ryanAA   ballotboxAA   porkAA
      Ryan reactions   Leashes for Unicorns            Hog call

Post-Gazette Top Political Stories

Early Returns Blog

Lawyers for Pittsburgh's Paul Magliocchetti, a longtime supporter of the late Jack Murtha, are asking for leniency when he's sentenced for making illegal campaign donations this week, TPM writes:

Dr. David Blackmon, a licensed psychologist in Jacksonville Beach, Florida performed a neuropsychological evaluation on Magliocchetti and lawyers have requested he testify in court this week.

Blackmon opines that Magliocchetti's hard fall from power (in its prime, his PMA Group was one of the biggest lobbying firms in D.C.) makes him a "high risk for suicide" if he's incarcerated.

Rick Santorum has had glowing things to say about Sarah Palin in the past, but it appears he's more willing now to break with the tea party queen -- perhaps to boost his dark horse candidacy for president, perhaps to join conservative voices who don't see her as running in 2012, or a combination of those factors.Sarah Palin

Alex Roarty at National Journal sat down with him at a Starbucks in DC recently -- where the Fox talking head and former Pa senator wasn't recognized, Roarty notes -- and gets his latest feelings on the biggest name in the GOP:

“I like her a lot, but I’m not too sure that...” said Santorum in the interview. He paused before restating his response.

“Let’s put it this way: I’m not waiting for her to decide whether I’m running for president," he continued. "So, to me, she’s certainly been a net plus to Republican efforts. She was a huge factor in the last election, to me mostly to the good, maybe not all to the good. But 90 percent is pretty good.”

Asked directly if Palin is qualified to be president, Santorum responded: “What does it mean to be qualified to be president? She is born in this country and she’s the right age. Those are the qualifications.”

(h/t PoliticsPa)

Jim Burn cited his responsibilities as a Democratic Party official Tuesday as he announced that he would not be a candidate for either Allegheny County executive or county controller.

Mr. Burn, who was elected state Democratic Party chairman last year, said he would concentrate on working to set the stage for a Democratic rebound after the widspread losses of last year’s congressional elections.  The former Millvale mayor, who is also a member of county council, said he still didn’t know whether the icncumbent executive,  Dan Onorato, would run for a third term.  He said, however, that he expected Mr. Onorato to make his decision known within the next week.

Mr. Burn’s was one of several names mentioned as possible candiates should Mr, Onorato decide not to seek a third term.  An associate of county Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty announced last week that Mr. Flaherty would run for the Democratic nomination for executive regardless of Mr. Onorato’s decision.  Rich Fltzgerald, the president of county council, and Michael Lamb, the city of Pittsburgh controller, have said that they would consider a bid for top county post if Mr. Onorato decided to step aside.

Mr. Burn noted that he had heard speculation about the possibility that state Rep. Chelsa Wagner might also enter the executive race.  Ms Wagner, who was traveling back from Harrisburg last night, could not immediately be reached for comment on the speculation about her future.


As he told the Post-Gazette editorial board plus Jim O'Toole last month, Arlen Specter will teach a course at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. The university made it official today, saying the departing five-term senator will teach a course on the Supreme Court and its relation to Congress. He ranks as something of an expert, having participated in 14 Supreme Court nominations and holding a central role in the epic hearings for Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. The former Judiciary Committee chairman also fought an as-yet-unsuccessful battle to televise the Court. He will be an adjunct faculty member starting in the fall. From the news release:

“We are delighted to welcome Arlen Specter to Penn Law,” said University of Pennsylvania Law School Dean Michael A. Fitts. “Arlen’s knowledge of the inner workings of the government and lawmaking is second to none. The insight he brings from his career in public service, particularly as a leader on judicial issues, will be invaluable to our students as they prepare for their own careers in the law.”

“I’m excited to join a vibrant academic community that’s on the cutting edge of today’s most important legal issues,” Specter said. “As I transition to a new phase of my career, teaching at Penn Law will be a fantastic opportunity to join an outstanding community of scholars, continue my work in public policy and the law, and impact the next generation of lawyers and policy makers.”

“Arlen Specter is among Penn’s most accomplished alumni,” said Amy Gutmann, President of the University of Pennsylvania. “Over the course of his illustrious career, he has advanced higher education, most notably by championing federal funding for pathbreaking research. I am very pleased that Penn students will have the unique opportunity to learn about law, constitutionalism, and democratic governance from one of our nation’s most eminent, experienced, and courageous leaders.”

From Tracie Mauriello:

"State Rep." isn't the only new title Brandon Neuman got this week. He's also now a fiance. Two days ago he became engaged to Carrie Sechler, 24, of West Virginia.

NeumanSunday, he proposed to Miss Sechler at the Antietam Battlefield Observation Tower, where the pair once went on a date. Early Monday morning he was on the road to Harrisburg for a caucus meeting and to prepare for his swearing in ceremony today.

"Carrie makes it easy to be a boyfriend so she'll make it easy to be a husband," he said. Being a lawmaker, on the other hand, will be a challenge, even a bit scary, said Mr. Neuman, D-Eighty-Four.

"It will be especially hard being a freshman in the minority party. I'm not going to get everything I want right away," he said.

Chief on Mr. Neuman's agenda is passing a bill that would require baseline concussion testing of high school athletes. He's already drafting the bill and asking professional sports teams to fund the cost.

The testing could save lives, said Mr. Neuman, 29, a former University of Richmond fullback.

He was among 29 new representatives and three new state senators sworn in today.

Get PG politics coverage by e-mail!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner