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REGION’S BUSINESS

PHILADELPHIA EDITION

A JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND POLITICS

CANDIDATES SPRINT DOWN HOMESTRETCH Presidential candidates are ( finally) pouring money into Pennsylvania while races up and down the ballot begin to tighten with the big day finally in sight. In the end, it may all come down to turnout.

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2 NOVEMBER 2012


2 NOVEMBER 2012

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

CONTENTS

3

1900 Arch Street

20

Pennsylvania In Play Down Stretch

! All summer, Pennsylvania looked solidly in the Obama column. As the election nears, that no longer appears to be a foregone conclusion.

25

The final numbers may take some time to gather, but it’s clear Hurricane Sandy rocked the region’s economy.

This summer, it looked like it would be a landslide re-election bid for Sen. Bob Casey. But upstart Tom Smith kept spending to make it a race. !

District 24 8th Candidates

Sizing Up Sandy’s Impact !

22

Senate Race Tightens Between Smith, Casey

1900 Arch Street is a premier mixed use development project in the Logan Square section of Philadelphia. Scheduled for completion in Fall of 2013, the project will feature 280 luxury apartments, private parking, and 16,333 SF of ground floor retail.

Highlight Differences

!

Incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick tries to stave off a persistent challenger.

23

33

Election All About the Turnout

Pa. Pundit: Why This Election is Exciting

The polls point to close races that could come down to which candidate does better at getting the base to the voting booth. !

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! Terry Madonna, the dean of Pennsylvania politics, says there’s lots to love about this election cycle.

PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER James D. McDonald EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Karl M. Smith ASSOCIATE EDITOR Terrence Casey

Two Penn Center-Suburban Station Located just steps from City Hall, Suburban Station features some of the premier retail locations in the city. Availabilities exist from 900-2,700 SF with neighboring tenants including McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, Au Bon Pain, and TD Bank.

CONTENT TEAM Brandon Baker, Emily DiCicco, Victoria

Marchiony CONTRIBUTORS Judy Curlee, Michael Jacobs, Timothy

Holwick, Don Lee ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Larry Smallacombe DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Jim Bauer ACCOUNT MANAGER Rachel Sollberger

© Copyright 2012 Independence Media Corp. All rights reserved. Use of material within without express permission of publisher is prohibited. Region’s Business is published weekly on Thursdays and online at www.RegionsBusiness.com. The publisher makes no representations or warranties regarding the advertising appearing in its pages or its websites.

www.precisionrg.com 1429 Walnut Street Suite 1200 Philadelphia, PA 19102 866-Walnut 4


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2 NOVEMBER 2012

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

EDITOR’S DESK

Hunkering Down for the Political Storm

Karl Smith is the Editorial Director for Region’s Business. You can contact him at ksmith@regionsbusiness.com.

Despite endless, and often impressive, improvements in technology and communication, it remains difficult to know which warnings to heed. Or maybe it’s more difficult because of the improvements. Either way, discerning what to believe or consider remains a challenge. For days, the warnings on websites, television stations, radio stations and newspapers were grave and rather stark. Hurricane Sandy was coming and we were told to prepare for the worst — massive destruction, long power outages and many dangers. We had heard such warnings before, and many recalled the same song being played in advance of Hurricane Irene. Some chose to use that history as their benchmark and largely

ignore the warnings about Sandy. Talk about betting on the wrong horse. It is perfect timing that the storm laid its devastation upon the region in the days ahead of the November election. We’d been told for months that two key federal races — for president and for one of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate seats — were foregone conclusions. Incumbent Democrats would sail easily to victories. Ignoring those “warnings” proved to be the right choice. President Obama’s miserable performance in the first debate tossed the whole election map into disarray, including Pennsylvania going from solid blue to “leaning Obama” or “too close to call.” Similarly, sitting Sen. Bob

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Casey put his campaign in cruise control this summer as polls showed Tea Party challenger Tom Smith trailing by more than comfortable margins. But Mr. Smith (no relation, by the way) stuck to two core principles that have driven elections in recent years: He spent a lot of money — a lot of money. And he hammered home a simple theme: Casey was a do-nothing senator. As the seasons changed, so did the polls and Sen. Casey was forced to jump into the fray with his own series of attack ads. Sen. Casey continues to lead in most polls, but it is very much a race. Even something as simple as the race for the 8th congressional district is up in the air. Bottom line, until the election — or the storm — is right on top of us, it is almost impossible to

predict with any certainty what to expect out of the end result. Our region, still staggering from Sandy’s powerful visit, struggles to return to some sense of normalcy while the political machine marches on. Those who did not heed the warnings are left in a bad way, while even those who did take precautions find their situation to be, at best, uncomfortable and challenging. Things will not be improving in the immediate future. Like Hurricane Sandy, this election season will leave behind numerous messy reminders of destruction. Hopefully, as voters, we will not only learn some valuable lessons, but also use what we’ve learned to evaluate the “warnings” we get in advance.


2 NOVEMBER 2012

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

GOTTA-HAVE-IT GADGET

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WEEKLY BRIEFING TECHNOLOGY

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Unisys Awarded $2.5B Contract

Nutter Announces Launch Of Startup PHL Initiative

Unisys Corporation, based in Blue Bell, Pa., announced October 25 it has been awarded a blanket purchase agreement from the U.S. General Services Administration, being services with a ceiling value of $2.5 selected among 17 other cloud billion, meeting the needs of federal, service companies to provide state, local and tribal governments. email, office automation, elec- GSA became the first federal agency tronic records management to take advantage of cloud-based email last year through a different and collaboration services. The companies will provide contract with Unisys. DEVELOPMENT

FUNDRAISING

Alex’s Lemonade, Applebee’s Raise $3.2M in Campaign Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a pediatric cancer charity based in Wynnewood, Pa., has raised $3.2 million to date from Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar’s annual summer campaign. The restaurant chain raised $500,000 of this sum over the summer, celebrating the accomplishment on October 25 by hosting a nationwide lemonade toast that included 197 Applebee’s restaurants. The toast was broadcast on a screen at Applebee’s 215 S. 15th St. location in Center City.

Valley Forge, Pa.-based UGI Corp. announced that CEO Lon R. Greenberg intends to retire from that post next spring. Mr. Greenberg will continue to serve as chairman of the boards of directors of both UGI and its subsidiaries UGI Utilities Inc. and AmeriGas Propane Inc. John L. Walsh, UGI’s president and chief operating officer will take over the role of CEO of UGI upon Mr. Greenberg’s departure.

In an effort to support entrepreneurs and startups in Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter announced October 26 the creation of Startup PHL, a partnered initiative between the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. The goal of the initiative is to nurture a supportive environment for startups in the city, as well as make the city a generally more attractive location for innovative ideas and businesses. Startup PHL will consist of two distinct initiatives: The Startup PHL Seed Fund, a public and private venture fund meant to fund tech startups, and the Startup PHL Call for Ideas, a $500,000 fund to offer grants for startups that make proposals in collaboration with other startups in addition to attracting entrepreneurs both inside and outside of the city. ENERGY

MICHAEL MCGREEVY

Gallery’s Funding Issues on Display Efforts to gather public funding for redevelopment of the Gallery at Market East remain an uphill battle. As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust chief executive Joseph F. Coradino told investors October 24 in a conference call with investors that “a number of govern-

ment concessions” needs to occur, and that the scale of the mall’s redevelopment would depend on the amount of public financing. Quarterly funds from the Gallery’s operation fell nearly $9 million year-over-year as of September 30, dropping from $29 million to $20.1 million, according to the report.

BANKING WHO TO FOLLOW

ENERGY

UGI CEO to Retire

5

@AlexKnowsHTML Alex Hillman, Co-Founder of Independents Hall (IndyHall.org) “This doesn’t “officially” launch until tomorrow morning, but I’m writing an eBook about the Business of Communities: http://bit.ly/QV3K0Y ” -- October 31, 2012

Nova Bank Closes The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver following its October 26 closing of Nova Bank, based in Berwyn, Pa. The FDIC has not found a buyer for Nova, meaning it will pay off depositor accounts up to the standard insurance limit of $250,000. Nova is the largest local bank failing of the six that have closed since 2008, with $483 million in assets. The FDIC has made a deal with National Penn Bank to accept any failed direct deposits from the federal government through January 25.

Report: City Energy Costs Down 8 pct. Since Last Year The latest Economic Report from City Controller Alan Butkovitz’s office, released October 25, shows that energy costs in Philadelphia have decreased over the last year by 8 percent. The average cost-per-unit for electricity fell from $.173 per kilowatt hour in August 2011 to $.159 in August 2012. Similarly, utility gas costs have dropped 7 percent, standing at $1.169 per therm from $1.256 last August. Despite this, energy costs in the Philadelphia region are still above the national average and are second only to Los Angeles among major metropolitan areas.

Sunoco Settles Waste Suit Sunoco Inc. will pay $117,000 to settle alleged hazardous waste violations at its 4701 Margaret St. facility in Philadelphia. The alleged violations involved storage of phenol sludge without a waste permit discovered in September 2010, in addition to a leaking lead-acid battery and a failure to contain universal waste lamps. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cited Sunoco for violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which regulates the disposal of waste.


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WEEKLY BRIEFING

SANDUSKY CHILD SEX ABUSE SCANDAL

BREWING

INVESTING

Sandusky Transferred to ‘Home’ Institution

Victory Expansion Financed

Safeguard Scientifics Names CEO

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has been transferred to the State Correctional Institution at Green to serve his 30-to60-year sentence. The move took place after evaluation at SCI Camp Hill’s diagnostic and classification center upon reception to the Department of Corrections “While we normally do not discuss placement of inmates, this individual’s notoriety called for the release of this information,” Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said in a statement. “We make individual decisions based on facts. “Given the high profile nature of this individual, coupled with the nature of his crimes, this makes him very vulnerable in a prison setting. As such, he

will be placed in protective custody at SCI Greene to ensure his safety while in custody.” Sandusky will remain in a single cell and under supervision and escort whenever out of the cell. He will be given one hour of individual exercise per day, five days a week and showers three times a week. All of Sandusky’s meals — and prison services like counseling and religious services — will take place in the cell. SCI Greene, located in Waynesburg, Greene County, contains nearly 1,800 inmates and employs 700 individuals.

New Charges Filed For University Officials Former Penn State results of an investigaPresident Graham Span- tion known as the Freeh ier will be charged with Report for not doing perjury and obstruction enough when abuse was reported to them. of justice, and Mr. Spanier has new charges have denied knowing been filed against anything about former Athletic a 2001 incident Director Tim that involved Curley and former Spanier abuse between Vice President Gary Schultz, according a boy and Sandusky to the Pittsburgh Post- in a university locker room, and Mr. Spanier Gazette. Mr. Spanier resigned has criticized the Freeh from his role when the Report. Mr. Curley and Mr. Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal broke last Schultz are scheduled year. He, Mr. Curley and for trial in January, but Mr. Schultz were all crit- their lawyers have asked icized publicly and in the for a delay.

Victory Brewing Company has garnered more than $33 million in a financing package arranged by First Niagra, the bank announced this week. The additional money will be used to build out a second brewery in Parkesburg, Pa., that will be able to produce 10, 200-barrel brews daily. It will also include a 50,000-square-foot distribution center and 1,000-barrel fermenta-

Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. CHARLIE CAVANAUGH TAFT

tion tanks. Victory has already opened ground on the Chester County facility and expects to open for tours next summer. “We have a long-standing relationship with First Niagara, and they

understand our business objectives,” said Ron Barchet, Brewmaster and CEO, in a statement. The Downingtown, Pa.-based Victory Brewing Company offers more than 20 varieties of craft beers.

MUST-HAVE APP

Safeguard Scientifics Inc., based in Wayne, Pa., announced in a statement last week that CFO Stephen J. Zarrilli will serve as the replacement for Peter J. Boni as chief executive of the software and biotech investment company. Mr. Zarilli was also expected to join Safeguard’s board on November 1. Mr. Boni will remain with Safeguard through 2013 as a senior adviser and CEO emeritus until May 23.

PHARMACEUTICAL

Windows 8 While many tech critics have already spelled doom and gloom for Microsoft’s bold software endeavor, Windows still remains the most widely used operating system for businesses, meaning you’re bound to face it eventually. Get ahead of the game by giving the new tile-based system — with all of its clunky bugs and its lack of a “start” menu — a whirl in an effort to be the pro before your colleagues are. If nothing else, give it a try because Microsoft has budget-priced it to $40 between now and mid-January. ATLANTIC CITY

Shire CEO Retiring Angus Russell, CEO of Chester Shire for 13 years, will retire from his position after 32 years in the pharmaceutical industry. Succeeding Mr. Russell, the company announced, will be Dr. Flemming Ornskov, who is set to take over as CEO on April 30. The Chester County-based biopharmaceutical company had previously announced its intention to develop a 600,000-square-foot campus at the Atwater Corporate Center in Malvern, Pa.

Casinos Await Chance to Reopen

CHEMICAL

Atlantic City casinos h av e had their doors closed since in the beginning of the week and are losing an estimated $5 million daily, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Lisa Spengler, spokeswoman for the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, told the Inquirer that the DGE is awaiting an OK from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie before making any decisions allowing casinos to open. All 12 of casinos suffered only minimal damage during Hurricane Sandy this week, according to the report.

Quaker Chemical Sales Decrease Slightly in Q3

Conshohocken, Pa.-based Quaker Chemical Corporation announced this week third-quarter net sales of $180.9 million, a slight drop from $182.3 million in the same quarter of 2011. “We are very pleased to announce record product volumes, solid earnings and strong cash flow again this quarter,” said Michael F. Barry, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, in a statement released October 31.


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WEEKLY BRIEFING

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

ELECTION 2012

Ground Broken at Site of Unisys Revenue 385-Apartment Complex

DuPontProposal To Lay Off Small Business Owners Favor Romney Blatstein Unveils Employees For Former1,500 Inquirer Office Small business own-

Down 14 pct. From Last Year

Home Properties Inc. broke ground on its latest apartment complex October 29, paving the way for the rise of a 385-apartment community that rests near the SEPBell-based IT hardTAUnisys, Spring the MillBlue Station. ware services company announced Theand Courts at Spring Mill Station, as the Wednesdaycomplex that revenue indubbed, the third apartment has been is an quarter was down $877.4community million, or 14 upscale, energy-efficient that percent compared to the previous year, aims to apply for LEED Certification upon according to Apartments Forbes. completion. will be available strong first half of 2012, we for“After rent ina early 2014. saw softer services demand, particularly for short-term project work, in the third quarter,” CEO Ed Coleman said in a statement. “The lower services revenue, along with higher pension expense and Developers are ready to break ground on a debt reduction low-income seniorcharges, housing impacted complex onour 13th results.between However, we were Street Locust and pleased Spruce with streets, margin improvement in our technology designed to be LGBT-friendly. business, ongoing discipline across The project comescost at an estimated cost of our million, company, continued $19 financed by city,improvements state and federal in service quality, and the early achievefunds and consisting of 56 one-bedroom units ment of our 2013 debt reduction and a 5,000-square-foot courtyard.goal.”

$19M Senior Housing Site Designed LGBT-Friendly

DEVELOPMENT

9

CHEMICAL

ers in Pennsylvania and The Delaware-based hotel, a rooftop chemical shopping Tower Investments CEO across the nation support maker DuPont Co. will lay off 1,500 and dining village, a private Bart Blatstein announced Mitt Romney over Presiaccordingclub, to theaPhiladelcomedy October 24 plans for aemployees, $700 swimming dent Barack Obama in the and Journal. jazz club, a nightclub, billion “non-casino.” phia Business 2012 presidential election, After thecenter company “a fitness and called meeting The venue, which will be what according to two polls. challenging quarter,” the cuttoequals space — in addition a slew located at the old PhiladelAbout 86 percent of aboutat2 percent the workforce and of otheroffeatures. phia Inquirer building Pennsylvania business a savings about $450 million. has Blatstein 400 N. Broad St., adds to of Mr. owners and C-level execuThird quarter adjusted earnings expressed an intention to Eric Blumenfield’s planned tives hope Gov. Romney from the 3,300 slot revitalization of Northdropped Broad minimize will defeat President 69 to 44machines and 150 table Street through renovations Obama, however 60 perof the Divine Lorrainecents Hotel. games to be included in regardcent believe the incumbent will be see a brighter economic future perthe the resort, instead focusing The Provence, as election. re-elected in November, according to a less of the turnout of theworld share, class resort will be on the cultural outlets the A national poll conducted ParenteBeard poll. space will provide. Beyond called, by willthe consistand of arevenue funding comMore than 70 percent of those polled Small Business Challenge for the quarter dropped percent, that, Mr. Blatstein9has yet to 120,000-square-foot casino believe that Gov. Romney cares more petition sponsored by EarlyShares.com according to the aBusiness Journal. gambling license. tucked away on the sec- obtain small business about small businesses than President found that 69 percent ofond DuPont isMr. in Blatstein the midsthas of aprevideal floor, with restaurants owners believe President Obama is notsquarewith Obama. Carlyle Group to sell for its and 60,000 feetTheously been responsible them. HowAbout 73 percent of those polled doing enough to support performance coatings unit, and the of “upscale shops” located development of Northern polled believefloor. This believe Gov. Romney is better for the ever, 53 percent of thoseon company said some planned job cuts the bottom is Liberties, including conthat Gov. will not any better. economy overall, and only 11 are relatedstruction to that deal. in do addition to a 125-room Views of the proposed Provence sitepercent at day and night TOWERRomney INVESTMENTS of The Piazza.

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WEEKLY BRIEFING TELEVISION

Comcast Optimistic About NBC Comcast Corp. is showing signs of satisfaction with NBC’s recent ratings bump. NBC’s new primetime show “Revolution” has the network ranking No. 1 in Nielson ratings in the much-coveted 18to 49-year-old demographic. The network has similarly seen a financial uptick, generating $1.2 billion in revenue from the London Olympics that aired over the summer. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts has agreed to pay out $4.4 billion for a repeat performance, televising the summer and winter Olympics through 2020.

ENTERTAINMENT

Longwood Gardens Celebrates 1.16M Visitors

The Kennett Square, Pa. attraction Longwood Gardens announced October 24 it had set an attendance record of 1.16 million for the fiscal year. Officials said the record attendance is largely attributed to “Light: Installa-

tions” by Bruce Munro, a summer light show that drew in 300,000 guests between June 9 and September 29. Attendance for Longwood Gardens has increased by 38 percent since 2008.

RETAIL

American Eagle Opening In Plymouth Mall American Eagle Outfitters has announced it will open a store in Plymouth Meeting Mall, targeted to open in Spring 2013. The clothing retailer maintains 15 stores in the Philadelphia region, a fraction of the 1,000 stores it has across North America. The owner of the Plymouth Meeting Mall, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, had previously announced the store’s arrival prematurely without completing lease documentation.


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WEEKLY BRIEFING

EXECUTIVE BOOKSHELF

Presidential Perspective Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Meacham takes readers to the ripe and conflicted time of the 18th and 19th centuries in a thorough account of Thomas Jefferson’s life. “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” tackles Jefferson not only as the highly-regarded champion of individual liberty, but also as an individual in a constant power struggle as president, tactfully telling the tale as a mirror of the modern day dilemma of a nation dumbfounded by a changing world. Mr. Meacham delves into the relatively untouched gray areas of President Jefferson’s life as a leader in lieu of the already well-known genius of his philosophy and personal politics, making for one of the most anticipated and captivating works of the fall (Release date of November 13). “In addition to being a brilliant biography, this book is a guide to the use of power. Jon Meacham shows how Jefferson’s deft ability to compromise and improvise made him a transformational leader.”

RESTAURANT

ADVERTISING

Le Bec-Fin

Constitution Center, SEPTA Collaborate On Train Decor SEPTA is inviting its passengers on a journey through time with its newly-unveiled Speakeasy Silverliner. Timed with the debut of the National Constitution Center’s “American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition,” the Speakeasy Silverliner train car features Prohibition-style décor, bringing riders back to the era of the 1920s. Flappers, musicians, Al Capone — all are featured

Le Bec-Fin, the famous French restaurant located at 1523 Walnut St. and owned by Nicolas Fanucci, will now offer a four-course $85 dinner option on its main floor, in addition to a threecourse lunch option priced at $39. LEBECFIN.COM

SUBMITTED

in the car’s design as life-size graphics to greet passengers, supplemented by the wooden “liquor cabinet” ambiance of the décor. The train car, designed by

HEALTH

REAL ESTATE

IBX Initiative Fights Childhood Obesity

— Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs ADVERTISING

2012 Election Credited for Specialty Advertising Bump

Five Tower Bridge, located in West Conshohocken, is 224,000 square feet and eight stories high, including three parking levels. It is owned by a subsidiary of Brandywine Realty Trust. SUBMITTED

Brandywine Realty Trust Boasts 2.4M Square Feet of New Leases in 2012 The Advertising Specialty Institute announced October 25 that, largely as a result of election activity, third-quarter distributor sales of promotional products rose 4.6 percent and reached $5 billion. In the $18.5 billion industry, roughly half of all distributors sell election-related items such as yard signs, flyers and pins. Between them, advertisement specialty spending in 2012 is targeted to hit $870 million.

Ambler, Pa.-based advertising agency Holton Sentivan + Gury, will be in service through the entire run of the American Spirits exhibition at the National Constitution Center.

Brandywine Realty Trust, based in Radnor, Pa., has announced that it has signed nearly 2.4 million square feet worth of leases in 2012, besting a showing of 944,000 square feet during this same period last year. Its most prominent signings are located in suburban Pennsylvania, where it reported 228,168 square feet of transactions. Standouts include CableNet Services Unlimited, which renewed its 16,500-square-foot space in King of Prussia, Pa., and Essent US Holdings, Inc., which both renewed and expanded with 26,874 square feet in Radnor, Pa.

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation announced October 25 that it will spend $2 million on a three-year initiative to improve the health of children in the region at risk for heart disease and obesity. The Healthy Futures Initiative partners with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer club and the Vetri Foundation for Children to herald the causes of “eating right,” “staying well” and “getting fit.” Fifty percent of children between the age of six and 12 are obese in Philadelphia, according to the IBX foundation. PET

Pet Supply Store Opens Cutter’s Mill has opened a Mount Laurel, N.J. location. The South Jersey pet supply store is located in the East Gate Square Shopping center and sells organic food for dogs, cats, birds and other small animals. The store joins four other locations in the region.

Heirloom George Perrier, the former chef and owner of Le BecFin, will be cooking one night’s meals at Heirloom in Chestnut Hill as the first part of a collaborative dinner series organized by Heirloom chef Al Paris. The six-course dinner will be held November 14 and costs $125. HEIRLOOMDINING.COM

Polyodd Distillers Joan Verratti and Tom Cavaliere are eyeing a location on East Passyunk Avenue for their new Polyodd spirits shop. The shop will be take-out only, featuring after-dinner drinks like limoncello and a variety of flavored liqueurs.

Lloyd Lloyd, a new Fishtown whiskey bar, officially opened October 27. The owners, Scott and Taylor Coudriet, have stocked the bar with more than 70 whiskey varieties and 15 bottled beers. The menu consists of hearty bar goodies like mac and cheese and beef stew.


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DEALBOOK

ENGINEERING

REAL ESTATE

MANUFACTURING

REAL ESTATE

Pennoni Associates Acquires Delaware Engineering Firm

Wolters Kluwer Acquires Denver’s Health Language

Berwyn-Based Ametek Buys Micro-Poise Measurement

Brandywine To Purchase Stock Exchange Building

Philadelphia-based Pennoni Associates acquired Green Stone Engineering of Wilmington, Del. Green Stone, a multidiscipline firm that provides civil and environmental engineering services including water resources and wastewater engineering, has been involved with 500 public and private greenway trail, drainage, stream stabilization, ecological restoration, water and wastewater projects since 2004. Founder Bruce Jones will lead Pennoni’s water resources initiative, and his staff will fold into Pennoni’s municipal division in Newark, Del. This is Pennoni’s fourth acquisition since late 2010 and the second in 2012.

Philadelphia-based Wolters Kluwer Health, a global information, business intelligence and point-of-care solutions provider for the healthcare industry, announced October 17 that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Denver-based Health Language, Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Health Language is an 85-employee Medical Terminology Management (MTM) company that produces medical content terminology databases and software solutions to enable hospitals, electronic medical record system providers (EMRs) and payers to manage, update and map disparate medical vocabularies and administrative codes used in U.S. and worldwide. Wolters Kluwer employs about 19,000 people in more than 40 countries and made $4.7 billion in 2011.

Berwyn-based electronic instrument and electro-mechnical device manufacturer Ametek announced it has purchased Micro-Poise Measurement from the American Industrial Partners private equity firm for about $170 million. Micro-Poise is a provider of integrated test

and measurement solutions for the tire industry and generated about $125 million in sales in 2012. Micro-Poise — based in Streetsboro, Ohio — will join Ametek’s Electronic Instruments Group.

ACCOUNTING

Chicago Consulting Firm Buys Philadelphia Accountants Group

Chicago-based corporate accounting and business consulting firm BDO USA L.L.P announced October 24 that it will acquire Philadelphia accountants Asher & Co. Ltd., as well as its 10 partners and 100plus staffers.

Brandywine Realty Trust is set to buy the Stock Exchange building at 1900 Market Street in Center City, which was put up for sale over the summer and is currently in receivership, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. The 456,922-square-foot property holding would be strategic for Brandywine, Center City’s second largest landlord after CommonWealth REIT.

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2 NOVEMBER 2012

PHILADELPHIA POLITICS

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

Proposed Bill Would Introduce Cap on Annual Philadelphia Tax Credits

Timothy Holwick is a freelance writer covering Philadelphia government. Find more coverage at citycouncilmatters. com and follow him on Twitter @ CityCouncilBlog.

CONTRIBUTE Send comments, letters and essays to feedback@ regionsbusiness. com. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect those of Region’s Business.

ELECTION 2012

Report: 23,000 Voter Registration Applications Still Unprocessed With little more than a week left before the election, there were still 23,000 unprocessed voter registration applications in Philadelphia, according to City Paper. While the City Commissioner’s Office was supposed to have finished processing the applications October 24, it has moved its projected completion date back to November 3, three days before voters hit the polls. City Commissioners Chairwoman Stephanie Singer told City Paper that a combined issue of the massive amount of electronic applications from

CITY COUNCIL MATTERS

At last week’s Philadelphia City Council meeting, Councilman Wilson Goode proposed a bill that will enable the city’s tax credit for new job creation to sustain itself during the upcoming fiscal year. The modification to the program involves a built-in cap on the amount of tax credits allowed in a given year. For about 10 years, the city has been offering a tax credit to qualifying companies who pledge the creation of a new job, and then actually fulfill that promise. The credit started at $1,000, then was upped to $3,000 and just earlier this year was increased to $5,000. In fact, the increase of the credit to $5,000 was the first bill passed in the 2012 Philadelphia City Council session. Councilman Goode’s proposed change involves the source of the funds for the credit. The amount the city can award in credits is capped at 1 percent of the business taxes revenues collected in the previous year. For this year, the cap is approximately $4 million. The bill proposed last week, on October 25, 2012, by Councilman Goode seeks to double that cap to 2 percent of business taxes revenue from the previous year. Councilman Goode explained that the 1 percent cap was established when the tax credit per job created was only $1,000. According to the councilman, from 2010 to 2011, 81 firms were approved for the tax credit with the promise of more than 5,000

jobs. More than 1,000 of those jobs have been verified through 2011, which leads many to consider the program a success. That success is what Councilman Goode seeks to continue. Councilman Goode went on to explain the rationale for the increase in the cap by saying that since the tax credit was raised to $5,000 earlier this year, “10 companies have already applied for the new tax credit with the promise of over 550 new jobs. If an additional 250 jobs are proposed in this year, the program would exceed its cap because of the increase in the tax credit amount.” Since more than 900 jobs are projected to be promised, the program would reach its cap very soon. Since the program is working, Councilman Goode simply does not want to see it maxed out so soon. “If employers seek help in creating new jobs, we should be in position to favorably respond to that demand,” he said. It is hard to imagine that council will not answer his call when the time comes for a committee hearing and eventually a vote. However, it is also a time when the city is clutching every penny in its budget, so someone may raise the question of whether these additional tax credits are truly justifiable. Creating jobs and making Philadelphia more attractive to growing businesses are some chief goals of this council and they will likely find the costs worthy of the objective.

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the state Department of Transportation and slow computer servers caused the delay. She also said the office hired extra workers to speed up the process and extended the deadline for correcting incomplete voter registration applications to November 2.

CITY COUNCIL

PHILADELPHIA

Councilman Seeks Rate Swap Limits

Commission Approves Non-Union Pay Raises

City Councilman Jim Kenney hopes to limit the use of an exotic investment tool known as an “interest-rate swap,” because of the detrimental effects on the city, according to the Daily News. The swap was designed to solidify low interest rates and protect against stock-market changes; however some municipalities have lost significant funds through swaps. How much the city has lost because of swap deals is uncertain. City Treasurer Nancy Winkler said such deals could have cost the city anywhere from $28.9 million in savings to $35.1 million in costs. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center said $170 million has been spent to settle swaps. SCHOOL DISTRICT

School District Cuts $1.8M From Budget By cutting costs by $1.8 million, the Philadelphia School District will be able to maintain winter recreation programs for 16,000 city children using school gymnasiums.

Since July 2009, Philadelphia has worked unsuccessfully to finalize blue and white-collar union contracts. On October 24, the Civil Service Commission approved a pay raise for non-union and supervisory city workers, but that pay raise comes with possible overtime rule changes and layoffs. Union leaders criticized the approval, attacking Mayor Michael Nutter for unfairly including unionrepresented supervisors in that group. Cathy Scott, president of District Council 47, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that members of Local 2186 filed suit against the city claiming that they have been unfairly subjected to the terms of a revised Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP).


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2 NOVEMBER 2012

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

POLITICS

NATIONAL DEBT

HIGHER EDUCATION

State Leaders Involved in Debt Reduction Talks

Professors’ Contract Negotiations At Standstill

Pennsylvania leaders are joining forces with Fix the Debt Campaign to call attention the country’s $16 trillion debt and the impending “fiscal cliff.” The state committee of 13 includes business leaders, party chairs from both sides of the aisle and Former Pa. Governor Ed county commissioners. Rendell speaks at the Fix The Notable members Debt launch event earlier this include Bill Stewart, a year. (FIX THE DEBT) former Pennsylvania state senator. The only way The nationwide camlawmakers will make a paign also has a Pennsylplan is if they know voters vania presence; former care about the problem, Governor Ed Rendell is a he said. co-chair. SANDUSKY SCANDAL

Corbett Responds to Criticism Governor Tom Corbett has been hounded for his handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse investigation. Critics from both parties said they believe the delay in filing charges against the former Penn State football coach was to assist Gov. Corbett in his 2010 election bid. The governor responded during a ceremonial bill signing October 25.

Corbett

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE

More Than 900 Ineligible PA Residents on Welfare Using the federal Public Assistance Reporting Information System (PARIS,) the Department of Public Welfare has identified 933 Pennsylvanians who were falsely receiving welfare benefits. PARIS is part of an exchange of welfare and pension data between every state and the national government. The program checks with records from the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense and Personnel Management. Email political news tips to Emily DiCicco at edicicco@regionsbusiness.com

ELECTION 2012

Many Incumbents Unchallenged

Fifteen months after the contract between the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the Association of Pennsylvania State Colleges and University Faculties expired, professors remain at a standstill in contract negotiations. Stalling them significantly is differences over whether to continue a $3.6 million to $5 million annual cost for online instruction. While PASSHE has traditionally offered incentive payments for professors to develop online courses, rising tuition costs and flat West Chester University of Pennsylvania KYLE WAGAMAN state funding may make that too costly. Ken Mash, vice president of APSCUF, said the compensation is needed to educate faculty members Moody’s Investors ability to raise tuition in designing online courses. Service cut the credit and fees, and challengPASSHE spokesman Kenn rating of West Chester es in reducing expenMarshall countered that University and Pennsyl- ditures” under current the incentives are no longer vania’s 13 other colleges labor contracts, as reanecessary. A contract nego- in the State System of sons for the decrease. Additionally, the tiation meeting is scheduled Higher Education from Aa3 from to Aa2. schools bear the burNovember 2. Moody cited “weak- den of a “very large and While APSCUF leaderening state support, growing liability” for ship has voted on a strike authorization, a simple “declining enrollment, unfunded pensions and and “political limita- healthcare promised for majority of members need to approve the strike autho- tions on the system’s retired staff. rization.

State Colleges, Universities See Drop in Credit Ratings

ELECTION 2012

ELECTION 2012

Freed, Kane Denounce Ad

Election Complaint Website Launched

Democratic super PAC Committee for Fairness and Justice attacked Republican Attorney General candidate David Freed’s stance on the Jerry Sandusky investigation, claiming he “defend[ed] Tom Corbett’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky investigation.” The Freed campaign said the ad was false and Mr. Freed had not ruled out a review of the case. His opponent, Kathleen Kane, also denounced the ad, but called out Mr. Freed for not denouncing a Republican State Leadership Committee ad that contained false information about her record.

Voters in Pennsylvania can now file complaints about alleged election law violations online. A form is available at both www.votespa.com and at the Department of State homepage, www. dos.state.pa.us, said Carol Aichele, Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Because no laws dictate that elected officials must have a challenger in a race, 96 House seats and nine Senate seats are unopposed in this cycle. The majority of whom are incumbents. Some argue that the campaign culture deters third-parties from running. “From a consumer point of view, we do not have that choice on the ballot. It so perverts what masquerades Romanelli as political discourse. All you get is this one-sided argument or these nonsense divisive issues that have very little to do with reality.” - Carl Romanelli, chairman of the Pennsylvania’s Green Party. “If you have this many people running unopposed, it’s very hard to change the complexion of anything.” - Olivia Thorne, president of the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters “If nobody’s willing to stand up and run against them and nobody feels the need to do so, then they’re probably serving their constituents well and doing what their constituents want.” - Jessica Cosme, deputy executive director of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Campaign “Politics is a contact sport.” - Valerie Caras, director of communications for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania PA INDEPENDENT


2 NOVEMBER 2012

POLITICAL COMMENTARY

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

17

Obama’s Economic Failures Will Lead To Romney Victory The long road to the White House for 2012 is near the end. In the closing days of giant rallies and non-stop campaigning, it all comes down to this: It’s still the economy. Voters historically vote their pocketbooks. And today economic issues are even stronger drivers of votes, especially among undecided and persuadable electors. Charlie Gerow is This has accurately been CEO of Quantum described as a historic election. The Communications, a Harrisburg-based public differences between the candidates are starker than any in a generation. relations and issue Their views on the economy are advocacy firm. clear contrasts. It’s hard to imagine that, should CONTRIBUTE he squeak out a second term, Send comments, letters Barack Obama will not push his and essays to feedback@ agenda of an increasingly gigantic regionsbusiness.com. federal government. That means Opinions expressed by spending more and more, taxing guest writers do not necessarily reflect those of wealth creators and small businessRegion’s Business. es past the limit, and continuing his war on oil, gas and coal, using the

regulatory process when efforts to get Congress to go along fail. What he won’t be able to do is blame George W. Bush any more. We now have the Obama economy. And it doesn’t look so good. It’s true that Obama inherited an economic mess. But instead of focusing like a laser on the failing economy, Barack Obama insisted on pushing Obamacare, ramming through his federal takeover of onesixth of the nation’s economy. Editorial boards across the country have agreed that the nation’s focus should have been the economy, not Obamacare. One reason for Obama’s stubborn insistence on pushing his view of health care ahead of the jobs of Americans was that he didn’t have a real plan for tackling the ailing economy. The 2012 campaign has laid bare that fact. Even Democratic pollster Celinda Lake admits “voters

still don’t know what he is going to do early next year to get this economy going.” What we do know is this: Obama’s economic policies have been a dismal failure. The change Americans hoped would put them back to work and our economy back on track fell woefully short. Instead Obama pursued Obamacare ahead of economic recovery resulting in a stagnant economy. Despite all of the promises of 2008, the Obama economy has left more Americans unemployed than when he took office. The unemployment rate has risen, despite promises to dramatically cut it. There are almost twice as many long-term unemployed than there were four years ago. Despite rhetoric about supporting the middle class, middle-class income has plummeted. Meanwhile, the things that affect middle

income earners every day have all gone the wrong direction. Gas prices have doubled since he took office, worker health insurance costs are up nearly 25 percent and college tuition has gone up at a similar rate. At the lower rungs of the economic ladder, there are 6.5 million more Americans in poverty and 15 million additional food stamp recipients. The federal debt has skyrocketed to more than $16 trillion, a morethan-50-percent increase. Presidents don’t get re-elected with those kinds of economic numbers. The surge toward Mitt Romney over the past few weeks is a clear indication that this one won’t either. On election night, Charlie Gerow will be on statewide television (PCN) when the polls close at 8 p.m.


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2 NOVEMBER 2012

CAPITOL REPORT

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

Governor Signs Package of House, Senate Bills Into Law During the last few weeks of Pennsylvania’s legislative session, lawmakers worked to introduce their bills before the October deadline. The session now concluded until January, Governor Tom Corbett spent the week signing bills. Here’s some of the notable legislation that was passed (closely watched charter school legislation missed the cut): Justice Reinvestment Initiative The Justice Reinvestment Initiative, which provides funding for a program that keeps low-risk inmates in county jails and alternative treatment programs rather than state prison, is now law. The initiative is expected to save Pennsylvania $250 million over five years.

Governor Corbett signed the bill, which was passed unanimously by both chambers of the General Assembly, on October 25. Daniel’s Law Governor Corbett made Pennsylvania the 20th state to ban the use of animal gas chambers, signing H.B. 2630 into law. Animals must now instead receive injectable euthanasia drugs. In 2010, a study from the American Humane Association found that the euthanasia method costs less than half than the use of gas chambers. The law is named “Daniel’s Law” after a beagle who survived an attempted euthanization in a gas chamber.

The Jon & Kate Plus Eight Law House Bill 1548 regulates labor hours for child reality TV stars, setting a maximum number of daily work hours, and establishes a trust fund for the young talent. Sponsored by Representative Thomas Murt House Bill 1310 Allows privately-owned ski resorts to receive liquor licenses, amending the Liquor Code. Sponsored by Representative Marcy Toepel House Bill 1813 Amends the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act, which regulates surface mining. The amendment establishes land reclamation financial guarantees.

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Governor Tom Corbett ceremonially signs legislation at Harrisburg Area Community College last week. SUBMITTED

Sponsored by Representative Mike Tobash House Bill 1868 Regulates requirements for cosmetology examinations and licenses. Sponsored by Representative

Keith Gillespie Senate Bill 1480 Establishes the capital budget for the fiscal year 2012-2013. Introduced by Senator Jake Corman


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2 NOVEMBER 2012

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

PENNSYLVANIA’S 20 MEAN PLENTY Largely ignored throughout most of the presidential campaign, money will pour into the state in the final weeks as both candidates look for every advantage in an ever-tightening race.

P

JUDY CURLEE

ennsylvania may not be as necessary to winning the White House as our neighbor Ohio, but since 1988, it has voted for the winner five times. In its coverage of presidential historian and pollster Terry Madonna’s forecast of the presidential race, The Lebanon Daily News reports that the state’s 20 electoral votes could go to President Obama by a small margin. Further, Mr. Madonna advanced the possibility of President Obama winning the Electoral College nationally, but losing in the popular, as occurred for the GOP in 2000. If that is the case, Pennsylvania is a must-win state for both men. In addition to the experts such as Mr. Madonna at Franklin, RealClear Politics and Politics PA offer polling data. And it has been less reliable, as one looks at the data gathered by RealClearPolitics, a poll that averages four reputable polls, which now categorizes PA as a toss-up, with President Obama at 49.5, Mr. Romney at 44.8, with the average at +4.7 differences. President Obama leads by five points less than he did when he defeated John McCain here in PA in 2008, when President Obama won by 10.3 percent. Tighter than his campaign wanted, these numbers inched one percentage point forward from last week. Polls have proliferated in the time of the Internet, and voters can find any result to be galvanized or discouraged. But, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, the only one that matters is the one when people vote. The sheer number and changeability may turn off some voters. Still, in what has become a tight race, as the Northeast is homebound by a catastrophic storm, handicapping this one relies on polls, as the debates have taken place, campaigning has ended, and Election Tuesday approaches. So trawling through online poll numbers is the best way to predict the outcome. A long race is ending, and it is closer than anticipated. As with most scientific polling, RCP’s statistical margin of error is plus or minus five percentage points. That caveat underscores the closeness of the

race. The MCAll Poll, conducted by the The Morning Call of Allentown and Muhlenberg College, posted its update as of 8 a.m. October 22. PAPolitics.com Managing Editor Keegan Gibson wrote that the MCall Poll showed President Obama leading 50 to Mr. Romany’s 45 percent. While Pennsylvania will mean plenty, the campaigns are not yet spending plenty, which looks likely to change in the final days. In Philadelphia suburbs, the Obama campaign seems not to have distributed lawn signs, which the Romney campaign has made available. Looking to an old-fashioned polling technology, a review of 10 major Pennsylvania papers shows President Obama ahead, six to four. Predictably, the central of the state papers such as the Williamsport Sun-Gazette and Altoona Mirror, endorse Mr. Romney. Their editorial boards are joined by the Bucks County Courier Times and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Six other major papers - the Philadelphia Inquirer, York Daily Record, Easton Express-Times, Harrisburg Patriot News, Bucks County Intelligencer, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - endorse President Obama. Newspaper circulation is dropping, and voters look to ads, talk radio, the Internet, and blogs for news, but these endorsements reinforce that Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes are in play. Hurricane Sandy gave President Obama the chance to extend the aid of FEMA, underscoring the positive role of the federal government. Both campaigns had the grace to suspend operations as Hurricane Sandy, a threat to the safety of millions, headed for the Northeast. In its wake, campaigns will resume, and GOTV efforts will resume. Pennsylvania voters, from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, will certainly be pressured for their votes, which turn in to those all important 20.


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2 NOVEMBER 2012

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

DOWN THE STRETCH

Ad money finally arrives in Pa. After relative silence in Pennsylvania, Mitt Romney made the first move. His Super PAC, Restore our Future, put up more than $2 million for a TV buy across the state and another conservative Super PAC announced a Philadelphia buy in excess of $1 million. PaPolitics.com the reported that the Obama campaign said it would match the Restore our Future buy. POLITICO, POLITICSPA.COM

THIRD PARTIES

Libertarian is on the Pa. ballot A lengthy legal challenge (led by the state’s GOP) ended in Commonwealth Court earlier this month and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson will remain on the ballot. He joins Green Party candidate Jill Stein as the third party candidates. Will there be an impact? A recent Franklin & Marshall poll showed more than 3% of Pennsylvanians voting for third party candidates. Here’s how third party candiates have fared in Pennsylvania the past few elections: 2008: 1.38% among two candidates (and the infamous “other”) 2004: 0.67% 2000: 2.97% 1996: 10.85% (this was the last time Ross Perot ran as the Reform Party candidate)


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2 NOVEMBER 2012

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

SMITH’S CASH SLICES CASEY’S ONCE-HUGE LEAD Some polls show the incumbent U.S. Senator ahead, but with the challenger within the margin of error, effectively making the race a tossup. BY MICHAEL JACOBS Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race started as an afterthought, a matchup between a centrist, pro-life, Democratic career politician and a conservative, pro-life, formerly Democratic political novice trying to unseat him. What a difference $17 million can make. That’s how much Republican challenger Tom Smith has poured into his campaign against Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, mostly for TV ads. Now some polls see a toss-up between “Senator Zero,” who has won four statewide elections, and “Tea Party Tom,” whose sole elected office was supervisor in a small western Pennsylvania town. “People were writing off the Smith campaign from

the get-go, but there was always an opening there for a candidate who was well-funded and got some breaks along the way,” said Jim Lee, the president of Harrisburg-based Susquehanna Polling and Research, which works for Republican campaigns. He said Mr. Smith just needed a fortune to spend (check) and a message worth that fortune (that the low-key Mr. Casey has done little in six years except support President Barack Obama). Mr. Casey made a strategic mistake in letting Mr. Smith, a farmer who made his millions in coal mining and founded a Tea Party group in Indiana and Armstrong counties, define himself, Mr. Lee said. “You always define your opponents before they have the chance to do it for themselves.”

A Susquehanna poll taken Oct. 11 to 13 put Mr. Smith ahead of Mr. Casey, 48 percent to 46 percent, within the 2.64 percent margin of error. Other October polls placed Mr. Casey just ahead: <Zl^r-1i^k\^gm%Lfbma-.i^k\^gmbgZJnbggbibZ\ University poll from Oct. 12 to 14. <Zl^r-/i^k\^gm%Lfbma-.i^k\^gmbgZKZlfnlsen poll Oct. 24. <Zl^r-.'+i^k\^gm%Lfbma--i^k\^gmbg\hgl^koZtive group Citizens United’s poll Oct. 22 and 23. <Zl^r-*i^k\^gm%Lfbma,2i^k\^gmbgZFnae^g[^k`<hee^`^iheeH\m'*)mh*.%Zemahn`aZFnae^g[^k` poll Oct. 17 to 21 put Casey up by 8 points. RealClearPolitics’ average of the most recent polls gives Mr. Casey a 6-point lead, down from almost */i^k\^gmZ`^ihbgmlbgeZm^CnerZg]fhk^maZg*. points as recently as Sept. 22. Mr. Casey’s poll numbers have been steady, but Mr. Smith has gained support with a TV blitz that long drowned out the senator around Philadelphia. Mr. Smith also has closed the gap on Mr. Romney, Lee said, meaning Mr. Smith is convincing foes of President Obama that they also should oppose Mr. Casey. Mr. Lee said he can’t see Mr. Smith winning if Romney loses Pennsylvania. Still, WPVI-TV news anchor Jim Gardner said during the only Senate debate, taped Oct. 26, that the “Tea Party Tom” and “Senator Zero” nicknames are all many people know about the race. Mr. Casey argued in the debate that he has defended Pennsylvania jobs against bad trade agreements and warned of dire consequences for Medicare, education and the economy if Mr. Smith goes to Washington with Tea party budget priorities. Mr. Smith kept linking Mr. Casey to President Obama on health care, deficit spending, taxes and the sluggish economy and touted his own five-step economic plan. The candidates largely agreed on abortion, gun control, Iran’s nuclear program, the nation’s infrastructure needs and even equal pay for equal work. Both claimed victory in the debate. “It is clear why Tom Smith has ducked editorial boards and any examination of his radical agenda as he hides behind an unprecedented barrage of selffunded attack ads,” Larry Smar, Mr. Casey’s campaign manager, said amid a flurry of post-debate statements. “Despite his best attempt to mislead voters, Sen. Casey was unable to escape his record as an ineffective career politician with no plan for the future,” Smith spokeswoman Megan Piwowar said. Reflecting the candidates’ East-West split, Mr. Smith plans to spend Election Night at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel in Pittsburgh, while Mr. Casey will be at the Scranton Hilton. Wherever you watch the returns, keep an eye on Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties, Mr. Lee said. “If Romney and Obama split the collar counties, we’ll probably see the same for Smith. … If Casey loses there, it’s probably over for him.”


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REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

Polling Aside, Turnout Will Decide Who Wins “Enthusiasm is higher for the Republicans.” One result is that 268,000 fewer PennsylTurnout often decides elections, and estivanians are registered to vote this year, and Mr. Lee expects total turnout to be no more mates of that turnout can swing pollsters’ than 5.5 million, down from 6 million in numbers. 2008. Lower turnout tends to favor RepubTo decide how many Democrats and Republicans to survey, pollsters have to prelicans. Another consequence is that Susquehanna dict what percentages of actual voters will be is using a polling model predicting a 6-point from each party. Differences in that weightedge for Democrats ing lead to different poll results. among actual voters, Pennsylvania has 4.25 million regand Mr. Lee said the istered Democrats (50 percent of the firm has had trouble total), 3.13 million registered RepubENTHUSIASM IS finding enough licans (37 percent) and 1.11 million likely Democratic other registered voters (13 percent), HIGHER FOR THE voters to complete but that doesn’t mean half the voters REPUBLICANS.’ its monthly polls. November 6 will be Democrats. —JIM LEE, SUSQUEHANNA POLLING Other polls used Jim Lee, the president of Susque- AND RESEARCH a 10-point Demohanna Polling and Research, which works with Republican campaigns, cratic turnout edge said he has seen a lack of Democratic enthusiin the summer, when President Obama and Sen. Bob Casey had comfortable leads, but asm this year compared with Barack Obama’s have modified their models, contributing to election in 2008. the rise of Republicans Mitt Romney and “The Democratic Party isn’t as ginned up Tom Smith, Mr. Lee said. about its own ticket this year,” Mr. Lee said. BY MICHAEL JACOBS

REGION’S BUSINESS A JOURNAL OF BUSINESS & POLITICS

Thus, Susquehanna had the presidential and Senate races as too close to call even before the first presidential debate, and polls such as Quinnipiac and Muhlenberg came to similar conclusions in mid-October. Muhlenberg’s poll in early September talked to 49 percent Democrats and 39 percent Republicans. President Obama had a 9-point lead in that poll, and Sen. Casey was up by 12 points. The most recent Muhlenberg poll, conducted Oct. 17 to 21, used 46 percent Democrats and 40 percent Republicans, and the leads for President Obama and Sen. Casey were down to 5 points and 8 points, respectively. By contrast, Public Policy Polling, which usually works for Democrats, polled 48 percent Democrats and 37 percent Republicans from Oct. 12 to 14 and found that President Obama led by 7 percentage points and Sen. Casey by 11. “There’s nothing to substantiate Casey or Obama winning by more than 3 points,” Lee said.

HISTORICAL TRENDS

Going down Registered Pennsylvania voters are turning out in smaller numbers. The percentage of registered voters who actually voted in presidential elections: 2008: 2004: 2000: 1996: 1992: 1988: 1984: 1980: 1976: 1972: 1968: 1964:

68.7% 68.9% 63.1% 65.3% 82.8% 77.2% 78.2% 79.3% 80.4% 78.2% 84.8% 84.2% FRANKLIN & MARSHALL U.S. CENSUS BUREAU

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2 NOVEMBER 2012

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Race for 8th District Intensifies BY JUDY CURLEE

“All politics is local,” said House Speaker Tip O’Neill many years ago. In Pennsylvania’s 8th District congressional race, five days before the election as voters clean up from Hurricane Sandy, Mr. O’Neill’s observation comes to mind as Doylestown attorney Kathy Boockvar campaigns against Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick of Levittown. Any incumbent, with emergency outreach to residents and the early November visibility with Veterans Day parades, has an edge. Local residents have their hands full and their minds elsewhere in the storm’s aftermath. Even before it hit, Rep. Fitzpatrick had been outspending Ms. Boockvar. Seen as a close race this summer, it looks less likely to surprise the national strategists and donors of both major parties who analyze the results of this congressional district contest, characterized as socially moderate, even progressive, and fiscally conservative. For the past twenty years, it has gone back and forth, and the vote correlates with the presidential outcomes. Both Ms. Boockvar, endorsed by The Philadelphia Inquirer and former Governor Ed Rendell, and Rep Fitzpatrick, endorsed by many groups, but chastised by The Bucks County Courier Times for not distancing himself from an attack ad funded by super PACs, have campaigned hard. Former Governor Mitt Romney’s strong performance in the first presidential debate did give Rep Fitzpatrick top-of-the ticket energy, presidential pollster Terry Madonna agreed. But outside money, a separate topic matters more. Just as with the presidential campaign, three debates took place. At the second, more than 300 people gathered on October 25 at Bucks County Community College, Bristol campus. Senior citizens, students, members of the public and the media saw the two articulate candidates map out what Ms. Boockvar called “stark differ-

ences.” Initially, Rep Fitzpatrick had declined debate requests, which numbered more than two dozen invitations. His campaign did agree to three debates, on the radio, at the college, and at the Waterwheel Restaurant in Plumstead. The candidates differ not only as expected on social issues, but on their respective ability to address congressional gridlock and implement fiduciary accountability regarding the corporate tax overhaul and Medicare funding. For the second goal, achieving fiduciary responsibility at the federal level, Ms. Boockvar highlighted her career as a business owner, making payroll. For the first problem, Washington gridlock, she related her work as a mediator, skilled at bringing two parties together to advance the goals of both. Fiscally, she sounded like a moderate Republican at times, as she detailed ways to restructure the corporate tax structure and cut loopholes. Rep Fitzpatrick talked of his record as a Bucks County Commissioner for a decade, during which time he balanced budgets. County governance differs from federal governance on two reasons: The county is required by law to balance its budget, and it lacks the fixed costs of the federal government, that is, entitlement programs, i.e. Medicare,

Medicaid, and military spending. Rep Fitzpatrick underscored his moderate votes on the environment, and on projects that benefit the district, such as the Bristol campus. Ms. Boockvar said she sees Rep Fitzpatrick’s two votes for the Ryan budget as an overcorrection to the deficit. Rep. Fitzpatrick came back with jabs at the Affordable Care Act, which Ms. Boockvar supports with some changes. Three close family members are physicians, and she cited their support for the health care reform passed into law. And so the conversation continued. No simple answers exist for the fiscal challenge of reining federal government spending, but Ms. Boockvar’s twofold part of changing corporate tax and eliminating loopholes is a theme she and her spokesperson Andrew Grubin reiterated. Rep Fitzpatrick, who signed the Nordquist pledge, holds firm on refusing to raise taxes. Partisanship aside, does the outcome of the race even matter this year? At the Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball polling site of the University of Virginia, congressional expert Kyle Kondik projected as of October 25, that Rep Fitzpatrick will probably be returned to Washington, where the GOP will hold the House by 237 seats to 198 seats for the Democrats. So after all the money spent, the seat looks likely to stay Republican. Certainly the strength of incumbency is giving RepFitzpatrick the edge, as do the make-up of the district which gave additional registered voters to the GOP in redistricting following the 2010 Census, and the outside dollars available for campaigning. Ms. Boockvar’s candidacy, bruised by the Democratic Congressional Committee’s withdrawal of $1.1 million, remains vital from the strength of the local Democratic Party and small donors. If this seat does stay in the GOP column, it will remain in the national spotlight for voters, party leaders, pollsters, the media, and super PACs. The House is the closest and most accountable to the voters. The victor on November 6 will undergo close scrutiny going forward, for voting record, public comment, campaign contributions, and local governance of a key district in the Keystone state.


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DEVASTATION BY THE NUMBERS

Top Wind Speeds (miles per hour)

125

Katrina (2005)

94

Sandy (2012)

85

Irene (2011)

Damage

$81B Katrina (2005)

$20B Sandy (2012) (estimate)

Hurricane Sandy Leaves Death, Destroyed Properties in Wake The rain has largely subsided. SEPTA is running again. The City of Philadelphia has, for the most part, re-opened. Yet, the devastation Hurricane Sandy left after two days of storming through the Northeast is still here. At least 124 people in the United States and the Caribbean are dead and millions of households were left without power. The storm will likely cost the nation billions of dollars, according to AccuWeather meteorologists’ predictions. At the height of the storm, PECO reported 585,000 Philadelphia area customers without power. A spokesman said it could take up to a week to restore power to everyone experiencing outages. The National Weather Service was warning Pennsylvania residents even after the storm passed that wind gusts could reach into the 60 mph range. Even after the winds died down, slight breezes could snap weakened tree branches, putting people and property at risk. Within the region, the Jersey shore was hit the hardest. Property damage estimates within the town of Seaside Heights alone reach more than $1 billion. While it was predicted that Sandy could be extremely dangerous to Philadelphia, the storm was not as bad as expected, the mayor said. “It could have been worse, but we came

$19B Irene (2011)

Deaths

1,833 Katrina (2005)

124

Sandy (2012) (as of November 1)

56

Irene (2011)

OLIVER RICH

OLIVER RICH

through it pretty well,” Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said in a press conference. Meanwhile, the country is days away from electing a president, and both major political parties tried to consider the safety of their constituents while continuing to fight for votes. Just as Sandy threw houses, trees, and trucks off course, the reclassified nontropical storm — the largest Atlantic hurricane in diameter on record — threw the presidential campaign a curveball. More than anything else, the natural disaster served as a national distraction, taking away from the biggest news story before last weekend, 24/7 election coverage. As news of the storm broke, the candidates immediately went into damage control, tossing their final week of campaigning schedule out the window. President Barack Obama canceled several events altogether; Mitt Romney shifted appearances from Virginia to Ohio. In addition to appearance schedules, the candidates must now look to change advertising tactics. Not only will candidates lose ad viewers from power outages, but negative ads running immediately after disaster coverage could come off as offensive. President Obama said Sandy, not the campaign, is his current top priority. He is also making a point to seem prepared and decisive in his actions. “I am not worried at this point about the impact on the election. I’m worried about the

IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE, BUT WE CAME THROUGH IT PRETTY WELL.’ —PHILADELPHIA MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER

impact on families, and I’m worried about the impact on our first-responders. I’m worried about the impact on our economy and on transportation,” he said in a public message. Mr. Romney said during a Florida rally that he knew the American people would support those affected by the storm. “We love all of our fellow citizens. We come together at times like this and we want to make sure that they have a speedy and quick recovery from their financial, and in many cases, personal loss,” he said. With voting time changes, voter attitude will too change with the hurricane. Political scientists have noted that voters are swayed overwhelmingly by emotions. As the incumbent candidate, President Obama could be at an disadvantage. The effects of a massive storm could cause voters to project feelings of uncertainty onto the leader in charge. — Emily DiCicco


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Sandy’s Potential Impact on the Election In Sandy’s aftermath, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he wasn’t even thinking about Tuesday’s election. President Barack Obama, touring the destroyed New Jersey coastline by the Republican governor’s side, echoed similar sentiments. But both Republicans and Democrats must have been at least thinking about the storm’s potential impact on the presidential election.

Why the storm is bad news for Republicans: Looking Presidential

NASA

Why the storm is bad news for Democrats: Philadelphia The City of Brotherly Love was straight in the path of the storm, and Philly saw flooding and outages across the city and surrounding suburbs. As of Thursday, more than 100,000 were still without power in Bucks and Montgomery counties alone. It goes without saying that Philadelphia is Democrats’ base in Pa., and statewide candidates are relying on strong turnout there to seal the deal.

GOTV Both parties boast a strong getout-the-vote apparatus, but the reality is that Democrats are far more organized in Pennsylvania. Republicans compensate for it because their voters generally require less coaxing and are more likely to turn out any given election.

But because they have such an edge, Democrats are relying more on their field program. GOTV is a science for team Obama and they have calculated how many times they need to call, mail, email and knock on the doors of their supporters to boost turnout. After Sandy knocked out power and telephone service for large areas, a wrench has been thrown in all of that. Plus, many down-ballot Democrats in Pa. are relying on this field operation.

The Corbett Effect For statewide and legislative candidates on the Democratic side, tying their opponents to Gov. Tom Corbett has been political gold. But that dynamic could change in an instant, as it did after the Pa. floods of 2011.

Managing a natural disaster is one of the most visible roles of the federal government and the president. Just like Governor Tom Corbett, President Obama could see a bump in Pennsylvania if the perception is that he’s doing a good job managing the storm and its effects. Shortly after Sandy left a path of destruction through New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the president was seen surveying the damage with a Republican governor as they praised one another for their response to the storm.

Disaster Coverage SUBMITTED

Voters overwhelmingly agreed Corbett handled that disaster well, and he earned an immediate and significant bump in the polls — including a sharp spike in northeast Pennsylvania, the area most affected by the flooding. Last-minute campaign messaging is already in production or on its way out the door. Any campaign ads or literature that use Gov. Corbett as a bogeyman, should 2011 repeat itself, will not be nearly as effective and could even backfire. — PoliticsPA.com

Flip on any cable news station, and you’ll see how quickly coverage can change. Where for the past two weeks the cameras have been on the candidates 24/7, now the news is split between the campaign and Sandy. The campaign got far less airtime during and after the hurricane. Negative ads also run a higher risk of seeming tone deaf. That means it will be harder for any candidate looking to close the gap in

the final week. In Pennsylvania, Mitt Romney, Tom Smith and Dave Freed are all playing catch up with their Democratic opponents. They had less news coverage and less earned media when the state press switched its focus to the disaster.

TV Ads Going along with the idea that Republicans are running from behind in Pa., the widespread power outages that came during and after Sandy nullified the television ads and spending by Republican candidates. Conversely, campaigns able to afford ads on local news channels will see more bang for their buck as larger segments of the population tune in.

Rural Voters When you hear about people being without power for a week, usually they’re talking about those who live in the “T” in central and northern Pa. Those voters trend sharply Republican. And though the Philadelphia area saw its fair share of outages, the lower concentration of population in the T makes it more difficult for a single home to get its power back on. — PoliticsPA.com


2 NOVEMBER 2012

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CHAMBER REPORT

27

GREATER PHILADELPHIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

MAIN LINE CHAMBER

PHILADELPHIA DIVERSITY COUNCIL

Chamber Appoints New Chairman

Vice President Honored with Leadership Award

Lincoln Financial Vice President Named ‘Woman of the Year’

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce appointed a new chairman of the board, as well as 15 new members to its Board of Directors for 2012-2013. It also added four new Executive Committee members at its 212th Annual Meeting October 19. More than 1,500 regional business leaders attended the meeting at the Grand Ballroom of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Mr. Fitzpatrick replaces William P. Hankowsky, president and CEO of Liberty Property Trust. Mr. Fitzpatrick is president and CEO of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York.

Official: Tax Changes Will Drive Job Growth Joe Mahoney, executive vice president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, testified before the City of Philadelphia Jobs Commission October 24 about the loss of jobs in the region. He discussed the importance of higher education and a skilled workforce, quality of life and the cost of doing business in Philadelphia on behalf of the GPCC, which “believes that efforts to lower both the Wage and Business Income and Receipts Taxes will help drive job growth within the City,” he said.

Eileen Connolly-Robbins, founder of The Main Line Society of Professional Women and EVP/ COO of The Main Line Chamber of Commerce was honored with a Philadelphia Leadership Award by Women’s eNews, an international news service with writers and readers stretching around the globe at the fourth annual Philadelphia Leadership gala on October 23 at Bryn Mawr College. Ms. Connolly-Robbins was one of 10 individuals who were recognized for their work in improving the lives of women.

Lisa M. Buckingham, organization that was executive vice president established in 2008 to and chief human resourc- help organizations and es, brand and communi- people expand their knowledge about cations officer diversity and for Philadelphiainclusion in today’s based Lincoln global society. Financial is the Ms. Bucking2012 recipient of the Pennsylvania ham, who joined Diversity Council’s Lincoln Financial (PADC) “Pennsyl- Buckingham in 2008, is responvania Woman of sible for all Human the Year” award. Resources practices and Ms. Buckingham was policies for the organiformally recognized at the zation, including the council’s Third Annual company’s Diversity and Philadelphia Diversity & Inclusion program. Leadership conference She also oversees Brand October 18 and in an & Enterprise Commuannouncement by Lin- nications and Corporate coln Financial October 25. Social Responsibility PADC is a non-profit activities.


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FINE ESTATES PREVIEW

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Q&A

2 NOVEMBER 2012

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

Photo courtesy of Lancaster Newspapers

TERRY MADONNA’S

POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE

Interview by Emily DiCicco

The Director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College puts Lancaster center stage as elections near, and his accessibility and unique perspective make him a darling among media types both in PA and across the nation.

How did you first get into politics?

Well, I’m not technically into politics. I started my career as a political historian, writing about politics in our country, particularly on Pennsylvania politics, that was my credential of research. I spent a lot of time writing about Philadelphia politics throughout the centuries and Pennsylvania politics in general. I just gradually shifted my focus away from pure political history. What qualities make you such a hot commodity during this time of year?

I guess its because I’m independent, and I’m nonpartisan. I don’t contribute to parties; I don’t contribute to campaigns. ...I’m a political consultant and I often try to provide a lot of historical context to my discussions with people

to talk about comparisons with past elections, talk about trends, as opposed to just the horse race issues, who’s ahead, but to find some bigger perspective. The other thing is that I’ve tried to be helpful to the media, whether its a daily newspaper, a weekly newspaper in rural Pennsylvania or the New York Times. My job as teacher, professor, is to be as helpful as I can, to everyone I can. Is PA a swing state this election?

You know how we’ll know if the race is competitive? See if campaigns decide to run television advertisements. There’s not a single TV commercial as we speak by the campaigns or by political action committees. Not a single commercial. Let’s go back four years ago.

Between the third week in September and election day the Obama campaign spent $40 million and the McCain campaign spent $29. ...But now, nothing. What should local voters be excited about this election?

I would be excited because of the nature of this campaign. Both of the candidates have really very different visions of where our nation is going. ...It’s an election about the future of our country. What are you looking forward to in the next election?

I’m looking for good leaders to compromise more. I don’t think we get out of where we are now without some compromise. We can’t keep government expanding, but we obviously can’t dismantle every (and I’m not saying Repub-

licans will do this) social welfare network. Any predictions or ideas for what’s to come, regionally or nationally?

It looks like we’re going to have a Republican House. The Democrats could pick up zero to 10 seats, but they need 25 to take over the House. The Senate, which looks like it might go Republican a year ago, now it looks much more likely that the Democrats might take control by a seat or two. But you need 60 votes in the Senate to do anything anyway, so I guess whoever wins is going to face a political situation in Washington not unlike what we face now, which means gridlock, unless somehow everybody can finally realize we’ve got these huge problems and that we need to compromise.

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Evaluating If A Sponsorship Makes Sense

Gina F. Rubel, Esq.,(left) is the president and CEO of Furia Rubel Communications, Inc., a strategic marketing and public relations agency. Laura Powers (right) is the Vice President for Marketing. For more information go to furiarubel.com.

How do you measure the success for your It can be overwhelming for business owners to cut through the tremendous amount marketing efforts? Does this event / sponsorof sponsorship and miscellaneous advertising ship provide measurable opportunities? opportunities for various professional organiDo you track your opportunity costs? What are the opportunity costs if you do not parzations, nonprofit events or trade shows. How does one decide, in a strategic ticipate? way, which opportunities are the best Who is your competifit for the business? tion? Will your competition Gina F. Rubel, Esq.’s book Every- HOW DOES ONE have a significant presence at the event? day Public Relations for Lawyers DECIDE, IN A Note: You may want to outlines some strategic questions to consider when thinking about where STRATEGIC WAY, participate because there is no significant competitive to spend marketing dollars for events WHICH and sponsorships. OPPORTUNITIES presence or the opposite might hold true. What are your core business ARE THE BEST After examining the stragoals?What are the event’s business FIT FOR THE goals? tegic questions above, it is What are your marketing objec- BUSINESS?’ time to see if the answers line up. If the event / sponsorship tives? Does this opportunity meet opportunity has the same target audience, your marketing objectives? Who is your target audience? Does this goals and objectives that you want to reach for your business, then the opportunity may event reach your target audience? What is your budget? Does the cost of this make sense from a strategic marketing and public relations standpoint. If the answers opportunity fit within your budget?

RegionsBusiness.com | Philadelphia 24/7

do not align, table the event or sponsorship investment until the following fiscal year and reassess the opportunity at that time. If the event or sponsorship opportunity aligns with your business goals, it is important to have a presence at the event for networking opportunities and company name recognition. The event should also be leveraged through integrated communications such as public relations, marketing, social media and strategic business development efforts. Furia Rubel typically recommends that a business put a policy or procedure in place to determine which sponsorships it will invest in and why (detailing how each is linked to the business, the target audience, etc.). The policy should include how the business plans to measure the success of each investment. By using the questions above to strategically think about each event or sponsorship investment and establishing a policy, you have the tools you need to assess any type of opportunity that may arise for your team and your business.


2 NOVEMBER 2012

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

OPINION

35

Stage Set To Put Harsh Spotlight on Electoral College

Politically Uncorrected™ is published by G. Terry Madonna (above) and Michael L. Young (below) twice monthly, and previous columns can be viewed at http://politics.fandm.edu.

CONTRIBUTE Send comments, letters and essays to feedback@ regionsbusiness.com. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect those of Region’s Business.

It’s Déjà vu. And yes the immortal Yogi Berra would say “all over again.” But this time, there’s not much funny about it. The hard fought, tersely tight 2012 presidential election looks more and more like a contest that could end with one candidate winning the popular vote while the other wins the electoral vote. Our deeply divided and sharply polarized nation might witness the second Electoral College misfire in the last four presidential elections — misfire defined here as awarding the presidency to the candidate who lost the popular vote. That nightmare scenario could be politically destabilizing in a nation so politically fractured. In 2000 when this last happened, national politics were relatively stable. Indeed, the 2000 Electoral College popular vote split inspired much of the deep animosities now so redolent in contemporary politics. Nor is an Electoral College misfire the end of it or even the worst of it. The combination of a razor thin tight election compounded by new tougher and controversial voter ID laws means that at least six key states, possibly more, could end up election night without a clear winner. The 2000 Florida voter imbroglio might be retrospectively remembered as a mild dust up compared to the chaos that would erupt if the popular vote is thwarted for the second time in 12 years — accompanied by vote recounts in a half dozen or more key states. Some are even warning of a disastrous 169-169 tie in the Electoral College resulting in the election of the next president by the House of Representatives. And this time it seems unlikely that the US Supreme Court would rush into the breach and resolve any electoral controversies. The battering absorbed by that august institution in 2000 serves as a cautionary tale for any hasty intervention by the Court. Nothing yet is inevitable, nor can any of these situations be ruled out. In fact, some kind of electoral disaster looms chillingly possible. Current polls and much expert opinion forecast an unusually close election, with a large number of states likely decided by relatively few votes. This is precisely the electoral scenario most likely to produce a split between the electoral and popular vote. This mathematical probability actually increases because of two campaign dynamics not likely to change in the

The 2000 presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush tested the country’s faith in the system.

last two weeks before Election Day. One of these is Obama’s likely underperformance among some key voter groups who favor him: Hispanics, younger voters, and women. Hispanics and young voters seem far less motivated to vote this year, and Obama looks like he will fall short of the majorities he won among them four years ago. His eroding support among women in large part explains the tightening of the contest since the first debate. The ongoing defection of these key groups conceivably makes it hard for Obama to beat Romney in the popular vote. The fly in the ointment, however, for Romney is that Obama still has small leads in a number of battleground states. If Romney wins Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia which now seem likely, he still needs Ohio or Pennsylvania which seem less likely. And if Obama defeats Romney in those large electoral vote states, Romney will then need some combination of several of the other swing states: Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Colorado Nevada, and Iowa to win the Electoral College. In short, a Romney popular vote victory has the ring of a real possibility while Obama seems better positioned to win in the Electoral College. If the Electoral College misfires in 2012 will it matter? That question asked just twelve years

ago answered itself. Then, almost everyone expected a national crisis. But it didn’t happen. Certainly, there were some tense moments as the nation collectively held its breath through the agonizing Florida recount and the controversial deliberation of the divided Supreme Court that ended the contentious recount. But despite the bitterness over the outcome, no serious effort to change the constitution or fashion a legislative remedy was undertaken. Even more puzzling, there was no national dialogue about the institutional arrangements that produced an election in which most Americans voted for the loser. What if it happens again in 2012? What if an Electoral College misfire re-elects an embattled and controversial president in the current contentious environment? In truth, no one knows. It could produce another relatively quick, relatively peaceful accommodation as in 2000. Or it might produce a genuine political crisis as did some earlier Electoral College misfires. What does seem all but certain is that the American people will not tolerate another election in which the popular vote winner loses the election — without demanding reform or abolishment of the Electoral College. If this happens, we will have paid a huge price to do something we should have done long ago.


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OPINION

Respect Voices of Experience

Thomas Richard Harry is a graduate of UC Berkeley (BA) and New York University (MBA). His third book is BOOM! A Revolting Situation. Learn more at ThomasRichardHarry.com.

T,

G

CONTRIBUTE Send comments, letters and essays to feedback@ regionsbusiness.com. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect those of Region’s Business.

Noting an apparent dearth of public political comment from senior citizens as the current presidential campaign is playing out, I’m considering starting another writing forum aside from The American Family Gazette where I post my jottings now. It will not be only for my writings, but for others who wish to contribute, who believe they have something relevant to say, and are looking for a venue to say it. The only eligibility will be that they must qualify for AARP services. Those are the “young-old,” of course, but the old-old and maybe even the elderly (maybe) would be welcome. Here’s what I’m thinking of calling it: Old Fart’s Forum An opinion page full of POOP (Political opinions of older persons) In my assessment we’re wasting or at least ignoring a huge trove of national experience, much of which would pass as wisdom. If you’re old today, not many are interested in what you have to say. Our national leadership—fewer of who exceed the “young-old” today—might well benefit from this collective experience and senior counsel when considering the how and why of doing “the right things to do.” It would counsel them in the way things and events really were as opposed to how they may be too often perceived from their limited youthful experience of today. It would be first hand poop. Let me give you a for instance: At the VP debate, Paul Ryan, when pushed for specific details on budget-cuts in the Romney deficit reduction plan, fell back on the argument that—not to worry— these would be negotiated between the White House and Congress, “just as President Reagan and Tip O’Neill worked such details out in 1985.” No sweat, apparently. We’ll work it out, even though this is the political world of 2012, not 1985. Our Republican candidate for the vice presidency was about fifteen years old when this (tax) negotiation took place. What he evidently doesn’t know (and no one old enough to recall has told him) is that President Reagan and Speaker O’Neill could never “work things out,” as he suggested. That’s historical revisionism;

to Reagan affected nearly every issue.” Still, the VP nominee was right: a compromise between the White House and Congress was finally reached, but it was almost in spite of the relationship between the President and the Speaker, not due to it. So, okay, he was off a bit on his historical facts. Should we take him out back and shoot him? Is that a real serious fault? In and of itself not really, but it does suggest the value of access to accumulated knowledge. And more importantly, it highlights another point that not only Representative Ryan (certainly knows) and the American voting public should not lose sight of: the political ideological gulf that has widened between the parties since then. The compromise he referred to was made possible because political moderates still held influential positions in both the White House LJ LANDRE and Congress. How many of you believe such a condition still exists in Washington today, raise your ... the VP nominee was hands? Yeah, I agree. Moderation today is increasingly a memory, mostly of those right: a compromise of us who are, in one way or another between the White “old”. We remember it, and could perhaps remind today’s seemingly self-important House and Congress was Blue Dogs, or Tea partiers or senators from Kentucky who seem to resist modfinally reached, but it eration as if it were a social disease that was almost in spite of they only represent “some of us”, and it’s government’s responsibility to represent the relationship between at least most of us, at least most of the time. Only something called moderation, the President and the resulting in reasonable accommodation Speaker, not due to it. can achieve that in a democracy such as we are privileged to (still) have. So, get your acts together gentlemen. Start campaigning in a manner that tells us — the young and old, conservatives fiction, actually. and liberals all of us, how you’re going The memory of the relationship to come together and govern, not just between these two leaders from somepractice politics for the sake of politics. one who was “old” even at the time but We need a change. present during those times tells us that, I think many of you—on both sides of “Although photographs taken after their the aisle and at each end of Pennsylvania meetings suggested a sort of underlying Avenue— could probably benefit enorIrish camaraderie between the two men, the reality was that they were hammer mously from a goodly portion of poop I’m and anvil. O’Neill seemed determined to recommending! * dislike Reagan and disagree with him, * Served up here, admittedly, with a and sparks flew as a result. This antipathy certain amount of tongue-in-cheek.


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OPINION

Here Is The Only Endorsement You Need To Read

E

very election cycle has its ups and downs, but this one has been a roller coaster ride for the

books. A brutal Republican primary saw Rick Santorum ride a wave of social conservatism to the top of the polls. Somehow Newt Gingrich, long seen as tarnished goods, became a major factor while Libertarian Ron Paul played a factor as well. All along, there was Mitt Romney, who basically showed more endurance than his counterparts to capture the GOP nomination. Things haven’t gotten any easier. He and President Barack Obama have been slugging it out in a race that went from being a foregone conclusion to a neck-and-neck affair that will likely go down to the wire. Pundits will haggle for months over how it came down to this. After all, most GOP operatives figured defeating Mr. Obama was a foregone conclusion, what with unemployment hovering at 8 percent and the economy seemingly stuck in neutral. They may also debate how Senator Bob Casey went from having a seemingly insurmountable lead over challenger Tom Smith to suddenly being thrust into an actual race.

Amidst all this, we also have one of the most closely watched congressional races in the nation as incumbent Republican Mike Fitzpatrick fights to stave off Democratic challenger Kathy Boockvar. There’s good and bad to come out of these heated races. On the downside, candidates appear all too eager to stoop to any level necessary to garner votes, slinging mud as fast and furious as possible. On the other hand, it should feel good to know that voters cannot be taken for granted. In races that are projected to be as tight as the ones for president, such as U.S. Senate and the 8th Congressional District, the key factor will be voter turnout. And that’s where you come in. Rather than provide a thorough anaylsis on each race, leading to a recommendation on where to place your vote, there is only one directive given here. Vote. By the time the sun rises on November 7, billions of dollars will have been spent on endless television ads and other campaign efforts, countless attacks and counterattacks will have been launched by candidates on all sides. But in the end, your vote is all that matters. Make sure you use it.

EDITORIAL BOARD CEO AND PUBLISHER | JAMES D. MCDONALD EDITORIAL DIRECTOR | KARL M. SMITH ASSOCIATE EDITOR | TERRENCE CASEY © COPYRIGHT 2012 INDEPENDENCE MEDIA 600 GERMANTOWN PIKE, SUITE 400 PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA 19462 610.940.1656 | WWW.REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

COMMENTARY FROM ACROSS THE WEB Region’s Business combed the blogosphere, the Twittersphere and other corners of the Web for interesting commentary over the past week or so. Here’s what we found.

Neither Cadidate Worthy of Senate Seat Here’s our suggestion: Write in a candidate. And we don’t mean just anybody. We’re not suggesting that you make a joke of your right to vote. Use it to send a serious message to the major political parties that we expect a choice between substantive candidates — people who actually get stuff done; people who aren’t on the political fringe. COURIER TIMES EDITORIAL 1 NOVEMBER 2012

Plea to The Donald: Stay Out Of It We have some advice for Donald Trump, the GOP real estate mogul with the checkered past. We don’t mean the counsel unkindly: For the duration of the campaign, don’t say a word. Zip. Nada. Just shut up. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 29 OCTOBER 2012

City Should Borrow $123M for

hard to find online. @michael_nutter

DAILY NEWS EDITORIAL 1 NOVEMBER 2012

Appointed Panel Bad for Philadelphia

The citizens of Phila have been very patient and responsive to our calls for “safety first” and looking out for each other - thank you!

Capital Budget [A referendum question] asks if the city should borrow more than $123 million for capital projects to repair streets, parks and other public property. Recreation and police buildings, and parks are in shambles, so the answer is obviously yes. But details on how the money would be spent is scant and

The greatest risk [RE: an independent rate-making body setting water and sewer rates] would be that a politically appointed panel might shortchange department needs, leading to deferred maintenance and other problems that could cost consumers more down the road. Also, there’s no good reason to believe that the addition of another layer of oversight would substantially reduce the water rates people and businesses pay. INQUIRER EDITORIAL 1 NOVEMBER 2012

CONTRIBUTE Send comments, letters and essays to feedback@ regionsbusiness.com. Opinions expressed by guest writers do not necessarily reflect those of Region’s Business.


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2 NOVEMBER 2012

REGIONSBUSINESS.COM

BY THE NUMBERS

52%

Percent of Americans with at least $500,000 in assets whose net worth has grown at least 20% since 2007.

$

73%

Percent of Americans with at least $500,000 in assets who believe they have “a lot of control over their financial future.”

28%

Percent of Americans with at least $500,000 in assets who are optimistic about U.S economic recovery.

P

73%

T

THE NATIONAL GUARD

1

Hurricane Sandy’s category upon making landfall in New Jersey. Irene came ashore in North Carolina as a category 1 last year and Katrina hit New Orleans as a category 3 in 2005.

15%

Percent of Americans who said they had already voted as of October 28.

33%

Percent of Americans who said they had either already voted or planned to vote before November 6.

940

miles wide, Hurricane Sandy’s diameter based on high wind speeds. Irene was 520 miles wide last year while Katrina was 400 miles wide in 2005.

940

millibars, the atmospheric pressure produced by Hurricane Sandy, the lowest ever to make landfall north of North Carolina. Typical pressure at sea level is 1013 millibars (the lower the number, the more powerful the storm).

5%

Percent of Americans who believe the result of the presidential election will have a positive impact on their paycheck, according to a NetCredit survey. About 35 percent said they believe their personal finances will remain about the same.

71%

Percent of Asians who said they consider the area they live in a “good place” for immigrants to live.

inches of rain produced by Hurricane Sandy. Katrina dumped about 15 inches in 2005 while Irene hit North Carolina with between 10 and 15 inches last year.

65%

Percent of Americans who said they consider the area they live in a “good place” for immigrants to live.

35%

13

91%

Percent of teachers surveyed who strongly or somewhat believe digital literacy should be part of every school’s curriculum.

60%

Percent of teachers surveyed who said that today’s technologies make it harder for students to find credible sources.

Percent of Advance Placement and National Writing Project teachers who said “the internet makes today’s students more self-sufficient researchers” in an online survey conducted for the Pew Research Center’s “Internet & American Life” project.

Percent of Americans with at least $500,000 in assets who are pessimistic about the outlook for foreign markets.

27.9%

Percent of Americans age 44-47 considered obese in 2008.

30.4%

Percent of Americans age 44-47 considered obese in 2012.


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Region's Business November 2, 2012