9/9 Morning Buzz

Good morning politicos, and welcome to the buzz.

PA Flooding: We’d talk about the President’s jobs speech, but practically nobody from PA saw it. As National Guard troops sandbag the Governor’s Mansion, it seems the entire delegation is heading home to help deal with flooding unseen since Hurricane Agnes. (And kudos to WITF for filing the latest news update last night from Harrisburg at 11:30pm).

New Dem vs. Dent: Rumors abound that Lehigh Valley International Airport Chairman of the Board of Governors David C. Haines will enter the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional district.

Supercommittee Meets: At the first meeting of the congressional super committee tasked with reducing national spending, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said the group must look to reform the tax code and address “the big entitlement programs that we all know are driving this fiscal problem.”

PA’s Electoral College: PA Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi wants to allot Pennsylvania’s electoral college votes on a congressional district by district basis, rather than the current system of winner take all – a change that would certainly boost GOP prospects in the state.

Miller for Scaringi: During the 2010 U.S Senate primary election, Republican nominee Joe Miller, stunned the Republican establishment with his long-shot primary victory over incumbent, Lisa Murkowski. Current Senate candidate Marc Scaringi is hoping Miller’s endorsement will help him to capture that same “magic.”

Shamless Self-Promotion: This week PoliticsPA was named by Stateside Associates to their list of the Best State Politics Blogs.

Philly Redistricting: The winners of a web-based redistricting contest held in Philadelphia were announced Wednesday. The City Council of Philadelphia has a deadline of this Friday to hash out a plan that they were assigned to draw new political districts. The council appears to be closing in on a plan that does not fix any of the current gerrymandering problems.

Fattah on FEMA: As incessant rain and the resultant flooding and mudslides wreaked havoc on Philadelphia and the surrounding region on Thursday, Congressman Chaka Fattah urged Congress to forgo politics and ensure that FEMA has the resources it needs to continue providing disaster relief to storm-struck areas.

JoePa: “His contributions to college athletics and higher education, as well as the content of his character, make Coach Joe Paterno deserving of the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” wrote Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey and Congressman Glenn Thompson.

Marcellus Protests: The Shale Gas Insight conference has wrapped up. While energy executives and legislators held discussion panels and information sessions at the Shale Gas Insight Conference inside, the scene outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center Wednesday was far from business-like.

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

National
Inquirer: Romney and Perry Grab Attention At Debate
Politico: Supercommittee handles protests, partisanship
Roll Call: Despite Protests, Super Committee is up and running
Roll Call: Deficit Panel must balance transparency, deal-making
The Hill: Debt supercommittee members differ over bipartisan panel’s ambition
Business Times: Postal Service Fights for Survival
Fire Engineering: Shuster Introduces Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act
Times Leader: Martin Reflects on Impacts of 9/11
Environmental Expert: Congressman Fattah Assures FEMA It Will Get Disaster Resources on Environmental Expert
Salon: Ryan Gosling Regrets NYC Street Fight Cameo
Standard Speaker: Obama tells congress to cut taxes in his jobs plan
Washington Post: Rick Santorum Likely to Turn in Another Aggressive Performance at Raegan Library Debate
Times Leader: Casey, Toomey, Marion Request Federal id for Flood Victims

Statewide
Patriot News: Corbett to give flood briefing
Patriot News: Evacuation of Corbetts Residence in progress
Capitol Ideas: First Lady Susan Corbett Tries To Save Artifacts In Governor’s Mansion
Commonwealth Confidential: Gov. Corbett To Appear Monthly On Phila. Radio In Response To Media Criticism That He Is Not Accessible
Capitol Ideas: Rendell: Drillers Have Hurt Their Own Public Image With Tax Opposition
Indiana Gazette: State system reaches deal with AFSME
AP, Washington Post: JoePa nominated for Presidential Medal of Freedom by Pa. senators, representatives
Washington Post: Flooding causes Pennsylvania, N.Y. evacuations as Tropical Storm Lee hits northeast
The Hill: Bill Clinton, G.W. Bush to speak at dedication of United 93 Memorial
Patriot News: Area Congressman Hurry Home to Help with Flood Efforts
State Impact: Skunk At the Garden Party: Rendell Delivers Harsh Message Durign Shale Conference Speech
Jewish Exponent: And Meryl Just May Love You Back
State Impact: Skunk At the Garden Party: Rendell Delivers Harsh Message During Shale Conference Speech
Centre Daily : Return Integrity to the State Legislature
Times Leader: Casey, Toomey, Marino request federal aid for flood victims
Standard Speaker: State Republican leaders give endorsement to former U.S Sen. Santorum
The Sentinel: Corbett seeks federal disaster designation

Philly
Inquirer: Donors Renege on Ackerman Buyout
Inquirer: Changes in Transportation After 9/11
Inquirer: Progress In Neshaminy Contracts
Inquirer: Philly Business Ranks Lower Than Fed Standard
Daily News: Redistricting Has Stalled
Philly Clout: Natural Gas Industry Bemoans Protestors
PhillyNOW: Hundreds Protest Marcellus Shale

Philly Burbs
Courier Times: Amtrak Keystone Service Renewed and Delayed
Courier Times: 322 Closed Due To Weather
Delco Times: Catholic Teachers Picket
Delco Times: Delaware County Council Candidates Lay Out Platforms
Montgomery Media: SEPTA closed Down

Pittsburgh
Tribute-Review: County Council to honor worn American flags
Pittsburgh Tribune: Pittsburgh Eyes Supermarket or Store for Sheraden

South Central
York Daily Record: Sept. 11 Events in York Country
Public Opinion: Governor Corbett visits Letterkenny Army Depot, Manitowoc, Schreiber Foods, business park
The Sentinel: Pa. DEP head says gas drilling will be safely done
Patriot News: Harrisburg Parking Authority Hasn’t Landed Loan to Keep City Operational

NEPA
Times Tribune: Barletta vows to push for federal disaster declaration
Times Leader: Barletta, Yudichak speak on flooding
Times Leader: Marino to co-chair disaster relief coalition
Standard Speaker: Barletta says President must address illegal immigration
Pocono Record: We made our case for equal representation

Lehigh Valley
Morning Call: Toomey: Entitlement programs must be addressed
WFMZ: Political showdown shaping up over Obama’s ‘American Jobs Act’
Express Times: Non-essential Pennsylvania state employees to stay home today in Harrisburg, Reading, and Scranton
Express Times: Gracedale discussion on WFMZ’s ‘Business Matters’ leads to heated words

North by Northwest
Erie Times: Effects of 9/11 Remain for Erie Man, then a N.Y.C. First-Responder
Erie Times: Erie County Restaurant Inspections: Sept. to Sept. 7
Erie Times: County Gaming Panel to Let Public Vote Online for ‘UChoose” Grants
Courier Express: State Senators Endorse Santorum; But Why?
Centre Daily News: Pa. Floods Force Home Evacuations, Cancel Schools
Centre Daily Times: Mandatory Evacuation Called fro 100,000 in Northeastern Pa.
Sun Gazette: Water Rage
Sun Gazette: 3 Towns Evacuated
Sun Gazette: As Flooding Increases, Safety Concerns Lead to School Closings
State College: Corman: Pa. Role in Higher Education Approaching a Crossroads
Sun Gazette: 3 Communities Evacuated: 30 People Stranded in Glen Mawr
WPXI: New Castle Receives Grant For New Securtiy Equipment, Cameras

Opinion
Reps. Tim Murphy and Bill Shuster: How to revive the economy
Philadelphia Inquirer: Counterpoint: Cut the Debt, Taxes, and Red Tape that Impede Job Creation

Blogs
Commonwealth Foundation: Senseless Regulations Cause Job Loss
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: The Devil and the Fake Rev… And a definite tax hike next year
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Can a fighter pilot beat Dent?
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Barron Plays politics with Asbestos
NEPArtisan: Republican debate = Cheers (the tv show)
Lehigh Valley Independent: The markets want more debt
Lehigh Valley Independent: What the voter ID fight is really about
Lehigh Valley Independent: Public Spending Attracting Private Spending in Easton
PA Water Cooler: Marcellus Shale Protestors = Lobbyists for Middle East Oil Barons
Penn Patriot: Marcellus Shale: A balanced approach
Keystone Politics: Donors Back out of Ackerman Buyout
Keystone Politics: Philly Council Can’t Agree on Redistricting

4 Responses

  1. The NPV initiative so far has passed ONLY in blue states. Meanwhile, Senator Pileggi, a man responsible for redrawing our Congressional districts, wants to use these to wring electoral votes out of Pennsylvania. Obama could win the state by a significant margin and still only receive 10 of its 20 EV’s next year. If this passes here, Michigan and Wisconsin are next, and could pass it even if it doesn’t pass here. Its all Machiavellian on the part of GOP—support such ‘reforms’ in blue states and oppose them in red states. The piecemeal approach only makes the Electoral College vote more haphazard than it already is and wont work.

  2. A survey of 800 Pennsylvania voters conducted on December 16-17, 2008 showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
    Support was 87% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among independents.
    By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 73% among 30-45 year olds, 81% among 46-65 year olds, and 78% for those older than 65.
    By gender, support was 85% among women and 71% among men.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

    When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA ,RI, VT, and WA. The bill has been enacted by DC, HI, IL,CA, NJ, MD, MA, VT, and WA. These 9 jurisdictions possess 132 electoral votes– 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  3. Dividing Pennsylvania’s electoral votes by congressional district would magnify the worst features of the Electoral College system and not reflect the diversity of Pennsylvania.

    The district approach would provide less incentive for presidential candidates to campaign in all Pennsylvania districts and would not focus the candidates’ attention to issues of concern to the state as a whole. Candidates would have no reason to campaign in districts where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind.

    Due to gerrymandering, in 2008, only 4 Pennsylvania congressional districts were competitive.

    In Maine, where they award electoral votes by congressional district, the closely divided 2nd congressional district received campaign events in 2008 (whereas Maine’s 1st reliably Democratic district was ignored).

    In Nebraska, which also uses the district method, the 2008 presidential campaigns did not pay the slightest attention to the people of Nebraska’s reliably Republican 1st and 3rd congressional districts because it was a foregone conclusion that McCain would win the most popular votes in both of those districts. The issues relevant to voters of the 2nd district (the Omaha area) mattered, while the (very different) issues relevant to the remaining (mostly rural) two-thirds of the state were irrelevant.

    When votes matter, presidential candidates vigorously solicit those voters. When votes don’t matter, they ignore those areas.

    Nationwide, there are only 55 “battleground” districts that are competitive in presidential elections. Seven-eighths of the nation’s congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

    If the district approach were used nationally, it would be less fair and less accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country’s congressional districts.

    Because there are generally more close votes on district levels than states as whole, district elections increase the opportunity for error. The larger the voting base, the less opportunity there is for an especially close vote.

    Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.

    A national popular vote is the way to make every person’s vote equal and guarantee that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states becomes President.

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