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1/4 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. It’s a big day in national politics, but we’ll get to that in a second.

In PA, Senate hopeful Tom Smith is making a big splash. His campaign announced a whopping $4.4 million cash on hand at the end of the fourth quarter. The total, largely as a result of a $4.25 million self-loan from Smith himself, puts him within striking distance of Bob Casey. Read the story here.

The news comes a day after his opponent, Steve Welch of Chester County, announced that he has $1 mil cash on hand – his own total due to a $1 mil contribution from the candidate.

The big national news is our own Rick Santorum, who nearly nabbed a win in Iowa. The result was finalized too late for us to scour for the national headlines, so look for a good rundown in tomorrow’s Buzz.

Romney Edges Santorum By 8 Vote Margin in Iowa: Weeks–maybe even days–ago it seemed impossible that Senator Rick Santorum would finish as a top tier candidate in the Iowa caucus. Tonight, the Senator delivered a tremendous blow to conventional wisdom by finishing second to Governor Mitt Romney by just 8 votes. His second place finish came despite spending a fraction of the money as his opponents.

Progressive Group Names 2011 Pa. Legislative Heroes: Liberal advocacy group Keystone Progress Monday named 20 Pennsylvania state representatives as its Legislative Heroes of 2011 based on their voting records over the past year. The organization works in favor of the progressive movement and aims to strengthen its voice in Pennsylvania.

Leaked Corbett Admin Memo Dings Predecessors, Other GOP Govs: By most non-partisan accounts, 2011 was a mixed bag for the Corbett administration. However a recently leaked memo from within Governor Corbett’s administration paints an unflattering picture of defensiveness and concern.

Club for Growth Targets Murphy in TV Ads: A new year, a new headache for Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny). The fiscally conservative hard-liners at the Club for Growth announced Tuesday that it will air a pair of 15 second television ads against the Congressman over his support of “card check” and certain spending measures. The buy will total around $38,000.

Morning Call: Specter Predicts Tough Road For Obama in Pa.
Post-Gazette: Santorum’s Months of Tenacious Campaigning Pay Off
Inquirer: Santorum, Romney Vie For Iowa Victory
The Hill: Conservative Iowa Leader: Bachmann, Perry Should Drop Out and Endorse Rick Santorum
Washington Post: Santorum: “Ron Paul Is Disgusting”
Washington Post: No Matter Iowa Result, Santorum To Face Campaign Challenges
Pennsylvania Ave: Recent New Hampshire Poll Shows Santorum At Bottom
Pennsylvania Ave: Pennsylvania Looks To Be Important Battleground In 2012
Politico: Can Rick Santorum Catch Fire?
Inquirer: Don’t Sell Santorum Short Say Pa. Friends and Foes
Roll Call: HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Iowa Hopefuls’ Secret Weapons
Roll Call: Club for Growth Ads Target David Dewhurst, Two GOP Members
Roll Call: GOP Heads to Caucuses in Iowa
Real Clear Politics: On Final Day in Iowa, Front-Runners Play to Bases
Real Clear Politics: Can Huntsman Pull a Santorum in N.H?
USA Today: GOPers Vie for Voters’ Trust in Iowa
Politico: An unfortunate explanation by Santorum
Five Thirty Eight/NY Times: Why I’d bet on Santorum (and against my model)
John Baer, Daily News: Santorum’s Strong Showing: What Does It Mean?

Patriot-News: Gov. Corbett Orders Pay Freeze For Pa. Advisers, Managers
Patriot-News: Pennsylvania State Budget Shortfall Nearing $500M As Tax Collections Lag
Patriot-News: York County Official To Seek Senate Seat Being Vacated By State Sen. Jeff Piccola
StateImpactPA: State Officials Aim To Land Marcellus Shale Processing Plant
StateImpactPA: Cabot Oil and Gas Ends 2011 As S&P 500’s Top Company
StateImpactPA: Marcellus Shale Giant Chesapeake Energy Has Mineral Rights In Pennsylvania
Patriot-News: Penn State President Rodney Erickson To Hold Town Hall Meetings For Alumni Next Week
Scranton Times-Tribune: Wayne Co. Landowners Appeal To Officials Regarding Natural Gas Drilling Regulation
Capitol Ideas: December Tax Revenues Off By Almost 6 Percent
Capitol Ideas: Pennsylvania State House Back In Session
PA Independent: Senate president: Shale bill should be done  by February PA Gov. Tom Corbett memo on accomplishments points out other governors’ failures The Latest Impact Fee Deadline: Before Corbett’s Budget Address
State House Sound Bites: Harrisburg looks for financial turnaround in 2012

  • 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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