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 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
Posted: May 14th, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

With just days before Tuesday’s primary, Tom Wolf continues to lead the pack of four Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for governor.

The Franklin & Marshall College Poll released this morning shows Wolf, a businessman and former state revenue secretary, leading with 37 percent over his closest challenger, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, with 20 percent.

Trailing are Rob McCord, the state’s elected treasurer, with 12 percent, and Katie McGinty, a former state environmental protection secretary, with 3 percent. Surveyed were 530 likely Democratic voters from May 6 through Monday.

However, there is still some wiggle room for someone to catch Wolf. Twenty-seven percent are undecided.

The poll also shows that seven in 10 voters, or 72 percent, think the state is moving in the wrong direction.

Of those surveyed, 83 percent have seen a television commercial for the gubernatorial candidates, the poll shows. Of those who have seen a commercial, 93 percent have seen a Wolf commercial, 67 percent have seen a McCord commercial, 61 percent have seen a Schwartz commercial and 44 percent have seen a McGinty commercial.

The winner will go on to face Gov.  Tom Corbett, who is unopposed in Tuesday’s GOP primary.

For complete survey results, visit http://politics.fandm.edu.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 12th, 2014

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Robbins today announced his endorsement of Parke Wentling, a Republican candidate for state representative in the 17th District.

Voters in westernmost Erie County will cast ballots for a 17th District candidate.

“Parke Wentling has the education, background, dedicated work ethic and commitment to his community to be an outstanding representative for the 17th District. We can trust Parke Wentling to make the right decisions to create a better future for our area. I am honored to join my predecessor, Sen. Roy W. Wilt, in supporting Parke Wentling’s candidacy,” said Robbins, of Greenville, R-50th Dist., in a statement. Robbins is retiring from the Senate after this year.

Wentling said in his own statement: “I am humbled and honored to have the support of Sen. Robbins and I will work every day to live up to his legacy and accomplishments.”

He added: “I will champion economic development, increased opportunities for job growth, and will support our agricultural base for the citizens of northwestern Pennsylvania. Like Sen. Robbins, I feel strongly in limiting government, reducing burdensome regulations and taxes, and upholding our Constitution.”

Parke Wentling works at the Wilmington Area School District in New Wilmington as a technology education instructor.

He is one of several candidates in a crowded field for the May 20 primary.

 The other candidates are: Republicans David Biros, of Mercer County; Ed Franz and Gary Temple, both of Crawford County; and Patrick Gehrlein, of Girard Township.

Democrats on the ballot are Wayne Hanson, of Crawford County, and Dennis Webber, of Mercer County.
– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 9th, 2014
Allyson Schwartz/AP file photo

Allyson Schwartz/AP file photo

This week’s mentions include Vincent Hughes and Allyson Schwartz.  Check it out here.
Enjoy the weekend.

–Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 7th, 2014
U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson/ETN file photo

U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson/ETN file photo

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly and U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson have picked up another endorsement in their bids for re-election.

Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist., and  Thompson, Howard Township, Centre County, R-5th Dist., gained the backing of The National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading small-business association.

Kevin Shivers, executive state director of NFIB Pennsylvania, said in a statement, that the group supports candidates who support small business. He said that both Kelly and Thompson, who split the representation of Erie County, earned 100 percent voting records so far in Congress.

He said that both congressmen have “supported Main Street Pennsylvania by consistently voting for legislation that would help our small businesses grow and create jobs.”

NFIB has 15,000 small business members in Pennsylvania representing a cross-section of the state’s economy. Its endorsements come from NFIB’s Save America’s Free Enterprise Trust, the association’s political action committee, and are based on positions regarding small-business issues including health care, taxes, and labor and regulatory issues.

Both Kelly and Dan LaVallee, his Democratic opponent in the Nov. 4 election, are unopposed for their respective party’s nominations in the May 20 primary.

Thompson is unopposed for the GOP nomination May 20. His general election opponent will be one of two Democrats: Kerith Strano Taylor of Brookville, or Thomas Tarantella, of Renovo, Clinton County.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 30th, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett unveiled a radio spot today entitled “Twice as Bad,” which focuses on two Democratic candidates for Governor, Allyson Schwartz and Tom Wolf.

Check out the ad here.

Corbett’s campaign manager, Mike Barley, said: “Pennsylvania voters need to know the truth about extreme liberal Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf. Our ad shines a light on the soft spot Congresswoman Schwartz has for the liberal President Barack Obama agenda and millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf’s desire to hike taxes on middle class Pennsylvania families.”

–Kevin Flowers

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 30th, 2014
Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee, the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 3rd District, continues to gain support from labor.

He’s announced that the United Mine Workers of America District 2, The International Association of Fire Fighters Local 293, and the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO have endorsed his campaign.

LaVallee is unopposed for his party’s nomination in the May 20 primary. His competition will come from U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist., in the Nov. 4 election. Kelly also has no opposition in the primary.

Officials from all three unions issued statements in support of the Democrat’s candidacy.

Dave Chiaramonte, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 293 in Erie said, “For our 136 members, Dan LaVallee would be the fresh air and energy western Pennsylvania needs to serve them in Washington. Dan’s desire to give these first responders the voice at the table they deserve is in the public’s best interest.”

Ed Yankovich, United Mine Workers of America International District 2 vice president, said, “I met Dan early on in the campaign trail and his energy and ability to listen impressed me the most. He was passionate about understanding the issues that effect not just our members but all working families.”

Frank Snyder, secretary-treasurer for the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO said, “I have known Dan for some time now, and I have always been impressed by what a talented, compassionate and intelligent man he is. He would be the perfect person to represent all of the constituents of the 3rd District. He will stand with not just western Pennsylvania, but with working men and women across our state.”

LaVallee said he is honored to receive the union support.

“I am proud to have been endorsed by one of America’s oldest unions, our first Erie local, and the statewide governing board for those unions. It’s a clear sign of the momentum we’ve gained, and the kind of campaign we’re running,” he said.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized

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