More Dispatches from PA Society

Waldorf Astoria

The Waldorf Astoria

The 115th Pennsylvania Society weekend is in the books. Here is the rundown of rumors, rumblings and news from Midtown Manhattan.

Don’t miss yesterday’s updates, with a potential U.S. Senate hire for Kathleen Kane and much more.

Gubernatorial hopefuls

There were no big changes in the Democratic primary for Governor as most of the candidates made the rounds.

No one reported seeing former Auditor General Jack Wagner, who is considering a bid. Many agreed that it made a 2014 run seem less likely. If he had decided he wanted to run, this weekend would have been the ideal place to kick off his bid.

Rob McCord had the overall best weekend and is in his element interacting with people in large groups.

He’s also good, as he noted during a speech to the Pa. Manufacturers Association, at public speaking.

During his remarks, several attendees told PoliticsPA, McCord took thinly veiled shots at a few of his opponents. He wasn’t born into money, he said (Tom Wolf); he hadn’t spent his career in government (Katie McGinty), and he can speak well extemporaneously. The last remark was a jab at Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, who moments before had delivered a prepared speech in which she lost her place for several moments.

Of the 8 Democratic hopefuls, only McCord and Schwartz were invited to speak to the PMA.

McGinty’s fundraising

Former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty’s reputation showed the biggest improvement over the weekend. Attendees who hadn’t met her previously told PoliticsPA that she was charming and did well in the setting.

Campaign finance reports aren’t due from the 2014 candidates until the end of January, but that hasn’t stopped the politico crowd here from speculating.

A handful of on-the-fence Democratic donors and operatives said McGinty touted her fundraising numbers to date. She apparently said her campaign would report having raised between $2 million to $2.5 million by year’s end.

McGinty’s campaign did not make any official announcements.

Torsella for Senate – again?

Attorney General Kathleen Kane wasn’t the only potential 2016 U.S. Senate candidate to make the rounds this weekend. Ambassador Joe Torsella was working the receptions, too, and making some buzz.

He was appointed the U.S. Representative to the United Nations for Management and Reform in 2011. In 2009, before Arlen Specter switched parties, he was Gov. Ed Rendell’s pick to run as a Democrat for U.S. Senate in 2010.

State legislative races

The weekend saw lots of members of the state House and Senate, as well as many of the people considering challenges to them.

The word from York County was that state Rep. Ron Miller (R) will be the establishment GOP’s pick in the open state Senate seat. Conservative businessman Scott Wagner has already declared his candidacy for the seat, which is open due to the retirement of Sen. Mike Waugh (R-York). It will set up a good old fashioned establishment-vs-conservative showdown.

Wagner advertises on PoliticsPA.

Thanks to redistricting, HD-22 moves from Allegheny County into Allentown and at least one potential candidate was making the rounds in NYC. Maria Montero, Executive Director of the State Commission on Latino Affairs and Commission for Women is considering a run on the Republican side and stopped by Congressman Charlie Dent’s reception. The district was drawn to reflect the state’s growing Hispanic population and is considered a like Democratic seat. Dems looking at a run include Allentown City Councilman Pete Schweyer and community activist Tatiana Tooley.

State Rep. Margo Davidson (D-Delaware) made the rounds. So did Billy Smith, the criminal defense attorney challenging her in the primary.

Philly mayor

Prospective 2015 candidates for Philadelphia mayor came to NYC this weekend, too.

Council President Darrell Clarke held a well attended reception and City Controller Alan Butkovitz pressed the flesh.

Attorney Nelson Diaz floated the possibility of a bid. And experiences civil servant Terry Gillen, currently Mayor Nutter’s representative in Washington, DC, also made the rounds.

Biden and the dinner

Attendees of the official PA Society dinner gave Vice President Joe Biden good reviews for his speech, especially the beginning when he talked about his blue collar roots. Most agreed that the half hour speech went down toward the end as Biden segued to immigration reform, moving away from his folksy extemporaneous style to toe the White House line.

A handful of servers at the dinner (served in the unionized Waldorf Astoria hotel) wore stickers during the Saturday event to show their opposition to a bill working its way through the state House. The bill, which will be taken up by the House this week, would block local municipalities (i.e. Philadelphia) from enacting paid sick days legislation.

Keegan Gibson contributed to this report.

Kane Hints at Senate Bid With Major Fundraising Hire

Kathleen Kane portrait

Kathleen Kane

New York — Attorney General Kathleen Kane took a major step toward a 2016 Senate campaign this week when she hired prominent Democratic fundraiser Aubrey Montgomery.

Kane and Montgomery both confirmed the decision at the PoliticsPA Governor Mifflin Society reception during the Pennsylvania Society festivities this weekend. It was made official earlier in the week.

Neither said that Kane was planning a Senate bid, but several sources close to Kane indicated Friday night that it was directly in her sights.

The late night reception followed an day of speculation based on reports - citing several unnamed sources – that Kane was considering a run.

If she decides to challenge Sen. Pat Toomey, Kane will need to retool her fundraising operation. She raised millions of dollars in her 2012 bid for AG but much of the money came in the form of large checks from friends and family. A federal campaign requires a longer list of donors who are limited to contributing smaller checks.

Toomey, who is seeking re-election, has $3.6 million on hand.

Joe Sestak, the former admiral, former Congressman and 2010 Senate candidate is actively preparing for a rematch in 2016. He has $900,000 on hand.

“I would love to see the primary between Kathleen Kane and Joe Sestak,” said one Republican operative Friday night.

Congressman Matt Cartwright and Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro are other potential Democratic opponents for Toomey.

It’s the second year in a row that a politician set off a flurry of political chatter by hiring Montgomery.

In December 2012, news that Allyson Schwartz had brought Montgomery on started the speculation that the Congresswoman was planning a bid for Governor. That speculation was ultimately borne out, although Schwartz might originally have made the hire to prepare for her own 2016 effort.

Montgomery served as Finance Director for Schwartz until October, when she was removed by the campaign. Schwartz’s campaign characterized the move as a simple reshuffle, while others said it indicated fundraising problems.

She subsequently formed her own consulting group, Rittenhouse Political Partners, and signed on Kane as a client.

Montgomery is the former Finance Director for the Pa. Democratic Party and is credited to a significant degree for their success in that sphere in 2012. She made PoliticsPA’s list of 30 Under 30 two cycles in a row.

Smith, Teplitz to Take Reins of SDCC

Daylin Leach portrait 2013 lores

Daylin Leach

Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montco), who lead the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee through its most successful election cycle in decades, will hand over the reins to two of the men he helped elect in 2012.

State Sens. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny) and Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin) will co-chair the committee starting on Jan. 1.

Leach is running for Congress in PA-13, the seat of Rep. Allyson Schwartz, and will focus his efforts on that race.

The change was first reported by Chris Brennan of the Philadelphia Daily News.

Senator Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) announced the move in an email to caucus members, obtained by PoliticsPA.

“As Senator Leach exits, I want to say how proud I am of the work that he has done on behalf of the Senate Democrats in overseeing the SDCC’s operations during the largest election gains the caucus has made in over 40 years,” he wrote.

Unlike other leadership positions, SDCC Chair serves at the pleasure of the Leader and is not elected by caucus members.

Sens. Larry Farnese (D-Phila) and Sean Wiley (D-Erie) will be Regional Coordinators.

“I’m proud of the work that I’ve done on behalf of the Senate Democrats, overseeing the campaign committee’s operations during the largest election gains the caucus has made in over 40 years,” Leach said. “I look forward to working closely with the next Chairs of the Campaign Committee to ensuring that the Senate Democrats take the majority next year.”

Smith won the seat of former Sen. John Pippy, who declined to run for re-election in 2012. Likewise Teplitz won the seat of former Sen. Jeff Piccola, and Wiley the seat of former Sen. Jane Earll. The 3 seat pickup was Dems’ best effort since 1970.

“We have big shoes to fill, but I look forward to working with my colleagues to move our caucus towards the majority,” Teplitz said.

The 2014 picture is decidedly more difficult for Democrats than 2012, as they have fewer open seat pickup opportunities and 1 or 2 vulnerable incumbents.

Delco GOP Taps McGarrigle for Erickson Seat

Tom McGarrigle

Tom McGarrigle

If Delaware County Republican leaders get their way – and history suggests they will – Council Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle will the party’s nominee for state Senate in 2014.

GOPers including Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) and Chairman Andy Reilly threw their support behind McGarrigle’s as-yet unannounced bid this week.

“Tom McGarrigle is a super guy and a great leader and businessman. He lead the effort on the local end to save the refineries here in Delaware County,” said County GOP Chairman Andy Reilly.

“The senior leadership of the party is going to recommend Tom for the endorsement.” He added that they recommend “accelerating” the endorsement process in the race.

McGarrigle, 54, was elected to County Council in 2007. He is married with three sons and owns and manages an automotive service station in Springfield.

Three other names had been floated as possible successors to Erickson: County executive director Marianne Grace along with state Reps. Joe Hackett and Nick Miccarelli. Both have good profiles; Hackett is a former police officer, while Miccarelli is an Iraq War veteran.

“We’ll have a stronger ticket with them running in their seats. Marianne Grace is the most important cog in county government,” Reilly said.

“Rumors are flying that [state Rep. Nick] Micozzie may retire next year,” said a former GOP operative in Delco. “To have Miccarelli or Hackett run would mean two open seats and risked putting the GOP at a disadvantage.”

McGarrigle’s biggest advantage: the zip code on his office.

“They wanted someone not tied to Harrisburg or Governor Corbett,” said the former GOP operative.

The Delaware GOP is one of the state’s strongest county parties, and candidates with the backing of party leadership have an enormous advantage in winning the nomination. Indeed, serious primary opponents rarely materialize against them.

The open seat battle will be one of the most contested state Senate races next year. Democrats seized on the prospect of an open seat when long-serving Sen. Ted Erickson announced his intention not to seek re-election. He had won most re-election races by double digits, although Democrats came within 5 points in 2006.

The 26th Senate district comprises parts of Delaware and Chester counties and was made slightly more Republican in the latest round of redistricting. Its party registration is 49.5% Republican, 39.4% Democratic. But in 2012 – along the lines that will be used in 2014 – it went 56% for Barack Obama and Kathleen Kane, and 58% for Sen. Bob Casey.

The likely Democratic nominee is John Kane, 53, the business manager of the Plumbers Union Local 690 which serves the Philadelphia region.

“John Kane has been a leader in his community, and since declaring his candidacy he’s received support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents from all corners of the district who are excited to see Kane serve as their Senator and bring his proven record of creating family sustaining jobs and standing up for the middle class,” said Aren Platt, the executive director of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee.

“It will be interesting to see how Chairman McGarrigle distances himself from Corbett and the Republican’s terrible record on women’s healthcare, education funding, and job creation.”

Wolf Boasts Raising $2.9M

Tom WolfTom Wolf has an operating budget of at least $12.9 million, the York County businessman announced today.

His campaign said Wolf, also a former Secretary of Revenue, has raised $2.9 million to date. The sum does not include the $10 million Wolf has said he will contribute to his own gubernatorial effort.

The Associated Press first reported the news.

The haul almost certainly will give Wolf one of the biggest bankrolls heading into 2014 – if not the biggest.

None of the other 7 declared Democratic candidates has thus far elected to reveal their fundraising progress.

The timing is no coincidence. Just days before the start of the annual Pa. Society festivities in New York City, Wolf’s number will boost his credibility at the same time as it puts pressure on his opponents to show their hands.

Campaigns are not required to file their next fundraising report until Jan. 31. That report will include all money raised and spent until Dec. 31.

The announcement is the latest shrewd move by Wolf’s campaign. The first was to decline to host a Pa. Society reception and give $15,000 to Pa. food banks instead.

12/9 Morning Buzz

PA state flagWe present PoliticsPA’s annual list of PA Society events! Plus Corbettcare goes to Washington for a verdict and more. Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz.

The Full 2013 PA Society List of Events: It’s that time of year, politicos: Pennsylvania Society! Here’s a rundown of all the events at the weekend-long marathon of receptions and cocktails.

Corbett Officially Asks Obama Admin for Hybrid Medicaid Expansion: The Corbett administration filed its Medicaid expansion waiver plan with the Department Health and Human Services, but Democrats are unhappy with the plan.

PA-Gov Roundup: An Endorsement, A Jobs Tour and More: Here is what you might have missed in Pa Gov news from the past week: Hanger took a stand against Third Way, Pawlowski is on a jobs tour, Schwartz picked up a union endorsement and Wolf released a senior healthcare plan.

12/6 Ups & Downs: Pennsylvania gets a perfect score for government transparency, Kathleen Kane wins a hypothetical race happening in three years and Politico airs on candidate’s dirty laundry. See what else made this week’s Ups & Downs.

Legislative Election Update:

HD-202: State Rep. Mark Cohen (D-Phila) officially has a primary challenger. Jared Solomon is an attorney and community organizer who also advised the campaigns of Joe Sestak. “I am before you to tell you we stand ready” said Solomon. “Ready for action. Ready for change. Ready to stand up for the Northeast. Today, I am here to announce my candidacy for state representative to stand up for you, stand up for the Northeast, and stand up for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” Cohen, who has served for nearly 40 years, cruised over a primary challenge in 2012 by 27 points.

State House Sound Bites: Corbett health care plan made public months after initial announcement
PA Independent: Critics blast Pennsylvania city’s ‘one-strike’ law as blow to due process
PA Independent: PA lawmaker: Lottery winners should have right to privacy
Capitolwire: Some quick details about the Corbett Medicaid waiver in advance of Friday’s unveiling

Inquirer: Clarke flexes muscle over Council matters
Inquirer: Health analysts question Corbett’s plan for uninsured
Inquirer: Public-school advocates fear pending revision of Pa. charter rules
Inquirer: Nutter vetoes limits on medical, dental practices in 2 districts
Inquirer: Parking, eatery and more planned at Dow building
Inquirer: Lawsuits accuse Phila. police of resuming ‘nickel rides’ Council votes to restrict new medical offices in N.E. Philly
PhillyClout: Land bank nears fruition in City Council

Bucks County Courier Times: Bristol taxpayers might see an $80 tax hike
The Intelligencer: Montgomery Twp. pot grower gets probations
The Intelligencer: Gay Holy Ghost teacher says he was fired for planning to marry
The Intelligencer: GOP Abington Ward 4 challenge dismissed
The Intelligencer: Bill would give lottery winners right to anonymity

Early Returns: Rick ties Obamacare, Apartheid
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania’s Core Standards aim to get students on same page
Post-Gazette: Congress deadlocked on guns, but statehouses are active
Tribune-Review: Civil justice system discourages transparency, experts say

Tribune-Review: Southwest Caucus hears from Dems running for governor at Delmont event
Tribune-Review: Beaver County commissioners ask judge to hold sheriff in contempt of earlier court order
Beaver County Times: People seek help, find better plans at health enrollment event
Altoona Mirror: Blair County inches closer to first reassessment since 1958
Altoona Mirror: Candidate: Development program could spur growth
Altoona Mirror: Cambria County takes out $5M loan
WTAJ: State Investment for Local Revitalization
Indiana Gazette: County commissioners welcome former coroner Baker to post
Kittanning Paper: County Continues Quest to Sell Belmont Naming Rights
Beaver Countian: District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Hampers Journalistic Efforts
Beaver Countian: County Commissioners Ask Judge To Find Sheriff David And Deputies In Contempt Of Court

Times Leader: Mundy broke the glass ceiling when she was elected
Times Leader: Tax-break programs cost Luzerne County over $329M this year
Times-Tribune: Luzerne councilman: Give same-sex benefits
Times-Tribune: Half million dollars in drilling impact fees to benefit Lackawanna
Times-Tribune: State rep holds outreach for vets
Citizens’ Voice: Casey talks sequestration, budget deals
Standard Speaker: County manager picks his emergency backup
PA Homepage: Senator Toomey Pushing New Background Check Legislation
WNEP: Sallie Mae: 300 New Jobs to Wilkes-Barre Area

South Central
Patriot-News: Pennsylvania lawmakers prepare for votes on child protection upgrades
Patriot-News: Is Gov. Corbett right? Will an increase to the minimum wage hurt Pa’s economy? Or will it really help?
Patriot-News: Too sick for court, but not interviews – ex-lawmaker facing corruption charges meets the press
Patriot-News: Update: Weis milk recall prompted by equipment failure
Lebanon Daily News: A-C school board get new president for first time in six years
Lebanon Daily News: Lebanon County Emergency Management Agency updates hazard mitigation plan

Lehigh Valley
Pennsylvania Ave: Giffords new gun control PAC gives first to Toomey
Morning Call: Politics as Usual
Morning Call: Alburtis proposes 24 percent property tax hike
Reading Eagle: Lawmakers look to reform property taxes
Reading Eagle: Corbett signals he won’t push to hike minimum wage

North by Northwest
Onward State: Sen. Mitchell Praises Penn State in Fifth Quarterly Report
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Mayor: Sanitary, codes violations warrant closure
Williamsport Sun Gazette: DuBoistown passes no tax hike budget
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Water project gets $50K

Inquirer: Inquirer Editorial: No shortage of politicking
Daily News: DN Editorial: The long walk
Times Leader: Council’s mission: better budgeting
Citizens’ Voice: Several objections to judges’ financial disclosure rules
News Item: Reveal health care numbers, and then abolish old policy
Daily Review: Pa. should take its cue from N.Y.
Daily Review: Figures don’t lie, but…
Republican Herald: Mandate taxing for online sales
Reading Eagle: If need is a factor, Reading should get CRIZ designation
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Sobering news on pensions, bankruptcies
Bucks County Courier Times: Less public, more secret
Delco Daily Times: Mandela and King made the world a better place

Raging Chicken Press: PA13: Marjorie Margolies Wants a “Moderate Middle” & Old Rich Retirees to Give Money Back to Strengthen Social Security
Keystone Politics: Supply-side shouldn’t be a dirty word in liberal politics
Keystone Politics: #PAGov: Victory! Allyson Schwartz supports expanding social security
Keystone Politics: Rand Paul’s GOP plan to help cities only kind of wrong
Keystone Politics: #PAGov: How the Corbett Medicaid waiver gambit impacts the Democratic primary
Keystone Politics: Health Insurance: It’s not like welfare
Keystone Politics: How did you get interested in politics?
Media Trackers: Sen. Pat Toomey warns Pennsylvanians of security issues
Media Trackers: Union president who called Jewish parent a “Neo-nazi” is still teaching
Media Trackers: Six Cushy union perks in Pennsylvania’s higher education system
Media Trackers: Corbett union concession in cards for Pennsylvania lottery

The Full 2013 PA Society List of Events

The Waldorf Astoria

The Waldorf Astoria

It’s that time of year, politicos: Pennsylvania Society! Here’s a rundown of the events at the weekend-long marathon of dinners and cocktails.

The annual celebration brings together political, civic and business leaders from across Pennsylvania and across the aisle.

The biggest stories to watch in midtown Manhattan this year are the maneuverings of the Democratic candidates for Governor, plus potential candidates for office in 2015 and 2016.

Here are the weekend’s events. See you in NYC!

Nick Field and Brittany Foster contributed to this story.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Cocktails: Christine J. Toretti
Club Macanudo, 26 East 63rd Street
By invitation only

There is no better room in the world to network with Pa. Republicans than RNC committeewoman Toretti’s annual bash. Good luck getting in if you’re not on the list.

Association of Benefit Administrators Dinner
Honoring Laborers Int. Pres Terry O’Sullivan
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Louis XVI Room, Second Fl.
The Saint Regis Versalles
2 East 55th Street at Fifth
$350. By invitation only.

PA House Republican Leadership Reception
8:00 – 11:00pm
Connolly’s Pub and Restaurant
14 East 47th Street

Penn Strategies Holiday Cocktail Reception
with Governor and Mrs. Tom Corbett
Hosted by Penn Strategies and Penn Law Group, PC, John Moran
9:00 – 11:00pm
Fireside The Omni Berkshire Place Hotel
21 East 52nd Street
By invitation only

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pennsylvania Chamber Reception for PA Senate and House Majority Leaders
7:30 – 9:30am
Conrad Suite
Waldorf Astoria

Women of Destiny: Networking event
10:00am – 12:30pm (Networking Brunch, Speakers, Q&A)
Conrad Suite, Fourth Floor
Waldorf Astoria
By invitation only

Government Relations Briefing
Blank Rome LLP
11:00am – 1:00pm; Lunch will be served
The Chrysler Building, 24th Floor Boardroom
405 Lexington Avenue
By invitation only

PAGOP Annual Commonwealth Club Luncheon
Special Guest: Mayor Rudy Giuliani
11:30am: VIP reception & photo opportunity
12:00am: General Reception
12:30pm: Luncheon
$1,000 pp Luncheon; $2,500 pp; VIP Photo Reception; $10,000 for Table of Ten
The Plaza
58th Street and Fifth Avenue

Leech Tishman/Pittsburgh Technology Council “Society on the ROCKS” Cocktail Reception
Sponsored by dck Worldwide, EDMC, everpower, Point Park University & UPMC
3:00 – 7:00pm
620 Loft & Garden, Rockefeller Center
620 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10020
By invitation only

Due to temporary renovations taking place at the NASDAQ MarketSite complex, this year’s event will take place at 620 Loft & Garden, which offers an intimate setting for viewing the legendary ice rink and tree as well as the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Fifth Avenue Place holiday light show.

Forum for a Better Pennsylvania
3:30 – 5:00pm, Reception
Conrad Suite, Fourth Floor
Waldorf Astoria
By invitation only. Non transferable.

Broadband Cable Association of PA Reception
3:30pm – 5:30pm
727 7th Avenue
By invitation only

The Metropolitan Caucus
4:00 – 6:00pm
Empire Room
Waldorf Astoria

The Genevieve Society Reception
4:00 – 6:00pm
Metropolitan Suite, 18th Floor
Waldorf Astoria
By invitation only

Reception for Governor Tom Corbett
4:30 – 6:00pm
Catsimatidis Residence
817 Fifth Avenue
At the corner of 63rd

Reception with County Exe. Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor-Elect Bill Peduto
5:00 – 7:00pm
Inside Park at St. Bart’s
325 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022

The biggest political waves in Pa. this year happened in the Steel City. This reception, featuring two of the state’s most prominent Democrats, is a must- attend (especially for gubernatorial hopefuls).

Reception with Senator Dominic Pileggi
5:00 – 7:00pm
Vanderbilt Room
Waldorf Astoria
By invitation only

The Senate Majority Leader knows how to throw a party. This is a must-include on party-goers’ itinerary.

Bill Shuster for Congress Reception
5:00 – 7:00pm
The Benjamin
$2,500 Host; $1,000 PAC; $500 Individual

Mike Kelly for Congress Reception
5:00 – 7:00pm
Waldorf Astoria
$2,500 Host; $1,000 PAC; $500 Individual

Michael Clark & Surmont L.L.C. Cocktails
5:00 – 7:00pm
The Cole Porter Suite 33A
Waldorf Towers
By invitation only

Brian Sims Fundraising Reception
5:00 – 7:00pm
Private residence, Upper West Side
$2,500 Host; $1,000 PAC; $500 Friend; $250 Guest

Carey Group Reception
Special Guests: Sen. Costa, Comm. Shapiro, and Sen. Smith
5:30 – 7:30pm
230 Fifth
27th Street and 5th Avenue

Waste Management of Pennsylvania: Cocktails
5:30 – 7:30pm
Fourth Floor Suite
Waldorf Astoria
By invitation only

Children’s Champion Reception
Host: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
5:30 – 7:30pm
6:15pm awards presentation: Congressman Patrick Meehan and
Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell
Starlight Roof, 18th Floor
Waldorf Astoria
By invitation only

This is one of the busiest and most fun events Friday evening. It celebrates the achievements of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one of if not the best children’s health care facilities in the world.

Sen. Pat Toomey Fundraiser
5:30 – 7:30pm
Barbizon 63
140 East 63rd Street

Holiday Cocktail Reception with Auditor General Eugene DePasquale
6:00 – 7:00pm
South Suite (4th Floor)
Waldorf Astoria

A Night on Broadway: Cocktails and Conversation
Honoring the members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation
6:00 – 8:00pm
Arent Fox LLP
1675 Broadway, 34th Floor
By invitation only

Holiday Reception at 21 Club: Cozen O’Connor
6:00 – 8:30pm
21 Club
21 West 52nd Street
By invitation only

NiSource Gas Cocktail and Dinner Reception
6:30 PM Cocktail
7:30 PM Dinner
Fresco by Scotto
2nd Floor Dining Room
34 East 52nd Street
Private event. By invitation only

Reception Honoring House Majority Leader, Mike Turzai
7:00 – 9:00pm
Louis XVI Suite
Waldorf Astoria

Blank Rome Reception
Astor and Whitney Rooms
Hotel Intercontinental New York
111 East 48th Street
By invitation only

Stevens & Lee Cocktails and Dinner
James M. White, Host
7:00pm Cocktails (Metropolitan Suite)
8:30pm Dinner (Cosmopolitan Suite)
Four Seasons Hotel, 57 E. 57th Street
By invitation only

Captains of Industry Reception
Hosted by CONSOL
7:30pm – 11:30pm
Trump Tower
725 5th Avenue
By invitation only

Southeast PA GOP Caucus Dinner
Sparks Steakhouse
210 E 46th St.
By invitation only

Janney Montgomery Scott Dinner
9:00pm Cocktails
9:30pm Dinner
Smith & Wollensky Restaurant
797 Third Avenue at 49th Street

Fundraiser for Senator Bob Casey
9:00 – 10:00pm
The Penn Club
30 W 44th St.
$5,000 Host; $2,600 – Co-host; $1,000 – Supporter

Dessert Reception for Mike Stack
9:00 – 11:00pm
Waldorf Astoria
Suite, 4th Floor

The Philadelphia State Senator recently announced his bid for Lt. Governor in 2014.

IBEW Local Union 98 Reception
9:30pm – 12:30am
Hilton Room
Waldorf Astoria

Johnny Doc’s annual party is a must-attend. He rocks the house, with a full band and lots of fun. IBEW even gives out door gifts (last year it was The Victory Lab).

Duane Morris, LLP and Duane Morris Government Strategies, LLC, Reception
10:00pm – Midnight
21 Club, 21 West 52nd Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues)
By invitation only

Cocktails & Conversation
Hosted by Fleck Consulting, Inc.
Featuring Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski
11:00pm – 2:00am
World Bar, The Trump World Tower
845 United Nations Plaza

PoliticsPA’s Governor Mifflin Society Reception
10:00pm – 1:00am
Waldorf Astoria, Louis XVI Suite
By invitation only

If you can attend only one PA Society event all weekend, this is it. The annual party hosted by owners and staff of PoliticsPA draws major politicos of all stripes until late in the evening (and into the early morning).

Saturday, December 14, 2013

PNC Breakfast Reception
7:30 – 9:30am
Skylight Roof
Waldorf Astoria
By invitation only

The Penn Breakfast hosted by President Amy Gutmann
8:30 – 10:30am
The Penn Club, 30 West 44th Street
By invitation only

Annual Seminar and Luncheon: PMA and Wells Fargo
9:00am Seminar begins, lunch follows
Frederick W. Anton, President & CEO-pmA, and Gregory Redden, Region President, Greater Philadelphia/Delaware, Wells Fargo and Dr. Terry Madonna, Moderator
The Metropolitan Club, One East 60th Street
By invitation only, No Substitutions, No Guests

This is a closed door strategy session for the Pa. business community and its political allies. It’s also the place to go for a full rundown on the rumors and news that everyone heard on Friday night.

Reception with Congressman Lou Barletta
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Connolly’s Pub
14 East 47th Street
(Between Madison Ave & Fifth Ave)

McCord for Governor Fundraiser
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Harvard Club
27 W. 44th St.
By invitation only

Bravo Group’s Afternoon Reception
12:00pm – 4:00pm
Maggie’s Place
21 East 47th Street
By invitation only

Friends of Darrell Clarke
12:30 – 2:00pm
151 East 50th Street
$11,500 Host or PAC; $2,900 Sponsor; $1,500 Guest

Many expect that Clarke, the President of Philadelphia City Council, will mount a run for Mayor in 2015.

Brunch fundraiser for State Rep. Mike Fleck
12:30 – 2:00pm
Hosted at the home of Betsy & Victor Gotbaum
Contribution: $100

Why an NYC reception for a State Rep? The New York Times put it this way when it profiled Fleck (R-Huntingdon), who is one of just two openly gay Republican legislators in the nation: “Because he suspects that some national antigay organizations will funnel money into the district to oust him, he’s raising some of his own campaign funds outside Pennsylvania, including from gay donors, though opponents could use that against him. Such fund-raising is obviously one reason he cooperated with this column.”

PA Infrastructure Lunch Reception
12:30pm – 2:30pm
Maloney & Porcelli Restaurant
37 East 50th St.
By invitation only

Emerald Advisors Reception
12:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Sidecar Room
PJ Clarke’s
915 3rd Avenue at 55th Street Entrance

League of 1789 Reception
1:30 – 3:30pm
B. Smith’s Restaurant
320 W. 46th St.
By invitation only

Reception with Rep. Charlie Dent
2:00 – 4:00pm
Mint Restaurant and Lounge
150 East 50th Street
Between Lexington and Third Avenues

S.R. Wojdak & Associates Happy Hour Event
2:30pm – 5:00pm
Eamonn’s Bar and Grill
9 East 45th (between Madison and 5th)
By invitation only

AICUP Reception
3:30 – 5:30pm
Waldorf Astoria, Astor Salon
By invitation only

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Cocktail Reception
4:30 – 6:00pm
Starlight Roof, 18th floor
Waldorf Astoria
By invitation only

This black tie cocktail is one of the finest and best events of the weekend.

Thomas Hagen and Roger Richards Reception
5:00 – 6:30pm
Waldorf Astoria Towers, Suite 37A
By invitation only

The Pennsylvania Society 115th Annual Dinner
6:00pm Reception – East Foyer
7:00pm Dinner – Grand Ballroom
Waldorf Astoria
Gold Medalist: Vice President Joseph R. Biden
By invitation only. Members $400; Non- members $450

This is the main event, the reason everyone travels to NYC. The black tie dinner is an annual tradition dating back to the late 1800s. It’s a chance for both parties to come together and celebrate the accomplishments of a Pennsylvania native son or daughter. This year, it’s Vice President Joe Biden.

6th Annual Bolshevik Dinner
Russian Samovar
By invitation only

Some political operatives arrange this annual meal for those who couldn’t score (or couldn’t afford) tickets to the main dinner.

Premier Party
Hosted by the Energy Association of Pennsylvania:
In Harmony
Marco Polo Room
Waldorf Astoria
By invitation only

Power Shift Post Dinner Reception
9:30 -
Upstairs at The Kimberly Hotel
145 East 50th Street

After Dinner Reception
Dilworth Paxson
9:30pm – 11:30pm
Conrad Suite, Fourth Floor
Waldorf Astoria
By invitation only

Jewish Federation of Greater Philly Dessert Reception
9:30pm – 11:30pm
Herbert Hoover Suite
Waldorf Astoria
By invitation only

Saul Ewing Reception
9:45pm – 11:45pm
Basildon Room, Third Floor
Waldorf Astoria
By invitation only

Attorney Charles J. Volpe and Excalibur/H.A.R.I.E. 23rd Annual PA Society Reception
10:00pm – 1:00am
Louis XVI Suite
Waldorf Astoria

Marcellus Shale Coalition Reception
9:00pm – 1:00am
The W New York, 541 Lexington Ave
Dancing- Bar- Desserts
By invitation only

This is one of the biggest events of the weekend and the place to meet Pennsylvania’s energy industry leaders.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Brunch
Temple University Brunch
9:00 – 11:00am
Waldorf Astoria Starlight Room
By invitation only

12/6 Morning Buzz

Harrisburg Capitol stepsCorbett’s DEP pick is under fire, Casey calls for raising the minimum wage and someone is anonymously staffing up for a run for Governor. Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz.

Don’t forget to check back later for the Ups & Downs!

PA-Gov Mystery: Who’s Staffing Up in Pittsburgh?: An anonymous Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign is recruiting 4 staffers on the political employment website Democratic Gain.

UPDATED Response from Abruzzo: Corbett’s DEP Pick Says No Harm from Climate Change: Democrats attacked Corbett’s DEP Secretary nominee after he downplayed the impacts of climate change.

Casey Calls for Higher Minimum Wage: The Senator announced his support for a bill that would raise the national minimum wage to $10.10.

PA-8: State Rep. Davis & Other Bucks Dems Endorse Strouse: The State Representative is the most prominent of several local officials to endorse Kevin Strouse.

PA-13: National Medical Community Supports Arkoosh: The Democratic candidate running to replace Rep. Allyson Schwartz received support from both the Pennsylvania and national medical communities.

Legislative Election Updates:

SD-36: Representatives Gordon Denlinger (R-Lancaster) and Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) are both seeking this Senate seat and have begun sparring on Twitter. SD-36 is currently held by Republican Mike Brubaker but he announced in June that he would not seek reelection. On Twitter, both Aument and Denlinger said they would only seek the Senate seat, and not re-election to their House seats.

HD-112: The Times Leader checks in on this member-vs-member redistricting battle. Freshman Rep. Kevin Haggarty (D-Lackawanna) must challenge fellow freshman and Democrat Rep. Frank Farina for the seat. The district includes more of Farina’s voters than Haggerty’s.

HD-164: The Inquirer profiled Rep. Margo Davidson (D-Delaware), highlighting her nebulous territory as a socially conservative Democrat. Davidson controversially voted against her party on school vouchers and in favor of restrictive abortion policy. Next year, Davidson will have a primary challenger, Billy J. Smith.

StateImpactPA: Shell abandons plans for natural gas liquids plant in Louisiana
StateImpactPA: U.S. energy boom has big impact on trade, but not jobs
StateImpactPA: Winter gas heating prices starting out low, expected to rise
State House Sound Bites: Capitol Christmas tree lit — all 20 feet of it
Capitolwire: Some quick details about the Corbett Medicaid waiver in advance of Friday’s unveiling

Daily News: Is ballot question over ‘resign-to-run’ a riddle?
PhillyClout: Fattah to host TV show
Commonwealth Confidential: Corbett to submit waiver to expand Medicaid coverage
City Paper: Documents raise questions about cost of new prison
WHYY Newsworks: Should Fumo get back in the game?
WHYY Newsworks: Should Pa.’s colleges get the keys to drive the state’s charter school strategy?
WHYY Newsworks: 87,000 Pa. residents could lose unemployment benefits by end of month
KYW: Local Fast Food Workers Join A National Protest Against Low Wages
NBC Philadelphia: NAACP Reacts to Mandela’s Death
Philly Record: Polls Today… Don’t Count Election Day
AP: Judges-elect can keep asking lawyers for dollars

Courier-Times: Low-wage protests come to Bucks County
Courier-Times: Bucks County awards $3.7 million in casino impact grants
Courier-Times: Thomas elected president, Block VP of CR school board
Pottstown Mercury: Pottstown debates using a portion of Waste Management payment to balance budget
Pottstown Mercury: New Daniel Boone S.B. president questions move to Amity Primary Center

Post-Gazette: Ravenstahl says he would veto Peduto’s early-pension incentive for Pittsburgh employees
Post-Gazette: Penguins’ plans for Civic Arena site hit snag
Post-Gazette: Dozens protest Duquesne University’s opposition to union drive
Post-Gazette: Corbett set to give update on Medicaid
Tribune-Review: Deb Gross to be sworn in to fill vacant Pittsburgh City Council seat
Tribune-Review: Pennsylvania, other states considering bids to host Boeing 777X production
UrbanMediaToday: Hill District Community Asks City Planning to Join Quest for Fair Housing

Beaver County Times: Chances improve for Shell’s proposed cracker in Beaver County
Beaver County Times: Aliquippa council members to crunch ’14 budget numbers
Beaver County Times: Chevron presents plans for Moon Twp. headquarters
Tribune-Democrat: County to refinance $19M in debt, assume $5 million loan to avoid default
Tribune-Democrat: Pitt-Johnstown president lauded by Cambria County commissioners

Times Leader: Barletta questions health law’s impact on fire companies
Times Leader: Former city official claims discrimination
Times-Tribune: Live updates from Scranton City Council
Citizen Voice: NEPA unemployment rate stays the same
News Item: Shamokin council to meet twice to solve $600,000 deficit
News Item: Shamokin needs $800,000 to pay 2013 bills
Standard Speaker: Pa. House panel issues report on school safety

South Central
PennLive: Harrisburg mayoral fundraising totaled more than $620K this year
PennLive: Corbett recalls Mandela as ‘colossus of freedom’
PennLive: Bipartisan farm bill could avert $7 milk threat by Christmas
PennLive: Potential sale of Cumberland County property near I-81 could bring jobs, additional tax dollars
PennLive: Harrisburg parking tech upgrades could reduce inconvenience for state workers
Lebanon Daily News: Lebanon County commissioners OK cost-analysis study of Cedar Haven
Lebanon Daily News: Lebanon County Commissioners pass surprising budget
Roxbury News: 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting

Lehigh Valley
Pennsylvania Ave: Dent signs letter pressing Boehner for ENDA vote
Reading Eagle: State clarifies when cities will be notified about redevelopment program
Reading Eagle: Bill would allow greatly expanded use of DNA

North by Northwest
Centre Daily Times: Spring Township adopts 2014 budget without a tax increase

Standard Speaker: Supremes should have nothing to hide
Post-Gazette: Protect the children: Pa. senators can fix the state’s abuse laws
Express Times: Repeal automatic cost-of-living raises for Pa. lawmakers, governor, judges

Media Trackers: Corbett Union Concession in Cards for Pennsylvania Lottery
Media Trackers: Pennsylvania Teachers Union Opposes Changes to Seniority Rules
Keystone Politics: Corbett Nominates Another Climate Denier to DEP
Keystone Politics: #PAGov: Schwartz Campaign Responds on Social Security Cut Vote
Keystone Politics: #PAGov: Did Allyson Schwartz Vote for Social Security Cuts?
Keystone Progress: Advocates Fear Unemployment Extension Expiration Could Leave Thousands High and Dry in PA
Commonwealth Foundation: Union Gave $650,000 from Teachers’ Dues to Anti-Republican Group
Keystone State Education Coalition: PA Ed Policy Roundup for December 5, 2013: U.S. Schools: They face a crisis.

PA-Gov Mystery: Who’s Staffing Up in Pittsburgh?

PAGov Jobs listingsIt’s the question Democratic campaign staffers in Pennsylvania have been asking for the past 24 hours.

An anonymous “Pennsylvania Gubernatorial campaign” is recruiting 4 staffers on the jobs website Democratic Gain.

Silhouette question markThe Dec. 4 postings request resumes and cover letters for people interested in applying to be Campaign Manager, Finance Director, Communications Director, or Field/Political Director.

“Campaign is based in Pittsburgh,” all four of the postings say. “Supporter housing is available. Salaries will be commensurate with experience.”

It directs applicants to contact a generic email address. The jobs begin on January 1.

PoliticsPA contacted the email address to ask the key question: who is the candidate? There has been no response thus far.

Former Auditor General and Pittsburgh native Jack Wagner has floated the possibility of a bid, and has said he will decide by year’s end whether to run. Immediate speculation focused on him.

But several sources close to or familiar with Wagner said it was unlikely his doing. they cited Wagner’s strong inner circle.

“Jack has a lot of people around him that would not need to compete for leadership roles in his campaign, if he runs one,” said one.

Other names mentioned include state Senator Jay Costa (a source close to Costa ruled that out) or Allegheny County District Attorney Steve Zappala (Democrats think he’s happy with his current job). Could it be Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald? He already has a solid political team in place. State Rep. Scott Conklin (D-Centre) is pondering a bid and may want to headquarter his campaign in Pittsburgh.

It could be a political neophyte putting together a first campaign. Or the whole thing could be a hoax.

In any case, the crowded field is wide open with a western Pennsylvania Democrat.

The 8 currently announced candidates for Governor have one thing in common: they’re all from eastern Pa. Not one lives more than 15 miles west of the Susquehanna River.

Progressives Slam Schwartz-Linked Group

Allyson Schwartz 2013 loresA battle is playing out for the soul of the Democratic party: should Democrats seek to win elections by appealing to centrists, or embrace the progressive, populist ideals of its base?

Allyson Schwartz has been drawn into the middle of it.

One of her opponents along with a national progressive group is demanding the Congresswoman and gubernatorial candidate renounce her affiliation with the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way.

On Monday, two leaders of Third Way penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler argued that policies advocated by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio are untenable on the national stage.

The piece argues that the numbers – particularly with Social Security and Medicare – don’t add up for progressives.

“The movement relies on a potent ‘we can have it all’ fantasy that goes something like this: If we force the wealthy to pay higher taxes… close a few corporate tax loopholes, and break up some big banks then—presto!—we can pay for, and even expand, existing entitlements,” Cowan and Kessler wrote.

“On the same day that Bill de Blasio won in New York City, a referendum to raise taxes on high-income Coloradans to fund public education and universal pre-K failed in a landslide. This is the type of state that Democrats captured in 2008 to realign the national electoral map, and they did so through offering a vision of pragmatic progressive government, not fantasy-based blue-state populism.”

Schwartz is one of 12 Honorary Co-Chairs of Third Way, along with Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), and others.

John Hanger, one of Schwartz’s 7 Democratic primary opponents and the most progressive candidate in the 2014 gubernatorial race, blasted Schwartz over her affiliation with the group.

“Third Way’s attack in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal on Elizabeth Warren, Bill DeBlasio, and other Democrats who are fighting for working people was misguided and unacceptable,” Hanger said. “Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz can undermine Third Way’s unacceptable attack on good Democrats and important ideas by resigning as Third Way’s Honorary Co-chair. I hope Congresswoman Schwartz joins my call to strongly disavow and rebuke this right wing attack on Senator Warren, Mayor-elect DeBlasio, and progressive policies.”

The national Progressive Change Campaign Committee sent out two emails urging supporters to call on Schwartz to resign her role with Third Way, which PCCC called a “Wall Street front group”.

“Shockingly, Rep. Allyson Schwartz is Honorary Co-Chair of this group that’s attacking Elizabeth Warren! Can you call Allyson Schwartz today and tell her to drop her affiliation with Third Way immediately?” the organization wrote.

Schwartz campaign spokesman Mark Bergman said the Congresswoman repudiates the op-ed – but she won’t resign her position.

“Allyson thought Third Way’s Op/Ed on Social Security was outrageous and strongly disagrees with it,” Bergman said. He noted that Schwartz has repeatedly advocated for Social Security and Medicare.

“In 2005, Allyson was an outspoken leader in fighting against President Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security and last year, she fought against Paul Ryan’s attempt to end Medicare as we know it. She has repeatedly been endorsed by the National Committee to Preserve Medicare and Social Security for her leadership in protecting and preserving Social Security and Medicare for current seniors and future retirees.”

Schwartz has a reputation as a centrist on some issues, particularly health care spending. And as one of the front runners in the gubernatorial contest, she has kept as much of an eye on the general election as the primary.