3-15 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and here’s the Buzz. Boy oh boy has it been busy this week. Primary season is in full swing, and it looks like the presidential circus is coming to town. Polls, prez news, and more.

Poll-o-rama!

Poll: Corbett Approval Shrinks Net 13 Points: Tom Corbett is notably less well regarded than he was in December, according to the latest Q-Pac poll. His job approval then was 47 to 34 percent disapproval. Today, it’s a 41 to 41 percent tie. Also polled: abortion, public universities, and the ultrasound mandate.

Poll: Rohrer Leads Senate Field, But Trails Casey by 15: Sam Rohrer is the strongest candidate in the five-man Republican field to take on Bob Casey, but so far that isn’t saying much. Casey leads Rohrer 49 to 34 percent, and all of his prospective opponents all by double digits.

Poll: Casey Approval Holds Steady, But Below 50: By 19 points, Bob Casey gets positive marks for his work as a Senator. But according to the latest Quinnipiac poll, he still hasn’t cracked the magic 50 percent threshold.

Poll: Santorum Leads Romney 36-22 in Pa: Former Pa. Senator Rick Santorum has the support of about a third of his former Republican constituents, a Quinnipiac University poll found this week. But he comes within 1 point of President Obama in a matchup here, compared to a 6 point deficit for Mitt Romney.

Santorum Coming to PLC Conservative Conference in Pa: Lowman Henry and the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference is getting a visit from an old friend. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, hot off of his wins in Alabama in Mississippi, will speak at the conference in Harrisburg on March 24.

Ridge Endorses Romney: Let all doubt be put to rest: Mitt Romney is making a play for Pennsylvania. Tom Ridge, the former Pa. Governor and the first Secretary of Homeland Security, backed Romney Wednesday morning.

Holden’s 2010 Race Vs. 2012, in One Picture: Need proof that Rep. Tim Holden is facing a very different challenge in 2012 than he did in 2010? Look no further than his campaign ads. One, when he was a Dem in a GOP-leaning district; the other, a Blue Dog in a liberal district.

Gun Rights Group Backs Rohrer: The Gun Owners of America’s political arm is backing Sam Rohrer in the primary for U.S. Senate. The group praised Rohrer’s work during his 18-year tenure as a state Rep.

Corbett Signs Voter ID Law: Gov. Tom Corbett signed the voter ID bill into law Wednesday evening, hours after it was passed by the Pa. House. The controversial legislation will require voters to present photo identification at the polls. The State Senate passed it last week.

Ultrasound Mandate Bill Loses 32 Co-Sponsors and Counting: Faced with mounting controversy, 32 state Reps. – 19 Republicans, 13 Democrats – have dropped their co-sponsorship of the “Women’s Right to Know Act,” lowering the number of supporters to 81.

Maher Earns “Humane Legislator of the Year” Award: There are few friends more loyal than a faithful dog, and there are few constituency groups more devoted than animal lovers. The Humane Society Tuesday named Rep. John Maher its national “Humane legislator of the year,” something that’s likely to help him on the campaign trail for Auditor General.

Pa. Politicos Fight to Save Sunoco Refinery in Marcus Hook: Two Sunoco refineries set to close threaten to disrupt the livelihood of some hundreds of employees and their families in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Legislative Election Updates

SD-9: Sen. Dominic Pileggi’s primary challenger is taking credit for Voter ID. “ It only became important enough for Pileggi to push for legislation after the Primary challenge was raised,” said a campaign press release from Delco Republican Roger Howard.

SD-31: Conservative group Citizens Alliance for Pa. is making good on a threat against Pat Vance (R-Cumberland). They’re up for the next 2 weeks, 39 times per day, with a 60-second spot on WHP 580, the conservative talk radio station in the midstate (listen to the ad here). It smacks Vance for voting for compromise budgets during the Rendell administration. She faces a primary challenge from attorney Andrew Shaw of North Middleton, who the York Daily Record interviewed.

SD-49: Last night a candidate for state senate in the 49th, Sean Wiley, launched his campaign kickoff/birthday party at the Tap House in Erie, PA. Over 100 guests were in attendance, decked out in either their Vote Wiley t-shirts or pins. The campaign kickoff party was an instant success. Wiley is inspired by his recently deceased grandmother, who urged him to run, and grandfather and his grandfather’s life of public service. As state senator, Wiley plans to improve the community as his grandfather had done before him.

HD-47: Shane Richardson is one of two Democrats running against Republican Rep. Keith Gillespie in the district north and east of York. The other Dem is Sarah Speed. Richardson blasted the GOP over the Voter ID bill – but loses points for not naming Gillespie in the release.

HD-156: Bret Binder, one of two Democrats seeking to unseat freshman Rep. Dan Truitt (R-Chester), blasted the Voter ID bill at a meeting of supporters today. “This legislation is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to disenfranchise the elderly, the poor, minorities, and people with disabilities,” he said. The other Dem is Cassandra Jones.

HD-169: Republican Dave Kralle, seeking to replace his boss Denny O’Brien in the special election in Philadelphia, released a policy paper on preventing child sexual abuse. The broad strokes can be found here.

HD-202: The Philly chapter of the National Organization for Women PAC endorsed Rep. Mark Cohen’s Democratic primary challenger Numa St. Louis. Said prez Terri Falbo: “Numa St. Louis is unequivocal in his support for women’s rights — especially of women’s access to healthcare.”

National:
Road Warrior, Morning Call: Casey Amendment Means More Money For Pa. Bridges
Tribune-Democrat: Lawmakers Seek Help for NDIC Workers
Leader-Enterprise: President Pro Tem Scarnati and Rep. Glenn Thompson to attend Republican Leadership Workshop
The Patch: Charlie Dent endorses Mitt Romney

Statewide:
Times Tribune: Beginning-year finance reports by Pa. statewide candidates
Capitol Ideas: House passes Voter ID, Corbett to sign it (full House roll call)
WITF: Voter ID on deck; PSU looks at the private track
WITF: Horsemen get backing from House GOP whip, others
StateImpactPA: Drill Bits: Will Ohio increase its drilling tax?
StateImpactPA: Corbett’s energy executive defends impact fee
StateImpactPA: Ohio Governor corners Obama at NCAA basketball game to talk shale
StateImpactPA: “Ohio families say fracking is polluting their water wells”
StateImpactPA: “As Eco-terrorism wanes, governments still target activist groups seen as threat”
StateImpactPA: Showdown expected at the SRBC corral
Capitolwire: Bill proposes diverting from Clean Air Fund monies to grants for natural gas vehicles, stations
Capitolwire: Will Romney leave ‘PA beauty pageant’ to Santorum? Gov stays mum
Capitolwire: Santorum tops GOP field in Quinnipiac primary, fall Obama matchup and among PA women
Capitolwire: Disability advocates sue Corbett administration to stop county human services block grant proposal
Philadelphia Inquirer: Foreign policy is not in Rendell’s forte
Tribune-Review: PA Republicans don’t favor native son
Philadelphia Inquirer: Independent Bailey vows a forceful race

Philadelphia:
Daily News: To Feds, Ed’s a real terror
Philly.com: Public hearing tonight on Nutter’s proposed budget
PhillyClout: Poll: Santorum leads GOP in PA primary, ties Obama in general
PhillyClout: Clarke: Council budget will be more transparent. Won’t say how.
Inquirer: Pa. House passes voter ID bill
Heard in the Hall: End to feeding homeless in city parks?
Phillynow.com: Voter ID mess passes House with ‘What’s the big deal?’ closing argument
Phillynow.com: Nutter announces new ‘indoor feeding’ policy
Phillynow.com: Daily Grindger: Santorum sweeps South; Gingrich keeps chugging
Fox Philadelphia: Pennsylvania House passes Voter ID bill
Fox Philadelphia: Santorum has big primary lead in Pa. poll
PCN: Call in programs to feature candidates vying for state Auditor General

SEPA:
phillyburbs.com: GOP fight for delegates stretches to Puerto Rico
Delco Daily Times: State says ‘Fiscal austerity’ needed in CUSD
Bucks Local News: Representative Scott Petri outlines state budget issues at town hall meeting in Wrightstown
Bucks Local News: Bucks County Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick votes in favor of JOBS Act

Pittsburgh:
Tribune Review: Dormont hires new solicitor, interim manager
Tribune Review: Senate caucus lawyer expected to testify at Orie trial
Tribune Review: Judge berates Skweres’ lawyers for giving interviews
Tribune Review: VA settles MRSA lawsuit with veteran’s widow
Post-Gazette: 26 sex offenders charged for failing to register addresses
Early Returns: Santorum up 14 in PA; Ridge for Romney
Early Returns: Santorum returns to PA next week
Early Returns: Smith launches new commercial
Early Returns: PPP: Rohrer leads Senate race

Southwest:
Somerset Daily American: Critz Visits Small Businesses in Somerset
Somerset Daily American: Meyersdale approves post-layoff agreement
Somerset Daily American: Commissioners move ahead on gas driller impact fee
Beaver County Times: North Sewickley supervisors accept tax anticipation loan
Indiana Gazette: Quick hired as economic development specialist
Indiana Gazette: White Township: IUP presents master plan to planning commission
Indiana Gazette: Indiana County calculating impact of drilling fees
Altoona Mirror: Delegation to examine city finances
WJAC: Senators working to help soon-to-be displaced NDIC employees
WJAC: Corbett says universities lack creativity in balancing budgets

South Central:
Harrisburg Patriot News: Dauphin County commissioners award nearly $135,000 in tourism grants
Harrisburg Patriot News: Harrisburgh Mayor Linda Thompson to join receiver and council vice president at community forum
Harrisburgh Patriot News: Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed changes to Keystone Exams gets mostly thumbs down at hearing
York Daily Record: Challenger to take on seven-year senator in state’s 31st district
Lancaster Intelligencer/Era: Lancaster County commissioners  vote to borrow $55.9 million
Lancaster Intelligencer/Era: Lancaster city plans porous  paving  to cut water flow into sewers
Lancaster Intelligencer/Era: Lancaster County plans to discuss poll sites

NEPA:
Times Tribune: Fredrickson named Lackawanna County solicitor
Citizens Voice: Agriculture secretary weighs in on everything from food to oil
Daily Review: Sullivan County enacts impact fee on drilling
Daily Review: Voters could face a tax-shift question on the fall ballot
Times News: Palmerton board tunes budget
Times News: Schuylkill court decides tax assessments appeal

Lehigh Valley:
Morning Call: Lehigh County makes property tax reassessments now public
Morning Call: Callahan announces $56M in development at Bethlehem steel plant
Morning Call: Holden talks policy on “Business Matters”
Reading Eagle: Fleetwood board urged not to cut programs
WFMZ: Pa. House passes bill to rename highway after fallen deputy
Express Times: Easton revises its garbage ordinance, includes fines for offenders
Express Times: Northampton County council committee endorses buying Forks township building for archives

North by Northwest:
Williamsport Sun Gazette: County to buy nutrient credits on behalf of area treatment plant
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Borough adopts resolution on response times
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Loyalsock bike path to be closed for sewer work
Sharon Herald: Council gets bill it didn’t expect
Sharon Herald: Locals weigh in on voter ID bill
Erie Times-News: Court fight expected over Pa. ID measure
Erie Times-News: Erie Council to hear hear pitch on school lease-back plan
Campaign ‘12 Blog: Ridge backs Romney for president

Opinions:
Morning Call: Pennsylvania voter ID is a waste of money and energy
Post-Gazette: Editorial: Afghan atrocity: Obama should speed up the troop withdrawal
Post-Gazette: Editorial: Lax inspection: A federal safety agency lets the miners down
Post-Gazette: Editorial: NASA on the block: Space exploration deserves a place in the budget
Beaver County Times: Letter to the Editor: Ambridge students unfairly demonized
Observer-Reporter: Editorial: The horror, hubris and high cost of war
Somerset Daily American: Letter to the Editor: Pursue more cost savings
Inquirer Column, Monica Yant Kinney: Bucks Millionaire Pushing Congress to Help Create Jobs
Inquirer: Foreign policy is not Rendell’s forte
Philly.com: Is city a scapegoat in cheating probe
Philly.com: City tax hike makes no sense
Philly.com: A medical and moral choice
Daily News: Letters: Vote for repeal of Pa. law No. 9545
Morning Call: Obama is duplicitous
Reading Eagle: Area’s high obesity ranking should be a call to action
Express Times: Keep summer nights in Easton’s west ward
Philadelphia Inquirer: Karen Heller: Why are there so few female lawmakers representing PA?
Times Tribune: At city hall, cooperation?
Daily Review: Mass transit is gaining mass acceptance
Times News: Direct Air
Pocono Record: Rep. Brown opponent derides lawsuit over Pa. education funding

Blogs:
Keystone Politics: Altmire Responds To Critz Commercial Criticism
Keystone Politics: PA-15: Democrat Rick Daughtery’s on wrong side of the birth control controversy
Keystone Politics: PA-15: Morning Call’s incumbent protection protection swings into action
John Hanger: Hail to Rick Santorum and his delegate path to the nomination
2 Political Junkies: James O’Keefe’s voter fraud fraud
Pennsylvania Progressive: Campaign 2012
Pennsylvania Progressive: State to require official “papers” for all
Above Average Jane: Romney will “get rid” of Planned Parenthood
Keystone Progress: Dollars to Delaware
Commonwealth Foundation: Saving rather than spending in corrections
Commonwealth Foundation: House passes corporate welfare reform
Third and State: The future of health and human services in Pa.
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Charlie Dent’s war on women?
NEPArtisan: HDs 112 & 114: Reps. Smith and Kavulich drop co-sponsorship of invasive ultrasound bill
NEPArtisan: PA-AG update: the back-and-forth
NEPArtisan: PA-17: Cartwright and Holden campaigns debut TV ads
NEPArtisan: PA gives your rights to natural gas drillers, declares you don’t matter

March 15th, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook, Top Stories | No Comments