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


Tim Murphy: $1.38M in cash

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy has a giant financial advantage over his rivals in PA18.

The five-term congressman from Upper St. Clair had $1.38 million in cash at the end of the Jan. 1-April 4 pre-primary reporting period, to the $80,000 for GOP challenger Evan Feinberg and $169,674 $266,000 for Democrat Larry Maggi.

Murphy raised $661,656 in the period and spent $323,953.

Maggi, a Washington County commissioner, raised a meek $17,100 and spent $4,950. Most of his funds came from a $140,000 self-loan.

CORRECTION: We pulled Maggi's old 2002 report by accident. We'll put up his 2012 FEC report once the agency posts it.

UPDATE: Maggi's report shows he raised $169,254 during the period and self-loaned an extra $126,053. His campaign spent $28,565.


Dems Altmire, Critz spending big in primary

Published by Tim McNulty on .

The incumbent Democrats in the PA12 primary spent more than $1.3 million combined battling each other in the first three months of the year.

Jason Altmire had $419,453 in cash going into the homestrech against fellow Democrat Mark Critz's $232,183 in the April 24 primary.

Altmire's pre-primary report on finances from Jan.1 through April 4 showed he raised $330,579 during the period and spent $763,418. Critz's report showed $267,554 in contributions and $550,947 in spending.

We'll have more on the details later.

UPDATE: From the Altmire camp:

. . . the campaign of Mark Critz reported raising $267,554.16 and the candidate loaned his campaign an additional $50,000. The Critz campaign also reported a debt of $76,053.08 which includes $22,330.02 owed to Capital Principles, the law firm they used for their failed petition challenge.

UPDATE: Unopposed Republican Keith Rothfus raised $241,585 during the period and entered April with $384,491 in cash (after $54,209 in expenses). As the Democrats will surely be spending more of their cash reserves in the dash toward the primary, Rothfus could very well start May with more money than either incumbent.


Clinton endorses Critz

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Former president Bill Clinton endorsed Johnstown Democrat Mark Critz today in his 12th District primary battle against fellow incumbent Jason Altmire, D-McCandless.

Clinton endorsed Critz during his special election battle against Republican Tim Burns in 2010 and was a supporter of Critz's former boss, the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha.

"I am proud to endorse Mark Critz for Congress," Clinton said in a statement. "I know that Mark will continue his work to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, to protect Social Security and Medicare, and do what is right for western Pennsylvania and our nation."

He is not scheduled to stump for Critz, but the campaign is issuing a new commercial noting Clinton opposed efforts to write a balanced budget amendment into the U.S. Constitution, which was legislation Altmire supported.

The full statement from the Critz camp is after the jump:


Dueling legislative maps unveiled

Published by Laura Olson on .


At long last, new district maps for the state General Assembly have been unveiled.

The Legislative Reapportionment Commission is still underway, but the new maps being discussed are largely similar to those rejected in January.

The Senate plan from Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi still moves the seat of Jim Brewster, D-McKeesport, to the Poconos. (State Rep. Mario Scavello, who had planned to run for that seat, was in the audience this afternoon.)

The House plan, which appears to have more agreement between the two parties, now would move five seats to new regions.

As under the rejected plan, former Democratic Rep. Chelsa Wagner's Southside district would move to the Lehigh Valley, the Philadelphia seat of former GOP Rep. Dennis O'Brien goes to York, retiring Rep. John Evans's Erie seat goes to Berks, and shuffling the Scranton-area seat of retiring Democratic Rep. Ed Staback over one county to Monroe.

The new move is transporting retiring Democratic Rep. Bud George's district to Chester County, rather than combining the districts of Democratic Reps. Nick Kotik and Jesse White. They now will keep their districts separate.

We'll post readable electronic versions as soon as they're available.

UPDATE, 1:50 p.m. -- As I was typing this up, the commission chairman, Stephen McEwen unveiled his own set of maps, which mirror the House plan but instead would relocate the seat of GOP Sen. Jane Orie (who will be sentenced for criminal convictions on May 21) to Monroe County.

UPDATE, 3 p.m. -- The McEwen-drafted Senate map and consensus House map were approved 4-1, with Democratic Sen. Jay Costa dissenting.

Details of the new House and Senate districts are after the jump ...