Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 11:09 AM

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, once the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for governor, has not advertised on TV yet, but her campaign argued Wednesday in an widely circulated state-of-the-race memo that she is well positioned to win the May 20 primary despite that silence.

“We have over $5 million on hand to spend communicating with voters across Pennsylvania about Allyson’s experience and leadership,” writes Corey Dukes, campaign manager for Schwartz. “We have a deep base of support in the Philadelphia media market, which will only grow as voters hear our message. And, we have tremendous growth opportunities in every region of the Commonwealth.”

Some Schwartz supporters have been anxious about the campaign’s delay in going up on the air. Dukes said it was a strategic decision to advertise “when primary voters are actually making decisions about whom to support.”

POSTED: Monday, March 31, 2014, 5:04 PM

Democratic candidates for governor are continuing to push government ethics issues in the aftermath of the canceled state sting operation that captured on tape at least five Philadelphia Democrats, including four state representatives, accepting cash or gifts.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz said Friday she’d establish the cabinet-level position of chief integrity officer to run ethics training and enforce the Governor’s Code of Conduct in the executive branch; enforce a complete ban on gifts for executive-branch officials; and push to enact an outright gift ban for all state employees and legislators.

She also calls for campaign-finance limits, though her plan does not specify what those amounts ought to be, and for a requirement that campaign fundraising and spending reports be filed electronically.

Currently, it is legal for state elected officials to accept gifts as long as there is no quid pro quo involved and the gift is reported in an annual disclosure form.  

POSTED: Friday, March 28, 2014, 3:49 PM
Jay Paterno. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jay Paterno, son of the late beloved head coach, said Friday afternoon he was withdrawing from the race for the Democratic lieutenant-governor nomination.

He shook up the race on the strength of his name alone, but Paterno acknowledged that a legal challenge to the validity of signatures on his nominating petitions was likely to knock him off the ballot - or at least tie him up in court.

"In talking with attorneys it has become clear that the ballot challenge could be a long process with potential decisions and appeals carrying beyond Monday's hearing," Paterno said in a statement. "With less than two months remaining before the primary I do not want an ongoing legal back and forth to be a distraction in this race. The outcome of this election is too important for the future of the working families and all the people of this Commonwealth.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 8:47 AM

It’s not unusual these days for Democratic politicians to voice support for same-sex marriage, but Treasurer Rob McCord is going a step further and joining in a lawsuit to topple Pennsylvania’s law limiting matrimony to one man and one woman.

McCord, a candidate for his party’s nomination for governor, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the federal case Monday.

The case, filed by a lesbian couple who married in Massachusetts, argues that Pennsylvania’s refusal to recognize their union violates the U.S. constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

In his amicus brief, McCord brought the case to the practical level, describing the “pervasive  and discriminatory impact” faced by people in a same-sex relationship when it comes to inheritance, unclaimed property, the state’s tuition savings program, retirement benefits and other matters under the purview of the treasurer’s office.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 7:50 AM

The political traffic on Pennsylvania’s airwaves has become more crowded, as state Treasurer Rob McCord Friday began airing his first two broadcast television ads of the Democratic race for governor, two months before the primary election.

The 60-second spots, running in rotation statewide, mix elements of McCord’s biography – the son of a single mother who overcame a learning disability, went to Harvard, and became a successful venture capitalist – with policy attacks on Republican Gov. Corbett.

Rival campaigns estimated McCord’s ad buy at $1.1 million for a week’s worth of time. It means that if you watch television in any corner of the commonwealth, it would be hard to avoid seeing a McCord spot even if you were trying to do so.


POSTED: Friday, March 21, 2014, 5:44 PM

Gov. Corbett got some good news Friday.

 Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in February, a half point lower than the national average and the lowest it has been since November 2008, according to data released by the U.S. Labor Department. In February 2013, the state jobless rate was 7.7 percent.

“Gov. Corbett has put Pennsylvania has put Pennsylvania on the right track,” said state GOP Chairman Rob Gleason.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, called the report “a testament to the strength of the pro-jobs, pro-growth policies Gov. Tom Corbett has instituted.”

POSTED: Monday, March 17, 2014, 5:51 PM
A rival candidate for lieutenant governor on Monday filed a challenge to the validity of Jay Paterno's nominating signatures, raising the possibility that the former Penn State assistant and son of the icon could be kept off the ballot. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Jay Paterno, a former Penn State assistant football coach and the son of the school’s iconic head coach, may not make the Democratic ballot for lieutenant governor after all.

Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski, a rival candidate, filed a challenge to Paterno’s nominating petitions with Commonwealth Court Monday, arguing that he had failed to qualify because of numerous deficiencies in the signatures presented.

To run for lieutenant governor in a primary, a candidate must collect valid signatures from 1,000 voters of the same political party, with at least 100 of those signatures coming from each of five separate counties.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 12:12 PM
Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to be the special guest at a fundraiser for Marjorie Margolies. (left: Getty images, right: ap images)

The Big Dog did not forget his debt to Marjorie Margolies.

Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to be the special guest at an April fundraiser for Margolies’ effort to reclaim the U.S. House seat she lost two decades ago after providing the decisive vote to pass Clinton’s budget.

The event is to be hosted by Darren Check, a prominent Radnor lawyer. Montgomery County Commission Chairman Josh Shapiro (D), who endorsed Margolies on Sunday, is also scheduled to attend.

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

Reach Thomas at tfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

Tom Fitzgerald
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