5/25 Morning Buzz

On almost totally partisan lines, and after a marathon session of 74 speakers, the PA House passed a $27.3 billion budget last night. It doesn’t raise taxes, increases education funding from Governor Corbett’s proposal, but cuts from the Department of Public Welfare. Now it goes to the PA Senate, where Republicans are more open to spending the state’s $500 million estimated surplus.

While state lawmakers were cooped up in Harrisburg last night, Reps. Dent, Fitzpatrick, Gerlach and Meehan, along with Governor Corbett, bumped elbows with the New Jersey Republican State Committee. Governor Chris Christie and the NJGOP crossed the river into Philly for a fundraiser that was expected to bring in tens of thousands of dollars. We here at PoliticsPA will never criticize anyone who wants to get out of New Jersey for an evening.

You may not think that the Green Party and the Libertarian Party have much in common. You’re right. But one issue uniting those disparate third parties this year is their antipathy for GOP Superior Court nominee Vic Stabile. As a GOP party official, Stabile oversaw efforts to block third parties from the ballot in PA. They say that reflects a bad attitude about free and fair elections, and disqualifies him for the court.

Allyson Schwartz is movin’ on up. The Congresswoman will take over (now DNC Chair) Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s position at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, heading up candidate services. There, she will help DCCC recruits build strong campaigns. This comes on top of her recruitment duties for the D Trip.

PoliticsPA Reports

PA House Passes Budget Solely on GOP Votes
With all but two GOP votes and no Dems, the PA House last night passed a $27.3 billion budget that taxes at the same level, gives more to education and less to the Department of Public Welfare.

Gov. Corbett, Pa. Pols Cosponsor Philly Fundraiser for NJ GOP
A number of PA politicos are also expected to roll out the welcome mat at an event that is expected to generate tens of thousands of dollars.

Mike Fitzpatrick Tours Gitmo, Calls It “Invaluable”
PA United States Representative Mike Fitzpatrick toured the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison last week. The facility that became synonymous with American torture and abuse in 2004, is under a new executive order from President Obama to be reorganized. Fitzpatrick said that the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to American soil would be “wrongheaded.”

Allyson Schwartz Adds To Her Responsibilities With The DCCC
Adding to her duties as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s recruitment chair, U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz will now manage the organization’s candidate services efforts as well, according to an announcement emailed by her campaign team Tuesday morning.

Third Parties Slam GOP Superior Court Candidate
Both the Pennsylvania Green and Libertarian Party representatives slammed the GOP’s choice for Superior Court judge, Vic Stabile, citing his efforts as a Republican party official to knock third party candidates off of ballots in PA.

Pa. House Approves “Sexting” Bill
Monday, the PA house voted 178-20 to approve a legislation change for the punishment of teen “sexting.” Under the new House bill 815, teenagers will no longer be convicted of a felony, but rather a second-degree misdemeanor for sending explicitly sexual photographs.

Philadelphia (And Suburbs)
Delaware County Times: Sen. Toomey: We can balance the budget in 10 years
Inquirer: Grand Jury Gives Pa. Gaming Board An F
Inquirer: Montco Candidates Castor and Brown Take A Strong Stand For Israel
Inquirer: Antitax Campaigner Holds a Lot of Sway In Harrisburg
Delaware County Times: Majority of Pennsylvanians Support Tougher Teen Driving Laws
WHYY Newsworks: Gov. Corbett Tours Lafayette Hill Factory, Talks Jobs
The Intelligencer: Gov. Appoints New Hope Man
The Intelligencer: Pa. Senate Passes E-Verify Plan For Contractors
Bucks County Courier Times: Szafran Appointment Confirmed By Pa. Senate
Inquirer: Brown Solidifies Lead For GOP Mayoral Nomination
Daily News: Johnson Beats Capozzi By 46 Votes in 2nd District Dem Council Race
Bucks Local News: State adopts resolutions recognizing Sept 11 national memorial trail, garden of reflection in Bucks County
Philly.com: Bucks officials overturn gun ban in country parks
Associated Press: Republican backed budget nears approval in PA House
Inquirer Harrisburg: Anti-tax campaigner holds a lot of sway in Harrisburg

Pittsburgh and Southwest PA
Post-Gazette: State Senate Committee approves emergency rules for gas wells.
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh Pension Fund Still Precarious, Auditor General Says.
Post-Gazette: Democrats at impasse with GOP over budget.
Post-Gazette: Raja resigns from Mt. Lebanon to focus on campaign.
Tribune Review: Hospitals: cuts jeopardize improvements
Tribune Review: Vehicles envisioned running on natural gas
Tribune Review: Drilling amendment back with Murrysville council
Tribune Review: Lawmaker: gas industry should be able to police itself
AP: Medicare overhaul proposal causing GOP stress
Early Returns: Shields writes to supporters

Lehigh Valley
Bloomberg Businessweek: PA Newspapers Oppose Relaxing Legal and Rules
Daily Local News: State Budget Vote Takes Center Stage
Daily Local News: Downingtown Lifts its Filter on LBGT Information
Lehigh Valley Live: Greenwich Township Approves Budget, Increases Taxes 6 Percent
Morning Call: Santorum to Make Announcement Within Weeks
Morning Call: Schwartz’s National Recruiting Role Expanded
Morning Call: House Passes ‘Sexting’ Penalty Fix.
Morning Call: House Passes Budget
Morning Call: Survey: Valley Residents Happy with Where They Live, But Edgy About the Future
Morning Call: Valley Split on Corbett’s Performance

NEPA
The Times Leader: Judge denies motion to suppress evidence in Musto case
The Times Leader: Police union complaint vs. city dismissed
The Times Leader: Controller wants safety inspection of Sterling
The Citizens Voice: Nanticoke Area School District must make serious cuts
The Citizens Voice: Tank deal gives Dallas School Board pause
The Citizens Voice: Sterling’s fate still uncertain
The Citizens Voice: NEPA Tea Party to discuss school choice proposal
Wayne Independent: Commissioners, Mayor recognize Boy Scouts, POW/MIA
Wayne Independent: WEDCO explores countywide Broadband potential
Times News: Township to require developer to pay for 3 EDU’s to sewer system
Times News: JT district passes 2 mill tax hike
WNEP Channel 16: Elimination of all sports an option at school
WNEP Channel 16: Middle Smithfield Township Supervisor not leaving quietly
Standard Speaker: Violations mount for Greco owners
The Standard Speaker: Attorney wants audit of Black Creek super’s pay
Pocono Record: Newspapers, Local Governments Go Head-to-Head in Public Hearing

South Central
Associated Press:  Pa. House Republicans muscle through 2011-12 state budget proposal over Democratic objections
Associated Press:  Judge postpones former Pa. Rep. Mike Veon’s 2nd corruption trial until early next year
Associated Press:  News from the Pennsylvania General Assembly
Associated Press:  Pa. Senate approves bill to preserve extended jobless benefits, House measure bogs down
Associated Press:  Pa. Senate committee approves bill requiring location data, emergency plans for gas wells
Fox 43:  State House Votes to Approve General Fund Budget
The Patriot News:  Lawmakers at odds over bill to revise benefits for jobless

North By Northwest
Erie Times-News: Environment Erie forum to address urban water quality
Erie Times-News: Erie County Executive, councilman to meet over solicitor interference claims
Beaver County Times: PA judge hears arguments over tracking software
Beaver County Times: Unemployment system overhaul bogs down in House
Observer-Reporter: Political sign ordinance frustrates local resident
Tribune Democrat: Auditor General Opposes Bill to Publish Legal Notices Online
Opinions
Chaka Fattah and Adam Garber, Inquirer: Support EPA’s fight against mercury contamination
Daily News Editorial: Will the City write a big check for schools?
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Saving the American Dream.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Here’s a case for reason in the Middle East.
WFMZ Allentown, Think Tank: Allentown’s Future: A Bicycle and Pedestrian Friendly Community

May 25th, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook | No Comments