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1-27 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. If you haven’t seen it already, be sure to check out Pa. Supreme Court Justice Max Baer’s comments on Wednesday’s redistricting decision. He says he – and the three other judges who overturned the legislative plan – expect the 2001 lines to stay in place for 2012.

Don’t forget to check back later today for this week’s Ups & Downs.

Baer’s Maelstrom: Justice Baer’s comments – indeed his very decision to talk to the press – has resulted in major backlash. The PAGOP blasted him in a statement, and Republican lawmakers are already exploring options to challenge the ruling in federal court.

GOP State Committee Preview: Republicans are headed to Hershey and things are heating up. Here’s our list of stories to watch, events to attend, and cocktails to visit.

Toomey to Stay Neutral: Sen. Pat Toomey’s political director sent a letter in advance of this weekend’s GOP Winter Meeting to the Senate campaigns informing them that he will not be endorsing in the race at this point.

Pat Meehan is #1! …in PAC donations among freshmen Republican congressmen. Meehan took in about $212,000. Reps. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) and Michael Grimm(R-N.Y.) both got just over $200,000 in PAC money. Reps. Francisco Canseco (R-Texas) and Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) round out to the top five.

F&M Poll: President Obama’s approval and handling of the economy aren’t stellar, but his hypothetical Republican opponents trail by double digits.

Murrysville Debate Exit Polls: Organizers of Friday’s GOP Senate debate released the crosstabs of attendees. See who started off with the biggest support, who won over the most audience members, and how Senate preference align with Prez.

Legislative Election Updates:

Note: It’s tough to know exactly what to make of these, given the fracas. We’re going to use the district numbers we see in press releases and news reports, but take them with a grain of salt.

SD-31/33: Dem Susan Spicka of Shippensburg says she’s still running, even if it’s against Pat Vance instead of Rich Alloway.

SD-45/HD-176? Mario Scavello, a favorite for the new Monroe County Senate seat, will seek-relection to the House if the 2001 lines carry, he says.

HD-60: Don Tylinski of Manor Township, former superintendent of the Freeport Area School District, officially ruled out a challenge to Rep. Jeff Pyle, citing the redistricting drama.

HD-139: Democrat Phil Scollo, a Dingman Twp. (Pike County) resident who recently announced his intention to run against Republican incumbent Mike Peifer, won’t be eligible if the districts revert.

HD-141: Tina Davis (D-Bucks) officially announced her bid for a second term Thursday. She said, “with constant attacks on middle class families by some of the politicians in Harrisburg, I feel that I have a duty to stay and fight.”

The Hill: Rick Santorum Counters Florida Exit Talk, Says He Will Be In State Through Monday
AP: Report: Taxpayers still owed $132.9B from bailout
AP: SEAL raid boosts evolution in U.S. military
Tribune Review: Cash-rich campaign key to capturing FL
AP: Term ‘states’ rights’ heard anew in election cycle
AP: Gingrich donor is casino mogul, Israeli hardliner
AP: FL primary’s 2-man fight on stage in second debate
Post-Gazette: USDA releases horticulture growing map
Politico: House GOP to offer health reform ‘replace’ plan after Supreme Court rules

Capitolwire (Paywall): Justice Baer says 2012 elections likely to be based on 2001 legislative maps. UPDATED with Pileggi, PA GOP reaction.
Westmoreland Times: PA GOP announces 2012 meeting schedule
Capitolwire (Paywall): Castille, Democrats Get Court Funding Hike, Then Bounced Redistricting Plan
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Attorney General seek data from Zappos
Beaver County Times:McCaffery drops bid for PA Attorney General slot
Inquirer: DeWeese trial opens in political corruption case
AP: Laws limiting local drilling rules draw GOP foes
Delco Times: PA high court tosses legislative redistricting plan
NPLC: Secretary-General of Pennsylvania Transportation Local charged
Central Penn Business Journal: PA legislators propose business tax overhaul
Post-Gazette: 9 GOP state senators oppose Marcellus provision on local control
Philadelphia Inquirer: McCaffery exit gives Murphy a boost in AG’s race
Capitol Ideas: Redistricting: you may ask yourself: “How did I get here?”
Capitol Ideas: Redistricting: never mind…no high court opinion this week
StateImpact PA: Water deliveries stop for Westmoreland County family
StateImpact PA: What makes gas wet?
StateImpact PA: “Cabot cites Obama speech to fault EPA’s Dimock fracking probe”
StateImpact PA: More details on New York regulators’ attempt to fine a PA drilling site
StateImpact PA: Drill Bits: Upheaval over district lines; Republicans push back on impact fee
State Impact PA: Casey presses Sonoco, ConocoPhillips on PA refinery closings
StateImpact PA: Consol energy scales back its drilling plans
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania asks for freeze on Adequate Yearly Progress
Post-Gazette: Senate bloc concerned about curbs to Shale rules
Early Returns: Redistricting reax
Philly Inquirer: Casey presses Sunoco, ConocoPhillips on refinery closings
Patriot News: Campaigning was required, state Rep. Bill DeWeese’s ex-aide testifies
Delco Daily Times: Plans to cut Pennsylvania House by 50 members to be debated
Courier Express: Pennsylvania hoping for payout with tax amnesty
Morning Call: Presidential poll in Pennsylvania mixed for Barack Obama
Go Lackawanna: State building a smaller house

ABC Philadelphia: Nutter launches new anti-crime campaign
ABC Philadelphia: Bill would let Philly bars stay open an hour later
KYW Newsradio: Local officials accuse Corbett of “attack on poor people”
KYW Newsradio: New city council president inaugurates 2012 legislative session
Fox Philadelphia: Corbett’s half-staff flag order for Paterno sparks debate
Fox Philadelphia: Corbett and most trustees not at Paterno’s service
PhillyNow: City council to introduce “land bank” bill
PhillyClout: Clarke’s first day in the big chair
WHYY Newsworks: U.S agriculture chief blasts PA. plan to limit food stamps
WHYY Newsworks: Training in first aid for mental health comes to Philadelphia
WHYY Newsworks: Philly controller says school district in huge financial hole
Philadelphia Inquirer: No way now to find out about Philly property tax
Philadelphia Inquirer: Clark to council: “You’re in for one heck of a ride”
Philadelphia Daily News: DROP-ing in on council’s 6 new members

Pottstown Mercury: Chester County Democrats scrabble following redistricting ruling
Delco Daily Times: Sen. Casey considers Senate hearings on refinery closings
Delco Daily Times: Dan McCaffery no longer in PA attorney general race
Delco Daily Times: Chester-Upland president, Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland clash
Daily Local News: Lawmakers spar with Corbett administration over education

Tribune Review: DeWeese stepped up pressure on staff after pay raise
Tribune Review: Fadzen says he was worried about ambulance going the wrong way
Tribune Review: Judge wants details of Orie mailing
Tribune Review: Allegheny County courts cut costs to fill gap
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh school district argues for police chief’s firing
Tribune Review: Gas driller ends free water deal for Sewickly Township family
Tribune Review: Troubled Excela program wins accreditation
Tribune Review: Franklin & Marshall College Poll: Pa. voters remain uncertain
Post-Gazette: Consol to dial back gas-drilling plans
Post-Gazette: North Allegheny OKs $126,681,725 preliminary budget
Post-Gazette: Westmoreland County seeks to cut judge’s office
Tribune-Review: Casino taxes to fund Pittsburgh redevelopment

KDKA: Feinberg accuses Murphy of using official newsletters for campaign purposes
Observer-Reporter: Green County commissioner has ‘ultimate’ political experience
Observer-Reporter: Local lawmakers react to Court vote
Observer-Reporter: Shale group encouraged by Obama mention

The Times Leader: Pa. election ruling throws ‘12 races into turmoil
Times Tribune: Lackawanna County won’t reopen budget, keeps tax hike
Times Tribune: Lackawanna County to create Department of Economic Development
Wayne Independent: Court throws out new district lines, but now what?
Daily Review: Athens Township supervisors approve plans
Daily Review: State of the Union brings mixed reaction from local reps
Times News: Sarah Modrick becomes first full-time assistant DA in Carbon
Times News: Area officials divided over court redistricting ruling

South Central:
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Prize limits to increase on games of chance
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Franklin County candidate’s petition drive set for Feb. 7th
York Dispatch: DePasquale part of effort to close “Delaware loophole”
Carlisle Sentinal: On the agenda, Middlesex Township
Harrisburg Patriot News: Puerto Rico trip by Supreme Court justices roils politicos waiting for the reapportionment opinion
Harrisburg Patriot News: Corbett quietly launches effort to reduce prison costs
Harrisburg Patriot News: York man announces bid for 4th congressional district seat
Harrisburg Patriot News: Pennsylvania students will be ‘relatively unharmed’ by PHEAA’s decision
Harrisburg Patriot News: Doing campaign work on legislative time was ‘common’, ex-aide to Deweese testifies
Harrisburg Patriot News: Feds are “keeping an eye on” Harrisburg’s incinerator financial crises, attorney says

Lehigh Valley:
Morning Call: Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham says he will veto reassessment bill
Morning Call: Schware appointed to Lehigh County commissioners
Morning Call: PA Supreme Court won’t explain map decision this week
WFMZ: State commission presents 5-year plan for school district
WFMZ: County gets money to fix dams

North by Northwest:
Courier Express: Former PA judge to plead guilty in kickback scheme
Courier Express: Payroll-related expenses to increase $2 million in DuBois district
Centre Daily: Marcellus Shale impact fee close to passage says Rep. Corman

StateImpact PA: WSJ: Why Obama’s call for expanded gas drilling won’t be answered
Post Gazette: Opinion: Year of decision: Obama address sets up his re-election hopes
Observer-Reporter: Editorial: Haditha: Questions asked, unanswered in State of the Union
Tribune Review: Opinion: Newtzilla conquers all?
Daily Local News: Opinion: The real State of the Union address
Courier Express: Opinion: A good first step toward a smaller legislature
Erie Times-News: Opinion: State of the Union speech a real “stemwinder”
Keystone Conservative: Op-ed “a reason to endorse”

CasablancaPA: DeWeese’s Inconsistencies
Commonwealth Foundation: Does Pennsylvania need fewer legislators?
PA Budget and Policy Center: Paying the prices of service cuts
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Bethlehem;s New, 5-member ZHB, goes to work
Lehigh Valley Independent: Lehigh GOP now owns reassessment backlash
Lehigh Valley Independent: LV chamber calls on GOP to stop blocking federal judge for Easton area
Lehigh Valley Independent: The “5K” plan for municipal consolidation
Lehigh Valley Independent: Why not let beer distributors sell marijuana
NEPArtisan: Redistricting: it’s all over but th crying
2 Political Junkies: Obama admin: immunity for torturers, prosecution for torture whistle-blower
Keystone Progress: Obama blatantly disrespected, again!
Keystone Politics: Patrick Murphy opposes mortgage settlement
Keystone Politics: Where do Dem AG candidates stand on the mortgage settlement?
Keystone Politics: Occupy electoral politics
Keystone Conservative: Sen. Toomey responds to SOTU 2012
John Hanger: Is natural gas a bridge to nowhere as Joe Romm says

  • 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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