Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz. The TV war in PA-12 has turned negative. So has SD-37. Meanwhile, while there are a few updates in the U.S. Senate race, so far they don’t matter. Only 19 percent of GOP voters have an opinion in the race.
And RNC Chair Reince Priebus is coming to town today. He’ll be in Harrisburg at PAGOP HQ to talk about Obamacare.
Altmire’s Negative Ad: Congressman Altmire released a new, hard-hitting ad highlighting areas where he has voted differently than Congressman Critz. But Critz’s camp says Altmire attacks him for a vote where Critz followed the Democratic party line.
Critz TV Ad Goes Negative a Teensy Bit (With Video): It’s about time! The TV war in the 12th district got a tiny bit negative today, with Mark Critz unveiling a split negative/positive spot that contrasts his jobs record with Jason Altmire’s support for a Balanced Budget Amendment.
Poll: “Huh?” Leads GOP Field for Senate: The latest F&M poll shows that the five men running to face Sen. Bob Casey have some work to do. A whopping 81 percent of Republicans haven’t made up their mind in the race.
Poll: Obama Leads Romney by 3, Santorum by 7: President Obama isn’t running away with it, but a Quinnipiac poll shows him leading both GOP presidential contenders in Pa. However, his numbers are slightly down from earlier this month, and the race is closer in Pa. than Florida and Ohio.
Bachmann Endorses Rohrer: Congresswoman, Tea Party icon and former presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann is backing Sam Rohrer for U.S. Senate.
Mustio Also Embraces Race in TV Ad (With Video): State Rep. Mark Mustio unveiled a new TV ad today and it’s not going to win any awards for subtlety. He highlights Raja’s India connection re: outsourcing. Also, US Rep. Murphy is backing Mustio, Raja leads big in an internal poll, and rumors abound that Dems are running a write-in campaign.
Former Pa. Rep. True Backs Romney: As the Presidential race heats up, expect endorsements from Pa. Republicans to be heatedly sought after. In a press release today, Mitt Romney announced former Pennsylvania State Representative Katie True (R-Lancaster) will be supporting him.
Eichelberger, Folmer Back Feinberg: Senator John Eichelberger (R-Blair) and Senator Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) endorsed Evan Feinberg, a Republican running for U.S. Congress in the 18th District against Republican incumbent Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny).
Op-Ed: Circulator Ruling May Not Apply to Dems, GOP: On Monday, the Pa. Supreme Court struck down the requirement that petition circulators reside in the district where they are circulating. But election law attorney Adam Bonin says that the ruling may not pertain to Democrats or Republicans.
Legislative Election Updates:
SD-9: Roger Howard, the GOP primary challenger to Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware), has called on the Majority Leader to ask for Sen. Jane Orie’s resignation in the wake of her guilty verdict. “As the next Senator from the 9th District,” said Roger Howard in a release, “I would respectfully request any colleague’s resignation if they are ever convicted of charges which so clearly defraud, defame, and demean the honor it is to represent voters in Harrisburg.”
SD-15: Democrat Rob Teplitz boasted of his endorsement by the Humane Society PAC: “Rob Teplitz impressed our board with his commitment to fighting for the rights of Pennsylvanians and their animal companions,” said Bernadette O’Brien Miller, Central PA Director of Humane USA. “We look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead.”
SD-29: Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill), facing a primary from businessman Brian Rich, picked up the endorsement of the McAdoo GOP. “We are united behind Dave Argall’s candidacy for State Senate,” said Mary Labert, Chairwoman of the McAdoo Republicans. “Dave has been a leader for our region and represents our best interests.”
SD-37: This race is really heating up. Rep. Mark Mustio did not shy away from Raja’s race in their race to replace retiring Sen. John Pippy. In a new campaign ad, Mustio puts Raja in from of an Indian flag and accuses him of sending jobs to that country. Meanwhile, a Raja internal poll shows the businessman comfortably ahead.
HD-24: Meet Ed Gainey supporters who evidently signed petitions for Rep. Joe Preston (D-Allegheny). The Dem challenger has organized a presser today for people accusing Preston’s campaigns of forging their names on his petitions. Preston’s camp took heat for turning in – then withdrawing – a few petition sheets written in the same handwriting.
HD-93: Meet Linda Small, the Democrat challenging Rep. Ron Miller (R-York). In this York Daily Dispatch interview, the former weather forecaster for the U.S. Navy talks education funding and global warming. Miller faces a primary from Ernie Merisotis, and defeated Small in 2010 76 to 28 percent.
HD-153: Above Average Jane has more details on those alleged push polls in the special election to replace Josh Shapiro. She tied it to polling group Susquehanna Research and Polling, and also gives some details on the call which make it sound less like a push poll and more like a regular one. Democrat Madelein Dean had blamed Republican Nick Mattiacci for the calls.
HD-188: There appears to be a voucher component to the primary battle between Rep. James Roebuck (D-Phila) and Fatimah Lorén Muhammad. The City Paper takes a look. The pro-vouchers group Students First has given $25K to Muhammad, 3rd party mailers are hitting Roebuck, and more. Check out the full story.
Tribune Review: If Santorum hangs in, Pa. could spell doom.
Washington Post: House Republicans fail to pass transportation extension
Washington Post: CNN Poll: Republicans want Paul and Gingrich to drop out
Huffington Post: Arlen Specter: ‘Mitt Romney has changed positions more often than a pornographic movie queen’
Inquirer: The Big Tent: Romney kicks off PA campaign with tele town hall
Pennsylvania Ave: Toomey rallies anti-healthcare crowd
Pennsylvania Ave: Romney makes Mike Fitzpatrick endorsement
Pennsylvania Ave: Santorum Pennsylvania support on the decline
Politico: Romney could win Pennsylvania
Politico: Obama up in 3 swing states
National Journal: Victory out of reach, will Gingrich damage his party and legacy?
National Journal: Republicans tout redistricting gains
National Journal: Specter: Santorum ‘Too far out of the mainstream to be President’
The Caucus: New Polls show worry over gas prices
The Hill: Anti-incumbent group will target Tim Holden, Tim Murphy
Inquirer: Pennsylvania Senate eyes vote on direct wine shipments
Essential Public Radio: Orie verdict does not end the saga
Reuters: Pennsylvania Republicans brand Democrat Casey “Obama-lite”
NorthCentralPA.com: Marino receives Humane Society Award
Patriot-News: Pa. Senate Education Committee shows its disapproval to Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed changes to the Keystone exams
Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice: County Block Grant proposal faces negotiation
Capitol Ideas: Things Government Does: State Senates Argue Over The Name of the Healthcare Legislation
WHYY Newsworks: Some college IDs will not be acceptable at Pa. polls
Philly Now: PA used as example of massive public job losses under GOP control
Patriot-News: State Sen. Vance Wants To End State Retirees’ Triple-Dipping Practices
Capitolwire (Paywall): Corman Says Tough Competition Looms for Scarce Budget Restoration Dollars
Capitolwire (Paywall): Piccola Introduces Bill to Strengthen His Hand In Saving Keystone Exams
Capitolwire (Paywall): Legislation Dealing with Local Gun Regulations Receives Opposition from some Municipal Leaders
Capitolwire (Paywall): Reps. Metcalfe, Josephs Both Vote to Report REAL ID Opposition Bill Out of Committee
AP: Court ends state’s election petitions residency rule
AP: PA House authorizes flood-damaged bridge repairs
AP: PA Senate OKs direct wine shipments
CBS: SEPTA and transit cops union representatives back at the bargaining table
CBS: Philly lawmakers grill city’s finance chief on planned property tax changes
WHYY Newsworks: Pre-abortion ultrasound plan on hold in Pa., but still a campaign issue
WHYY Newsworks: SEPTA to hold hearing on fate of NW Philly to Montgomery Mall bus route
WHYY Newsworks: Philadelphia capital budget includes study on moving police HQ
WHYY Newsworks: Council calls on Philly schools to justify extra money
City Paper: Big money behind pro-voucher attack on State Rep. Roebuck?
Philly Now: Brian Sims wins coveted LGBT endorsements
Philly Now: Daily Grinder: Rep. Metcalfe tells Bob Brady to stop endorsing fraud
Philly Weekly: Is Philly’s animal control finally under control?
Philly Weekly: Elephants in the room: 10 things I saw, heard, and learned at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference
Inquirer: SEPTA: Striking cops’ claims of more crime are ‘distorted’
Inquirer: Nutter joins mayors in Harrisburg to garner support for local gun laws
Inquirer: Investor group’s offer for PMN: $60 million
Inquirer: Crucial meeting to decide fate of 9 Philly schools
Inquirer: SEPTA: Striking cops’ claims of more crime are ‘distorted’
Inquirer: SEPTA police strike is about more than money
Daily News: Dirty Dancing: Strippers bring prostitution, violence, cops say
Pottstown Mercury: DEP plans April meeting to discuss contaminated New Hanover wells
Burlington County Times: Moorestown budget may cut three teacher jobs
Burlington County Times: Medford introduces budget with proposed 31 percent tax hike
Delco Daily Times: Linder stresses economy in “State of Chester” address
Montgomery News: Upper Moreland school board OKs possible bond refinancing
Pittsburgh Business Times: House passes JOBS Act for funding startups
Tribune-Review: CCAC, insurer paid $120,000 to settle lawsuit
Tribune-Review: Pittsburgh economic development agency set to vote on acting chief
Tribune-Review: $13 million in incentives lures battery maker to Westmoreland County
Post-Gazette: Opposition to Marcellus compressor voiced
Post-Gazette: Court: No residency req for petitions
Early Returns: What’s in an Obamacare name?
Early Returns: Critz up on TV with second ad
Early Returns: Court: no residency req for petitions
Early Returns: Today’s polls: Quinni, F&M
Early Returns: Raja responds on Mustio ad
Indiana Gazette: Former Gorell union offers pension waiver
Indiana Gazette: Directors protest ARIN budget increase
Indiana Gazette: Freeze damage not apparent
Somerset Daily American: Secretary Wetzel visits local prisons
WJAC: Vaccination deadline nears for PA students
Citizens Voice: Budget cuts pull watchdogs’ teeth
Pocono Record: AP: Pa. Senate OKs direct wine shipments
Pocono Record: Pa. funding cuts build pressure to eliminate all-day kindergarten
Pocono Record: Strip club zoning reversed by Middle Smithfield supervisors
Standard Speaker: Greater Hazleton authority receives grant
The Daily Review: Senate panel approves umbrella economic authority
News Item: County lays off two workers
News Item: Marino’s pharmacy bill subject of judiciary hearing
Times News: Hands off
Times News: Yudichak applauds passage of Juvenile Justice Reform Bill
Times Leader: State will let county deal with Stevens
Times Tribune: Scranton hoping lawsuit by city councilman against the city gets tossed
Times Tribune: Susquehanna County passes Marcellus shale impact fee
Reading Eagle: No photo, no vote
Reading Eagle: Preliminary plans for storage facility OK’d
Reading Eagle: HUD loan will fund Hamburg road work
Express Times: Mansfield Township mayor wants fire departments to hash out issues
Express Times: Hunterdon County Freeholder Ron Sworen ending political career
Express Times: Bethlehem mayor unveils $500,000 loan fund
Morning Call: School board urges Legislature to increase funding
Morning Call: Springfield Township, PPL reach power line settlement
Morning Call: Upper Saucon looking to complete rail trail
Morning Call: Lehigh County commissioners referendum election term limits
York Daily Record: A vote for Murphy
Shipnewsnow.com: SU students, faculty protest Pa. budget cuts at statewide rally
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Alloway votes in favor, Senate passes legislation to eliminate Obamacare’s individual mandate
Carlisle Sentinel: Pa. Senate OKs new limits on animal euthanasia
Carlisle Sentinel: Pa. House authorizes flood-damaged bridge repairs
Harrisburg Patriot News: Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren to speak at Dickinson College Thursday
Harrisburg Patriot News: Bachmann backs Rohrer for U.S. Senate
AP: Pa. Senate OKs wine shipments to homes; bill goes to House
AP: Newt Gingrich scales back campaign, plans to call delegate instead of campaigning
Harrisburg Patriot News: Central Pennsylvania residents weigh in on Affordable Care Act: Is it a blessing or curse
Harrisburg Patriot News: Decision 2012: Santorum’s grip on Pennsylvania GOP voters weakens
Lancaster Intelligencer: True endorses Romney, ‘The one candidate that can defeat Barack Obama’
North by Northwest:
Erie Times-News: U.S. Senate candidate set for forum in Erie
Erie Times-News: Erie County Councilman Beeman to revisit bankruptcy petition
Erie Times-News: Rohrer picks up support from Bachmann
AP: Orie’s acquittal on Melvin charges raises question
Courier Express: Rep. Thompson defends NDAA vote
Erie Times-News: Opinion: Gerson: Evangelicalism’s great regression is taking place
Beaver County Times: Letter to the Editor: Road needs improved
Observer-Reporter: Editorial: Was Cheney too old for a heart transplant?
Fayetteville Observer: Op-Ed: Treadwell – Independent Payment Advisory Board’s mandate hurts seniors
Times-Tribune: Opinion: Make policy follow people
Tribune-Review: The Orie conviction: Jail for Jane
Tribune-Review: “Flexible” Obama
Tribune-Review: “Help” that hurts
Tribune-Review: Douse the flames, Mr. President!
Post-Gazette: Orie’s paradox: A victim’s champion victimizes the taxpayers
Post-Gazette: Call to duty: The Orie jury exemplified the best of citizen service
Beaver County Times: Ads driving up cost of insurance
Altoona Mirror: Gas logic puzzling
Pocono Record: Don’t assume. Study founders
WHYY Newsworks: Santorum scaring a lot of people, but not Romney; Obama surges
WHYY Newsworks: The conservative case for Obamacare
Inquirer: Opinion: Regional spotlight: Nuclear arsenals: The forgotten threat
Inquirer: Judicial reform may be next
Inquirer: Court won’t end health-care battle
Daily News: Letter to the Editor: A prayer for Philadelphia: Someday, a real leader
Daily News: Opinion: The U.S. could use hire education
Courier Times News: Will health care mandate pass muster? And what if it doesn’t?
Chambersburg Public Opinion: PO Editorial: Inclusive lawmaking harder than pandering
Harrisburg Patriot News: Gloomy attitudes, infighting in Harrisburg must end
Harrisburg Patriot News: Rick Santorum needs lesson on religious freedom
Young Philly Politics:Why is this mandate different from all other mandates?
Keystone State Education Coalition: Pa. Senate education committee disapproves of Corbett and more
Lehigh Valley Independent: How lobbying works
Lehigh Valley Independent: What has happened to Renew LV?
2 Political Junkies: Freedom From Religion Foundation has been hard at work
Pennsylvania Progressive: Kane lies about attacks on Murphy military record
Above Average Jane: Details on the phone poll for 153rd State House District
Keystone Progress: Ex-insurance executive, author calls for healthcare reform in Allentown
Keystone Politics: What Critz and Altmire disagree about
Keystone Politics: Phill land bank and land value tax: Two great tastes that taste great together
Keystone Politics: Lesbian couples denied family discount at sports club
Keystone Politics: About that petition circulator decision
Keystone Politics: Santorum slips 15 percentage points in Pa. primary
Keystone Politics: PA-17 Holden dodges questions on his vote to deregulate fracking
John Hanger: Coal falls to new generation market share low
John Hanger: Gas drilling nationwide declines twice as much as in Pennsylvania
John Hanger: Key VP Cheney heart transplant facts
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Dent: JOBS Bill a legislative victory