Thursday, April 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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.

POSTED: Friday, March 7, 2014, 1:50 PM

From the beginning of the campaign, one of Gov. Corbett’s main challenges has been to counter the perception, fair or not, that he was hard-hearted toward the poor and not sympathetic to average families struggling to make ends meet.

Only 32 percent of respondents in a recent Franklin & Marshall College Poll, for instance, agreed with the statement that Corbett “cares about people like you,” a standard feels-your-pain question in survey research. It is just one of the measures that add up to a pretty anemic percentage of voters supporting Corbett’s reelection.

But in recent days, the conservative Republican appears to have moved toward the center on a couple of issues that may help.

POSTED: Thursday, March 6, 2014, 2:44 PM

Pennsylvania should be required to obtain 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources of energy such as solar or wind by 2030, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz proposed Thursday.

That would be four times the state’s current standard for clean energy, the Schwartz campaign said. The proposal was the centerpiece of an environmental strategy the campaign unveiled.

Republicans said that Schwartz's approach would damage the state's energy industry and cost jobs.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 3:35 PM

Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly support making the medical use of marijuana legal in the state, and that backing is consistent across all partisan, gender and demographic groups, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.

Eighty-five percent support medical use of pot, to 14 percent who are opposed, the poll found.

Voters are more divided, however, on the legalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use – with 48 percent in favor, and 49 percent opposed, the poll found.

POSTED: Sunday, March 2, 2014, 6:57 PM

John Hanger, who has fashioned himself the true progressive in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor, won a straw poll of liberal activists attending the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit over the weekend.

After the progressives heard six of the candidates for governor debate Friday night, Hanger won with 31.5 percent of the vote, to 24 percent for state Treasurer Rob McCord and 22.8 percent for York businessman Tom Wolf.

Katie McGinty was fourth, winning 10.9 percent, followed closely by U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz with 9.4 percent. Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz and former state Auditor General Jack Wagner each received less than 1 percent of the 267 votes cast. (Wagner did not attend the debate.)

POSTED: Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 7:30 AM

Two new independent polls released early Wednesday morning confirmed that York businessman Tom Wolf has seized the lead in the crowded Democratic primary for governor.

And the surveys show that, on paper at least, Gov. Corbett (R) faces a daunting task to overcome low approval ratings, with a majority of voters saying he has not performed well enough to deserve reelection.

Wolf would defeat Corbett 55 percent to 32 percent if the election were held today, according to the Quinnipiac University poll. That is the best performance among six potential Democratic opponents pollsters tested.

About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald blogs about national politics.

Reach Thomas at tfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

Tom Fitzgerald
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