8/7 Morning Buzz

Good morning, politicos. Here’s the buzz.

By tonight we will know ex-Sen. Jane Orie’s replacement in SD-40.

And as a special PoliticsPA feature, don’t forget to check out the latest installment of our congressional vulnerability rankings and see where your Rep. falls on our list.

Congressional Vulnerability Rankings, August Edition: Call it a summer slump, but since our last PoliticsPA congressional-seat vulnerability ranking in April, the broad outlines haven’t changed much. However, a few contests have risen or fallen slightly.

Tom Knox For Governor?: With Corbett’s poll numbers in the tank, even a generic Democratic opponent to him in 2014 would lead 45 percent to 39. Given that kind of climate, former Guv candidate Tom Knox said he plans to enter the race.

Reader Poll: How Will The Court Rule on Voter ID: With a ruling expected soon, we ask readers what they think will happen in the Voter ID case.

Reader Poll: Dems Will Win More In State House: It’s been a while, politicos, but we asked you about a month ago what will happen to the PA House this fall. And while no single answer came out on top, the choice was clear: the Dems will win some seats this fall – it’s exactly how many that is up for debate.

Critz Goes After Rothfus For Hiring Practices: The Critz campaign has come out swinging in yet another chapter of the contentious race for PA-12. Following a jab by Rothfus last week on a House tax vote, Rep. Mark Critz is now up in arms over how his opponent pays employees.

New Obama Ad Touts Wind Energy Policy (Watch Video): President Obama’s campaign launched a new web video Friday championing what they call the President’s “all-of-the-above” energy policy by interviewing employees of Heron Wind Manufacturing, an alternative energy company in Michigan.

Legislative Election Updates
SD-40: On the eve of the special election to fill the seat in SD-40, state Rep. Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny) earned yet another endorsement, this time of Pittsburgh’s conservative-leaning newspaper the Tribune-Review. “The stain that Jane Orie left on Pennsylvania’s 40th Senatorial District is deep and smelly. And it will take a person with impeccable public credentials and personal integrity to lift and deodorize that stain and restore respect to the seat. That person is Republican Randy Vulakovich,” the paper editorialized. “(He’s) now serving his third term in the Pennsylvania House. He replaced another crook, former state Rep. Jeff Habay. And he’s done an excellent job of stain and odor removal.”

HD-40: Keystone Politics reported that the GOP’s Auditor General candidate John Maher has found himself in the same boat as his Dem opponent Eugene DePasquale – both are state reps running for a row office as well as reelection to their House seat. And Maher lacks a Dem opponent. Keystone Politics said that this presents “excellent opportunity for the PA Green Party, if they were actually interested in getting Green Party members elected. The Green Party candidate would go head to head with the Republican, instead of playing the spoiler role.”

HD-177: Dem candidate William Dunbar has pushed for his opponent Rep. John Taylor (R-Phila) to 3 public debates across the district between Sept. 10 and Oct 26., saying they are essential to the electoral process and will allow voters to make informed decisions. “I strongly believe that, as candidates, we have a duty to make sure the voters know the issues and know where we stand,” said Dunbar. He also said nonpartisan organizations should moderate the debates and keep them open to the public and media.

Time: Through the looking glass of veep picks
The Hill: Rasmussen: Obama overtakes Romney in national tracking poll
USA Today: Romney campaign is on three-month fundraising winning streak
USA Today: Cheney walks back criticism of Palin
USA Today: Harry Reid not backing down from Romney tax claim
USA Today: Will Romney out-raise Obama?
Slate: Bet Against America
Slate: Obama Should Claim To Out-Bain Bain
Slate: The Romney Tax Hike
Slate: Planned Anti-Stimulus Already Weighing on Businesses
National Journal: Telephone Polling: Sorry, Wrong Number
National Journal: Obama Campaign Opens Can of Worms with Ohio Early Voting Lawsuit; Former PA Rep. Murphy Comments
The Washington Post: Romney’s July fundraising outpaces Obama’s
The Caucus: Romney’s fundraising outpaces Obama again in July

PA Independent: Supremes to hear challenges to new House, Senate district maps
PA Independent: Two DPW workers charged in public benefits theft
Capitol Ideas: From Ohio to Colorado, state voting law fights head to court
Capitol Ideas: Monday Morning Coffee: Smart ALECs in Salt Lake City
StateImpactPA: “Shale Development to Boost US Ethylene Exports”
StateImpactPA: DEP Lowers Premiums For Mining-Related Insurance Program
StateImpactPA: A Cracker Means Jobs, But Environmentalists Worry About Air Pollution
StateImpactPA: Act 13 Ruling Convinces Butler County Township To Keep Its Drilling Restrictions In Place
Capitolwire: Capitolwire: Implementing components of Voter ID law ‘a learning process,’ Corbett says

The Inquirer: Pa. rejects independent’s bid to challenge Fattah
The Inquirer: Rendell slams PA voter ID law, Corbett defends its implementation
Philly Clout: Mayor Nutter takes a holiday…
Philly Clout: Huge union rally Saturday to send message to Democrats
Philly Now: Daily Grinder: Ever Wondered About Your Neighbor’s Political Affiliation? There’s An App for That
Philly Tribune: Linder tackling Chester’s problems
Philly Tribune: Homeland Security clarity aids immigrant offspring
WHYY Newsworks: 30,000 union members expected at Philadelphia rally for rights
WHYY Newsworks: Voter ID expected to dominate Pa. county commissioners conference

Delco Daily Times: Schneller out of race for 7th District
Delco Daily Times: Voter ID info meeting set
Bucks Local News: State Rep. Santarsiero: Commonwealth Court decision on natural gas drilling operations a step in right direction
Pottstown Mercury: Rep. Quigley to serve on House Select Committee to study property taxes

AP: Presidential TV ad money is concentrated in 9 states
AP: Court sets arguments on new map appeals
Tribune Review: ALEC endures liberal firestorm
Post-Gazette: In rare move, Pennsylvania Supreme Court orders live broadcast of redistricting hearings
Post-Gazette: Voter ID outreach letter causes confusion
Post-Gazette: Rabbi sues Pennsylvania over funeral laws
Early Returns: Romney Pa buys may be post-Tampa
Early Returns: Supremes schedule Sept. hearing on new Pa. maps
Early Returns: PA passed over again
Early Returns: Monday: Waiting on Voter ID

AP: Marcellus Shale becoming top U.S. natural gas field
Beaver County Times: Industry woman cycles against fracking current
Valley News Dispatch: Freeport Theatre Festival offers comedic look at election process

Lehigh Valley
Pennsylvania Avenue: PA union leaders add to calls for Romney to release tax forms
Pennsylvania Avenue: Casey airs first TV ad of Senate reelection campaign
Morning Call: Presidential campaigns feed off misleading claims
Morning Call: First Lady to campaign in Lehigh Valley this week
Reading Eagle: Boyertown to again evaluate voting districts format
WFMZ: First lady plans campaign stops in Phila, Lehigh Valley areas

The Times Leader: Controller Griffith wants to snuff out smoking on county property Jennifer Learn-Andes Luzerne County Beat
AP: Marcellus Shale becoming top US natural gas field
Standard Speaker: School transfer program faces many obstacles
Standard Speaker: City ordinance limiting number of pets sparks debates
Standard Speaker: Size of state voter ID budget debated
Times News: Rep. Barletta resolution aimed at ending practice of gassing cats, dogs

South Central
Chambersburg Public Opinion: PA Redistricting Arguments to be televised
AP: PA high court schedules redistricting arguments for next month
AP: Michelle Obama to campaign in eastern PA.
Harrisburg Patriot News: Harrisburg receiver wants expedited hearing to force City Council to adopt other recovery plan measures
Harrisburg Patriot News: PA Dems. weigh early challenge to Gov. Tom Corbett

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Sanctions on Iran, tax cuts highlight week for Congress
Sharon Herald: A vote for another dry run
Williamsport Sun Gazette: 2 Republicans from region back tax bills

Tribune Review Editorial: Elect Vulakovich
Wall Street Journal: The Latest Big Bank Bailout
Morning Call: Op-ed: Greed, not wealth, at center of nation’s economic problem
Statecollege.com: Patty Kleban: Government Should not Regulate Personal Opinion, Choice
Philadelphia Daily News: For the Supreme Court, an indecent proposal

Above Average Jane: Working Mothers Love PA Elected Officials
Keystone Progressive: Group That Sustains ALEC’s Voter Suppression Agenda Releases Sham “Study,” To Acclaim From Right-Wing Media
Keystone Progress: Blowing In The Wind: Tax Credit For Alternative Energy
John Hanger: Secretary Krancer Scores TKO Over NRDC But Does Gas Issue Have To Be A Fight?
Keystone Politics: Luke Ravenstahl Shouldn’t Compromise On High Parking Turnover
Keystone Politics: PennDOT not ready to implement #VoterID
Keystone Politics: Republicans lying about early voting in Ohio
Keystone Politics: PA-12: Keith Rothfus doesn’t care about the deficit
Keystone Politics: HD-40: Green party pickup opportunity?
Keystone Politics: A fox guarding the hen house
2 political junkies: Obama for America v. Husted, 12-cv-636
Lehigh Valley Independent: No, Obama is not trying to suppress military voters in OH
Lehigh Valley Independent: What’s causing the deficit
Lehigh Valley Independent: If you want to cut spending, cut spending
Lehigh Valley Independent: Time for reassessment in Northampton County

  • When Should The Special Elections For The PA House Be Held?

    • May 16, 2023 (Primary Day) (51%)
    • March, 2023 (47%)
    • April, 2023 (2%)

    Total Voters: 173

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