May 19, 2016
IF LAWMAKERS in Harrisburg want to look for a place with effective and enforced election laws, they do not need to look far. They can look to Philadelphia. Yes, Philadelphia. The city has a far tougher election law than the state of Pennsylvania. For one thing, the city has limits on campaign giving. The state has none. For another, we have the Board of Ethics to enforce the law. It tracks down mistakes and misdeeds in the filing or spending of campaign money - and has the power to levy thousands of dollars in fines.
May 17, 2016
THE STATE auditor general's report released last week that revealed the School District has a structural deficit hardly qualifies as big news. It isn't even new. The words "deficit" and "school district" have appeared next to each other for years. The district has been running a deficit for more than five years. In the past, it was so great that the district had to lay off thousands of workers, close schools, and cut its budget to the bone. The key word in Auditor General Eugene DePasquale's report is "structural.
May 13, 2016
THERE IT SITS on Page 57 of a report filed by the Friends of Larry Farnese PAC in 2011 - a single item in a filing with hundreds of entries about campaign money raised and spent: Bard College, Annandale. N.Y., $6,000, paid on July 8, listed as "donation. " Why would a Pennsylvania state senator in a district 200 miles away donate $6,000 to a small liberal arts school in upstate New York? The FBI and federal prosecutors have proposed an answer to that question. This week, they indicted state Sen. Larry Farnese for using that payment to bribe a committeewoman to support his candidacy for Democratic leader of Center City's 8th Ward.
May 5, 2016
In the Agenda, the Daily News examines a major issue of the day in Philadelphia sports. We frame the question and look at it from multiple angles, bringing you opinions from a sports staff unmatched in its experience. The Agenda runs every other week, only in the Daily News. Les Bowen What the heck. Three games. To give an answer that's more than a blatant guess, I'd have to know what's going to happen with Sam Bradford. If Bradford is gone when the season starts, and it's Wentz and Chase Daniel, my estimate goes up. Maybe way up. The Eagles' plan to keep pressure off Wentz, let him learn while Bradford plays, is a good, prudent one. It might not be workable, if Bradford continues to not be interested.
April 28, 2016
THIS IS THE season of the year when you can count on editorial writers and columnists to lament the lack of voter participation in elections. On Tuesday's ballot, for instance, voters were electing their party nominees for president, the U.S. Senate, and a variety of state offices. Early reports Tuesday suggested turnout was strong, but that would be an exception. Voter participation has been declining for years. With a sigh and a "Oh, woe is us," we end our lamentation. Now, to brass tacks.
April 27, 2016 |
(In the agenda, the Daily News will examine a major issue of the day in Philadelphia sports. We will frame the question and look at it from multiple angles, bringing you opinions from a sports staff unmatched in its experience. The Agenda will run occasionally, only in the Daily News). Les Bowen: I would press for a meeting to try to smooth this over. Take Sam out to dinner. (Jeffrey Lurie knows a nice spot in Fargo, N.D.). Reiterate that he's the QB in 2016, the team should be decent, if Bradford is healthy and productive he'll either be here again as the starter in 2017 or get a bunch of money from somebody else.
April 27, 2016
The main point in Tuesday's primary is not whom you vote for. The point is to cast your vote. We can't believe this has to be said every election. We also can't believe lawmakers in many states continue to try to make it harder for people to vote. Between 2012 and 2013, 41 states introduced legislation that would restrict voting. Laws were passed in 18 of those states. (Fortunately, the attempt in Pennsylvania was unsuccessful.) Those battles continue. If you're one of those angry voters who wants to buck convention and make a statement, the best way to do that is vote.
April 22, 2016
AN OUT-OF-LEFTFIELD candidate arrives and with a combination of charisma, message, and promise of a populist movement, captures something in the national psyche that, beyond all reason, propels that candidate to victory. In 2008, that candidate, Barack Obama, won the White House. In 2016, one of those candidates, Donald Trump, is the Republican front-runner. Another is Bernie Sanders. This phenomenon is not new; one could argue it's at the heart of all presidential elections.
April 21, 2016
DEMOCRATIC VOTERS will have a lot of strong choices on the ballot in Tuesday's primary. The headliner is Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination for president. We will have more on that race later this week. Voters also will be asked to choose among three candidates running for their party's nomination for U.S. Senate. The winner will face Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey in November. Three Democrats also are running for attorney general and the right to face whoever the Republicans choose as their nominee in the fall.
April 19, 2016
WITH A new grant of $3.5 million, the city's criminal-justice system could be making the most important change in the last 50 years, and reduce the city's jail population by 34 percent. That means going from about 7,500 inmates housed in the city's prisons to under 5,000 over the next three years. The project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation with a grant to the city's Criminal Justice Advisory Board, could not only ease the chronic problem of prison overcrowding, but also change how law enforcement and the judicial system handle criminal cases that enter the system.