Look on the Bright Side, Hillary

Article excerpt

With her third-place finish, Hillary Clinton may not have been a hit in the Iowa Caucuses on Thursday.

But the New York senator can take some solace in the fact she has raised the most money in Pennsylvania of any presidential contender.

Clinton has taken in more than $1.5 million in the Keystone State, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported last week. Right behind her was Illinois Sen. Barack Obama with $1.3 million.

No surprise that the two leading Democrat candidates would bring in the most money. Nor is it particularly shocking to learn that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani raised $1.1 million, the largest amount among the GOP contenders.

But it is interesting to note that Giuliani received more than $250,000 in donations from the Pittsburgh area -- which is almost as much as the combined contributions from Western Pennsylvania residents to Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

2008'S FIRST BABY. A Gettysburg couple can't keep celebrating the New Year this way.

Becky and Kyle Armstrong saw 2008 in at Gettysburg Hospital, where at 5:23 a.m. New Year's Day Becky gave birth to the hospital's first baby of the year, Faith Lynn Armstrong.

Faith is the couple's second child -- and the second to claim first-baby honors, The Associated Press reported last week.

Gettysburg Hospital says the couple's first-born, Kaden Skye Armstrong, was born on Jan. 1, 2007, and was the hospital's first baby of last year.

We don't know how they plan to bring in 2009. But to the Armstrongs, we suggest this concept:

Maybe this year you should take separate two-week vacations in the last week of March and first week of April. That way, nine months later, you could be sipping a bottle of bubbly and watching the ball drop in Times Square on TV instead of whooping it up in the maternity ward.

HIS MISFORTUNE MOUNTS. Our ol' buddy Frank LaGrotta just can't catch a break.

As 2007 ended, the former Democrat state representative of Lawrence County -- who lost his 2006 re-election bid -- faced two felony counts for getting his sister and his niece hired for state jobs for which they performed little or no work.

Then, last week, Commonwealth Court said it would not consider a LaGrotta claim of immunity from a lawsuit filed over his efforts to oppose a nursing home sale.

Sylvan Heights Realty Partners and Americare Management Services sued LaGrotta, saying he exceeded his authority as a legislator when he attempted to defeat the companies' proposed purchase of Hill View Manor from Lawrence County.

LOGAN'S RUN. Democrat Sean Logan of Monroeville announced last week he will seek a third term in the state Senate.

Logan perhaps is best known as vice chairman of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency board. The quasi-public entity provides loans to college students, but perhaps is best known for providing extravagant bonuses to its top administrators and lavish retreats for its board members in recent years.

PUBLISHER TURNS POLITICIAN. Chris Voccio, former publisher of The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown who now publishes the monthly newspaper The Pennsylvania Republican, is sticking a toe into the political arena. …