Morganelli Edits PoliticsPA Story: Before Vs. After

John Morganelli lores

John Morganelli

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli emailed his friends and supporters a heavily edited version of a PoliticsPA story, which was forwarded to PoliticsPA. Here is the before and after.

Here is Morganelli’s version. The changes are in bold:

John Morganelli, the Northampton County District Attorney and former candidate for Pa. Attorney General, is weighing a bid for Lieutenant Governor.

[Added] As a candidate for Attorney General, Morganelli advocated for a law that would require that lost and/or stolen guns would have to be reported to law enforcement. He also advocated for “The Parents’ Responsible Gun Ownership Law” which would require gun owners with children in their homes to keep guns locked up.

[Added] Morganelli has record of advancing minority and gender opportunity in law enforcement. Morganelli hired more women prosecutors in the Office of District Attorney than any other DA in Northampton County history including the county’s first 2 African-American female prosecutors. He also hired the county’s first Hispanic Assistant DA and the first Hispanic and first African-American County Detective. 50% of the staff are female prosecutors.

[Added] As DA, Morganelli created units to combat domestic violence and child sexual assaults. He is a courtroom prosecutor who has successfully tried 22 murder cases to guilty verdict before juries.

[Added] Morganelli is a strong supporter of labor and has a union background. He supports enforcement of prevailing wage, and is opposed to privatization.

“This is not an announcement, but I am considering running for Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014,” he told PoliticsPA via email. “I believe that as a moderate Democrat from the Lehigh Valley, I would compliment any of our prospective candidates for governor.”

He said he’ll make a definitive announcement later this year.
If he gets in, he’d join Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski and Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith. State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montco) is also considering a run.

“I still have a solid statewide organization from my 2008 campaign for attorney general, and a solid campaign fund with cash on hand of $260,000,” he continued, and noted that his prosecutorial background would be an asset. “I have strong labor support, and would be able to articulate the case against Corbett’s re-election from a law enforcement perspective including his handling of the Sandusky investigation.”

[Edited] Morganelli fell short of Tom Corbett in the 2008 AG race. Jim Eisenhower defeated him by 1.% in the 2000 Democratic Primary despite the fact that Morganelli won 47 of the state’s 67 counties.

[Sentence redacted]

[Added] Amended

Here’s the original version:

John Morganelli, the Northampton County District Attorney and former candidate for Pa. Attorney General, is weighing a bid for Lieutenant Governor.

“This is not an announcement, but I am considering running for Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014,” he told PoliticsPA via email. “I believe that as a moderate Democrat from the Lehigh Valley, I would compliment any of our prospective candidates for governor.”

He said he’ll make a definitive announcement later this year.

If he gets in, he’d join Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski and Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith. State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montco) is also considering a run.

“I still have a solid statewide organization from my 2008 campaign for attorney general, and a solid campaign fund with cash on hand of $260,000,” he continued, and noted that his prosecutorial background would be an asset. “I have strong labor support, and would be able to articulate the case against Corbett’s re-election from a law enforcement perspective including his handling of the Sandusky investigation.”

[Edited by Morganelli] Morganelli fell 6.7% short of Tom Corbett in the 2008 AG race. Jim Eisenhower defeated him by 1.7% in the 2000 Democratic primary and 4.8% in 2004.

[Removed by Morganelli] His claim to fame is his tough approach on illegal immigration – a stance that has caused him trouble in his own party at times.

Preview: Pa. Progressive Summit

2013 Progressive SummitEver choose to skip an occupy rally because the hemp-paper fliers didn’t have a union bug? Have we got a weekend for you.

From the far left around Pa., progressives will gather at the Harrisburg Hilton this weekend for their annual summit. It will be a key opportunity for prospective candidates to court the activist base of Democratic party.

Prospective candidates and their staffs will be working rooms both in formal seminars and in social events afterward. Look first and foremost for hopefuls for Guv, Lt. Guv, and PA-13.

The event is put on by Keystone Progress and the full agenda is here. The keynote speaker is David Cobb, the spokesperson for Move to Amend (MTA), a group that seeks to curb the influence of corporations in government.

Here are some agenda highlights:

Friday

Keystone Progress Fundraiser
6PM
Harrisburg Hilton
$100

Drinks and appetizers with Jim Dean from Democracy for America and David Cobb.

Fired Up! Welcome party hosted by Senator Daylin Leach
7:30 PM
The Fire House Restaurant
(Must be registered for the Summit to attend)

Leach is a progressive hero in Pa. and has good reason to keep up his ties. He has floated his name for LG and making moves to position himself as Allyson Schwartz’s successor should she leave her congressional seat to run for Governor.

Saturday

Some of the seminars stand out to politicos and 2014 campaign watchers.

Session 1: 11AM

Women on Top: Lessons from (and for) the Next Generation of Pennsylvania Progressive Women Leaders

See Schwartz’s Finance Director Aubrey Montgomery, Luke Ravenstahl’s campaign manager Aletheia Henry and several others talk about women getting in the political process.

What’s Next for Health Care Reform

Dr. Val Arkoosh is a sleeper pick for PA-13, and a panelist here.

Blood From a Stone: Corbett’s 2013 Budget

Montco Commissioner Josh Shapiro is a potential candidate for everything, and will sit on this panel with Sen. Vincent Hughes and others.

Lunch: 12PM

Meet PA’s Row Officers: Attorney General Kathleen Kane, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, and likely gubernatorial candidate Treasurer Rob McCord.

Session 2: 1:30PM

The Fourth Estate: Cracking the Code on the Role of Journalism in Government and Politics

Featuring Eric Bohem, PA Independent; Tara Auchey, Roxbury News; Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News “Attytood” Columnist; Chris Comisac, Capitolwire; moderated by John L. Micek, Editorial Page Editor, Patriot News.

Running Winning Campaigns with Progressive Messaging and Partnerships in Pennsylvania’s Conservative “T”

This is a victory lap for the team that elected state Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin): Teplitz himself, SDCC ED Aren Platt, pollster Marc Silverman and Planned Parenthood of PA ED Sari Stevens.

Session 3: 2:50PM

Holding Big Business Accountable: The Truth About Tort Reform.

This panel features state Rep. Brandon Neumann (D-Washington), who is looking at a bid for Lt. Gov.

Turning Point: Getting Serious About Gun Control

Of all the issues where progressives think they have momentum, this one takes the cake. The panel features Allentown Mayor and prospective Guv hopeful Ed Pawlowski as well as Shira Goodman of CeaseFirePA and state Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montco).

Session 4: 4:15PM

Climate Change for Progressives: Science, Fairness, Policy and Activism

This is John Hanger’s wheelhouse. The former environmental activist and former Secretary of the Dep’t of Environmental Protection is running for Governor and serving on this panel.

Salsa Dance Party
6:30PM
Location TBD

Given progressives’ affinity for immigration reform, this choice of after party makes sense.

PA Republicans Go 7-6 for VAWA Reauthorization

VAWA logoThe US House passed Thursday a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. It enjoyed universal support from Democrats, but split the GOP caucus.

The bill passed 286 to 138.

Two versions of the bill went to a vote Thursday. The first, the one passed by the Senate earlier in February, was the broadest. It reauthorized VAWA and added protections for gays and lesbians, illegal immigrants as well as native Americans who are victims of violence.

Both Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey voted in favor of the Senate version earlier February. The expanded version of the bill failed in 2012, when all but 2 Republicans voted no.

The second version, introduced by the GOP via an amendment, also reauthorized VAWA but was far more modest in its expansion of the law. It did not specifically address those groups, though it did broaden categories of what constitutes abuse.

The delegation broke down into three groups. All 5 Democrats voted for the final passage of VAWA and against the GOP amendment. They were joined by all for southeastern Pa. Republicans: Reps. Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) and Pat Meehan (R-Delaware).

Three Republicans voted in favor of both versions: Reps. Lou Barletta (R-Luzerne), Bill Shuster (R-Blair) and GT Thompson (R-Centre).

6 Republicans voted yes on the GOP amendment but no on the final VAWA passage: Reps. Mike Kelly (R-Butler), Tom Marino (R-Lycoming), Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny), Scott Perry (R-York), Joe Pitts (R-Chester) and Keith Rothfus (R-Allegheny).

“It is important to prevent and prosecute violence against women. The bill that I voted for today increases oversight and ensures that funds actually go to prosecuting perpetrators and providing much-needed services to victims,” said Rothfus of the GOP version.

“Unfortunately, the Senate bill raises constitutional questions and could deprive certain Americans of Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. Without the opportunity for the House Judiciary Committee to conduct hearings on the Senate bill, I could not support it.”

The Latest: Insiders Say Ravenstahl Won’t Seek Re-Election

luke_ravenstahl

Luke Ravenstahl

Pittsburgh — Rumors are swirling in the Steel City today and over a dozen Democratic sources indicate to PoliticsPA that Mayor Luke Ravenstahl will not seek re-election.

From campaign aides to city insiders to Pa. Democratic Chair Jim Burn, many expect an announcement at a press conference Thursday. Reporters are camped out at City Hall. Some have even suggested Ravenstahl will resign.

PoliticsPA will update this story after the Mayor’s remarks. So far his office has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors.

He has been notably absent from important campaign events in recent days, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that a close Ravenstahl ally told supporters that he was having family issues. His campaign cited his mother’s illness as the reason his missed an event earlier this week.

He kicked off his re-election campaignjust a week ago and recently reported nearly $1 million in his campaign account.

In addition to his mother’s health concerns, several insiders PoliticsPA spoke with cited to barrage of political attacks and tough press coverage as a major incentive for him to step out of the public eye.

Ravenstahl has been battered in the press for weeks. First, it came to light that Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper and several officers were running a security business full time on the side. Ravenstahl vouched for Harper even as the FBI began to investigate; Harper resigned a few days later.

Then came allegations that police officers were putting in unusually high numbers of overtime hours for personal security for the mayor. They were equipped with debit cards illicitly linked to a police credit union bank account rather than a city one. On Friday, WXPI aired a photograph of Ravenstahl in a compromising position with a young woman at a sports bar. The tie in: one of the security officers in question was present.

The Mayor has insisted throughout that he’s done nothing wrong and that he won’t face charges. But even having to answer such questions is an unfavorable sign for any candidate.

Ravenstahl, 33, became one of the nation’s youngest mayors in 2006 when he took over for the late Bob O’Connor (he was City Council President at the time). He easily won a special election in 2007 and a regular election in 2009.

What Next?

If Ravenstahl gets out, the two remaining candidates in the race would be City Controller Michael Lamb and City Councilman Bill Peduto. Debate is already ongoing in Pittsburgh political circles about who benefits the most.

Lamb stands a better chance of picking up the working class voters who constituted Ravenstahl’s base. And he’s all but guaranteed to get the Allegheny County Democratic Committee endorsement; their deadline has passed and Peduto declined to be considered.

Peduto, the progressive hopeful, built his campaign to a great extent as the anti-Ravenstahl. He’s been a critic of the Mayor for years. Now he’ll need to re-tool. His edge comes with his strong support from County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who has the resources to make a strong and immediate push into the vacuum. He can also help bring the Mayor’s donors into the fold.

A big question is: what does Jack Wagner do? The former Pa. Auditor General, state Senator and City Councilman had widely been viewed as a potential candidate in the fall, running as an independent had Ravenstahl won the primary. That strategy makes far less sense now. Does he decide to jump into the Democratic primary?

His track record for fundraising is less than impressive and he doesn’t have an active campaign structure, but he’d start off on day 1 with strong name ID. Wagner would pull from both candidates, but would help Peduto by splitting Lamb’s southside base.

Candidates have been circulating petitions since Feb. 19. The final day to collect them is March 12. Mayoral hopefuls only need 250 signatures.

If Ravenstahl resigns, City Council President Darlene Harris would become Mayor.

Wojcik Out, McVay in for Superior Court

Jack McVay

McVay at PNC Park. Source: thebuccoszone.com

One Pittsburgh Democrat is out and another is in for a Pa. Superior Court run. Attorney Michael Wojcik ended his bid Wednesday and Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Jack McVay has thrown his hat in the ring.

Wojcik lost the Pa. Democratic party endorsement vote to Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Joe Waters two weeks ago.

McVay, 57, ran for Commonwealth Court in 1997 but was not successful. His brother-in-law is Stephen Zappala, the Allegheny County District Attorney.

With Wojcik out, western Pa. Democrats see an opportunity for a local son in a race with an east-west dynamic.

The Republicans endorsed Cumberland County attorney Vic Stabile for the spot; he faces Allegheny Magisterial Court Judge Ron Wyda.

The Democrats “Nobody Problem”

Silhouette question mark“You don’t beat somebody with nobody.” That familiar old maxim expresses a very modern political truth. Well-known candidates tend to win elections running against unknown candidates. The well-known candidate may be unpopular, may be flawed or even worse. But having high name identification among voters becomes a huge advantage that often predicts winning or losing.

The importance of name identification is something state Democrats ought to remember even as they salivate publicly at the prospects of taking on embattled gubernatorial incumbent Tom Corbett in 2014; they should do so because at the moment Democrats are offering a field of gubernatorial candidates, none of whom is widely known across Pennsylvania. These candidates are in that sense “nobodies,” and one of them is going to be running against “somebody” Tom Corbett in 2014.

It’s not that state Democrats are offering up second-rate opponents for Corbett. Indeed, the Democrat field may be the best in modern times for a non-open seat election. Consider these likely or announced so far–still 20 months from Election Day: former Department of Environmental Affairs Secretary John Hanger; Philadelphia businessman Tom Knox; State Treasurer Rob McCord; Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski; Congresswomen Allison Schwartz; former Congressman Joe Sestak; state Senator Mike Stack; and former Revenue Secretary and businessman Tom Wolfe.

The field is impressive, but not one of them is well known statewide. Of the eight, only three have even run in a statewide election. Schwartz ran in a Democratic primary for the U.S Senate in 2000, placing second in a five candidate race. Sestak won a U. S. Senate primary in 2010 before losing the fall election. McCord has won two statewide state treasurer elections (2008 and 2012) and may be the best known of the aspiring candidates.

Clearly, what Democrats need are not more candidates or better candidates. What they need are better-known candidates. And one sure way to accomplish that is to hold a good old-fashioned party primary, one that will give their candidates a chance to offer their vision for Pennsylvania, while giving those voters a chance to size up the candidates.

Not surprisingly, this is not a popular view. In fact, proposing a contested party primary while running against an incumbent flies in the face of much conventional wisdom. It’s widely believed that contested primaries usually waste limited campaign resources, gratuitously offer general election opponents juicy targets and turn off voters.

Sometimes this is true. We need look no further than last year’s presidential contest to illustrate an instance when a contested primary probably hurt the party candidate in the fall. Almost certainly, both the tone and the length of the GOP presidential primary diminished Romney’s 2012 presidential chances. But we find the opposite result coming out of the 2008 Democratic presidential primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Few can imagine Obama winning the presidency without going through that primary.

In state politics, Pennsylvania offers up even better examples of contested gubernatorial primaries that probably strengthened general election prospects. Dick Thornburgh built a statewide reputation dispatching six primary opponents in 1978. In 1994, Tom Ridge faced multiple opponents, garnered only about one-third of the primary vote, but still went on to a comfortable victory. In 2002, perceived underdog Ed Rendell squared off in a tough primary against Bob Casey. All three, despite spirited primaries, took a united party into the fall campaign.

Clearly, the conventional wisdom that primaries are always bad is wrong. Much depends on the candidates, the context of the race, and the issues. Party primaries can offer a chance for little known candidates to introduce themselves to voters while gaining invaluable experience running.

Why then are state Democrats so unenthusiastic about a primary? Partly, it’s the flawed thinking about primaries. But mainly, Democrats think they don’t need one. They reason that given Corbett’s low standing in the polls and other well publicized problems, they cannot lose in 2014. In this conclusion, they are dangerously mistaken.

Wounded Corbett may be, but his political resources are still impressive. Since the 1970’s, Pennsylvanians have not unseated an incumbent governor running for re-election, a powerful tradition in his favor. Moreover, any momentum in the economy will help him. In addition, Corbett, as incumbent, will be able to raise impressive campaign funds as well as command public attention. He has already done so with a set of ambitious budget proposals. Finally, Pennsylvanians have long shown a penchant for electing governors from parties other than the party in power in Washington.

For these reasons, Democrats probably need a serious primary in 2014 if they hope to win the governorship. Few Democrats buy that argument right now, instead advocating the party avoid a primary contest and endorse an early “consensus” candidate.

If they do so, state Democrats may end up squandering their best chance to defeat an incumbent governor in modern state history.

DCCC Hits Fitz on Sequestration – Again

Fitzpatrick Head Shot 2012If voters are looking for campaign committees to solve sequestration, they are likely to be disappointed.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is stepping up its campaign against Mike Fitzpatrick.  A series of paid phone calls or ‘robocalls’ began yesterday urging PA-8 constituents to contact Rep. Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) and demand that he support a plan to end sequestration.

Earlier this month a DCCC video attack ad aired blaming “Mike Fitzpatrick and his Tea Party Congress” for the $1.2 trillion in looming, across the board budget cuts. The calls consist of a recorded message of the same sentiment and even allows recipients to press 1 and be connected to Fitzpatrick’s office.

“On March 1st, America’s middle class is going to pay a terrible price because Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick backed a sequester plan that will eliminate more than 2 million jobs, slow our economy and may drive us back into a recession,” says the recorded caller in part.

Fitzpatrick is one of 23 incumbents being targeted by the DCCC.  He is the only member of Congress from Pennsylvania to be targeted, which suggests national Dems see him as the most vulnerable in Pa. (as they did in 2012, when he cruised to re-election by 13 points).

Whenever a political organization such as the DCCC declines to disclose the size and cost of a project, as they have in this case, usually it means the numbers not impressive. Rather, it’s likely a push for earned media (you’re welcome).

The NRCC has called the $1.2 trillion in budget cuts planned for March 1st “Obama’s sequester.”

“It’s both laughable and pathetic to see the Democrats try and backtrack from their support for President Obama’s Sequester,” said NRCC spokesman Ian Prior. “Perhaps their time would be better spent paying for constituent phone calls to the President asking him to replace his Sequester with reductions in wasteful government spending, such as the $70 billion in improper Medicare and Medicaid payments, the $1 million research program into a menu for astronauts on Mars, and spending $325,000 for the National Science Foundation to create a Robosquirrel.”

Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate voted for the Budget Control Act, which yielded the sequester, and President Obama signed it.

You can listen to the audio here.

2/28 Morning Buzz

US CapitolAllyson Schwartz makes a big move, and the DCCC comes after Fitzpatrick again. Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz.

Schwartz Out as Top DCCC Fundraiser: In another sign that Allyson Schwartz is all but certain to make a gubernatorial bid, the Congresswoman stepped down from her post as Finance Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

DCCC Hits Fitz on Sequestration – Again: The DCCC is stepping up its campaign against Mike Fitzpatrick. A series of robocalls begins today urging PA-8 constituents to contact Rep. Fitzpatrick and demand that he support a plan to end sequestration.

SP&R Poll: PA Voters Disapprove Obamacare: The latest survey from Republican pollster Susquehanna Research & Polling finds that Pa. voters believe that Obamacare will increase healthcare costs for businesses and consumers.

Softball: Matthews <3 Kathleen Kane (With Video): Chris Matthews had nothing but warm works for Attorney General Kathleen Kane during ‘Hardball,’ Tuesday night, 15 months after MSNBC host gave Kane her first bit of the national spotlight.

Statewide
State House Sound Bites: Education secretary explains money for teacher investigators
State House Sound Bites: Contracts show state could pay $1.2 million for lottery consultants
State House Sound Bites: A telling moment amid pension talk
PA Independent: PA lawmakers have to face pension pain sooner or later
PA Independent: Snail mail slows PA’s campaign finance reports
StateImpact: Nebraska GOP congressman working on bill that would give fracking oversight to states
StateImpact: For Marcellus drillers, profits rise
Capitolwire: Tomalis asks: schools, lawmakers love fed grants. Why not Passport for Learning?
Capitolwire: Pension obligation bonds could be piece of pension solution puzzle, say SERS, PSERS officials
Capitolwire: Influx of appeals drives need for bigger budget, Open Records director says

Philadelphia
AP: Corbett says he’ll meet with Sebelius on Medicaid
AP: Corbett pension details outlines
AP: McCord steps up criticism of Corbett pension plan
Inquirer: Groups criticize Nutter over school closings
Inquirer: State stores age like a rancid wine
The Big Tent: Schwartz quits national Dem fundraising post
The Big Tent: Pa. AG Kane’s hit on ‘Hardball’
Philly Clout: Prison commissioner defends inmate healthcare provider at Council hearing
WHYY Newsworks: Funds sought to resolve backlog of complaints about Pa. teachers
WHYY Newsworks: Philadelphia prison health contract questioned at council hearing
WHYY Newsworks: Philadelphia approving homestead exemptions without the home
Phillynow: Pa. gun background checks almost tripled since Sandy Hook
Phillynow: Huge majority of Pennsylvanians support LGBT rights – so now what?
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia School District wants teachers to work longer days for less money
KYW Newsradio: Community activists demand Nutter delay Philadelphia school closures
KYW Newsradio: Pennsylvania intercepting tax returns to recover overpaid unemployment benefits
KYW Newsradio: Amid privatization efforts, head of Pa. liquor sales defends agency’s performance

SEPA
AP: Special prosecutor to probe Penn State grand jury
AP: Pa. pension officials to appear before lawmakers
AP: Corbett plan would cut Pa. pensions by $12 billion
AP: Pa. district blocked websites about gays
AP: Corbett honors 5 for Black History Month
Delco Daily Times: Senator eyes dog law changes after 2 Chesco pets fatally shot

Pittsburgh
City Paper: Target Practice: Mayor says he’s not a target in federal investigation. Does that mean he’s out of the woods?
City Paper: Secret recipe
Early Returns: McVay eyes state court
Early Returns: Toomey wants a vote
Early Returns: Casey gets subcommittee chairmanship
Early Returns: Dowd releases police invoices
Early Returns: ISO Mayor Luke
Early Returns: Smith pushes new ALFTSL cut
Early Returns: Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read this morning
Post-Gazette: Corbett still declines to expand Medicaid, but will talk to Sebelius
Post-Gazette: Sen. Toomey offers bill to soften sequester
Post-Gazette: Pa. treasurer disputes purported savings in Corbett’s pension overhaul
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh council considers plan to transfer police funds
Post-Gazette: Attorney general weighs defending voter ID
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh councilman releases police job records; groups seek input on new chief
Tribune Review: Judge sets May 7 sentencing for Joan Orie Melvin
Tribune Review: Judge names special prosecutor to probe Penn State grand jury
Tribune Review: Wagner continues to consider run as independent for Pittsburgh mayor
Tribune Review: Lawmakers express sour grapes over LCB in-house label

Southwest
Beaver County Times: Artists are inspired by Marcellus shale, but no money to be found -Lauar
Beaver County Times: State treasurer, liberal think tank rip Corbett pension reform plan
Altoona Mirror: Ten seeking spot on Act 47 commission
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: 5 things to know for today in Pennsylvania news
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Slowest state stores lost $274G combined

NEPA
The Times Tribune: State Treasurer: Governor’s pension reform would dig deeper hole
The Times Tribune: County votes to defy any gun restrictions
The Times Tribune: Campaign 2013
The Times Tribune: DiBileo raises valid issues
Citizens Voice: Magisterial system slow but reliable
Wayne Independent:  Officials raising a stink over proposed regulations
Pocono Record: Monroe County legislative forum to air in March

Lehigh Valley
Pennsylvania Ave.: Dent to vote ‘no’ on House GOP VAWA bill, ‘yes’ to Senate Dem version
Pennsylvania Ave.: Schwartz uses Christie Medicaid decision to pounce on Corbett
Morning Call: Pennsylvania seeks money to investigate teachers
Morning Call: Revenue secretary tells chamber Corbett’s budget is good for business
Morning Call: Corbett’s Cabinet members grilled over state budget
Morning Call: Get rid of exceptions on background checks, local mayors say
WFMZ: Easton to have new parking meters installed
Express-Times: Lehigh Valley superintendents implore lawmakers for charter, special education funding reforms
Reading Eagle: ACLU criticizes district’s Internet-content filter
Reading Eagle: Reading School board member alleges HS teachers provoking students
Reading Eagle: Reading board denies application for I-LEAD charter middle school
Reading Eagle: Demand low for natural gas but emotions high over proposed pipeline that would bisect Berks
Reading Eagle: Public education on brink, state House panel told

South Central
Carlisle Sentinel: Corbett says he’ll meet with Sebelius on Medicaid
Carlisle Sentinel: Penn State Football: Ganter leaves football PSU program after 46 years
Harrisburg Patriot News: Lottery privatization may be more attractive if state pension system benefitted
Harrisburg Patriot News: Gov. Tom Corbett: Prosecutions, politics and the criticism he can’t shake
Harrisburg Patriot News: Update: Special prosecutor to investigate secrecy issues in Penn State grand jury
Harrisburg Patriot News: U.S. judge won’t reconsider dismissal of Harrisburg leaders’ lawsuit against Act 47 plan
Harrisburg Patriot News: 185K spyware images sent to Aaron’s rental computers, lawsuit claims
York Daily Record: York County officials: Impending sequester already hurting prison
York Dispatch: York County officials fear sequester’s impact on number of detainees held at prison
Lancaster Intelligencer/Era: SDL, LNP at odds on tax issue
Lebanon Daily News: HACC Lebanon offering new tuition-free CNA progam
Lebanon Daily News: Drugs won the drug war: The world’s lax narcotics enforcement
Lebanon Daily News: Retirement ends job stress, but can be tough in other ways
Lebanon Daily News: South Lebanon board briefed on tire collection by West Nile Virus program
Roxbury News: Rep. Patty Kim: “I invite everyone to the table.”

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News Campaign ‘13 Blog: Harborcreek supervisor Pepicello staying put, rules out run for Erie County executive
Centre Daily Times: State College Area schools to refinance bonds
Centre Daily Times: Trustee candidate Goldsmith holds meet-and-greet
Centre Daily Times: Penn State football physician Wayne Sebastianelli leaving post
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Pleas pending in illegal Mexican workers case
Williamsport Sun Gazette: ‘Little Rock 9’ speaker visits Mansfield
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Township supervisors OK road work bid

Opinions
Tribune Review: The Arms Trade Treaty: Stop the U.N. gun grab
Post-Gazette: Sequester madness: Congressional folly puts America at risk
Post-Gazette: Drone drain: The U.S. doesn’t need a spy base in Niger
Post-Gazette: Best practices: Pittsburgh’s schools can learn from each other
Post-Gazette: Flying start: Kerry’s tour sets foreign policy focus
Observer-Reporter: PLCB arguments fail to convince
Observer-Reporter: Confronting prescription drug abuse
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Pa. a hotbed of deceit
Inquirer: Judicial reform needed in Pa.
Inquirer: Politics in the way of quality preschools
phillyburbs: Washington and the art of high drama
Delco Daily Times: Editorial: Koop bravely placed public health before politics
Express-Times: Gov. Christie sees light on Medicaid; Gov. Corbett should follow his lead

Blogs
Keystone Politics: Corbett Laying Groundwork For Flip Flop on Medicaid
Keystone Politics: More Questions for Michael Lamb About the PGH Police Scandal
Keystone Politics: Is Tom Corbett Going to Try to Privatize the Department of Public Welfare?
Keystone Politics: Governor’s Plan Digs a Deeper Pension Hole
Keystone Politics: Why’s the Land Value Tax Progressive?, Cont’d.
Keystone Politics: John Taylor, Alcohol Reform, and Republican Competitiveness in Cities
Keystone Politics: Allyson Schwartz Calls on Tom Corbett to Flip Flop on Medicaid
Jon Geeting: Peak Car
Jon Geeting: Cutting Edge Conservative Analysis
Jon Geeting: Progressive Caucus: ” Just Cancel the Sequester”
Jon Geeting: Adam Waldron for Bethlehem City Council
Jon Geeting: Why’s the Land Value Tax Progressive?
Keystone State Education Coalition: Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup For February 27, 2013: As sequestration looms, leaders in Washington are intently focused on……
Commonwealth Foundation: Privatization Could Open Doors for PA Winemakers
PennPatriot: House Speaker Sam Smith to re-introduce House downsizing bill
PennPatriot: John Baer: Congress’ $85 billion cut won’t crush us
PennPatriot: University of Pennsylvania professor, tolerance expert to speak at Tech
PennPatriot: Abortion Bill: Proposed Pennsylvania Legislation Would Block Abortion-Related Insurance Expenses
PennPatriot: Snail mail slows PA’s campaign finance reports
PennPatriot: PA lawmakers have to face pension pain sooner or later
PennPatriot: Inmates’ heavy usage of Right to Know Law becoming problematic
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Morganelli for Lt. Guv?
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Adam Waldron Running For Bethlehem City Council

Schwartz Out as Top DCCC Fundraiser

Allyson Schwartz 2012In another sign that Allyson Schwartz is all but certain to make a gubernatorial bid, the Congresswoman stepped down from her post as Finance Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

She was named to the position a mere two months ago.

The switch was reported in The Hill Wednesday and spotted by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The FC of the DCCC is responsible for helping to raise money for congressional incumbents and challengers around the country. It was an ideal spot for Schwartz who has consistently demonstrated strong fundraising skills and has been rising in the House Ds caucus.

The position also would have allowed Schwartz to expand her network of national donors had she wanted to run for U.S. Senate in 2016.

The National Journal last week explored the pros and cons of remaining as FC as well as a gubernatorial candidate, but suffice it to say Schwartz had little reason to leave the post unless she was certain of a Guv bid.

SP&R Poll: PA Voters Disapprove Obamacare

Obamacare X heartGOP pollster Susquehanna Polling & Research just released the results of their latest survey of the Keystone State. By a margin of 60% to 27%, Pennsylvania voters believe that Obamacare will increase healthcare costs for businesses and consumers.

In addition, 53% of voters believe that the controversial law will have a negative impact on job-growth and the economy. 30% believe that the law is good for the economy.

In the same poll, Pennsylvania voters identified the economy as the number one issue facing the commonwealth. This is the sixth consecutive year that the economy has reigned supreme as the chief concern of Pennsylvanians.

Though the law is firmly in place for the foreseeable future, it could be an issue in the 2014 gubernatorial contest. Gov. Tom Corbett has thus far declined to enroll Pa. in Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, something Democrats have fiercely criticized.

Despite these concerns about his signature domestic policy achievement, Pennsylvania voters supported President Obama over Mitt Romney by a margin of 52% to 47% in November. The president campaigned heavily on the successful passage of the Affordable Care Act.

SP&R polls skewed in Republicans’ favor in the 2012 election, showing races to be much competitive than they ultimately turned out.

The poll was administered between February 15-18 and surveyed 700 Pennsylvania registred voters via live calls.

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