February 21, 2014
The pay-to-play culture is so entrenched in Pennsylvania politics that campaign finance reform efforts have been about as successful as throwing a pail of water on a towering inferno. Never mind that polls show the public is increasingly frustrated with a political system that gives special interests way more influence over the public policy agenda than mere voters, whose taxes finance the lucrative government contracts and favors that the big donors to political campaigns get. Need evidence of this twisted arrangement?
September 8, 2013 |
It seemed a moment of triumph Friday for Bob Gorman, chair of the Moorestown Democratic Committee. "One-thousand, three-hundred and ninety-three. Awesome," he murmured about 3:30 p.m. as he made a final tally of the signatures on a petition he was about to present to Town Clerk Patricia Hunt. But as Gorman stood counting outside Hunt's office, township Republicans were already preparing to thwart his effort to give them a black eye. The petition, which Gorman presented Friday afternoon to Hunt, demands a local referendum on a controversial pay-to-play ordinance that the town council adopted last month.
June 18, 2013
As important as it is to find out the truth about the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative organizations to enforce tax laws, more emphasis should be placed on the broken political campaign-finance system that led to the IRS's unacceptable behavior. The nation's laws on who and what can contribute campaign money are so porous that almost any person, group, or company can spend any amount to influence voters - even if what they say is a lie. Inadequate disclosure invites foreign interests to get involved.
May 24, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - A group that aired a TV ad critical of Republican Gov. Corbett is the impetus for a planned hearing before the House State Government Committee, the panel's chairman said yesterday. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said he believes the Pennsylvanians for Accountability group is required to register as a state political committee and disclose contributions and expenditures because it's trying to influence the outcome of an election. He said the committee plans an informational hearing June 5. "They appear to be a political committee more than anything else," the Butler County Republican said, also citing the group's ads last year that targeted four Republican candidates for the Legislature.
February 20, 2013 |
Few are more steeped in Pennsylvania party politics than Democratic power broker David L. Cohen. The Comcast executive vice president has long been known as the go-to fund-raiser for Democratic candidates. He is credited as the chief strategist behind former Gov. Ed Rendell's successful political career, and President Obama in 2011 described him as a "great friend. " Now, just as the 2014 governor's race is beginning to heat up, Cohen says he will likely back Republican Gov. Corbett's reelection campaign.
January 10, 2013
WE Philadelphians hold these truths to be self-evident, that Ed Rendell, our former mayor and governor, is an irrepressible flirt who loves to be spoken about in terms of future potential rather than accumulated legacy. Proof could be found in Tuesday's New York Times , which cited "high-powered advisers" to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who are now searching for the city's next mayor. Among the big-league names floated: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman and . . . our own New York-born Rendell.
November 28, 2012 |
THEY'RE SOME OF the biggest players in Philly politics, yet you've probably never heard of them. They're behind the scenes, advising politicians, unions, public officials and CEOs on what to say, where to go and who to talk to. They strategize on political and issue campaigns, putting a spin on the facts to favor their clients, from charter schools to soda taxes. They are Philadelphia's top political media consultants, and what follows is a who's who of folks in the know.
November 23, 2012 |
PARIS - He faces the possibility of charges on allegations he took advantage of an aging heiress to get envelopes stuffed with illegal cash for his presidential campaign. His party is mired in an internal feud. And still France's conservatives see Nicolas Sarkozy as their best hope to return to power. It's a sign of how polarizing the former president is for the French: Many were suspicious of his close ties to the wealthy and threw him out of office; supporters see him as the only person able to save the country's economy and wish he'd return.