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NEWS
April 30, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG A longtime good-government advocate told a Senate panel Monday that Pennsylvania's ethics and lobbying laws regarding gifts are among the country's weakest and must be "dramatically strengthened. " At a hearing before the Senate State Government Committee, Barry Kauffman, executive director of Common Cause of Pennsylvania, urged lawmakers to approve a ban that would elevate the state from its position behind states with expansive ethics laws. "The incestuous linkage between gifts, campaign contributions, and public policy must end," said Kauffman, whose group has advocated for tougher ethics laws in Pennsylvania for 40 years.
NEWS
April 25, 2014 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
U . S. REP. ALLYSON Schwartz yesterday accused her fellow Democrats in the May 20 primary election for governor of being "vague" in support of the Affordable Care Act, a/k/a Obamacare. Schwartz was mostly talking about front-runner Tom Wolf, a former state revenue secretary, who, like the other Democratic candidates, has publicly supported the law in his campaign. "Particularly, I think Tom Wolf has been evasive about expressing support for the law," said Schwartz, who this week started running a campaign ad on television, touting her role in helping to craft and pass the legislation.
NEWS
April 25, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Marjorie Margolies' fund-raising totals may have gone from minimal to illegal in the first three months of 2014, according to a complaint filed by one of her opponents in the 13th District congressional race. State Sen. Daylin Leach has told the Federal Election Commission that Margolies repeatedly broke campaign finance laws by spending money designated for the general election on expenses for the primary. Finance reports filed by her campaign show that Margolies ran out of primary funds on Jan. 15. However, she continued to make disbursements for her consultants, staff, travel expenses, and office supplies.
NEWS
April 25, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
Rutgers University announced a new chancellor Wednesday for its Camden campus: a former professor at Temple University's law school who is now the law school dean at the University of Maryland. Phoebe A. Haddon, 63, will join Rutgers-Camden on July 1, returning to a region where she worked for decades and the state where she grew up. "It seems like a great place for me to come to after five years of being a dean here. It has a real nice-size campus for the kind of work that I'd like to do," Haddon said Wednesday afternoon.
NEWS
April 23, 2014 | By Sandy Bauers, Inquirer Staff Writer
First you see a roof covered with solar panels. Then the native plants, where the lawn used to be. In the driveway, not far from the canoe, is an electric Chevy Volt. This is Maya van Rossum's house. It's in Bryn Mawr, which is in the Darby Creek watershed. Which drains into the Delaware River. Which van Rossum has adopted as her personal - and professional - mission in life. For two decades as the Delaware riverkeeper, she has championed the 330-mile river and its tributaries, source of drinking water for 15 million people.
NEWS
April 22, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, David O'Reilly, Michael Boren, and Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writers
A number of South Jersey counties and towns have rushed to make sure they can still avail themselves of a 2 percent cap on arbitrator-awarded raises to police and firefighters even with the Legislature at a stalemate over renewing the law that created the cap. Gov. Christie is prodding Assembly Democrats to extend the law. The Senate has already approved an extension. Just before the cap law expired April 1, dozens of towns and counties statewide filed for arbitration. Those decisions were likely precautionary; the contracts at issue all expired last year or earlier, and therefore were still subject to the limits on salary increases.
NEWS
April 19, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Alice Belew Lonsdorf, 89, of Gladwyne, a former assistant dean for alumni affairs at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a tireless civic leader, died Thursday, April 10, of pulmonary fibrosis at her home in Waverly Heights. "She was entertaining visitors and going to meetings until a week ago," said her son, George. "She was fierce about maintaining her activities until she couldn't. " A Fort Worth, Texas, native, Mrs. Lonsdorf graduated at age 19 from the University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in fine arts.
SPORTS
April 19, 2014 | By Phil Anastasia, Inquirer Columnist
New Jersey Assemblyman John Burzichelli says he might introduce a law to change the school-choice program to help "level the playing field" in high school sports. NJSIAA executive director Steve Timko says his organization is on board with the politician's efforts to stop the creation of "super teams. " We don't need better laws. We need better behavior. Burzichelli and Timko can get together and write a new law or come up with an amendment to the existing legislation or work with New Jersey's acting commissioner of education, David Hespe, to try to stop some unscrupulous school officials from exploiting the system in shortsighted pursuit of championship jackets.
NEWS
April 19, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Gov. Christie has named the dean of Seton Hall University School of Law to serve in the newly created position of ombudsman for his office - a step recommended by the review Christie commissioned as a result of the George Washington Bridge controversy. Patrick Hobbs will serve "as an independent resource to the Office of the Governor and . . . as an impartial outlet for employees to raise concerns," Christie's office said in a statement Thursday. Hobbs, who has served as dean for more than 13 years and is also chairman of a state watchdog agency, will be tasked with helping to hire a chief ethics officer and ensuring proper ethics training for employees.
NEWS
April 18, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
The law firm that produced the report that said Gov. Christie was clear of wrongdoing in the George Washington Bridge controversy recently donated $10,000 to the Republican Governors Association (RGA), which Christie leads. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher made the donation to the RGA on March 18, according to IRS filings made public Tuesday. The donation came nine days before the firm released its report on Christie's administration. Christie has been chairman of the RGA since November, traveling out of New Jersey to drum up donations for fellow Republican governors.
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