Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment. Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.
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Host: Scott LaMar
Pennsylvania voters make history by electing Democrat Kathleen Kane as our next Attorney General. No woman or Democrat had won the post since it became an elective office in 1980. Kane ably turned aside Republican Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed.
Her promise to “thoroughly investigate” how the Attorney General’s Office handled the Jerry Sandusky/PSU child sex abuse case is sure to bring headaches for Republican Governor Tom Corbett who started the probe as the former A.G. We’ll examine the fallout from all the races in a special Smart Talk Election 2012 Review tonight at 8 on witf-TV.
It was a big night for Democrats in all the statewide offices. Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr. easily defeated political newcomer Tom Smith, a former coal executive, to secure a second term. Smith spent more than $15 million of his own fortune in the losing effort.
Republican State Representative John Maher failed to convince PA voters that, as a certified public accountant, he would do a superior job as state Auditor General. His House colleague, Democratic Rep. Eugene DePasquale of York, won the office. He, too, is likely to give Corbett fits as he closely examines state spending.
And, Democratic State Treasurer Rob McCord, a former venture capitalist and someone rumored to have an interest in occupying the Governor's Residence, gets a second term as he shakes off a challenge from Republican Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan.
When it comes to the Pennsylvania Legislature, it was a very good night for the Democrats. The State Senate remains in GOP hands despite the loss of three GOP-held open seats and the Democratic retention of a seat the GOP thought they'd win. In the State House, a few races remain uncalled but the GOP looks to keep its 111-92 margin.
Joining us to talk about what the 2012 results mean are Laura Olson, statehouse bureau chief for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Matt Belanger, government reporter for WGAL News 8, and G. Terry Madonna, Ph.D., director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College.
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