PA-Gov: Schwartz Doubles Down on ACA Support

schwartz aca adAllyson Schwartz wants everyone to know she supports the Affordable Care Act; she also wants everyone to ask Tom Wolf whether he does too.

The Congresswoman and candidate for Governor held a conference call with reporters this afternoon to further emphasize the campaign’s recent push on her work on, and support for, the Affordable Care Act.

“I’m here to talk about how proud I am of this accomplishment,” she stated in her opening remarks. “I’m very proud of my work on the Affordable Care Act. I’m proud of my work helping to write this law, I’m proud to run on it and we should all be proud of it.”

The Congresswoman specifically mentioned working on the provisions to close the Medicare donut hole for seniors and to ensure children can not be dropped from their health plans because of pre-existing conditions.

She also called out her Democratic opponents, especially front-runner Tom Wolf, to join her.

“Tom Wolf has been a little evasive in expressing his support of the law,” she said at one point.

When read Wolf’s statement to the York Daily Record that he felt the law was a “step in the right direction” Schwartz responded incredulously.

“I don’t know what that means? What does [that] mean?”

When asked by PoliticsPA whether she was afraid her strong support of the law would hurt her in a general election, Schwartz dismissed the criticism.

“I will go toe-to-toe with Tom Corbett on this issue,” she said.

When asked if she he felt she could turn this issue into a winner in the fall, the Congresswoman made her feelings clear.

“Of course!” she responded. “You have 500,000 people who won’t get health insurance,” she said in reference to Corbett’s refusal to not fully accept the Medicaid expansion. Schwartz asserted that this stance would shortchange Pennsylvanians and that she would win this fight with Governor Corbett if given the chance.

In addition to slamming Schwartz in their statement, Corbett’s campaign took this opportunity to hit Wolf as well.

“Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz is the only Democrat brave enough to run on President Obama’s failed policies and the ObamaCare disaster she helped to write. We already know they all want to expand ObamaCare’s grasp in Pennsylvania, but we agree that our opponents should speak up and join her in proudly voicing their support for this disastrous legislation,” Corbett’s campaign manager Mike Barley said.

“Again, here is another example of where Secretary Tom Wolf has been elusive.  Why is Wolf afraid to deliver straight answers on simple questions? If he  really supports ObamaCare, he should come out and let Pennsylvanians know where he stands.  Who is the real Tom Wolf?”

According to Wolf’s campaign, these accusations are unfounded.

“Tom’s record in support of the Affordable Care Act has been clear and unambiguous,” Wolf spokesman Mark Nicastre said. “Tom Wolf would expand Medicaid, institute a state level exchange, and work toward universal, quality access to health care for Pennsylvanians. It’s unfortunate and disappointing that Allyson Schwartz would play politics on this given her own record of zig zagging.”
Tom has been clear on his support for the Affordable Care Act since the start of the campaign,” Nicastre finished, and provided the following citations.
April 2, 2013 – Patriot News: “As for boilerplate issues, Wolf fits firmly in the Democratic Party establishment. He’s for marriage equality, is pro-choice, backs “reasonable” gun-control laws, and favors Obamacare.”
November 21, 2013 – York Daily Record: Tom Wolf: A better insurance plan for Pa. (column)
February 28, 2014: Tom Talking About Obamacare at the Progressive Summit Debate

Lt. Gov.: National Organization for Women Endorses Koplinski



The National Organization for Women endorsed Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski in the race for Lieutenant Governor.

“For many years, Brad Koplinski has been committed to not only women’s rights and Choice, but social and economic justice as well. He is a Progressive leader and will be a great partner for the head of the ticket that takes on Governor Corbett in November,” Caryn Hunt, President of Pennsylvania NOW said.

“I am extremely pleased and honored to receive the endorsement of NOW. For decades, it has consistently fought for Progressive ideals and ideas and has changed America for the better,” Koplinski said. “I look forward to working with them as we both fight for equal pay, marriage equality, reproductive rights, greater diversity and understanding, a living wage and other vital issues in Pennsylvania.”

NOW was founded in 1966 and is one of the largest organization of its kind with 19 chapters across Pennsylvania. PA NOW also endorsed Shaughnessy Naughton in PA-8 and Billy Smith in HD-164 in their Democratic primaries.

Also running for Lt Gov are Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith, former Congressman Mark Critz, State Rep. Brandon Neuman and State Senator Mike Stack.

Stack and Koplinski appear to be trading socially progressive endorsements as last week, Stack racked up the support of three LGBT organizations in the state.

HD-36: Readshaw’s Ad Accused of Misleading Viewers

readshaw-ad-300x228State Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny) is an incumbent who is touting that he voted against increasing taxes to expand Philadelphia mass transit. The thing is, that same bill will benefit Pittsburgh as well.

“Readshaw fought Governor Corbett’s massive gas tax that funds Philadelphia’s mass transit,” the incumbent’s most recent ad proclaims.

Some have accused Readshaw of “distorting the transit law” for his political advantage. As quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Chris Borick, a professor of political science and director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion in Allentown, said: “While [the ad is] factually correct, it lacks any meaningful context.”

The context that Borick is alluding to is not just that the bill is primed to benefit transit in parts of his own district, but it also leaves out the mass bipartisan support that the bill garnered and its benefits to other parts of the state.

Former Governor Ed Rendell was a strong backer of the bill and so was Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. Another strong backer of the bill was fellow state Rep. Erin Molchany (D-Allegheny), who is running against Readshaw in HD-36.

Molchany is a first-term representative who lost her current district, HD-22, due to recent redistricting and bumped her into the seat that Readshaw has held since 1994. But that hasn’t slowed her determination to beat out long time incumbent Readshaw; she recently released a charming ad that features her father.

Her campaign declined to comment on Readshaw’s ad.

But Molchany does have a tough battle ahead of her. Readshaw has been a state Rep. since 1995 and the redistricting heavily favors the former boundaries of his district — with 72% of his voting base remaining in HD-36. Molchany will carry over 21% of the voters of her old district, leaving the rest of the area new territory for both candidates.

This latest ad may have Readshaw in hot water going forward, however. He states that his opposition to the transportation bill was due to the tax increases that the bill proposed, which falls directly in line with the conservative sentiment of the Republican House.

“What we did was place the entire burden [of the bill's revenue source] on the citizens of the commonwealth,” Readshaw said. “We cannot just tax, tax, tax.”

PA-Gov: Corbett Campaign Pushes For Opponents to Reveal Tax Returns

tax returnsAfter releasing 10 years of his own tax returns, Governor Tom Corbett’s campaign pushed his Democratic opponents to follow suit.

In a press release, Corbett’s campaign manager Mike Barley pointed to Democratic support of the action.

PA Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burn and former Governor Ed Rendell both called for Mitt Romney to release his tax returns in 2012.

“Mitt Romney continues to betray the American people and his refusal to release his tax returns and give straight answers about his role at Bain Capital and his offshore bank accounts, makes people wonder what more is he hiding? Mitt Romney should take Rick Santorum’s advice and come clean to the American people,” stated Burn in 2012.

And now the Corbett campaign applies Burn’s argument to Corbett’s prospective opponents, particularly former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf.

“Like Democratic Chairman Jim Burn, we believe that the Democratic candidates for Governor continue to betray the Pennsylvania people for refusing to publicly release their tax returns,” stated Barley.  “Specifically, as it relates to Secretary Tom Wolf, he continues to betray the people of Pennsylvania for refusing to give straight answers about his role at Wolf Organization when Pennsylvania taxpayers lost millions, and it makes us wonder, what more is he hiding?  The Democratic candidates should take Democratic Chairman Jim Burn’s advice and come clean to the Pennsylvania people.”

“Governor Rendell and the Democratic Party beat up Mitt Romney for paying a 14 percent tax rate, so I would only expect that they would join us in criticizing millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf for paying nearly half of that,” added Barley.  “How did he get to that tax rate?  The people of Pennsylvania deserve to know who the real Tom Wolf is and that will require him to be open and transparent about his campaign loans and questionable business practices.”

Last week, Wolf released his tax return, showing $2.2 million in income in 2012. He also released the terms of the $4 million loan he took out to partially finance his campaign.

Former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty, State Treasurer Rob McCord and Rep. Allyson Schwartz also released their returns from 2012.

At this point, Republican challenger to Governor Tom Corbett is refusing to release his returns.

4/23 Morning Buzz

pa flagSchwartz embraces Obamacare, Arkoosh named a ‘Game Changer’ and Boyle and Leach each release new TV ads. Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz.

PA-Gov: Schwartz Appears on MSNBC With New ACA Ad: Schwartz led “The Last Word” Monday night to promote her new ad.

Lt. Gov.: Koplinski Financially Behind Competitors: Looking at this year’s first quarter financial report, Brad Koplinski fails to measure up to the finances of other Lt. Gov. candidates.

PA-13: Arkoosh Named a ‘Game Changer’: The Women’s Campaign Fund recognized the PA-13 candidate as a “game changer”.

PA-13: Leach Debuts New Childhood Ad (Watch): The State Senator’s new ad focuses on his childhood experiences in foster care.

PA-13: Boyle Begins TV Ad Campaign: The State Rep. launched his first advertisement today.

Reader Poll: Which Lt. Gov candidate will be the first on TV?: We ask which Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor will hit the airwaves first.

Reader Poll: Wolf Has Best TV Ads: Our latest poll shows readers think Tom Wolf has released the best TV ads.

Legislative Elections Update:

HD-4: Curt Smith, a Democratic candidate for state House in the 4th District, will stay on the ballot after surviving a petition challenge. Smith is expected to face state Rep. Curt Sonney (R-Erie).

HD-163: Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 endorsed Democrat Vince Rongione, candidate for the 163rd district of the Pennsylvania State House, over Republican candidate Jamie Santora. They are battling for the open seat left by Rep. Nick Micozzie’s retirement.

Capitolwire: PA trade missions yield to international conflict
Capitolwire: Election driving talk of natural gas tax, industry says
Capitolwire: Lawmakers renew focus on federal, state tax code reform
PA Independent: Bucking national trend, Schwartz bets big on her backing of Obamacare
PA Independent: The sticky statistic of statewide charter school performance in PA

Daily News: Schwartz goes prime time
Inquirer: Leach and Boyle break out the TV ads
Inquirer: Leach, Boyle launch first TV ads in 13th Congressional District
Inquirer: Teachers union says parents want SRC to fold
Commonwealth Confidential: Corbett reports $200k in 2013 income, other candidates mixed on tax return release
PhillyClout: After pay raise, BRT picks up the pace 2 neighborhoods cautiously explore improvement districts Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in Philly

Courier-Times: Moody’s issues ‘negative outlook’ for Bucks County
Courier-Times: New medical facility coming to Bensalem
Courier-Times: Bristol Twp. to pave 15 miles of roads
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County Controller’s Office recalculating Parkhouse employee payouts
Montgomery Media: SEPTA secures funding for engineering of garage, Madison pedestrian bridge in Lansdale

Early Returns: Wolf stumps in Bloomfield
Early Returns: Readshaw ad scrutinized
Business Times: New reimbursement plan: ‘Your medical team will see you now’
Tribune Review: Democrats consider Pittsburgh for 2016 convention
Tribune Review: Visiting Corbett stumps for education budget
Tribune Review: County, city leaders urge removal of Wilson Center’s court-appointed receiver
Tribune Review: State-owned universities to learn about child-abuse prevention
Post-Gazette: Federal agency sues New Castle company on veteran’s behalf
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania denies 75 percent of welfare applicants

Altoona Mirror: Airlines making offers to Blair, Cambria airports
Tribune Democrat: City Council target of complaints
Beaver County Times: Climate researcher: Don’t let winter’s cold fool you
Beaver County Times: Aliquippa police make changes to department
Beaver County Times: Nuke plants submit seismic evaluations to NRC
Beaver County Times: U.S. attorney forms work group to address opioid overdoses
Observer-Reporter: Southeastern Greene preliminary budget shows no tax increase

News Item: Three bills introduced that will stop drones from spooking wildlife
Citizens Voice: Brominski calls for Lawton’s resignation
Times Tribune: Scranton School District boundary changes proposed
Times Tribune: ‘Big ideas’ sought
Times Tribune: County officials: veterans targeted in scam
AP: Corbett reports $200K in 2013 income

South Central
Harrisburg Patriot News: Gov. Corbett asks federal judge to skip trial; uphold state ban on gay marriage
Harrisburg Patriot News: Schwartz Medicaid embrace part of ‘extreme liberal agenda’: Corbett campaign
Harrisburg Patriot News: Does a grim budget picture mean Republicans are reconsidering drillers’ tax?: Tuesday Morning Coffee
York Dispatch: York County families, legislators attend forum on medical cannabis
Lancaster Intelligencer/Era: Voters agree: Pennsylvania needs a school funding formula

Lehigh Valley
Morning Call: Brown addresses budget woes, Cabinet picks in first town hall
Reading Eagle: Foes of natural gas industry rally outside DEP office in Muhlenberg Township for Earth Day
Reading Eagle: Kane to visit Berks County, take part in discussion about women in politics
Express Times: Northampton County might not hire a new director of court services
Express Times: State representatives to host senior fair in Allentown

North by Northwest
AP: Schwartz ad highlights her role in health-care law
Erie Times-News: New poll: Voters want more education funding
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Commissioners OK funds for public transit authority
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Muncy takes early step in upgrading water system
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Employment discrimination, sewage plant in week’s votes

Post-Gazette: Vexing texting: The state’s distracted driving law is toothless
Altoona Mirror: Focus on military assistance
Inquirer: Inquirer Editorial: Money isn’t everything
Daily News: DN Editorial: Penny unwise
Harrisburg Patriot News: Schwartz wraps herself in Affordable Care Act ahead of gubernatorial primary
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Don’t overthink the slump in 2013 of gas industry

Daily Kos: PA-Gov: I’m Proud to Defend Obamacare
Keystone Politics: We Still Need Diversity in Higher Education—Not Because It’s Right, But Because the Economy Demands It
Keystone Politics: #PAGov: Obamacare Frenemy Allyson Schwartz Running on Obamacare Now
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Bloodless Coup in Bethlehem Tp
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Molovinsky to Run Against Harhart For State Rep

Reader Poll: Which Lt. Gov candidate will be the first on TV?

tv1With the recent premiere of Allyson Schwartz’s first commercial, every Democratic hopeful for Governor has now made it to the small screen.

As a result, it seems like the perfect time to ask which of their potential running mates will be the first to join them.

So far, only Mark Smith’s campaign has released a web video yet Mike Stack has an impressive $700,000 cash on hand.

Until that first ad comes, though, there’s no way to know for sure so we thought we’d ask you our readers for your prediction.

Note: No, this isn’t deja vu, we did run this poll once before. Due to site issues, though, we were unable to compile any votes for our polls so we’re going to give this question another shot.

So, which Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor do you believe will be the first to advertise on TV?

Which Lt. Gov. candidate will air the first TV ad?

View Results

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PA-13: Arkoosh Named a ‘Game Changer’

Val-Arkoosh-portrait1Val Arkoosh is the only one of the four Democratic candidates in PA-13 without any political experience, which would seem to make her the perfect candidate to be a game changer.

That is just what she’s been labeled by the Women’s Campaign Fund. The WCF is a non-partisan group that seeks to elect pro-choice women into office regardless of party.

Their Game Changer initiative was set up to highlight 40 different women throughout the country. “It’s a vision of the future we want to see for our government,” they write. “And a roadmap of how we’re going to get there.”

“Dr. Valerie Arkoosh isn’t a career politician,” the WCF says in explanation of her designation as a game changer. “She is a physician, parent of three, and a community leader. As a practicing obstetric anesthesiologist, she has helped thousands of women of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds. In Congress, she would be a credible, vocal advocate for women’s healthcare and reproductive rights.”

“Women’s Campaign Fund is exceptionally proud to endorse Val Arkoosh in her race for Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District,” said Clare Bresnahan, Political & Programs Director for WCF. “It would be fitting if the seat currently held by the only woman in the Pennsylvania delegation were to be represented by another strong, highly qualified woman leader like Val.”

“Women’s Campaign Fund has been with me since the beginning of my campaign last year, and I’m honored to be selected for their “Game Changer” initiative,” Arkoosh responded. “WCF believes that we change the political game by changing the players. That’s how we’re going to challenge the status quo and stand up for the most critical issues facing women and families in our communities.”

Other Democratic candidates in the race for PA-13 include State Rep. Brendan Boyle, State Sen. Daylin Leach and former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies.

PA-13: Leach Debuts New Childhood Ad (Watch)

Democratic State Senator and PA-13 candidate Daylin Leach released a new ad today briefly detailing his experience in foster care as a child and how he plans to help those who need it most in office.

The ad begins with grainy shots of a young boy, going through the motions in a presumably difficult childhood. “I remember the day my mom said she could no longer afford to keep me,” Leach narrates. “I grew up in foster homes across northeast Philly.”

Present-day Leach then appears, and talks about how he wants to use his rough and tumble experiences as a child to help others who may also be in a tough situation. “I’ve never been afraid to take on bullies like Governor Corbett and the NRA,” he says. Leach’s mention of the National Rifle Association refers to the “F” rating that the interest group bestowed upon him for his support of gun control.

“In Congress, I’ll protect social security,” Leach continues, “and a woman’s right to choose. I’ll fight for good schools and great jobs, and to put Wall Street crooks in jail.”

The ad ends with a shot, perhaps meant to tug at the heartstrings, of Leach surrounded by happy-looking children. The rowdy bunch gives an excited cheer as Leach wraps up his ad with the promise to help those who need it because he was also once in a situation where he needed help.

This is Leach’s first television ad, to be run on broadcast and cable television, as well as over the Internet. The ad comes on the heels of a successful first quarter for the candidate, where his fundraising efforts landed him on the list of PoliticsPA’s Q1 winners. Leach is the first candidate in the PA-13 race to air a commercial on broadcast television.

Also running in Pennsylvania’s 13th district are physician Val Arkoosh, former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies, and State Rep. Brendan Boyle.

Reader Poll: Wolf Has Best TV Ads

wolf adToday marks four weeks from primary election day.

With all four Democratic candidates and Governor Corbett all now on the air, we decided to ask you the readers which candidate you personally felt has made the best TV ads so far.

Even though there were five options, Democratic front-runner Tom Wolf still won with a majority of votes, totaling 146 in all.

Rob McCord followed behind in second with 43 readers while Governor Corbett took third place with 35 votes.

Allyson Schwartz came in fourth with 30 while Katie McGinty brought up the rear with 25 readers feeling she had the best ads.

The results, though, don’t answer the question of whether this is perception or reality. Do people find Tom Wolf’s ads the best because they elevated him to the top of the polls or did the belief among voters that his ads were the best put him atop those polls? Chicken, egg, etc.

Which Lt. Gov. candidate will air the first TV ad?

View Results

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PA-13: Boyle Begins TV Ad Campaign

State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) released his first television ad today in his campaign for the Democratic nomination in PA-13.

“[My wife and I are] not millionaires like every one of my opponents,” Boyle says in the ad. “Right now half of Congress are millionaires but they pay lower taxes than firefighters and teachers. I think their priorities are screwed up. Congress refuses to raise the minimum wage and then cuts programs for the middle class.”

boyle ad 1“Over 20 different labor unions endorsed me because defending working class families is my priority,” Boyle concludes.

The thirty second spot will run on a hundred thousand dollar buy on twenty cable networks over the next two weeks.

This will put a big dent in Boyle’s cash on hand, which at the end of the first quarter was just $398,237, compared to the over $600,000 that State Senator Daylin Leach and physician/activist Valerie Arkoosh have.

Leach also launched his media buy today.

Also running for the Democratic nomination to succeed retiring Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz is former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies.

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