2/24 Morning Buzz

The federal government grinds on inexorably toward a shut down, as Republicans hit Democrats for not cutting enough, and Democrats hit Republicans for cutting too much.

Corbett says he won’t seek Wisconsin-like concessions from labor, but he would sign a Right to Work Law. PA’s sizable labor movement is flexing its muscle all week, including solidarity rallies in Pittsburgh and across the state.

Scene from a labor rally yesterday in Scranton

It started at U Penn Tuesday night when the Penn Dems President asked Newt Gingrich about his personal record on “family values.” It ended up on MSNBC’s Hardball, CNN, Politico, the Huffington Post, and of course, PoliticsPA.

In a special piece to PoliticsPA, State Senator Jeff Piccola (R-15) argues that his school choice bill expands educational opportunities – and make fiscal sense – for PA.

And is it just us, or has Rick Santorum been in the news a lot lately?

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the buzz.

PoliticsPA Reports

Commentary: SB1 is the Ticket to a Quality Education
State Senator Jeff Piccola, one of the authors of the school choice bill pending the Senate, explains that his bill would expand educational opportunities – and make fiscal sense – for all Pennsylvanians.

Santorum Responds to Obama DOMA Reversal
Barack Obama may inadvertently have made Rick Santorum more relevant in the 2012 GOP primary. The President’s decision to cease his administration’s legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act has brought Santorum’s signature issue to the forefront of conservatives’ attention.

Politico: Santorum hits left on Crusades
“The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical,” Santorum said in Spartanburg on Tuesday. “And that is what the perception is by the American left who hates Christendom.”

Washington Post: NRCC Targeting Rep. Altmire Over Budget Vote
The National Republican Congressional Committee is launching phone calls today targeting 10 vulnerable Democrats for voting against the GOP-backed bill funding the government for the rest of the fiscal year. One of those districts is the district of Rep. Altmire.

Newt Gingrich Had a Rough Night at the University of Pennsylvania
Newt Gingrich took a harsh question Tuesday night during an event at the University of Pennsylvania, when Penn Dems President Isabel Friedman put the prospective 2012 Presidential candidate on the spot about his extramarital affairs.

Abortion Scandal: Corbett Crafts Policy to Prevent Recurrence
After a West Philadelphia abortion clinic scandal that sounds more like something out of a bad dream than reality, Governor Tom Corbett is taking necessary steps to ensure such complete disregard for public health and safety doesn’t happen again. Corbett flexed his executive power when he crafted new policy for the Department of State and how filed complaints are handled along with a requirement for more thorough reports.

Senate Democrats Unveil Plan for Job Creation
Pennsylvania state Senate Democrats release a plan to create jobs and spur investment in PA.

Surprise: City Council Says DROP Costs Overrated
The Philadelphia City Council released its own (since disputed) study Tuesday on DROP, the city’s pension program. In a shocker, they determined that the cost to the city was far less than previously said.

Headlines
Pennsylvania Ave.: Sen. Casey backs stop-gap spending effort; Rep. Dent says one might be inevitable
Pennsylvania Ave.: Anti-Santorum website to be relaunched
Pennsylvania Ave.: Dems call voters, targeting local GOP, including Dent, Barletta and Gerlach
Centre Daily Times: Rep. Thompson’s office targeted by environmental protestors
Times-Tribune: Freshman congressman headline event at King’s College
AP: Pa. labor groups vow to fight ‘right-to-work’ bill
Patriot-News: Group plans to hold “We are Wisconsin” solidarity event on Saturday
Early Returns: Union rally in Pittsburgh tommorrow
Early Returns: Orie: Begin finding one
Times-Tribune: Ciavarella faces complex federal sentencing guidelines
Capitol Ideas: Senate Dems Meet with Blues, Private Insurers to Try and Save adultBasic
Commonwealth Confidential: Scarnati to go ‘on the road’ with enviros?
Patriot-News: Pa. State Sen. Piccola favors raising the state gasoline tax to pay for road, bridge repairs
Patriot-News: Harrisburg International Airport says federal government still owes $5.5 million over terminal that opened in 2004
Times-Tribune: Polarized hearing brings drilling debate to the Delaware River Basin
Delaware County Times: Vitali Kicks Off Marcellus Shale Tax Hearing
Times-News: Merski to announce candidacy for Erie City Council
Fox Philadelphia: Philadelphia Councilman Kenney on DROP
Post-Gazette: Adams woman to run for Butler County commissioner
Delaware County Times: Pa. Widens search function on Megan’s law website
Inquirer: Pa. loosens rule on oil drilling
Inquirer: With lower income people in Pa. facing health-care loss, religious leaders beg for bailout
Post Gazette: Megan’s Law revamped for more precise searches

Opinions
Times-Tribune: State keeps shipyard afloat
Times-Tribune: Good idea regardless of economy sale of wine, liquor belongs in private sector
Philadelphia Daily News, John Baer: Gov. Corbett: Read your mail, save the health plan
Post Gazette Editorial: Failing our veterans: The VA is slow to deliver on home care support
Altoona Mirror Editorial: Judge deserves the max
Kevin Flowers, Erie Times: Pennsylvania budget woes threaten film tax credit
Patriot News Editorial: GOP cowardly to avoid entitlements in budget cuts

February 24th, 2011 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook | No Comments