7/31 Morning Buzz

Scranton City Hall

Good morning politicos, here’s the buzz. Portman rallies for Romney in Lancaster, as a new poll shows Obama’s lead may be slipping in the state. Medicare celebrates its birthday – but the issue is no party for the Dems and GOP. And ICYMI, take a look at our district-by-district analysis of Voter ID’s impact across the state.

Voter ID Data: Full District Spreadsheets: Data geeks, rejoice. Here are the full lists of congressional, state Senate and state House districts as they are potentially impacted by the new voter ID law.

In the Hunt for VP Nod, Portman Joins Rally in Lancaster: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, considered a top contender for VP on Romney’s ticket, visited Lancaster County on Monday to speak at a GOP Victory Rally.

Sierra Club Pressures Shuster on Wind Jobs (Watch Video): The Sierra Club continued their pressure on lawmakers Monday with the launch of television, radio and online ads. This time they are targeting Rep. Bill Shuster, calling on him to act and renew the Production Tax Credit for wind energy.

It’s Medicare’s Birthday and We’ll Campaign If We Want To: It’s Medicare’s 47th birthday, and Democratic candidates and committees are bringing out the cake…and the knives.

Exclusive: Scollo Internal Poll: Rep. Marino’s Soft Support: [Updated with head-to-heads] An internal poll from Phil Scollo, the Dem challenging Rep. Tom Marino suggests that the freshman Republican incumbent has soft support in his newly drawn district. But the memo, obtained exclusively by PoliticsPA, omits initial head-to-head numbers.

Dems Step Up Millionaire Messaging (Watch Video): As the House readies a vote on the Bush tax cuts, the DCCC has launched a new online advertising offensive against GOP Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick and Tim Murphy. Dems say the GOP rewards the wealthy but punishes the middle class; the GOP says tax cuts only for the few will mean economic woes for all.

Susquehanna Poll: Obama’s PA Lead Shrinks to 3 Points: A poll released Friday by Susquehanna Polling & Research shows that Pennsylvania may be slipping from the President’s grip. The poll shows a slim 3-point lead for Obama over Romney, 46-43 percent.

A District-by-District Look at Voter ID Numbers: It’s tough to tell how many people will be impacted by PA’s new voter ID law. But based on the numbers we have, here are the congressional, PA House and Senate districts that will be most (and least) affected.

Legislative Election Updates

SD-15: It’s that time in the campaign season: anonymous blogs! A post by the blog “Pennsylvania Swamp Fox” dings GOP candidate John McNally in relation to the morass that is the City of Harrisburg’s finances. McNally is running against Dem Rob Teplitz for the seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Piccola (R-Dauphin)

SD-17: GOP candidate Charles Gehret announced today the first members of his campaign’s steering a committee – a group of community leaders who will help support his efforts to unseat incumbent Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montco).  “When we earned the Republican nomination, our campaign realized we will succeed if we bring local leaders aboard and draw on their knowledge and expertise,” Gehret said. “We will work closely with the community leaders who have shown us such humbling confidence through the Gehret Campaign Steering Committee and we expect to add more leaders in the days ahead.”

HD-131: The Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania’s PAC has endorsed Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh) for reelection. He was the first candidate the PAC supported in 2010, and they said his commitments to government accountability and school choice have led them to support him again. He is running against Dem Kevin Deely Jr.

HD-151: Dem candidate Will Sylianteng responded today to a court decision striking down portions of Act 13, a law he called “unjust and critically flawed.” He said the decision “upheld the autonomy of local municipalities, and preserved the rights of the constituents.” He said his opponent, Rep. Stephens (R-Montco) failed the people he represents by voting in favor of laws like Act 13, placing other interests first.

HD-177: Dem candidate William Dunbar said his campaign is working hard to get his name out there with fewer than 100 days until the election. He said he is helping with tasks as small as calls for trash pickup to as large as addressing issues like abandoned properties and applications for the Philadelphia Homestead Exemption. Voter ID is another key issue to the campaign. “The voter ID bill has created a new obstruction to thousands of voters within the  district” he said.  “I want to make sure that anyone who wants to vote will not be hindered by the obstacles in the bill.” He is running against Rep. John Taylor (R-Phila).

National
Philadelphia Magazine: Pat Toomey is surprisingly moderate
The Hill: ‘Personhood’ group takes petition case to the Supreme Court
The Hill: Dems propose to ban online ammo sales
The Hill: Romney unsure if he paid under 13.9 percent tax rate in prior years
Roll Call: John Boehner Names Violence Against Women Act Conferees
Roll Call: Mitt Romney’s Fundraising Boost Stems From Unique Tactic
Politico:Gay marriage headed to DNC platform
Politico:John McCain hits back at Dick Cheney
Politico: Romney: I’ve been audited in the past
The Caucus: Democrats Move to Include Gay Marriage in Party Platform
The Caucus: Romney Comments on Palestinians Draw Criticism
Slate: “I Wouldn’t Even be Adverse to a Tax Increase Across the Board”
Slate: Obama Biography Showdown: Ed Klein Outsells David Maraniss by a 7-1 Margin
USA Today: Poll: Jobs are voters’ top priority
National Journal: Romney’s Rules of Diplomacy: Some Slipped Out of the Briefing Book
National Journal: Democrats to Officially Back Gay Marriage
National Journal: House Dems to Introduce Senate Passed Tax Bill
National Journal: Bank Shots
Washington Post: Romney faces Palestinian criticism for Jerusalem remarks as he heads to Poland

Statewide
Capitol Ideas: Monday Morning Coffee: It’s been 10 years since Quecreek accident
StateImpactPA: Doctors sue over ground rule
StateImpactPA: DEP orders shut down of country’s largest coal ash pond
StateImpactPA: Drill Bits: Methane migration’s impact; putting numbers on drilling’s westward shift
Capitolwire: Christiana, Vereb’s key roles in passage of EITC 2.0
Capitolwire: Corbett administration appeals Act 13 ruling to Supreme Court
Capitolwire: Voting on expiring tax cuts shows difference between Sen. Casey and GOP challenger Tom Smith
Capitolwire: Until lists are cleaned up, we are unsure of scope of Voter ID problem

Philadelphia
Philly Daily News: Does Corbett have something against women?
Philly Daily News: Corbett’s cabinet a regular boys club
Heard in the Hall: Council Wades Into Voter ID
PhillyNow.com: Daily Grinder: Right Wing Media Mock Council, Jim Kenney, Over Chick-fil-A Controversy
PhillyNow.com: Green Party Will Hand in Pennsylvania Signatures a Day Early
Philly Tribune: State Law to Aid ‘Distressed’ School Districts
KYW Newsradio: Philadelphia Officials Promise to Help Voters Overcome ID Law Difficulties
WHYY Newsworks: Some City Council campaign funds earmarked for use in Voter ID effort

SEPA
Delco Daily Times: Casey eyes increase in natural gas usage
Delco Daily Times: 4th day of Pa. voter ID hearing features videos
Bucks Local News: Pennsylvania Attorney General announces distribution of $11.5M to municipalities, non-profits in national bid-rigging settlement

Pittsburgh
Tribune Review: 2 former employees say they did 2003 campaign work for Melvin
Post-Gazette: Former clerks testify at Orie Melvin preliminary hearing
Post-Gazette: Air Force veteran testifies Pa. voter ID law could prevent him from casting ballot
KDKA: Orie Melvin In Court For Preliminary Hearing
Early Returns: Prelim beings for Orie Melvin
Early Returns: More on voter ID

Southwest
AP: General Assistance program ends this week
Observer-Reporter: Court rules part of Act 13 unconstitutional
AP: Pa. voter ID hearing enters 4th day

Lehigh Valley
The Morning Call: PA budget extends support to youth aging out of foster care
WFMZ: Casey urges US Justice Department to convene crime summit in Reading
WFMZ: Pa. General Assistance program to end this week
WFMZ: Allentown School District signs decree to address and prevent future sexual assaults of students
Reading Eagle: New Reading superintendent ready to lead
South Whitehall Patch: Who Wins and Loses in Pa. Property Tax Debate?
Express Times: Donegan Elementary School Bethlehem’s newest community school
Express Times: Mansfield Township Mayor Ted Tomaszewski flashes honorary police badge too much, former official says
Express Times: Forks Township ‘cottage in the woods’ would cost thousands to preserve

NEPA
Times Leader: Area jobless rate back above 9 percent
Times Leader: State officials listen to concerns on Arc’s future
Times-Tribune: Poor lose safety net this week
Times-Tribune: Few details exist with scholarship program for students in low-performing schools
Times-Tribune: Hearing continued for State Rep. Kevin Murphy’s alleged domestic assault case
Citizens Voice: Barletta sponsors postage stamp for coal miners
Daily Item: New fiscal office examines property tax bill
Standard Speaker: Study gives Pa. low marks for vote audit

South Central
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Face the Facts USA: how fast is the federal deficit rising?
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Sierra Club targets Rep. Shuster on wind energy
York Daily Record: Former York Mayor responds to Stetler trial, testimony about his campaign
York Daily Record: With deadline looming, members of local Green and Libertarian parties make push for signatures
Lancaster Intelligencer/Era: VP hopeful stumps for Obama: Portman tells party faithful that PA could go “red”

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News Campaign ‘12 Blog: U.S. Rep. Kelly’s speech gets plenty of attention on House floor – and elsewhere
Erie Times-News: Roll call: how Erie area members of Congress voted
Erie Times-News: Erie Chamber awarded $385,000 in state money

Opinion
Harrisburg Patriot-News: Column: still waiting for real Barack Obama, Mitt Romney election news
The New York Times: Romney’s Charm Offensive
The Morning Call: A private water company could benefit Allentown
Politico: Some questionable State Dept. actions
Citizens Voice Editorial: Examine all sides before eliminating property taxes
Standard Speaker Editorial: Interstate tolling a job for Congress
Daily Review Editorial: Conditions on ground aren’t uniform

Blogs
CasablancaPA: Doublethink
Keystone State Education Coalition: Update on the status of PSSA cheating investigations
Commonwealth Foundation: Calling shenanigans on liquor union bosses
Commonwealth Foundation: How low can Frackaphobes go?
Jon Geeting: Judge Simpson bucked PA GOP on ACORN in 2008
NEPArtisan: Of note: PA-10 and AG polling, voter ID disenfranchisement by numbers
NEPArtisan: PA Senate candidate Tom Smith likes Tea-bag teacher Hitler reference
2 Political Junkies: Jack Kelly…Friday?
Pennsylvania Progressive: Farmers get exemption from estate tax
Pennsylvania Progressive: Skeptics come around on climate change
Keystone Progress: Report: Supreme Court ruling on ACA equals Pennsylvanians’ peace of mind
Keystone Progress: 10,000 sign petition calling for investigation of Corbett
Keystone Politics: Reducing healthcare spending will free up more money for big government
Keystone Politics: PA government basically a total sausage party
Keystone Politics: How not to report on #VoterID
Keystone Politics: Supply glut pushing natural gas driller to Ohio
Keystone Politics: Judge Simpson bucked PA GOP on ACORN in 2008
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: State GOP to hold local hearing on job creation

July 31st, 2012 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook, Top Stories | No Comments