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: April 4th, 2014
Jay Paterno/ETN file photo

Jay Paterno/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf and Jay Paterno are mentioned.  Check it out here.
Have a great weekend, everyone.

–Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 4th, 2014
Rob McCord/ETN file photo

Rob McCord/ETN file photo

Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord has received another endorsement in his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor.

McCord, one of four Democrats in the May 20 primary, got the nod from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 47.

McCord thanked AFSCME for its endorsement, saying he was honored.

“A union helped my mom when I was a little boy, and I was raised to remember that well-run unions often defend working people who would otherwise be mistreated and forgotten. Well, a McCord administration will not forget Pennsylvania’s working families – especially when it comes to raising the minimum wage, defending pensions, stopping the natural gas drillers from taking our resources for pennies on the dollar, and reversing Tom Corbett’s $1 billion in cuts to public education,” McCord said in a statement.

AFSCME District Council 47 President Fred Wright said in a statement: “We believe Treasurer McCord is the best candidate to represent the interests of working people in Pennsylvania. His vision to create jobs, commitment to retain decent paying jobs, as well as his experience is what we believe will provide the necessary skill set to move our state forward.

“We are pleased to join other members of organized labor, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia, and others in the city and the southeast region that have endorsed Treasurer McCord. We plan to campaign for him and financially support his campaign. We encourage others to do the same,” Wright said.

AFSCME District Council 47 includes about 7,500 active and retired public service employees in the Philadelphia region. Its membership includes social workers, nurses, probation officers, direct care professionals, and other professions.

McCord is running against Tom Wolf, a former state revenue department secretary; Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz; and Katie McGinty, a former state environmental protection secretary, in the primary.

The winner likely will face Gov. Tom Corbett, who’s seeking a second term, in the Nov. 4 election.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 3rd, 2014
Tom Wolf/AP file photo

Tom Wolf/AP file photo

Tom Wolf must like what he sees from the pre-primary polls so far.

Wolf, a former state revenue department secretary, continues to lead Democrats in the four-person gubernatorial primary field, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll released this morning.

Wolf, a York County businessman, leads with 33 percent, followed by Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, 7 percent; state Treasurer Rob McCord, 6 percent; and Katie McGinty, a former state environmental protection secretary, 1 percent.

But there is hope for those trailing.

Nearly half, 46 percent, did not give a preference for governor in the May 20 primary.

Television commercials are having an effect in the race, according to the poll of 524 registered Democrats who were questioned March 25-31.

Seven in 10 Democrats have seen a TV commercial for one of the Democrats. Of those who have seen a commercial, 85 percent have seen a commercial for  Wolf, 42 percent have seen one for McCord and 39 percent have seen a McGinty commercial.

Education (31 percent) remains the top issue for Democrats when they consider what candidate to support, followed by the economy or the job market, 19 percent.

On national politics, nearly six in 10 Democrats rate President Barack Obama’s job performance as excellent, 17 percent, or good, 41 percent. But four in 10 rate his performance as fair, 25 percent, or poor, 17 percent, according to the poll.

Hillary Clinton swamps Vice President Joe Biden in a potential presidential primary matchup in 2016: 55 percent to 5 percent.

For the full poll results, see http://politics.fandm.edu.

– John Guerriero

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 31st, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Fresh from a visit to the Vatican last week, Gov. Tom Corbett is turning to his fellow Catholics for help in his bid for re-election.

Corbett will announce “Catholics for Corbett-Cawley” on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley is Corbett’s running mate.

The campaign plans to organize Catholics across the state to support the Corbett-Cawley ticket.

Corbett, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and others in a delegation from Pennsylvania greeted Pope Francis at his public audience in St. Peter’s Square. They invited him to Philadelphia in September 2015 for the Vatican-sponsored Eighth World Meeting of Families, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

PoliticsPA reported that it’s unclear whether the pontiff will visit Philadelphia, but the online political website said the governor got “valuable face-time with the world leader.” PoliticsPA said that about 30 percent of Pennsylvanians are Catholic.

Corbett might need every bit of that Catholic support, and more, if he hopes to win a second term.

He is considered vulnerable. In fact, the Washington Post’s “The Fix” column considers Corbett the “most vulnerable governor in the country.” The column noted that a recent Quinnipiac University poll showed voters believe he doesn’t deserve reelection by 55-34 percent.

Former state revenue secretary Tom Wolf has emerged as the Democratic frontrunner among four Democratic candidates, and he led the incumbent 52-33 in the same poll. The Fix’s response: “Ouch.”

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 28th, 2014
Jay Paterno/ETN file photo

Jay Paterno/ETN file photo

Here is the full text of  Democrat Jay Paterno’s statement explaining why he dropped out of the race for lieutenant governor today:

This afternoon I am announcing my intent to withdraw from the Lt. Governor’s race. Over the past twenty-four hours 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.

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.

While I have always believed that you fight for what is right, there are times in life when personal ambitions should give way for the good of the whole. To that end I am stepping away. It is my hope that a focus on a thorough airing of the issues allows the best Democratic candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor to lead us into November.

I thank everyone who has supported our campaign. I know we entered this race late and I alone bear responsibility for that and for any shortcomings in our efforts.

As I have stated at every campaign stop I would be honored to be the nominee, but if I fell short of that goal, I would work hard to help the Governor and Lt. Governor nominees win the election in November. That has not changed. I will continue to advocate for the issues of Education, Employment and Equality that we all feel passionately about in any way I can contribute.

Paterno was facing a petition challenge from Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski, also a lieutenant governor candidate.

–Kevin Flowers

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 28th, 2014
Jay Paterno/ETN file photo

Jay Paterno/ETN file photo

Jay Paterno, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, faces a court challenge to his nomination petitions Monday in Harrisburg.

But Paterno, a former Pennsylvania State University assistant coach for 17 seasons, told the Erie Times-News  and GoErie.com that he’s not concerned.

“I’m very confident in the process we used. And obviously, the lawyers have to figure that all out. But I feel that we’re going to be in this thing all the way to May 20 and hopefully after May 20,” he said, referring to the date of the spring primary.

Asked if he believes he has enough valid signatures on those petitions, Paterno said, “Yeah, I think so. I was involved. We didn’t use any outside groups to collect them. I oversaw it and it was family and volunteers and friends that did it. So I know the process that was used and I’m very comfortable with it,” he said.

Candidates for lieutenant governor must submit the signatures of at least 1,000 registered party voters, including a minimum of 100 from each of five different counties.

Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski, one of six Democrats on the ballot for the state’s No. 2 executive job, hired a lawyer to challenge Paterno’s petitions, according to the Associated Press.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 24th, 2014

With the May 20 Pennsylvania primary drawing closer, it’s debate time again.

The Pennsylvania Cable Network, PCN, will air live coverage of the Pennsylvania College Democrats gubernatorial debate from Temple University in Philadelphia. The debate will be Friday at 7 p.m.

Expected to participate are Democratic candidates Rob McCord, Katie McGinty, Allyson Schwartz, Jack Wagner and Tom Wolf.

Viewers will get a chance to share their thoughts or ask questions at the end of the debate by calling toll-free 1-877-726-5001 during a live PCN call-in program at 9 p.m. Charlie Gerow of Quantum Communications and Tony May of Triad Strategies will be the featured guests.

The debate will re-air Friday at 10 p.m. To view other Election 2014 programming online, visit http://pcntv.com/category/election-programming.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 21st, 2014

Tom Wolf/AP file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ File photo Tom Wolf/AP file photo

 
Gov. Tom Corbett/ File photo

PoliticsPA has assigned grades to Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial candidates on their websites and social media presence. 

The political website notes that its grades are “subjective” and that scores ”represent a combination of quality and quantity measurements” regarding the political sites.

The grades range from “A” to “D.”  Check out the piece here, and feel free to share thoughts.

–Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 20th, 2014
Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee, a Democratic candidate for Congress in the 3rd District, has picked up another labor endorsement.

LaVallee, 26, of Cranberry Township, Butler County, got the endorsement from Local 9 of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. 

LaVallee said in a statement that he was “thrilled” to get the endorsement. “For far too long, unions have been the scapegoat for politicians who choose not to examine the real problems at hand, such as bad trade deals. I’m proud to be endorsed and work with unions, such as the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, to protect and increase jobs in Pennsylvania and across the country,” he said.

William Greer, executive vice president of the local, said in a statement: “Dan is someone who understands working Americans. We need more people like him in Congress - people who will protect jobs, not ship them overseas.  We are excited to endorse a candidate of his caliber to represent the people of western Pennsylvania.”

It is the third union endorsement for LaVallee, who is trying to unseat U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist. But first LaVallee faces a candidate in the May 20 primary: Mel Marin, of Sharon.

The sprawling 3rd District includes all of Butler County, the city of Erie and western Erie County.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 18th, 2014
Sean Wiley/ETN file photo

Sean Wiley/ETN file photo

State Sen. Sean Wiley, of Millcreek, D-49th Dist., has been appointed to the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Association, or PHEAA.

The Senate confirmed his appointment.

PHEAA  has evolved into one of the nation’s leading student aid organizations. The agency is a national provider of student financial aid services, serving millions of students and thousands of schools through its loan guaranty, loan servicing, financial aid processing, outreach, and other student aid programs, according to Wiley’s office.

“I am very honored by this appointment. Affordable higher education is critical to the future success of the students in this commonwealth and beyond. The financial support that is offered by PHEAA allows an avenue for students and families to pursue higher education that might otherwise be unattainable,” Wiley said in a statement.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized

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