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1/10 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. Gene Stilp is running for congress and Ralph Kaiser isn’t. Dante Santoni is retiring from the Pa. House and Chelsa Wagner isn’t. Mitt Romney is going to do well in New Hampshire and Rick Santorum isn’t.

Altmire Unveils 70 Endorsements: Rep. Jason Altmire released a list of more than 70 Democratic officials who support his candidacy. Like Mark Critz’s earlier list, it draws heavily from areas Altmire currently represents.

Stilp to Challenge Barletta: Government watchdog Gene Stilp, best known for his activism against the 2005 legislative pay raise, announced his candidacy for Congress in the newly-drawn 11th congressional district Monday.

Kaiser Won’t Challenge Murphy: Ralph Kaiser, a former state Rep. who currently heads government relations at WQED, told PoliticsPA he will not challenge Rep. Tim Murphy.

Romney Oppo Team, Meet the Patriot News: The Harrisburg Patriot News’ Robert Vickers is out this week with a brutal look at just how some Pa. Republican operatives and politicos view Rick Santorum’s presidential bid. Here’s a hint: not nicely.

Legislative Election Updates

SD-37: The John Pippy will retire rumors are back in swing, with Allegheny County Councilman Vince Gastgeb’s name floating around as a hypothetical replacement.

HD-20: North Pittsburgh Politics breaks down the district of Rep. Adam Ravenstahl as it’s been redrawn and finds that it’s fairly favorable to the incumbent. Perennial candidate Mark Purcell may challenge him anyway. The initial draft of the map had taken the 20th completely out of Pittsburgh.

HD-21: NPP reports that this district got safer for Democratic incumbent Dom Costa, and that there aren’t currently any murmurs of a primary challenge either. This was the district that initial GOP-drawn map combined with Rep. Ravenstahl, but the final version just added more of Ross Township. It’s likely one of the changes that brought Dem Minority Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) to support the final version.

HD-22: Newly sworn in Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner says she has no immediate plans to resign her seat in the Pa. House. She will keep her $80K state salary and forego her $60K county salary. Her resignation would trigger a special election in Allentown, where her district was moved during redistricting.

HD-28: Mike Turzai’s district shed area over all because its population grew. It’s either as tough or tougher for Democrats now as it was before. Possible D challenger? Sharon Brown, who ran in 2010.

HD-30: Rep. Randy Vulakovich’s district is safer for the incumbent, and NPP reports no challengers on the horizon.

HD-126: 11-term Rep. Dante Santoni announced that he won’t seek re-election to his seat, based in and around north Reading. The seat is a potential swing district; it lost most of Dem-friendly West Reading and the northern portions of the city in exchange for more conservative suburbs in Lower Alsace.

HD-163: Former corrections officer and 19-year Army vet Sheamus Bonner will challenge Rep. Nicholas Micozzie for the Delco seat. “This is about me wanting to continue to serve,” said Bonner. “The fact that my opponent is a 32-year incumbent does not concern me. You will find that his time in office and his record will hurt him more than it helps.” His campaign manager is John Fennell.

Hat tip the the blog North Pittsburgh Politics, which compared the old and new state house seats in north city and suburbs.

Morning Call: Pa. Is Not Known For Producing Presidents
Capitolwire (Paywall): For Santorum, Every Campaign Is A Crusade
Pennsylvania Ave.: Santorum’s Expectations For New Hampshire Primary
Pennsylvania Ave.: Obama To Open Field Office In Allentown
Politico: Catholic Vote Organization Running Automated Calls For Santorum In N.H.
Politico: Santorum: Romney Ran To Left Of Ted Kennedy
Roll Call: Pro-Santorum PAC Likely To Shut Down
Washington Post: Lessons Learned, Santorum On Comeback Trail
Washington Post: Santorum Declines To Hit Mitt Romney On Bain Capital
Real Clear Politics: Santorum The Chameleon
The Caucus: Santorum Defends Comments About Food Stamps
The Caucus: For Santorum, Second Would Be A Dream
The Caucus: Poll: Santorum Got Biggest Lift From Iowa
Early Returns: Santorum Slips In New Hampshire
Early Returns: Daily Santorum: On To South Carolina
Wayne Independent: Toomey’s Take: U.S. Senator Talks About Gas Extraction, Pipelines
Daily News: Doing lousy job discussing economy
Delco Times: Santorum’s New Hampshire experience different from Iowa
AP: White House Chief of Staff resigns
Reuters: Santorum’s Tax Plan

Times-Leader: Political Barbs Traded Over Tax Impasse
Times-Leader: Tax Credit That Helped Create Jobs To Expire
Daily Review: Gov. Corbett Business Aid Plan Gets Second Wind
Capitolwire (Paywall): Decisions Await Lawmakers, Governor About Voucher and Marcellus issues
Inquirer: Pa., N.J. to get $126 million in emergency relief
AP: Campaign season: In shadow of national race, Pa. legislative contests
Inquirer: Redrawn Seventh District: culturally diverse but one thing in common: Head-scratching
AP: $380K spent on Harrisburg bankruptcy fight
AP: Out of office, Pa. ex-Sen. Specter will be on TV

Inquirer: 3 plead guilty in Phila. Sheriff’s Office check scheme
PhillyNow: 2012: Report from Rick Santorum’s Tele-Town Hall
PhillyNow: Daily Grinder: City Getting Some Drop Money Back
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia Group Praises Change in Immigration Family Rule
KYW Newsradio: Analysis: GOP Candidates Close in on New Hampshire

Inquirer: Bucks Co. official sentenced on corruption charges
Pottstown Mercury: Borough to review many ordinances
Montgomery Media: Furber installed as president judge in Montgomery County

Tribune-Review: Gov. Corbett shuns limelight his predecessor often seemed to seek
Early Returns: Altmire Releases Endorsements
AP: PA’s Department of Environmental Protection Finds Colossal Error in the Number of Wells Producing Gas From the Marcellus Shale

WJAC: PA DEP Data Missing Nearly 500 Gas Wells Producing Marcellus Shale Gas
Daily Courier: Moore begins his first day as Scottsdale District Judge

Borys Blog: Matt Cartwright sounds like a candidate (Dem v. Tim Holden)
Standard Speaker: Three Municipalities Look To Shed Financial Woes
Times-Leader: Court Approves Payment For Ciavarella Attorneys

Lehigh Valley
Reading Eagle: Santoni Will Not Seek Re-election
Reading Eagle: Berks County Seeks to Expand Veteran’s Court
WFMZ: Township Official Seeks Higher Office
WFMZ: Former Mayor Candidate Chases City Council Seat

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Political Polls & the Next Step for the Center for Applied Politics at Mercyhurst College
Erie Times-News: Millcreek Study Commission Considers Government Change
Centre Daily Times: PSU Grads Running for PSU Trustees
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Bloom Steps Down After Extensive Time Served for the Democratic Party
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Quick Look at Local Legislative Tally

Wayne Independent Editorial: Sen. Toomey Takes Time To Visit With ‘Little Guys’ In The Media
Daily Review Editorial: Santorum Won’t Get The ‘bla’ vote
Pocono Record Editorial: They Still Get The Raise, Only Later
Times-Tribune Editorial: Harrisburg Ponders Laws, Not Cash, To Aid Cities
Citizens Voice Editorial: Require Seismic Testing Near Pa. Waste-Well Sites

Young Philly Politics: Governor announces $157 million in midyear budget cuts
PA Budget and Policy Center: Revenue tracker midway through the 2011-12 fiscal year
Lehigh Valley Independent: 1% sales tax back in play
2 Political Junkies: Huh. Go Figure.
PennPatriot: Tapping in PA’s coal reserves
John Hanger: DEP cites Cabot for gas migration case

  • 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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