Good morning politicos, here’s the buzz. Voter ID goes to court today; the Romney campaign bus comes to PA for a number of events; and who will take over state Rep. Mike Gerber’s Montco seat?
Why Obama Probably Can’t Win — But Romney Could Still Lose: ranklin and Marshall’s Terry Madonna and Michael Young say the current economic climate would have President Obama headed for a loss, if not for Mitt Romney.
Who’s Up For the Gerber Seat: State Rep. Mike Gerber isn’t seeking re-election, and the maneuvering has already begun for his Montgomery County seat. We chatted with some Montgomery County Democratic insiders, and here are the names we’re hearing.
DOJ Probes Voter ID; Supporters Say No Fraud Has Occurred: With the trial against Voter ID set to begin tomorrow, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has launched a formal federal investigation into the state’s ID law to determine whether it discriminates against minorities.
Maggi Announces Big Fall Ad Reservation in Pittsburgh: Larry Maggi’s campaign has made time for TV, reserving $495,000 in air time this fall in the Pittsburgh market. Maggi is challenging GOP Rep. Tim Murphy in PA-18. Murphy has over $1M on hand to use, although he has not yet announced plans for an ad campaign.
Toomey’s At It Again (Watch Video): Sen. Pat Toomey has made a name for himself in GOP circles in Washington. During a speech Tuesday morning at the Brookings Institute, the freshman Senator explained his proposal to reform the federal tax code.
Greens Pick Pennsylvanian for VP: Green VP candidate Cheri Honkala calls Pennsylvania home, but that won’t be enough for the Green Party to get on the ballot. With state law requires roughly 10 times the number of petition signatures, Honkala and presidential candidate Jill Stein are facing an uphill battle.
Obama Goes Direct to Camera in New Ad (Watch Video): Obama promotes his economic plan for America’s future in a minute-long TV ad featuring the President speaking directly to the camera.
Legislative Election Updates
SD-40: GOP candidate Randy Vulakovich said in a commercial that he never took Harrisburg perks like per diems or a state car – which the public has since learned isn’t entirely true. He did accept perks when he first held office, although the money pales in comparison to many other lawmakers. But his opponents are not taking the move lightly. “‘No perks’ Randy is a fraud,” said Dem County Chair Nancy Patton Mills. She said he has been “feeding at the public trough” while schools and municipalities take hits, and that his opponent Sharon Brown will be a fresh change for voters.
HD-26: The AFL-CIO and Sierra Club have endorsed Dem candidate Mike Hays. Hays expressed his appreciation for both organizations, noting that the AFL-CIO endorsement shows his commitment to the working families in the district, and promised to fight for them so they can be paid a living wage. He also said he plans to balance maximizing natural gas industry profits with environmental protection. Hays is running against incumbent Tim Hennessey (R-Chester).
HD-148: With state Rep. Mike Gerber (D-Montco) not seeking reelection, talks with county insiders have produced a list of five people who could be considered for the nomination. Gerber said he doesn’t plan to pick sides in the decision.
Politico: NBC/WSJ poll: Obama 49, Romney 43
Politico: Quinnipiac, CBS, NYT to team on polls
National Journal: Poll reveals campaign attacks negatively affecting both candidates
National Journal Hotline: Four signs of Cruz-mentum
The American Prospect: Do we need a new Voting Rights Act?
The Caucus: Obama speaks directly to camera in new ad
Capitolwire: Sen. Casey backs NCAA Penn State sanctions, says he plans to stay in Senate if re-elected
Capitolwire: Credit downgrade adds ‘marginal’ costs to state’s borrowing ability, budget official says
StateImpactPA: Corbett Tells DEP to Expedite Permit Process
StateImpactPA: “Frackers Fund University Research That Proves Their Case”
Inquirer: Voter-ID protesters take their case to PA Capitol
Inquirer: Fight over Pa.’s voter-ID law heads for court Wednesday
Inquirer: Feds charge Philly charter school mogul in massive fraud
Inquirer: June was a super month for Super PACS
Fox Philadelphia: A Surge In Gun Buying In Colorado But What About Here?
WHYY Newsworks How we got here: The voter ID controversy’s extensive ties to Northwest Philadelphia
WHYY Newsworks: Scenes from the voter ID protests in Harrisburg [Video]
City Paper: Workers, activists organize protest of stagnant minimum wage
Phillynow.com: Commonwealth Court to Hear Testimony in Voter-ID Case
Phillynow.com: Sen. Casey Joins in Anti-Obama Smear
Phillynow.com: Should the Minimum Wage be Raised?
Phillynow.com: U.S. Justice Dept. Wants Info Relating to ‘99 Percent’ of Pennsylvania Voters
PhillyClout: Rep. Bob Brady’s attorneys lose 2007 mayoral case — again
PhillyClout: Thousands of firefighters will march on City Hall Thursday
PhillyClout: So how much does a cost efficiency consultant charge?
phillyburbs.com: Workers rally for minimum wage increase
Delco Daily Times: Delco residents charged in defrauding charter schools of $6.5 million
Bucks Local News: Promenade project, demolition of former ACME store in limbo over DEP prohibition on new building permits
Tribune Review: Obama softens tone for ad
Early Returns: Another take on AG & voter fraud
Early Returns: Maggi reserves air time vs Murphy
Early Returns: DOJ letter on voter ID
Early Returns: Casey: Delay voter ID law
Early Returns: Pa attorney gen: No voter fraud in state
Post-Gazette: Feds seeking data on voter ID law
Post-Gazette: Foes of state voter ID requirement rally
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania acknowledges there is no evidence of voter fraud
KDKA: Female candidate challenges Congressman Mike Kelly
Daily Courier: Fayette election board considers ballot guide
Valley News Dispatch: Commissioners target blighted buildings
Beaver County Times: State rejects Rochester tax increase
WJAC: Corbett calls on Penn State to ensure taxpayer money not used to pay fine
Tribune-Democrat: Corbett’s Conemaugh cruise
Pennsylvania Ave: Justice Department wants info on Pennsylvania Voter ID Law
The Morning Call: Pat Toomey defends supercommittee legacy
The Morning Call: Sen. Browne comes to the rescue in the state’s fiscal crisis
WFMZ: Justice Dept. asking if Pa. voter ID law is legal
WFMZ: Puerto Rican Secretary of State sounds off on voter ID law
South Whitehall Patch: Lieutenant Governor Visits Lehigh Valley
Carlisle Sentinel: Convicted Pa. official fighting removal from office
Carlisle Sentinel: Pa. fights order to raze historic church
AP: Voter ID rally held at the Capitol in Harrisburg
AP: Justice Dept. asks if Pa. voter ID law is legal
Lebanon Daily News: Myerstown to unveil draft of comprehensive plan
Lebanon Daily News: Palmyra Area School District hires assistant principal for middle school
York Daily Record: Meeting in Lower Chanceford Township to focus on trash removal
Lancaster Intelligencer: Developers make case for Belmont project
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Chambersburg Borough Council reprimands fire department captain, fires firefighter
Chambersburg Public Opinion: PenMar Development Corp. resumes ownership of Fort Ritchie
AP: Justice Dept. asking if Pa. voter ID law is legal
AP: Protest rally sets stage for Pa. voter ID hearing
Times-Tribune: Hearing scheduled in Rep. Murphy’s domestic assault case
Times-Tribune: Casey optimistic on Scranton deadline
Pocono Record: State Rep. Carroll’s in-laws killed in Montgomery
North by Northwest
Centre Daily Times: State College Mayor Goreham defends rezoning veto
Centre Daily Times: Bellefonte school district gets funds from deal
Lewistown Sentinel: Area officials react to harsh punishment
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Southern Tioga board facing deadline on building project
Williamsport Sun Gazette: ‘Our Kids Count’ meeting draws from all over the school district
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Will Pajama Factory get OK to add apartments?
Courier Express: EPA hosts meeting on proposed injection well
Delco Daily Times: Freindly Fire: Corbett’s Response On Sandusky Fails To Answer Questions
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Local ‘super voters’ set shining example
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Agree to disagree with all due respect
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Execution of health care lays in IRS’ lap
Courier Express: Another perspective: NCAA penalties for Penn State have little to do with actual crimes
Harrisburg Patriot News: Obama administration corruption goes on and on
Harrisburg Patriot News: Don’t let government control women’s health
Harrisburg Patriot News: Bicyclists get privileges
Observer-Reporter: Editorial: Spend on infrastructure
Observer-Reporter: Editorial: Bachmann plays the clown in circus act
Washington Post: Pennsylvania admits it: no voter fraud problem
North Pittsburgh Politics: “No perks” Randy Vulakovich amasses more than $20,000 in state perks
NEPArtisan: Justice Department Eyeing Up PA Voter ID Law
2 Political Junkies: Who knew I was standing so close to the Muslim Brotherhood?
2 Political Junkies: Zito Shills For The Romney Campaign. Again
LuLac Political Letter: The LuLac Edition #2136, July 24th, 2012
The Liberty Blog: Democrat’s Fantasy Thinking: Disabling the Entire Federal Regulatory System?
The Liberty Blog: Sen. John McCain and his friend, Huma Abedin, the Muslim Brotherhood, Secretary of State Clinton
Lehigh Valley Independent: PA Admits There’s No Voter Fraud
Lehigh Valley Independent: Philly Fed on Bethlehem and Allentown Economies
Keystone Politics: What a rebuke is
Keystone Politics: Learn to Love Monopsony Power
Keystone Politics: Justice Department Eyeing Up PA Voter ID Law
Keystone Politics: Drawing Political Boundaries Is Always Political
Keystone Politics: Against Caution
Keystone Politics: One Lawyer’s Take on the #VoterID Arguments
Keystone Politics: State Stores: Why Are They So Ugly?