Good morning politicos, here’s the buzz. Tom Smith is going up on TV; the Commonwealth Court tossed a key provision of the state’s recently passed Marcellus shale law; the voter ID court challenge continues; and a bevy of polls illuminate races up and down the PA ballot.
Don’t forget to check back later for the Ups & Downs!
Poll: Healthy Support for Voter ID, Not For Corbett: New figures released by Public Policy Polling show that while 58 percent of voters support PA’s new voter ID law, Gov. Corbett’s approval ratings are slipping. In addition, support for PSU and the late Joe Paterno, while still broad, is waning.
Poll: Kane, DePasquale & McCord Lead: A new PPP release shows Democrats in the lead in every race across the state – Attorney General, Auditor and Treasurer – and on the generic Congressional ballot.
Poll: Casey 46, Smith 36: Bob Casey still has a double-digit lead over challenger Tom Smith but it’s narrowing, according to the latest survey from Public Policy Polling.
Smith Going on TV (Watch Video): Senate hopeful Tom Smith is going on TV. The Republican challenger to Sen. Bob Casey unveiled his first general election ad, mostly a positive introductory spot, which is to begin airing next week.
Chamber of Commerce Endorses Rothfus: Keith Rothfus, GOP candidate for PA-12, received the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning. Rothfus’ latest endorsement potentially opens the doors for new donors outside of the state.
Ridge, for Romney, Criticizes Obama Over Leaks (Watch Video): Tom Ridge is reporting for surrogate duty. The former PA Governor and Secretary of Homeland Security this week criticized the Obama administration for information leaks that he said translate to major issues of national security.
Casey Votes With Dems on Tax Cuts: Despite some objections, Senator Bob Casey sided with the President Wednesday in a vote to extend the Bush era tax cuts only for families earning up to $250K.
Updated: Team Romney’s PA “Build That” Blitz: Updated with Thursday’s events. Mitt Romney’s campaign is launching a full court national press over Obama’s “you didn’t build that” remarks, featuring local surrogates, business owners, and the campaign bus. Here are the events they plan for PA
Legislative Election Updates
SD-17: In a Q&A with Main Line Today, GOP candidate Charles Gehret answered questions about his age and told the magazine about the issues that matter most to him: business opportunities, transportation funding and education reform.
SD-40: Pennsylvania NOW PAC has endorsed Dem candidate Sharon Brown, saying her opponent Randy Vulakovich has shown “repeated distrust and disdain for women.” Chair Julia Ramsey said Brown would help stop the War on Women in Harrisburg by supporting reproductive rights and economic equality, as well as fighting to eliminate violence against women. NOW PAC is the political arm of PA National Organization for Women.
And a correction from yesterday. North Pittsburgh Politics said that Vulakovich sent out mailers that included an invalid absentee ballot application. The new requirements kick in for the general election; the forms used by Vulakovich are legal and will be accepted, several Republicans tell PoliticsPA.
HD-134: Reports South Whitehall Patch: Wesley Barrett, who in addition to sitting on Emmaus Borough Council runs several Emmaus-based businesses under the company name Wesley Works, Inc., says he is appreciative that he is being talked about as the potential Democratic contender in the 134th race against Rep. Ryan Mackenzie in the fall.
“I’m flattered that my name continually comes up in discussion about who will fill this seat,” Barrett wrote in an email statement to Emmaus Patch, “but it is nothing more than rumor. I have two babies at home, multiple rapidly growing businesses, and already have substantial time commitments to the Borough of Emmaus as a Councilman and other boards and committees I sit on.”
Politico: Veep Sheet: Mitt Romney yet to decide (Condoleezza Rice would help him in PA)
Roll Call: In Congress, win a race, lose a friend (includes Altmire and Critz)
New York Times: Negative ads hit at identity to shape race for presidency
Five Thirty Eight: Romney gains in tracking polls
Slate: The GOP’s self-inflicted wounds?
AP: Zoning limits in Pa. gas drilling law struck down
Wall Street Journal: Poll: Rice as VP evens race in Pennsylvania
American Spectator: Pennsylvania’s capitalist revolt
Capitolwire: State Department official, pollster highlight second day of Voter ID challenge
Capitolwire: Commonwealth Court tosses out local zoning override in Marcellus Shale law, appeal expected
Capitolwire:For U.S. Sen. Casey and GOP opponent Smith, election is about Casey’s record
Capitolwire: Opening arguments made in challenge to controversial Voter ID law
PA Independent: Legislature should make Penn State comply with freedom of information law, AG says
PA Independent: State zoning regs for natural gas drilling found ‘unconstitutional
PA Independent: Majority of delegation backs ‘Audit the Fed’ bill in U.S. House
StateImpactPA: Commonwealth Court Has Struck Down Portions Of Act 13. Here’s What Happens Next
Capitol Ideas: State Court throws out Marcellus Shale zoning restriction
Capitol Ideas: Aud.Gen. Wagner calls for PSU board overhaul
Daily News: Two-Front update
Inquirer: Biden defends public unions at firefighters’ convention in Philadelphia
Inquirer: Rappin’ for the new voter ID law?
Inquirer: Bucks congressman’s plan to shield little firms from big audits
Inquirer: Study: 1 million Pa. voters do not have valid ID
Inquirer: Philadelphia jails’ health-care provider fined for skirting minority-contract rules
Inquirer: Hearing begins in Harrisburg on new voter-ID law
PhillyClout: Video report on firefighter protest
Phillynow.com: Green Party raising funds off Pennsylvania “rigged” elections
Phillynow.com: Jim Kenney writes badass letter to anti-gay Chick-fil-A President
Philadelphia Tribune: Court reviews photo ID law
Philadelphia Tribune: State approves cyber-school charter
Fox Philadelphia: Firefighters have message for Mayor Nutter
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia councilman blasts Chick-Fil-A prez for comments against gay marriage
KYW Newsradio: Pa. Auditor General says Penn State’s Presidents are too powerful
KYW Newsradio: In voter ID law court fight, expert says Pennsylvania is soft-pedaling the impact
WHYY Newsworks: Poll cited in hearing finds third of Pa. voters unaware of photo ID law
City Paper: 2010 video shows Gov. Corbett calling on GOP to keep down Philly vote
City Paper: New law revokes second chance for teens with sex offenses
City Paper: Phantom Menace: The hunt for proof of voting fraud
Montgomery Media: Upper Dublin School District gets positive bond refinancing news
Pottstown Mercury: Phoenixville council fills seat in second attempt
Delco Daily Times: Colwyn official says no to voter ID rules
Delco Daily Times: County working to educate residents on new voting law
Bucks Local News: PA Attorney General announces distribution of $11.5M to municipalities, non-profits in national bid-rigging settlement
Bucks Local News: Fitzpatrick calls on Congress to pass ‘Stolen Valor Act’ which would punish those who falsely claim military service
Daily Local News: Supporters rally for presidential candidates in West Chester
Tribune Review: Romney kicks off overseas trip with diplomatic gaffe, angering Olympics host
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh City Council seeks historic preservation limits
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh Public Schools board OKs 280 layoffs
Post-Gazette: Many Pennsylvanians aren’t aware of new voter ID law, professor testifies
Early Returns: New front in Voter ID battle
Early Returns: PPP: Obama leads Romney by 6 in Pa
Early Returns: Judge: Melvin on “fishing expedition”
Early Returns: Corbett dings Obama over Voter ID probe
KDKA: Corbett Kayaks Allegheny River To Promote Tourism
Pennsylvania Ave: Smith to air first TV ad of Senate general election
Pennsylvania Ave: British MP spends week shadowing Dent
Pennsylvania Ave: “Fun” with Pennsylvania Voter ID numbers
The Morning Call: State court knocks out key piece of gas drilling law
Express-Times: Warren County Democrats fail to turn in financial reports this year
South Whitehall Patch: Emmaus Dem Answers Rumors About 134th State House Bid
South Whitehall Patch: Toomey: Tax Hikes May Be Inevitable
AP: Next up in Pa.’s voter ID case: 1 million lack it
AP: Pa. auditor calls for changes to Penn State board
Times Leader: Casey promotes expanding gas use
Times Leader: Cong. Holden’s campaign committee spreading money around
Times Leader: Underdog Stilp lags in fundraising
Times-Tribune: Outside study cites PA vote count risk
Citizens Voice: New fatal hit-and-run law takes effect Sept. 5
Wayne Independent: Nineteen inducted into PA Voter Hall of Fame
Wayne Independent: Morning Jolt: Obama talks gun violence
Wayne Independent: Legislative services offered on Aug. 9 at Preston Township Building
Standard Speaker: Carbon commissioners like voter ID, but not process
Times News: Courthouse protesters oppose Pa.’s voter ID law
AP: Next up in Pa.’s voter ID case: 1 million lack it
AP: Pa. voter ID hearing enters second day
AP: Court: Provisions in gas-drilling law violate state constitution
Carlisle Sentinel: AG, state police to crack down on synthetic drugs
Carlisle Sentinel: Pa. District judge suspended 1 month over son’s case
York Daily Record: Report: Pennsylvania ranks 14th in overall child well-being
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Chambersburg Area school board approves disputed record of vote to oust Shreffler as basketball coach
North by Northwest
AP: DuBois elementary school among worst performing in Pa.
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Council may vote tonight on ice rink
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Township residents complain to supervisors about noisy neighbors
Centre Daily Times: Osceola Mills elementary school among lowest achievers in Pennsylvania
Sharon Herald: Officials eye tax hike to balance budget
Sharon Herald: School chiefs decry state’s failure ranking
Harrisburg Patriot News: Covering the bases: Ethics commissions need unbiased approach
Harrisburg Patriot News: Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law impacts many, including students
Lewistown Sentinel: Don’t exempt charters from evaluations
Observer-Reporter: Editorial: Cautious optimism for new evaluations
Inquirer Editorial: Waiting for Corbett to deliver options
Inquirer Op-ed: Dubious math on charter schools
Inquirer Op-ed: Poll-tax amendment prohibits voter-ID laws
John Hanger: Stunning Decision: PA Court Strikes Down Heart Of Act 13 That Preempts Local Zoning
Keystone Politics: Romney Has No Plan to Deal With Mass Unemployment
Keystone Politics: Act 13 Zoning Decision Could Be a Setback for Progressive Agenda
The Liberty Blog: The Madison Project: Voting the District – Do Republican House Members Really Vote the District?
The Liberty Blog: The Obama Economic Record: Four More Years and We Are All a Lot Worse Off
Speaking Freely: Voter ID, Day Two: Statistically Speaking
Lehigh Valley Independent: The Fake Debate Over US Economic Policy
2 Political Junkies: Darn That Chris Potter!
Lu-Lac Political Letter: The LuLac Edition #2138, July 26th, 2012
Above Average Jane: Solution Looking for a Problem
Keystone Progress: It’s Time To Investigate Corbett’s Role In The Sandusky Scandal