Today, political eyes are focused squarely on Massachusetts, where Republican Scott Brown appears poised to pull off one of the most shocking upsets in recent electoral history over Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley (D).  As Politico noted earlier this week, this election reminds many Pa. observers of the legendary Harris Wofford (D) upset over former Gov. Dick Thornburgh (R) in 1991, another special election framed largely around debate over national health care reform.

If Brown is able to pull it off (which appears more and more likely), expect re-invigorated Republican campaigns in Pennsylvania to follow Brown’s campaign blueprint (and maybe buy a pickup truck).  Pennsylvania Dems would be wise to review their Phillies and Steelers knowledge – you can bet  Martha Coakley regrets her Red Sox blunder in baseball-crazed Boston.

A Brown victory also might force the House to vote on the Senate’s version of health care reform, with many speculating it doesn’t have enough votes for approval there. Where do Pennsylvania’s representatives stand on the issue? U.S. Reps. such as Kathy Dahlkemper, Jason Altmire, Tim Holden and Chris Carney (among others) will likely think long and hard about their decisions.

Today also marks the start of the attorney general’s case against former Minority Whip Mike Veon, by far the most high-profile “Bonusgate” trial yet. The case against Veon is considered much stronger than the one brought against state Rep. Sean Ramaley, who had all charges dismissed against him in December.  The trial’s implication are clear.  Politically, it’s a must-have for Corbett’s gubernatorial campaign.  Losing would lance the most notable item on his resume and raise doubts about indictments against the rest of the defendants.  Jury selection starts today and might last the rest of the week.  Expect this trial to dominate the news in Harrisburg long afterward.

Republican sources tell PoliticsPA Tom Marino has decided to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Carney in the 10th Congressional District. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the official announcement, which will likely come sooner than later.  Marino has to make up for lost time in fundraising and still defeat Snyder County Commissioner Malcolm Derk in the GOP primary before taking on Carney, who the GOP courted to switch parties late last year.

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