September 1, 2016
ISSUE | ETHICS Gifts come with a cost The late Gov. Bob Casey had a rule: No gifts could be taken by staff. Period. This bright line seemed rigid, but it made life simpler and avoided any appearance of impropriety. Once you allow officials to accept even modest gifts, it can be a slippery slope to more serious gifts and conflicts ("How D.A. nabbed Eagles passes," Sunday). It is easy for public officials, most working hard and foregoing private-sector income, to feel entitled to perks.
August 23, 2016 |
She was just one happy face among the 1,400 upbeat people packed into West Philadelphia High School's gym last Tuesday to hear Hillary Clinton campaign for president. But State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown looked as if she were having an especially great day in the front row of that rally. Later, Brown posted on Facebook a photo of her and Clinton flashing broad smiles together. I saw it and I wondered, why is Brown smiling? Context, I decided, was the source of her joy. Brown, a Democrat who has represented a district covering parts of West Philadelphia and Fairmount Park since 2009, is awaiting trial on charges of bribery, conspiracy, and other corruption counts.
August 16, 2016
THE FRATERNAL Order of Police cannot condone politicians that violate the law. The FOP has backed Gov. Wolf, Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Mayor Jim Kenney. All of them support Sanctuary Cites for illegals, felons and terrorists. The FOP has to take on these politicians who support a policy that puts police officers in harm's way. The City of Brotherly Love for felons and the home of the Sanctuary City policy must stop. The Democratic Party cannot condone a policy that puts police officers in danger and law-abiding citizens in harm's way. The FOP cannot keep endorsing politicians who do not obey the law. FOP President John McNesby, you need to stand up against Kenney's felon policy.
August 11, 2016
An FBI raid of the home and offices of electricians Local 98 boss John J. "Johnny Doc" Dougherty doesn't mean he is guilty of anything. But the fact that the Justice Department keeps finding reason to investigate a union leader with strong ties to powerful elected officials is more than a bit unsettling in a city that only weeks ago saw a congressman convicted of corruption. Federal agents similarly searched Dougherty's home 10 years ago in trying to determine the source of mysterious bank deposits that they said suggested "an effort to conceal financial dealings.
August 3, 2016
Republican politicians face a choice. They can accept Hillary Clinton's invitation to abandon Donald Trump and prevent a redefinition of their party as a haven for bigotry. Or they can prop Trump up, try to maximize his vote - and thereby tarnish themselves for a generation. If there were any doubts about Trump's disqualifying lack of simple decency and empathy, he resolved them in an interview on ABC News over the weekend with a characteristically cruel and self-centered attack on Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the American Muslim couple whose son, Army Capt.
May 5, 2016
WHEN REP. Chaka Fattah was indicted last year, he expressed confidence that he would re-elected to the Second District seat he has held since 1995. "We'll have to live with the judgment they make," Fattah said, referring to voters in his district, but he reminded everyone that the voters had returned him to Congress again and again since 1995. The voters in the Second did make their judgment in the April 26 Democratic primary. It went against Fattah. He lost, by a wide margin, to state Rep. Dwight Evans.
April 8, 2016 |
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Katie McGinty, candidate in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, joined local union and political leaders Wednesday in opposing a turnaround plan for an elementary school in North Philadelphia. "If you didn't know the school was slated for essentially a destabilizing turnaround, you would never have known that by walking through the school," Weingarten said after an hour-long tour of E.W. Rhodes Elementary School.
April 6, 2016 |
A CITY COUNCIL committee slammed shut a door that had been closed five years earlier. At first glance, a bill to ban the sale of dogs raised in puppy mills seems to duplicate a law enacted in 2011, but bill sponsor Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, a self-described "animal lover," said it was designed to "close a loophole. " Vincent Medley, executive director of the Animal Care and Control Team, the city's animal shelter, told Council's Committee on Licenses and Inspections that as far as he knew, no Philadelphia pet stores were selling puppy-mill dogs.
March 15, 2016
AS A PHILADELPHIA resident who has made a deliberate decision to bypass Mayor Nutter's $2 cigarette tax. I will do the same for Mayor Kennry's soda tax. I do not drink coffee, so I get my daily caffeine via Moutain Dew. I was happy that tax-them-to-death Nutter was gone for good, only to have his clone follow him with the same madness. If I'm willing to go to the outlying counties to purchase my cigarettes, I'll do the same for my caffeine, as will other residents. What will the next step be - fine us if we don't give in to the madness?
March 3, 2016 |
In the second meeting in as many days on Philadelphia's ever-present problem of gun violence, a group of clerical and civic leaders concluded that stopping young men from arming themselves and shooting themselves and others has no easy solutions. "We are in a war, a real war, where casualties are every day in our community," Kenny Gamble, the Grammy-winning record producer and developer, who has focused his attention on the South Philadelphia neighborhood of his birth, said Tuesday during a faith-based roundtable discussion at City Hall.