October 13, 2015
ISSUE | FORFEITURE LAW Drug dealers should not be protected Although State Rep. Jim Cox's legislation is well-intentioned and is not intended to hurt law enforcement, it would protect drug dealers and their illegally gotten profits ("Forfeiture law needs reform," Sept. 30). Under this bill, a drug dealer who becomes a fugitive keeps his illegal drug money. When a dealer dies before trial, the illegal money goes to his next of kin. When he thwarts a conviction by intimidating a witness, he keeps his drug money and property.
August 26, 2015 |
When a supporter of City Councilman David Oh offered to give beyond what the city's campaign finance laws allowed to his reelection bid, Oh didn't turn the man away. Instead, the city's ethics board said Monday, Oh told him to give to another political committee, which then funneled the money to Oh's coffers. Oh, an at-large Republican councilman seeking reelection, agreed to give the city $4,600 of the excess contribution and pay a $2,000 fine. In an interview, Oh said the mistake was unintentional and that what he did was legal before campaign finance laws changed.
April 18, 2015
A story Thursday on Pennsylvania Supreme Court races gave incorrect titles for candidates Anne Lazarus and David Wecht. They are Superior Court judges. The story also should have noted that Inquirer news staffers are represented collectively by the Newspaper Guild, a sector of the Communications Workers of America. While the CWA has made contributions in the race, the Guild does not have a political action committee and does not make political contributions.
February 12, 2015 |
IF YOU CAN do a decent Michael Buffer impersonation, now might be a good time to bust out a hearty, "Let's get ready to rumble!" The reason: Three of the city's Democratic mayoral candidates threw some jabs at each other yesterday, making this mayor's race feel for the first time like a living, breathing competition. Former City Councilman Jim Kenney's campaign got things started by lambasting state Sen. Anthony Williams, who suggested Monday that the School District of Philadelphia should consider accepting a $25 million donation from the Philadelphia School Partnership, an education advocacy group.
November 14, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Mitchell Rubin, the onetime chairman of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, pleaded guilty Thursday to commercial bribery and will serve no jail time for his role in the pay-to-play scheme involving the agency. Rubin appeared in Dauphin County Court to enter a plea to one count of commercial bribery, a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Under the terms of the plea deal with the state Attorney General's Office, Rubin will receive 24 months of probation, serve 100 hours of community service, and pay a $2,500 fine.
October 27, 2014 |
A 2010 federal law bars private money managers who invest state and local pension funds from making political contributions to state and local officials who hire private money managers. But wealthy hedge, buyout, and real estate investment magnates still can and do finance Congress members and national political committees closely tied to state and local politicians while also collecting fat fees from state and local pension funds. Last week, New Jersey and Philadelphia both acted on legislation that attempts to curb these conflicts of interest.
September 5, 2014 |
The official cloak of secrecy on political contributions made by companies working for the Delaware River Port Authority may soon be a thing of the past. The DRPA's audit committee on Wednesday approved a proposal to restore public access to vendors' political contributions. The full DRPA board will vote on the proposal, made by Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, later this month. "It's just common sense," DePasquale said Wednesday. "The public has a right to know who's donating to me. " "The idea of not letting this stuff become public is just silly.
August 29, 2014 |
A longtime aide and political adviser to U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) pleaded guilty Wednesday to concealing the misuse of $622,000 in campaign contributions and federal grant funds, in a case that appears to have led investigators straight to the congressman's door. Gregory Naylor, 66, admitted that he conspired with his boss - identified in court filings only as "Elected Official A" - to pay off a series of debts, including an unreported $1 million campaign donation, with grant funds and political contributions funneled through a series of nonprofits and consulting firms.
August 22, 2014 |
Philadelphia's 95-year ban on political contributions by police officers has been overturned by a federal appeals court, which found that the prohibition violated the officers' First Amendment rights. The ruling Monday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit came in response to an appeal by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, which argued that the ban emasculated the union politically by greatly reducing the funds available to its political action committee, known as COPPAC.
August 14, 2014 |
The lead prosecutor in the looming corruption and bribery trial of former top turnpike officials and vendors - a signature case for the office of Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane - plans to leave her position ahead of trial. Senior Deputy Attorney General Laurel Brandstetter is expected to handle pretrial arguments in hearing next week, but then depart from the Attorney's General's Office Aug. 29, according to people familiar with her plans. The Attorney General's Office declined to comment on the reports of Brandstetter's resignation.