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4/10 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz. It’s a scant 14 days before the primary, and the races are getting even hotter. Not to mention, the presidential hopefuls are coming back to town.

Welch Goes Negative (Watch Video): It’s two weeks before April 24, voters are starting to tune in, and Steve Welch is throwing the first punch of the U.S. Senate primary. His campaign launched a television ad that blasts rival Tom Smith as a “Republican impersonator.”

In Debate, Altmire & Critz Race Left, Back to Center & Left Again: It was unclear at times whether Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz were speaking to a primary electorate or a general election audience. They alternately raced to the left and back to the center during Monday’s debate at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

Cartwright Poll: Cartwright Leads Holden 42-36: Matt Cartwright leads Rep. Tim Holden, according to an internal poll conducted for the challenger’s campaign. Cartwright, an attorney from Lackawanna County, take 42 percent of the Democratic vote to Holden’s 36 percent.

Presidential Campaign Events Open Thread: The presidential campaign has arrived in Pa, and Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have begun crisscrossing the state. Here’s your running list of campaign events in PA, which we will refresh regularly. Latest: Santorum knocks a few events off his Tuesday schedule, adds a visit to Gettysburg.

Axelrod Stumps for Murphy: Veteran political operative and Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod met with top Patrick Murphy supporters during a strategy session Monday in Philadelphia, a signal that President Barack Obama is supportive of Murphy’s bid for Pa. Attorney General.

Muhlenberg Poll: 41% of Pa. Voters Disapprove of Corbett’s Job Performance: According to the Morning Call’s Capitol Ideas blog, 41% of Pa.’s registered voters disapprove of Gov. Corbett’s job performance. 39% approve of the Governor’s job performance.

Romney Yanks Negative Ad (Watch Video): Rick Santorum’s baggage is a little heavier in Pa. than in other states, something Mitt Romney sought to highlight in a negative ad. But in a mix of tact and tactics, his campaign decided to pull the spot out of respect for the Santorum family’s ongoing concern over daughter Bella’s health.

Welch Website Knocks Former Dem Smith: Steve Welch is taking a swing at GOP Senate rival Tom Smith over a weakness they both share: a past as registered Democrats. Smith, a former coal company owner from Armstrong County, was a Dem from 1969 to 2011.

Legislative Election Updates:

SD-9: Maj. Leader Pileggi will debate his primary challenger Roger Howard on April 19th. The event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Chester County.

SD-15: Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC today announced its endorsement of Rob Teplitz (D) for the open State Senate seat in the 15th district, the only candidate endorsed in this race. “I appreciate the support of Planned Parenthood,” said Teplitz.  “As State Senator, I will fight to protect the rights of women – the right to have access to affordable health care and the right to make decisions for themselves without government interference.” Teplitz is running against Alvin Taylor for the Democratic nomination to replace retiring state Sen. Piccola.

SD-29: Monday, Rock the Capital, a good government group accused State Sen. Argall of abusing his per diem privileges. As a legislator who lives outside of a 50 mile radius of H-burg, he is entitled under the rules to a per diem but it is alleged that Argall abused this privilege by driving home instead of staying overnight and eating food in the capitol for free and pocketing those expenses as well. Sen. Argall’s campaign said, “Dave Argall unlike his opponent is not independently wealthy. Dave Argall takes a partial per diem to cover out of pocket expenses.”

Additionally, Argall won the backing of Rep. Julie Harhart (R-Lehigh/Northampton). “Dave and I continue fighting for issues important to the region, including continuing to reduce property taxes.  I encourage local residents to vote for a strong voice for our issues in Harrisburg by voting for Dave Argall for State Senate,” she said.

The York Dispatch takes a look at the candidates and issues in HD-47, HD-93 and HD-196.

AP: Romney faces lengthy to-do list as likely GOP pick
AP: Gingrich: Still in, says Romney likely GOP nominee
AP: GOP superdelegates: Its over, Romney is nominee
Times-Tribune: Democrats in Scranton Target Romney
Pocono Record: NewsCore: Santorum spokesman says campaign will continue, reaffirms Pennsylvania is a must-win
Pennsylvania Ave.: Romney suspends Santorum attack ads while Bella is in the hospital
Pennsylvania Ave.: Romney makes major ad buy in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Ave.: Santorum’s daughter Bella hospitalized
Politico: Romney: ‘Hard for pass me at this stage’
Politico: Romney asks stations to pull negative ad
Roll Call: Senate Budget Committee to move forward with markup
Roll Call: Pennsylvania: Challenger’s poll shows Tim Holden trailing
National Journal: Romney moves in for Pennsylvania knockout
National Journal: Romney: Rivals don’t stand much of a chance
National Journal Hotline: What we learned; Santorum on the ropes
Washington Post: Romney says he speaks more often with Gingrich than with Santorum
Washington Post: Rick Santorum cancels Monday campaign events due to daughter’s health
The Caucus: Romney pulls negative ad amid Bella Santorum illness
The Caucus: Cardinal Dolan talks of role of religion in politics
ProPublica: Pennsylvania: Help keep TV political ads transparent

Tribune Review: Senate candidate Welch favors state-led health care reform
The Times Leader: Senate eyes assembly downsize
Pocono Record: NewsCore: Romney camp pulls negative ads against Santorum in Pennsylvania
Capital Ideas:Corbetts approval tumbles
State House Sound Bites: New state law ensures counsel for kids
State House Sound Bites: Wringing state lotteries for extra cash
PA Independent: PA gov signs reforms in wake of “kids-for-cash” scandal
PA Independent: Week in review: Shrinking Pa. House and presidential hopefuls
State Impact PA: EPA’s Lisa Jackson in Philly on Tuesday
Capitolwire: Vouchers, students first Pa and politics are all tangled up
Capitolwire: Murphy driving a wedge on ultrasound bill
Capitolwire: As Pa primary approaches, Romney focuses on General Election

The Inquirer: A one-sided battle in Philly suburbs
The Inquirer: Santorum sets Pa. schedule, faces Romney ad blitz
The Inquirer: Santorum’s secret weapon: Democrats
The Inquirer: Romney campaign rolls into Delaware County
The Inquirer: Rebuilding history Bucks bridge to be delayed
The Inquirer: Montco aims for ‘honest budgets’
Daily News: Senate candidates spar over conservative credentials
Daily News: And the saga continues at Frontier Virtual Charter School
Daily News: Obama advisor David Axelrod endorses Patrick Murphy for AG.
Daily News: Nutter responds to firefighter deaths
Daily News: Councilman to launch new iPhone CityHall app
Philly News: Mayor Nutter rips Mitt Romney on conference call
Philly News: This weekend: Re-Occupy?
WHYY Newsworks: State integrity investigation
WHYY Newsworks: Pa. judicial kickback scandal yields reform in juvenile court procedure
Commonwealth Confidential: State Rep. Mark Cohen: Newsman?

Pottstown Mercury: Pa. mulls privatizing lottery Avocates continue campaign for voter ID task force
Daily Local: New degrees approved at Pa. state universities
Daily Local: Pa. congressman to have tumors removed from kidneys
Daily Local: Mitt Romney to be in Chester County

Tribune Review: Santorum hopes to take daughter home today
Tribune Review: Romney campaign withdraws ad targeting Santorum while daughter is hospitalized
Tribune Review: Gingrich pivots, admits Romney likely nominee
Post-Gazette: As GOP race dies down, super-PAC targets Obama
Early Returns: Axelrod endorses Murphy for AG
Early Returns: Fake bake sale protest budget

Early Returns: Feinberg Spreads the Word
Beaver Times: These primary fights are all in the GOP family
Daily American: For Rick Santorum, it’s do or die in Pennsylvania
Daily American: Swing voters lean to Obama but identify more closely with Romney

Lehigh Valley:
Morning Call: Easton again seeking Keystone Opportunity Zone, other tax incentives
Reading Eagle: Endorsements for primary election
Express-Times: Warren County Dems absent from freeholder ballot for third year in a row
Express-Times: County corrections officials say U.S. Supreme Court strip-search ruling will help keep drugs, weapons out of facilities
Express-Times: Rick Daugherty, Jackson Eaton fight to be Democratic challenger to U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent

The Times Leader: Marino out of surgery, full recovery expected
The Times Leader: Corbett signs Juvenile Justice Bills into law at Luzerne County Courthouse Times Tribune: Pa. seeks cleanup strategies
Citizens Voice: EPA releases 20 new Dimock water test results
Pittston Politics: Mundy to host rally for Cartwright; 5th District to hold meet and greet for Holden
Pittston Politics: Gloves come off in Congressional race
Daily Item: State concern over cyber-school funding mirrors criticism from local administrators
Daily Item: Legislation proposes fix; Masser, Culver ‘concerned’
Standard Speaker: NEPA Dems take aim at visiting Romney
Standard Speaker: Legislators facing re-election boost their image
The Daily Review: Alternative voting available to the elderly and handicapped
Pocono Record: Marino representative holds office hours

South Central:
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Education advocates draw attention to state budget issues Chambersburg Public Opinion: Schwartz announces write-in campaign for Rock’s house seat Chambersburg Public Opinion: Opinions vary in Franklin County area as to Rick Santorum’s prospects
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Full house to hear Romney in Greencastle
Patriot-News: Scott Perry receives backing from Citizens United in his campaign to replace Todd Platts
York Dispatch: York Dems hit YouTube, community TV with candidate forum
York Dispatch: Sen. Alloway bill would speed deportation
York Dispatch: GOP candidates off Monday, one local stop Lancaster
Lebanon Daily News: Congress hopeful to visit Annville
Lebanon Daily News: Congressmen to speak at Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon

North by Northwest:
Times-News: How many presidents have come from PA?
Times News: Pitzer to hold job rally, dinner tonight
Times-News: Will presidential candidates campaign in Erie before primary?
Times-News: Erie County Democratic Party to hold dinner, candidates night
Times-News: 3 GOP presidential candidates with ties to PA
Williamsport Gazette: House favors reducing size of Assembly
AP: Romney faces lengthy to do list as likely GOP nominee
Centre Daily Times Bernanke says Fed working on regulatory failures

Times Tribune: Enough rolling over for gun lobby
Times Tribune: Voter I.D. scam unravels
Daily Item: $86M cyber school imbalance would surely help budgets
Citizens Voice: Any law that represses voting must be repealed
The Times Leader: Use your head in the vote ahead
York Dispatch: Op/Ed: Romney veep pick? A heavy hitter
Pottstown Mercury: Political wives speak out as character witnesses
Pottstown Mercury: Do politicians represent represent unions or taxpayers?
The Inquirer: Democrats try to exploit big poll advantage, but the race has far to go
The Inquirer: Too much unknown to change taxes
The Inquirer: True ‘merit’ in judicial selections?
Philly Tribune: Respect the man? You lie!
Morning Call: Ryan Mackenzie deserves vote for state House in 134th
Morning Call: U.S. Senate can learn from Pennsylvania
Reading Eagle: Even GOP won’t follow through on spending measure
Express-Times: ‘Stand your ground’ gun laws need re-examination
Express-Times: Smaller Pa. Legislature means little without redistricting reform
Tribune Review: Dems’ election rackets
Post-Gazette: Romney’s veep: substance first
Williamsport Gazette: High court may rein in the EPA
Politico: Opinion: Why Rick Santorum won’t stop
Roll Call: In GOP Presidential race, fat lady finally sings
Times-News: Legislature cuts could take years

North Pittsburgh Politics: Campaign sign thefts alleged in PA-12
North Pittsburgh Politics: Negative attacks in 20th State House race
Keystone Progress: Corporate sponsors quit ALEC; Keystone Progress urges PA legislators to do the same
Penn Patriot: Santorum’s last stand
Penn Patriot: Hey, Gov. Corbett, I hope you enjoyed firing Coach Paterno; you just lost my vote!
Penn Patriot: Do politicians represent unions or taxpayers?
Keystone Politics: Poll: Corbett approval is net negative, 39-41
Keystone Politics: Better revenue collection means Corbett doesn’t have to cut as much
Keystone Politics: Why voter ID will disproportionately hurt women
Keystone Politics: PA-17: Holden pulls a Romney
Keystone Politics: We need more disagreeing in the Dem AG primary
Pennsylvania Progressive: Tax breaks vs. budget cuts
Pennsylvania Progressive: Campaign 2012: The GOP clown car comes to PA
NEPArtisan: PA-17: Holden on the attack, must realize he’s losing
NEPArtisan: CISPA in, SOPA out?
Keystone Liberty: Support HB 1329: Mandate relief for schools and taxpayers

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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