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1/11 Morning Buzz

And in Pittsburgh, this happened.

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. New Hampshire didn’t turn out too well for Pennsylvania’s favorite Senator. That’s right – Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montco) brought in only 22 votes for his long-shot bid; 21st place over all.

Higher up in the ranks, but not high enough to boast continued momentum, was former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum. He finished in fifth place, a few hundred votes behind Newt Gingrich.

Greenleaf Loses NH Primary to Mitt Romney: With 95 percent of precincts reporting in the Granite state, Pa. Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) had netted 22 votes. Like you’re so great. How many people have ever voted for you for president, huh?

Specter: Maybe Hillary Should Be Dems’ Nominee: “That’s the second best alternative,” Specter said of replacing Biden. “A better alternative is to make Hillary the [presidential] nominee. As long as we’re talking about dumping, let’s go to the core problem.”

New Dem Campaign Firm Opens in Harrisburg: Political operatives Brad Koplinski, Eric Nagy and Dan Hartman have managed their share of campaigns across Pennsylvania. Now they’re launching Penn Blue Strategies, which will work with Democratic campaigns, non-profits, and other groups. You know they’re legit because they’re sponsoring PoliticsPA’s Morning Buzz.

How Would You Change Harrisburg… ‘s Website? Pa. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi wants to know how lawmakers can make the Capitol’s web presence better.

Critz Puts Together Campaign Team: Mark Critz announced his new campaign manager and team of consultants for his forthcoming primary battle with Jason Altmire.

Murphy Scores Big Western Pa Endorsements: Pittsburgh political and labor leaders endorsed Pat Murphy in his campaign for Pa. Attorney General: Rich Fitzgerald, Mike Doyle, the Pittsburgh Laborers and more.

Santorum’s PA Friends Help Out: About 50 Pa. volunteers have traveled to New Hampshire and South Carolina to help with a campaign that has, at times, struggled to keep up with the candidate’s growing popularity.

Scaringi Praises Santorum and Paul: Republican Senate candidate Marc Scaringi released a statement last week praising his former boss Rick Santorum on his strong finish in the Iowa caucuses. In the same statement, he also praised Rep. Ron Paul on his Iowa success. Noticeably absent from the statement was praise of the winner of the caucus, Mitt Romney.

Legislative Election Updates

Correction: HD-20: Could former Congresswoman Melissa Hart  congressional hopeful Melissa Haluszczak, who ran against Rep. Doyle in 2010, be looking at a challenge to Rep. Adam Ravenstahl? That’s the buzz. So too Bellevue Council President Kathy Coder.

HD-21: Allegheny County Councilman Matt Drozd to challenge Rep. Dom Costa? It’s buzzing around in GOP circles.

HD-119: Freshman Rep. Gerald Mullery of Newport Twp is heading for a rematch with Republican Rick Arnold of Rice Twp.

HD-120: Phyllis Mundy may face a challenge from 20-something Aaron Kaufer.

HD-121: Eddie Day Pashinski will have a slightly tougher road to re-election this year than in 2010, thanks to the fact that his district includes more conservative areas in Mountain Top. He’ll face former Fairview Twp Supervisor Pete Mailloux.

HD-154: Jeff Harbison, 53, announced he’s running for the seat of retiring Rep. Lawrence Curry. In a press release, the Springfield Twp Commissioner said he’s already raised $60K for the race. He’s a businessman and also treasurer of Rep. Allyson Schwartz’s PAC.

SD-33: Susan Spicka, a 41-year-old, Democratic former public school teacher from Shippensburg, has thrown her hat in the ring against Pa. Sen. Richard Alloway in the deep red district the includes parts of Adams, Franklin and York counties and, after redistricting, the southern portion of Cumberland.

SD-45: Republican state Rep. Mario Scavello officially announced his run for new state Senate district based in Monroe County.

Hat tip to the Times Leader’s Andrew Seder, who checked in with all the campaigns in Luzerne County.

Have news about a State Senate or House campaign? Email it to

Wayne Independent: Sen. Toomey On Federal Involvement With Local Corruption
Gort 42: Rep. Marino Endorses Santorum
Pennsylvania Ave.: Santorum’s Right To “Bare” Arms
Politico: Gingrich Raps Santorum About Margin Of Loss In Pennsylvania
Washington Post: Rick Santorum: The Evangelical’s Catholic Candidate?
Washington Post: Santorum’s Sweater Vests Become Fundraising Tactic In N.H.
The Hill: Santorum: “I Don’t Violate Reagan’s 11th Commandment”
The Hill: Santorum: Finishing Second In N.H. “Beyond Our Dreams”
The Caucus: Rivals Blast Romney, Santorum Offers Milder Criticism
The Caucus: Santorum Supporter Gets Taste Of The Big Leagues
USA Today: Santorum’s Rise Renews Earmark Debate
Early Returns: Daily Santorum: Deminished Expectations
Inquirer: Specter: Dumb Obama for Hillary
Inquirer: What to Watch For in NH GOP Primary
AP: Romney’s rivals battle for second in NH primary
Inquirer: ‘Primary Peepers’ invade NH, including Rowan group
Daily News: Clear, Cold Fact: This Ain’t Iowa
PhillyNow: Touring ‘Dead Ground,’ Santorum’s Momentum May Stall
PhillyNow: Can Santorum Finish 4th in New Hampshire?
Fox Philadelphia: Interview: Presidential candidate Rick Santorum
Fox Philadelphia: Santorum Predicts Long Nomination Battle
AP: Santorum opens NH primary day with media blitz
National Journal: Does Santorum’s 2006 Loss Prove He’s Unelectable?
USA Today: Santorum’s Rise Renews Earmark Debate
Concord Monitor: Santorum Faces the Spector of Specter

Capitolwire (Paywall): Appeals Filed Against state Senate and House Redistricting Plans
Bucks Local News: County beams with pride with election of Anne Covey to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
Pittsburg Post-Gazette: Altmire Honored
Transportation Nation: Rick Santorum, as Senator, Preached the Gospel of Transit
Times-News: Turnpike Official Scoffs At Dire Financial Report
Times-Tribune: Pa. Plans Asset Test For Food Stamp Recipients
Capitolwire (Paywall): Pa. One Of Two States With No Private Water Well Standards; Lawmakers Seeking A Change
Wall Street Journal Report – PA Data Missing Nearly 500 Gas Wells
Bloomberg: Cabot Cited for Faults in Cracked Well After Gas Fouls Water
Scranton Times Tribune: Transparency Part of True “Oversight”
Scranton Times Tribune: Chief Judge Calls on Senators to Fill Remaining Vacancies
York Dispatch: Out of Office, ex-Sen. Specter Will be on TV
Times Leader: Scranton Attorney is Now US District Judge
Scranton Times Tribune: Activist Prepares Congressional Run
Patriot News: Gene Stilp to oppose U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta in Pennsylvania’s 11th District Congressional Race
Times Leader: PA’s Storm-Hit Roads, Bridges to Get $40.6 M
Patriot News: Dauphin County Judge Dismisses State Rep. Bill DeWeese’s Plea to Void Political Corruption Case
Standard Journal: GOP Hopeful Visits Milton
PA Independent: PA Dems Call for Higher Gas Tax, Fees to Pay for Infrastructure
Bloomsberg Businessweek: Youngstown Opens Mills Again as States Jockey for Fracking Jobs
90.5 Essential Public Radio: New Pennsylvania State Law Helps Small Businesses Control Insurance Costs
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Corbett’s Call for Budget Freeze Unwelcome at Shippensburg University

Philadelphia PhillyDeals: Local governments are still under financial pressure
Inquirer: Nutter says School District is too slow in cutting costs
Inquirer: Assemblywoman’s swearing-in barred by last-minute ruling
Daily News: 3 plead guilty in sheriff $ scam to the tune of $400,000
WHYY NewsWorks: Uncashed jury duty checks gather dust in Phila.
Reading Eagle: PA Food Stamp Recipients & the Asset Test

Tribune-Review: Judge says he won’t hold Fitzgerald in contempt for assessments
Tribune-Review: BNY Mellon makes argument to evict Occupy campers
Tribune-Review: Pittsburgh City Council moves toward borrowing $80M for capital spending
Post Gazette: Allegheny County Dems choose new leadership
Post Gazette: City officials will travel to New York for ratings upgrades from S&P, Moody’s

Tribune-Democrat: Down-sized Johnstown City Council reorganizes
Daily Courier: Recommendation to down-size Westmoreland County district judge offices
Daily Courier: Uniontown to adopt budget early
Daily Courier: Pinskey new Scottdale Council president
Beaver County Times: Ellwood City nativity scene to move to private property next year
Observer-Reporter: ACLU says Pittsburgh agrees to pay $88,000 to G20 protesters
Indiana Gazette: School board to vote on energy efficiency project
Daily American: Preliminary Somerset school budget leaves door open for tax increase

Citizens Voice: DEP Head Calls EPA Knowledge of Dimock ‘Rudimentary’
Standard Speaker: Taxpayers Footing Ciavarella Legal Fees

Lehigh Valley
Morning Call: Easton City Council Hears Merits About Red-light Cameras
Reading Eagle: More Problems in City Schools
Reading Eagle: Departing School Administrators Gain Allies
WFMZ: St. Luke’s Cannot Escape the Cullen Lawsuit
WFMZ: Allentown Waterfront Plans Develop
Express Times: Hunterdon County Freeholders Hear Department Wish Lists
AP: PA Chief to EPA: Let Science be Guide in Dimock

North by Northwest
Standard Journal: Rohrer visits Milton
Erie Times-News: Proposed Cuts Worry Erie Businesses That Rely Heavily on Postal Service
Erie Times-News: County Council Puts Federal Grant in Motion
Erie Times-News: IRS Files New Tax Lien Against Erie County Councilman
Erie Times-News: Sewer Rates Rise in 2012 for Millcreek Township
North Central PA:Thruway Project is Top Priority, Other Obstacles Remain
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Severance Tax & Budget Cuts State College School Board Revises Child Abuse Reporting Rule

Marie Hess, GOP state committeewoman: Vote no on endorsements
Citizens Voice Editorial: A Loss For Words
Philadelphia Inquirer: Inquirer Editorial – State Helped Make This Mess
Erie Times News: Our View: Wanted – Good Candidates for Office
Times-Tribune Editorial: Transparency Part of True ‘Oversight’
Baer Growls: Pileggi’s Vox Populi
Times-News Editorial: Lawmakers Should Give Radar To Local Police

Keystone State Education Coalition: Governor Corbett’s stark naked school choice: some moving out, some moving in
CATO Institute: Responds to the Inquirer piece about the DPW’s new food stamp policy
Commonwealth Foundation: Wagner’s warning on turnpike debt not exaggerated
NEPArtisan: Redistricting brings out challengers
Water Cooler PA: Santorum’s arrogance will be his downfall, again
The Pennsylvania Progressive: Corbett cutting food stamp eligibility
Keystone Politics: Jimmy Moore: Bob Brady is honorary chairman of the Republican party
Talking Points Memo: Mitt-isms

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