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NEWS
June 15, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
With a fourth politician pleading guilty to corruption charges in the infamous sting investigation, it's clear that Philadelphia's dominant political party has let it down. Independent political movements are the most likely remedy. City Democrats have had many chances to clean up their mess since March 2014, when The Inquirer revealed Attorney General Kathleen Kane's mishandling of the sting investigation. Only District Attorney Seth Williams took action by taking on the case. It's dispiriting that most of the defendants - all Philadelphia Democrats - are getting off lightly, serving no time and probably keeping their pensions.
NEWS
April 6, 2015 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
As a boy growing up in Cherry Hill, Michael Perice was in awe of his rabbi, Fred Neulander. "I remember him standing up there in front of hundreds of people," says Perice, now a rabbinical student. "He was a master orator. He was magnetic. " But the boy felt betrayed when the rabbi he expected would someday officiate at his bar mitzvah was charged - and ultimately, convicted - in the lurid murder-for-hire of his wife, Carol. Perice lost faith in Neulander ("a sociopath") and in rabbis generally ("I thought they were phonies")
NEWS
May 5, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Where is the Federal Election Commission when you need it? With more money than ever swirling around political campaigns, the FEC should be making sure rules are followed. Instead, it's stuck in the same partisan funk that has debilitated the watchdog agency since 2008. That's when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) decided to gum up the works. By law, the FEC, created in 1975, has three members nominated by Democrats and three nominated by Republicans. The six are supposed to be nonpartisan, and they were for the most part until McConnell, who is now majority leader, chose three Republicans who made it their mission to act as obstructionists.
NEWS
February 2, 2012
The jury in Rep. Bill DeWeese's political corruption trial deliberated for six hours Thursday before breaking for the day without a verdict. The jurors asked for evidence to be brought back to the deliberation room, including copies of the transcript of DeWeese's grand jury testimony. Dauphin County Court President Judge Todd A. Hoover denied that request but allowed them to review several boxes containing leave slips that legislative employees submitted when they conducted political work during legislative hours.
NEWS
June 26, 1986 | By Walter F. Roche Jr., Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
In a move hailed by consumer groups and condemned by electric utilities, the state House overwhelmingly approved a measure yesterday setting new controls over what utilities can charge their customers. The bill, which also extends the life of the state Public Utility Commission, was approved on a 173-26 roll-call vote without a word of opposition. The vote came only a few hours after the compromise measure was approved by a six-member House-Senate conference committee.
NEWS
July 12, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
Unfortunately, there appears to be little likelihood that the Supreme Court will reconsider its landmark ruling two years ago that has allowed corporations to dump obscene amounts of cash into political campaigns without revealing their activity. Hopes that the court might come to its senses were dashed two weeks ago when it overruled a Montana Supreme Court ruling upholding that state's 1912 law banning corporate political donations. Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is calling for a federal constitutional amendment prohibiting corporate donations.
NEWS
November 10, 1986
After voting regularly for 40 years, I feel that we need a better way of maintaining political checks, balances and affecting change. The traditional Republican and Democratic Parties are today less important than conservative, liberal and moderate approaches to national problems. The 1986 political campaigns, with their personal attacks against candidates, discouraged the faithful voters and reinforced the feelings of non-voting adult children that "all politicians are corrupt" and "what's the use of my voting?"
NEWS
October 19, 1986
I was a reporter for 50 years before my retirement. I have always been a defender of press freedom, one of the great pillars of our free society. But such a privilege should be equated with responsibility. The Inquirer, in its Oct. 12 editorial endorsing Sen. Francis J. Lynch for re-election to the state Senate from the Second District, did not show much responsibility. Of course, it had the right to endorse Sen. Lynch, under the First Amendment, but it struck a low blow to Joe O'Donnell, Sen. Lynch's opponent, when, referring to Mr. O'Donnell's remarks about Mayor Goode, it said he had "injected a whiff of racism" into the political campaign.
NEWS
October 1, 2012 | By Michael Smerconish
Target wrote the book on targeting. The retail giant utilizes what's called "predictive analytics" to influence the purchasing habits of its customers. And now, that same level of sophistication is shaping our political campaigns as they seek to drive their vote to the polls Nov. 6. Two books tell the story when read in tandem. The first is Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business , which reveals how Target assigns its clients a code, referred to internally as a Guest ID, which tracks what we buy. What data does Target collect?
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 15, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
With a fourth politician pleading guilty to corruption charges in the infamous sting investigation, it's clear that Philadelphia's dominant political party has let it down. Independent political movements are the most likely remedy. City Democrats have had many chances to clean up their mess since March 2014, when The Inquirer revealed Attorney General Kathleen Kane's mishandling of the sting investigation. Only District Attorney Seth Williams took action by taking on the case. It's dispiriting that most of the defendants - all Philadelphia Democrats - are getting off lightly, serving no time and probably keeping their pensions.
NEWS
May 5, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Where is the Federal Election Commission when you need it? With more money than ever swirling around political campaigns, the FEC should be making sure rules are followed. Instead, it's stuck in the same partisan funk that has debilitated the watchdog agency since 2008. That's when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) decided to gum up the works. By law, the FEC, created in 1975, has three members nominated by Democrats and three nominated by Republicans. The six are supposed to be nonpartisan, and they were for the most part until McConnell, who is now majority leader, chose three Republicans who made it their mission to act as obstructionists.
NEWS
April 6, 2015 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
As a boy growing up in Cherry Hill, Michael Perice was in awe of his rabbi, Fred Neulander. "I remember him standing up there in front of hundreds of people," says Perice, now a rabbinical student. "He was a master orator. He was magnetic. " But the boy felt betrayed when the rabbi he expected would someday officiate at his bar mitzvah was charged - and ultimately, convicted - in the lurid murder-for-hire of his wife, Carol. Perice lost faith in Neulander ("a sociopath") and in rabbis generally ("I thought they were phonies")
NEWS
February 26, 2015
ISSUE | CITY HALL BUG J'accuse, Sam Katz Michael Smerconish's column on Sunday contained an extraordinary accusation by former mayoral candidate Sam Katz that I knew I was lying when I criticized the Justice Department for playing politics regarding the bug placed in the office of then-Mayor John F. Street ("No regrets on Street tactice," Feb. 22). Well, Katz is wrong, and here is why: Shortly after the bug was discovered, the spokeswoman for the Justice Department in Philadelphia stated on the record that the department would have no comment whatsoever about who placed the bug. Except, she added, it wasn't the Katz campaign.
NEWS
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?
NEWS
September 8, 2013 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
May 24, 2013 | Daily News Wire Reports
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.
NEWS
February 20, 2013 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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