May 17, 2013 |
One of the most bitter and longest-running civil wars in Philadelphia politics came to an end this month, and almost nobody noticed. That's the price of irrelevance, which is perhaps the most charitable adjective one can use to describe the state of Philadelphia's Republican City Committee, a barely functioning party apparatus that often struggles to field credible candidates for offices big and small. For four years, the city's GOP has been riven into two blocs: an old guard, largely content to hold on to its share of the city's dwindling patronage jobs, and a cast of relative newcomers disgusted by the party's stagnation and insignificance.
May 9, 2013 |
TRENTON - State Sen. Barbara Buono's campaign fund-raising in her bid to be governor lags so badly that without a major push in the next four weeks, she risks not maximizing state matching money in her run against Gov. Christie. On Monday, Buono, a Democrat, reported having raised "just under" $1.9 million, including $1.1 million in matching funds. To be able to spend the maximum of $5.6 million on the June 4 primary, she must bring get close to $1.2 million more from donors.
March 14, 2013 |
The jobs may be on the verge of extinction, but that hasn't stopped 41 men and women from seeking election as judges of Philadelphia Traffic Court. That's how many candidates submitted signature petitions Tuesday to secure spots for the court on the May 21 primary ballot. The judgeships - if they continue - pay $91,000 a year for a six-year term. They don't require a law degree or even a high school diploma. "It's remarkable to see how many people are interested in running for a position that may not exist in a few months," said Erik Arneson, a spokesman for state Senate Republican leader Dominic Pileggi, sponsor of a bill to abolish Traffic Court.
February 23, 2013
It was good to see lawyers for and against the state's voter-ID law agree that the destructive statute should not be imposed for the May 21 primary. That means voters may be asked to produce a photo ID, but even if they don't have one, they will still be able to vote on a machine. Gov. Corbett signed the law pushed by Republican lawmakers last year to supposedly protect Pennsylvania from the scourge of voter impersonation. But when it had to prove the case in court, the state quickly stipulated it had no proof of hordes of voter imposters.
February 16, 2013 |
Lawyers on all sides of Pennsylvania's voter ID controversy want to postpone strict enforcement of the law until after the May 21 primary election, allowing time for the proposed photo-ID requirements to be considered again by the state's appellate courts. The attorneys, representing both the Corbett administration and various civil-rights groups opposed to the law, filed a stipulation Thursday asking Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. to extend a preliminary injunction he first issued in October.
February 14, 2013
That illusive struggle for fairness The friction and infighting on display at the University of Pennsylvania is a humorous and delicious irony for people like me, who are comfortably proud when grouped as Republican, conservative, libertarian, and/or tea-party "types" ("Penn faculty members, students debate Gutmann's diversity hiring record," Feb. 1). These individuals value and admire gate-crashers such as Marian Anderson, Jackie Robinson, Berry Gordy Jr., Clarence Thomas, and Barack Obama for breaking barriers against significant obstacles, real or imagined.
February 3, 2013 |
BRYAN, Ohio - Andre Cassagnes, 86, the inventor of the Etch A Sketch toy that generations of children drew on, shook up, and started over, has died in France, the toy's maker said. Mr. Cassagnes died Jan. 16 in a Paris suburb at age 86, said the Ohio Art Co., based in Bryan in northwest Ohio. The cause was not disclosed Saturday. "Etch A Sketch has brought much success to the Ohio Art Company, and we will be eternally grateful to Andre for that. His invention brought joy to so many over such a long period of time," said Larry Killgallon, president of Ohio Art. Then an electrical technician, Mr. Cassagnes came upon the Etch A Sketch idea in the late 1950s when he peeled a translucent decal from a light switch plate and found pencil mark images transferred to the opposite face, the Toy Industry Association said.
January 25, 2013
THE CITY COMMISSION, which oversees elections in Philadelphia, is refusing to cooperate with a "fact-finding team" appointed by Mayor Nutter last month to examine problems in the Nov. 6 general election. Nutter's support in 2008 for eliminating "row offices" like the City Commission seems to have helped spark suspicions about his intentions now. The three elected commissioners sent Nutter a letter last week, citing "growing concerns about the integrity of the fact-finding process and the value of its eventual recommendations.
January 12, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - The state's attorney general-elect is putting her money where her mouth is. Following up on a promise she made on the campaign trail last fall, Kathleen Kane said Thursday that immediately upon taking office next week, she would appoint a special deputy to oversee a review of how the Attorney General's Office handled the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse investigation. "We want to gather up the material and make sure the review is timely," Kane said in an interview.
December 3, 2012
7 feared dead in Japan tunnel TOKYO - At least seven people were feared dead after part of a highway tunnel collapsed Sunday in eastern Japan, trapping them in their vehicles and starting a fire that filled the tunnel with thick, black smoke. Three vehicles appear to have been crushed under concrete that fell from the ceiling of the three-mile Sasago Tunnel near the city of Otsuki in Yamanashi prefecture, about 50 miles west of Tokyo, the national government's disaster management agency said.