May 31, 1997 |
Throwing yet another political "Hail Mary" pass aimed at winning Tuesday's election on a proposed new stadium for the 49ers, the team has announced that all 5,000 additional seats in their new park will be reserved for city residents. The plan was announced by democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and team president Carmen Policy at a news conference Thursday, where a lineup of formidable female politicians was showcased to endorse the $525 million stadium-mall project. The news conference was a late attempt by pro-stadium forces to close a considerable "gender gap" among women voters, who oppose the project by more than 2 to 1, polls show.
May 30, 1998
Barry Goldwater will be remembered and revered for his brand of conservatism, but even more for the part of Goldwaterism that sadly never became the norm: bluntly speaking one's mind. That a straight-talking politician seems so rare is an indictment of a politics that operates like a feedback-loop between polls and pols. Not only do politicians feel safer recycling buzzwords swiped from focus groups, but for some of these characters, speaking one's mind, Goldwater-style, is based on a false premise: that they have strong ideas of their own. The Arizona Republican didn't need anybody telling him what to think.
May 3, 1992 |
If fiscal mismanagement, congressional check-kiting and rising taxes have left you angry, a cure may be as close as your convenience store. Not the packets of aspirin, or even the frozen grape drink. It's a free, preprinted letter sounding off at legislators and seeking fiscal responsibility. The letter is part of a month-long campaign by a Southampton-based group called We the People Say No More. Its members have placed boxes containing the letters on shop counters throughout the area.
July 2, 2010
REMEMBER door No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3? Today, the deal is political doors. The big difference is we never get to see behind any of them. "Dealing" is needed for cards and cars, but should never be used for an election or a budget. When we put people in office, we expect them to be making decisions with their conscience, and not deals. I will be dealing myself in November, and I want door No. 1 - honesty. Make no bones about it, or you'll be pounding on door No. 2 - and behind that is the bricks.
September 27, 2011
Here in the great United States of America, people often look down their noses at undemocratic third-world nations where the huddled masses can't get despotic rulers to consider what they think. Then there's Philadelphia, where the ruling elite also act as if there's no reason to fear the wrath of the public. In this city, apparently any action committed in the name of politics is reasonable, so long as no one dies. By that standard, several City Council members not only see nothing wrong with State Rep. Dwight Evans' using strong-arm tactics to get his way in awarding a charter-school contract; they are are angry at Mayor Nutter for having the gall to make public the findings of an investigation into the matter.
November 16, 1986
I was pleasantly surprised by the headline of an editorial of Nov. 6, "The Democratic Senate: Does it really matter?" Almost all of the news coverage of the election, including that in The Inquirer, has assumed a change of guard in the Senate would be of almost cosmic significance, and I am glad to see someone who shares my opinion that it will really mean very little, except for blocking some conservative judiciary appointments and social legislation....
April 5, 1988 |
There are two kinds of politicians - those already elected and those trying to get elected. Maybe there's really only one kind, because those already in office have to try to get reelected. That's why politicians live for positive public exposure. It gets their faces, names and messages out to voters and may garner a few more supporters come election day. State Rep. Chaka Fattah is running for state senator in the 7th District. State Rep. Vincent Hughes is running for a second term in the 190th legislative district.
June 17, 1996 |
Some people say we should hold public figures to a higher standard than we hold the rest of society. I used to say it myself. The idea is that a public official, in asking for the public trust, accepts adherence to a higher standard of conduct. He not only has to be "not a crook," he has to be "cleaner than a hound's tooth," (both descriptions applied - erroneously, as it turned out - to Richard Nixon at different stages of his career). I'm no longer sure it's such a hot idea.
December 16, 1999 |
Back in the '30s, my Uncle Fred, a collector of political jokes, told one about a president falling out of an airplane over an Iowa cornfield. When rescuers arrived, fearing the worst, they found a farmer behind his plow but no sign of the chief executive. Under excited questioning, the farmer confirmed that the great man had hit the ground right over there. Then where was he now? "Buried him," the farmer said. In his anguish, one of the president's men cried out, "Then he's dead?"
October 28, 1987 |
Is it not about time politicians become accountable to the voters for the promises they make during their campaigns? Running for public office is big business. It takes tons of green paper and PR, along with those indistinguishable parasites who grab what they can for their own glory, families, friends and financial contributors. You mean you never knew that politicians are not really for you and your family? Political parties are concerned with one thing: win, regardless how. Producing Garry Trudeau's biting political musical satire, "Rap Master Ronnie," at On Stage Theatre, is a frightening and nightmarish reminder of how good looks, ambition, greed, proper dressing, well-paid PR and well-heeled citizens looking only after their own backsides, backyards and backgammon, can and have taken over reins of government, destroying what they think is alien to their ambitions, their souls and their tax portfolios.