September 12, 1994
Imagine a body that's cut vertically into two halves - a body with more than 200 parts, most of them weak. That sums up the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. It's sharply divided along party lines, and only a few members of the majority party have much power at all. The way Harrisburg is run, most representatives - even some from the majority party - have the devil's own time even getting legislation out of committee for a vote on the floor. There's something to be said for the discipline and focus on agenda that comes from strong party leadership.
February 3, 1993 |
The great rules furor that kept the state House from functioning properly ended peaceably yesterday, at least for the time being, when those who wanted reforms bowed to the wishes of Democratic leaders. Democratic mavericks have at least temporarily dropped their fight to reduce perks, such as their state-leased cars and per diem allowances, and to change operating procedures. In return, House Democratic leaders have rescinded their decision to cut the staffs of the renegades. As part of the agreement, which was approved 199-4, House Majority Leader Ivan Itkin (D., Allegheny)
January 6, 1999 |
With hands on Bibles, standing amid a sea of flowers and family on the House and Senate floors, members of the Pennsylvania legislature were sworn in yesterday, beginning terms that will steer the state toward the new millennium. Highlighting the day was the reelection of Rep. Matthew J. Ryan (R., Delaware), who survived a no-show coup attempt to win a fourth term as speaker of the House. Democratic leaders and a pair of dissident Republicans had talked of a challenge in recent weeks, but no opposition stepped forward yesterday.
November 1, 2008 |
Commissioner Bud Selig had decided beforehand that Game 5 of the World Series must go nine innings, no matter the weather conditions or whether Thanksgiving would be celebrated before he awarded the championship trophy. But in Las Vegas, nearly all the sports books played by baseball's old rules, which meant a five-inning, 2-1 victory for the Phillies over the Tampa Bay Rays at the time the game was suspended Monday night. Kenny White, chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sports Consultants, said yesterday that under Nevada state rules, if the top half of an inning is played but the bottom half is not when play is called, and the home team is trailing or tied, the game reverts to the previous inning.
January 14, 2011
An ethics complaint filed Wednesday alleges that the new congressman from Bucks County missed his swearing-in to attend a fund-raiser. If that's true, it's a pretty good sign that Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.) believes his main job is to raise money to get reelected. By effectively launching his reelection bid even before taking the oath of office, Fitzpatrick comes off as cynical or clueless. Considering that he held this congressional seat before being exiled for two terms by former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.)
January 22, 1986 |
The House Rules Committee, responding to requests from representatives, voted yesterday to open all House expense records to the public. The decision, which the full House is scheduled to vote on today, averted a messy legislative battle that some representatives had promised if the rules were not changed. "I think it's fantastic," said Rep. James C. Greenwood (R., Bucks), who had drafted a resolution to change the rules. "Score one for the taxpayers. " Greenwood said he had agreed to withhold the introduction of the resolution until the Rules Committee voted.
September 18, 2009 |
After the imbroglio over Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" during the president's address to Congress on health care, House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) released an updated primer for members regarding conduct on the floor and in committees. Under section 370 of the House Rules and Manual, it has been held that a Member could: Refer to the government as "something hated, something oppressive. " Refer to the president as "using legislative or judicial pork.
May 31, 1989 |
The Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, which investigates charges of wrongdoing by public officials, has opened a preliminary probe of embattled House Speaker Jim Wright's finances, department officials said yesterday. Previously, the department's position was that it would await the outcome of proceedings against Wright in the House, where he has been charged by the ethics committee with 69 instances of violating House rules. No explanation was immediately available for the policy switch, which means the Justice Department will now determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant a formal grand jury investigation.
April 20, 1989 |
House Speaker Jim Wright and self-described former call girl Pamella Bordes, a one-time researcher in Parliament, are pictured together in a 1983 photograph printed today by the British newspaper the Daily Mail. Wright is currently under investigation for alleged unethical conduct. Bordes, 26, is a former Miss India whose sex and scandal memoirs involving rich and powerful men around the world are being serialized by the London tabloid. The paper reported today in the second installment of her memoirs that the picture of her and Wright was taken in Wright's office on Capitol Hill before he became House speaker.
April 18, 1989 |
In a unanimous vote, the House ethics committee yesterday accused Speaker Jim Wright of 69 violations of House rules by accepting $145,000 worth of gifts from a Texas business associate and evading limits on outside income by disguising speaking fees as book royalties. Concluding their 10-month investigation, the committee's six Democrats and six Republicans agreed on the findings, which could seriously imperil Wright's grip on the most powerful job in the House. The bipartisan stamp on the proceedings muted earlier complaints by Wright's allies that the inquiry was a Republican plot.