Archive: March, 2012
Gov. Corbett's comments on proposed fetal ultrasound legislation have become fodder in the attorney general's race.
Corbett caused a national stir when he told reporters at a news conference last week that women would "just have to close [their] eyes" under a House bill making pre-abortion ultrasounds mandatory.
Seven defendants in the so-called “Computergate” case, including onetime Philadelphia Republican powerhouse John M. Perzel, are scheduled to be sentenced in Dauphin County Court Tuesday and Wednesday.
Perzel and six former legislative and campaign staffers pleaded guilty in the case last year, with most agreeing to cooperate in the state Attorney General’s Office probe. Prosecutors had initially charged 10 people, accusing them of participating in a scheme to use sophisticated, taxpayer-paid computer programs for campaign purposes.
Gov. Corbett is getting poor reviews from a growing number of Pennsylvanians, driven by some of his more controversial positions on higher education cuts and a proposed mandate for ultrasounds before a woman can have an abortion, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.
The survey found that Pennsylvania voters give Gov. Tom Corbett a 41–to-41 percent job approval rating, down from a 47–to-34 percent approval rating in December of last year.
It is, according to the poll, Corbett’s worst approval rating since a 39–to-38 percent score in a June of last year, when he and Republicans who control the legislature were fighting over steep cuts in the state budget.
Now both the current and recent past governor are suddently experts on women's health.
The debate over Gov. Corbett's remarks at a news conference Tuesday has now jumped to national cable news with a certain MSNBC analyst expounding on fetal ultrasound legislation.
Ex-Gov. Ed Rendell, who once pledged he would not to criticize his successo unless he or his administration's policies were attacked, called Corbett's remarks on the subject "unfortunate."
"Just close your eyes."
Gov. Corbett's response to a question about a bill that would force women seeking an abortion to undergo fetal ultrasounds is gaining traction across cyberspace, headlining news sites, lighting up Twitter and being seized upon as campaign fodder by Democratic political groups.
Corbett, who claims he put out a pro-ultrasound statement during his campaign last year (though I don't recall ever seeing it), said he would support the objective of HB 1077 so long as it's not "obtrusive," because women could simply close their eyes during the procedure:
Advocates for the disabled are suing the Corbett administation, saying cuts to services violates the law.
The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania argues Corbett's proposal to consolidate funding for services for the mentally ill and mentally retarded into block grants runs counter to the Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities Act.
The Corbett administration is cutting the budget by 20 percent and restructuring funding into block grants in an effort to squeeze hundreds of millions of dollars in savings in the state Department of Public Welfare budget.
Gov. Corbett says he supports mandatory ultrasounds for abortion patients, the subject of one of the most controversial pieces of legislation before the General Assembly.
Corbett said Tuesday he would support a bill that would force doctors to show women an ultrasound before an abortion is performed as long as it was not "obtrusive."
When asked what he meant by that, Corbett said: "As long as it's on the exterior and not the interior."
Call it inter-branch, intra-party warfare under the Capitol dome:
First the state Supreme Court threw out the Republican-crafted legislative district maps. Then last week, the GOP-majority court ordered the state House speaker to call special elections to fill six vacant legislative seats — and told him when to hold them.
Enough was enough, said Speaker Sam Smith (R., Jefferson). The court’s majority opinion "seems intent on creating a constitutional collision between two of the three constitutionally created co-equal branches of government," Smith, in an unusual, Federalist Papers-quoting statement. "Make no mistake, they are tipping the scales of power in their own favor."