8/24 Morning Buzz

Good morning, politicos. Here’s the buzz.

National Journal’s House rankings remained steady, but PA-12’s GOP candidate Keith Rothfus scoring a speaking role at the RNC next Monday just may give him a boost.

And who had a good week? Who didn’t? Check back later for this week’s Ups & Downs.

DNC: “The Romney-Ryan-Akin Platform for Women” (Watch Video): A new web video released by the DNC attempts to place Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on the same side of women’s health issues as the now-infamous Missouri Senate nominee Todd Akin.

Rothfus Accepts Speaking Slot At RNC: The national spotlight on the race for PA-12 got brighter today after Keith Rothfus, who’s challenging incumbent Rep. Mark Critz, (D-Cambria) accepted a speaking role at the Republican National Convention in Tampa next Monday.

MCall/Muhlenberg Poll: Ryan Pick Doesn’t Sway PA Voters: In the first poll of PA voters since GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney chose Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate, the numbers indicate that the pick did nothing to move the needle of the leans-blue state in Romney’s favor.

National Journal Race Rankings Remain Steady in PA: Last month National Journal released a list of competitive House races, and PA nabbed three top spots. One month later, two of the races have remained steady, while one dropped three places. But changes are anticipated in “the calm before” the storm of fall campaign season.

Legislative Election Updates
SD-13: Dem candidate Tom O’Brien called out his opponent state Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) for not pushing through legislation the Senator came up with – an online registration bill. O’Brien’s campaign said the bill was “light on detail, was not an original thought and left security and implementation issues up to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.” O’Brien said the bill called for a system to be implemented within 90 days, but did nothing to actually get the ball rolling. The state department has since dropped plans to get the system ready before election day, and there’s no evidence Smucker fought for it, said O’Brien. He said the people of the district deserve better.

HD-93: Democratic State Rep. candidate Linda Small said the state should end $3 billion in subsidies to fossil fuel corporations, and put the money toward education and lowering property taxes. Small said subsidizing fossil fuels is illogical, given that soot pollution is responsible for thousands of death a year and over a million cases of asthma – especially children, where air pollution is “the same as if they had parents smoking in the home.” She said that the subsidies need to be ended for the protection of the next generation. “Pennsylvania parents wouldn’t dream of smoking in their child’s nursery, but our subsidies to PA oil, gas and coal corporations make our air just as dangerous,” she said. Small is running against state Rep. Ron Miller (R-York)

HD-161: State Rep. Joe Hackett (R-Delaware) picked up the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business, a leading small business association with over 14,000 members in the state. They cited his efforts to protect free enterprise as the reason for their endorsement – saying he advocates for smaller government, lower taxes and reducing unnecessary regulation. The endorsement comes from the groups state political committee, the Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust. Hackett is running against Dem candidate Larry DeMarco.

Salon: Obama, Romney and the Empathy Gap
Reason: Government Takeover of Health Care Continues
USA Today: Poll: U.S. sour on politics as conventions open
USA Today: Obama to focus on youth vote during RNC
National Journal: Who Are the Rising GOP Stars?
National Journal: Why the Convention Speeches Matter
Politico: No Paul revolution at convention
Politico: Romney: Church donations private
Politico: Obama backers can text donations
Wall Street Journal: Candidates Adjust to Shifting Map
The Caucus: Republican Immigration Platform Backs ‘Self-Deportation’
The Caucus: Romney Unveils Plan for Energy Independence
The Caucus: Abortion and Akin Were Off Limits During Romney Interview, Reporter Says

State House Sound Bites: Inky: State and voter ID challengers at odds over appeal date
State House Sound Bites: Study finds PA’s school librarians spread thin
State House Sound Bites: Lawmaker floats idea of using district office to issue voter IDs
State House Sound Bites: Links: Private school tuition assistance program not fully ready for fall, Spanier refutes Freeh report
Capitol Ideas: State Rep. Joe Brennan is off the fall ballot
PA Independent: Corbett Admin’s internal budgetary guidelines warn of cost increases, declining federal dollars
PA Independent: Controversial Harrisburg tax increase heads to court
PA Independent: County human services block grant program attracts too much interest
State Impact PA: Drill Bits: Romney’s Energy Plan, Shale Gas Doubles, and Ancestor Ashes
State Impact PA: Europe Unlikely to Mimic U.S. Shale Gas Revolution
State Impact PA: DEP Secretary Defends Expedited Permit Reviews
State Impact PA: Earthquakes and Fracking, One Year After Mineral, Va.

Philly Clout: City Controller calls revised 5-year-plan “reasonable”
Philly Clout: State Supreme Court puts Voter ID appeal on fast track
PhillyNow.com: Constitution Pary Kicked Off the Pennsylvania Ballot
Philly Tribune: State Official Defends Voter ID

Pottstown Mercury: Pa. Republicans challenge Libertarian Party ballot signatures
Phillyburbs.com: Corbett takes to the river
Delco Daily Times: Pa. court sets voter ID law hearing for Sept. 13

Tribune Review: Judge combines trials of Justice Joan Orie Melvin, sister Janine Orie
Post Gazette:  Judge orders suspended Justice Orie Melvin and a sister to stand trial together
Post Gazette: Pittsburgh Mayor Ravenstahl cautious about idea to fund transit via asset district
Early Returns: Supremes agree to Sept voter ID hearing
Early Returns: Muhlenberg/MC: Obama up 9
Early Returns: More blows to Pa swing status

Daily Courier: EMS leaders say higher costs will cause decrease in paramedics

Lehigh Valley
Pennsylvania Ave.: Morning Call/Muhlenberg Poll: Paul Ryan doesn’t move race in Pennsylvania
Morning Call: Rep. Joe Brennan’s ballot withdrawal request granted
Morning Call: Judge delays Rep. Brennan’s PFA hearing
Morning Call: Gov. Corbett looking for charter school reform this fall
Morning Call: Beau Biden hits Romney on veterans spending

The Times-Tribune: Scranton tax plans worry housing market
Citizens Voice: Biden’s son says Romney bad for veterans
Pocono Record: Corbett’s visit to Poconos met with protests from environmentalists
Pocono Record: Pa. Supreme Court sets hearing on voter ID law

South Central
Chambersburg Public Opinion: Delegate to Republican convention from Franklin County gears up
Patriot News: Congressional challenger Gene Stilps uses 8-foot prop to offer medicine to Republican opponent
Patriot News: Does the state have the constitutional right to force Harrisburg to raise taxes?
York Daily Record: Government and community leaders urge voters to prepare for new voter ID law
York Dispatch: York County officials try to raise awareness of Voter ID law

North by Northwest
AP: Harrisburg receiver takes fight to Pa. court
Erie Times-News: Santorum releases convention schedule

New York Times: Editorial: Give small donors a voice
New York Times: Charles Blow Op-ed: All the single ladies; or, why do women vote Republican?
Allentown Express-Times Editorial: Brennan needs help, but he should resign now
Courier Express Editorial: Finally! Those who shop on the Internet will have to start paying state sales tax
Lewistown Sentinel Editorial: DeWeese’s removal from the ballot should spark change to law
Tribune Review: The Port Authority Contract: Reckless deal
Observer Reporter: Editorial: Looking for truth? Ads won’t help
Patriot News: DEP is fine-tuning Pennsylvania permit process
Patriot News: Stalled again: Harrisburg hearing delay means a longer wait for answers

Keystone State Education Coalition: Back to school 2012
Commonwealth Foundation: Pittsburgh transit bailout railroads taxpayers
2 Political Junkies: Welcome to the right wing noise machine
The Pennsylvania Progressive: Pennsylvania’s natural gas tax giveaway exceeds $500 million mark
Above Average Jane: Stu Bykofsky Candidates’ Comedy Night, 2012
Keystone Politics: Jose Rosado should replace Joe Brennan in #HD133
Keystone Politics: Report: PennDOT incorrectly telling people they have to pay for #voterID
Keystone Politics: Muhlenberg Poll: Obama up 9, no Ryan bounce
John Hanger: All eyes will be on Cabot & DEP as fracking resumes in Dimock
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: State Rep. Joe Brennan off the ballot

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