January 29, 1998 |
It is, as Joe Klein observes in the New Yorker, the Krakatoa of bimbo eruptions. President Clinton's alleged dalliance with a young intern could bring down his administration. And it raises a question: What are the chances of a major political scandal here? The last juicy local scandal was Abscam in 1979 and 1980, when some FBI agents dressed up as sheiks and plumbed the venality of Philadelphia's political class. The result: Three city councilmen and a congressman took bribes.
September 6, 1997 |
Ending months of anticipation, President Clinton yesterday nominated Rep. Thomas M. Foglietta (D., Pa.) to be U.S. ambassador to Italy. If confirmed by the Senate, Foglietta would replace career foreign service officer Reginald Bartholomew in Rome. Foglietta said yesterday that he would resign his First Congressional District seat if and when he is confirmed. "I'm extremely honored and very, very happy," said Foglietta, 68. "For the grandson of immigrants to finally get nominated by the President to represent the country of his heritage is a fantastic thing.
May 14, 1995 |
It was not what I had been taught in Government 101. On a cold morning in winter 1982, the City Council chambers were packed with homemakers and working people and the elderly - all there to support a man from their neighborhood who always seemed to find city money for the boys' club and a job for an uncle. A man who attended civic meetings as regularly as the faithful attended church. Of course, the parish priest was there, too, waiting to see if Harry P. Jannotti of the Seventh District would be reinstated as an active member of City Council.
July 30, 1994 |
Former Camden Mayor Angelo J. Errichetti was in stable condition yesterday at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, recovering from a heart attack he had early Monday. Errichetti, 65, underwent a cardiac catheterization yesterday to determine the extent of arterial damage, hospital officials said. At the family's request, officials would not release results of the test, which uses a tube to probe the arteries, or say whether heart-bypass surgery would be required. Errichetti's wife, Dorothy, said doctors had told her that surgery was likely, but that no final decision had been made.
July 1, 1994 |
Jimmy Tayoun is sitting in the shadows of his Middle East restaurant on Chestnut Street. The door opens and a figure is framed by the hot morning sunlight. It's his old buddy, Lenny. "I've been looking for you, you bum!" Tayoun says as the two men embrace like a couple of old bears. "You slob, you!" Lenny says. They both laugh. Tayoun is home. Back from three years at a federal prison camp in rural Minersville, where he did time for taking and delivering bribes. But the joint didn't beat down the ex-city councilman's entrepreneurial touch.
June 3, 1994
So we have former City Councilman Leland M. Beloff, a shakedown artist who "attempted to make municipal government a branch of the local mob," according to the judge who sentenced him, unanimously elected Democratic chairman of his old ward in South Philadelphia. Unanimously. And Beloff fresh out of prison. Even if this were a first, Beloff's easy return to political favor would be remarkable. He and his associates, including former Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo Scarfo, tried to extort $1 million for a zoning approval.
October 26, 1992 |
Two years ago, the Democrats came within 151 votes of losing the 175th state legislative seat that serves Bridesburg and Frankford. Then last year, the map-makers in Harrisburg took over - it was time for re-districting. They reshaped the 175th, stretching it along the Delaware River from Society Hill through Frankford, cleansing it of some troublesome Republican areas. It is now much friendlier terrain for Democratic candidate Marie Lederer. Lederer, a veteran party loyalist from a well-known Philadelphia political family, has an energetic opponent in Republican Joe Lonergan, a weekly newspaper publisher and a newcomer to politics.
February 20, 1992 |
Some late suggestions for a new Philadelphia slogan (from LEN ROSEN): Philadelphia, where Camden really starts. The city in debt up to its armpits. Philadelphians don't mind living there but they wouldn't want to visit. Where crooks either get shot or elected. The city that gave ABSCAM the Welcome Mat. The city that builds high-rises to get away from it all. The city of teaching hospitals and plenty of reasons to die. The city of Catch-22s and catchers who hit .222.
January 7, 1992
JUDGE DEMPSEY SHOULD KNOW THE CONSTITUTION Several years ago, in one of the Abscam cases, former City Councilman Harry Jannotti was found guilty of conspiring to violate the federal Hobbs Act, which condemns official extortion affecting interstate commerce, and was sentenced to a fine and six months in jail. However, in 1987, he decided to run for Council again and filed his nominating petition. That was challenged. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the essence of the federal crime of which Jannotti had been convicted was bribery, and that his crime was "infamous" within the meaning of the Constitution.
October 25, 1991
Gutsy, tireless, State Rep. Connie McHugh asks a darn good question in her slugfest against the Democratic machine that has owned - and soiled - the City Council seat in the First District: Aren't you tired of seeing your councilmen wearing prison stripes? Indeed, Leland Beloff and Jimmy Tayoun, the last two councilmen from the First, which snakes along Philadelphia's southeastern edge, have been convicted and sent up the river for crude, money-grubbing, office-selling schemes.