Critz up on TV with second ad

Published by Laura Olson on .

Democrat Mark Critz has launched round two of his television ad campaign with a new piece that began airing in Pittsburgh and Johnstown this morning.

The spot features Critz standing in an empty warehouse, talking about the jobs that could be created there. He says job creation is why he voted against the Balanced Budget amendment.

"Not only would it mean deep cuts to Medicare benefits, it would cut education and high-tech research that creates new jobs," Critz says in the ad. "Jason Altmire voted for the Republican Balanced Budget Amendment."

Both candidates are already on the airwaves in the district, with generally positive media pieces.


Raja responds on Mustio ad

Published by Laura Olson on .

D. Raja's campaign has responded to state Rep. Mark Mustio's new television ad with a fiery statement labeling fellow Republican Mustio as a "union endorsed liberal," and citing support for Raja from the state's manufacturers association.

"I lived the American dream, and I am proud of the jobs we've created here," said Raja in a statement. "My campaign is focused on changing the culture in Harrisburg and voters will have a clear choice between a conservative myself and a pay-raise politician, Mark Mustio."

The full release from Team Raja is after the jump:


Court: no residency req for petitions

Published by Laura Olson on .

In a ruling that comes a few weeks too late to save U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire's campaign a day-long headache, the state Supreme Court released an opinion this week deeming that those circulating ballot petitions are not required to live within a candidate's district.

The Associated Press has more:

The high court's unanimous ruling, issued Monday, resolved a conflict between state and federal court decisions regarding the Pennsylvania Election Code by enforcing a 2002 federal court injunction against the residency requirement.

"It makes no sense to require petition circulators to live in the same district," said Witold J. Walczak, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, which handled the case for a candidate for the legislature in 2010. "It's an artificial barrier to allowing candidates to get on the ballot."

The issue came up most recently in a court battle over the Democratic congressional primary involving two Western Pennsylvania incumbents, Jason Altmire and Mark Critz. Walczak said multiple Commonwealth Court decisions had upheld the residency rule despite the federal injunction.

"The end result is that this residency requirement is unenforceable, period," he said. "So that should completely put to rest this issue."



Today's polls: Quinni, F&M

Published by Karen Langley on .

A poll out today from Franklin & Marshall College has bad news for Rick Santorum in his home state.

The poll shows the lead Santorum enjoyed over Mitt Romney among Republicans here has shriveled in recent months. After leading Romney 45-16 in February, Santorum now leads 30-28, well within the 4.2 percent sampling error. That trajectory follows how voters nationally have reported their choice in recent months.

The poll found something interesting about how committed supporters of the two candidates are to voting Republican in November. A full 18 percent of Pennsylvania Romney supporters said they would consider voting aganist the Republican nominee in November if it's not their candidate Only six percent of Santorum supporters said the same.

The poll was conducted with 505 Pennsylvania Republican registered voters from March 20-25.

Also out today was a poll by Quinnipiac University showing President Obama leading both Romney and Santorum in Ohio and Florida, two key swing states. Here in Pennsylvania, also a swing state, Obama leads Santorum 48-41 and edges out Romney 45-42.

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Raja poll; outsourcing ad by Mustio

Published by Laura Olson on .

Things are heating up in the race to replace Republican state Sen. John Pippy.

The D. Raja campaign has an internal poll showing their candidate trouncing state Rep. Mark Mustio of Moon and activist Sue Means of Bethel Park.

That survey of 300 likely Republican primary voters has Raja at 43 percent to Mustio's 22 percent and Means' 11 percent. Nearly one-quarter of respondents, however, say they are undecided in the race.

The poll by Basswood Research of Bethesda, Md., also shows strong favorables for Raja, 55-12, compared with Mustio's 28-4 percent and Means' 11-3 percent.

The polling memo concluded: "Raja is a well known and well liked figure among Allegheny County Republicans. He has a commanding lead in this race. Raja's lead cuts across all segments of the Republican electorate, and among all demographic groupings of age, gender, and education levels.

"In the days ahead, the campaign should prepare for attacks from Mark Mustio, whose candidacy is in a weak position. Those attacks could become very desperate, as Mustio might try to overcome his own liabilities stemming from his votes to raise his own pay, and his embrace of government labor unions."

Meanwhile, the Mustio camp began airing a television ad on Tuesday that should be familiar to those who followed Raja's unsuccessful bid against Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. We're told it hits the Mt. Lebanon businessman on outsourcing jobs to India, a claim he contested during last year's race.

Raja has been on the air with an ad that the illustrious Tim McNulty wrote about last week. We're attempting to track down a copy of the Mustio ad, and will post it as soon as we can.

UPDATE, 11:30 a.m.: A copy of the racially tinged Mustio ad slamming Raja is below. It reuses a 2005 quote from Raja that surfaced in last year's race, with a shot of India's flag and text that reads, "Raja: Still sending our jobs to India."

It concludes by calling Mustio "the only candidate for state Senate creating and protecting jobs for us."