4/2 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz. More drama in the 12th, Rick nicks Terry, and a pair of PoliticsPA reader polls.

3/30 Ups & Downs: The campaign season is heating up, and some candidates have shone as others start to fall behind. Here’s who had a good week, and who didn’t.

Santorum Calls Madonna a “Democratic Hack”: During An Appearance On Fox News Sunday Rick Santorum took aim at respected Franklin & Marshall pollster G. Terry Madonna, dismissing him as a “Democratic hack” who “has probably singularly gotten more polls wrong than any other person I know in the history of the state.”

Smith’s Democratic Primary Votes: Steve Welch has taken hits for voting for Barack Obama in 2008, but he isn’t the only GOP Senate candidate who has cast a ballot in a Democratic primary. Tom Smith voted in 19 Dem primaries since between the time he registered to vote in 1969, and the time he switched to the GOP in 2011.

New Critz Ad Hits Back Against Altmire (With Video)Mark Critz has blasted Jason Altmire for an ad Altmire’s campaign began airing this week. Now, Critz is taking his case to TV with a rebuttal.

Altmire Hits Critz for Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood: What’s the difference between Jason Altmire fall 2010 and spring 2012? Take a look at this mailer, in which Altmire dings opponent Mark Critz for voting to defund Planned Parenthood.

We’re Number 1! (and 6): The Washington Post took a look at the most competitive congressional primaries in the country and named the top 10 incumbents most likely to lose. There are two familiar names on the list: Reps. Tim Holden and Tim Murphy. One of them was listed number one in the country.

PoliticsPA Poll: Should PoliticsPA split state House & Senate election updates into a separate daily article? Help PoliticsPA be a better news source for you. We want to know what you think: would you find it easier to read if we created a separate post for our daily updates on state House and Senate races?

Reader Poll: Murphy Runs Away with AG Race: PoliticsPA readers have spoken, and they are predicting Patrick Murphy for Pa. Attorney General. By a margin of 711 to 284 in our unscientific poll, Murphy overcame former Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane.

Legislative Election Updates:

SD-23: Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) and his GOP challenger Dave Huffman both support privatizing liquor stores, although Yaw doesn’t see it happening any time soon.

SD-29: Sen. Dave Argall picked up the endorsement of the NRA this weekend, along with an A rating. “On behalf of the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), I am pleased to inform you of your ‘A’ rating and endorsement for the 2012 Pennsylvania primary election in the 29th Senatorial District,” said John Hohenwarter, the NRA’s Liaison for Pennsylvania.

SD-31: One of the most interesting contests this cycle is the primary between Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland) and Carlisle attorney Andrew Shaw. Vance is a moderate who compromises, Shaw is a conservative who says he wouldn’t. The Patriot News has the story.

SD-37: Raja got a lance on Friday. The Tribune Review accused the campaign of the Republican seeking to replace the retiring Sen. John Pippy (R-Allegheny) of misrepresenting their report on his business records (which Raja employed in response to Rep. Mark Mustio’s charges of outsourcing).

HD-83: The Republican candidates Harry Rogers and Chris Bain support privatizing liquor stores, and Rep. Rick Mirabito (D-Lycoming) doesn’t.

HD-103: Roy Christ, the former President of the Harrisburg School Board running to replace retiring Rep. Ron Buxton (D-Dauphin), will win today the endorsement of the Central Pennsylvania Building & Construction Trades Council, which is comprised of 37 local unions. (He’s also a former ironworker and teacher).

HD-104: The Patriot News checks in on the GOP primary between Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin) and Jenna Lewis, where a curious thing happened. The County party backed Lewis, the challenger.

HD-153: Nick Mattiachi, the Republican running in the special election to replace Josh Shapiro (D-Montco), penned this op-ed about why he’s running. “My answer is really pretty simple. I want to protect the community that I have lived in my whole life, and I want to improve our quality of life so that my two boys, Luca and Nicky, have even greater opportunities than I had.”

HD-169: Ed Neilson, the Democrat running in the special election to replace Denny O’Brien (R-Phila), opened his campaign office this week. “Mummers, pretzels, roast beef hoagies and water ice were some of the Philly-style treats attendees enjoyed at Neilson’s campaign office opening at 3356 Grant Avenue on Thursday.”

HD-188: The pro-voucher PAC Students First is continuing its attacks on Rep. James Roebuck (D-Phila). View the mailer here.

National:
AP: Do Republicans know Senate candidates? Hardly
Inquirer: Wisconsin is Santorum’s last chance for a big midwest win
Pennsylvania Ave: Dent, Schwartz among handful of lawmakers to support bipartisan budget plan
Pennsylvania Ave: Romney hosts tele-town hall with Pennsylvania voters
Pennsylvania Ave: Romney makes Rep. Fitzpatrick’s support official
Pennsylvania Ave: Santorum’s Pennsylvania support in decline
National Journal: Rick Santorum predicts a win in Pennsylvania
Washington Post: Rick Santorum: Pennsylvania polls showing close race are work of “Democratic hack”
The Hill: Santorum: I’ll stay in the race until Romney wins 1,144 delegates
The Hill: Pennsylvania primary could be last stand for Santorum, GOP strategists say
New York Times: In Wisconsin, Santorum tells conservatives not to give in
NY Times/The Caucus: Senator Johnson backs Romney as Santorum vows fight
Slate: Rick Santorum’s hope: That the 2012 Wisconsin polls are as bad as they usually are

Statewide:
Times Tribune: Is Kane able to deal with ‘Card Check’?
Capitol Ideas: Corbett budget czar: It’s up to lawmakers to offset cuts
Capitol Ideas: Santorum: F&M’s Madonna is a “Democratic Hack.”
Capitol Ideas: Sources: Corbett may privatize Pennsylvania Lottery; discussion could begin as early as next week
Patriot-News: Republican John Maher Hopes To Be The First CPA To Act As State ’Watchdog’
Capitol Ideas: Charles Snelling, RIP
State House Sound Bites: Update: Unkovic has resigned, Mayor Thompson confirms
State House Sound Bites: Links: The seven-city suit, peace talks for elevator access, tightening stamps for strikers (updated)
PA Independent: PA House to cut back on its members, amend constitution
PA Independent: PA public pensions’ future may mean even higher taxpayer costs
PA Independent: Lawsuit seeks to stop PA shale law from going into effect
PA Independent: Week in review: PA took on fraud, wine spending
PA Independent: PA prevailing wage proposal ready to roll, again
StateImpactPA: EPA drops action against range resources
StateImpactPA: Read the Anti-Impact Fee lawsuit
StateImpactPA: Which counties have an enacted impact fee?
AP: Do PA Republicans know Senate candidates? Hardly.
Inquirer: Corbett expected to hire private manager for PA lottery
AP: Harrisburg city’s fiscal overseer abruptly quits
Philadelphia Daily News: Santorum skidding on social issues
AP: Bill to cut 50 seats in PA House nears 1st vote

Philadelphia:
Inquirer: South Philly scrap heap moving to Camden
Inquirer: Rebuilding of historic Bucks bridge to be delayed
philly.com: Rally to protest “ultrasound bill”
philly.com: Philadelphia go-to person at City Hall going after 39 years
Philadelphia Daily News: Bill asks elected officials to quit before city race
philly.com: City solicitor: Controller employees can’t avoid ethics rules
PhillyNow: PA House GOP says it will finally focus on jobs – Monday
PhillyClout: Clarke expects spirited conversation on budget, AVI heart of debate
Philadelphia Weekly: Elephants in the room: 10 things I saw, heard and learned at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference
Philadelphia Weekly: Is Philly’s animal control finally under control?
Fox 29: SEPTA transit cop strike over
WHYY Newsworks: What’s in a name? PA Senate delves into import of “Obamacare”
City Paper: Shadowy pro-voucher group continues attack on State Rep. Roebuck

SEPA:
Pottstown Mercury: Board member upset over vote on Pottstown foundation director
phillyBurbs.com: County workforce falls by 160 employees amid hring freeze
Courier Times: Records show stimulus money created few local jobs
Delco Daily Times: How do you save a refinery? It can be done, just look at Delaware
Delco Daily Times: Delaware County judge upholds Springfield billboard plan
Delco Daily Times: Garnet Valley school district proposes budget with tax increase
Delco Daily Times: SEPTA is safe, but mind your smartphone

Pittsburgh:
Tribune Review: Romney unlike to make big splash with running mate pick
Tribune Review: Group hopes to topple several Western Pa. dams
Post-Gazette: West Virginia mining project moving forward
Post-Gazette: Mayor divide on gay marriage
Post-Gazette: Conservatives working to repeal prevailing wage law
Post-Gazette: Health law advocates appeal to Justice Kennedy’s notion of liberty
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania Democrats hoping to regain ground
Post-Gazette: Commonwealth Pipeline will use eminent domain as last resort
Early Returns: Friday roundup: Incumbents in peril

Southwest:
WJAC: Bill to cut 50 seats in Pa. House nears first vote
WJAC: Pa. Superior Court upholds sentences in two Centre Co. slaying cases
Beaver County Times: Critz, Democrats fume as Altimire’s pants burn
Johnstown Tribune Democrat: Looking to grab attention: 5 GOP Senate hopefuls entering final stretch

NEPA:
Citizens Voice: NEPA BlogFest draws candidates
Citizens Voice: Congressional candidates divided on health care
Citizens Voice: Elizabeth Santorum stumps for dad
The Times Leader: County will apply for Moon Lake boat funding
The Times Leader: Manager handles most decisions
The Times Leader: House passes Republican budget
Times Tribune: Law against texting behind the wheel sends mixed message
Times Tribune: Lackawanna commissioners fill 911 position, nine others
Times Tribune: Judge denies Munchak’s request to remain free on appeal
Times News: Pa. House bill protects homeowners from mechanics ‘liens

Lehigh Valley:
Morning Call: Cash-strapped schools ignoring free money
Morning Call: Most college IDs failed vote identification test
Morning Call: Group looking to ban ‘Nickled and Dimed’ at Easton High gets no pay back
Morning Call: DA: Eckhart ineligible for county controller
Reading Eagle: Harry Deitz: Face(book) it: Our society has changed
Reading Eagle: John D. Forester Jr.: State police ranks thinning
WFMZ: CWA protests local T-Mobile closure
WFMZ: How is the Lehigh Valley fighting bullying?
Express Times: Superfund plan to connect residents to public water to be completed by 2015
Express Times: Raritan Valley Community College plans almost 15 percent tuition hike
Express Times: Bethlehem Area School District spent almost $500,000 litigating with Diana Zhou
Express Times: Easton’s Ambassadors program is struggling financially, officials say

South Central:
York Dispatch: With primary looming, fewer registered voters
Lancaster Intelligencer: Convention Center Authority takes rest of room tax
Lancaster Intelligencer: Coach Williams backs Fee for 37th District
Lancaster Intelligencer: State looks to fine UGI $260K for October blast
York Daily Record: Candidates disagree on whether to take money from PACs
York Daily Record: Will new bike law make difference? Local drivers, bikers not so sure
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Harrisburg city receiver’s resignation startles business leaders
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Lower Swatara Township commissioner donates salary to purchase sprayer for municipal parks
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Crowd of 300 to 400 sets out on Central PA Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin

Northwest:
Erie Times-News: Erie, Crawford counties’ absentee-ballot voting numbers down from 2008
Centre Daily: Roads, stadium renaming among proposals to honor Paterno
Sun Gazette: Candidates differ on issue of privatized liquor stores in state
Sun Gazette: House approves millions of dollars in local bridge repairs
Sun Gazette: Mayor drops lawsuit

Opinions:
Post-Gazette: Altmire in the 12th: It’s a tough call between Democratic incumbents
Morning Call: Letter to the Editor: Charles Snelling will be missed
Tribune Review: Politics of paranoia
Tribune Review: Can the government force you to eat broccoli
Tribune Review: ObamaCare doomed regardless
Tribune Review: Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown
Tribune Review: Where did the Power of 32 go?
Tribune Review: A second Holocaust?
Tribune Review: Don’t rush to judgement
Tribune Review: It’s the economy, Mr. President
Tribune Review: Obama’s continuing deceit
Tribune Review: America’s job killer: Government
Tribune Review: Five ways to slander the welfare state
Tribune Review: Selling climate change
Post-Gazette: What’s in a name? Call it Obamacare and care not what they think
Post-Gazette: Papal denunciations: The pope was right to criticize Cuba and the U.S.
Post-Gazette: Trayvon’s death claims legitimate attention
Post-Gazette: Romney’s roadmap: Doing better in Democratic states may complicate his fall campaign
Post-Gazette: Letter: Where have all the compromisers gone?
Post-Gazette: Letter: Issue One: The Affordable Care Act
Post-Gazette: ‘Time to Start Thinking’: A Briton sees America in the ‘Age of Descent’
Post-Gazette: Cutting edge: New ideas and sharp opinions
Post-Gazette: Civilization is running out of options
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania should tax pensions
Beaver County Times: Critz, Dems fume as Altmire’s pants burn
Observer-Reporter: Romney should take credit for achievement
York Dispatch: Issues once again
Lancaster Intelligencer: What’s driving the need for a mandate
Lancaster Intelligencer: Don’t make it personal
Lancaster Intelligencer: The high cost of union influence
Sun Gazette: Will punishments bring change in state politics?
Sun Gazette: New North Korean boss, same South Korean plan
York Daily Record: Did PA’s legislators even read the Marcellus Shale bill?
Harrisburg Patriot-News: PA GOP primary won’t matter as much as the hype suggests
Erie Times-News: Romney won’t be only Republican with incentive to erase primaries
Courier Express: ‘Merit selection’ for judges? No, we trust state voters more than we trust state lawmakers
Centre Daily: Property not as important as a life
Philadelphia Inquirer: Would-be teacher asks: should I give up on Philly?
Inquirer: What’s great for Montco is also a bummer
Pottstown Mercury: Candidates face a religious balancing act
Pottstown Mercury: Another property tax proposal
The Intelligencer: Maybe a lawsuit will shed light on gas drilling legislation
The Intelligencer: Why I’m running for state representative in the 153rd
Delco Daily Times: Dem: Infrastructure projects would help create jobs in state
Daily Local: Safe biking law in Pennsylvania receives roses

Blogs:
Keystone State Education Coalition: April Fools Edition: State wants manure management plans
Commonwealth Foundation:  Not why I’m here
Commonwealth Foundation: Unions nailed on prevailing wage
Lehigh Valley Independent: PA-17: Holden ducking debates
Lehigh Valley Independent: Santorum: Candidate Obama was “the anti-war government nigg- the uh-…”
NEPArtisan: Holden admit you’re a Republican
NEPArtisan: Casey on PIPA & SOPA (better late than never)
NEPArtisan: Toomey votes for big oil, Casey doesn’t
2 Political Junkies: Santorum: First it was “blah” people, now he’s called Obama a “government nig”
The Lu Lac Political Letter: Campaign 2012 comes to area
Pennsylvania Progressive: The late great commonwealth: Catching up to the Republican primary
Pennsylvania Progressive: Equality Pennsylvania roasts Adrian Shanker
Pennsylvania Progressive: Labor: Kane is anti-union
Pennsylvania Progressive: Holden ducks debate…again
Pennsylvania Progressive: Prevailing wage opponents fail the laugh test
Pennsylvania Progressive: PA-15 Democratic congressional debate
Above Average Jane: The specialties of Kathleen Kane
Keystone Progress: “Democratizing money – Return to prosperity” Focus of inaugural public banking in America Conference
Keystone Progress: Mitt Romney’s secret donation to race-baiting NOM
Keystone Politics: Critz, Altmire release dueling rap battle attack ads
Keystone Politics: Governor Corbett signs executive order legalizing marijuana
Keystone Politics: Is Altmire’s dishonest ad going to help him win the primary?
Keystone Politics: Should politicians have to resign to run for a different office
John Hanger: Senator Inhofe attacks EPA greenhouse pollution standard that benefits natural gas: Will Republicans follow his lead again
North Pittsburgh Politics: Altmire mailer: Western Pennsylvania steel
North Pittsburgh Politics: Altmire mailer: Women can’t trust Mark Critz
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Allentown hides NIZ local tax reports from Palmer Tp

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