9/13 Morning Buzz

Good morning, politicos. Here’s the buzz.

Voter ID heads to court (again) today. Who’s ready to take bets on the outcome? In other news, we’ve got lots of new TV ads today, our list of the top five state Senate races and Mitt Romney’s response to the recent events in Egypt and Libya.

Top 5 PA Senate Races: The PA Senate has been a place where conservative legislation goes to simmer and moderate. Will Democratic gains make the chamber even more centrist? Here are the top 5 seats in play this year.

And in case you missed it, here are the Top Ten PA House Races.

Romney Answers PA Voter on Libya: During a telephone town hall Wednesday evening with Pennsylvania voters, Mitt Romney explained his criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of the situations in Egypt and Libya.

Earll Pinch Hits for Anderson in New Ad (Watch Video): State Senate hopeful Janet Anderson’s third television ad is on the air and it draws heavily upon the endorsement of retiring Sen. Jane Earll (R-Erie). Straight to camera, the popular four-term Senator touts Anderson’s 26 years of experience and bipartisan stance.

Republicans Push Back Against Signs That PA is Off the Table: The GOP is off the air in Pennsylvania and polls show President Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by a comfortable margin, but PA Republicans Wednesday insisted that the state is still in play.

In First Fall Ad, Critz Hammers… Democrats (Watch Video): It’s not hard to tell from Mark Critz’s first ad of the general election that he’s running in a district Barack Obama lost by 8 points in 2008. The Democratic Congressman smacks the President and his party over the issue of coal and others.

Casey Goes Negative (Watch Video): Tom Smith founded a Tea Party. Senator Bob Casey is up with his second negative ad of the 2012 season against Republican Tom Smith. Smith has Tea Party values. The spot seeks to characterize Smith as out of the mainstream. And did we mention he’s in a Tea Party?

Fitz (& Fam) Goes on TV (Watch Video): Mike Fitzpatrick is doing it for his daughters. That’s the message of the quasi-freshman’s first television ad of 2012. The Republican Congressman faces attorney Kathryn Boockvar in Democrats’ top-targeted race in Pennsylvania.

Legislative Election Updates

Yesterday Equality Pennsylvania announced its list of endorsed candidates for the upcoming election. The organization made endorsements for state row offices as well as legislative and congressional seats. Bob Casey is notably absent from this list, but an EqualityPA spokesman said the Senator did not participate in their endorsement process.

SD-47: Today Dem candidate Kim Villella is to be joined by 15 local female elected officials for a press conference announcing “Women for Kim” Steering Committee and to highlight needed changes in Harrisburg on issues related to women. Villella is running against incumbent Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver).

HD-177: Dem candidate William Dunbar said his opponent, Rep. John Taylor (R-Phila), has yet to respond to letters sent weeks ago challenging the Rep to a series of three debates between Sept. 10 and Oct. 26. The Dunbar campaign said Taylor may want to avoid debate because he continually votes along party lines to the detriment of the district. “I strongly believe, that as candidates, we have a duty to make sure that those in the community know the issues and know where we, as candidates, stand on those issues,” said Dunbar. “This is an important election, and Rep. Taylor and I have a responsibility to the constituency of the 177th district to make sure they know who and what they are voting for, and how much those votes will matter to the decisions that are made following the election. I believe that a debate is the best avenue for this.”

HDs 3, 25, 39, 71, 74, 83, 131, 156, 157 and 177 – all made our top state House races list.

National
Politico: Gary Johnson on ballot in 47 states

Statewide
State Impact PA: Industry Group Calls Fractivists “Green Slime” in Billboard Ads
State Impact PA: Fractivists Urge DRBC to Regulate Pipeline Construction
State Impact PA: Congress Could Move to Restore Coal Reclamation Funds
State Impact PA: Drill Bits: Impact Fee Wish Lists and Plasma Gasification
Capitol Ideas: AG Candidate Kathleen Kane cancels PA Press Club Appearance
Capitol Ideas: Report: State Democratic Party offices burglarized
Capitol Ideas: Wednesday Morning Coffee: Former Sen. Jane Orie appeals her sentence

Philadelphia
Philly.com: Report: Corbett & Toomey say Romney alive and kicking in PA
Constitution Daily: Report: Suburban Philadelphia one of 8 keys to presidential victory
Philly.com: Report: City paid $7,363 to send staffers to Democratic Convention with Mayor Nutter
Heard in the Hall: Report: Corbett turns to Philadelphia law firm for support on Voter ID
PhillyClout: Report: Mayor Nutter mourns loss of developer Tony Goldman
Phillynow.com: Report: Nutter Vetoes Finnegan’s Wake Balcony Plan
Philadelphia Weekly: Report: 3 Takeaways From Mayor Nutter’s Democratic National Convention Speech
Philadelphia Weekly: Report: Another Push to Purge PA Voters from the Rolls
Philly Tribune: Report: Williams Holds Rally Against Voter ID

SEPA
Bucks Local News: Report: County Commissioners join emergency responder for 9/11 tribute

South Central
Patriot News: Pennsylvania auditor general candidates to debate on Sept. 21
Patriot News: Harrisburg to make September payroll, but could run out of cash in November
York Daily Record: County leaders looking into tax incentive for possible project in Hopewell Township

Pittsburgh
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh school board to begin process of redrawing district boundaries
Tribune Review: ACLU, state offer information on voter ID, eligibility
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth touts voter ID law in Pittsburgh suburbs
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania welfare offices begin reporting voter registration
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Former state Sen. Orie to appeal her sentence
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Casey ad hits Smith Tea Party ties
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Voter ID and Jim Cramer’s dad

Southwest
Beaver County Times: Problems lead to Central Tax Bureau closing
Beaver County Times: Chesapeake Energy sells West Texas holdings for nearly $7 billion
Beaver County Times: County seeks summary judgment in Sainovich lawsuit
AP: Turnpike slam gas drilling critics
Indiana Gazette: County named among best for young
Somerset Daily American: Hottle, Svonavec to lead Romney campaign in Somerset County
Somerset Daily American: Biden visits Shanksville fire department
Altoona Mirror: Smaller crowd mostly consisting of victims’ families return to Shanksville
Altoona Mirror: Candidates vying for seat on Hollidaysburg school board
Tribune Review: City man challenges residents to post Ten Commandments on property
Tribune Review: Board votes to delay action on moving Ten Commandment monument
Tribune Review: Fayette to consider $7.5M upgrade to 911 radio system

Opinion
Tribune Review: Corbett, Toomey: PA will break for Romney
Tribune Review: Pa a necessity for Obama: NYT
Tribune Review: Aichele brings ID effort to Pgh
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Reverse course: A districtwide effort must address student scores
Patriot News: Modern era? Pennsylvania needs to get out of the dark ages when it comes to voter registration
Patriot News: Government should stop pretending to be a business

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