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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
January 17, 2016
An Inside History of the American Presidency By David Greenberg W.W. Norton. 640 pp., $35 Reviewed by Paul Jablow 'In public life it is sometimes necessary, in order to appear really natural, to be actually artificial. " Which 20th-century American president made the above statement? In the highly unlikely event you knew it was Calvin Coolidge, count yourself a scholar of spin. If not, you might find Republic of Spin , David Greenberg's account of presidents and their spinmeisters, enlightening.
NEWS
November 28, 2012 | BY CATHERINE LUCEY & CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writers
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.
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 14, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Some might call it ironic that the same crusading district attorney who created an election fraud task force last year is now violating state election laws. Demoralizing might be a better word. If the public can't trust its top law enforcement officials to abide by the law, who can it trust? For more than six weeks, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams' political action committee ignored an Inquirer request to review financial records from 2012 to 2014. The newspaper reported in August that Williams is the subject of a federal investigation into alleged misspending of campaign funds on personal expenses.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
January 17, 2016
An Inside History of the American Presidency By David Greenberg W.W. Norton. 640 pp., $35 Reviewed by Paul Jablow 'In public life it is sometimes necessary, in order to appear really natural, to be actually artificial. " Which 20th-century American president made the above statement? In the highly unlikely event you knew it was Calvin Coolidge, count yourself a scholar of spin. If not, you might find Republic of Spin , David Greenberg's account of presidents and their spinmeisters, enlightening.
NEWS
December 11, 2015 | By Howard Gensler
LOCAL BROADCAST TELEVISION stations gobbled up almost $3 billion in political advertising revenue during the 2012 elections. Four years later, the Television Bureau of Advertising yesterday began a public-relations campaign called "We get voters. " It features commercials, a website and sponsorship of political events, including one at next week's Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas. "Our goal is to send a reminder that television will be the key medium to reaching any voter," said Steve Lanzano , CEO of TVB. He said their campaign is aimed at political operatives - and the donors who pay their salaries.
NEWS
October 14, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
Some might call it ironic that the same crusading district attorney who created an election fraud task force last year is now violating state election laws. Demoralizing might be a better word. If the public can't trust its top law enforcement officials to abide by the law, who can it trust? For more than six weeks, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams' political action committee ignored an Inquirer request to review financial records from 2012 to 2014. The newspaper reported in August that Williams is the subject of a federal investigation into alleged misspending of campaign funds on personal expenses.
NEWS
July 3, 2015 | BY REKHA BASU
THERE ARE days in our lives that stand out as historic, defined by a seminal event that upended the world as we knew it. We can remember exactly where we were when we got the news on those days. When John F. Kennedy, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or John Lennon were shot. When the Challenger blew up or when the Twin Towers came down. Friday, June 26, was such a day. For all of America's deep political, economic and other divides, we knew that one gulf had been irreversibly bridged.
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.
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