Energy - May 23, 2014

Corbett says he won’t appeal gay marriage decision

This week a federal judge struck down a Pennsylvania law that prohibited same-sex marriage. U.S. Middle District Judge John Jones ruled the 1996 law unconstitutional; the lawsuit was originally filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 23 plaintiffs in Pennsylvania. The suit named Governor Tom Corbett and Attorney General Kathleen Kane as defendants; but both sides agreed to have Kane and Corbett removed from the suit late last year.  Same-sex couples began applying for licenses but still must wait 3 days to get married.  Corbett, meanwhile, has said that “given the high legal threshold set forth…the case is extremely unlikely to succeed on appeal.” With just over half of Pennsylvanians supporting gay marriage the state becomes one of 19 that allow same-sex marriage.  Some have criticized Governor Corbett for not appealing the decision; citing election politics and the concern over a federal judge dictating state policy.  While others have said it was the right decision. Senate Majority Lead Dominic Pileggi said that “the trend of court decisions is clear…An appeal now would be a waste of taxpayer dollars.” 


Lt. Governor Cawley pulls more votes than Corbett; not uncommon though

Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley received more votes than Governor Tom Corbett in Tuesday’s primary election.  Republican voters cast 26,868 for Governor that were either blank or had another candidate’s name written in.  Cawley culled more votes in 59 counties; Corbett led in seven and they tied in one county.  Analysts jumped on the undervote; citing it as a sign of a tough race against Democrat Tom Wolf who easily won his party’s nomination. Politics PA reports that Corbett underperformed Cawley by 7% but that historically that isn’t uncommon or a high number.  Politics PA noted that in the 2012 primary 15% or PA Democrats did not vote for President Barack Obama; more conservative counties saw that number climb to over 40%.  And former Governor Ed Rendell saw a 12% undervote when he ran unopposed for re-nomination. One political analyst said that the undervote may prove there are Republican voters who don’t intend to vote for Corbett, but that isn’t a fact that was unknown.  Corbett campaign manager Mike Barley pointed out that Wolf should be the one who is worried; noting that Wolf received less votes “than unpopular Sen. Arlen Specter in 2010.”