Monday, January 11, 2010

CQ Politics Moves PA-11 From Likely Democrat to Leans Democrat

With the entrance of Republican Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta into the race for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District, CQ Politics has adjusted their handicapping from Likely Democrat to Leans Democrat.

The scale used is Strong Democrat to Likely Democrat to Leans Democrat to Tossup to Leans Republican to Likely Republican to Strong Republican.

This could be viewed as good news for both Kanjorski and Barletta.

Because Barletta has moved the race form a largely uncompetitive setting to a more competitive one, resources will likely be available to him that would not otherwise available. The same can be said of Democrat Incumbent Congressman Paul Kanjorski. The DCCC will do what they can to protect the seat from the Hazleton Mayor.

In NEPA’s other Congressional District, 10th District Democrat Congressman Chris Carney holds a Likely Democrat in CQ’s ranking. This is despite the entrance of Republican Commissioner Malcolm Derk.

Other potential contenders yet to officially announce are Dr. David Madeira of Luzerne County and former US Attorney Republican Tom Marino. Madeira stated that he intends to announce soon and Marino is rumored to be considering entering the race.

You can read the CQ rankings here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gerlach Out

Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach has decided to exit the Gubernatorial race. According to an email from his campaign

"I entered the race for Governor in order to continue my public service, put forth new ideas for creating jobs, protecting our taxpayers, families and seniors and reinvigorating the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that we all love so much. I am not giving up on achieving those goals. I am, however, ending my campaign for governor.”

Constitutionality of Healthcare Bill Challenged

Republican Pennsylvania Attorney General and Republican Governor Candidate Tom Corbett has joined a gang of 13 States Attorney General challenging the constitutionality of the current Healthcare Bill.

Specifically, the challenge revolves around the provision in the Senate Healthcare Bill that protects Nebraska from having to pay the un-funded mandate of increased Medicaid spending. Instead, Nebraska’s increase would be paid by other states. The maneuver also known as the “Cornhusker Kickback” was reported to be necessary to secure the support of Democrat Senator Ben Nelson.

Other provisions of the bill have been challenged as unconstitutional, namely the government requiring a citizen to purchase a good or service or tax them as punishment. There is a good editorial on this topic at the Wall Street Journal.