With Gerlach Leaving, The Scramble For Candidates Has Already Begun

English: , member of the United States House o...

English: , member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The scramble to become a candidate for U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach‘s seat has already begun and the battle for the post will be a national spectacle, political watchers said Monday.

The Chester County Republican announced Monday that he will not seek re-election to a seventh term.

And while Gerlach said he mainly made the decision to spend more time with his family, he acknowledged that frustration with Washington had to play a role.

“I just get the sense that he was very unhappy with the situation, the gridlock, the partisanship, the inability to get much done,” said G. Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster. “Many (politicians) have reached a point where many don’t want to go through this anymore.”

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article/20140107/NEWS/301079935/1052#.UsxmIfRDsxI

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Provisions Of The Pa. Transportation Funding Bill

Provisions of the transportation funding legislation passed today by the Pennsylvania Senate:

REVENUE

— Generates at least $2.3 billion per year after a five-year period by gradually increasing taxes and fees on motorists; generates $7.36 billion total over the first five years.

SPENDING

— Directs $1.65 billion per year to highway and bridge construction and repair by the fifth year, including $220 million annually for locally owned roads and bridges.

— Directs $476 million to $497 million per year to mass transit agencies by the fifth year.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=519767

Courtright Wins, Mulligan Concedes Scranton Mayor’s Race

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Republican Scranton mayor nominee Jim Mulligan has conceded defeat as Democratic city Tax Collector Bill Courtright won the right to run the city the next four years with a strong victory in the hotly fought contest.

“We’ve got to fix this city,” Mr. Courtright said from a stage in his downtown headquarters. “You know I’m humbled that the people of this city have once again voted for me and had the faith and trust in me and I’m thankful for that.”

With 41 of 48 city precincts reporting,  Mr. Courtright, a Democrat, had 7,646 votes, or 57.4 percent to Republican nominee Jim Mulligan’s 5,866 votes, or 43.1 percent. The rest are write-in votes.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/courtright-wins-mulligan-concedes-scranton-mayor-s-race-1.1580674

Rodriguez Wins Race For West Reading Mayor

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A hotly contested mayor’s race came to an end Tuesday night in West Reading, with independent Valentin Rodriguez Jr. trumping two opponents to earn the seat with 290 votes.

Democrat Peter B. Gustis and Republican Kathleen Frymoyer trailed, with 151 and 150 votes, respectively.

Results were complete but unofficial Tuesday night.

Rodriguez will replace Shane J. Keller, who opted not to seek re-election.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=518345

Time To Top 20 Percent Turnout In Tuesday’s Election

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Something perplexing happens in municipal elections like the one coming up Tuesday.

The public officials being elected have the most direct impact on people’s lives.

Yet turnout of registered voters – usually less than 20 percent – is the lowest in the four-year election cycle.

These officials make sure roads are plowed in winter and grass in parks is mowed in summer. They hire contractors for road repairs. They oversee police. They pass zoning laws that dictate where housing developments should go and where businesses should be built, which can impact land values.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=518129

Pennsylvania Headed In Wrong Direction, Poll Says

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvanians think their state is headed in the wrong direction and its governor isn’t doing a very good job steering the ship, a new poll shows.

The latest edition of the Franklin & Marshall College Poll was released today, and the survey of 628 registered voters showed that only a quarter believe Pennsylvania is headed in the right direction. According to data provided by the college that dates back to January 2010, that number is a new low.

A majority in the recent poll – 61 percent – responded the state is “off on the wrong track.”

Both the right direction and wrong track numbers are similar to results shown in the last Franklin & Marshall poll released in August, where 26 percent said the state is headed in the right direction and 61 percent said it’s on the wrong track.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=517834

Democrats, Republicans Losing Battle For New Voters

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Political pundits warned about it.

Party leaders downplayed it.

But the voters have spoken.

For the first time in memory, the number of new Berks County voters who selected nonpartisan, or other, eclipsed those registering under one of the two major parties.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=517374

Christie: ‘If I Was In The Senate Right Now, I’d Kill Myself’

English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of Ne...

English: , U.S. Attorney, Governor-elect of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gov. Christie today blamed Republicans and Democrats for the government shutdown, saying “it’s irresponsible of both sides to have allowed this to get where it’s gotten.”

Asked during an editorial board meeting with The Philadelphia Inquirer what he would do if he were in the Senate right now, his immediate response was this: “If I was in the Senate right now, I’d kill myself.”

“This is why I’ve never had any interest in being in a legislative body,” he said. (It should be noted: In the 1990s Christie was a county freeholder, which is a legislator.)

He sees the situation in Washington as a failure in leadership, and a failure to achieve compromise.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/christie_chronicles/Christie-If-I-was-in-the-Senate-right-now-Id-kill-myself.html#SCuoK6yZzyy8AhU4.99

Governor Would Sign Transportation Bills

HARRISBURG, PA – Amid Pennsylvania’s stalled debate over how to raise more money for highways and transit agencies, state Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch said Friday that Gov. Tom Corbett would sign either of two plans that have led debate in the legislature.

Corbett has not to date publicly endorsed any specific transportation funding plan in the Legislature after a $1.8 billion plan he released in February failed to gain much traction with lawmakers.

But a new willingness by the governor to embrace either bill is a sign that he is no longer willing to let disagreement over some elements of each bill stop him from making it law.

“He wants a transportation bill on his desk,” Schoch said. “What passes both parts of the Legislature I believe he’ll sign.”

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=514833

Allyson Schwartz Nearly Certain To Face Corbett, insiders Say

English: Official congressional portrait of Co...

English: Official congressional portrait of Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz is all but certain to run for governor next year, buoyed by a $3.1 million campaign fund and a recent poll that showed her leading Gov. Corbett in a test matchup, according to several people familiar with the Montgomery County Democrat’s thinking.

The five-term House member from Jenkintown has been positioning herself for a gubernatorial run for a couple of months.

As evidence of her increasing prominence, the Pennsylvania GOP, in its statement last week responding to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, asked: “When will Allyson Schwartz present a serious plan to control spending?”

“She’s making all the phone calls, taking all the meetings you would do to run for governor, but I don’t think she’s made her final decision,” said Montgomery County Democratic Chairman Marcel Groen. He has estimated the chance of Schwartz’s running at better than 80 percent.

Read more:

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/state/20130218_Allyson_Schwartz_nearly_certain_to_face_Corbett__insiders_say.html

Take Tax Gripes To School Boards, Not State, Corbett Says

Standard of the Governor of Pennsylvania http:...

Standard of the Governor of Pennsylvania http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us-pa.html#gov (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvanians who are concerned about rising school taxes should take their complaints to local school boards, not the state government, Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday.

“I think the taxpayers need to help themselves,” Corbett replied when a caller on Philadelphia’s Talk Radio 1210 WPHT asked what can be done to help ease the pressures on taxpayers.

In his monthly appearance on the “Dom Giordano Program,” the Republican governor suggested that excessively small class sizes and overly generous contracts with teachers unions are part of the reason many school districts are struggling financially.

“I would love to see the taxpayers speaking up at the school board meetings,” he said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=379227