January 29, 2016 |
City Commissioner Lisa Deeley's push to have all three Philadelphia election commissioners keep daily work logs - and have their pay docked if they do not - was stalled Wednesday morning for lack of support from the two other commissioners, Al Schmidt and the board's chairman, Anthony Clark. When Deeley offered motions to explore the work-log rule and four other arguably less controversial steps, she could not get either colleague to second her motions at the board's meeting. Clark, whose pattern of not showing up at the office has drawn wide criticism, and Schmidt, who backed Clark's renomination as chairman earlier this month, both sat silent, looking down at paperwork in front of them.
January 28, 2016 |
One of the three city commissioners who run Philadelphia elections is proposing new rules that would make her and her two colleagues publicly account for their working hours - and lose pay if they don't. Lisa Deeley said she was reacting in part to the outcry over the reported work habits of the other Democratic commissioner, Anthony Clark, the board's $138,612-a-year chairman. "Since I've been here, Chairman Clark has been to work every day. However, it has been well documented . . . in the past, he has not been here," Deeley told The Inquirer.
January 26, 2016 |
WASHINGTON - Republican anxiety is growing in Pennsylvania and corners of New Jersey over the possibility that Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will win the party's presidential nomination. Tough races loom down the ballot in both states - most prominently Republican Sen. Pat Toomey's re-election bid in Pennsylvania - and establishment figures worry that the bombastic New York billionaire or acerbic Texas senator could make the GOP toxic to critical swing voters in both states. "Their presence at the top of the ticket would create serious problems," said former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, a Republican.
January 24, 2016 |
A day after the Committee of Seventy called for replacing Philadelphia's elections board and bashed its chairman for not voting, the board's sole Republican hit back, saying the watchdog group's leaders don't practice what they preach. He said they don't always vote. Al Schmidt, one of the three city commissioners, who oversee elections, pointed Friday to records showing Committee of Seventy executive director David Thornburgh had not voted in the 2013 elections - and that the previous head of the civic group, Zack Stalberg, missed elections as well.
January 23, 2016
"As it's been revealed over the last few years, and even the last few weeks, City Commissioner Anthony Clark's behavior is embarrassing and insulting to the voters and taxpayers of Philadelphia. His conduct also has serious and damaging consequences for Philadelphia's reputation in our state capital and around the country. At a time when the city needs political support from lawmakers from across Pennsylvania on important issues like school funding for our children, we can't afford the perception that we tolerate and reward elected officials who can't be bothered to show up for work.
January 22, 2016
GUESS WHO jumped on the bandwagon of reformers and others critical of City Commission Chairman Anthony Clark? Democratic Party Chairman Bob Brady. Brady told reporter Claudia Vargas this week that Clark was an "absolute disgrace" and should step down as chairman of the three-member commission, which oversees election operations in the city. Clark has long been criticized for his work ethic - more precisely, his lack of a work ethic. Rarely seen at his office in City Hall, Clark has no city cellphone and no email contact with the office.
January 15, 2016 |
Three former Philadelphia elections officials pleaded guilty Wednesday in Common Pleas Court to misdemeanor charges of violating the state's election code and were each sentenced to one year of probation. Under a plea deal, felony fraud charges were dropped against Robin Trainor, 56; Laura Murtaugh, 57; and Cheryl Ali, also 57. Trainor served as the judge of elections in Juniata Park's 33d Ward, Fifth Division. Murtaugh was the minority election inspector in that division. Ali served as a voting machine inspector in Point Breeze's 36th Ward.
January 9, 2016 |
Hours after he was reelected chairman of the board that runs Philadelphia's elections, City Commissioner Anthony Clark took steps Wednesday to cash in big. Clark, who has been criticized for not voting in years past, went to the city pension board and submitted his application for the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan, better known as DROP. The city's top pension official, Fran Bielli, said signing up for DROP means Clark, 56, stands to receive an estimated lump-sum payout of $495,000 plus interest if he retires on Dec. 31, 2019, when his latest term as commissioner ends.
January 8, 2016 |
City Commissioner Anthony Clark, who faced criticism over failing to vote for three years, will again head the three-member board that oversees Philadelphia elections. And this just in: From now on, Clark told The Inquirer, he'll vote in those elections. The decision to keep him atop the city's $9.6 million, 98-employee election bureaucracy came Wednesday morning, and a bit unexpectedly: There had been talk that newcomer and fellow Democrat Lisa Deeley might win the post. But when the board met in its sixth-floor offices at Columbus Boulevard and Spring Garden Street, Commissioner Al Schmidt, the sole Republican, nominated Clark, saying continuity is important for the board, especially when facing what he called "the challenges of a presidential general election" this year.
January 7, 2016
Commissioners to vote on leader The three city commissioners who oversee Philadelphia's elections will select a new chairperson Wednesday during their reorganization meeting. Commissioner Anthony Clark, who has been the subject of media scrutiny because he has not voted in many recent elections and he is frequently absent from the office, currently serves as chair. The board's sole Republican, Al Schmidt, is currently vice chair. Newcomer Lisa Deeley replaced Stephanie Singer, who failed to get sufficient signatures on her nomination petitions for the May 19 Democratic primary.