The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

November 1, 2012

In brief: RNC spending $3M for TV ad in Pa.

HARRISBURG — The Republican National Committee says it’s spending an eye-popping $3 million to air a TV ad in Pennsylvania.

The move comes in the final five days of a presidential campaign that has seen the traditional battleground state go from a relative backwater to front-and-center in an 11th-hour blitz by Republican Mitt Romney and conservative allies.

The RNC’s announcement came Thursday night. Last-minute ad buys by the Romney campaign and other pro-Romney groups could bring their combined spending to $10 million in the campaign’s final days.

Pennsylvania has supported Democrats in the last five elections and winning its 20 electoral votes is crucial to President Barack Obama’s re-election bid.

Judge denies injunction request over voter ID

HARRISBURG – A judge has denied a request for an injunction from opponents of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, who wanted him to order the state to be clearer about voters not needing photo ID at the polls Tuesday.

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported Commonwealth Judge Robert Simpson ruled the opponents did not provide any proof the state’s message about photo ID being requested but not required would lead to disenfranchisement.

Last month, Simpson ordered the voter ID law put on hold for the upcoming election. But he said the state should continue educating voters about the law, which will apply in future elections.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the judge’s ruling comes as no surprise. A Department of State spokesman said the state wants people to focus on getting out to vote.

Casey, Smith rejoin campaign trail

HARRISBURG – Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and his Republican challenger Tom Smith are hitting the campaign trail after taking several days off while Pennsylvania weathered a massive storm.

Smith visited Republican Party offices in Lancaster and York on Thursday with Casey’s Senate colleague, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, while Casey dropped by a State College restaurant.

The election is Tuesday.

Casey, a key ally of organized labor, is seeking a second, six-year term and is leading independent polls. Casey, of Scranton, is the son of the late former Gov. Robert P. Casey and is a former state treasurer and auditor general.

Smith is a newcomer to statewide politics after making a fortune in western Pennsylvania’s coal mining industry. He’s a tea party favorite and is tapping his personal wealth to outspend Casey.

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