8/3 Morning Buzz

Good morning, politicos. Here’s the buzz.

The Senate campaign heats up, as Casey announced his first ad buy in Pittsburgh. And the Voter ID case has wrapped up; so now, we wait. ICYMI, the AFL-CIO provided a list of Voter ID hot spots that light up in Allegheny and Phila just before closing arguments were given.

Don’t forget to check back later for this week’s Ups & Downs.

Obama Camp Online Map: How Romney’s Tax Plan Compares: This morning, President Obama’s campaign announced the release of a new online map that shows state-by-state how the middle class will have lower tax rates under Obama – as compared to proposed tax reform plans by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Casey Set to Release First Ad: Senator Bob Casey is releasing his first ad of the campaign season which will be airing in the Pittsburgh media market. This release comes on the heels of his competitor Tom Smith’s ads, which began running last week.

Warren Kampf: Voter ID Law May Increase Turnout: Rep. Warren Kampf said he believes PA’s Voter ID law may actually increase voter turnout during a town hall meeting in Phoenixville Monday. Kampf referenced a 2008 voter ID law enacted in Georgia where afterward, voting increased in the districts expected to be affected prior to the passage of the law.

Bob Casey Campaign Unveils New Website: In an email to supporters today, Sen. Bob Casey’s Finance Director Mike Butler announced the unveiling of a new campaign website, BobCasey.com, as well as a Twitter account.

Map: Voter ID Hot Spots: New info compiled by the AFL-CIO last week gave us a little more insight into the Voter ID numbers. This week they also provided the full lists of congressional, state Senate and state House districts and how they would be impacted by Voter ID. And now we have the map.

More PA Blitz From Team Romney: After “Build That” events last week, Team Romney will host “Strengthening the Middle Class” events in Pennsylvania and 12 other states. Instead of focusing on small business, Thursday’s events will concentrate on the fate of the working class and President Obama’s economic record.

Legislative Election Updates

SD-40: ChamberPAC, the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, announced its endorsement of current state Rep. Randy Vulakovich for state Senate in the 40th District.PA Chamber Vice President Sam Denisco said his state House record of promoting private-sector growth influenced their decision to endorse him. “His support of fiscal responsibility in state government; understanding of what job creators need to maintain and grow their businesses; and commitment to public safety demonstrate his desire to act in the best interest of all constituents.” Vulakovich was also endorsed by LifePAC and the NRA.

SD-40: Dem candidate Sharon Brown and GOP candidate Randy Vulakovich spoke at a public forum Tuesday to inform voters before next week’s special election. Following the forum, Brown took the opportunity to knock her opponent for being anti-union – and against teachers, firefighters, bus drivers and other public employees. “Randy’s policies are already harming this region, and his plan would destroy our state…He would kill the jobs of our neighbors and destroy the heart of our communities,” Brown said. “Unlike Randy, I know how vital unions and the right to collective bargaining are to a strong economy and stronger community,” continued Brown, a nurse, educator, former administrator at CCAC, and small business owner.

SD-49: Democratic candidate Sean Wiley issues a statement today saying his campaign would no longer give away helium-filled balloons at area festivals and parades “temporarily…(and) effective immediately,” due to a global helium shortage.” As a naturally occurring resource, helium’s varied uses would better serve our community and planet rather than my campaign for State Senate. If limiting my Campaign’s use of helium for events can help Erie’s hospitals, welders and other essential users, I will certainly see to our conservation.”

HD-79: A McGinnis campaign source said GOP nominee John McGinnis has raised $45K since the primary and has continued to do so – despite a frosty reception from the party after beating their endorsed candidate Geist.

HD-95: Libertarian David Moser told the York Dispatch that he collected the 300 signatures he needed by Wednesday to run against Eugene DePasquale (D-York) who is running for Auditor General but has also remained on the ballot for his current House seat. Moser said he doesn’t have a problem with DePasquale, but wants to give voters an option. Moser even suggested people vote DePasquale for Auditor General and Moser for the House seat, avoiding any contention or need for a special election should Depasquale win both races. Depasquale told the Dispatch, “I’m all for competition.” There is no GOP candidate in the race.

HD-134: Dems have found a new candidate, John Reynard, to go up against Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh) who has held office since May of this year. Reynard said in a press release that he thinks Mackenzie “needs more life experience.” Mackenzie said the difference between the two candidates is obvious: “I look forward to contrasting my common-sense efforts to help job creators, protect taxpayers and change state government to help local residents with [Reynard’s] Harrisburg-controlled agenda of more spending, higher taxes and job-killing regulations.” The Dems’ former pick, Patrick Slattery, bowed out of the race last month.

National
Politico:Boehner feeling better about keeping House
Politico:Reports: President Obama aiding Syrian rebels
National Journal: Romney to Unveil ‘Accountability Scorecard’
National Journal: Obama Brings “Middle Class” Tour to Nation’s Richest County
National Journal: Tax Reform: No Silver Bullet
National Journal: For Undecided Voters, It’s The Devil-You-Know Election
Roll Call:Harry Reid Again Accuses Mitt Romney of Failing to Pay Taxes
Roll Call:Mitt Romney’s Camp Dismisses Tax Analysis, Dings Jim Messina
The Hill: Liberal group unveils blueprint for second healthcare reform law
The Hill: New deficit plan to be unveiled day after the November elections
The Hill: Boehner ‘feeling better’ about GOP retaining majority in the House
The Hill: Romney adviser: Obama’s campaign chief appears to have broken the law
The Caucus: New Obama Ad Takes Shot at Romney Tax Plan
The Caucus: The Early Word: Taxing
Five Thirty Eight: Aug. 1: Obama Extends Electoral College Advantage
Slate: Who’s Fracking in Your Backyard?
Wall Street Journal: Jobless Claims Increase
Wall Street Journal: Political Perceptions: Stepping Up to the Cliff
The Washington Post: Romney tax proposal analyzed

Statewide
Capitol Ideas: #VoterID Hearing: Lawyers wrap up their arguments
Capitol Ideas: #VoterID Hearing: Plaintiffs say state can’t guarantee everyone will have ID by election day
Capitol Ideas: Thursday Morning Coffee: The five things you need to know this morning
State House Sound Bites: Piccola in legal jeopardy over work for Utah-based company
StateImpactPA: Funds available for electric vehicle chargers
StateImpactPA: Drill Bits: Act 13 update, and funding for drilling research

Philadelphia
Philly Clout: Planning underway for labor rally in Philadelphia
AP: Green Party nominee arrested in Philly bank sit-in
Philly Daily News: Philadelphia’s third water main break in 10 days floods Front and Tioga
Philly Daily News: Voter ID law prompts longtime Center City poll worker to retire
Heard in the Hall: Study: Black and Hispanic precincts hit harder by Voter ID
PhillyNow.com: Daily Grinder: Rep. Bob Brady Rips Romney Over Tax Plan
PhillyNow.com: Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein Arrested at “Occupy Fannie Mae” Protest in Center City Philadelphia
KYW Newsradio: Bleak Road Ahead For Philadelphia School District
WHYY Newsworks: Pa. lawmaker baffled over getting letter on voter ID
WHYY Newsworks: No matter what the ruling in voter ID case, it’s expected to go to Pa. Supreme Court

SEPA
Delco Daily Times: Closing arguments on tap in Pa. voter ID hearing
Delco Daily Times: Senate may go on recess without passing cyber bill

Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette: Special election to fill Orie’s seat
Post-Gazette: Closing arguments conclude in case over Pennsylvania’s voter ID law
Post-Gazette: Corbett seeks to maintain momentum for potential Shell plant in Monaca
Tribune Review: Pennsylvania universities to issue students IDs they can use during election
Tribune Review: Corbett says $25 million in Port Authority concessions not enough to trigger state funding
Early Returns: Casey begins ad campaign

Southwest
Altoona Mirror: Corbett: Police must work to reduce inmates
Observer-Reporter: Gov. Corbett cuts ribbon on Mon-Fayette Expressway section
WJACTV: Lawyers clash over voter ID law as hearing ends

Lehigh Valley
The Morning Call: Lehigh Township swears in new police chief
The Morning Call: Democrats line up new candidate to challenge state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie
The Morning Call: Green Party presidential candidate arrested
AP: Voter ID law will cause chaos at polls, official says
WFMZ:Lehigh Valley nonprofits remain optimistic, study says
WFMZ:Pennsylvania’s General Assistance Fund, serving 61,000 people, ends
WFMZ:County commissioners set to pick Lehigh County Exec soon
WFMZ:Lehigh Co. Dems back Reynard to fill Slattery’s slot
South Whitehall Patch: Lehigh County Dems Make Pick for 134th State House Seat
South Whitehall Patch: Marcellus Shale Free Program Hosted by Lehigh Valley Tea Party

NEPA
Times Leader: More county layoffs near?
The Times-Tribune: Scranton eyes its seven largest nonprofits for contributions
The Times-Tribune: Local Chick-fil-A draws crowds over same-sex marriage debate
The Times-Tribune: State extends deadline for Scranton recovery plan after PEL raises concerns
Wayne Independent: Councilman: Absent violation notices routine
The Daily Review: Occupation, per-capita taxes suspended in Ridgebury

South Central
Carlisle Sentinel: Voter ID law affects Cumberland County universities
Patriot News: Fate of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law rests with Commonwealth Court judge
York Daily Record: Pennsylvania colleges work to make student IDs OK to vote
York Dispatch: Mayor’s town hall meeting touches politics, property concerns

North by Northwest
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Unopposed House incumbent spent little
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Local House candidates spend less than $5,000 during last reporting period
Centre Daily Times: Former senator overseeing Penn State reform received honorary university degree

Opinion
Politico: Ted Cruz wins for ‘We the People’
Politico: U.S. growth in ‘prosperity economics’
The Courier Express: Op-ed: Romney could learn a thing or two from Gov. Walker

Blogs
Keystone State Education Coalition: Ten PA Schools to Share $6.9 Million in Federal SIG Funds/US DOE also announces grants to cover AP test fees for low-income students
Commonwealth Foundation: Opportunity scholarships now open for business in Pennsylvania
2 Political Junkies: PA Congressman Mike Kelly likens birth control mandate to Pearl Harbor and 9/11
2 Political Junkies: The Trib gets it wrong. Again.
Pennsylvania Progressive: Olympians medal in London, while the NRA meddles in Harrisburg
Above Average Jane: PA to pay for AP tests
Keystone Progress: Mike Kelly equates access to birth control to terrorist attacks
Keystone Politics: The bottom line on #VoterID
Keystone Politics: PA-3: Missa Eaton calls on Mike Kelly to apologize for comparing free birth control to 9/11

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