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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Heads Up: Morning headlines for April 2

Posted By on Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 8:57 AM

I spent most of my time yesterday following the withdrawal of Michael Lamb from the Pittsburgh's mayoral race, but the more lasting political reversal may have been this: Sen. Bob Casey now supports same-sex marriage. Casey has long advocated civil unions, so this isn't as big a surprise as it might be if the only thing you knew about him was that he was pro-life. But still! Part of what makes the story gratifying is that it shows how effective mass action can be, when the target is a person of conscience: Casey's move came on the heels of a campaign to push him into the gay-marriage camp, and he cited the testimonial of a woman in a same-sex couple with two kids. This is a microcosm of how the debate of marriage equality has gained so much ground, so quickly.

Somewhat less ennobling is today's round-up of dispatches from the front-lines of law-enforcement. For starers, a woman suing Allegheny County gives tearful account of being Tased while in custody. Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh police news, former police chief Nate Harper is accused of being too chummy with the owner of a controversial valet-parking service. That's how bad it is, people: Even the parking valets are controversial now.

If Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was hoping people would lose interest in his comings and goings now that he's a lame duck, he was wrong. The Post-Gazette is still digging into the mayor's travel expenses, and who pays them. On the bright side, the mayor's staff did seem pretty scrupulous about documenting costs, but it may not surprise you to hear the mayor's rules for expensing costs differed from other city employees. By the way, some elements of this story -- like the mayor's use of campaign funds for travel -- were first reported here a year ago.

In state news, today is Gov. Tom Corbett's hotly anticipated meeting with Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services. The possibility of a state Medicaid expansion, which could benefit thousands of low-income Pennsylvanians, could hang in the balance.

Over in Philadelphia, they are wondering whether Alyson Schwartz is too liberal to defeat Tom Corbett in the 2014 gubernatorial race. Her pro-choice position is cited. On the other hand, when it comes to economic issues, maybe she's conservative to beat Corbett. We link, you decide.

And finally, courtesy of Chris Briem comes this Gawker story eviscerating a Taylor Allderice student who wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed complaining about college admissions standards. Brutal.

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