3/7 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. Happy Super Wednesday. Mitt Romney took an important step toward the nomination last night in Ohio, but this thing is a long ways from wrapped up.

Romney Comes Out Ahead on Super Tuesday: Mitt Romney proved Tuesday night that all it takes is determination… and a huge financial advantage. The former Massachusetts Governor had the best night on Super Tuesday and ground his way to a win in Ohio, a key battleground of the GOP primary.

Boehner Taps Shuster for Transportation Bill: Speaker John Boehner gave Rep. Bill Shuster a major promotion this week: he is now charged with shepherding the GOP’s transportation bill past objections from conservative Republicans and Democrats. It’s a big job, and could yield big clout for Pa.

Orie Trial Update: State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin is facing a barrage of calls for her resignation, following what some observers consider to be the damning testimony of the Judge’s sister, State Senator Jane Orie’s former chief of staff this past Saturday.

Ballot Mischief Thins Out Dems PA-3: Democratic party leaders will get their pick to go up against Mike Kelly in the third congressional district. Missa Eaton is the last Dem standing after Mel Marin and George Schroeck were tossed off the ballot.

The Full Altmire Statement on Court Ruling: Jason Altmire is safely on the ballot. But one of the most interesting aspects of yesterday’s news was his statement on the ruling. Need a 362-word summary of the tenor of the Pa-12 campaign? Read it here. Spoiler: Critz “lowered himself to tactics usually reserved for elections to high school prom king.”

Leadership Change at PennFuture: Jarrett Out: Months removed from suffering the public embarrassment of returning a $138,000 grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development, the prominent environmental group PennFuture announced Mondsay that they are undergoing a change in leadership.

Legislative Election Updates

SD-15: The Pa. Chamber of Commerce endorsed attorney and former Dauphin GOP Chairman John McNally for the seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Piccola. “We very rarely endorse candidates in the primary election, but we took this unusual step because we think the difference is clear,” said Gene Barr, PA Chamber President. “John McNally has been a strong voice for economic strength and job creation for years.”

HD-43: Robert MacLane III officially dropped out of the running for the seat of retiring Rep. Scott Boyd (R-Lancaster), after it appeared likely that he would be knocked off the ballot. That means Keith Greiner is the only GOPer remaining. The Democratic candidate is John Weigel.

HD-134: Rob Hamill, one of the Republicans vying to replace former Rep. now Lehigh Co. Judge Doug Reichley, picked up the endorsement of Simon Campbell. A regular on the school vouchers circuit, Campbell founded the group “Stop Teacher Strikes” – basically the antithesis to the PSEA.

HD-134: Patrick Slattery, the only Democrat on the ballot for the November election, was unanimously nominated as the D candidate in the coming special. “While the process of holding this Special Election has been a strange and confusing one because of Republicans playing games with the process, I am confident that voters will make an informed decision to recognize the work ethic and commitment that I have demonstrated in our community over the past twenty years,” Slattery said in a release.

National:
Pennsylvania Ave: Santorum to AIPAC: We’ll tear down Iran nuclear facilities ourselves
Politico: Super Tuesday primaries: Mitt Romney wins three; Santorum takes Tennessee, Oklahoma
Politico: Ohio exits: Romney wins electability
Politico: Palin defends Limbaugh, cites hypocrisy
Politico: Obama Super Tuesday sneak attack focuses on foreign policy
Politico: Obama addresses CEOs
Politico: Obama blasts GOP for ‘casual’ talk on Iran
Politico: Santorum spokesperson: Long race is okay
Roll Call: Super Tuesday Super PAC spending blitz
Five Thirty Eight: Romney and the majority track
Five Thirty Eight: A guide to Super Tuesday possibilities
Five Thirty Eight: How Ohio voted last time
Five Thirty Eight: How Tennessee voted last time
Washington Post: Santorum takes Tennessee and Oklahoma
Washington Post: Santorum, Gingrich stuck in duel for second place
The Hill: House GOP pushes to resolve budget dispute
USA Today: We have overcome ‘enormous odds’
Early Returns: Will Romney win a southern state?

Statewide:
AP: Lawsuit targets Pa.’s use of forest drilling money
AP: Report favors all electronic tolls on Pa. turnpike
AP: Pa. senators target school superintendent buyouts
Commonwealth Confidential: Supreme Court Chief Castille ‘Shocked’ By Smith Attack
Early Returns: Dem. Senator Blasts Voter ID Bill
Patriot-News: Former Senate Aide Alan Berlin Claims On-Line Sex Chat With Teen Was Just “Furry” Role Play
Patriot-News: Pennsylvania Open Records Law Debated in Senate Hearing
Capitol Ideas: Senate Committee To Consider Constitutional Amendment On Individual Mandate on Health Care Reform
Capitol Ideas: Corrections Department Eyes Privatizing Nursing Services
Capitolwire (Paywall): Education Pension Increases Outpace State Funding Cuts In Corbett Bidgets
Philadelphia Weekly: Pennsylvania voter ID law close to becoming a reality
CBS 3: AAA, Pennsylvania officials put new “no texting” law on area billboards
CBS 3: PA Turnpike takes next step toward elimination of its toll collectors
WHYY Newsworks: Reforms could make elections more fair for all PA voters – and candidates
AP: Report favors all-electronic tolls on PA Turnpike
AP: PA Senators target school superintendent buyouts
PA Independent: PA education boss: Fed stimulus $ warped PA spending in both directions  Elyse
CBS News: Chaka Fattah speaks for first time on FBI’s investigation of son’ finances
Morning Call: Toomey’s tax plan

Philadelphia:
Philadelphia Inquirer: Plans for Delaware River waterfront approved
Philadelphia Inquirer: Challenge to Farnese nixed
Philadelphia Inquirer: As Nutter prepares budget, unions close in on 3 years without a contract
Philadelphia Daily News: Romney doesn’t excite Temple, Drexel GOP groups
PhillyClout: Councilwoman hosts community meeting with city departments
Heard in the Hall: City Republicans tussle over convention seats
Philadelphia Weekly: Mayor Nutter’s crackdown on lost/stolen guns comes under heavy fire
Philadelphia Weekly: Activists wary of city’s land bank legislation

SEPA:
Courier Times: Manager wants probe into use of federal funds
phillyBurbs.com:  Montco challengers off primary ballot
Journal Register: Judge dismisses perjury charge against former Montco commissioner James Matthews
Journal Register: Solar panels going up, municipalities trying to manage

Pittsburgh:
Early Returns: Tuesday: cleared for contact
Early Returns: Dem. senator blasts voter ID bill
Post-Gazette: 3 on City Council nominate Shields for police review board
Post-Gazette: Bill to alter superintendent contract clears Senate committee
Post-Gazette: Pa. attorney general office responds to Sandusky team
Post-Gazette: Voter photo ID bill heads to Senate floor
Post-Gazette: City Council agrees to partial settlement  with Jordan Miles
KDKA: $4 billion in investments, developments planned for Pittsburgh
Tribune Review: Drilling company spilled diesel fuel in Greene County in December, DEP now says
Tribune Review: Air Force plans 25 percent personnel reduction in Pennsylvania
Tribune Review: Former Orie staff members say they kept scrapbook on corruption case

Southwest:
Observer-Reporter: Cecil joins neighbors in gas law opposition
Observer-Reporter: Sounding off on gas drilling
Altoona Mirror: Toomey talks Marcellus in visit to Johnstown
Daily Courier (Fayette County): Mt. Pleasant wants its buildings to be more energy efficient
Indiana Gazette: Senatorial stop
Indiana Gazette: District blamed for school’s enrollment drop
Post Gazette: Veon, aide convicted of misusing grant funds

NEPA:
WNEP: Scranton School Board tables uniform issue
Times News: Rohrer hosting local meeting
Times News: DEP wants door-to-door survey conducted to assess sewer needs
The Daily Review: Scollo hires team to take on incumbent Tom Marino
The Daily Review: Towanda Boro Council passes motion in favor of gas impact fee
The Daily Review: Ulster officials continue to modify zoning draft
Standard Speaker: Local, county bus service merger looms
Standard Speaker: County ethics commission meets for first time
Wayne Independent: Council requests official L&I confirmation of Earley credentials
Citizens Voice: County will explore options regarding mismanaged funds
Times-Tribune: DEP allows Keystone to move forward with Marcellus Shale waste plan
Times-Tribune: Scranton school board approves contract, promotes director’s wife
Morning Call: Casey urges speedier replacement of old pipelines in Allentown
Shippensburg News-Chronicle: College Democrats rally support for 2012 candidates
Easton Patch: Congressional candidate Cartwright visits Easton

South Central:
Lancaster Era: Donegal board supports prevailing wage reform
York Dispatch: In Dover, parents see redistricting as unhappy reality
Harrisburg Patriot News: FEMA updates Pa. storm aid totals for Irene, Lee
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Penn State’s alcohol problem could lead to changes in Pa. law
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Embattled Rush Limbaugh will stay on the airwaves in Central Pa.
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Harrisburg School District facing $15 million budget deficit for 2012-2013
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Local commissioners join statewide fight to preserve human service funding

North by Northwest:
Erie Times-News: Democrat Schroeck off of ballot in 3rd Congressional race
Erie Times-News: Erie school officials plan to give up ownership of buildings to raise $11M
Erie Times-News: Water, sewer extensions to Pleasant Ridge Manor could cost Erie $1.4M
Erie Times-News: Erie, social service agencies see CDBG cuts
Erie Times-News: Analysis: Visitors to Presque Isle, other state parks contribute $1B to PA economy
Erie Times-News: Mercer County Independent Gray announces for 3rd district house seat
Sharon Herald: Trustees trim strip club’s hours
Sharon Herald: School chief says charter school bill lower
Centre Daily Times: Judge schedules a pre-trial Sandusky hearing for Monday
Centre Daily Times: Officials to meet on Park Ave. renaming
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Budget woes continue for South Side school
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Borough seeks answers on water withdrawal

Opinions:
Erie Times-News: Opinion: Luck helps Romney stay in hunt
Centre Daily Times: Opinion: Education is incomplete without the arts
Centre Daily Times: Opinion: Court revisits issue of race
Centre Daily Times: Your letters: Impact fees a positive impact
Post-Gazette: Rush’s racket: Republicans are weak-kneed on Limbaugh
Post-Gazette: Flood of tears: The city must be proactive on stormwater
The Daily Review: Smoking still allowed in too may buildings
Standard Speaker: Pa. should revive health insurance for low-income
Citizens Voice: Birth control just one part of Obamacare’s overreach
York Dispatch: Ultrasound overreach
Philadelphia Weekly: Daily Grinder: Rick Santorum lowering “Super Tuesday” expectations?
Pottstown Mercury: Shelving PA ultrasound proposal was right move
Courier Times: Outspoken speaker misspeaks
Delco Daily Times: The Heron’s Nest: Why I don’t blame Rush Limbaugh
Delco Daily Times: Friend: Rush Limbaugh’s “Sluttiness” makes him the anti-Republican
Daily Local: Corbett’s proposals do not merit his title of Penn State “trustee”
Roll Call: Republican roller coaster continues
Roll Call: When do republican rules no longer apply?
USA Today: Ultrasound in abortion should be woman’s choice
USA Today: GOP, be careful what you wish for

Blogs:
Speaking Freely (ACLU-PA): When does the police search of a student cross the line?
Keystone State Education Coalition: Has education funding gone up or down since Corbett took office?
Commonwealth Foundation: Construction workers picket Rep. Saylor
Commonwealth Foundation: Who wants to pay more for electricity?
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Meet Easton school director Frank Pintabone
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Congressional Candidate Matt Cartwright visits Easton
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: County eyes conservation area along Monocacy Creek
NEPArtisan: Lackawanna County Residents get the waste, drillers get the cash
Lu-Lac Political Letter: Super Tuesday/Zoning, racism, & Wilkes Barre
Pennsylvania Progressive: Veon/Limbaugh/War Crimes/South Carolina Republican criteria
Above Average Jane: Drucker updates
Keystone Progress: Tomalis testimony ignores impact of nearly $1B in public school cuts
Keystone Politics: House Bill 934 action alert
Keystone Politics: Latest Veon conviction brings count to 22
Keystone Politics: Musings on the Altmire “Prom King” comment
John Hanger: President Obama passes political beer drinking test

March 7th, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook, Top Stories | No Comments