Campaign '14
By John Guerriero, Kevin Flowers Erie Times-News staff bloggers
John Guerriero and Kevin Flowers have joined forces for Campaign ’14, a blog about the 2014 races for governor and U.S. House, among others. And you'll read about President Barack Obama, Congress and what's going on in Harrisburg. Check it out and you’ll be a lot more informed before voting in the May 21 primary and the Nov. 5 election.   Read more about this blog.
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Posted: June 13th, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Remember Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Wolf’s Jeep ad? It was one of the early television ads that introduced himself to Pennsylvania voters, and was later lampooned by Gov.  Tom Corbett in an ad of his own.

Well, Wolf plans to attend what’s being called the “Jeep Invasion,” the opening event of the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival in Butler, today at 5 p.m.

Wolf, who drives a 2006 Jeep Wrangler, will visit with those attending the festival and talk about his passion for driving the vehicle.

Today’s event will be on Main Street in Butler.

The first Jeep was created more than 70 years ago in Butler.

Wolf and Corbett, a Republican seeking a second term, will square off in the Nov. 4 election.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 12th, 2014
Sean Wiley/ETN file photo

Sean Wiley/ETN file photo

For state Sen. Sean Wiley, it was noteworthy when the Pennsylvania Senate Aging and Youth Committee met Tuesday to consider two House bills and a Senate resolution.

The meeting marked the first for Wiley, of Millcreek Township, D-49th Dist., as the committee’s Democratic chairman.

“I am both honored and privileged to have this opportunity to work with Chairman (Randy) Vulakovich, my colleagues and various departments on issues relating to what I believe are two of the most vulnerable groups within our commonwealth, and those are our children and our senior citizens,”  Wiley said in a statement.

Vulakovich, of Shaler Township, R-40th Dist., represents parts of Allegheny and Butler counties.

At Tuesday’s meeting, committee members considered House Bill 2204, House Bill 1702 and Senate Resolution 62.

House Bill 2204 calls for homeless infants and toddlers to qualify for early intervention services in Pennsylvania.  It was amended to appropriate $640,000 to the Department of Public Welfare to offset the costs of providing these early intervention and tracking services to homeless infants and toddlers, according to Wiley’s office.

The amendment was unanimously adopted and the bill was reported out to the full Senate for consideration.

House Bill 1702 authorizes a new affordable tool to help aging Pennsylvanians live safely at home through the Community Respite Services Program Act. It was amended to clarify the role of area agencies on aging.

Senate Resolution 62 directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study new approaches to family work support programs.

Both measures were reported out to the full Senate for consideration as well.

Wiley also serves as Democratic chairman on the Intergovernmental Operations Committee. And he serves on these other Senate committees: Community, Economic and Recreational Development; Labor and Industry; Public Health and Welfare; and Communications and Technology.

– John  Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 6th, 2014

“Female PA politicians” are among the mentions.  Check it out here.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

–Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 6th, 2014
Bill Cole, Erie Times-News file photo

Bill Cole, Erie Times-News file photo

Bill  Cole remains the leader  of the Erie County Democratic Party.

Fellow Democrats elected him to a second term as chairman Monday at party headquarters in downtown  Erie. Cole said he’s the first chairman to serve for a second term in 20 years. He was elected without opposition.

Others elected were: First Vice Chairwoman Mary Jo Campbell, second term;  Second Vice Chairman Charles Casey, first term; Treasurer Linda Aleksandrowicz, second term; Parliamentarian Tim McNair, second term; and Sergeant at Arms Linda McCabe, first term.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 5th, 2014

Gov. Tom Corbett has picked up an endorsement from a fellow governor.

Gov. Tom Corbett/ File photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ File photo

Corbett’s campaign today announced that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has endorsed the Republican’s bid for a second term.

Perry focused on Pennsylvania’s rebounding economy during Corbett’s tenure that the campaign said has helped create more than 150,000 private sector jobs and has led to the state’s lowest unemployment rate since September 2008. The state’s unemployment rate is 5.7 percent.

Perry also states that Corbett has helped to make Pennsylvania a national leader in the energy industry, the campaign said.

Perry, a one-time Republican candidate for president, campaigned with Corbett in Washington County the day after the state’s primary. Corbett was unopposed for his party’s nomination, while Democrat Tom Wolf easily defeated three other Democrats for his party’s nomination.

- John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 4th, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Two more polls spell more bad news for Gov. Tom Corbett’s re-election hopes.

A Quinnipiac University poll released today shows Democrat and businessman Tom Wolf with a commanding 53 percent to 33 percent lead over Corbett, the Republican seeking a second term. Quinnipiac said that Wolf emerged “apparently unscathed by a bruising Democratic primary battle” with three other opponents.

The poll also shows that 55 percent disapprove of Corbett’s job performance, with 35 percent approving. And 58 percent say he doesn’t deserve re-election, with 33 percent saying he does deserve another four years.

“The election is five months away, but Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett looks like easy prey for Democratic challenger Tom Wolf,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, said in a  statement.

The full poll results can be found at www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, a Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday shows Wolf leading Corbett, 55 percent to 30 percent. PPP said its first poll of the Pennsylvania general election “finds a race that isn’t remotely competitive.”

The polling company said that Wolf’s 25-point lead has more than doubled from the 12-point advantage he had over the incumbent  in PPP’s last poll of the state race in November 2013. The full results can be found at www.publicpolicypolling.com.

“The biggest story in the race continues to be  Corbett’s unpopularity,” PPP said in a statement. “Only 27 percent of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 58 percent who disapprove. But Wolf is proving to be an unusually strong Democratic candidate. He has a +27 net favorability rating, with 47 percent of voters seeing him favorably to only 20 percent with a negative opinion.”

The two polls come on the heels of a  Rasmussen survey that showed Wolf with a 51 percent to 31 percent advantage.

Corbett has said the only poll that matters is on Election Day, Nov. 4.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 2nd, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

The first post-primary poll shows Democrat Tom Wolf with a commanding lead over Gov. Tom Corbett.

The Rasmussen poll of 750 likely voters shows Wolf with 51 percent of the vote and Corbett, seeking a second term, with 31 percent. Fourteen percent remain undecided, while 4 percent prefer someone else.

The survey was conducted May 27-28, shortly after the May 20 primary in which Wolf, a businessman and former state Revenue Department secretary, swamped three Democratic opponents. Corbett ran unopposed for the GOP nomination.

Corbett has said that the only poll that matters in on Election Day, Nov. 4.

And Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, told me last week that he thinks the race won’t be the runaway that many are predicting.

“When people start getting serious in comparing candidates, I think the numbers are going to tighten. It’s going to be a tight race. There is no doubt about it,” Scarnati said.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 28th, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has welcomed Democratic nominee Tom Wolf to the race for Pennsylvania governor. Sort of.

The Corbett campaign, which frequently refers to the businessman and former state Revenue Department secretary as “millionaire” Tom Wolf, did so again in a news release that welcomed Wolf to the starting line of the race to the Nov. 4 election. (Corbett, with a salary of $174,914 and living in the governor’s mansion in Harrisburg, is not exactly pinching pennies.)

The campaign also referred to Wolf’s “purchase” of the Democratic nomination, a reference to his spending millions of dollars on the primary campaign against his three Democratic opponents.

And the campaign called it frightening for Pennsylvania taxpayers to see all those “tax-happy politicians,” including his defeated opponents, coming together for a breakfast last Friday to show unity for the Democratic nominee.

It’s clear that the gloves are off already as the governor tries to get back in the race.

Poll results released Tuesday from the Robert Morris University Polling Institute show that only 30 percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of the governor. Most think he is headed to defeat, according to the poll. View more results at www.rmu.edu/PollingInstitute.

Told last week that political analysts say the governor is running from behind, Corbett told me: “It’s one day, and you know that, it’s Nov. 4.”

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 23rd, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Not surprisingly, Tom Wolf is among the mentions.  Check it out here.
Enjoy the weekend, everyone.

–Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 22nd, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Political rookies usually don’t win in Pennsylvania politics. But Tom Wolf proved there’s always an exception.

Political analysts Terry Madonna and Michael Young, in their latest “Politically Uncorrected” column, write about how Wolf, the Democratic nominee for governor, was able to easily defeat three other Democrats in Tuesday’s primary.

“Wolf is an amateur politician by any standard and most rookies, running statewide in Pennsylvania, are like the proverbial ‘nice guy.’ They finish last. Except, Wolf never got the memo,” they wrote.

“Instead, he ran a flawless campaign going through the rigors of the contest without a major misstep. The essence  of equanimity, Wolf even when attacked, remained unfailingly polite. It is true that he had an impressive campaign team supporting him, a large amount of money available to him, and a well thought-out strategy that served him well,” they said.

“But it’s fair to say that Wolf is a different candidate than usually seen in Pennsylvania. It is far too early to fully evaluate him - but not too early to predict he will continue to surprise,” they wrote.

The authors raise five other points about the Democratic primary, which you can read at http://politics.fandm.edu.

As for the fall campaign against Gov. Tom  Corbett, they wrote that Wolf, a businessman and former state Revenue Department secretary, has “impressively passed his first test,” but a greater one could be ahead.

“Tom Corbett may be unpopular, but he has amply demonstrated his intention to wage an aggressive re-election campaign – something he has the resources to do,” they wrote.

“What’s certain is that Pennsylvanians are going to experience an exciting, hard-fought race to select their next governor,” they wrote.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized

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