The Libertarian party has accused a private investigator working for the PAGOP of posing as an FBI agent and threatening witnesses in a ballot challenge. We take a look at Dems’ Sandusky strategy, and lots of updates on Pa. House & Senate races. Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz.
Don’t forget to check back later for the Ups & Downs!
Johnson Campaign: PAGOP’s PI Posed as FBI Agent, Bribed Witnesses: An attorney for Libertarian Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign is accusing a private investigator hired by the Pa. Republican party of “Watergate-style dirty tricks,” related to a recent ballot challenge, including posing as an FBI agent and attempting to bribe or intimidate witnesses.
In 2012 and 2014, Sandusky is Dems’ Play: Pa. House Democrats forced Republicans into retreat Wednesday when they tried to bring the the floor a resolution calling for an independent review of the Sandusky case. It’s the latest Dem tactic to use the issue against Republicans this year and, ultimately, against Tom Corbett in 2014.
Is Bob Casey Equipped for a Smith Surge? From day one, Casey’s campaign has relied on the turnout machine of the Obama campaign and the Pa. Democratic Party. With Republican Tom Smith doing better in the polls and the presidential campaign moving away from Pa., is that strategy still sound?
Hospital PAC Goes on the Air for Gerlach (Watch Video): The political arm of the American Hospital Association is spending $184,000 to tell 6th district residents just how great a guy Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) is for opposing Obamacare.
Monday: Jill Biden on 7 City PA Tour: Get excited, surrogate watchers: America’s second lady is coming to Pa. Dr. Jill Biden will take a 7 stop tour of Pa. on Monday and Tuesday.
Tax returns from Casey & Smith compiled by the Inquirer show a wide gulf, and explain why Smith might be anxious for a flat tax. Smith made $3.2 million, $22 million and $265,000 in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively (he sold his company in 2010, hence the surge). He paid a federal tax rate of 32, 27 and 17 percent, and gave over $1 million to charity in 2010. Casey made his Senate salary, $173,000, each year and paid just 14, 13 and 12 percent in federal income taxes. He’s given between $5,000 and $6,000 to charity each year.
Rothfus on the cover of NYT Biz section: The Grey Lady takes a look at the 2012 campaign trend of tying one’s opponent to Wall Street… not matter how flimsy the connection.
Legislative Election Updates
HD-60, 143, 151, 152, 157: Think maybe the Jerry Sandusky thing in the Pa. House was a political tactic? Dem challengers had a field day with the House GOP’s retreat from the floor over a resolution to call for an investigation of the investigation. Jo Ellen Bowman criticized Rep. Jeff Pyle (R-Armstrong), Joe Frederick dinged Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks), Will Sylianteng knocked Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montco), Ronald Kolla went after Rep. Tom Murt (R-Montco) and Drucker hit Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Chester).
The Pa. State Nurses Association has made its endorsements for Pa. Senate (though it skipped 3 of the four most competitive races, backing only Dem. state Rep. Matt Smith in his bid for SD-37). Here’s the list: 3rd – Shirley Kitchen (D); 7th – Vincent Hughes (D); 9th – Dominic Pileggi (R); 11th – Judy Schwank (D); 19th Dinniman (D); 21st – Rep. Scott Hutchinson (R); 23rd – Gene Yaw (R); 25th – Joe Scarnati (R); 27th – John Gordner (R); 29th – David Argall (R); 31st – Patricia Vance (R); 33rd – Rich Alloway (R); 35th – John Wozniak (D); 37th – Rep. Matt Smith (D); 39th – Kim Ward (R); 41st – Don White (R); 43rd – Jay Costa (D); and 45th – James Brewster (D).
SD-49 & HD-3: The Erie Reader is hosting a debate in both of these top tier open seat races on October 11. In the meantime, here are softball interviews with Janet Anderson and Sean Wiley, Ryan Bizzaro and Jason Owen.
SD-17: Charles Gehret, running against Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montco), has a new web video talking about jobs. This week he also dinged Leach, who has never been in the Senate majority, for only having passed a single bill.
HD-41: Joe Sestak endorsed Marcy Dubroff against Rep. Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster). “I have a background deeply rooted in personal and institutional accountability, leadership, the belief in principled compromise and a common-sense approach to issues. I believe that Marcy Dubroff shares these ideals,” he said.
HD-89: Rep. Rob Kauffman won Keystone Politics’ “Worst Campaign Photoshop of 2012.” Can you spot the difference between these two pictures?
HD-131: Conservation Voters of Pa. endorsed Kevin Deely in his challenge to Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh), who earned 23% on the group’s Marcellus Shale scorecard. “Kevin Deely believes that every child in Pennsylvania deserves to grow up with clean air and drinking water,” said CVPA Executive Director Josh McNeil. “He will be a powerful advocate for a healthy environment and healthy Pennsylvanian families.”
Meanwhile, the day after Obama and Romney agreed during the debate that Race to the Top was good, Simmons, knocked Deely, a teachers union president, for past opposition to the program. Deely appeared on PBS Newshour in 2010 to explain why he and his teachers to leave the program’s funding on the table. “To base a teacher’s evaluation and their worth as an educator on how – how much their students grow, it – it just doesn’t work that way,” he said in part.
HD-134: Here’s a photo of Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh) and U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent at Wednesday’s debate watch party, courtesy of Romney Pa. spox Kate Meriwether.
HD-156: Chester County’s FOP Lodge #11 backed Bret Binder over Rep. Dan Truitt (R-Chester), one of Dems’ top 2012 targets. The group accidentally sent an endorsement letter to Truitt, too. Oops. Maintaining the police officers’ pension systems is typically a top FOP issue.
HD-158: Ed Rendell continued his streak of state House endorsements, this time of Susan Rzucidlo, running against Rep. Chris Ross (R-Chester). “Susan worked for two and a half years with legislators, bureaucrats, and police to create the Premise Alert System, which has saved lives and protected emergency responders across the country. Susan knows how to get things done and always puts the needs of the people first,” Rendell said. She also has the best slogan in PA: Elect Susan Rzucidlo. The z is Silent. She is Not!
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Capitol Ideas: State governments were $1.38 trillion short in pension funding in FY2010.
State House Sound Bites: Report: Lawyers wait for word from Supreme Court on next step in Terrance Williams case
PA Independent: Report: Three congressional races to watch in the Keystone State
PA Independent: Report: Lawmaker: Public officials, employees don’t deserve pensions if they are felons
Capitolwire: Report: House OKs $13 million debt limit increase, sends bill to governor.
Capitolwire: Report: Metcalfe, Josephs clash one last time in committee, this time over military voting issue.
WHYY Newsworks: Debate night is a big night for FactCheck.org
WHYY Newsworks: Drawn out of his district, Trivedi takes on Gerlach again in Pa. Congressional race
Philly Clout: Thursday’s DN: We are all Big Bird
Philly Clout: City Council holds bill targeted at skateboarding vandals
Inquirer: Romney puts the heat on Obama in first debate
Constitution Daily: How Big Bird can teach two political candidates a new lesson -Julie
Daily News: Who won? American people lost
Inquirer: Christie on debate: Told ya so!
Daily News: What they didn’t debate
FactCheck: Dubious Denver Debate declarations
PhillyBurbs: Fitzpatrick sets conditions for debates
Pottstown Mercury: Big Bird Mitt Romney and How PBS is Actually Funded
Pottstown Mercury: Defining Events
Pottstown Mercury: Generational Warfare: The Case Against Parasitic Baby Boomers
Pottstown Mercury: Fact Checking the Presidential Debate
Pottstown Mercury: Chinese Telecom Firms Wary of House Report
Pottstown Mercury: Denver’s presidential debate: Five health care fact checks
Pottstown Mercury: Denvers presidential debate five job related fact checks
Daily Times: Widener students keep open minds about Romney, Obama after first debate
Daily Times: Romney aggressive, Obama talks policy in first presidential debate
Daily Times: How Romney and Obama name dropped their way through the first debate
Tribune Review: Obama, Romney have feisty faceoff in first debate
Tribune Review: Former Pennsylvania legislator Goebel curious about ‘inactive voter’ status
Post-Gazette:Pennsylvania health secretary Avila resigns
Post Gazette: Pa. voter ID law delay prompts outreach shifts
Post Gazette: Obama, Romney tangle on economy, health care
The Times Leader: Debate watchers take away impressions
The Times Leader: UGI appeals ruling on compressor site
The Times Leader: W-B zoning changes to be unveiled
The Times Leader: A big vote of confidence
The Times Leader: W-B Area property tax confusion addressed
Times-Tribune: Romney: ‘Victory is in sight’ after first debate
Times-Tribune: Experts: No game-changers in presidential debate
AP: FACT CHECK: Presidential debate missteps
Citizens Voice: Jill Biden set to visit NEPA on Monday
Citizens Voice: A street apart, dueling sides watch debate
Citizens Voice: Senate approves legislation targeting gang recruitment
Citizens Voice: Students sound off on presidential debate
Morning Call: Jill Biden will visit Allentown Monday
Sentinel: Dickinson Students pick Romney as debate winner
Sentinel: Jill Biden plans to visit Harrisburg next week
Sentinel: PA Health secretary resigns from cabinet
Patriot News: First reactions to debate
Patriot News: Social media reactions to debate
Patriot News: Hearing on Harrisburg Debt crisis has no intention to assess guilt
Lancaster Intelligencer: Local Republicans revitalized by effects of the debate
Lancaster Intelligencer: Candidates’ responses to debate fallout
North by Northwest
AP: Report: Pa. health secretary resigns cabinet post
Dalglish, PhillyBurbs: Congressman Fitzpatrick shies from the hard choices we face
Early Returns: Perry on Politics: Built-in bias & data overload
Altoona Mirror: Voter ID fight will continue
Patriot News: Romney easily bested Obama in debate
York Daily News: Voter ID decision not real win for either side.
Times-Tribune: About that scrutiny . . .
Weekly Standard: Is Bob Casey in trouble?
Jennifer Stefano, Breitbart: 3 things Mitt Romney must do
Keystone Politics: Pennsylvania’s Worst Campaign Photoshop of 2012
Keystone Politics: Tea Party-Occupied Lehigh County Getting Human Services Block Grant
Keystone Politics: Want to Spend Less on Medicaid Expansion? Copy Maryland’s Price Controls
Keystone Politics: Mitt Romney Does Not Have a Plan to Pay for His $5 Trillion Tax Cut
Keystone Politics: No, Mitt Romney’s Plan Does Not Cover Pre-Existing Conditions
Keystone Progress: House Republicans walk out to prevent Corbett-Sandusky investigation
The Liberty Blog: Pennsylvania US Senate Dynamics – Real Deal Coal Miner v. Career Politician Bob Casey
The Liberty Blog: Chris Matthews – The Thrill Is Gone – Real World Politics
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Werner “Chides” the Press
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: The Battle of The Wonks