Friday, April 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Two-Front Update

Who built what and voter ID moves forward: one likely will soon fade; the other not so much.

Two-Front Update

Okay, kids, here's your update on two fronts making news: the ongoing "who built what" spat in the presidential race, and the get-used-to-it-cuz-it-ain't-going-away voter ID fight.

First, the out-of-context Obama quote, "you didn't build that," pushed the Romney campaign Thursday into day two of its "we did build this" rebuttal with more public events in Pennsylvania.

Small business owners and local GOP officials scheduled press conferences in West Chester and Bensalem Thursday afternoon to stress how business owners are "insulted" by the president's remarks (well, phrase) earlier this month.

Obama, as you've no doubt heard/seen, was speaking in the context of no man is an island, and businesses need government to provide roads, bridges, public safety and other public services.

But because any anti-business-sounding phrase from Obama or any Democrat fits the pro-biz Romney narrative, Mitt's campaign is milking this well past the time the cows came home.

Of course, it continues getting attention, though it likely (thankfully) can't last much longer.

That's why we have voter ID.

A hearing in Harrisburg is expected to drag on for a week in state Commonwealth Court as lawyers argue for and against the controversial law.

Then, after a decision in mid-August, appeals go to the state Supreme Court where the issue will drag on some more. The state's high court could have taken the case directly under a procedure called King's Bench but such action is rare and wouldn't, I'm told by court officials, necessarily save time, money, legal fees, etc., it did not.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Independent reports a loophole in the law allows non-citizens to vote since they are permitted to register on the promise of becoming citizens and since PennDOT photo ID cards do not list citizenship status.

PennDOT puts the non-citizen, voting-age group with state photo IDs at about 100,000.

(I just hope nobody tells Daryl Metcalfe.)

So, what we have here is ongoing silliness on the campaign trail and unending legal and bureaucratic tangles over voter ID.

Enjoy, everybody.




John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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