February 23, 2016 |
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.
February 23, 2016 |
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.
February 20, 2016 |
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.
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.
February 17, 2016
By Roger Pilon 'A larger-than-life presence on the bench," said President Obama shortly after Justice Antonin Scalia's death was reported. And so it seems he'll be in death as well, as his legacy looms over the battle already underway to fill his seat. The constitutional vision Scalia left us is so opposed by the president that any nominee he finds agreeable should be summarily dismissed by the Senate's Republican majority. Could there be a better example than the court's unanimous decision a term ago that the president cannot make recess appointments to offices requiring Senate confirmation when the Senate is not in recess, and that the Senate decides when that is?
February 15, 2016 |
It was perhaps a new low in political discord when the mayor of Willingboro sued his deputy mayor for defamation last month. But then a process server interrupted a town council meeting and stunned the standing-room-only crowd when he approached the dais to deliver the legal summons. "He was trying to embarrass me. . . . People were outraged, saying it was unprofessional, disrespectful, and grandstanding," said Deputy Mayor Chris Walker, who was served with the legal papers at the Feb. 4 council meeting.
February 8, 2016 |
SAN FRANCISCO - The third time was the charm for Marvin Harrison. The Roman Catholic High School product was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday in his third year of eligibility. The former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver had been a finalist in each of his previous two years on the ballot. Harrison was one of eight people voted into Canton Saturday by the Hall's 46 selectors during a nearly nine-hour meeting. The others in the 2016 class are quarterback Brett Favre, linebacker Kevin Greene, offensive tackle Orlando Pace, former Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy, former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, guard Dick Stanfel, and quarterback Ken Stabler.
February 5, 2016
President Obama says Americans should demand a better political system by clearing out the undue influence of money. But voters have been making that demand for years only to see a smug political class ignore them. The Federal Elections Commission, evenly divided with three Democratic appointees and three Republicans, is supposed to enforce campaign finance laws. But it has been hopelessly deadlocked along partisan lines for years. Before 2008, according to Public Citizen, the FEC voted on about 727 enforcement actions a year.
February 3, 2016 |
Since the disputed 2000 presidential contest and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore , the law governing elections has become ever more contentious as the political parties vie for the slightest advantage. Seeing a growing market for legal advice on everything from campaign finance to congressional redistricting, Center City's Ballard Spahr law firm has created a practice group with 15 lawyers to guide political candidates, parties, and corporations through the thickets of case law, statutes, and regulations that govern political contests.
February 2, 2016 |
History has shown us that chaos follows the fall of a strongman. A power vacuum sparks competition among the ambitious, who often lack the juice to adequately replace the deposed despot. Which brings us to the first floor of Philadelphia's City Hall, where the three elected officials who supervise the city's elections are enduring their own version of an Arab Spring. It has been four years since Margaret Tartaglione, a politician so well-known that you can still just say "Marge" and everyone in City Hall knows who you're talking about, ended her reign as chairwoman of the City Commissioners after losing her bid for a 10th term.