Letters to the Editor

Councilman Frank DiCicco
Councilman Frank DiCicco
Posted: January 26, 2011

Finally, Verna leaving Council

I had to laugh when I read about City Council President Anna C. Verna finally getting out of the political pigsty that is our Council ("Council chief says this is it," Tuesday). She's been employed by the city since 1951. During all of that time, can she even say she has done one thing for the benefit of the city? All the money and benefits that have been paid to this woman and others like her could have been better spent on public programs, or better yet helping the needy of this city.

Debbie O'Connor


Business as usual must end in Philly

Thank you for shedding light on City Council ("Not the same Council," Sunday). I wholeheartedly agree with The Inquirer's decision to not endorse any Council member who takes the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) money and seeks reelection. Philadelphia voters need to be reminded that the future of City Council members lies in their hands at the ballot boxes on Election Day. If we want a change in city government, then we must take an active role at the polls.

Taxpayers should be outraged that Frank DiCicco, Frank Rizzo, and Marian Tasco are eligible to collect their six-figure pension checks, retire for a day, and return to office. This sense of entitlement has to end. City Council is in desperate need of creative and innovative ideas. How much longer can we carry on with business as usual?

Carol A. Pasquarello


Politicians serving themselves

Mayor Nutter's reference to retiring Council President Anna Verna as a public servant turns my stomach ("Council chief says this is it," Tuesday). The terms servant and public servant are 180 degrees apart. With most politicians, the only people being served are themselves.

Andrew J. Anderson


Beware 'A' rating from Cato Institute

In extolling Minnesota's former governor as a model for Gov. Corbett, Kevin Ferris cites what he considers laudable examples of Tim Pawlenty's fiscal discipline: He faced down not only those awful tax-and-spend Democrats, but unions. Ferris also informs us that Pawlenty was one of only four governors to receive an A rating in the Cato Institute's fiscal report card.

If the Cato Institute gave Pawlenty an A in any category, he is certain to be A-rated by other astute and unbiased commentators such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and the National Rifle Association. Sarah Palin too (unless they bump heads in the Republican primary).

John J. Donohue Jr.



17th Amendment hurt the states

Leonard Boasberg is very much mistaken when he dismisses the efforts to repeal the 17th Amendment, which changed the selection of senators from state legislators to voters ("A funny way of showing it," Friday). In fact, this amendment eliminated the only means for the states to prevent the overreach of the federal government upon them.

With the direct election of senators, this federal legislative body was uncoupled from state control and we witnessed thereafter a tremendous increase in federal regulations and the imposition of unfunded federal mandates upon the 50 states. Repeal of the 17th Amendment would go a long way to restoring the balance of power intended by the founders.

Jay Borowsky


Be skeptical of 'repeal amendment'

In his thoughtful criticism of the proposed "repeal amendment," one point Leonard Boasberg doesn't make is that this amendment would intensify an already problematic feature of our federal system: the imbalance of representation in the Senate, where states with less than 20 percent of the nation's population possess a majority of the 100 votes. Even the two-thirds majority of the state legislatures required under this proposed amendment would still permit states with less than 35 percent of the nation's population to override congressional actions. So we ought to be more than a little skeptical when Rep. Eric Cantor (R., Va.) claims the amendment would get government working "for the people" again.

James Hessinger



Keith Olbermann will be missed

With the resignation of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC, liberals or progressives have lost a powerful advocate ("Olbermann's show ends," Saturday). Sometimes, by his own admission, he went over the top, but mostly he tried to be fair. I am sure the Fox network will start boasting how they forced him off the air, but nothing could be further from the truth. Throughout his career, Olbermann seemed to reach a saturation point. He resigned from ESPN, then went into political coverage, only to resign during the Clinton impeachment because of over saturation. I would expect him to pop up in the sports field for a change of pace. No matter where he goes, he will be missed.

Ron Costello



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