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NEWS
March 24, 2016
ISSUE | SUPREME COURTS Conduct board best suited to investigate To clarify my comments quoted in the Inquirer Sunday ("Judicial board: Tough enough?"): In reviewing the emails that Attorney General Kathleen Kane provided to the Supreme Court in late 2014, the court directed me to focus on three areas of immediate concern: pornography; improper communications about cases; and relationships that could require recusal. However, while these were my main focus, the court also asked me to report any other violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
NEWS
March 22, 2016
ISSUE | SPECIAL ELECTIONS Better to save money and get a larger turnout Special Pennsylvania House elections last week produced the wasteful spending and low turnout associated with such votes on days other than primary or general election days ("Democrats easily win Pa. House special elections," Wednesday). Such elections cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. The turnout for two special elections in Philadelphia was less than 10 percent, while 16 percent voted in an election in Westmoreland County.
NEWS
March 17, 2016 | By Chris Brennan, Staff Writer
Two Philadelphia Democrats with strong ties to their party's local establishment easily won low-turnout special elections Tuesday to fill a pair of vacant seats in the state House. Tonyelle Cook-Artis, longtime chief of staff to former State Rep. Cherelle Parker and former aide to then-City Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco, bested Republican Latryse McDowell to win the 200th District seat. Parker, who won a 2005 special election in the 200th District, which covers Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy, resigned in January to take a seat on City Council.
NEWS
March 16, 2016
ISSUE | RIDE-SHARING Leaders, shun Uber Consider how many of Philadelphia's progressive Democrtats and elected officials oppose discriminatory practices, want companies to pay at least the minimum wage, believe multinational corporations have too much power, and support the right of collective bargaining for wages and benefits. Then consider how many of those people support the ride-sharing services UberX, Uber Pool, and Lyft. Here are some facts about Uber and Lyft: They are multinational corporations.
NEWS
March 15, 2016 | By Chris Brennan, Columnist
The Republicans who control the state House so often seem to hate spending taxes on just about anything. So why did they authorize spending some $350,000 to hold special elections in Philadelphia on Tuesday for two vacant state House seats just six weeks before a primary election? I wanted to ask House Speaker Mike Turzai, an Allegheny County Republican who rarely misses a chance to cast himself as a fiscal conservative, that question, but he declined to be interviewed. Maybe he has a soft spot for special elections.
NEWS
March 14, 2016 | By Patricia Madej, Staff Writer
In the shadow of Florida and Ohio's Tuesday presidential primaries, voters in West and Northwest Philadelphia are about to fill two seats left empty in the state House. But if the race for president is red-hot, the special elections for those seats aren't. The seats were left vacant by Democrats Cherelle Parker in the 200th District, who was elected to City Council in November, and Louise Williams Bishop in the 192nd District. Bishop resigned after pleading no contest in December to a misdemeanor charge arising from a sting investigation in which she and other legislators were caught on tape accepting cash from a lobbyist.
NEWS
February 23, 2016 | By Claudia Vargas, Staff Writer
Philadelphia spends nearly $400,000 on salaries for three elected city commissioners to oversee the dozens of city employees who prepare year-round for elections. That is $100,000 more than is allotted for New York City's 10 commissioners, who oversee a system more than four times larger than Philadelphia's. Chicago also spends much less ($246,819) than Philadelphia on its three elections commissioners. And across the state, Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, spends $108,000 on the three members of the election board, who also have other county legislative and administrative duties.
NEWS
February 23, 2016 | By R. Lance Holbert
The race to become the president of the United States is a protracted affair, more of a marathon than a sprint. However, once formal caucus and primary voting begins, the natural fluctuations of an election become more evident. A candidate could be resting comfortably at the top of the polls one minute and slide to the back of the pack the next. As with past years, the first four states to make their choices (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada) help decide which candidates are able to make a pitch to Pennsylvania voters.
NEWS
February 20, 2016 | By Claudia Vargas, Staff Writer
A retired Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge with deep roots in the city was elected Thursday to the Board of Revision of Taxes. Eugene Maier, 78, will fill the vacancy created when the BRT's chairman, Russell Nigro, resigned Dec. 31, 2015, court spokesman Marty O'Rourke said. Maier was elected during a closed meeting of about 60 city judges. The vote tally was not disclosed. Maier will join the six other members of the board, all of whom were appointed to six-year terms: Eugene P. Davey, James Dintino, Wayne A. Johns, Anthony Lewis Jr., Robert Nix III, and Alan K. Silberstein, a former Municipal Court judge.
NEWS
February 17, 2016
In most presidential elections, Supreme Court nominations are a major issue for elites and a substantial concern for significant parts of the conservative movement. Other voters usually see the future makeup of the court as a side matter or as not essential to their decisions at all. Justice Antonin Scalia's death on Saturday will change this. The issue of conservative judicial activism had already begun to take hold among liberals because of a series of fiercely ideological and precedent-shattering 5-to-4 decisions.
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