August 6, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Democrat Katie McGinty, the former chief of staff for Gov. Wolf, launched her campaign for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, setting the stage for a hard-fought primary against former Rep. Joe Sestak as their party desperately tries to unseat the Republican incumbent, Pat Toomey. Her entry changes the dynamics of the primary and, potentially, the general election next year, a nationally watched race that could go a long way toward deciding control of the Senate. McGinty's candidacy - along with Hillary Rodham Clinton's for president - raises the prospect of having two women vying to make history atop the Democratic ticket, an idea sure to thrill some of the party's base.
August 5, 2015 |
Richard Schultz Schweiker, 89, a political novice who rose from the unlikely incubator of Norristown to become a U.S. congressman, senator, and secretary of health and human services, died Friday, July 31. Mr. Schweiker died of complications from an infection at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in South Jersey. He had lived in McLean, Va., since 1969. "I am very, very sad to hear that the former senator has passed away," said Frank R. Bartle, former Montgomery County Republican chairman.
July 24, 2015 |
Katie McGinty, Gov. Wolf's chief of staff for the last six months, resigned Wednesday and is expected to soon enter the 2016 Democratic primary election for the U.S. Senate. Wolf's press secretary, Jeff Sheridan, on Wednesday said McGinty told the governor that it would be her last day on the job. Speculation has swirled in recent weeks around McGinty and the Senate race, fueled in part by her meeting two weekends ago with officials from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Martha's Vineyard.
July 21, 2015 |
ZIONSVILLE, Pa. - It's a gray early spring morning in the Lehigh Valley when Pat Toomey slides into the leather passenger seat of an aide's Ford Explorer. The Republican U.S. senator scans his itinerary, laid out meticulously in a white three-ring binder. A memo for each event lists a one-sentence "purpose," then background and talking points: "Great to Be Here With You Today," "Wawa's Leading by Example," "Overwhelming Bipartisan Support. " His planned speech honoring Sister Mary Scullion, the Philadelphia advocate for the homeless and mentally ill, includes pronunciation: SKULL-E-ON.
July 15, 2015 |
A state judge on Monday ruled that environmental groups and a state senator could not intervene in New Jersey's tentative $225 million settlement with ExxonMobil Corp. in a controversial pollution case. The decision delivered a blow to groups such as the New Jersey Sierra Club that say the settlement does not recoup what they believe Exxon owes the state after contaminating 1,500 acres of land, groundwater, and surface water for decades at the company's sites in North Jersey. The settlement also covers the state's claims with Exxon at a number of gas stations and 16 other facilities, including one in Paulsboro.
July 11, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) scored a victory Thursday as the Senate advanced a plan to help rein in potential child sex abusers, a proposal he has featured in early campaigning for reelection. The Senate voted, 98-0, in favor of a Toomey amendment to make it illegal for school districts to write letters of recommendation for employees who are known sex offenders against children or who face credible accusations of sexual misconduct. Districts that violate the policy could lose federal funding.
July 10, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - If Katie McGinty runs for the Senate, the chief of staff for Gov. Wolf has at least one big supporter. U.S. Rep. Robert Brady, Philadelphia's Democratic chairman, says he is "100 percent in her corner. " "Honorary campaign manager, anything she needed me to do," Brady said Wednesday after speaking to her earlier in the day. McGinty's name is the latest to emerge as a possible Democratic challenger to the Republican incumbent, Pat Toomey, in a widely watched race that could help determine control of the Senate.
July 8, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski suspended his campaign for the Senate on Monday, four days after FBI agents executed search warrants at Allentown City Hall. In a statement, Pawlowski said he was pausing the campaign "to fully focus on assisting in the federal investigation of Allentown contracting practices both prior to his being elected and since. " He said he would reevaluate when he had a clearer picture of the investigation. The news came after agents raided the office Thursday, seized documents, and interviewed Pawlowski and city Managing Director Francis Dougherty, according to a source close to the investigation.
June 27, 2015 |
Atlantic City is one step closer to getting a PILOT to steer it through rough economic seas. On Thursday, the New Jersey Senate passed a rescue package, including the long-awaited PILOT - Payment in Lieu of Taxes, a new casino taxation system - and other bills aimed at stabilizing the city's dire finances. The bills, stalled since December amid political wranging and an unsettled labor situation at Trump Taj Mahal, now go to Gov. Christie. The bills have been endorsed by both the casino industry and elected officials, including Mayor Don Guardian, who has said the stabilized tax system under the new PILOT was better than defending against repeated tax appeals that have put the city near bankruptcy.
June 26, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - The Senate approved a bill Wednesday that would let Pennsylvania consumers have wine shipped directly to their homes. The measure, which now heads to the House, allows all wineries to obtain a permit to ship any quantity. Under current law, out-of-state retailers have only been allowed to send wine to a state-run liquor store for residents to pick up. The GOP-led House could vote on the measure as early as next week, said House Republicans spokesman Steve Miskin. Though the bill has support in both parties, drama unfolded on the Senate floor when it came up for debate Wednesday.