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The new Santorum volume

Published by James O'Toole on .

 

Politico's James Hohmann offers his ten takeaways from a new book by former Sen. Rick Santorum, which expands on the populist themes he aired in his longshot but surprisingly successful 2012 campaign for the GOP nomination for president.  While the new volume continues the emphasis on social issues that has animated Santorum's career and was central to his earlier book, "It Takes a Family,'' it also urges his party to embrace issues such as income inequality to appeal to the blue collar voters who stayed at home on election day in 2012.

According to Hohmann, "Santorum suggests throughout the campaign-style manifesto, published by conservative publishing house Regnery, that he is the GOP’s best bet to connect with these voters in his all-but-certain second try at the White House in 2016.

"Democrats successfully made the election into a class war, Santorum believes, and Mitt Romney 'turned out to be the perfect opponent.' "

 

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14th Ward Club backs McCord

Published by James O'Toole on .

The 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club endorsed state treasurer Rob McCord over the weekend in his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor. 

The club, one of the more active Democratic groups outside the regular party organization, also voted to back Harrisburg Councilman Brad Koplinski in the race for lieutenant governor. 

McCord appeared at the group's 50th anniversary fundraiser Saturday.  His rivals, Katie McGinty and Tom Wolf also spoke at the dinner.  Rep. Allyson Schwartz is also competing with them to carry teh Democratic standard against Gov. Tom Corbett.  The 14th Ward, the city's largest, is dominated by Squirrel Hill and also includes parts of Point Breeze, Regent Square and Swisshelm Park.  The club declined to release the presice tallies for its endorsement votes.

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McGinty plan: more police

Published by James O'Toole on .

Katies McGinty, the Democratic candidate for governor, proposed a program Monday to help pay for more local police officers while encourging municipalites to consolidate their forces.

Ms. McGinty, the daughter of a Philadelphia police officcer, said municipalites could hire as many as 1,000 new officers across the state over three year by taking advantave of her plan to fund the hires based on a formula that would take into account crime rates and current force sizes.  Half of the new officers would be earmarked for  communities, such as Pittsburgh, operating under Act 47 supervisiion for distressed municipalities.  Her campaign estimated that the program would cost $8.5 million in its first year. 

Ms. McGinty also called for state grants totaling $6 million to fund technological improvements and the purchase of bulletproof vests as well as an expanision of state grants to encourage municipalites to concolidate their police forces.

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Wolf plays defense on plagiarism

Published by James O'Toole on .

The Wolf campaign for governor acknowledged lifting passages from an industry report and including them in its campaign platform as rivals tried to leverage the incident to raise questions about his front-running candidacy.

A spokesman for the York businessman’s campaign said they had fired the staffer responsible for the plagiarism in its issues platform, dubbed, “A Fresh Start.’’ He said the campaign was conducting an internal review to determine if there were other instances of unattributed borrowings in the text of the platform, or in any other campaign materials. The campaign declined to identify the terminated staffer. The material in question involved fairly innocuous observations about the virtues of energy conservation.

In a statement, Mr. Wolf said, “I have directed the staff to make sure nothing like this ever happens again and have asked for a new process to be put in place to ensure it does not.’’

Mark Nicastre, a spokesman for the campaign said, “We collected great ideas from all different sources for the Fresh Start plan - the public sector, the private sector and not-for-profits. This plan specifically cites more than 20 references throughout the 46-page document to other studies and articles that served as some of the foundation to our plan. It was important to us to give credit where credit was due. The language that has been pointed out should never have appeared in the manner in which it did. We are putting processes in place to make sure this does not happen again. This was a mistake and we regret it.’’

The public contrition didn’t satisfy all of his rivals. A spokesman for the campaign of Rep. Allyson Schwartz, which first publicized the incident Thursday, demanded that Mr. Wolf return a campaign contribution from an executive of Johnson Controls, the energy firm whose reports were the source of the language grafted into the campaign document.

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Richard Sestak R.I.P.

Published by James O'Toole on .

Early Returns sends its condolences to the Sestak family on the sad news of the death of Richard Sestak.  Mr. Sestak, 54, died of cancer.  He was the architect of the congressional victories of his brother, former Rep. Joe Sestak.  As his campaign manager, he overcame the clout of the state's Democratic establishment as his brother won the Democratic Senate nomination over former Sen. Arlen Specter in 2010.  Joe Sestak went on to lose the general election to Sen. Pat Toomey, but, against that year's overwhelming Republican tide, the race was a squeaker, with the retired admiral running ahead of Toomey until well into the evening.  Here's the obituary from the Inquirer.

 

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