June 5, 2015 |
STEVE WOJDAK never asked the impossible. He might have been one of the city's and state's most effective lobbyists, but Steve Wojdak would not have considered asking a legislator or governor or anyone else for a favor that they wouldn't want to deliver. "He had a way of putting himself in your position," said former Gov. Ed Rendell. "He would never ask for anything untenable. He knew his stuff. "You appreciate someone who understands the conflicts you have and difficulties you have in getting things done.
June 4, 2015 |
Stephen R. Wojdak, 76, a former state legislator from Philadelphia who became one of the most influential lobbyists in Pennsylvania, died Tuesday in Boston. Mr. Wojdak had been vacationing on Martha's Vineyard with his family when he suffered breathing problems and was hospitalized last week, said Kevin Feeley, a family spokesman. A 1992 Philadelphia Daily News article called Mr. Wojdak the "King of Clout. " He also was known as the "51st senator" because of his widely acknowledged influence.
May 14, 2015 |
FORMER STATE SEN. Vince Fumo went on Facebook yesterday morning and weighed in on the mayor's race. Sort of. Fumo shared a NewsWorks story about the "four billionaires" supporting state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and wrote that he'd choose their candidate over one backed by labor leader John Dougherty (who is throwing his money behind ex-Fumo protege and former City Councilman Jim Kenney). "Either those guys or Johnnie doc! I take anyone other than dougherty!" Fumo wrote. The four billionaires cited by NewsWorks are the pro-school-choice Susquehanna International Group trio funding Williams ads, and Gerry Lenfest - owner of the Daily News , the Inquirer and Philly.com - who has contributed money to Williams.
April 21, 2015 |
William B. Fretz Jr. and John P. Freeman thought they had hit a low point in 2009, when one of their biggest clients - and one of the state's premier power brokers - was convicted of corruption. As former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo headed to prison, their Montgomery County hedge fund, Covenant Partners, sagged under the weight of the recession and federal investigations. But the two were never charged, and Covenant carried on with the type of high-risk, high-reward investments that had made them millions.
March 26, 2015 |
PROSECUTORS yesterday objected to convicted former state Sen. Vince Fumo's request to end his supervised release early. "He offers no reason that he is unduly harmed in any manner by serving the full sentence imposed by the Court," Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Zauzmer wrote. Fumo, 71, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter to serve 61 months of incarceration and three years of supervised release, and to pay about $4 million in restitution, fines and other fees after a federal jury convicted him in 2009 of 137 corruption counts.
March 23, 2015 |
CONVICTED FORMER state Sen. Vince Fumo is seeking an early end to his three-year term of supervised release under the watchful eyes of the U.S. Probation Office. In a motion filed yesterday, Fumo's lawyer, Dennis Cogan, asked U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter to terminate Fumo's three-year supervised release after more than 13 months. "His punishments have been considerable and he has suffered much," Cogan wrote. "He is now almost 72 years of age. His health is not good and his financial losses have been considerable.
March 21, 2015 |
Matilda DeFlaviis Fumo could often be seen in the Independence Hall neighborhood, turned out as a well-dressed 18th century lady. In springtime and autumn, from the mid-1980s into 2009, Mrs. Fumo was a costumed guide for Centipede Tours. A very patient guide. The last tour that Mrs. Fumo worked alongside Centipede guide Sally A. Downey was especially memorable. Though the tour groups often consisted of local schoolchildren, this one was peopled by adults from out of state.
January 31, 2015 |
Jim Kenney and Kevin Dougherty grew up in the same South Philadelphia neighborhood, two kids from the block in Whitman who crafted careers in public service. The city councilman and Common Pleas Court judge are now aiming higher. And their ambitions align in a way that stands to benefit them both. Kenney, 56, resigned Thursday from his sixth term on Council and is now preparing a campaign for mayor. Dougherty, 52, is expected to announce in three weeks his bid for one of three openings on the state Supreme Court.
November 15, 2014 |
A LONGTIME close ally of disgraced ex-state Sen. Vince Fumo cut a deal with prosecutors and won't be going to prison for his role in a political-corruption scandal at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Mitchell Rubin, the Philadelphia political insider who once chaired the turnpike panel, will get two years' probation after pleading guilty yesterday in Harrisburg to a misdemeanor charge. Dauphin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Lewis also ordered Rubin - the husband of Fumo's onetime close aide Ruth Arnao - to pay a $2,500 fine and perform 100 hours of community service, after he pleaded guilty to one count of commercial bribery.
September 11, 2014 |
Like a run of convicted Pennsylvania politicians before him, former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo is beginning to build a postprison career advising clients how to work the levers of government. The president of the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said this week that his group had hired Fumo to provide it with "strategic input. " "He has unique experience both in the legislature and with the act" regulating gambling in Pennsylvania, said Salvatore M. DeBunda. "We felt that he paid his dues and he's allowed to go on with his life.