9/27 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz. Two big Pa. polls have come out which show the Presidential contest widening while the Senate race narrows. Meanwhile, Gov. Corbett’s numbers are still in the dumps while, on its way to the 2nd day of hearings today, Voter ID remains popular.

Q-Pac Poll: Senate Race Tightening; F&M Poll: No, It Isn’t: Two polls released Wednesday sent conflicting signals about the race for U.S. Senate. Quinnipiac said Republican Tom Smith had shaved his deficit by 12 points and trailed Sen. Bob Casey 49 percent to 43. Franklin & Marshall said Casey maintains a 12 point lead, just like he did in August.

WaPo Moves PA Senate Race to “Lean Democratic” It’s a good day for Tom Smith. The self-funding farmer-turned-coal company owner is steadily making headway against Senator Bob Casey. The race has begun to tighten down the stretch, prompting The Washington Post to downgrade the race from “solid Democrat” to “lean Democrat” on its 2012 Senate map.

Polls: Corbett Not Popular, But Voter ID Is: Tom Corbett’s numbers are still low according to two polls. Quinnipiac: 47 percent disapprove his job as Governor, 36 percent approve. Franklin & Marshall: 64 percent disapprove, 30 percent approve. Meanwhile the state’s new Voter ID requirement remains popular.

Obama Opens Big Pa. Lead in Quinnipiac, F&M Polls: Two independent polls paint a sunny picture for President Obama in Pa. He leads Republican Mitt Romney 54 percent to 42 percent among likely voters according to Quinnipiac, and 50 percent to 39 percent among registered voters according to Franklin & Marshall.

Union-Funded GOP Super PAC on TV for Meehan, Murphy: A super PAC aimed at boosting the number of pro-union members of the Republican caucus is lending a hand to two labor-friendly Pa. Congressman. The Lunch Pail Republicans will air television ads touting the work of Reps. Pat Meehan (R-Delaware) and Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny).

Kane Boasts Endorsement She Didn’t Get: Kathleen Kane, the Democrat running for Attorney General, proudly announced her endorsement by a prominent law enforcement group on Tuesday. There’s just one problem: they didn’t endorse her.

Auditor General Endorsements: John Maher, the Republican, got the backing of the Philadelphia Inquirer this week when the editorial board decided that his background as an auditor tilted the scale in his favor. Democrat Eugene DePasquale picked up the backing of the Tri-County Courier Express based in DuBois, whose editor said it would be best from a watchdog standpoint for the Auditor to be of a different party than the rest of government in Harrisburg.

Legislative Election Updates

SD-47: The Pittsburgh City Paper takes an in depth look at Kimberly Villella, the Democratic businesswoman challenging Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver). Though she has a good profile, because she’s facing an incumbent she has a tough road to victory; she’s number 4 of 4 potential Dem pickups in the Pa. Senate. The story quotes Keegan Gibson’s take on the race.

HD-89: Susan Spicka hosted a solo forum on the issue of transportation, she says because her opponent, Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin), won’t agree to another debate. “Today, our state has over 4,700 structurally deficient bridges, and over 9,300 miles of state roads that should have been resurfaced. 44 of the 323 bridges in Franklin County are structurally deficient, as are 43 of the 370 bridges in Cumberland County. These numbers are simply unacceptable,” she said. She criticized Kauffman for not introducing a transportation funding bill – something that would be highly unusual for Kauffman or any member not on the Transportation committee.

HD-177: William Dunbar, the Dem running against Rep. John Taylor (R-Phila), boasted Wednesday the endorsement of the union representing faculty of the state system of higher education. “William’s work with the CORE Philly Scholarship Program has given him the insight to understand the issues of affordability and access in Pennsylvania,” said Steve Hicks, the President of APSCUF. “He will be a true advocate for public higher education.”

Statewide
Daily News: Corbett’s sagging polls fuel Dems’ 2014 rumor mill
Capitol Ideas: Corbett approvals stay in the basement in new F&M, Quinnipiac polls.
Capitol Ideas: PA mayors sign onto letter saying sequestration is a threat to metro economies.
State House Sound Bites: WaPo deems PA’s Senate race merely leans
State House Sound Bites: PA says 12,000 voter ID cards issued so far
State House Sound Bites:Obama’s lead widens in key swing states, still solid in PA
State House Sound Bites: Links: Two shoes yet to drop in Williams case
StateImpactPA: “Shale Fracking Makes U.S. Natural Gas Superpower. Now What?”
StateImpactPA: Top Republican Floats Proposal To Create Marcellus Shale Health Panel
StateImpactPA: Pipeline Would Help Transport PA Gas To Europe
StateImpactPA: Drill Bits: A Public Health Study, Lax Oversight, and Drilling on Campus
Capitolwire: Judge Simpson asks lawyers for input on ‘possible’ voter ID injunction.

Philadelphia
The Inquirer: Corbett taps Schmidt for PPA board
The Inquirer: Do politicians, courts have power to end the NFL ref debacle?
The Inquirer: FactCheck: Obama’s executive orders
Daily News: Poll finds that prez has expanded his lead in Pa. & Philly is a big reason why
Heard in the Hall: Jones and Oh to “Be the Vote”
WHYY Newsworks: Poll confirms solid lead for Obama in Pennsylvania
WHYY Newsworks: Nutter gives raises and hopes for deal with Philadelphia unions

SEPA
phillyburbs.com: Watchdog group cites new survey results as reason to stop voter ID
Delco Daily Times: Delco not following lead of neighbors on Voter ID
Pottstown Mercury: Private donors help out Chesco voter ID program

Pittsburgh
Tribune-Review: Judge won’t allow lawsuit over birth control mandate to expand
Post Gazette: Judge asks for ways to halt Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law
Post Gazette: Corbett, Geist pitch law for private investment in public projects
Post Gazette: Smith closing gap on Casey in Senate race, polls show
Early Returns: DCCC drops much Pgh ad spending
Early Returns: Fix: Senate race “firmly in play”
Early Returns: Deadlock by Supremes favors ID opponents
Early Returns: Santorum endorses Akin

NEPA
The Times Leader: Report: State eases requirements to obtain voter ID card
The Times Leader: Report: County to kick in $232,729 for razing
The Times Leader: Report: Toohil’s gang bill is OK’d
Times-Tribune: Report: Ransom Twp. secretary turns herself in on theft charge
Times-Tribune: Report: Voters remain sour on Gov. Corbett with Sandusky case roiling their attitudes

North by Northwest
Campaign ’12 Blog: No sticker shock for Penn State voters
Williamsburg Sun Gazette: Report: Lycoming Commissioners to Invest Bond Revenue
Williamsburg Sun Gazette: Report: Township Sets Conditions on Land Use for Gas Industry Company

South Central
AP: Kane holds fundraising lead in attorney general’s race
Harrisburg Patriot News: Dauphin County commissioners divided over giving $100,000 to the Harrisburg Heat
Harrisburg Patriot News: Pennsylvania regulators aren’t inspecting thousands of oil and gas wells, report says
Harrisburg Patriot News: Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center calls voter ID implementation flawed
Harrisburg Patriot News: Voter ID hardship stories keep emerging in Pennsylvania
Harrisburg Patriot News: Harrisburg year-end budget deficit grows to $14.8 million
Harrisburg Patriot News: Poll: Pennsylvanians prefer President Obama, disapprove of Gov. Tom Corbett’s performance
Harrisburg Patriot News: Barack Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney is shrinking in Pennsylvania, poll shows
Lancaster Intelligencer/Era: Pa. caps property tax hikes at 1.7%
Lancaster Intelligencer/Era: Rendell to speak at Democratic Party banquet

Lehigh Valley
Reading Eagle: More changes to ease voter access to photo IDs
Reading Eagle: Obama has lead in key swing states, new poll says
Morning Call: Voter ID process altered again
Morning Call: Pennsylvania OK with voter ID
Morning Call: Democrats try to use U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick recorded words against him in Bucks
Morning Call:Tom Smith gaining on Sen. Bob Casey in Poll
Morning Call: Ad watch: Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race
Pennsylvania Ave: Obama trumps Romney in two polls of PA voters
Pennsylvania Ave: Is Smith closing in on Casey?
Pennsylvania Ave: Mike Fitzpatrick’s 47 percent? Dems try to make hay with “paycheck” remark

Opinion
Morning Call: More state support for home, community care would help elderly
Morning Call: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett Bombing public education into Stone Age
Morning Call: Obama in Trouble
Inquirer Editorial: Put limits on campaign cash
Inquirer Editorial: Maher’s experience an asset in auditor race
The Inquirer: Candidates MIA on war plans
Daily News: Pa. lawmakers should lose interest in payday loans
Pottstown Mercury: Sen. Bob Mensch: Pennsylvania Businesses Competing on Global Sale
Tribune-Review: Obama at the U.N.: More explanations
Post Gazette: U.N. mission: Obama backs democracy but also noninterference
Post Gazette: Why voter ID isn’t needed: For one thing, casting a fraudulent vote isn’t worth the risk of years in prison
Post Gazette: The media maul Mitt again: They focus on his taxes instead of his charitable donations
Times Tribune: Slimy political ad (anti-Kane) is perfectly legal
Harrisburg Patriot News: Here comes the mud: Outside groups should have no business trying to sway Pa. voters
Harrisburg Patriot News: Fed up with government? Get educated, get active and vote

Blogs
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Hanover Township Returns $30,000 in NIZ Suit Money
Liberty Blog: Big Government’s Profits-ExxonMobil and the Energy Tax-ExxonMobil Pays Taxes Three Times Its Profits
Liberty Blog: School Choice-A National Issue-Choosing The Culture For Your Kids
Jon Geeting: Developer Wants to Rehab Allentown’s Schoen’s Furniture Store Building
Jon Geeting: Morning Call on Alternatives to Water/Sewer Lease
Jon Geeting: What Goes in the Old Elek Plumbing Building? A Wrecking Ball
Keystone Politics: Print Money and Give it to People
Keystone Politics: Pro-Sprawl Legislation Moving Forward Below the Radar in Harrisburg
Keystone Politics: Paul Ryan is trying awfully hard to keep that house seat…
Keystone Politics: Why our Democratic candidates should be demanding full employment, not just “Jobs”
Keystone Politics: Want to help a strong progressive in a tough district? Meet Kimberly Villella
Keystone Politics: Today in Renegade Public Improvements
Keystone Politics: Judge Simpson Mulling an Injunction on #VoterID?
Keystone Politics: Are #VoterID Mailers Giving Students Bad Info?
Keystone Politics: Chant Fail
Keystone Politics: PA-Sen: Ladies Love Cool [Bob Casey] Jr.

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