10/16 Morning Buzz

Specter at his alma mater, U. Penn. Credit: Keegan Gibson

Pa. politicos continue to mourn Sen. Specter as he is laid to rest today. Several polls send conflicting messages about the prez and U.S. Senate race. Smith outraises Casey, the DCCC officially gives up on SEPA, and more. Good morning, here’s the Buzz.

Editor’s note: PoliticsPA will update on a limited basis Tuesday.

Flags Ordered to Half-Staff for Specter: President Barack Obama and Governor Tom Corbett have both ordered flags flown at half-staff in honor of Senator Arlen Specter.

Arlen Specter Remembered: People from across the political spectrum and across the nation mourn the passing of Sen. Arlen Specter. Here are their words.


PPP Poll: Obama 51, Romney 44: President Obama is above 50 percent and leads Mitt Romney by 7 points, according to the latest poll from Public Policy Polling.

MCall Poll: Obama 49, Romney 45: President Obama is still under 50 percent and Pa. is still in play according to the latest poll from the Allentown Morning Call and Muhlenberg College.

Ann Romney Stumps at 3 Pa. Events: Ann Romney is going to make her voice heard in Pennsylvania Monday, making several stops in the state to raise support and funds for her husband’s campaign. Word is the Harrisburg fundraiser brought in over a half a million dollars.

Toomey on Obama Tax Stance: They Haven’t Done the Math and I Have: In a press conference that was not explicitly a campaign event, Sen. Pat Toomey laid out his case against President Barack Obama’s economic agenda. In its response, Obama’s campaign tapped a surrogate who might be warming up her criticism of Toomey for 2016.

Live From New York: Scranton Sucks (Watch Video): Saturday Night Live poked some fun at the Vice Presidential debate Saturday, especially when it came to the talk of unemployment in Scranton.


Smith Outraises Casey, Not Including $10M Loan: This is big. Republican challenger Tom Smith won the 3rd quarter fundraising battle with Sen. Bob Casey, $1.643 million to $1.517 million. That comes on top of $10 million that Smith loaned his campaign in the same period.

PPP Poll: Casey by 11: Yet another new poll in the U.S. Senate race, but this one shows that Sen. Bob Casey maintains a healthy lead over Tom Smith, 50 percent to 39.

MCall Poll: Casey 41, Smith 39: The U.S. Senate race is within the margin of error according to the latest poll from the Allentown Morning Call and Muhlenberg College. That’s a 6 point move in Smith’s favor since their poll in late September.

Tribune-Review Endorses Casey: The editorial page is not known to be too friendly to Dems, but they endorsed Casey for re-election. They said, in part: “We don’t agree with some of the policies advocated by the first-term Democrat. But we have come to appreciate him on a personal level and to admire the congenial manner in which he interacts with not only his constituents but also Pat Toomey, his junior Republican colleague in the Senate.”

Casey: $1.5M in Q3, $5.25M on Hand: Sen. Bob Casey maintained a steady fundraising pace through the 3rd fundraising quarter.


It’s Official: DCCC Totally Out of Southeast Pa: The other shoe has dropped. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has cancelled all plans to advertise on television in the Philadelphia media market, meaning that no congressional challenger will have national air support for the duration of the campaign.

Gerlach Ad: Trivedi Too Extreme For Congress (Watch Video): The Gerlach campaign released a new ad today, going negative on Democratic hopeful Manan Trivedi over his “extreme” agenda.

Murphy Poll: Murphy 60, Maggi 26: According to numbers from an internal poll released by Rep. Tim Murphy’s campaign on Monday, the Republican incumbent holds a hefty 34 point lead over his opponent Larry Maggi.

Featherman Video Ruffs Up Brady (Watch Video): Republican congressional candidate and troublemaker John Featherman is at it again, today with a new web video dinging Rep. Bob Brady (D-Phila) over poverty and other longstanding problems in his district.

Legislative Election Updates

CAP, set your bookmarks. The Pa. SEIU has made its fall endorsements, and 5 Republicans rank among its supported candidates: SEPA State Reps. Gene DiGirolamo, Frank Farry, Nick Micozzie, Tom Murt, and Mike Vereb. “I am thrilled to have the support of the SEIU Pennsylvania State Council in my campaign for re-election,” said Micozzie.  “I have worked closely with SEIU on a number of issues in the legislature, including my legislation to reduce workplace violence in healthcare facilities in Pennsylvania.”

In Erie, Joe Sestak endorsed Dem hopeful Ryan Bizzarro, Senate hopeful Sean Wiley, and congressional hopeful Missa Eaton.

SD-15: District 15 is heating up, and both John McNally and Rob Teplitz are throwing punches. Each candidate has a new attack ad this week. And here’s the Patriot-News recap of their debate last night. PoliticsPA was there – it was entertaining – and we’ll have our story on it once we have the chance to catch our breath.

SD-17: Charles Gehret, the GOPer running against Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montco) has a new web video about veterans jobs. “Our State legislature has not really taken veterans’ unemployment seriously – especially Senator Daylin Leach. He has done virtually nothing to address this problem, but he was the prime sponsor of the Ex-Felon Employment Tax Credit Incentive bill,” he said.

HD-3: Travesty! Some unscrupulous rapscallion (or the wind) is destroying yard signs in Erie, and Dem Ryan Bizzarro isn’t standing for it. “If, in fact, this is an act of vandalism and not due to the recent high winds, this childish display is appalling and unacceptable.”

HD-20 & 22: The Post-Gazette looks in at the race between Rep. Adam Ravenstahl and Erin Molchany, both Dems, and their respective Republican challengers Jim Barr and Chris Cratsley. Spoiler: Dems are heavy favorites.

HD-25: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed Rep. Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny) for re-election, citing the senior lawmaker’s clout as well as vague policy positions of Republican challenger Mike Doyle.

HD-93: Linda Small, the longshot Dem challenging Rep. Ron Miller (R-York) mainly on environmental issues, blasted the incumbent over layoffs at York County’s Komax Solar. “Actions speak louder than words.  Rep. Miller is willing to torch York County solar jobs in order to create new natural gas markets for multi-national corporations like Shell with billions of taxpayer dollars,” she said of his vote against bills to boost alternative energy.

HD-137 & 138: The candidates will debate! LV Ramblings has the details.

HD-163: Seamus Bonner, the Democrat challenging Micozzie, boasted that he has knocked on 20,000 doors so far this cycle – a truly impressive feat. “After knocking on all of these doors with my volunteers, I know that people here look at their property tax bills, look at the schools they send their kids to and realize that Nick Micozzie’s Harrisburg agenda isn’t working for them,” he said.

Remembering Arlen Specter
Michael Smerconish, Inquirer: Arlen Specter, summed up in his own words
Politico: The endless contradictions of Arlen Specter
Philadelphia Inquirer: Arlen Specter, in his own words
Daily News: Philly remembers Arlen Specter
WHYY Newsworks: Tony Auth remembers Arlen Specter
WHYY Newsworks: Arlen Specter: irascible contrarian
Daily Times: Delaware County pols recall Arlen Specter’s determination and courage
Daily Times: Arlen Specter loses battle with cancer
Post-Gazette: Arlen Specter | Crafty senator who served Pennsylvania for five terms
KDKA: Gov. Corbett Orders Flags At Half-Staff In Honor Of Sen. Arlen Specter
Beaver County Times: Specter: A senator for the entire state
Altoona Mirror: Remembering Specter
State House Sound Bites: Links: Remembering Specter
CapitolWire: A Capitolwire Specter Reader.
CapitolWire: OFF THE FLOOR: U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, maker of history, quintessential politician, dies at 82.
Reading Eagle: Specter dies at 82; ‘fighter’ praised
Centre Daily Times: Governor Corbett orders Pennsylvania flags half-staff for Specter
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Charlie Dent on Arlen Specter
The Times-Tribune: Ex-Sen. Specter’s touch can be found throughout NEPA, local leaders say
Citizens Voice: Arlen Specter, Pennsylvanian
Carlisle Sentinel: Arlen Specter remembered as a ‘fighter’
York Daily Record: Our take: Arlen Specter, American statesman

Roll Call: Mark Critz Is Fighting Barack Obama’s Ballot Drag to Keep His Seat
The Daily: PA Can Wait: Even after poll surge, Romney insiders are not bullish on Keystone State

Capitol Ideas: In AG’s Race, Kane still leading Freed in MCall/Muhlenberg Poll.
Capitol Ideas: Corbett still upside down in new Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll.
Capitol Ideas: Lehigh, NorCo to share in gas fee revenue.
Capitol Ideas: In Harrisburg, Toomey slams Obama tax plan.
PA Independent: Corbett: impact fee generates $204 million in first year for state, local govt (VIDEO)
PA Independent: State wants jobs, but at what cost?
PA Independent: Smith pouring millions into battle with Casey as polls continue to tighten
PA Independent: Toomey: Obama’s tax hike would cripple manufacturing (VIDEO)
StateImpactPA: Environmentalists File Suit Against New Transmission Line
StateImpactPA: You Can’t Always Frack What You Want
StateImpactPA: How Much Impact Fee Money Each Municipality Will Receive
StateImpactPA: A New Policy For Dealing With Drilling-Related Water Contamination
Capitolwire: Bill to strengthen state law regarding gun straw purchasers moves closer to governor’s desk.
Capitolwire: Senate panel drops statewide authorizing board from charter school reforms.
Capitolwire: Corbett announces shale impact fee revenue, says ‘no’ on state land drilling.
Capitolwire: OFF THE FLOOR: It’s now or never for Democrats in state House, Senate elections.

Daily News: Two polls show race tightening in Pa
Daily News: City and firefighters face off in court over arbitration award
Daily News: Featherman releases new video attacking Brady
Inquirer: Source of city council dispute over protecting streams still unclear

Philliyburbs: Fitzpatrick and Boockvar take part in forum
Daily Times: Former Department of Welfare worker pleads guilty to theft
Daily Times: Pa. House GOP blocks vote on move to seek probe of Jerry Sandusky investigation

Post-Gazette: Kelly faces Eaton, Porter in 3rd District
Post-Gazette: For attorney general: Republican Freed brings more experience to bear
Post-Gazette: Four tussle for Pennsylvania House seats in 2 districts

KDKA: Ann Romney Talks Debates & Gender Gap During Visit To Altoona

South Central
Patriot News: Candidates debating issues in race to replace Todd Platts
Patriot News: Teplitz, McNally spar over public education in Harrisburg debate
Patriot News: Analysis: Pressure on Obama to prove himself in second presidential debate
York Daily Record:4th Congressional race: Perry ahead of Perkinson in fundraising

Lehigh Valley
Pennsylvania Ave: In Pennsylvania, presidential and Senate race tighten
Pennsylvania Ave: Lehigh, Northampton counties to share in gas fee revenue
Pennsylvania Ave: Dent, Daugherty to debate Tuesday

The Times-Tribune: Smith gives Casey a run for his money

North by Northwest
Centre Daily Times: Sen. Pat Toomey talks finances, bashes Dems’ plan for higher marginal income tax rate in Centre County appearance

Lancaster Intelligencer/Era: Candidate with heart

Keystone Politics: Defund PSATS
Keystone Politics: PPP: Casey Up By 11
Keystone Politics: Land Value Tax, Rent Inflation and Gentrification
Keystone Politics: Medicare Privatization Would Increase Premiums
Keystone Politics: PA-Sen: Uh Oh
Keystone Politics: Against Moderation for Moderation’s Sake
Keystone Politics: Teplitz-McNally State Senate Debate Tonight
Keystone Progress: Senior Alert: Medicare Open Enrollment Starts Today
The Liberty Blog: CATO on Foreign Policy: Iraq and Iran
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: State Reps Joe Emrick and Marcia Hahn Schedule a Debate
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: PoliticsPA Notices Deely Disaster at DeSales

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  • Who Will Be Speaker of the PA House on February 28?

    • Joanna McClinton (68%)
    • Mark Rozzi (27%)
    • A Republican TBD (5%)

    Total Voters: 315

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