Rich is on TV. The GOP primary challenger to Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) is up with a 30-second bio spot. Rich’s family owns several oil and energy companies.

SD-37: The intrepid Laura Olson of the Post-Gazette notes that two would-be GOP contenders for the seat of retiring Rep. Mark Mustio, who decided not to run after all, are getting state appointments. Kim Stolfer of Firearms Owners Against Crime was named to serve on the new the Governor’s Advisory Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation. And the state Senate now is poised to vote to confirm Allegheny County Councilman Vince Gastgeb of Bethel Park as a new member of the Pennsyvlania Securities Commission.

HD-134: In case you haven’t figured it out, someone close to the Rob Hamill campaign has discovered our email address (press@politicspa.com). The GOP hopeful to replace former Rep., now Lehigh Co. Judge, Doug Reichley has been busy. He picked up the endorsement of the Eastern Pa. Business Owners and Professionals Network and the Lehigh Valley Wholesale Real Estate Investor’s Group , and signed a pledge to opt out of the state pension.

HD-153: It helps to have friends in high places. Democratic candidate Madeleine Dean, seeking to fill the vacant seat of now Montco Commissioner Josh Shapiro, held a fundraiser last night and did not want for guests. Former Governor Edward Rendell, PA House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, Shapiro, and Marcel Groen, Chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee all attended.

HD-185: State Rep. Maria Donatucci (D-Phila) appeared to have removed her two Democratic challengers from the ballot before two hearings today. Candidate Norma McNeil, who works in human resources for a transportation company, stipulated that she had fewer than the 300 valid signatures needed. An attorney representing candidate Fareeda Mabry also stipulated to that, court records show. But Mabry, who works for Universal Companies, showed up for her hearing today, saying she had not authorized her attorney to concede.  A court order showed she has been removed from the ballot.  The door to the courtroom where her hearing was to be held was locked.  Mabry left court without being heard.

HD-203: Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Phila) has one fewer primary opponent. A judge tossed bus driver Sabriyah Bilal off the ballot. His attorney is contesting that Evans’ other opponent, Lamont Thomas, hasn’t been a resident of the district for the required 1 year. That ruling comes Friday.

National:
AP: Santorum super PAC calls for Gingrich to drop out
PhillyNow: Here is the anti-gay robocall that almost won Rick Santorum Ohio
Early Returns: Cincy Win A Guide for Feinberg?
KPCC: Should taxpayers subsidize wealthy ex-presidents?
Politico: Step on the gas on highway bill
Washington Post: Romney wins 6 of 10, but Santorum, Gingrich vow to fight on
CBS News: How Rick Santorum won Tennessee and Oklahoma
Pennsylvania Ave.: Gingrich won’t step aside of Santorum
Politico: Santorum supporters want Gingrich out
Politico: Mitt fights back with math
Politico: Santorum: What pressure on Newt?
Politico: Romney, Santorum campaigns going up in Ala., Miss
Politico: Santorum adviser makes conservative unity pitch
Politico: Romney camps predicts Santorum delegate losses
Politico: Kasich sings Santorum’s praises for primary outing
Politico: Newt: Santorum isn’t a ‘slam dunk’ so I’m staying in
Politico: Santorum super PAC calls on Gingrich to withdraw
Roll Call: Super Tuesday analysis: The long slog continues
Roll Call: Obama drops ceremonial pen, angers GOP
Roll Call: Member-vs-member races begin in Ohio
Five Thirty Eight: A predictable Super Tuesday
Washington Post: Romney to rivals: Give up the fight
The Hill: Republicans fear rough primary could cost them House, Senate
The Hill: Santorum hesitant on more primary debates
New York Times: Romney appears the Ohio winner; Santorum strong
The Caucus: Santorum will not pressure Gingrich to drop his campaign
ProPublica: What the frack is in that water?
Early Returns: Daily Santorum: We know they won’t win

Statewide:
AP: Federal flood aid to Pa. passes $550M mark
Early Returns: Appointments For Ex-Contenders for Pippy Seat
Capitol Ideas: New Report Finds Overlaps In Language For Mandatory Ultrasound Bills
Patriot-News: Ex-Senate Aide Alan Berlin Convicted In “Furry” Internet Child-Sex Case
AP: PA’s highest court hears casino license appeal
York Daily Record: Q&A in PA’s new texting law
PA Independent: Voter ID bill: Violates rights or way of life?
Capitolwire (Paywall): DEP’s Krancer, House Democrats Clash During Budget Hearing
AP: PA senators target school superintendent buyouts
AP: Judge throws Rep. Schwartz’s foe off ballot

Philadelphia:
Philadelphia Inquirer: Philadelphia school deficit could hit $400 million, official says
PhillyClout: City commission looking to bar sexual harassment, neopotism
News Wire: Rep. Fattah announces $2.1 Million in grants for Drexel and Penn

SEPA:
Courier Times: Manager wants probe into use of federal funds
Delco Daily Times: “Live from the Newsroom” sits down with new DA
Bucks Local News: Bristol Borough Council President: Talks with Amtrak about fence issue “fruitless”
Daily Local: Public frustration with West Chester parking registers with committee

Pittsburgh:
Early Returns: Cincy win a guide for Feinberg?
Early Returns: State senate approves voter ID bill
Tribune Review: Allegheny County fires its director of health
Tribune Review: Former staffers: Orie cared little about personal lives
Tribune Review: Orie knew of illegal political work, staffers say
Tribune Review: G-20 summit advice? Call Pittsburgh
Tribune Review: 911th base faction won’t give up
Post-Gazette: Pa. Senate panel moves bill to void federal health care law
Post-Gazette: Texting while driving ban just around the corner
Post-Gazette: More cuts to the region’s military
Post-Gazette: Former state administrator heads environmental group
Post-Gazette: Council meets deadline to approve redistricting plan

Southwest:
Beaver County Times: State sets Ambridge area tax ceiling
Daily Courier (Fayette County): Legislators target buyouts for school superintendents
Daily Courier (Fayette County): Connellsville  to host Community Development Block Grant  public hearing
Daily Courier (Fayette County): Connellsville Planning Commission gives initial OK for FirstEnergy parking lot proposal
Altoona Mirror: Supervisors support fee
Observer-Reporter: Law prods MarkWest to seek OK for station
Observer-Reporter: Texting ban aims to reduce car wrecks
Observer-Reporter: Bedner Farm hearing to resume

NEPA:
Carbondale News: Rep. Marino’s bill targets foreign drug traffickers
Go Lackawanna: South Abington Twp. in consideration for road grant
Go Lackawanna: Gov. Corbett announces major logistics company to expand in Northampton County
Go Lackawanna: Pa. Superior Court panel to meet in Scranton next week
Times News: East Penn approves prevailing wage reform resolution
Times News: Rep. Barletta co-sponsors bill to reform National Heritage Areas
Daily Review: Sayre committee members leaning toward impact fee
Citizens Voice: NEPA disaster aid nears $52 million

South Central:
Lebanon Daily News: South Londonberry Twp. gets $15K for road improvements
Lancaster Era: Local business charged with violating federal tax code
Lancaster Era: Hempfield School District offers exit deal to staff
York Dispatch: Grove: Use income, sales tax to reduce property taxes

Lehigh Valley:
Lehigh Valley Live: U.S. Rep Holden to open campaign office in Easton

North by Northwest:
Erie Times-News: Erie City Council votes to guarantee, support bond issues
Erie Times-News: Erie sheds light on dark downtown
Erie Times-News: Erie County Councilman Beeman to begin two-day sentence
Erie Times-News: Occupy Erie members enter not guilty pleas in bank trespassing case
Erie Times-News: Suspended Erie County prison guards decline to participate in review of inmate
Erie Times-News: PennDOT to hold public meeting on Platz Road bridge options in Fairview
Sharon Herald: School wants land for second exit route
Centre Daily Times: Judge sets hearing on request for case details in the Sandusky trial
Centre Daily Times: Borough weighs name change
Centre Daily Times: Council debates ordinance draft
Centre Daily Times: Teachers to collaborate on plans
Williamsport Sun Gazette: WASD gets look at proposed upgrades
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Recovery program helping flood victims

Opinions:
New York Times: The future of the Santorum coalition
Washington Post: GOP ignores facts on gas prices
Roll Call: Honoring two models of political discourse
The Hill: After Super Tuesday…
Erie Times-News: Opinion: Ohio will continue to be the key to the presidential election
Erie Times-News: Opinion: Republicans are missing the primary issue
Erie Times-News: Opinion: Be afraid, be very afraid
Erie Times-News: Opinion: Limbaugh at last the great uniter
Pottstown Mercury: Matthews’ case proves need for better laws
Pottstown Mercury: Editorial: Berks Commissioners endorse House Bill 1329
Courier Times: Gun bills target tax payers, common sense
Delco Daily Times: Editorial: Positive economic news is good news
Daily Local: Gov. Corbett’s education cuts raise many questions
Philadelphia Daily News: John Baer: Not looking super for GOP
Times News: Better or worse off under Obama’s economic policies?
Standard Speaker: Tougher ban on smoking needed in Pa.
Tribune Review: Chairman Veon of the Corruption Party
Tribune Review: Relative ‘standards’
Post-Gazette: Pressure situation: Action on transportation is needed all around

Blogs:
Keystone State Education Coalition: Secretary Tomalis shrunk school budgets, made program cuts, staffing cuts, & increased taxes locally in Pennsylvania
Commonwealth Foundation:  Nurses’ union opposes corrections reform
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Congressman Tim Holden to open Easton campaign office on Friday
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Ultrasound bill not so sound after all
2 Political Junkies: Context is everything
Water Cooler PA: Limbaugh, the anti-Republican?
Lu-Lac Political Letter: Super Tuesday edition
Pennsylvania Progressive: Obama campaign: Romney is limping across the finish line
Pennsylvania Progressive: Democratic candidate stole $50,000
Pennsylvania Progressive: Justice Melvin implicated in corruption trial
Above Average Jane: PA Senate to vote on Voter ID bill
Keystone Progress: Santorum campaigns on divisive wedge issues, promptly loses Catholic vote
Keystone Politics: Corrupt Philadelphia can’t afford to lose more journalists
John Hanger: Stunning fact: Local ordinances ban fracking in 27% of NY Marcellus play
John Hanger: Feds MOVE to accelerate CNG vehicle adoption
John Hanger: More PA gas to stay local & less for NY

March 8th, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Morning Buzz, Top Stories | No Comments

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