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Tough new Altmire ad hits Critz votes

Published by Tim McNulty on .

The Jason Altmire camp launched a tough new TV ad today against Democratic foe Mark Critz in the PA12 primary, with people looking straight into the camera to attack his votes against Planned Parenthood and Dodd-Frank, and going over ground again on the Democratic maneuvers on a tea party budget.

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Smith has $2M COH; Welch, $390K

Published by Tim McNulty on .

US Senate candidate Tom Smith is outspending, and out-fundraising, GOP rival Steve Welch in the last couple weeks heading to the April 24 Pa primary, the AP reports this afternoon:

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Republican candidate seeking to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has been spending almost $1 million per month, mostly on TV advertisements, heading into the last stretch of the five-way primary race.

Tom Smith reported almost $2 million in his campaign account as of April 4 after spending nearly $3 million in the first three months of 2012.

He loaned his campaign most of that money, but he also outraised a key rival, Steve Welch, about two-to-one in outside contributions during the period.

Welch had about $390,000 left after spending about $770,000 in the period. He's invested $1 million of his own money.

The primary is April 24. Welch and Smith have raised and spent far more money than the other three Republican candidates combined.

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PA3: Kelly $310K, Eaton $16K

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Freshman US Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Butler, had $309,557 in cash heading into his reelection bid this fall, while Democratic challenger Missa Eaton, a PSU-Shenango prof, had $16,132.

Kelly's pre-primary report shows he raised $180,979 the first three months of the year and spent $101,315.

The Butler car dealer has $331,995 in self-debt outstanding.

Eaton, of Sharon raised $46,433 and spent $30,301.

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Clinton stumps for Kane in SEPA

Published by Laura Olson on .

As U.S. Rep. Mark Critz was touting his fresh endorsement from former President Bill Clinton, the ex-commander-in-chief himself was on his way to the Philadelphia suburbs to campaign for attorney general candidate Kathleen Kane. 

Kane, who worked for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid in northeast Pennsylvania, announced his endorsement several weeks ago.

Having Clinton in person to rally the southeastern Pennsylvania crowd, not far from opponent Patrick Murphy's native Bucks County, was the latest presidential tit-for-tat in a week that included Obama adviser David Axelrod visiting Philly to stump for Murphy.

Here's what Capitolwire.com reports that Clinton told the crowd of 1,000 about Kane's qualifications:

“It’s a simple question, a simple question: who will be more for the people of Pennsylvania?” Clinton said, noting Kane’s service for more than a decade as assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County.

“She’s the only candidate that’s literally spent years, years, using the power of the law to protect women and children from abuse, to protect seniors from financial scams, to protect the most vulnerable among us, by using the power of the law,” he said.

“…She’s the only person you can vote for who’s done that in this primary," he said.

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More on loss of Orie seat

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Briem 40th Dist map

Karen Langley has more on the new legislative maps approved yesterday that send Jane Orie's North Hills Senate seat to the Poconos and preserve the Mon Valley seat of Democrat Jim Brewster:

The plan differs from the one presented by the Senate Republicans in that it would move the district occupied by Ms. Orie rather than Mr. Brewster's district.

"I believe this is the kind of decision that should be driven as much as possible by Census Bureau population data," said Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware.

Mr. Pileggi said he understood that Mr. McEwen proposed the change to avoid moving a district whose occupant is running for re-election or in the middle of a term. Mr. Brewster is running unopposed for another four-year term, while Ms. Orie no longer will be eligible to serve in the Senate after she is sentenced May 21.

Despite his objection, Mr. Pileggi said he would support the preliminary plan so that redistricting could move forward. His counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, did not, saying the plan would split more communities than the plans of the Senate and House. Mr. Costa did say, however, that he was glad Mr. Brewster's district would be preserved.

"We're pleased that they saw that there was a value in maintaining the 45th District in Allegheny County, specifically the Mon Valley," he said afterward. "However, there are a number of other parts of the plan that we think we need to continue to talk about."

The commission approved the preliminary plan 4-1, with Mr. Costa opposed. House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont, said he would support the plan as a preliminary measure so that redistricting could proceed.

Pitt's Chris Briem did the maps above and below showing how the boundaries of Orie's 40th District would change. Pittsburgh's north suburbs look to be gobbled up by the 37th District currently held by the retiring John Pippy (and which Republicans Mark Mustio, D. Raja and Sue Means are fighting over April 24.) The full breakdowns of the proposed districts are here.

Briem 40th District changes