June 5, 2014 |
It may not surprise many people in Philadelphia-area politics that Zack Stalberg is leaving the helm of the Committee of Seventy to live out a Western fantasy. The 67-year-old former newspaper editor who took over the nonprofit watchdog group in 2005 has been a kind of ethics sheriff ever since. Stalberg announced Tuesday that he would step down as chief executive of the Committee of Seventy later this month. It is his second retirement and likely not his last. He and his wife are moving to New Mexico, where Stalberg hopes to ride horses and land a non-government-related job. "I want to do something that's different, that gets me outdoors," the former editor of the Philadelphia Daily News said Thursday.
February 2, 2013 |
It was almost like the idle wish of someone on the way to Traffic Court to face yet another $30-a-month levy on top of existing now-to-eternity payment plans: What if, just for today, all of the judges got arrested? Indeed, on a day when nine current or former judges were appearing before judges, most courtrooms were empty in the Traffic Court building at Eighth and Spring Garden Streets. "We're down a fair number of judges due to suspensions, retirements, and indictments," said Administrative Judge Gary S. Glazer, brought in a year ago to change the culture at the now-hobbled Traffic Court.
January 2, 2013
By Neal Gabler As we edged closer to the "fiscal cliff," some observers said we should take a page from Steven Spielberg's Lincoln . The film tells the story of how the president managed to steer the 13th Amendment - which outlawed slavery, finishing what was started by the Emancipation Proclamation 150 years ago today - through an inhospitable House of Representatives. On one side were Democrats who opposed outlawing slavery on the grounds that it would confer an equality that blacks should not have.
December 10, 2012
As you wake up this morning and open your Sunday paper - or, more likely, check your mobile phone for news updates - rest assured that your city is in good hands. One hundred miles up the turnpike, your elected officials, business leaders, lobbyists, enablers, and media mavens are waking, bleary-eyed, after the weekend party-a-thon that is Pennsylvania Society. It's been going on since 1899, this swanky soiree of our state's power elite, in which the same few hundred usual suspects shuttle from one Waldorf-Astoria ballroom to another, from the Cozen O'Connor to the Duane Morris parties.
July 9, 2012 |
It seems as if we just had a mayoral election, but that hasn't stopped the band of usual suspects — the lawyers, lobbyists, union bosses, and political hacks who run this town — from beginning to buzz about the 2015 race. They're up to their usual machinations, discussing who's in, who's out, who's a pretender, and how the black vote will split among the assortment of presumed black candidates. We've seen this movie before. If this crowd were as passionate about governing as it is about seizing power, maybe Philadelphia wouldn't be the most violent, least educated, and highly taxed big city in America.
June 17, 2012 |
Five men are arrested at 2:30 in the morning trying to break into a sixth-floor office suite. The initial Washington Post story says there was "no immediate explanation as to why the five suspects would want to bug the Democratic National Committee offices or whether or not they were working for any other individuals or organizations. " The White House press secretary describes it as "a third-rate burglary. " Forty years ago today, the greatest political scandal of the 20th century began to unfold, an episode that would change American politics, transform the way journalism is practiced, alter the relationship between government and the public around the globe, and reshape the English language.
April 27, 2012 |
It was refreshing to see primary voters in two Philadelphia legislative districts say no to politics as usual by rejecting an old-guard Democratic House member and turning away a newcomer who pinned her hopes on being the namesake daughter of the man who had held that office. The apparent defeat in the 182d District of State Rep. Babette Josephs, 71, not only paves the way for the election of Pennsylvania's first openly gay state lawmaker, but also served as savvy Center City voters' rejection of unsavory — not to mention silly — campaign tactics.
April 5, 2012 |
Earlier this year, Trenton-based Republican consultant Rich Ambrosino's phone started ringing off the hook. It had just become public that one of New Jersey's most powerful political figures, George E. Norcross III, was part of an investor group looking to buy Philadelphia Media Network, the parent company of The Inquirer, and other politicians were worried, Ambrosino said. "The political culture being what it is, there's always going to be Republicans saying, 'He's doing it to influence public policy outcomes,' " he said.
August 19, 2011 |
JEROME J. SHESTACK was a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, a former president of the American Bar Association, a mover and shaker in law, politics and culture. But he might like to be remembered chiefly for his record on human rights. Shestack, who died yesterday at age 86, was appalled by the violence that people heap upon each other in the world, sometimes seeing it with his own eyes, and ached to do something about it. As chairman of the International League for Human Rights and the U.S. representative on the United Nations Human Rights Council, Shestack often gave voice to his feelings.
March 27, 2011
HARRISBURG - Behind the mahogany doors of a state Capitol meeting room, witnesses wilted under an inquisition about the massive federal health-care law. "Can you explain to us in further detail how [the law] imposes a financial and administrative burden on the states?" Rep. Joe Pitts (R., Pa.), chairman of a U.S. House subcommittee, asked state Acting Insurance Commissioner Michael F. Consedine. What he meant was: Just how awful is Obamacare? Democratic protesters and labor activists outside the room Wednesday were chanting "We won't go back!"