2/3 Morning Buzz
Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. We’re all still waiting on the Pa. Supreme Court’s redistricting ruling. Will today be the day? How about a DeWeese verdict? Much to look forward to, on top of the Ups & Downs.
PS. Enjoy the Super Bowl this weekend. If only they could somehow both lose.
2011 Fundraising Winners and Losers: The Q4 numbers are in. Who’s on track and who needs to catch up? We break down the 2011 fundraising of every incumbent member of Congress and challenger in Pa.
Burns Exits Senate Race: Tim Burns has dropped out of the U.S. Senate race. He had defiantly pressed on in the immediate aftermath of GOP state committee’s decision to endorse rival Steve Welch, but ultimately decided against a run.
Is Raja Back? Check the Election updates below for more details, but sources indicate the Allegheny Exec candidate is running for office again.
Keegan on PCN: Did you miss PoliticsPA Managing Editor Keegan Gibson’s appearance on PCN on Tuesday? The topic: the 2012 presidential election as it affects Pa. Watch it here.
PA Dems Ding Romney: As Republicans choose their nominee, Democrats from DC to Pa. haven’t taken their eye off the ball: Mitt Romney. Pa. Dems organized a conference call Thursday afternoon to critique Romney’s health care and entitlement program policies.
Critz Endorsement: In the intensifying Democratic primary race for the new 12th congressional district, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare endorsed Rep. Mark Critz, his campaign announced Thursday.
Philly Dems Line Up Behind Murphy: It appears that Southeastern Pennsylvania is firmly in Patrick Murphy’s corner, after the Philadelphia Democratic Committee and its chairman Rep. Bob Brady announced their endorsement of him Wednesday.
$250K for Fitzpatrick in Q4: Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick begins 2012 with $678,000 on hand, according to his year-end report with the FEC.
Kelly’s Rough Q4: We initially reported that Kelly had a net loss of #13K in the fourth quarter, but his campaign said it finished Q4 in positive territory. A spokesperson cited a clerical error and said the campaign would file an amendment to its FEC report Friday.
Term Limits in Harrisburg? State Rep. Rick Saccone of Alleghney/Washington has announced the introduction of House Bill 2160, which proposes to impose 12-year term limits on members of the General Assembly.
Pitts Challenger: Aryanna Strader, the Democrat running against Joe Pitts lives a stone’s throw outside his district – a common theme so far in 2012.
Legislative Election Updates:
SD-29: It looks like Dave Argall’s problems with the Schuylkill County GOP are coming home to roost. He will face a primary challenge from Reading Anthracite President Brian Rich. “There are too many career politicians in Harrisburg with no fiscal discipline and no understanding of how to create jobs,” he said in a release (which in 487 words didn’t name Argall). Rich says he would serve two terms max and won’t take a pension.
SD-37: Raja, the 2011 candidate for Allegheny County Executive, is circulating petitions for retiring Sen. John Pippy’s South Hills seat. That’s according to several GOP sources there. He’ll face Rep. Mark Mustio, gun rights advocate Kim Stolfer, and GOP state committeewoman Sue Means.
SD-49: Janet Anderson is officially in the running for Jane Earll’s seat. She held a meet-and-greet at the Erie Intermodal Center.
HD-39: Freshman Republican Rick Saccone, who announced a term limits bill this week, also announced his bid for re-election in the Allegheny/Washington Co. district.
HD-82: Jim Felmlee, Lewistown Boro President, has announced that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for the 82nd Legislative District, a reader reports. The seat is currently held by Adam Harris (R-Juniata).
HD-89: Susan Spicka, the Democratic former teacher from Shippensburg who had been running for State Senate, is officially in against Rep. Rob Kauffman.
HD-107: Freshman State Rep. Kurt Masser officially announced his bid for re-election in the Northumberland/Montour district.
HD-134: We’re going to start updating this one every day a Republican doesn’t jump into this race. Ryan E. Mackenzie is the latest to seek the seat of former Rep., now Judge, Doug Reichley.
Mother Jones: Komen’s $7.5 Million Grant to Penn State Appears to Violate New Policy
Pennsylvania Ave.: Senate Shoots Down Effort By Sen. Toomey To End Earmarks; Sen. Casey Votes No
Early Returns: Casey to propose fuel tax credits
Early Returns: Burns drops from U.S. Senate race
Beaver County Times: Santorum says daughter Bella out of hospital
Beaver County Times: Santorum sharpens criticism as urgency peaks
Politico: Should GOP even have an agenda?
Politico: Why Obama should be worried
Politico: Presidential circus comes to the Nevada caucus
Pennsylvania Ave.: Romney plays Trump card in Las Vegas
Politico: Tim Geithner: ‘no credible evidence’ financial reform hurting
Roll Call: Senate passes STOCK act
Roll Call: Control of Senate may rest on money
Washington Post: Minor Senate bill transformed into broad reform package
Washington Post: Corporations are sending more contributions to Super PACs
Real Clear Politics: Can Newt Gingrich win GOP nomination without women
Real Clear Politics: Obamanomics vs. Reaganomics
Real Clear Politics: How GOP is re-segregating the South
The Hill: Romney gaffes alarm GOP
NY Times: Obama glad to debate Romney on Afghanistan pullout
NY Times:’Super PAC’ filings show power and secrecy
NY Times: Obama’s words hint at Romney as expected rival
USA Today: Romney super PAC supporter has ties to Freddie and Fannie
USA Today: Romney remark puts focus on safety net for very poor
Slate: Did Obama just declare victory in Afghanistan?
AP: Jury set to get case against ex-PA House Speaker DeWeese
Capitolwire (Paywall): Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille Has More Swing Votes To Cast
WHYY Newsworks: A less strict asset test for PA food assistance program
Tribune Review: Heavier trucks could roll by Congress
Tribune Review: Pennsylvania welfare secretary: Limits on food stamps relaxed
Post-Gazette: Pa. bill would provide help to struggling schools
Post-Gazette: Corbett reasserts position on drilling consistency
Early Returns: Social Security group backs Critz
Early Returns: Controversial food stamps test a go
Observer-Reporter: First-term lawmaker announces re-election bid
Altoona Mirror: Corbett backs off limits on asset test
Republican Herald: Casey supports tax cut extension; move would save average Schuylkill County worker $448
Call Washington Bureau: Senate votes down Toomey effort to ban earmarks
Fox: Teachers’ Union: Layoffs endanger kids
ABC: Former Pa. judge’s wife charged with perjury, obstruction of justice
CBS: Petitioners to Corbett: Fund Chester-Upland’s foundering school district
Inquirer: Philly lost highest number of construction jobs in US last year
Philly Weekly: City Council introduces “Land Bank” bill; advocates see hard work ahead
Philly Weekly: Philly City Council says no deal for mortgage lenders
Philly Burbs: Fox hunting suspended in Bucks County public parks
Delco Times: “Ellen Degeneres Show” pledges $100,000 grant to Chester-Upland school district
Daily Local: SAP adding 500 jobs in Newtown Square
Montgomery News: Ambler residents voice opposition to billboards with online petition
Tribune Review: DeWeese jury: No verdict after deliberating for a day
Tribune Review: Lawyer: Allegheny County property figures askew
Tribune Review: Judge gives Occupy 3 days to leave
Tribune Review: Feds laud region’s business model
Early Returns: A.M. heds: 6 more weeks, says Phil
Early Returns: Social security group backs Critz
Post-Gazette: Ravenstahl, Peduto vie for LED spotlight
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Taxaide program kicks off in Chambersburg
Carlisle Sentinel: Shippensburg Township polling place to move to SU foundation building
York Daily Record: York city school district faces $8 million deficit for this year
York Daily Record: Hatch Act forces Kyle king, DePasquale challenger, to drop out
York Daily Record: Santorum sharpens criticism as urgency peaks
Morning Call: Allentown Council elects new board for special tax zone
Morning Call: Upper Nazareth upset over earned income taxes staying in Allentown to fund hockey arena
Morning Call: Cunningham vetoes Lehigh County reassessment bill
Reading Eagle: Lehigh County man seeks House seat in the 134th
Reading Eagle: City Council appoints Corcoran new member
Reading Eagle: Spencer repackages request for special assistants
WFMZ: Allentown Diocese fight new birth control rules
WFMZ: City creates authority to oversee NIZ
WFMZ: St. Luke’s, Warren Hospital formalize deal
WFMZ: Lopatcong residents upset with asphalt plant plans
WFMZ: Former Hunterdon prosecutor sues state over firing
Express Times: Oxford Township Committee seeks long-term debt solution
Express Times: Allentown city council creates hockey arena district authority, appoints 9 members
Express Times: Robert Pinel, new Nazareth Area School Board member, discusses his goals for the board
Express Times: South Whitehall Township adopts ordinance governing alternative energy projects
Express Times: Union leaders protest Easton Hospital’s hiring of Lancaster County-based construction group
Express Times: Allentown city councilman to propose regional council seats
Express Times: Locals join environmentalists in legal battle against the Portland Generating Station
The Times Leader: Republican Tim Burns drops out of Pa. Senate race
The Times Leader: Judges will not sue to block cuts
The Times Leader: Governor backs away from low asset limits for food stamps
The Times-Tribune: New Lackawanna County positions given nod
The Times-Tribune: Redistricting, lack of cash conspire against congressional hopefuls
Citizens’ Voice: Judiciary, country reach tentative deal on funding
Wayne Independent: Controversial Josh Fox arrested at U.S. Capitol
Standard Speaker: Streetlights company subject of probe
The Daily Review: John Johnson appointed Ridgebury supervisor
Pocono Record: Two Pa. Primaries would face cost, practical hurdles
North by Northwest:
Erie Times-News: Burns drops out of U.S. Senate race
Sharon Herald: Bond Payment savings will exceed $1M
Centre Daily Times: PSU professor hopes to be on ballot
Centre Daily Times: Driller’s $2.2M to pay for hazardous PA. dam fixes
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Jobless rate for area drops for 4th month
John Brenner, York Daily Record: I’m not running for Congress.
Roll Call: Don’t Bet on Gingrich showing up in Tampa
Lancaster Era: Follow the money
York Dispatch: Ideas worth more than money around here
Courier Express: Can schools hold the line on higher taxes? We doubt it
Pottstown Mercury: What is Pa. Supreme Court’s real motive?
The Times-Tribune: Opinion: Taking STOCK of Congress
The Times-Tribune: Opinion: Investigate false charge
Burlington County Times: “Elite Media” thrilled to have Newt in race
Daily Local: Gingrich is right to shoot for the moon
Burlington County Times: “Ghost voting” a naked assault on voters’ rights
Citizens’ Voice: Opinion: Congressional info should not be sued to pad portfolios
Citizens’ Voice: Opinion: Sentences may be short, but impact of crimes is long
Standard Speaker: Opinion: Stunting growth no way for Pa. to fight recession
The Daily Review: Opinion: Funding needed for redevelopment
The Daily Review: Opinion: Paying more with reputation that jail time
York Daily Record: Brenner: I’m not running for Congress
The Caucus: Fact Check: Romney on the recession
The Inquirer: Grant a win for fire, EMS paging
NY Times: Romney is a clear favorite in Nevada, Arizona and Michigan; Ohio is a tossup
Keystone Politics: Frackers pressuring media to stop using the word “fracking”
Keystone Politics: Eugene DePasquale making sense on prison waste
Keystone Politics: Corbett finds a way to make the sales tax more regressive
Keystone Politics: 4,000 will lose food stamps under Corbett asset test
Keystone Politics: Activists put “land bank” bill on the agenda in Philly
John Hanger: Large 80 year old coal plant closes
John Hanger: American Municipal Power goes hydro
NEPArtisan: Various Observations
Water Cooler PA: Gingrich is right to shoot for the moon
Water Cooler PA: Saccone: Twelve and you’re out
Pennsylvania Progressive: Obama seeks to reassure angry homeowners
Pennsylvania Progressive: Mitt Romney announces “I’m not concerned about the very poor”
Above Average Jane: Delco Dems make endorsements
Above Average Jane: Bob Casey on OutFront with Erin Burnett
Above Average Jane: Altmire on extension of FMLA
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: NIZ board rubber stamped by Allentown City Council
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Lehigh & Northampton tax collectors to discuss Allentown’s EIT tax grab
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Cynthia Mota sworn in by man she replaces
2 Political Junkies: Mitt Romney’s foot-in-mouth & tin-ear disease
2 Political Junkies: The Trib goes with Mitt
Lu-Lac Political Letter: Edition #1928, Feb. 2nd 2012
Keystone State Education Coalition: Some dates to remember so that this year’s PA budget is not a Ground Hog Day repeat of last year’s budget