1/9 Morning Buzz
Good morning politicos, and welcome to the buzz. Central Pa. Republicans met in Harrisburg on Saturday to listen to statewide candidates and select who they think should get the state committee endorsement. Check out our coverage of all the primaries, including U.S. Senate, Attorney General, Auditor and Treasurer.
And Rick Santorum news continues to pour in, including PoliticsPA’s coverage of Saturday’s debate from Manchester, NH.
Burns Wins GOP Central Caucus Straw Poll: Tim Burns, the Washington County businessman who ran for congress against Mark Critz in 2010, won a bellwether straw poll at the Saturday meeting of the Pa. Republican state committee’s central caucus.
Freed Cleans Up at Home Caucus: Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed got by with a little help from his friends at Saturday’s meeting of the central caucus of Republican state committee. Freed won 77 votes in the straw poll, compared to 19 for Pa. Senator John Rafferty.
Maher Wins Poll for Auditor, Irey for Treasurer: Pa. Rep. John Maher won the support of the GOP state committee’s central caucus members by a comfortable margin on Saturday. The final tally was 41 for Maher, 32 for former Pa. Community Bankers CEO Frank Pinto, and 24 for Chester County Treasurer Ann Duke. Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey was the front runner for Treasurer.
Santorum Takes Center Stage for First Time in Saturday NH Debate: Rick Santorum took aim at Mitt Romney during his first debate as a primary front runner. PoliticsPA reports from Manchester, NH.
Santorum Makes SNL Cold Open (With Video): If there were any doubts that Rick Santorum has made it big, they’re gone now. Clad in Santorum’s (now) trademark sweater vest, Saturday Night Live star Andy Samberg delivered the opening monologue for SNL this weekend.
PoliticsPA’s 1/6 Ups & Downs: Two words pretty much sum up Friday’s’s Ups & Downs: fundraising, and “Santorumentum!”
Bob Brady: Honorary PAGOP Chairman? In an open letter Friday, Bob Brady’s primary challenger zinged the Congressman and Philadelphia Democratic Committee Chairman for his support of the Republican-drawn congressional map.
Meet John Maher, Republican for Auditor General: [Published Friday.] With only a day before the first regional caucus straw poll and just a few weeks before the GOP state committee endorsement meeting, the Republican race for Auditor General has mostly gone under the radar. Pa. Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny) is officially in the running. The lawmaker says he wrote the book on government auditing.
Redistricting Lands Murphy on DCCC Attack List: We’re used to seeing SEPA GOPers and freshman among the DCCC’s targets. But they’ve added a new name to the list: Rep. Tim Murphy.
Lights, Camera, Arlen! With the help of Maryland Public Television, former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter will soon host his very own television program. The format is a thoughtful, half-hour public policy discussion featuring a few principal guests as well as input from various stakeholders and opinion leaders.
HD-88: Sources told PoliticsPA this weekend that Cumberland County Commissioner Gary Eichelberger is considering a primary challenge to Rep. Sheryl Delozier. Then we noticed this unhappy note on Eichelberger’s facebook page that singles Delozier out for voting for the redistricting plan (which splits her district between Reps. Barletta and Platts). Neither Eich nor Delozier is a stranger to messy GOP primaries.
HD-104: Sue Helm officially announces re-election bid. Her primary opponent is Jenna Lewis, of the Dauphin Co. DA’s office. Millersburg’s Borough Council President, Democrat Chris Dietz, has also announced his candidacy.
HD-115: Democratic Monroe County Commissioner Suzanne McCool is running for the state house in the new 115th legislative district. It is currently represented by Democrat Edward G. Staback but his district no longer covers this area of Monroe County. No other Democrat or Republican has announced their candidacy for the seat.
HD-182: 33-year-old attorney and LGBT activist Brian Sims reported raising $72,000 in 2011 – pretty good for a challenger. He’ll need it. He has an uphill primary battle against Rep. Babette Josephs, who has historically enjoyed broad support from voters in Pa.’s largest gay community.
SD-15: PA Rep. Ron Marsico officially announced his intent to seek re-election to his House seat on Saturday morning and Lowman Henry also ruled out a bid, meaning attorney and former GOP Chair John McNally is the sole Republican running from Dauphin County.
Huffington Post: Santorum Draws Big Crowds At N.H. Town Hall Meeting
The Hill: Santorum surge poses dilemma for Pa. delegation (features Sen. Toomey, and Reps. Barletta, Gerlach, Meehan, Pitts and Thompson)
Politico: Blog: Pro-Santorum Group Spends $190K On South Carolina Ads
Politico: Blog: Santorum Calls Out McCain On Spending
Politico: Blog: Santorum Defends His Lobbying Record During Radio Program
Politico: A Familiar Fight: Santorum and Paul Clash During ABC News/Yahoo Debate
Politico: Santorum Broadens Message In New Hampshire
Washington Post: In N.H., Santorum Draws Passionate Reactions
National Journal: Santorum’s Unsavory Moments
Washington Post: Facebook Data Reveals Republican Candidates’ Supporters “Likes”
New York Times: After Santorum Left Senate, Familiar Hands Reached Out
The Caucus: Santorum Turns To South Carolina After Debate
Pro Publica: A Guide To Coverage Of Rick Santorum
FiveThirtyEight: Signs That Santorum Momentum Has Stalled
FiveThirtyEight: Vote Result From Disputed Iowa Precinct Official Says Official
Roll Call: Santorum Denies John McCain’s Big Spending Congress Claims
Roll Call: Former Lobbyist Linked To Jack Abramoff Helps Santorum In S.C.
Early Returns: Daily Santorum: What Now?
Pennsylvania Ave.: Santorum Campaign Raises $2 Million In Fewer Than 48 Hours
Roll Call: Former Lawmakers Defeated In 2010: You May Now Lobby
Pittston Politics: IBEW 163 doles out $10K to Vinsko for Congress
York Daily Record: Government Defends Core of Health Care Overhaul
AP: “Pious baloney” insults thrown between the GOP candidates in New Hampshire
AP: Romney & Gingrich offer harsh opinions on gay marriage
AP: GOP candidates fail at checking the hard facts
AP: Romney, while defending himself from Gingrich, says he understands the economic hardship the United States is facing
York Daily Record: Nation Adds 200,000 Jobs in December Hiring Surge
Wall Street Journal: Santorum Faces Questions Over Pennsylvania Senate Defeat
Chambersburg Public Opinion: PO Letter to the Editor: Quit Stealing from Social Security
Harrisburg Patriot News: Big Government? Campaign Rhetoric Blurs Needed Debate
Inquirer: Thomas Fitzgerald: Romney’s running mate? It could be Christie or Santorum
Inquirer: Santorum, Paul debate meaning of conservatism
Inquirer: Santorum rips Romney ahead of GOP debate
AP: US Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.5%, lowest in 3 years
Harrisburg Patriot News: Big Shift in Obama’s Defense Strategy Could Have Ripple Effect in Central Pennsylvania, Expert Says
AP: GOP Rivals Target Romney 2 Days Before NH Primary
AP: Candidates Spar Over Afghanistan
AP: GOP Contenders Blast Gay Marriage
AP: Post- Senate Career Has Seen Santorum’s Income Soar
AP: Santorum, Paul Trade Barbs in Televised Debate
AP: Gringrich Under Fire on Race, Freddie Mac Contracts
AP: Republican Presidential Candidates on the Issues
AP: Santorum’s income has soared since he left Senate
Wall Street Journal: Santorum: College Not Necessary For All Students
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Santorum plays up his Western Pa. roots in N.H.
Fox Philadelphia: Polls: Santorum’s NH Influence Slipping
WHYY Newsworks: The holes in Rick Santorum’s tax plan
AP: Huntsman defends working for Obama
Harrisburg Patriot News: Penn State President’s Denial of Knowledge of Sandusky Reports is Flimsy, PR Expert Says
Capitol Ideas: Dem AG Candidates Speak at Farm Show appearance
AP: Penn State Alumni Unhappy With Paterno Firing Seek New Trustees
AP: Ex- Penn State Trustee Decries Secrecy, Demands Reform
Carlisle Sentinel– Ex- Penn State Trustee Decries Secrecy, Demands Reform
Carlisle Sentinel – PA Legislature Kicks Off 10-Month Campaign Cycle
Times-Leader: Marker To Honor Former Gov. Casey in Scranton
Carlisle Sentinel – 48 PA Catholic Schools to Close, Reorganize
Harrisburg Patriot News: Nation Hasn’t Caught on to Santorum We Know
AP: No New Talks Before PA Teachers Slated to Strike
Inquirer: Longtime voice in Harrisburg brings his brand of politics to Philadelphia Council
AP: PA Auditor General Warns of Turnpike Debt
PhillyClout: Bob Brady rival slams him for GOP redistricting plan help
Delco Daily Times: State Sen wants first-time DUI offenders to get ignition lock
AP: Redistricting legal battle coming
Daily Local: Union decries Gov. Corbett’s budget request
Daily Local: Party rift emerges in Senate contest
Inquirer: Longtime voice in Harrisburg (Denny O’Brien) brings his voice to Philly Council
Daily News: Three new to Council will pass up city cars
Daily News: New Council voices weigh in on key issues
Daily News: Clout: Ethics Dust-Up Bad Move for McCaffery?
PhillyNow: Interview with former St. Joe’s Student who Protested Santorum’s ‘03 Graduation Speech- And Blew Him a Kiss
Pottstown Mercury: Montgomery County commissioners promise shorter meetings
The Intelligencer: Bucks Democratic commissioner passed over again
Bucks Local News: Bucks Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick reacts to recommendation that his alma mater, Conwell Egan, be closed
KDKA: Judge Rules County Must Use 2012 Reassessment, Fitzgerald Not Backing Down
Observer-Reporter: Washington Co. Commissioner to seek GOP nomination for state treasurer
Observer-Reporter: Greene Country groups receive $1M in grants from the Commonwealth’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program
Daily Courier: Southmoreland board votes to keep taxes at 2.4% state cap
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Tuscarora Could Approve Teacher Contract Extension Monday
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Pennsylvania Farm Show Tradition Kicks Off in Harrisburg
Carlisle Sentinel – Allentown – EPA Cancels Water Delivery to PA Town
Harrisburg Patriot News: Treatment Plant Upgrades Trigger Sewer Bill Hike in Lower Swatara Township
Harrisburg Patriot News: Harrisburg Lawyer Seeking Nomination for Penn State Trustee Candicacy
Harrisburg Patriot News: Request to Lower Speed Limits in Palmyra Borough Voted Down
Harrisburg Patriot News: Love of Swatara Township Drives John Weikle, Jeff Varner as Leaders
Harrisburg Patriot News: Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson Presses for an Appeal of Former Staffer’s Claim for Jobless Benefits
Lebanon Daily News: [Palmyra] Committee Preps for This Week’s Votes
Lebanon Daily News: Board Starts Year with EIT Decision: The North Londonberry Supervisors Have Joined in Litigation Over Lost Earned Income Tax Revenue
Lebanon Daily News: Cleona Council Eyes Comp Plan
Lebanon Daily News: S. Londonderry Commissioner Sworn in: Cliff Orley Steps into Role of William Ames, Who is Now a County Commissioner
Lebanon Daily News: Annville Welcomes New Commissioner
York Dispatch: York County’s Clerk of Courts Seeks 15 District Senate Seat
Express Times: Weed & Seed Program is a success
Express Times: Was there political maneuvering between freeholders during a landfill investigation? The Pollution Control Financing Authority seeks out the answer.
WFMZ: Future Legislation in Pennsylvania
North by Northwest
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Ready to Run conference for women who want to run for office
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Dave Huffman’s plan to run for Senate
Erie Times-News: Language barriers grow as the number of immigrants in Erie rise
Standard Speaker Editorial: Debate Over Regulation Tips To Consumers
Times-Tribune Editorial: It Is Easy To Punch Holes In A Memo Of Gov. Corbett’s Accolades
Standard Speaker Editorial: Gov. Corbett’s Cuts Take More From The Needy
Chambersburg Public Opinion Editorial: Marcellus Shale Impact Tax Bills Must be Scrapped
Standard Speaker Editorial: Questions About Fracking Remain
Times-Leader Editorial: Don’t Add Bang To Drilling Boom
Carlisle Sentinel – Opinion: Santorum is the New Anti-Romney
Times-Leader Editorial: ABCs of Civil Behavior
Carlisle Sentinel: Sentinel View: Eckenrode Should Resign Now
Harrisburg Patriot News: Let’s Change the Rules for State Budget “Game”
Harrisburg Patriot News: Blame Obama for Downward Spiral
Lancaster Era: Split Decision
Lancaster Era: Santorum’s Surge
Lebanon Daily News: Too Good to be True
Lebanon Daily News: FDA Gives Up
Down With Tyranny: Moore challenges Rep. Bob Brady, who isn’t progressive enough