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PoliticsPA’s Up & Down: 10/29 Edition

Mike Gerber and the House Democratic Campaign Committee – The HDCC outraised its Republican counterpart by $1.3 million this election cycle, soundly disproving the latter’s claim to a fundraising edge.  Nice coup for the HDCC and Chairman Gerber – and especially significant given what will likely be a Republican advantage in voter enthusiasm on Tuesday.

2009 and 2010 have been productive in a similar way for state Senator Mike Stack.  Stack, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has raised almost $600,000 this election cycle, and as of the latest campaign filing had $500,000 on hand.  He’s enhancing the SDCC effort this fall to the tune of $180,500.  With the Southeast caucus and years of well-placed financial support for western PA Democrats behind him, Stack is positioning to become Democratic leader next year.

Governor Rendell – The Gov’s posturing on the Marcellus Shale severance tax is all about politics.  Last week he said Republicans’ “clear unwillingness to change their previous proposal or to resolve differences with the House Democrats and with my administration makes it obvious that they have killed the severance tax in this legislative session.”  Then, in a purely political stunt, he issued a drilling moratorium this week.  All this a year after Rendell himself killed the severance tax last year, citing the pleas of the natural gas industry itself, and rebuffed his own Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources when it strongly suggested he stop leasing forestland for natural gas drilling.

Rep. Patrick Murphy – Running a close campaign, the last thing the Murphy campaign needed was a controversy, but that is exactly what they got. The Fitzpatrick campaign is accusing Democrats in Bucks County with intimidating voters. If the accusations turn out to be true, this could put the Murphy campaign on the defensive at a time when they are worried about turning out the vote.

Rep. Tim Murphy – Tim Murphy’s campaign has gotten more attention in the last 24 hours then they received the entire campaign. At the start of the debate Wednesday night, Rep. Tim Murphy asked the moderator if they were going to state the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the debate, when the moderator hesitated, supporters started saying the Pledge. This was not what the Murphy campaign wanted to be talking about today.

Joe Sestak – Sestak’s momentum seems to have stalled as every poll this week had him down a couple points. It’s not that Toomey is running away in the polls, but it is certainly a damper on the positive press Sestak has been receiving recently.

Pat Toomey – At the beginning of the week, he had a lot of explaining to do when he openly acknowledged Rudy Giuliani’s endorsement but conveniently accepted Sarah Palin’s endorsement with out much fanfare.  Does he only appreciate the endorsements when it is helpful politically?

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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