Friday, April 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Sunday, April 6, 2014, 10:14 PM
U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz talks about her plans for education reform in Pennsylvania during a November debate. MICHAEL BRYANT, File / Staff Photographer

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz launches her first TV ad in the Democratic primary for governor Monday, a 30-second spot that highlights her work in the state senate helping enact a landmark children’s health insurance program.

 “Got it Done” credits Schwartz, of Montgomery County, with “pushing” in the state Senate, where the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) had stalled before it was passed in 1992 and then-Gov. Robert P. Casey Sr. signed it into law.

“It’s the kind of big ideas, it’s the kind of experience, it’s the kind of leadership I’ll bring as your next governor,” Schwartz, who is filmed speaking from a podium, says in the commercial.

For years, Schwartz has called herself the “mother of CHIP,” and critics have accused her of exaggerating her role in the creation of the program, saying that Allen Kukovich, then a state representative, and Casey deserved most of the credit.


POSTED: Thursday, April 3, 2014, 2:51 PM

Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord, Democratic candidate for governor, on Wednesday defended the efforts of an organization he once headed to promote outsourcing jobs overseas among technology companies.

McCord was asked about the outsourcing push, and how he could square it with his promise to be an advocate for the state’s working families, during an editorial board meeting with Penn Live, a Harrisburg news organization that publishes the thrice weekly Patriot-News.

The Eastern Technology Council, a trade organization McCord led from 1996 to 2007, partnered with Judge Group, a consultancy which offered services to council members, including advice on how to outsource jobs overseas.

POSTED: Thursday, April 3, 2014, 8:26 AM

York businessman Tom Wolf continues to hold a commanding position in the Democratic race for governor, according to a Franklin & Marshall College Poll released Thursday.

Wolf was supported by 33 percent of registered Democratic voters, with 7 percent backing U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, 6 percent for state Treasurer Rob McCord and 4 percent favoring Katie McGinty, a former White House and state environmental official.

The relative positions of the candidates are virtually unchanged from a February F & M poll. Wolf , a millionaire who has given $10 million to his own campaign, began advertising before anybody else at the end of January. McGinty started in February, but has not matched Wolf in overall statewide volume.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 4:05 PM

The Midwestern finance director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee emailed a warning Wednesday to all the party’s House campaigns in her territory: Don’t do what Allyson Schwartz did the other day.

“This is why you do donor research! Even if you’re really busy and even if your candidate doesn’t pay attention to it,” wrote Molly Ritner, above a link to a cautionary tale.

It seems that Schwartz, while slogging through fundraising calls Monday evening, rang up Karl Hausker of Chester County, husband of her rival for the Democratic nomination for governor, Katie McGinty. Awwwkward!

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.

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

Reach Thomas at tfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

Tom Fitzgerald
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