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4/4 Morning Buzz

The high-profile budget battle between Governor Corbett and Penn State President Graham Spanier continued over the weekend, with Spanier predicting layoffs and numbers coming out showing the PSU President as the fifth-highest paid administrator of a public university in the nation.

A glut of stories about Marcellus shale drilling came out over the weekend, including further reaction to a controversial new DEP policy that limits citations for drillers that violate regulations.

And in case you missed PoliticsPA’s exclusive coverage of Aprils Fools Day, you can check out Friday’s stories from the links below. Hope you had as much fun reading them as we had writing them.

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the buzz.

PoliticsPA Reports

Sestak Announces Bid for Auditor General, Pa. Treasurer, Congress and Governor in 2014 and 2018
Former Congressman and Senate hopeful Joe Sestak announced his candidacy for several local and statewide offices today, ending months of speculation over the Admiral’s political aspirations.

Gov. Corbett Defends Use of Reporter Dungeon
Responding to criticism in recent days that his administration has been inaccessible to reporters, Governor Corbett was particularly adamant in his defense of the reporter ‘dungeon,’ the maximum security detention facility where journalists are sent when they publish or say incorrect or unflattering things.

Exclusive: GOP Recruits Potted Plant to Challenge Casey in 2012
PoliticsPA has just learned that party officials and National Republican Senatorial Committee representatives have successfully recruited a Montgomery County rhododendron to challenge first-term Senator Bob Casey. “This plant knows what it takes to grow in a tough economy, without government subsidies or bale-outs,” said Rob Gleason.

Penn State Cuts Football Program; “Happy Now?” President Spanier Asks Gov. Corbett
Sources have told PoliticsPA that in order to avoid massive tuition hikes on students or widespread faculty layoffs, Penn State administrators plan to cut the football team effective immediately. “Are you happy now, Governor Corbett?” asked a distraught but oddly smug Graham Spanier, PSU’s President.

Former Sen. Santorum Blames ‘Abortion Culture’ for Pittsbirgh Pirates Losing Culture
An “abortion culture” that has “depopulated” the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system is responsible for the Steel City team’s nearly two-decades-long playoff drought, former United States Senator and potential 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum said on Thursday.

What the Hell, Former Sen. Specter Announces Run for U.S. Senate
In a surprise announcement, former Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) will be running for Sen. Bob Casey’s senate seat in the 2012 primary election. supporters.

Redistricting Map to be Drawn By Experts

Rep. Barletta Announces Exclusive Deal with Crest Whitestrips

Brick Haus Employees Not Sure How to Get Jim Cawley to Leave

Speaker Smith to Expel Next Member Who Makes “Groundhog Day’ Reference

I Don’t Care What Committee Hearings You Miss, You’re Grounded Mister! Reports Justin Simmons Dad

Gabler Presents Award to 1,000th Constituent Who Still Thinks Dan Surra Is Their Representative

40% of House PR Staff Devoted to Managing Mark Cohen’s Facebook Page

Colleagues Don’t Have the Heart to Tell Bud George Lawrence Welk Died in 1992

Yes, I’m Actually a Senator, Insists Elder Vogel to Capitol Security

Corbett’s a Nice Guy and We’d Hate to See Anything Happen to Him, South Philly Legislators Warn Over Budget Cuts

Headlines
Early Returns: Congressional Shale caucus has first meeting
Capitol Ideas: Together Again for the First Time Ed Rendell and Sen. Rand Paul
Times-Leader: Don’t Call the Pair of Freshmen NE Pa. Congressman Twins
Pennsylvania Ave.: Toomey to Stay Neutral in Most 2012 Races
Politico: Democrats plot 2012 House comeback, 5 PA seats taregted
Patriot-News: Huntingdon County judge was drunk, wearing sheet at West Shore Convention, police say
PhillyNow: Pa. Rep. Wants Your ‘Genitals’ and Breasts’ Left Alone
Patriot-News: Marcellus Shale Drilling Could Be Costly to Residents
AP: Delaware River drilling proposal spurs debate
AP: Selling His Budget, Corbett Takes Aim at Rendell
WHYY Newsworks: Penn State President Warns of Staff Layoffs
Patriot-News: ‘We’ll begin to fail’ if Penn State research is cut, farmer says
On the other hand… Patriot-News: Gov. Corbett says Penn State can fund research, cut elsewhere
Bad timing… Inquirer: Penn State’s Spanier makes list of most highly paid public university presidents
Tribune-Review: Mine workers rally in Pa. for public employees
AP: Builders, fire officials spar over sprinkler rule
Commonwealth Confidential: Farnese Gets Tough on Bed Bugs
Baer Growls: DeWeese the Inquisitor
Heard in the Hall: DROP Case Drags on in Court
PhillyNow: Tokens No More: SEPTA Announces Plans For Smart Cards
Inquirer: Milton Street’s vote total could, like him, say a lot
Inquirer: Phila. Council’s ‘ban the box’ criminal-background bill passes
Inquirer: Pa’s natural gas rush
Citizens’ Voice: Toohil asks stores to stop selling bath salts
Citizens’ Voice: No peace and quiet in drilling country
Citizens’ Voice: Smith proposes to cut House size by 25 percent
Standard Speaker: U.S. water routinely tested for radioactivity
Morning Call: 200 protest Bethlehem area job cuts

Opinions
Centre Square, Newsworks: Corbett refuses to take windfall
Inquirer Editorial: Fiscally, we’re the Titanic
Inquirer Editorial: Can’t learn with violence
Times Leader: Bill said it best: Another ‘snazzy’ Obama speech Richard L. Connor opinion
Patriot-News, Editorial: Special treatment? A change in policy for violations in Natural Gas Drilling is a bad move
Reading Eagle Editorial: Latino population in Berks county jumps by 69 percent; Most are here legally looking for better opportunities for themselves and their families
Citizens’ Voice: Drillers have a friend in Corbett
Citizens’ Voice: State government must step away from liquor sales
Standard Speaker: If bailouts are good, don’t hide details

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