June 27, 2016
Raymond Bateman New Jersey lawmaker, 88 Raymond Bateman, 88, a veteran New Jersey lawmaker who helped create the Garden State's county college system and once ran for governor, died early Saturday after a brief illness. Mr. Bateman's death was announced by his son, Christopher "Kip" Bateman, a Republican who now holds the state Senate seat from Somerset County that his father once occupied. Family members said Mr. Bateman he had recently suffered from pneumonia after breaking his shoulder.
June 27, 2016 |
The word went out loudly when the votes were cast: Philadelphia's tax on sweetened drinks made history as the first of its kind enacted by a major U.S. city. But the vote also was extraordinary in a quieter way - a rare example of City Council navigating a contentious issue without Council President Darrell L. Clarke squarely behind the wheel. Instead, new Council members formed their own allegiances. Old members strengthened their bonds with outsiders and with Mayor Kenney. And Clarke, it seemed to many in City Hall, wound up in the backseat, voting for a tax he has always professed to hate after seeing it could pass without his support.
January 31, 2016 |
When Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon talks about past campaigns - a second-floor headquarters, maps lit up in highlighters, knocking on door after door - you get a sense that the lulls between elections must be torturous for him. "I mean, it's exhilarating. I love the action," he says, his eyes wide, a caged-in smile resting in the corners of his mouth. "Give me the ball," he says, the grin spreading. "Just give me the ball. " Maybe that's why Henon, after winning his second term unopposed, set his sights on Council's second-most-powerful post, often viewed as the heir apparent to the presidency: majority leader.
January 6, 2016 |
Philadelphia City Council welcomed five new members Monday and opted for a slight shift in leadership, retaining Darrell L. Clarke as president while replacing the majority leader. After taking his oath, Clarke outlined in broad brushstrokes an agenda for the new term: addressing poverty, building community schools, preparing students for the workforce, and overhauling the criminal justice system. On the last point, Clarke said he would propose "significant" reforms to the city's justice system within the next week, but did not offer specifics.
November 3, 2015 |
The Democratic primary election for mayor of Philadelphia ended 5 1/2 months ago, but the political fallout still reverberates in City Hall and may affect - among other things - how City Council governs itself for the next four years. Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., seeking a third term, is unopposed on Tuesday's ballot. But Jones, the Democratic majority leader since 2012, faces a serious challenge in retaining that coveted Council post. Jones had an interest in Council President Darrell L. Clarke's job last year as Clarke took his time pondering a run for mayor.
March 4, 2015 |
CONGRESS is sick. In fact, it may be the most ailing of all American institutions. If it were a corporation, it would have gone out of business by now and its officers would all be in jail for a variety of infractions - hubris, lack of ethics, taking money under false pretenses, outright fraud or, even worse, utter incompetence. Actually, those allegations would apply to most of its membership, not just its so-called leadership, which mainly doesn't exist. Statesmanship is an untranslatable foreign word to these guys.
February 9, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Controversy has nipped at Erik Arneson's heels over the nearly two decades he served as a spokesman for Senate Republicans. His first boss, Sen. David "Chip" Brightbill, became majority leader after his predecessor was sent to jail for corruption. Brightbill, of Lebanon County, was ousted in 2006 over an ill-fated legislative pay raise. And Arneson's last boss, Sen. Dominic Pileggi of Delaware County, was pushed out as majority leader in a coup last fall. But now Arneson, 44, for years the affable face of Senate Republicans, is at the center of his own high-profile storm.
February 8, 2015 |
State Sen. Dominic Pileggi, a Delaware County Republican who was ousted as Senate majority leader in November, will run for a seat as a county judge. His announcement Friday marked a potential change in career paths for Pileggi, who spent eight years as Senate majority leader, is a former Chester mayor and a key political figure in Delaware County. He will seek a vacant seat on the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. "I'm proud of my accomplishments representing the residents of of the 9th District, but as an attorney I've always had a strong interest in how our legal system is administered and a great respect for the Delaware County bench," Pileggi said in an announcement.
February 4, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - At Gov. Wolf's inaugural last month, new House Majority Leader Dave Reed was among those seated in the A-list section outside the Capitol. After the ceremony, a state official turned to Reed, looking for a program. Reed told him he did not know where there was an extra one. The official, whom Reed declined to name, responded by saying, "If you want your boss, the governor, to be successful, you'd better know where the programs are. " Without missing a beat, Reed replied, "My apologies, sir. " It happens that way for Reed - a lot. At 36, he more closely resembles the star athlete who just got named president of his college fraternity than a six-term lawmaker just elected leader of the Republican House majority in the nation's sixth most populous state.
January 14, 2015
THE NEW state House majority leader, one of the most powerful posts in Harrisburg, isn't exactly a carbon copy of leaders in Pennsylvania. In fact, Dave Reed, of rural Indiana County, "Christmas Tree Capital of the World," seems an odd fit for leadership in a legislature known for sameness. He was sworn in last week. He's far from the same ol', same ol'. He's in the party of old men but, at 36, is the youngest GOP legislative leader in the state's modern history. He started life in a trailer park, but holds an Ivy League master's degree from Penn's Fels Institute of Government.