3/9 Morning Buzz
Good morning politicos, and welcome to the Buzz. We hope everyone attending St. Patty’s Day events this weekend has a blast – especially at good old-fashioned political events. (Here’s looking at you, NEPA!)
Don’t forget to check back later for this week’s Ups & Downs.
Luzerne Dems Back Holden, Vinsko: Rep. Tim Holden won the bellwether Luzerne Dems endorsement Thursday night thanks in part to a strong speech on his behalf by his former colleague Chris Carney. Holden is being challenged by Lackawanna County attorney Matt Cartwright in the 17th district primary.
Casey Votes for Keystone XL Pipeline: It’s official: we’ve entered the stage of the campaign where Bob Casey can’t do anything right. The Senator voted with the GOP in favor of a bill to advance the Keystone XL oil pipeline Thursday night, and his opponents accused the him of switching positions.
QB Philip Rivers Endorses Santorum: He’s shown promise, even flashes of greatness, but most analysts doubt he’ll make it to the big game. Former Senator Rick Santorum today picked up the support of San Diego Chargers Quarterback Philip Rivers.
Air War Begins in PA-4: Wednesday, Chris Reilly became the first candidate on the air in the crowded GOP primary in the race to replace Rep. Todd Platts. He launched a 60-second radio ad boasting of his accomplishments as York County Commissioner.
Burns CM Kelly Joins Freed AG Campaign: Tim Kelly, the Republican operative who managed Tim Burns’ short-lived campaign for U.S. Senate, has taken the reins of Dave Freed’s race for Attorney General. A District Attorney in Cumberland County, Freed is the only Republican candidate for the office.
Legislative Election Updates
SD-15: The Pa. Chamber of Business and Industry confirmed its endorsement of Republican John McNally for the seat. “I’m not second-guessing what the board decided,” said President Gene Barr. He was responding to concerns by another GOP candidate, Josh First, that he hadn’t been fairly considered. The board made its decision to endorse based on the 2011 preliminary maps, which were subsequently thrown out. Barr said both McNally and First had solid business records. And here is the York Dispatch’s profile of First.
SD-49: Democrat Sean Wiley held the grand opening of his campaign office Thursday night. The office was filled to capacity with about 100 supporters, including State Representative John Hornaman, County Councilman Fiore Leone, City Councilmen Dave Brennan and Bob Merski, Jr., Erie County Democratic Chairman Bill Cole and more. He also launched a website.
HD-3: Meet Regina Smith, one of two Republicans running to replace retiring Rep. John Hornaman (D-Erie). She’s a former legislative aide to state Sen. Jane Earll, and district director for former Congressman Phil English of Erie. Her campaign held a kickoff event with 50 supporters Thursday. Her primary opponent is Jason Owen, the Democrat in the race is Ryan Bizzarro.
HD-22: It’s official, the Allegheny Dems have reiterated their recommendation of ex Baldwin-Whitehall school director and ex deputy county clerk of courts Marty Schmotzer for the seat of former Rep., now Allegheny Controller Chelsa Wagner.
HD-77: Rep. Scott Conklin’s only filed GOP opponent, Joshua Troxell, is trying to withdraw from the race. He’d rather avoid the certainty of legal fees against the uncertainty of remaining on the ballot, given that he only turned in 343 signatures (300 are required). He said he may run a write-in campaign.
HD-83: One candidate is calling shennanigans in the GOP primary to take on Rep. Rick Mirabito (D-Lycoming). Christopher Bain is accusing his opponent Harry Rogers, husband of Lycoming County Controller Krista Rogers, of playing politics with a petition challenge. He had 387 signatures. Mirabito is perennially among the GOP’s top state House targets.
HD-134: The conference of Republicans from Berks and Lehigh counties unanimously recommended the nomination of Ryan MacKenzie for Doug Reichley’s former seat. He’s a front runner for the seat, both in the special election and in the concurrent primary.
Pennsylvania Ave: And now there’s a music video for Santorum
Morning Call: Toomey helps write jobs bill
The Hill: Sen. Toomey To Stay Neutral In Murphy/Feinberg Primary
Early Returns: Evan Feinberg Fundraises Off Cincy Race
Politico: Boehner knocks Obama over Keystone
Politico: College presidents want to reelect Obama
Politico: Obama lobbied against pipeline to ensure proper review, White House says
Politico: Santorum backers want Gingrich out
Politico: Mitt Romney tries to break Southern losing streak
Politico: Being in Congress loses its trill for some lawmakers
Politico: Santorum backer Bauer nudges Newt
Politico: Candidate update: Rick Santorum
Politico: Mitt’s media charm offensive
Roll Call: Senate to vote on Keystone pipeline today
Roll Call: Santorum has lead in Alabama
Five Thirty Eight: How would Santorum do without Gingrich?
Washington Post: Santorum’s latest, strangest ‘Obamacare’ claim
Washington Post: Who’s winning the women’s vote?
Washington Post: Why Gingrich shouldn’t drop out
Washington Post: She The People: The pillbox primary
Washington Post: Next stop for the birth-control fight: the courts
Slate: Romney wins ugly —again
Real Clear Politics: Santorum’s powerful case against ‘Obamacare’
Real Clear Politics: Reid: Keystone bill faces defeat in Senate
The Hill: Pelosi says Keystone might be ‘worthy’ but won’t cut prices at the pump
New York Times: A bid to get Gingrich to give up the quest
The Caucus: Pro-Santorum ad hits Romney in the South
The Caucus: Santorum in space
ProPublica: When the GOP tried to ban dark money
USA Today: Chargers QB Rivers endorses Santorum
Early Returns: Daily Santorum: Not very much metal
Greenspot: Project aims to lower operating costs for electric cars
Detroit Free Press: Santorum argues for a 2-man race with Mitt Romney
Capitol Ideas: Turzai Says That Mandatory Ultrasound Bill Is Still In Play
Morning Call: Allentown still in line for a new state House seat
Early Returns: House Republicans Intend To Move PGH Seat To Allentown
Capitolwire (Paywall): Too Early To Reduce Revenue Shortfall Estimate, Zogby Says
Capitolwire (Paywall): As Senate Sends Voter ID Bill Back To House, Senate Democrats Say They Will Mount Legal Challenge If Passed
Capitolwire (Paywall): Zogby, House Democrats Spar On Education Funding
Capitolwire (Paywall): DPW Offers Some Clarifications Regarding Plan To Eliminate State’s Cash Assistance Program
AP: PA House GOP leader requests redistricting vote
Philadelphia Weekly: Daily Grinder: PA Senate Committee passes “anti-Obamacare” measure
Penn Live: Red tape, regulations leave farmers plowed under
Philadelphia Inquirer: Sen. Casey, Sonoco mend fences over refineries’ future
Philadelphia Daily News: Nutter anticipates $90M more in taxes for school district
philly.com: Full text of Mayor Nutter’s 2012 prepared budget address
PhillyClout: Union leader: Nutter wants to break union for legacy
PhillyClout: If Nutter says pot-tay-to, will Council say po-tah-to?
CBS 3: Philadelphia Councilmembers accept need for property tax overhaul, with some concerns
Pottstown Mercury: Montco residents react to texting while driving ban
Pottstown Mercury: Pottstown bond refinancing saves taxpayers $300K
Pottstown Mercury: Collegeville council asked to resolve sign dispute
phillyBurbs.com: Archbishop calls on students to help save schools
phillyBurbs.com: Teens pledge to avoid texting while driving
The Intelligencer: Readers weign in on Voter ID bill
Delco Daily Times: County approves $50,000 grant for foreclosure program
Montgomery News: Ambler Borough Council votes to defend billboard exclusion
Montgomery News: County plan would eliminate Souderton district court
Bucks Local News: Bucks Community College trustees approve increase in tuition and fees to balance budget
Bucks Local News: Newton Borough Council fills empty seat on council; Chuck Machion will be sworn in on Tuesday
Early Returns: Toomey still neutral in Murphy race
Tribune Review: Another former staffer for Sen. Orie says performed political work on state time
Tribune Review: Ex-Orie aide tells court of 20 trips
Tribune Review: Mckeesport mayor blasts city controller on ‘negativity’
Post-Gazette: Women testifies she organized Orie fundraisers on state time
Post-Gazette: Health care bill awaits Pa. Senate
Post-Gazette: Voter ID passes Pa. Senate
Post-Gazette: Lawmakers pushing for cheaper gas prices in region
Post-Gazette: Ross drops idea of library tax
Beaver County Times: Air Force study argues reserve, guard units not necessarily cheaper than active duty
Beaver County Times: Texting ban difficult to enforce, officials say
Observer-Reporter: Diesel spill polluted Greene Co. waterway
Observer-Reporter: Mine expansion focus of DEP meeting
Observer-Reporter: Casey seeks approval on U.S gas legislation
Observer Reporter: County expected to OK race deal
Observer-Reporter: State Senate OKs fuel bill
Lebanon Daily News: Federal flood aid to Lebanon County totals $18 million
York Dispatch: First makes run at 15th district Senate seat
York Daily Record: Residents get a chance to grill 4th Congressional district candidates at meet-and-greet
Chambersburg Public Opinion: 5 more years sought for tax breaks for improving Chambersburg business properties
Pocono Record: Pocono Mountain School District proposes cutting nearly 300 jobs
Pocono Record: Stroudsburug Area School Board gets an earful on proposed cuts
Go Lackawanna: Feds OK $15 million to Luzerne County
Times News: Rohrer stops by Carbon County on his quest for Senate seat
Times News: Question of library funding to be on April primary ballot
Standard Speaker: 2 area lawmakers drop support of ultrasound bill
Express Times: Ryan MacKenzie chosen as GOP nominee in HD-134
WFMZ: Allentown Mayor Pawlowski calls on critics not to divide city, suburbs
WFMZ: Commuters to NYC pay little PA income tax
Reading Eagle: GOP picks candidate for 134th special election
Reading Eagle: Corbett attends funeral for Berks business leader
North by Northwest:
Your Erie, JET: Local campaigns get underway, Sean Wiley opens his campaign office
Your Erie, JET: Texting while driving now a primary offense
Erie Times-News: Smith seeks 3rd District House seat
Erie Times-News: Earll says timing not right on voter ID bill
Erie Times-News: Dahlkemper, other panelists urge women to run for office
Sharon Herald: Voters reject road work levy
Sharon Herald: Task force boosts regional crime watch
Centre Daily Times: College presidents: NCAA scandals hurt higher education
Centre Daily Times: Challenger seeks to end bid
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Bain: Opponents trying to nullify his petition
Erie Times-News: Letter to the Editor: Corbett should downsize capitol
Erie Times-News: Opinion: 19th Amendment alert: Do Republicans know women have the right to vote?
Erie Times-News: Opinion: Geraniotis: Obama, Romney plans are in stark contrast of America’s economic future
Williamsport Sun Gazette: OP/ED: Outstanding students make the future bright
Politico: The right way to fund transportation
Politico: Time to rein in defense budget
Politico: Super PACs and the politics of the weird
Roll Call: For Romney a good night, but not a knockout
Washington Post: Yes, the political center can be saved
Washington Post: A GOP campaign that no one seems able to win
Delco Daily Times: Future of Chi schools hinges on oil refineries
Delco Daily Times: The Heron’s Nest: PA’s new anti-texting law enough to make you LOL
Times News: Women of Pennsylvania have the right to know
Daily Review: Let’s sever the severance packages
Citizens Voice: War should be last resort
Lancaster Intelligencer Journal: Abort HB 1077
Lancaster Era: Wide open primary
York Daily Record: How about impact fee for Marcellus Shale pipeline?
Tribune Review: Romney ‘weak’
Tribune Review: The Thursday wrap
Post-Gazette: Not very Super: With no knockout punch, the GOP brawl roll on
Post-Gazette: Political sewer: Is the PWSA really serious about professionalism?
Post-Gazette: Texters beware: A law puts the brake on fatal distraction
Reading Eagle: US apology for Quran burning was the right thing to do
Young Philly Politics: Chronicles of “trying to fix the vacant land problem”
Keystone State Education Coalition: Walmart: Eradicate public education, 159,049,864 reasons to shop somewhere else
Commonwealth Foundation: Big bucks for government union bosses
Commonwealth Foundation: Of mice, barbie, and prevailing wage
PA Budget & Policy Center: Bill to close tax loopholes doesn’t get the job done
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Dueling Easton Congressional campaign offices
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Allentown’s defective heart
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Atiyeh turns “Field of Dreams” into “nightmare on Freemansburg Avenue”
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Appeals court tosses Otter claim for attorney fees in Gracedale saga
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Dent: Let’s drop the “incendiary rhetoric”
NEPArtisan: PA-17: Holden endorsements in Lackawanna – but why?
NEPArtisan: Little Yankees saga continues; stick a fork in it? Because it’s dumb
2 Political Junkies: Tracking The Crazie – WND on that Breitbart – Obama video
Lu-Lac Political Letter: Nepotism surcharge/Brylcreem boys at work/Bolus found guilty
Pennsylvania Progressive: March 8th Edition
Pennsylvania Progressive: Senate passes Voter ID
John Hanger: DOW 6547 on March 9, 2009: Lest we forget
John Hanger: The movie should’ve been called “Oilland” not Gasland
Citizens’ Call: Close encounters on the campaign trail