Stack leads Dem Lt Gov cash

Published by James O'Toole on .

State Sen. Mike Stack appeared to be way ahead of the Democratic lieutenant governor's pack in cash on hand at he end of the first quarter.

Stack reported that he had roughly $700,000 on hand at the end of the first quarter.  Among his rivals who had filed their first quarter reports, only Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith was also in six figures, with $144,319 in cash.  Former U.S. Rep. Mark Critz was in some big-spending races during his brief congressional career, but he's taking a more frugal route this time, reporting about $37,000 in cash after spending $89,000 in the first three months of the year.

State Rep. Bradford Neuman had a balance of $19,000 in one campaign committee and $45,000 in a separate fund-raising committe formed for the lieutenant governor's race.  Harrisburg Councilman Brad Koplinski reported $28,474 in cash on hand, but also had a debt of $15,000



Schwartz raises nearly $1.6M; Wolf still leads in cash

Published by James O'Toole on .

Rep. Allyson Schwartz had the best fund-raising quarter among the Democratic contenders for governor, but with roughly six week left before the May 20 primary, Tom Wolf remained the leader in available cash despite his own  relatively modest level of new receipts.

 Ms. Schwartz raised about $1.55 million from January 1 to March 31, adding to the $4.6 million she had at the beginning of the year.    She had $5.1 million in cash at the end of the quarter.

Mr. Wolf had just over $7 million left at the end of the quarter despite having been the spending leader.  He shelled out $5.3 million, most of it on the heavy television advertising that has reshaped the race.  He had started the year with just under $11 million, most of that from his own funds, although he acknowledged to the Philadelphia Inquirer recently that nearly half of the $10 million he donated to the campaign came from a bank loan.

Treasurer Rob McCord, who had entered the year with roughly $6 million, raised $597,649, the lowest total of new receipts.  He ended the quarter with $3.6 million in cash after spending just under $3 million.  He also reported the largest debt among the contenders with $2.1 million owed.

Katie McGinty, the former DEP secretary, had a healthy fund-raising quarter with contributions of $1.1 million.  She still ended up at the back of the pack in cash on hand with $1.6 million. Ms McGinty reported debts of about. $535,000.

Gov. Tom Corbett raised just over $1.4 million in the first quarter.  With nearly $6 million, he ended up with more cash on hand than any of the Democrats but Wolf.  By May 20, that's likely to change.


House Rs seek pension sponsors

Published by Karen Langley and Kate Giammarise on .

UPDATED 8:16 p.m. with comment from Senator Pileggi's office.

A sign of possible movement on pensions here at the Capitol: House Republicans say they are about to circulate a request for co-sponsors for a plan they have been discussing with the Corbett administration.

"It is reflective of a bicameral effort between the House, the Senate and the administration," said Jay Pagni, who serves as a spokesman for Budget Secretary Charles Zogby (as well as for Gov. Tom Corbett).

Legislative language is being drafted, said Steve Miskin, spokesman for House Republicans.

Rep. Mike Tobash has described the outlines of his plan: Current state and public school employees would keep their existing retirement plans in SERS and PSERS. New hires, however, would incur benefits into a traditional defined-benefit plan for salary up to a certain point. Additional wages would incur benefits into a defined-contribution, 401(k)-style plan.

This is the type of plan Zogby described at the time of Corbett's budget address in February.


McCord again targets Corbett

Published by James O'Toole on .

Treasurer Rob McCord keeps up his agressive tone about Gov. Tom Corbett in a new ad that highlights his proposal to tax Marcellus Shale drilling.  The ad asserts that the impact fee enacted under the Corbett administration amounts to a "sweeheart deal,'' while noting that he is the only candidate who has proposed a 10 percent tax on natural gas drillers to replace it.  While the details differ, his three rivals for the Democratic nomination have called for new severance taxes in the range of 5 percent.


Schwartz cites CHIP in 1st ad

Published by James O'Toole on .

We're catching up on a few things today that some computer gremlins didn't allow us to get to Monday.  Chief among them was Rep. Allyson Schwartz's debut ad citing her work as a state senator on CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program, that was a template for a similar national program enacted in the Clinton administration.  Ms. Schwartz supported the program while she was a state senator along with its principal author, former Sen. Allen Kukovich and the late Gov. Robert P. Casey.

With this ad, Ms. Schwartz becomes the last of the four Democrats running for governor to make her case on the airwaves.  The next six weeks will test whether her strategy of stockpiling her resources until the later stages of the campaign will pay off against rivals who took to the airwaves earlier.