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NEWS
March 20, 1987
It is now obvious that out of the four major candidates for mayor only two have spoken out against the Philadelphia Gas Works rate increase of more than $28 million. They are Edward G. Rendell and John Egan. Neither has been mayor and neither understands the importance of political patronage. Mayor Goode late last year had a difference of opinion with the PGW's two highest-ranking officials over its future leadership. Perhaps he discovered that there was a lot of patronage that could be "controlled" by him. Frank L. Rizzo knows that, since during his administration he dismissed UGI Corp.
NEWS
March 16, 1991 | By Jeremy Kalmanofsky, Special to The Inquirer
Gloucester County Freeholder Director John R. Maier this week was named to run a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Monroe Township - a patronage post that could bring the influential Democrat as much as $60,000 a year. Maier, also chairman of the county Democratic Party, was named by Gov. Florio to succeed Charles T. Kroh, a Gloucester Republican who has held the post since 1982, said Skip Lee, the department's acting director. Maier is to assume the full-time job April 1, Lee said.
NEWS
July 27, 1991 | By William J. Beerman, Special to The Inquirer
A judge yesterday dismissed a lawsuit alleging that two former Barrington Borough employees had been fired improperly because of their political party affiliation and union activity. The suit, by former Barrington Court Clerk Patricia Sullivan and former Deputy Court Clerk Linda Cooper, both Democrats, sought $1.5 million in damages from the borough, Mayor Harry J. Stone Jr. and others. Sullivan is the wife of former Democratic Mayor Robert Sullivan, who was defeated by Stone, a Republican, in November 1987.
NEWS
June 1, 2010
Another day, another example of waste in the General Assembly, as highlighted by the 28th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury. 'Friends and family' plan One reason for the bloated cost of the General Assembly is the party leaders' partisan patronage hiring. Meet Bernadette Runk, former director of human resources for the House Republican Caucus. Democrats have their own human-resources staff, too. The grand jury called Runk "an excellent example of the peril to the taxpayers posed by partisan staffing.
NEWS
September 1, 1987
It's not that anyone expects the Camden County Sheriff's Department to operate like a Boy Scout troop, but Sheriff William J. Simon seems to be intent on setting a new standard for sleaziness. Mr. Simon's office has found rather blunt ways to undermine the New Jersey civil service system, which was designed to ensure that qualified applicants are awarded government jobs regardless of their financial ties with the local political organization. Many patronage appointees, for example, were brought in as temporary workers on a "provisional" basis in place of applicants who ranked at the top of the civil service list.
NEWS
September 24, 1986 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Camden County Freeholder Joseph Milano, the bane of county Democrats since the party snubbed his re-election bid in February, yesterday blocked a $31,000 patronage contract because the proposed recipient is the Democrats' "friend. " Milano objected to the appointment of Edward T. McDonnell of Haddon Heights as a public relations consultant to the Solid Waste Department. "They should really get a professional for that and not a friend," Milano said at the freeholders' caucus session yesterday.
NEWS
October 28, 1988 | By Rich Heidorn Jr., Inquirer Staff Writer
Joseph Carroll Jr. was one laborer who didn't get his hands dirty at the Camden County Park Commission. New Jersey civil service rules define a laborer's job as "manual and unskilled" work, such as shoveling snow or digging trenches. Because no civil service exam is required, it is a convenient title for patronage workers. But Carroll, 21, who was hired to the $18,000-a-year job in January, is no ordinary patronage worker. His father is a Democratic freeholder who votes on appointments to the seven-member Park Commission and its annual appropriation.
NEWS
December 9, 1987
Webster defines government as "an established system of political administration. " That just goes to show how uninformed people who write dictionaries can be. Philadelphians know that government - city government anyway - is what hands out tax dollars in Class 500 grants and doesn't consider explanations or accountability necessary. Class 500 grants are a good idea that - like most things Council touches - has bogged down in power plays and favor-giving. The grants have always been a kind of patronage of last resort by which Council members' pet projects and organizations are rewarded with folding money.
NEWS
June 22, 1990 | By Aaron Epstein, Inquirer Washington Bureau The Washington Post contributed to this article
The Supreme Court yesterday dealt a crippling blow to political patronage by ruling that government officials may not base their hiring, promotion and transfer decisions on a worker's party membership and contributions. Justice William J. Brennan Jr., who wrote the majority opinion in the 5-4 ruling, said government applicants or employees should not be forced to support the political parties of their superiors to get jobs, hold on to them or "progress up the career ladder. " "The First Amendment prevents the government, except in the most compelling circumstances, from wielding its power to interfere with its employees' freedom to believe and associate, or to not believe and not associate," Brennan wrote.
NEWS
March 28, 1991 | By Maureen Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gloucester County Freeholder Director John R. Maier yesterday turned down a political patronage job worth $40,000 to $60,000 a year, saying the post would require him to work full time and would conflict with his freeholder duties. Maier, chairman of the county Democratic Party, was offered the position of head of the Division of Motor Vehicle Services in Monroe Township earlier this month and was expected to begin the job April 1. But yesterday, Maier said he decided not to accept it after learning that he would be required to work in the office at least 35 hours a week to manage a $310,000 budget and 13 employees.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 30, 2016 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer
Philadelphia Traffic Court died Tuesday after a decades-long illness. The cause of death: corruption. It was 48. Shepherded to its grave by a statewide ballot measure, the court was preceded in death by other antiquated city patronage mills like the Clerk of Quarter Sessions (2010) and the Board of Revision of Taxes (also 2010, although after only four months in the grave, that one rose again). It is survived by a string of its former judges who have either spent time in or are still confined to prison for crimes tied to fixing tickets in exchange for porn, concert tickets, or the simple opportunity to extend a favor to a friend.
NEWS
October 27, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ronald R. Donatucci's City Hall office is adorned with pictures of him with movers and shakers, politicians and presidents. But Donatucci, now seeking his 10th four-year term as register of wills, prefers to show off the thank-you notes from people across the city and the country who have gotten good service from his office. Or the glowing audits it has received. Or its overtime costs: none. "Not so bad for a 'patronage' office, right?" says Donatucci, 67, grinning widely behind his wooden desk.
NEWS
April 2, 2013 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - The new chief executive of the troubled Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says he's glad a scathing grand jury report is finally out, despite its damning allegations of political corruption and influence-peddling within the agency. "We all knew it was coming, so there is limited relief that it's here," Mark P. Compton said in his office overlooking the toll road, outside Harrisburg. "Now we can deal with it. " Supplied with the 85-page report, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane earlier this month filed criminal charges against eight men, including former State Sen. Robert Mellow (D., Lackawanna)
NEWS
February 10, 2013
Just two weeks ago, John D. McDaniel was a key operative to Philadelphia politicians and, not coincidentally, an assistant managing director for the city - a high-flying position he purportedly carried out at Philadelphia International Airport. Since then, the city ethics board has implicated McDaniel and Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown in misappropriations and misrepresentations of campaign contributions and expenditures; Mayor Nutter has unceremoniously fired McDaniel from his $87,000-a-year city job; and federal authorities have charged him with stealing from the councilwoman's campaign.
NEWS
April 1, 2012 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
New Jersey's scathing audit of the Delaware River Port Authority unearthed a way of doing business retro enough for a Mad Men episode stripped of its wit, style, and cigarettes. There's precious little glamour in the audit's depressing depiction of pals and pols burning through millions in public money behind closed doors. Tacky patronage perks such as $2,000 in tickets to a "Gypsy Melodies Gala" (imagine the outfits) look like a steal compared to other "wasteful and inappropriate spending" that state Comptroller A. Matthew Boxer outlined Thursday.
NEWS
January 26, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a potential blow to Philadelphia's diminishing political patronage industry, the city commissioners voted Wednesday to find a new process for hiring temporary Board of Elections workers. Democrat Stephanie Singer and Republican Al Schmidt, both elected last year on reform platforms, supported the proposal as a way to guarantee a quality workforce. The three commissioners oversee the city's voting system as the Board of Elections. Democratic Commissioner Anthony Clark, the only holdover from Margaret Tartaglione's reign as election board chair, voiced concern about the proposals and abstained from voting at Wednesday's Board of Elections meeting.
NEWS
December 7, 2011 | By Josh Gohlke
Arlene Ackerman's bid for unemployment benefits on top of her near-million-dollar buyout, revealed last week, shows there's only one way to stop her from asking for more: giving it to her before she asks. In that spirit, here are a few more ways the taxpayers can help the jobless former schools superintendent - before she forces us to. Job training: Retraining is an obvious option for America's legions of unemployed, not least Ackerman. Having spanned three cities in less than 15 years, her career as a big-city schools superintendent appears to be running out of large urban districts where no one will recognize her. But that doesn't mean Ackerman has to start over completely.
NEWS
October 29, 2011 | By Tom Infield, Inquirer Staff Writer
A former top official at the Convention Center alleges in a federal lawsuit that her boss, chief executive officer Ahmeenah Young, operated the billion-dollar facility as a patronage trough, steering a cleaning contract to a friend, using a credit card as a "personal piggy bank" for political events, and even stealing food. Madeline Apollo, who was paid $213,000 a year as chief financial officer before being fired in September 2010, comes across in a 39-page legal complaint as personally angry at Young, with whom she often butted heads.
NEWS
March 25, 2011
Have parents deal with bullies Thomas E. Perez and Russlynn H. Ali never mention the people who should first deal with bullies: parents ("Schools are failing to keep students safe," Friday). Children raised to respect others don't deride someone's sexual orientation, religion, or appearance. Parents who ridicule others, privately or publicly, empower their children to become bullies. The government tells schools to transform behavior in high-school children, yet when teachers and administrators attempt to reprimand or suspend bullies, parents blame the schools for not controlling their children.
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