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1-25 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. Today we offer scenes from the SOTU.

PA SOTU Reax: The state of political spin is strong. Elected officials and interest groups from across the state offered their reactions to Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

Scenes from an OFA SOTU Watch Party: Obama enthusiasts and Democratic activists – including Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter – came together to show their support for the President and his vision for the future at a series of State of the Union watch parties.

Rohrer Internal Poll: Former State Representative and current Republican Senate candidate Sam Rohrer has begun a crusade against the Pennsylvania GOP State Committee’s endorsement of a candidate to run against incumbent Sen. Bob Casey. Rohrer believes “A closed nomination process is bad for the Republican party.”

Turzai Passes on Congress: Just days after reports indicating that House Majority Leader Mike Turzai was “seriously considering” a run for Congress in the new 12th District, state GOP sources have told Roll Call that Turzai has decided not to jump into the race.

Grove City Senate Debate: The GOP Senate hopefuls will meet for a forum tonight at Grove City College in Western Pa, where they will woo the conservative constituencies there.

Occupy Pa-13: Rep. Allyson Schwartz has drawn a challenger who is touted as the first candidate of the Occupy movement. Nathan Kleinman, 29, has been active in Occupy Philadelphia. He also served as an aide to former state Rep. Josh Shapiro, on the Sestak campaign, and for OFA pa.

Toomey Endorsement: Senator Toomey will endorse York Co. Commissioner Chris Reilly in the crowded GOP primary to replace Rep. Todd Platts.

Freindly Welch Takedown: Columnist Chris Freind has struck again – this time against Chester County entrepreneur and Senate candidate Steve Welch. His column, which chides GOP state committee against endorsing Welch, flew our way from several campaigns – D and R – on Tuesday.

Redistricting Challenge Roundup: The pressure is on for the state Supreme Court to make a decision on whether the newly drawn district boundaries are constitutional or not, as today marks the first day that local candidates can begin to circulate their petitions to qualify for the ballot.

Sen. Pippy To Retire: State Sen. John Pippy who has served since 1997, announced today that he will not run for re-election.

Earll Senate Seat: As expected, Democrats and Republicans are already lining up for what will surely be a competitive race to replace Jane Earll in Pennsylvania’s 49th Senatorial District.

New Obama Online Ad in Pa: A new Obama campaign online ad in swing states (like Pa) boasts of job growth and enables users to send a physical postcard to someone they know.

Legislative Election Updates:

SD-44: The race is already on for the seat of retiring Sen. John Pippy. Allegheny County Councilman Vince Gastgeb (R) and State Rep. Mark Mustio (R-44) are likely to run. And just this morning, it comes to our attention that Kim Stolfer has already declared a bid. He is a co-founder of the pro-gun Firearms Owners Against Crime.

SD-49: Democrats galore have declared for retiring Jane Earll’s Senate seat in Erie: Sean Wiley, an executive at St. Vincent hospital (and the DSCC recruit), Terry Scutella, a Millcreek Township School Board member, and Brian Pitzer, the former director of public relations at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. And the Erie Times-News reports former Pa. Sen. Sen. Anthony “Buzz” Andrezeski is also running. On the GOP side are outgoing NW Planning Commission CEO Janet Anderson and attorney and 2008 state House candidate Jason Owen.

HD-48: Judith Fisher, 72, will challenge freshman Rep. Brandon Neuman (D) in the spring primary. She has served as jury commissioner for Washington County for 19 years.

HD-92: As Scott Perry embarks on a bid to replace Rep. Todd Platts, PolitcsPA has learned that Anthony Pugliese, who is currently the legislative director of the Department of Community and Economic Development, is exploring a bid. the former leader of the PA College Republicans, Pugliese also worked on the Corbett/Cawley campaign.

AP: Romney campaign touts his tax return transparency
AP: Romney paid $3M in federal income tax in 2010
AP: Fact Check: Gingrich flubs history in GOP debate
Post-Gazette: Romney, Gingrich stage sharp attacks
StateImpact PA: President Obama’s major 2011 energy goals left unfinished
New York TImes: Florida Debate Fact Check
Politico: Rick Santorum’s turn to bash the media
ABC News: Rick Santorum points to fundraising as proof of staying power
The State Column: Measure would change business as usual in Washington

Capitolwire (Paywall): Committee Reports Out Bill To Reduce Size of state House
Capitolwire (Paywall): Senate Sends Unemployment Compensation Extension to House
MSNBC: At 23, new treasurer works to save Harrisburg
Capitol Ideas-Tuesday Morning Coffee: DeWeese corruption trial begins
State House Sound Bites: Rep. Todd Platts says Congress, President must rise above rhetoric
State House Sound Bites: Students remember Joe Paterno’s impact on Penn State
State House Sound Bites: Attorney in military funeral protest case to run for Congress
StateImpact PA: Feds: less shale, but more production
StateImpact PA: West Virginia stays aggressive in bid for shell plant
AP: Legislators, gov discusses Pa. district’s future
AP: Pa. House panel OKs plan to shrink chamber
AP: DeWeese called ‘common thief’
Patriot News: Corbett’s call for spending freeze gains little traction
Centre Daily: Pa. Primary nominations open today
Citizens Voice: Buffett secretary to attend State of the Union

Politico: The first Occupy candidate: Nate Kleinman
PhillyClout: Nutter and City Council leaderships first meeting
WHYY Newsworks: Philadelphia suburbs try to fight back highway sized billboards
WHYY Newsworks: GOP lawmaker blasts Corbett for lagging on school improvements
WHYY Newsworks: U.S energy department lowers estimate on Marcellus shale yield
Philadelphia Inquirer: New PA department to target drugs and alcohol

Pottstown Mercury: Candidates call on state GOP to avoid U.S. Senate race endorsements
Pottstown Mercury: Proposed bill would lower state house to 153 representatives
Delco Daily Times: Chester-Upland teacher joins Michele Obama for State of the Union
Delco Daily Times: With $1 million in hand, Bonner-Prendie officials appeal to stop closure
Bucks Local News: Corbett coming to Bucks to sign Farry bill, designate cancer as occupational disease for firefighters
Daily Local News: PA State Supreme Court to review West Chester University assault case

Tribune Review: Manzo: State-paid staff was nucleus of DeWeese’s campaign efforts
Tribune Review: Publics’ edge: District can make AYP even if a school fails
Tribune Review: Federal funds may save route to airport
Tribune Review: Highmark to spend $500M on care network
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh City Council introduces two bills aimed at getting budget approved
Tribune Review: Troubled one-stop reporting center open for enrollees in Greensburg
Tribune Review: Fitzgerald in Harrisburg to lobby for transit funds
Tribune Review: State-paid staffers made ‘Bill happy’
Tribune Review: Bethel Park ‘true Republican’ worked on many campaigns
Tribune Review: Monroeville manager resigns, council members say
Post-Gazette: Marcellus Shale gas estimate plummets
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh Council take steps to satisfy oversight board
Post-Gazette: Upper St. Clair schools OK $63.2M preliminary budget
Post-Gazette: Robinson commissioner Triko resigns
Post-Gazette: Congressional races in Western Pa. revving up
Early Returns: GOP: Maggi’s tax increase
Tribune Review: Oversight agency approves Pittsburgh budget

Beaver County Times: Freedom Area plans no tax hike
Beaver County Times: Cornell receives education grant
Observer-Reporter: S.E. Green discusses program
Observer-Reporter: Fisher v. Neuman in the 48th District
Observer-Reporter: Maggi v. Murphy
Altoona Mirror: More than 200 Blair Countians join pro-life rally
Daily Courier (Fayette County): Mt. Pleasant council president: Medic 10 operating better than ever
Daily Courier (Fayette County): Southmoreland board meetings moved to middle school

The Times Leader: Pa. House leader decides against US House run
Times Tribune: State approves Geisinger acquisition of CMC
Citizens Voice: Butler Twp. supervisor announces run for 116th District seat
Standard Speaker: County to hire Lawton at $110K salary
The Daily Review: Cornell cooperative extension of Tioga County elects 2012 Board of Directors at annual meeting
The Daily Review: Assessment of flood affected towns could affect county taxes
Go Lackawanna: Court hears challenges to Pa. assembly districts

Lehigh Valley:
Morning Call: Reassessment up for a vote in Lehigh County
Morning Call: In Maxatawny, a little bit of everything
Morning Call: Two appointed alternates to Lower Macungie zoning board
Reading Eagle: Mayor wields new power in Kutztown
WFMZ: Pa. house committee approves bill to shrink chamber

South Central:
State House Sound Bites: Franklin & Marshall College gets $5M toward new stadium
Patriot News: Toomey to endorse Chris Reilly in 4th district race

North by Northwest:
AP: Group suing NW Pa. city over rental inspections
Erie Times-News: Three Erie-area candidates to vie for Earll’s seat
Erie Times-News: Sam Rohrer campaigning for U.S. Senate seat
Centre Daily News: Early budget with 3.3 percent tax bump gets nod
Centre Daily News: PSU faculty rejects no confidence vote over Sandusky scandal

TCPalm: Innovative proposal seeks to put 1 million Americans back to work
Tribune Review: Note to Tim Murphy: We’re Bankrupt
Philly Burbs: Are we watching the same debates?
Philly Burbs: Only the free market can optimize education

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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