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1/16 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the buzz. Democrats met to endorse this weekend, and at first spirits were higher than Joe Sestak’s sneakers. But ultimately committee members settled on an open primary for Attorney General. Meanwhile, a new dynamic emerged for Republican candidates for U.S. Senate.

With Jon Huntsman out of the presidential race, wonder who Tom Ridge will support now.

Burns, Welch Brawl for GOP Endorsement: Tim Burns and Steve Welch turn their fire on each other as they vie for the GOP state committee endorsement. Plus, check out the results from today’s GOP straw polls. Updated with a copy of the Welch camp’s anti-Burns flier.

No AG Endorsement at Dem State Committee: Democrats will have an open primary for the office of Attorney General. Campaigns failed to mustered the required two-thirds majority (212 of the 318 voting members) in order to clear an endorsement at the meeting of state committee Saturday.

Cummings Drops Out of Senate Race, Endorses Burns: Laureen Cummings, a nurse who founded the Scranton Tea Party, has dropped out of the Republican race for U.S. Senate. In a statement, she endorsed Washington County businessman and 2010 congressional candidate Tim Burns.

In Dem AG Debate, Style Was the Biggest Difference: None of the candidates emerged as a clear winner of the Attorney General debate on Friday evening, hosted by the Pa. Democratic Women’s Caucus. Plus some committee chatter.

Duke Drops Auditor Bid: Chester County Treasurer Ann Duke has ended her bid for Auditor General, citing Governor Tom Corbett’s support for Pa. Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny).

United Mine Workers Endorse Critz: Congressman Mark Critz followed the example of his former boss, the late Congressman John Murtha, and announced the early endorsement of the United Mine Workers of America in the newly reconfigured 12th Congressional District on Friday.

PoliticsPA’s 1/13 Ups & Downs: The Attorney General race, the presidential contest, the farm show and Tim Tebow give us this week’s Ups & Downs.

More Club for Growth Ads Against Murphy: The fiscal conservative group Club for Growth has rolled out two new ads as it continues its television buy against Rep. Tim Murphy. They appear to be part of the C4G’s original ad buy, announced in early January.

Legislative Election Updates

HD-37: In the wake of news that retiring Rep. Tom Creighton has flip-flopped on his promise not to take a pension, Republican hopeful Stephen Black pledged off most perks (but would take a pension). The Elizabeth Twp. builder will face Manheim sales executive Mindy Fee.

HD-45: Downingtown Mayor Josh Maxwell is reportedly considering a bid for the open, Dem-leaning seat which was moved to Chester County during redistricting. If he gets in Wednesday as expected, he will face in the primary Caln Twp Supervisor Josh Young and real estate developer Barry Cassidy.

HD-56: Democratic state committee woman and activist Marybeth Kuznik said she is considering a challenge to freshman Rep. George Dunbar. It was one of the most blue districts won by a Republican in 2010. It’s safer for the incumbent after redistricting, but still among Dems’ top targets for 2012.

HD-130: Exeter School Board member Russell Dissinger will challenge incumbent Republican Rep. David Maloney for the Berks County seat in the conservative suburbs east of Reading. The Democrat and former teacher said education – and funding cuts – will be his focus.

HD-154: Democrat Steve McCarter announced his bid for the seat of outgoing Rep. Lawrence Curry (D-Montco). He’s a retired social studies teach and retired U.S. Army Captain. “I’m running to be a voice for the middle class and common sense,” McCarter said in a statement. “While families and seniors are struggling in this economy, their concerns need to be heard loud and clear on the floor of the State House from someone who understands their pain.”

HD-155: Correction – Friday’s Buzz idenified Republican Juhn Muller as a former staffer to retiring Rep. Curt Schroder. He was not. His primary opponent Becky Corbin does.

HD-167: Rep. Duane Milne has drawn a primary challenger in the Chester County district. P. Joseph Corrigan, who ran for the district unsuccessfully as an independent in 2010, accused Milne of not sufficiently supporting Gov. Corbett’s spending priorities. Corrigan was a East Whiteland Supervisor for 6 years and owns a small business as a painting contractor.

HD-176: Democrat Joe Kowalczyk is running for the seat of Rep. Mario Scavello, who is leaving to seek the new state Senate district in Monroe County. He’s a union glass installer who lost a bid last year for Chestnuthill Township Supervisor. His opponent is Republican Jim Becker, the CEO of a local electronics company, who has Scavello’s support.

Politico: Rick Santorum confronts Arlen’s Specter
FOX: Rick Santorum on Abortion: There are no Exceptions for Rape and Incest
CBS: Santorum Finds Support in Texas
CTV: Anti-Gay Remarks Haunt Rick Santorum Online
USA Today: Santorum: Romney Doesn’t Provide “Contrast” to Obama
PhillyNow: Down in Polls, Santorum Gets Big Endorsement
Philadelphia Inquirer: Settling Scores: Arlen Specter’s Third Memoir Reflects on Final Years in Washington
Inquirer: Joe Biden Charms Bucks Students, Zings College Costs
Pennsylvania Ave.: U.S. Senate Candidate Tom Smith Makes 2nd Ad Buy
Pennsylvania Ave.: Rick Santorum Tied In 3rd In South Carolina Poll
Pennsylvania Ave.: Sen. Casey Discusses The Payroll Committee
Pennsylvania Ave.: Rick Santorum rivals: Rick Santorum’s rivals ready to pounce
Pennsylvania Ave.: Steve Welch, Tim Burns: defenders of capitalism
Huffington Post: Elections 2012: Democrats See Chance of Taking Back the House
National Journal: Santorum’s Complicated Quest to Unite Conservatives
State House Sound Bites: US Senators Wooing Shell for a Cracker
Christian Science Monitor: Top GOP Candidates Won’t Qualify for VA Primary Ballot
CBS: Rick Santorum Attacks Former Pal Newt Gingrich
Washington Post: 2012 Redistricting: Top 10 Matchups Between Incumbents
Washington Post: Christopher P. Carney
Los Angeles Times: Rick Santorum Tells South Carolina its Not Over
San Francisco Chronicle – Santorum’s Past Comments Give Democrats Fodder
New York Times: Santorum Charity for the Poor Spent Most of its Money on Management, Political Friends Ex- PA House GOP Aide Sentenced in Corruption Case
New York Times: Conservative Religious Leaders, Seeking Unity, Vote to Back Rick Santorum
Boston Herald: Rick Santorum: US Wrong to Condemn Iraq Scientist Death
Sunshine State News: Rick Santorum Unveils his Florida Campaign Team
Newsmax: Santorum Strikes Back at McCain Over Earmark Comments
Politico: Rick Santorum: Ron Paul Doesn’t Stand for Life
Politico: Santorum on pro-Romney super PAC ad: ‘Lie!’
Politico: South Carolina primary: Rick Santorum urges ‘conscience vote’
Politico: Social conservatives back Rick Santorum
Politico: Santorum: It’s down to me and Mitt
Politico: Rick Santorum stresses evangelical pitch
Politico: Santorum invokes the anti-Newt coup
Politico: Perry shrugs off Santorum endorsement
Politico: McCain: Santorum endorsement a ‘hit’ on Mitt
Politico: Newt downplays conservative movement around Santorum
Politico: Santorum: More babies, please!
Politico: Rick Santorum: I might win Iowa recount
Five Thirty Eight: Backing of Evangelicals could Resuscitate Santorum in South Carolina  Washington Post: Gingrich, Santorum, Perry jockey to unite conservative and stop Romney
Washington Post: Is social conservatives’ embrace of Santorum too late?
Washington Post: Santorum wins support of evangelical leaders at Texas meeting
Washington Post: Santorum charity for the poor spent most of its money on management, political friends
Washington Post: Warmer times for Santorum in South Carolina
CNN Politics: Santorum: Obama would ‘destroy’ Romney in November
CNN Politics: Romney super PAC pummels Santorum and Gingrich by mail
The Hill: Ron Paul could be Santorum’s stumbling block in South Carolina primary
The Hill: Santorum touts support of conservative group, but won’t ask rivals to drop out
New York Times: Santorum and Gingrich Scramble for the Conservative Vote
New York Times: Evangelicals, Seeking Unity, Back Santorum for Nomination
USA Today: Santorum: Romney doesn’t provide ‘contrast’ to Obama
USA Today: Santorum says endorsement helping in S.C. and beyond
The Greenville News: Santorum makes pitch to Upstate voters at Ham House
Slate: Evangelical Super-Group Endorses Rick Santorum
Early Returns: Club swings at Murphy again
Early Returns: Smith on air again in GOP Senate race
Washington Post: In the Loop –  Specter’s TV Show Premiere: A Highlights Reel
Washington Post: In the Loop – Rick Santorum, Environmentalist; Plus Everything You Thought You Knew About Politics is Wrong
The Hill: Gingrich, Santorum Pick Up House Endorsements
New York Times: Gingrich and Santorum Look to Unite Conservative Voters in South Carolina
Washington Post: Warmer Times for Santorum in South Carolina

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Assessment Fight Heading to the State
The Daily Item: Governor’s $2,000 Asset Threshold Alarms Needy
The Republic: Pension Costs Will Keep Rising at a Troubling Time for Pennsylvania’s Public Schools
United Steel Workers: Rep. Mark S. Critz Writes to Oil CEOs
The Morning Call: None of the Three Democratic Candidates Gets Party’s Endorsement for Pennsylvania Attorney General
Centre Daily: Transportation Institute Gets $3.5 Million Grant
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Vacant SSVC Costs PA $1.5M a Year
Philadelphia Weekly: PA Moves Closer to Abortion-Free State as House Passes HB 1977
Philadelphia Weekly: Why Does PA Care About Banishing Sharia Law
Philadelphia Weekly: Robert Allen Mansfield is a Black Tea Party Republican from Philly- And He’s Running for US Senate
PhillyNow: “Sharia Law” Bill Declared Unconstitutional in OK  – What Does that Mean for PA Legislation?
Philadelphia Inquirer: Back Channels: In PA, Romney has Avid Base of Supporters
Philadelphia Inquirer: Three-Way Primary to Pick Dems’ Attorney General Nominee
State House Sound Bites: Activist Warns Of Possible Conflicts Of Interest For GOP Attorney General Candidate
State House Sound Bites: Environmental & Consumer Advocates Call For Higher Mileage Requirements For Cars
Statesvile Record & Landmark: Carney: Voter IDs, Health Care on Agenda
UPenn News: Cindy Christian of Penn’s Field Center Named to Task Force on Child Protection
Patriot News: Pennsylvania Beer Distributors Quietly Extend Sunday Hours Under Bill Signed by Gov. Tom Corbett
Newsmax: PA Transportation Infrastructure in Trouble
Patriot News: Gov. Tom Corbett Signals He Plans to Hang Around
Patriot News: Rep. Barletta Endorses Santorum’s Presidential Bid
AP: Residents Of Pennsylvania Town At Center Of Gas Drilling Fight Want EPA Chief To Send Fresh Water
CBS: State Politicians Gather at Farm Show to Celebrate Agriculture, Food
CBS: Dog Advocates Support Proposed Legislation, Except for One Line
The Republic: Dems, GOP Sizing Up Statewide Candidates for Prospective Endorsements for April Primary
The Daily Item: School Districts Can Pursue Tax Exceptions
Lebanon Daily News: Pension Costs a Big Worry for PA Public Schools
The Republic: 3 Democrats Will Run for PA Attorney General After Party is Unable to Endorse a Candidate
Scranton Public Policy: Wilkes-Barre’s Brian Kelly Withdraws from US Senate Race
Morning Call: Bob Casey Talks Payroll Tax Committee
Morning Call: Smith, PA Senate Candidate, Makes Second TV Buy
National Journal – GOP Field Against Casey Could Shrink
ABC: Chesco Treasurer Drops Bid for PA Auditor General
WHYY Newsworks: Philly Attorney Vies for Chance to Run as Democrat for PA Attorney General
Conservative Declaration: Bob Casey’s US Senate Seat is Up for Grabs
Centre Daily: AG Rivals Knock Corbett’s Handling of Sandusky Case
AP: Pa. Dems face 3-way race in nomination in AG race
Times-Tribune: Welch tops NEPA straw poll for Senate Nomination
Citizens Voice: Call for Justice to step down may affect redistricting
Go Lackawanna: Barletta, Marino back Santorum

FOX: What Happens to Catholic School Teachers?
FOX: Illegal Parking Rampant in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Inquirer: Featherman to Take on Brady
Philadelphia Weekly: Penn State Tragedy Inspires Law Targeting PA’s Attorney General
Philadelphia Weekly: Mayor on a Mission: Nutter Talks to PW About the Issues that Keep Him up at Night
PhillyNow: “Ban the Box” Officially a Thing
Philadelphia Inquirer: Behind-the-Scenes Shuffle at City Hall
Philadelphia City Paper: Company That Lied to the City and Retained a Contract With it is a Big Political Donor
Philadelphia City Paper: Rep. Bob Brady, PA Rep. Vitali Speak Out Ahead of Federal Clean Car Standards Hearing in Philly – Commonwealth Confidential: Lawmakers Ask Corbett for Emergency Meeting on Chester-Upland Crisis
PhillyClout: Councilman Talks Business with South Korean Ambassador
WHYY Newsworks: Toomey opposes Federal Rules on Farm Labor, Pollution
Philadelphia City Paper: Naked Philly – Rep. Bob Brady, PA Rep. Vitali Speak Out Ahead of Federal Clean Car Standards Hearing in Philly

Delco Times: Politicians Ask Governor to Help Chester Upland School District
Daily Local: Corrigan to Challenge Milne in 167th District Primary
FOX: Chester Schools May Miss Next Payroll
The Intelligencer: A Democrat Decides to Challenge Fitzpatrick
Montgomery News: Harbison Announces Run for the Statehouse
AP – Long Struggling Pa. District may run out of cash
State House Sound Bites: Delaware County Lawmakers Call For Action on Chester-Upland School District
KYW News radio: VP Biden visits Central Bucks West, touting White House Efforts to Bosst Education
Daily Local: County Treasurer Drops Bid for Pa. Auditor General
Buck’s Local News: New Bucks County Commissioners’ Chairman Robert Loughery, Brings a New Set of Lenses to the Board
Delco Daily Times: Chester Democrats Celebrate Victories with Inaugural Gala
Delco Daily Times: Biden Talks to Bucks Students About High Costs of College

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Ravenstahl Defends New York Visit to Bond Firms
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Former State Senator Wants to Help Settle Plum Dust-Up
KDKA: City council to probe controller treasurer pay raises
KDKA: state lawmakers urge quick action on reassessments
Early Returns: Smith on the air again in the GOP senate race
Early Returns: Club swings at Murphy again

National Journal: Critz Feeling Labor’s Love in Pennsylvania Primary
The Tribune Democrat: Altmire’s “First Impression”: Critz’s Rival Pays a Visit to Johnstown
Observer-Reporter: Five-year permit for Cumberland Mine
Observer-Reporter: Neuman, Christiana seeking re-election
Indiana Gazette: Supervisors discuss boiler ordinance in White Township
WJAC: Local lawmakers fight to keep Johnstown’s National Drug Intelligence Center open
Johnstown Tribune Democrat: Critz’s rival pays visit to Johnstown
Daily American: Pennsylvania environmental council strikes it big
The Hill: Rep. Shuster: Pipeline Safety Bill Shows Benefit of “Putting Infrastructure Before Politics”

Times-Tribune: Welch Tops NEPA Straw Poll for Senate Nomination
Pocono Record: Barletta: Monroe County Will Benefit from Two Congressmen
Pittston Dispatch: Congressman Holden Comes to Town
Times-Leader: Engine Purchase Hotly Criticized
Citizens’ Voice: City Attorney: Wilkes-Barre’s Handling of $1M Donation was Legal
Times-Leader: Petro Plant Could Bring 10,000 New Jobs
Times-Leader: US Rep. Holden Getting to Know His Coal Region Neighbors
Times-Leader: Barletta Asks USPS to Reopen Shickshinny Post Office
Times-Leader: US Rep. Holden Getting to Know his Coal Region Neighbors
Republican Herald: Expert Says Closure of 3 Refineries Won’t Spike Fuel Prices in Northeast Pennsylvania
Republican Herald: Carbon County Fire Department to Receive $617,500 Grant
Times-Tribune: State Grants to help NEPA volunteer fire companies
Times-Tribune: Financially Struggling Honesdale plans to reopen 2012 budget
Times-Tribune: Reorganizations of Lackawanna County Municipalities and School Districts
Times-Tribune: Scranton Officials Vow to Monitor Finances
Citizens Voice: County Council Rejects Tax Increase
Times-News: PV passes preliminary budget -Mike
WNEP: Superintendent Accused of Failing to Report Alleged Abuse
WNEP: Duryea Unveils Plans for More levee Protection
Times Leader: Libertarian’s Pa. Convention Here

South Central
York Daily Record: US Rep. Joe Pitts Speaks in Lancaster County
Lancaster Online: The Crossings, if Built, Will Change Roadways
The Tribune Democrat: Meet and Greet: Crowd Visits with Somerset County’s New State Lawmakers
Lebanon Daily News: Candidate for Senate to Speak to Lebanon 9-12 Project
Lebanon Daily News: County Novices Stake Their Claim
Lebanon Daily News: 17th District Shifts Away From Valley
York Daily Record: DePasquale Finds State Support for Auditor General Bid
Harrisburg Patriot News: Democrats Struggle to Reach Consensus on Attorney General Candidate
Carlisle Sentinel: Shippenburg’s Spicka Discusses State Senate Campaign

Lehigh Valley
WFMZ: Preservation of Land Celebrated with Toast
Morning Call: Sen. Bob Casey Talks Business in Bethlehem
Nazareth Patch: Nazareth, Slate Belt Meet New Congressman
Altoona Mirror: Blair Emergency Units to Receive $1M Upgrade
WFMZ: Welch wins Northeast GOP Straw Poll
WFMZ: Bethlehem’s City Controller Resigns
Express-Times: State Court Upholds Forks Township Decision to Limit Development in Farmland Zone
Express-Times: Allentown City Council Vacancy Draws 12 Applicants
Reading Eagle: Mayor to Hold 3 Public Budget Meetings this Week

North by Northwest
Sun Gazette: County Controller Seeks Changes in Fiscal Responsibility
Sun Gazette: City Officials Considering Health Care Consortium
Sun Gazette: City Council Renews Contract With Tax Collection Agency for One Year

Times-Tribune: Kelly: What Would a Letter from a Corbett Supporter Say, Exactly?
Philadelphia Daily News: Clout: City Knows How to Make Work
Losing Freedom: Rep. Charlie Dent, Israel and HR 3166
John Baer, Daily News: Where Da Women?
Patriot News: This Year, Put PA Back to Work
Courier Times News: The Case Against Murphy
Forbes: Rick Santorum, Gays and Young Voters
Times-Tribune: Fill Vacancies
Wall Street Journal: The Weekend Interview with Rick Santorum: “Supply-Sider” for the Working Man
Observer-Reporter: Indiana legislator acting like children

Delaware Liberal: Tom Corbett Hates Poor People
Keystone State Education Coalition: Latest On Chester Upland And More Stories
Commonwealth Foundation: Commentary: A Decade Left Behind
Lehigh Valley Independent: Blog: Delaware County, Not Harrisburg, Should Take Over Chester-Upland SD
Keystone Conservative: National Federation Of Independent Business Requesting Regulations
Keystone Politics: Corbett Now Open To “Rejiggering” Transportation-Based Gas Tax
Keystone Politics: Obama And Corbett “Twinsies” On Program Consolidation
Keystone Politics: Reassessment Doom Postponed In Pittsburgh
Keystone Politics: What Occupy Philly Is Occupied With Now
Penn Patriot: PennDOT Must Reform Spending Before Revenues
Penn Patriot: Recent FED Congresional Hearing Reveals Gold Valued At 1934 Value
Water Cooler PA: Tim “Burns Concerns” (Note: author has endorsed Steve Welch)
Water Cooler PA: Why We Need Voter ID
NEPArtisan: PA Attorney General Bonanza
The Pennsylvania Progressive: Ron Paul: White Supremacist
Young Philly Politics: Pennsylvania Governor Announces $157 Million In Budget Cuts
North Pittsburgh Politics: UPDATE: tate House Elections For 20th District
Huffington Post: Chris Weigant: Friday Talking Points
American Thinker: Mad at Santorum Over Specter? What Would Reagan Do?

  • 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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