Critz on air after Labor Day

Published by Tim McNulty on .

US Rep. Mark Critz has a new TV ad buy posted on the FCC's site starting on Sept. 17 across the three broadcast networks.

The last reservations we saw from the Democrat or Republican opponent Keith Rothfus had them going on-air in mid-October.

US Sen. Bob Casey's ads (launched during the Olympics last weekend) look to be staying up in the Pittsburgh market through this week. Republican opponent Tom Smith will also be on air.


Today in Voter ID

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Bloomberg has another roundup on Voter ID bills approved by GOP legislatures possibly hurting Obama's reelection chances that mentions Pa but is based in Florida.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee wrote supporters today saying the bills "could cost us the election" and urged them to sign an online petition criticizing them.

Chris Potter at Pittsburgh City Paper read through the Pa lawsuit transcripts and focused on this nugget from state staffer Rebecca Oyler on voters who might be affected by the Pa's new bill:

Oyler's estimate: roughly 75,000 registered voters. After the bill became law, the state revised her estimate slightly upward — to more than 750,000 voters.

Why had Oyler been so far off? It's actually not her fault. As Oyler testified, she was responding to a request from the House Appropriations Committee, which wanted to know how much it "would cost to issue free ID cards."

"You didn't have a lot of time to do that estimate, did you?" asked an attorney for those seeking to overturn the law.

"No," Oyler answered.

"They gave you a 24-hour turnaround?"

"Thereabouts, yes."

Let's pause here a moment. The voter-ID law — a measure to reshape the basic mechanism by which democracy functions — was first introduced in March 2011. It went through a slew of Republican-dominated committees in the House and Senate. Yet throughout that year-long process, only one committee asked, "How many people could lose their voting rights here?" And that committee devoted just 24 hours to finding an answer.


Susan Corbett's father dies

Published by Tim McNulty on .

First Lady Susan Corbett's father, Dr. Lewis Manbeck, died Tuesday. The Schuylkill Countyman was 90.

Obituary from the governor's office after the jump:


Vulakovich's 1st promise: No Speedo

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Randy Vulakovich and son

Randy Vulakovich kisses his grandson Tyler Vulakovich, 2, as he is held by Mr. Vulakovich's son Randy Vulakovich Jr., right, after arriving at a campaign party Tuesday at Monte Cello's restaurant in Allison Park. Jim Roddey is at far left. Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette.

Randy Vulakovich's campaign team -- aided in great part by his wife Bonnie and son Randy Jr. -- made 20,000 phone calls to rally Republicans for his 40th District special election race yesterday but he was still nervous. Like the old days in the squad car, he nervously drove around his home municipality, one of the most vote-rich in all of Allegheny County, after 8 p.m. checking the tallies at various polls before finally getting to his election night party around 9. It was clear he was going to win (when Allegheny and Butler county's numbers were crunched it would be a 73-27% win over Democrat Sharon Brown) but he wouldn't admit it while walking around an Italian restaurant at an Allison Park strip mall, greeting supporters.

He explained to a perplexed reporter facing an early 9 p.m. deadline: "I've always had the opinion that nothing is easy, you gotta work for it and you gotta work hard. Certain variables can come in and turn things upside down."

Vulakovich of course cruised to victory and was soon being toasted at the mike by Jim Roddey, state Sen. Kim Ward of Westmoreland (whose son Mike served as campaign manager, with assistance from Mark Harris and Cold Spark Media) and others, including his family. Vulakovich's past victory parties had been held at the family's bungalow-type house in Shaler, his wife told me early in the night, but it was clear by the looks of the 200 or so crushing the pizza at Monte Cello's that should never could have fed them all. Besides the family was due to go on its annual beach vacation today and hadn't started packing.

They didn't need to make room for one small thing in his suitcase.

"I'm glad the race is over. I know when you see the football players after the Super Bowl they say, 'Where are you going?' and they say 'We're going to Disneyworld.' Well tomorrow morning I'm going to Myrtle Beach," Vulakovich said. "You'll be happy to know since I won the Senate race and stepped it up a little bit I'm not going to wear my Speedo," the large man continued to laughs from the crowd. "Canadians do it all the time. . . So I won't embarrass you down [in] Myrtle Beach."