April 10, 2015 |
MAYORAL HOPEFUL Anthony Hardy Williams paraded a band of his buddies outside on a chilly afternoon yesterday to endorse his candidacy. His allies hailed from City Hall and Harrisburg. City Councilman Curtis Jones emceed the event on 6th Street across from the National Constitution Center. The impromptu podium setup had no power for a microphone, but Jones felt confident in his ability to shout over the road noise. Jones made it clear in the intros that he wanted people to know "where they're from.
March 13, 2015 |
PHILADELPHIA didn't get the nickname Filthadelphia for nothing. Sidewalks, gutters, alleys and vacant lots across the city serve as litter zones for those who don't bother to find actual trash cans and recycling bins. Could it be that there are too few cans and bins in the city? City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown believes so, and yesterday introduced two bills that would require food businesses and some residential landlords to furnish their properties with trash cans and recycling bins.
March 13, 2015
THE LATEST arrests of three state lawmakers on corruption charges may bring familiar feelings of disgusted deja vu to state and city residents. The three - state Reps. Louise Williams Bishop and Michelle Brownlee and former state Rep. Harold James - became the latest crop of corrupt officials caught up in a sting operation, the center of which was lobbyist-turned-informant Tyron Ali's disbursement of cash gifts to lawmakers. None of the gifts, ranging from $750 to $2,000, was reported.
January 28, 2015
WHO GETS to make key decisions regarding the future of public education? Those who send their kids to schools? The taxpayers who pay for it? Lawmakers who provide school funding? Experts who study academic data and performance? The good news is that everyone has a stake in education. The bad news is that the most critical decisions related to how schools function are in the hands of a few: lawmakers who decide on how much money the schools get. In this state, those decisions are too often made in the absence of thoughtful analysis or a basic grasp of the facts.
January 22, 2015 |
LET'S BE honest: This is going to raise some eyebrows. Vanessa Lowery Brown, the indicted Democratic state representative scheduled for a preliminary hearing in her bribery case tomorrow, contacted police on Sunday and reported that someone had broken into her West Philadelphia rowhouse and stolen several of her belongings. Brown's state-issued laptop was among the items reportedly taken from her home, said Lt. John Walker, of Southwest Detectives. Brown, 48, apparently noticed that something was amiss when she got home from work on Thursday night.
January 8, 2015
GOOGLE a few terms - like "cheesesteak" or "Rocky" - and you'll get few references outside Philadelphia. The same holds true if you search for "councilmanic prerogative" or "councilmanic privilege" - the practice that gives elected lawmakers supreme power over development in their fiefdoms, er, districts. Other cities around the country have city councils, but privilege appears to be a strictly Philly thing. Council prerogative is not codified in the city charter, but in use nonetheless.
December 23, 2014
THE PARADE of Philadelphia politicians in trouble with the law seems to grow larger each passing month. Last week, state Reps. Ronald Waters and Vanessa Lowery Brown were charged with accepting bribes offered by a fake lobbyist as part of a sting operation. District Attorney Seth Williams is continuing his investigation of two other state legislators about their possible involvement in taking money from the same "lobbyist. " Last month, state Sen. LeAnna Washington pleaded guilty to using her Senate office staff to raise money for her campaign.
December 13, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Is Joe Sestak the Democrats' only hope? The former Delaware County congressman is running hard for a 2016 rematch against U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) in a race Democrats see as crucial to taking back the Senate. So far, Sestak is the only potential challenger to show real interest - cheering those who praise his fight, but worrying some Democrats who chafe at the hard-charging ex-admiral, and who would prefer an alternative but have found none. The race, theoretically, should have significant attractions.
December 11, 2014
WITH PROFOUND apologies to Clement Clarke Moore . 'Twas the month before New Year with a Wolf in the wings, And Pa. awaited his taxes and things. Republican leaders sat wringing their hands. Oh, what could they do to derail the Wolf's plans? The state of the state? A big fiscal mess. How best to fix it was anyone's guess. The Wolfman was ready, his team really eager, But prospects for GOP help looked so meager. "On Katie," called Wolf, "on Richman, Shapiro.
November 26, 2014
OK KIDS, in advance of that all-American holiday when too many eat too much of their favorite foods, I offer a sampling of the journalistic equivalent of yummy. For just as tasty turkey, gravy, cornbread or oyster stuffing, candied yams, greens, sweet potato or pecan pie excite the palates of your family and friends, delicious quotes from the public sector get journalistic juices flowing. Pennsylvania politics provides an all-you-can-believe buffet. There are far too many bon mots to mention.