4/3 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz. It’s back to work for us this morning, PA poll news and all. But we hope you enjoy our belated April Fools fun from yesterday!

Poll: Romney Continues to Catch Up in PA: A new poll shows Mitt Romney catching up to Rick Santorum in the state he represented in Congress for 16 years. Quinnipiac released a survey Tuesday morning showing Santorum with a 6 point lead, 41 to 35 percent.

April Fools:

Rendell Buys Pat’s Cheese Steaks for $4 Million: After extensive assurances not to interfere with the culinary process, former Pa. Governor Ed Rendell today secured majority ownership of Pat’s King of Steaks, a Philadelphia institution.

Kane Camp: Murphy Has Never Been to Pa: Kathleen Kane has been keen to note that her opponent in the Dem primary for AG, Patrick Murphy, has not tried a case in Pa. nor taken the bar exam here. But this morning her campaign announced an even more startling revelation: Murphy has never actually been to Pa.

Santorum Admits He’s Only Staying in the Race to Alter Google Search Results: In an offhand comment to reporters Monday, former Pa. Senator Rick Santorum confirmed what political observers have speculated for months: he’s staying in the race to further alter Google search results for his name.

Feinberg Proposes Debate During 3rd Period Study Hall: Evan Feinberg, the conservative Republican running against Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny), has challenged the incumbent to a debate during Mr. Anderson’s 3rd period study hall.

Pa. Supreme Court: State Must Use 1791 District Line: In a surprise 4-3 decision that throws this year’s elections into further chaos, the Pa. Supreme Court has remanded state House and Senate district maps.

Poll: Potted Plant Leads GOP Senate Race: Last year, PoliticsPA broke the news that Republican party officials had recruited a Montgomery County rhododendron to challenge Sen. Bob Casey. That appears to be a good decision; a Quinnipiac poll released today shows the plant leading the GOP primary field.

DePasquale Cancels Campaign Event for ‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere: Eugene DePasquale cancelled his keynote address at the Lycoming County Democrats dinner Sunday night, citing a scheduling conflict. However, a source close to the Auditor General hopeful indicate another reason for the change: the second season premiere of the HBO series ‘Game of Thrones.’

DeWeese Calls Top Bunk: He demanded authorities bestow the privilege of pursuing somnolence at a sufficient altitude.

Environmentalists Demand Marcellus Drillers Disclose What’s in This Chili: A coalition of environmental advocates from across the state joined together yesterday to demand that Marcellus Shale gas drillers reveal the formula for their secret chili.

Smith Buys Airtime in OH, NY, TN Just to Show Off: Millionaire self-funder Tom Smith took his U.S. Senate campaign to the next level Monday, as the former coal company owner purchased TV air time in several new markets across the eastern United States.

Increasingly Desperate Gingrich Promises $2.50 Backrubs: The presidential hopeful is pinning his hopes, and evening, on a radical new campaign promise.

In Major Policy Shift, Conservative Group CAP Targets Democrat: The Citizens Alliance for Pennsylvania, a group seeking to enact school vouchers and other conservative policies, announced today that it will target a Democrat.

Gotham DA Dent to Stump for Brother Charlie: Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh), perennially a target for national Democrats, will get a big city boost this week. Gotham City prosecutor Harvey Dent, is coming to Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa., Tuesday April 10 to stump for his brother.

Legislative Election Updates:

SD-29: The race between Sen. Dave Argall and GOP challenger Brian Rich is shaping up to be the most heated Pa. Senate primary. Here’s the latest: Argall launched an ad against Rich blasting his company for receiving stimulus funds. Problem is, the company is primarily owned by Rich’s brother, not him. The company launched a retaliatory ad calling the claim 100% false, and calls Argall “sad.” Argall responded by calling for a criminal probe of the ad, alleging a violation of campaign law. And finally, Rich’s brother John is preparing to sue Argall for criticizing his company in the initial TV ad. Oy vey.

HD-16: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed Kathy Coder in the GOP primary to face Rep. Rob Matzie (D-Beaver). Coder is facing Jeremy Angus, 22, in the primary. The paper wrote: “The Post-Gazette recommends Kathy Coder for the Republican nomination. Youth will be served, as the saying goes, but not just yet — Mr. Angus still has things to learn and Ms. Coder has a head start. Besides, as leadership skills and women are both in short supply in the Legislature, she has that advantage, too.”

HD-20: North Pittsburgh Politics has the latest mailers from Rep. Adam Ravenstahl (D-Allegheny) and Mark Purcell, one of his Democratic challengers.

HD-22: Erin Molchany, the Democrat running against the party endorsement in the Chelsa Wagner seat in Allegheny County, picked up the support of a labor group Monday: Ironworkers Local 3. “Growing up in a union household, my dad taught me the values of hard work and honesty,” said Molchany.  ”These are Labor’s values and the values I promise to bring to Harrisburg.

HD-66: Rep. Sam Smith and the two Republicans seeking to unseat him – James R. Brown and Cris Dush – spoke at the Jefferson County GOP dinner. The Punxsutawney Spirit has the story.

HD-112, 113 & 115: The Times Tribune catches up with the candidates running for state House in these Lackawanna County districts.

HD-182: Former Gov. Ed Rendell threw his support behind Rep. Babette Josephs in her primary vs. Brian Sims. “There can be no dispute about the fact that Babette Josephs is an effective fighter in Harrisburg for our values and the things we believe in,” Rendell said.

Pennsylvania Ave: Santorum’s mission to Mars
Politico: Rendell: Philly Inquirer deal announced today
Politico: Santorum: I may ‘sneak’ Wisconsin win
Politico Playbook: Rick Santorum – new ad
National Journal: Santorum’s narrow coalition: A closer look
Washington Post: Santorum defies mounting pressure to bow out
Washington Post: Local investors buy Philadelphia’s 2 largest papers for $55M, their 5th sale in two years
Washington Post: Rick Santorum plays it modest in Wisconsin primary
The Hill: 2012 GOP lawmaker endorsements for President
The Hill: Santorum says he’s not dropping out even if he loses in Wisconsin
NY Times: For Santorum, hope that voters see message as pins go flying
NY Times/The Caucus: Santorum says contested convention could benefit GOP
NY Times/The Caucus: Santorum ad draws pointed Obama-Romney parallels
American Medical News: House passes IPA repeal, medical liability reform bill

NBC10: Sen. candidates agree: dump Casey, Obama
Capitol Ideas: State auctioning transportation, security administration surplus
Capitol Ideas: Tax revenues were up 2.4 percent in March, state says
Capitol Ideas: Corbett makes it official on lottery proposal
State House Sound Bites: Links: Of hacks and facts, shrinking the Lege, and selling the lotto
PA Independent: PA corporate tax cut advances ‘to level playing field’
StateImpactPA: Reducing environmental risks of fracking
StateImpactPA: Pennsylvania gas prices rose 16 cents last month
StateImpactPA: Anglers along the Susquehanna River are hooking fish with mysterious black splotches
StateImpactPA: Pennsylvania forests certified as well-managed
StateImpactPA: A natural gas timeline
Capitolwire: Pennsylvania records second-straight month of above-estimate tax revenue collections
Capitolwire: Lawmakers revive effort to eliminate school property taxes
Capitolwire: House GOP could make another attempt on Prevailing Wage legislation this week
Capitolwire: Southeast GOP lawmakers could once again be stumbling blocks on Republican issues

The Inquirer: The disabled target the Corbett administration
The Inquirer: 5 GOP challengers in debate
City Paper: Shadowy pro-voucher group continues attack on State Rep. Roebuck
Daily News: Why 3-1-1 might need to call 9-1-1
Philly Now: Arlen Specter freaks out on radio show
Philly Now: Philly Rep. wants to cut down on porn – in cars!
KYW Newsradio: Pennsylvania Lawmakers turn attention to fate of Foxwoods Casino license
WHYY Newsworks: Citizens voice concerns about property tax hike uncertainties
WHYY Newsworks: City Council told unions have to make savings to get raises in Philadelphia
WHYY Newsworks: Keystone Progress defends Philadelphia courts
WHYY Newsworks: Philadelphia Councilman wants a ‘Youth Court’

Pottstown Mercury: Report on Pottstown region’s economic future to be unveiled at Tuesday meeting
Pottstown Mercury: School board member says current building project too expensive for Pottstown taxpayers
Philly Burbs: Is fracking law a gag or guarantee?
Delco Times: Wallingford-Swathmore committed to school upgrades
Montgomery Media: Ambler zoning board OKs automotive repair, painting facility
Bucks Local News: Mike Fitzpatrick a yes vote on house budget proposal

Tribune Review: City Council leader Harris’ North Side roots run deep
Tribune Review: Meeting on Duquesne school district’s future rescheduled
Tribune Review: Property owners hurrying to make assessment appeal deadline
Post-Gazette: State House to debate eliminating 50 seats
Post-Gazette: Republican lawmakers brewing plan to privatize liquor sales
Post-Gazette: Pa. forets deemed well-managed for 14th year in a row
Post-Gazette: Bill would cut corporate taxes, close loopholes
Post-Gazette: Explainer: Why natural gas is cheap but gasoline isn’t
Early Returns: Out on the weekend
Early Returns: Daily Santorum: Tough talk
Early Returns: Smith gets Philly tea party nod
Early Returns: Corbett looking to lottery for cash

Beaver County Times: National Archive set to pull curtain back on 1940 census
Observer-Reporter: DA to impanel grand jury
Indiana Gazette: Oil nears $103 amid signs China possess robust economy
WTAE Lawrence County: Budget crunch could force state police barracks to close

Times News: Argall campaign seeks criminal probe of Rich campaign ads
The Daily Review: Enviro group looks beyond impact fee law
The Daily Review: House plans vote to shrink size
The Daily Review: Wipe that hard drive clean State law will make landfilling TVs illegal next year
Standard Speaker: New driving law aims to make roadways safer for bicyclists
Standard Speaker: Still no baseball deal as informal deadline passes
Standard Speaker: HCA to finish fiscal year with $440k surplus
Standard Speaker: Carbon County puts secondary responder decision on hold, again
Standard Speaker: County controller calls out ‘perk’ for law clerks
Standard Speaker: Luzerne County Council will not join Act 13 lawsuit
Times Tribune: Scranton City controller questions $4,800 from council’s solicitor
Times Tribune: On education funding, candidates say more needed for public schools
Times Tribune: Lackawanna County seeks applicants for authorities, boards
Citizens Voice: W-B council critics form taxpayers association
Citizens Voice: County officials differ on voting for Act 13

Lehigh Valley:
Morning Call: 2 jurors removed from Philly priest-abuse trial
Morning Call: Easton area Dems split in 17th District
Reading Eagle: State bicycle law: One for the road
WFMZ: Bill would eliminate property tax, increase sales tax
Express-Times: Phillipsburg Riverview Organization members identified by state division

South Central:
Carlisle Sentinel: Cumberland County board approves new clerk position
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Residents of South Middleton-Dickinson impacted by boundary decision invited to public hearing Wednesday
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Harrisburg receiver cites “political and ethical crosswinds” in handwritten resignation letter
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Republican Andrew tries to paint state Sen. Pat Vance as not conservative enough
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Central Dauphin School District prepares to cut programs, 74 teachers
York Dispatch: York City to display overdue sewer bills online
York Daily Record: Supporters of 4th Congressional district candidate Chris Reilly to host meet and greets
York Daily Record: York 912 Patriots to host forum Thursday for candidates seeking state office
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Local forum seeks solutions to proposed cuts in human services

North by Northwest:
Erie Times-News: Parents, students wait in downtown Erie for tuition assistance grants
Courier Express: How does new voter ID law work?
Sun Gazette: Legislative tally
Sun Gazette: Towanda native named major general in Army Reserve

Tribune Review: ‘Prevailing wages’: End them
Tribune Review: Preservation: The better approach to development
Post-Gazette: Coder in the 16th: She is the better of a bright pair of Republicans
Post-Gazette: Reform state wage law
Post-Gazette: Restoring trust: Highmark seeks to recover from a low point
Beaver County Times: Western Pa. residents getting what they voted for
Beaver County Times: New mayor not to blame
Indiana Gazette: GOP’s tax cutting hurts state businesses, residents
Harrisburg Patriot-News: ‘Recipe for disaster’: Pennsylvania, like Florida, bought into NRA’s spin on Castle Doctrine
Courier Express: ‘Castle’ law still needed in Pa.
Centre Daily: New spending won’t make impact for more than a decade
Sun Gazette: High court may rein in the EPA
Inquirer: The right budget? GOP wants to kill the ‘New Deal’
Daily News: Juvenile crimes may get a new look from Supreme Court
Inquirer: “Individual mandate” consistent with precedent
Pottstown Mercury: DEP sends mixed signals into pristine waters
Philly Burbs: A photo ID requirement that makes sense
Times News: Bicycle law
Times Tribune: Delivering 21st century
Standard Speaker: Library vote a taxing question
Delco Times: Lots of pointing fingers in church abuse trial
Washington Post: Santorum’s at war with reality
Morning Call: Opinion: Reasonable regulations needed for Allentown plant
Morning Call: Letter to the Editor: Obama health care law has provided affordable care
Morning Call: Letter to the Editor: Public worker unions are a reason for Pa. public pension crisis
Morning Call: Letter to the Editor: Pa. voter ID requirement is reasonable
Morning Call: Letter to the Editor: Bethlehem City Council must stop playing politics
Express-Times: Letter to the Editor: Creeping socialism is worth losing sleep over; Photo ID mandate is GOP brainstorm to suppress vote

Keystone Liberty: ObamaCare: The wrong prescription for Pennsylvania
Commonwealth Foundation: Six ways prevailing wage increases taxpayers’ costs
Commonwealth Foundation: Human services programs must deal with wasteful spending
Commonwealth Foundation: Taxpayers to unions: We won’t get fooled again
Lehigh Valley Independent: Republican politics and euthanasia
Lehigh Valley Independent: House GOP indifferent to private tyranny
The Lu-Lac Political Letter: Vinsko for Congress
Above Average Jane: Two pet related notes
Keystone Progress Blog: Back to drawing board on Reed loophole bill
Keystone Progress Blog: REPORT: Philadelphia courts among “best in country”
Keystone Politics: Central PA Building and Construction Trades Council endorses Vinsko in CD-11
Keystone Politics: Altmire endorsed by Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Keystone Politics: Most college IDs won’t work under PA voter ID law
John Hanger: The oil-gas price ratio sets new records but Pickens Plan remains blocked in Congress
John Hanger: Marcellus Shale starts down 25%; violations down 30%; approvals up 6%
Citizens’ Call: Arcadia Conference confronts Corbett education budget head-on
North Pittsburgh Politics: 20th district state House handouts
North Pittsburgh Politics: Altmire mailer: He listens to us

April 3rd, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook, Top Stories | No Comments