4/10 Morning Buzz

pa flagWe take a deep-dive into the gubernatorial candidates’ financial reports, the Senate passes a cash gift ban and we cover the gubernatorial forum on education. Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz.

HD-36: Rep. Molchany Launches First Ad (Watch): Molchany hits the airwaves in her primary battle against a fellow incumbent.

PA-Gov: Wolf Releases Equal Pay Ad (VIDEO): The Democratic candidate’s latest spot focuses on the pay inequality that still exists among men and women.

PA-Gov: McGinty Still All In For Governor: Democratic candidate Katie McGinty proved she intends to fight until the end in the race to be Pennsylvania’s next governor.

PA-Gov: A Look Into Tom Wolf’s First 2014 Financial Report: A deep-dive into the Democratic front-runner’s latest financial report.

PA-Gov: Strong Raising and Minimal Spending in Schwartz’s First Report: After a 2013 report that showed average fundraising and excessive spending, Schwartz’s first report of 2014 shows significant improvement.

PA-Gov: Dems Discuss Education in Latest Debate: At a Pittsburgh public school, the Democratic hopefuls for governor discussed their views on education.

Lt. Gov.: Cash On Hand Roundup: Here are the cash on hand totals for the men running for Pennsylvania’s number 2 spot.

PA-9: Republicans Coordinate A Series Of Debates: Rep. Shuster, Art Halvorson and Travis Schooley will come together to debate their beliefs and how to best serve PA’s 9th District.

Sources: Senator Boscola Removed From Harrisburg Bar: According to sources at Brickhaus last night, Senator Boscola was asked to leave after a confrontation.

Senate Passes Cash Gift Ban: In the wake of scandal and consequent uproar, the Pennsylvania State Senate approved a bill to ban cash gifts.

Bipartisan Coalition Proposes Marcellus Shale Tax: The bill would levy a 5 percent tax on Marcellus shale drilling.

Legislative Elections Update:

HD-36: Rep. Erin Molchany launched her first television commercial this morning at 5:00am. If you missed it, watch and read about it here. Molchany faces fellow incumbent Democrat Rep. Harry Readshaw in the primary after redistricting moved her seat (HD-22) to Lehigh County.

Statewide
State Impact PA: Chevron blocked access to DEP after fatal well fire in southwest Pa.
PA Independent: In Pennsylvania, no right to remain silent in certain poaching cases
State House Sound Bites: Bills clearing up required reporters of abuse to go to governor
Capitolwire: New special ed funding formula hurts charter schools, advocates say
Capitolwire: Court ruling questions credibility of NCAA’s penalties against Penn State

Philadelphia
Inquirer: Schwartz tones down role in Pa. CHIP law
Inquirer: A $75,000 egg sandwich paid for by Pa. taxpayers
Inquirer: Bill Clinton visits Phila. to work his charm for Margolies
Inquirer: Investigator: Sting should not have been shut down
Inquirer: Sources: U.S. prosecutors made no judgement on sting case
Daily News: The Democratic made-for-TV campaign
CapitolInq: Starting small but hoping big, Booker introduces bill on apprenticeships

SEPA
Pottstown Mercury: Pottsgrove schools chief wants to hire another $150,000 administrator
Pottstown Mercury: Phoenixville council working on more parking issues
Bucks County Courier Times: Pennsylvania may soon ban teens from indoor tanning beds
Burlington County Times: Critic of mayor drops out of Pemberton primary race
Delco Daily Times: Council chairman: Delco is positioned for success
Daily Local News: Coatesville schools pay lawyer without OK

Pittsburgh
Urban Media Today: Gainey wants limit on utility increases
Pittsburgh Business Journal: Pittsburgh council votes land bank bill out of commitee by 7-1 vote
Pittsburgh Business Journal: Senate Republicans once again block Paycheck Fairness Act
Pittsburgh Business Journal: Pittsburgh Promise adds nearly $4M in donations
Early Returns: Black leaders plan debate
Early Returns: Campaign finance footnotes
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh City Council endorses amended land bank measure
Post-Gazette: Democrats try to set themselves apart in Pa. gubernatorial debate
Tribune Review: Government watchdog Stilp files criminal complaints against 3 Pennsylvania lawmakers

Southwest
Beaver County Times: Pennsylvania may soon ban teens from indoor tanning beds
Beaver County Times: DEP releases emissions data from natural gas production
Observer-Reporter: Cecil bans some political messages at township functions
Observer-Reporter: Order bans cameras from Washington courthouse
Altoona Mirror: Council hires interim city manager
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: City’s block grant funding bigger than expected

NEPA
Citizens Voice: Audit: County spent 19 percent of general fund on debt service
News Item: City eyes tax revenue
Standard Speaker: Auditor commends Conyngham authority for efficient spending
Standard Speaker: Natural gas tax would fund 3 Es

South Central
Patriot-News: Federal officials had not deemed sting operation ‘non-prosecutable’ before AG Kathleen Kane shut it down, report says
Patriot-News: State System Chancellor Frank Brogan lays out his vision for the state universities
Patriot-News: Pa. court ruling puts NCAA’s controversial Penn State punishments back on the table
Patriot-News: More fun with polls — internal survey shows Wolf at 52 percent: Wednesday Morning Coffee
York Daily Record: After winning special election, Wagner joins a State Senate in full swing
York Daily Record: West York School District plans to increase taxes next year

Lehigh Valley
Morning Call: Saucon Valley teachers union hires attorney
Morning Call: Allentown School District wants to open new career-focused high school
Morning Call: Saucon Valley School District looking at tax hike
Morning Call: Planners recommend approval of Costco development
Express-Times: Pa. Sen. Lisa Boscola says she was asked to leave bar after ‘animated’ discussion; violence alleged
Express-Times: Allentown hears resistance to extending parking meter hours

North by Northwest
Sun-Gazette: County Democrats dinner to spotlight local, state candidates
Sun-Gazette: Montoursville board discusses new well system
Sun-Gazette: Loyalsock Township gets deed for community center
Daily Times: Commonwealth Court rules Endowment Act constitutional, questions consent decree, pulls Penn State into lawsuit
Daily Times: Expert DUI defense witness lied about credentials, pleads no contest

Opinion
Inquirer: Inquirer Editorial: Down payment
Daily News: DN Editorial: Want to avoid tax-preparing exploiters? Get taxes done for free
Patriot-News: Time to speak up for tougher ban on gifts to Pa. pols
Express-Times: EDITORIAL: House should restore emergency jobless benefits
Post-Gazette: Foundation of hope: A rescue may come for the August Wilson Center
Standard Speaker: A public agency’s private records

Blogs
Keystone Politics: #BoscolaProblems: “When you hit somebody there is a physical act of ‘stay away from me’”
Keystone Politics: End Lieutenant Governor Elections
Media Trackers: Philly School Spending, Test Scores Show No Correlation
CasablancaPA: Seth Williams: Let’s You And Him Fight
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Lehigh Valley Farmland Disappearing
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Hanover Township is On Target
2 Political Junkies: The Casey-Toomey Porter Deal Hits The News

One Response

  1. Dear Signor Ferrari: Thanks for posting regularly again on casablancapa.com. The truth teller of PA is getting back to battle shape: SETH WILLIAMS: LET’S YOU AND HIM FIGHT
    Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams reminds us of that kid on the playground who’s always trying to get someone else to take on the bully he’s too afraid to confront himself.

    Ever since Attorney General Kathleen Kane revealed that two members of his staff engaged in a sloppy sting investigation possibly tainted by racial targeting, Williams has been obsessed with branding her a liar. There is, of course, one sure way to do so: by successfully prosecuting the case she says is unprosecutable. But he won’t.

    The lead investigator, who now works for Williams, told Office of Attorney General staff “that he was instructed by his supervising OAG Attorney to focus only on members of the General Assembly’s Black Caucus, and that when he had information of potentially illegal acts by white members of the General Assembly he was specifically told not to pursue it.”

    The agent, who was promised a promotion and cash bonus for working on the investigation, has been forced to recant. Williams trotted him out for a Fox 29 interview, in which he denies racial targeting, but curiously, he never denies telling OAG staff that he was instructed to focus on members of the Black Caucus. Not that was he asked. Tsk, tsk, Fox 29.

    Another reason Kane declined to prosecute the case is that “federal law enforcement officials with knowledge of Case File No. 36-622 have shared with current members of the OAG executive staff their opinion that the case is flawed and not prosecutable.” Williams has pounced on her assertion, insisting that neither the FBI nor the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to pursue the case. Kane never said they did. She never asked them to.

    But even if, for some reason, Kane is lying about all of this – if there was no racial targeting, if federal officials never shared an opinion about the case – that won’t explain why Williams himself won’t prosecute.

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