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Neuman unveils House backing

Published by Karen Langley on .

Rep. Brandon Neuman of Washington County, who is running for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, has unveiled a slate of endorsements from the state House.

The list includes Democratic leader Frank Dermody of Oakmont, Rep. Joe Markosek of Monroeville and Rep. Dan Frankel of Squirrel Hill, according to the Neuman campaign. The full list is on the campaign website: http://www.voteneuman.com/house-delegation-backs-neuman/

Neuman is running against Harrisburg city Councilman Brad Koplinski, state Sen. Mike Stack of Philadelphia, former U.S. Rep. Mark Critz and Bradford County commissioner Mark Smith. Last month politics editor James O'Toole profiled the race: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2014/04/06/Pennsylvania-Lt-governor-candidates-battling-anonymity/stories/201404060156

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Mayor: We're broke, and we're going to fix it "the Pittsburgh Way."

Published by Moriah Balingit on .

Mayor Bill Peduto visited his old stomping grounds -- city council chambers -- to drive home the message that the city is broke. And more broke than you might think.

Among the things the city is facing: rising pension costs, falling real estate revenue and unmet capital needs. Here's the text of his prepared address. He ad-libbed a bit, but this is the gist. 

"Members of council, and the people of Pittsburgh:

Like you, I am proud of our city. We knew before the rest the world the greatness that exists here, as well as the future opportunities, and it is a pleasure to revel in that. But when you look closer, we all know it is fleeting.

Tonight the city’s Act 47 coordinators will release the latest long-term look at the city’s finances, and our preliminary discussions with them on creating a 5-year budget indicate we are facing years of devastating budget shortfalls. Our average $20 million budget gap is actually $60 million annually including the real costs before us.

Anyone can see on a daily basis how the infrastructure that makes our city special is disintegrating. Everyone looks at our streets, more than half of which are rotting, but they are just one piece of the problem. Our facilities are falling apart too. Our vehicles malfunction and our bridges decay. Our parks, our playgrounds and our urban forest are crying out for help that we can’t afford to give them.

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Sen. Hughes lines up for Wolf

Published by James O'Toole on .

Sen. Vincent J. Hughes, the longest serving state senator in Philadelphia''s delegation, is endorsing Tom Wolf for governor.

A Hughes endorsement would be welcome in any statewide Democratic race.  He is the ranking Democrat on the senate Apprropriations Committee and a former chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. But it is particularly noteworthy in the context of the campaign's recent cut and thurst as state Treasurer Rob McCord, most recently in a debate Monday night, has accused Wolf of racial insensitivity and failure of leadership over his ties to a former York mayor who was forced from the ballot in 2001 after being indicted, though later acquitted, as an accomplice to the murder of a black woman in a notorious race riot in York in 1969.

Hughes, along with York's current mayor, Kim Bracey, who is also an African-American, is among several black leaders who seem unpersuaded by the McCord crritique. 

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Schwartz campaigns with Costa

Published by James O'Toole on .

 

U.S. Rep.Allyson Schwartz planned to open the final week of the primary campaign with a few stops in Pittsburgh accompanied by state Sen. Jay Costa.  

You'll recall that Costa parted company with many of his western Pennsylvania allies when he chose to back his old colleague while many of them were lining up behind Tom Wolf.

They'll start at _ where else? _ Pamela's in the Strip District this afternoon and end up at Her campaign headquarters in Shadyside to spur her volunteers toon their home stretch canvassing.  Herer's the details:

2 pm---Pamela's P & G Diner, 60 21st St, Pittsburgh, PA

3 pm---Thrill Mill Small Business Incubator,  6024 Broad Street, Pittsburgh, PA

4 pm---Eons Fashion Antique, 5850 Ellsworth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA

4:30 pm---Schwartz Canvass Kickoff Pittsburgh Field Office, 5846 Ellsworth Ave Pittsburgh, PA                              

While the congresswoman greets her Pittsburgh supporters, some of her rivals were stumping in the Northeast corner of the state.

York businessman Tom Wolf, joined by some local state representatives, planned to talk about economic development at a stop in Wilkes-Barre.  

State treasurer Rob McCord planned to be in Wilkes-Barre Tuesday evening to kick off a bus tour of the statein which he planned to put 900 miles on teh odometer between now and next Tuesday's primary.  He'll be joined there by Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, a former candidate for governor himslef, who endorsed McCord as he left the race.

Later the bus will take him to stops including Williamsport, State College, Altoona, Pittsburgh, and Johnstown.  .

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Final showdown

Published by James O'Toole on .

 

Early Returns took a road trip to Philadelphia Monday night to check out the last joint forum among the four Democrats running for the chance to challenge Gov. Tom Corbett.  From the main site, here's the report:

 

PHILADELPHIA -- Trampling rough but familiar terrain, Tom Wolf fended off attacks Monday night from state Treasurer Rob McCord and U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz on his business background and his ties to a former York mayor who stepped down as a candidate for re-election in 2001 after being indicted for his role in a 1969 race riot in which a black woman was killed.

With a week to go before the Democratic gubernatorial primary next Tuesday, Mr. McCord forcefully renewed his critique of Mr. Wolf's judgment at the campaign's final debate at Drexel University. He pointed to the York businessman's role as chairman of former York Mayor Charlie Robertson's re-election campaign while contending that Mr. Wolf, the front-runner, had "failed the leadership test," in not speaking out against Mr. Robertson at the time that he was indicted -- though later acquitted -- of charges of having been an accessory to the women's death. Mr. Wolf protested that he had been in the Peace Corps in India at the time of the York riots, and that decades later he had been a behind-the-scenes voice in persuading Mr. Robertson to abandon his candidacy when the charges emerged shortly after he won the primary for renomination.

Ms. Schwartz of Montgomery County contended that Mr. Wolf's business background was not an adequate preparation to run the state, and insisted that he had to be willing to answer tough questions on camera if he hoped to be a credible challenger to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.

"We cannot take a risk on someone who is untested, unproven," she said, defending the harsh focus on Mr. Wolf.

Mr. Wolf insisted that his varied business, academic and government background equipped him to lead the state and said that, if it didn't, and only more conventional political paths should be considered as qualifications for high office, then that would be an indictment of the entire political system.

Following another pattern from past encounters, Katie McGinty, who is also seeking the nomination, kept her focus on the incumbent they all hope to unseat.

Decrying cuts in education funding, she said, "[W]hat I hear the voters talking about their son or daughter no longer has tutoring after school, that they now have to pay 150 bucks if they want their son or daughter to be able to participate in sports, the fact that we're now dead last in the region -- zero, last -- in private sector job creation; the fact that 97,000 Pennsylvanians have lost Medical Assistance all because of roadblocks Tom Corbett has put up."

When the question of government ethics arose, she again faulted Mr. Corbett, the Republican incumbent, for having accepted gifts and a trip to Rhode Island.

The exchanges came after a campaign in which Mr. Wolf has vaulted to the lead in public polling on the strength of an early and abundant advertising campaign. Despite their caustic assessments of the apparent front-runner, however, both Mr. McCord and Ms. Schwartz said that they would be willing to support him over the incumbent in November.

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