7/11 Morning Buzz

Pennsylvania lost a statesman over the weekend. Former Rep. Frank Mascara passed away; he was 81. The 15-year Democratic Congressman took on Rep. Jack Murtha on 2001’s newly redistricted congressional map.

The week ended on a sour note for President Obama in PA. Politicos woke up to news that unemployment rose in June – to 9.2 percent – and that the labor market under-performed in several areas. And later Friday, Public Policy Polling released a survey showing the President with 46/48 percent approval/disapproval in the state, and in a dead heat with Mitt Romney at 44 percent each. Salena Zito at the Trib has a run down of economic arguments that might make the administration nervous.

Our Rick says his fundraising may not be anything to write home about. The former PA Senator says his Q2 numbers will be “Very much at the low end,” reports Politico about Santorum’s State of the Union appearance.

And click here if you missed Friday’s Ups & Downs.

PoliticsPA Reports

Former Rep. Mascara, 81, Passes Away
Former Congressman Frank R. Mascara (D-Washington) passed away today at Mon Valley Hospital in Monongahela, PA. He was 81 years old.

PPP Poll Shows Trouble For Obama In Pa.
Today’s press release from Public Policy Polling shows President Obama continuing to struggle with a 46% approval rating and 48% disapproval rating. Even in Pennsylvania, normally classified as a blue state, he’s tied with Republican front-runner Mitt Romney at 44%. For a man who once won the Keystone state by 10 points, his campaign herr may not be quite as easy this election time around.

Washington Post: Reps. Altmire vs. Critz Would Be The #7 Top Battle Between Members Of Congess If Redistricting Pans Out As Expected
Conventional wisdom has settled around these two Democrats being combined into one western Pennsylvania district. That’s because Republicans control the redistricting process, and they need to nix one seat.

Meehan Responds to Poor Jobs Numbers
Unemployment rose last month, and Rep. Meehan was the first member of the PA delegation to respond (the first of many Republicans, we’re sure). He blamed the administration and the U.S. Senate.

National
Washington Post: The best state-based political blogs, 2011 edition
Politico: Santorum downplays fundraising expectations
Roll Call: Santorum, Pawlenty Keep Their Chins Up
Bensalem Patch: Rep. Fitzpatrick Demands Senate Senate Budget Action
The Times: Presidential Candidates Warn About Debt Deal
AP: Sen. Casey Looking Tough To Beat With 16 Months To Go
AP: DeMint Recounts Moment of Truth With Specter

Statewide
AP: Openings in Pa. Row Offices Draw Strong Interest
Patriot-News Analysis: A Year After Pa. Gets Table Games, Younger Customers Are Bringing In The Bigger Bucks
York Dispatch: Slots Success Builds Pa. Tax Relief For Homeowners
Lebanon Daily News: Pa. Budget Will Affect Lebanon County
Patriot-News: Flowback From “Fracking” Marcellus Gas Wells In Pa. Has Killed Vegetation Similar To West Virginia Study
Patriot-News: Fracking Water Leaves Salty Aftertaste
Lancaster Era: State Sen. Folmer Rallies Action On Vouchers
PA Independent: State Game Commission backs hunting on Sundays

Philly
Philadelphia Inquirer: Williams hands off legislator’s DUI case
Philadelphia Inquirer: In our poll, legalization of weed gets the high sign
Philadelphia Daily News: City to tax delinquents: Stop freeloading
Phillynow.com: Think Nutter’s Veto Ended the Paid Sick Days Crusade? Think Again.
Phillynow.com: DAILY GRINDER: Guess Who’s Leading the Republican Race for President in Pennsylvania?
Fox Philadelphia: ‘Caylee’s Law’ Bill Planned In Pa.
Fox Philadelphia: Nutter Relaunching PhillyStat Program
ABC Philadelphia: Casey looking tough to beat, with 16 months to go
KYW Newsradio: Governor Corbett Signs More Than 4 Dozen Bills Into Law

Philly Suburbs
Daily Local News: State Gaming Commission Backs Hunting On Sundays
Bucks County Courier Times: Two Bills Introduced By Farry Signed Into Law

Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Former Congressman Frank R. Mascara dies at 81
Early Returns: Kelly v. Sharpton Round 2
KDKA: Senator Jim Furlo discusses budget
Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Shale commission nears completion of report

Southwest
Westmoreland Times: Highlights from Press Conference Call with PA GOP chairman Rob Gleason
Altoona Mirror: Proposed Transportation Plan Would Cut Annual Spending by $16.5 Billion
Daily American: AT&T Official Says T-Mobile Deal Would Help Rural Communities: Rep. Walker Responds
Indiana Gazette: Campaign 2011: DA Candidate Danie Says Drug Arrest in 1990s Changed Life
Indiana Gazette: Reserve Center Renamed for Former Rep. Murtha
Observer-Reporter: Former US Rep. Frank Mascara Dies
Observer-Reporter: Reassessment Moratorium Ends With Veto
Tribune-Democrat: Pitt Hikes Tuition 8.5% Due To Budget
Times Online: Former Rep. Mascara Dies at 81
WJACTV: New Law Recognizes Cancer As Occupational Disease For Volunteer, Paid Firefighters
WJACTV: Courthouse Annex Renovations Almost Complete

Lehigh Valley
Times Leader: Flag is official emblem
Standard Speaker (Rep. Lou Barletta): Hazleton Soldier jailed in S. Korea

South Central
AP via York Daily Record: Casey looking tough to beat, with 16 months to go
York Daily Record: New Budget calls for long-overdue elimination of business tax
Lancaster Online: Voucher backer rallies ACTION
Patriot-News: A Few Central Pa. School Districts Avoid Tax Increases
Patriot-News: With GOP Senate Support, Sen. Toomey Revamps His Plan For Budget If Debt Talks Fail
Lebanon Daily News: Federal Cuts Force Lebanon To Slash Program Funding

NEPA
Times-Tribune: Stray Gas Plagues NEPA Marcellus Wells
Times-Tribune: Bishops, Nuns, Rabbis debate fracking
Times-Tribune: Candidates to get briefings on Lackawanna County Finances
Times Leader: Openings in PA row offices draw interest

North by Northwest
AP via Centre Daily: ‘Modest’ Tuition hike, cuts on the way at Penn State
Daily Item: States weigh ‘Caylee’s law’ following Casey Verdict
AP via Daily Item: Study to measure possible health impacts of natural gas drilling
AP via Daily Item: Economy – hiring stalls with fewest jobs in nine months

Opinions
Philadelphia Inquirer: Inquirer Editorial: An expensive budget cut
WHYY Newsworks: Oughta be a law
Politico: National Dems’ identification crisis
Nate Silver, The Times: In Coverage of Jobs Report, Misplaced Attention to Horse Race
Sarah Palin, Facebook: The Sugar Daddy Has Run Out of Sugar
New Hampshire Union Leader Editorial: Jim Crow? Not even close
John Heileman, New York Magazine: Wanted: Economic Savior
Lancaster Era Editorial: Next Generation Of Spacecraft
Times-Tribune Editorial: Pop Cork on Private Sales
Times Leader Commentary: Only bipartisan effort can bring change to healthcare
Sun Gazette Editorial: The Debt: Days of Ignoring it are gone
Sun Gazette Editorial: Gas Industry gets low-ball jobs treatment
Altoona Mirror, Editorial: Surplus can help rainy day
Altoona Mirror, Editorial: Kudos to union, hospital
Times Online, Editorial: Closing tax loopholes
The Hill (Sam Baker Blog): House to hold hearings on panel GOP claims will ‘ration’ health care
Sacramento Editorial: GOP Senator recounts struggle to reshape party and ‘save freedom’ (Sen. Arlen Spector)
The Tribune Democrat Editorial: Marcellus Tax – Get it done
John D. Forester Jr, Reading Eagle: Budget kicked can to school districts
Centre Daily Editorial:’s business as usual in Pennsylvania
Times-Tribune Editorial: Pop cork on private sales
Ed Mathews, Go Erie: Corbett faces uphill battle
Pittsburgh Tribune Live: Issue could cost Obama his job
Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Pittsburgh’s 2nd crisis
Pittsburgh Tribune Review: What Would Grover Do?
Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Notes on the state of things

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