Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 4:18 PM

Nelson A. Diaz, a former Common Pleas judge and Philadelphia city solicitor, may have what is the very first commercial in next year’s Democratic primary for mayor.

It’s a 90-second biopic running on You Tube – in both English and Spanish – and it’s also making the rounds via email among city political types.

Diaz, 67, grew up in a “rat-infested tenement” in Harlem and moved to Philadelphia to attend Temple University law school, where he formed the first student organization for black and hispanic students. He served on the Court of Common Pleas from 1981 through 1993, the youngest and first Latino elected judge in Pennsylvania history.


POSTED: Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 12:14 PM

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, seeking an 11th term amid a federal corruption investigation that snared a top adviser, has scheduled a Sept. 30 breakfast fundraiser in Washington.

Suggested donations are $500 for individuals, $1,000 for PACs and $2,500 for a “host,” according to a copy of the invitation provided to Big Tent. The invite highlights Fattah’s powerful position as the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations subcommittee dealing with spending on science and justice programs.

Fattah apparently can use the money.

POSTED: Thursday, September 11, 2014, 6:43 AM
Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (left) and current governor Tom Corbett meet in July at the 44th Environmental Partnership Dinner in Philadelphia. A new poll shows that Wolf has a commanding 24-point lead among likely Pennsylvania voters with a little more than seven weeks until the election. (Matthew Hall/Staff)

Democrat Tom Wolf has a commanding 24-point lead over Gov. Tom Corbett (R) among likely Pennsylvania voters with a little more than seven weeks until the election, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Fifty-nine percent back Wolf, to 35 percent for Corbett, the poll finds, with huge majorities saying the Democrat would better handle the top two issues facing the state, the economy and education.

Wolf leads 91 percent to 7 percent among Democrats and 53 percent to 39 percent among independents. Just 66 percent of Republicans say they back Corbett, to 28 percent who oppose him.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 1:49 PM

The nerds are rankled by the disrespect shown to science in politics, and they’re fighting back.

Shaughnessy Naughton, a chemist who lost a close Democratic primary race for U.S. House this spring in PA-08, announced Monday the formation of 314 PAC, designed to help recruit, train and elect Democratic candidates who have backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math. “Nothing in our constitution says we have to be governed by lawyers,” Naughton said.

She said it is no longer enough for various professional scientific societies to speak in general bipartisan terms because of the “anti-science rhetoric we hear out of the Republican side,” such as denying the existence of global climate change.

In addition, Naughton said, federal funding for research is declining.
POSTED: Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 11:21 AM

Pennsylvania Working Families, a new liberal group with ties to organized labor, on Tuesday endorsed Democrat Tom Wolf for governor, saying he would increase state education funding and push for an increase in the minimum wage.

“We believe Tom Wolf can and will restore our great commonwealth,” said Chris Woods, executive vice president for District 1119C, of the health-care workers’ union.

The group is targeting its voter-outreach around the minimum-wage issue. Wolf has said he supports hiking the wage to $10.10 an hour, while Gov.  Corbett has expressed concern that an increase would slow hiring and hurt the economy.

POSTED: Monday, September 8, 2014, 7:50 AM
A dispute over the ownership of mineral rights could determine who would profit from drilling operations similar to this well in Loyalsock State Forest. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)

A majority of Pennsylvanians, 54 percent, support the extraction of shale natural gas, while just 29 percent of New Yorkers do, according to a new University of Michigan poll of two states that share a chunk of the massive Marcellus Shale deposit.

Despite positive views of hydraulic fracking for shale gas in their state, 47 percent of Pennsylvanians disapprove of the way Gov. Tom Corbett (R) is handling the issue, compared to 19 percent who approve – likely a factor in his troubled re-election campaign.

“Some of it is a reflection of generally negative views about Tom Corbett right now,” said pollster Christopher Borick of Muhlenberg College, who conducted the survey. “But his handling of the issue has been politically questionable in a lot of ways. Clearly he has paid a cost in terms of his reticence on an extraction tax. It’s become a liability for him.”

POSTED: Friday, September 5, 2014, 8:12 AM
Gov. Tom Corbett just got two pieces of news that might reassure Republicans worried that his reelection campaign was in deep trouble. (AP /Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice,Wilkes-Barre, PA)

Gov. Tom Corbett just got two pieces of news that might reassure Republicans worried that his reelection campaign was in deep trouble.

First, Harper Polling released a survey Thursday that showed Corbett trailing Democrat Tom Wolf by 11 percentage points, a much tighter race than two other recent polls found.

Second, the Republican Governors Association announced it gave $3.5 million to his campaign coffers – a possible indication that the national GOP has not written off Corbett. RGA had already given Corbett $1.8 million.

POSTED: Thursday, August 28, 2014, 8:02 AM

A $5-million summer onslaught of negative television attack ads has not improved the standing of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett in his run for a second term, according to a new poll released Thursday.

Democrat Tom Wolf holds a lead of 25 percentage points in the Franklin & Marshall College Poll, 49 percent to 24 percent, with 25 percent undecided. That has budged little from F & M’s last survey in June.

Just over a quarter of respondents, or 26 percent, said that Corbett has done a good enough job to have earned reelection, the poll found.

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

Reach Thomas at tfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

Tom Fitzgerald
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