by Chris Potter
Local governments get the first revenues from a fee on Marcellus gas-drilling firms: Just over $200 million is being spread around the state among all the counties and some 1,500 local governments. And hey, let's not forget that other investment gas-drilling firms are making in Pennsylvania government: four-digit campaign contributions, even for minor races at the municipal level!
But hey! Gov. Tom Corbett says that despite what you may have heard, he's got no intention of allowing gas-drilling in state parks. At least, not right now.
A former Allegheny County Jail administrator pleads guilty to filing a false report to cover up his beating of an inmate.
Sen. Pat Toomey has -- surprise! -- dire words about what would happen to manufacturing jobs if Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthy are allowed to expired. On the other hand, the folks at the Keystone Research Center say that historically, Democratic presidents have been good for manufacturing, while Republicans tend to be disastrous.
What is going on with the Senate race in Pennsylvania? A Morning Call poll showed Bob Casey -- who admittedly is a famous name with a receding hairline attached to it -- just two points in front of Tom Smith, a Tea Partier with $10 million of his own money to spend on a campaign, and not a whole lot of name recognition. A Quinniipiac poll shows a similarly tight 3-poitn race. Then comes a poll by a Democratic-leaning outfit showing Casey up by 11. About all we can say for sure is that the ever-laconic Casey shows little sign of panic: He's sitting on a pile of more than $5 million in cash.