2/14 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

GOP Settling for 2001 Lines? Today is the final day for most candidates to file their petitions (it’s Thursday for state House and Senate hopefuls), and several Republican sources indicate the party is likely to give up on efforts to delay the primary.

Nursing Homes Answer Proposed Cuts With Diplomacy: While others are protesting in the Capitol and gearing up for a budget fight, Pa’s nursing homes are signaling they want to work with the administration and the legislature. The 4 percent cut to Medicaid follows an up to 18 percent decrease in Medicare at the federal level, effectively hitting nursing homes with a one-two punch. Their advocacy org PHCA acknowledges DPW’s serious budget problems, but explains its nursing homes are having a difficult time maintaining quality care.

DePasquale Wins Dem Auditor General Debate: Eugene DePasquale is not the only Democratic candidate for Auditor General, be he might as well be. He won the Pa. Progressive Summit straw poll 98 percent to 2 percent after Sunday’s debate.

Pa Progressives Discuss “Assault on Women’s Health”: In the past few weeks, abortion and other reproductive health issues have reemerged as top campaign issues. At the Pa. Progressive Summit on Saturday, women’s rights advocates gathered to discuss specific initiatives in Pa.

Legislative Election Updates:

SD-35: Sen. John Wozniak officially announced his re-election bid. “There is a tremendous amount of work to do.  With my seniority in the Senate, I am well-positioned to help our region create jobs, improve schools and craft a brighter future,” he said in a release.

SD-37: The Post-Gazette has confirmed rumors from the 2/3/12 Buzz that Raja – the 2011 candidate for Allegheny Co. Executive – is circulating petitions for the seat of retiring Sen. John Pippy.

HD-25: Republican Monroeville pharmacist John Yakim is officially running against Rep. Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny).

HD-79: The Penn Patriot blog has a copy of a letter from Rep. Rick Geist’s campaign about his primary challenger John McGinnis. His camp calls McGinnis a radical, and says Geist has supported the main tenets of the Tea Party.

National:
AP: White House Blasts Contraception Bill
WSJ: Paul Campaign challenges Romney’s Maine win
WSJ: Obama’s budget seeks to boost tax revenue with Buffet Rule
KYW Newsradio: Rick Santorum gaining ground on Mitt Romney
Daily Local: House GOP have backup on payroll tax
Pennsylvania Ave: Obama seeks increase in pipeline safety
Slate: Washington State legalizes gay marriage
USA Today: ‘National Review’ calls on Gingrich to quit
USA Today: GOP hopefuls slam Obama budget
NYT: Santorum faces questions on women in the work force
Washington Post: Why Obama’s budget is smart politics
Roll Call: End of earmark ban is unlikely
Roll Call: Barack Obama unveils budget blueprint
Politico: Romney backer will decide Santorum’s fate on Indiana ballot
The Sacremento Bee PR Newswire: GEAR UP architect and President agree on program’s significance
Huffington Post: Congress debt ceiling debacle may repeat before presidential election
Reuters: New Jersey Senate approves gay marriage; veto looms

Statewide:
AP: Gas drop slowing drilling
Capitol Ideas: Prevailing wage bill advances in the state house
Capitol Ideas: First test for new shale impact fee looms
PA Independent: PA bills seek tighter regs for unemployment law
PA Independent: PA biz tax phase out joins spending cuts, deficit in budget plan
StateImpactPA:  Shale gas wells with smaller footprint to get greater scrutiny
StateImpactPA: EPA budget cuts could mean less funding to states, beach protection, and superfund site clean-up
StateImpactPA: Obama proposes $14M for fracking research
StateImpactPA: Norquist’s pledge didn’t stop impact fee
StateImpactPA: The PUC’s new gig
Capitolwire: House panel reports out unemployment compensation bill that make ‘minor impacts’ to insolvency
Capitolwire: Senate Democrats question Corbett’s budget priorities, revenue assumptions
Capitolwire: House finance panel reports out RACP bill
Capitolwire: OFF THE FLOOR: Corbett and DeWeese: portraits in resolve
Capitolwire: Zogby predicting roughly $40M in Internet sales and use tax revenue
Patriot-News: Corbett Would Bank Excess Revenue, Not Spend It
Patriot-News: Commonwealth Plans To Collect $50 Millions In Use Tax From Internet Shoppers
Patriot-News: Pa. Dept. of Corrections Bans Some Books, Magazines From Prisoners
PhillyNow: $1.9 M in state budget to honor stand up comedian (Arlen Specter)
Fox Philadelphia: Pa. Residents must pay Internet sales tax
WHYY Newsworks: $719M deficit plausible in Pa., independent agency says
WHYY Newsworks: Budget secretary defends Corbett on tapping funds
WHYY Newsworks: Corbett pitches block grant idea to Pa. counties
Pottstown Mercury: Pa. college tuition likely to rise with or without state aid
Fender Bender: CABA endorses Right to Repair Act
Altoona Mirror: State capital improvement funding needs thorough exam
The Tartan: Budget deficit threatens bus service

Philadelphia:
Inquirer: Obama’s budget will include $31M for Delaware dredging
PhillyNow: Philly State Rep. Apologizes for ‘ Year of the Bible’ vote
Fox Philadelphia: 828 ‘Serious Incidents’ this year at Philly middle schools
KYW Newsradio: City of Philadelphia putting its gas works up for sale
KYW Newsradio: Electricity falling in Pa. due to dual market forces, expert says
WHYY Newsworks: In pursuing debts, sometimes Philadelphia’s court system is guilty
WHYY Newsworks: Councilman pushing for a buy American policy for Philadelphia

SEPA:
WHYY Newsworks: Bucks county lawmaker wants constitutional amendment on campaign finance
PhillyBurbs: House chair under fire a big donor to Fitzpatrick
Delco Times: Settlement talks ongoing for Chester schools
Delco Times: Colwyn tax increase sparks more debate
Bucks Local News Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick talks the economy, energy and America’s debt problem
Daily Local: Plan would eliminate are district court

Pittburgh:
Tribune Review: Westmoreland County on hunt for new public safety director
Tribune Review: Allegheny County Democratic Committee chooses Altmire over Critz for House
Tribune Review: Enforcing texting ban presents challenge for Western Pennsylvania police officers
Post-Gazette: EPA probing Washington County shale operations
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County property assessment appeals process puts burden on owner
Early Returns: Raja may run for PA Senate
Early Returns: 2 challenges for Doyle
KDKA: Cyril Wecht watching Whitney Houston case

Southwest:
Beaver County Times: Jury selection begins in BIG corruption case
Beaver County Times: Groups plan to sue W. PA coal plant again
Altoona Mirror: Section 8 tenants seek class action designation
WJAC: Elementary school may close its doors

South Central:
Patriot-News: Gov. Corbett Will Not Attend Harrisburg Paterno Memorial
Patriot-News: Harrisburg Property Owners Express Concern About Graffiti in State Capital
York Dispatch: Chaos for candidates as deadline looms

NEPA:
Times Tribune: NEPA counties to raise millions or nothing under gas impact fee
Times Tribune: Corbett raiding special funds
Standard Speaker: Lawmakers differ on Marcellus Shale legislation
Standard Speaker: Casey hopes to help strengthen anti-corruption law
Standard Speaker: McAdoo councilwoman praises volunteer work
Standard Speaker: City council again halts civil service appointment
Standard Speaker: KOZ program’s future now in governor’s hands
The Daily Review: Meeting scheduled for Tioga County mitigation plan
The Daily Review: Stall applications available for Tioga and Vernon Downs
The Daily Review: Taxes going up in North Towanda

Opinion:
Standard Speaker: Editorial: Corbett budget sacrifices future
The Daily Review: Editorial: Agencies need to do what they were created to do
Patriot-News Editorial: Refreshing Change: For Once, There Are Many Candidates
Daily News: John Baer: Cut college aid? Brilliant, folks
Inquirer: Welfare cuts: wrong to target most vulnerable
Pottstown Mercury: Monday’s Sound off
The Washington Post: Morning Bits – Right Turn

Blogs:
Lehigh Valley Independent: GOP wants to be a regional southern party
Lehigh Valley Independent: Pa.’s higher-density metros have higher compensation
Keystone Liberty: Budget Address: A small step forward
Keystone State Education Coalition: Corbett: ‘We reduced education funding if you look at it as a whole’
Commonwealth Foundation: Reforming state borrowing for corporate welfare
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Fleck’s 2011 consulting fees more than $55,000.00
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Play the candidate match game
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Allentown EIT tax grab to divert money for open spaces
NEPArtisan: Murphy gets major endorsement from Pa. Young Democrats
NEPArtisan: Corbett kind of caves to Marcellus Shale impact fee
Water Cooler PA: Opposing drug testing for welfare recipients? Are you high?
Lu-Lac Political Letter: Good workers? Good citizens?
Pennsylvania Progressive: Obama budget highlights education, job training
Above Average Jane: AG Candidate’s debate at PA Progressive Summit
Keystone Politics: Who gets the most government transfers in Pennsylvania?
Keystone Politics: How huge of a giveaway did frackers get?
Keystone Politics: If we imprison fewer people, we’ll need fewer corrections officers
John Hanger: Meet the most electable Republican: Congressman Ron Paul
John Hanger: First Energy closes power plants, blaming EPA: Fact or fiction?
John Hanger: Coal’s 2011 electricity market share plunges as gas rises

February 14th, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Top Stories | No Comments