October 27, 1997 |
If Pennsylvania pols had a Halloween store, a big seller this year would be the Greg Vitali mask. Vitali is a 41-year-old Democratic state House member from Havertown who so annoys powerful pols with constant calls for reform that he just might be the scariest pol in Pennsylvania. He is, depending upon your viewpoint, a valiant reformer and public protector or a shrill crank with a showboat side. I tend toward the former. But then I like political fright. And Vitali gives a big-time case of the heebie-jeebies to the rich and famous in both parties, Gov. Ridge and pals and just about anybody linked to government paying out or raking in money.
January 30, 2012
WASHINGTON - Once a year, the people who run New Jersey take a walk to the nation's capital to hear the governor speak at a special congressional dinner. Or do they? At the annual New Jersey Chamber of Commerce dinner in Washington, reality isn't always what it seems. Held Thursday and Friday for the 75th time, the annual event is the Garden State's version of the Pennsylvania Society gala in New York City, as politicians, lobbyists, business executives, union leaders, ntonprofit heads, and journalists schmooze, booze, deal, and wheel.
December 16, 1986 |
If a special prosecutor is named to investigate former White House political director Lyn Nofziger, it would be the second to probe a former aide to President Reagan under the 1978 Ethics in Government Act. The special prosecutor, or independent counsel, would be expected to determine if Nofziger violated the ethics act when he lobbied the federal government on behalf of Wedtech Corporation, a Bronx military contractor, in May 1982, four months...
November 10, 2010
I LOVE THIS time of year - with its warm, loving and heartfelt solution-based political ads. Pols beat the heck out of one another, then kiss, hug and shake hands the next day. No wonder turnouts are so low. I know too well as a former ward coordinator and committeeperson that these pols will forget your name the following day. You knock on doors, hang lawn signs, make phone calls and wear stickers to get the vote out, only to have these people forget...
February 7, 2003
The Pennsylvania Convention Center mess has gone through the looking glass. Weirdness reigns and a person can be absolutely right and absolutely wrong at the same time. Take Gov. Rendell. He's right when he says this embattled gem needs experienced, professional management at the top. He's right that the crew of pols now calling the shots at the center - people united mostly by dislike of Mayor Street - made a mistake in naming City Councilman Michael A. Nutter, a vocal Street critic with little pertinent experience, as chairman of the center's board.
November 20, 2011 |
NEWARK, N.J. - Officials in Newark said that it's important the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey remain a major presence in the city if the school is merged into Rutgers University. Mayor Cory Booker, State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, and other local officials held a news conference Friday to express their concerns over the consequences of a merger. "Any plans for reorganizing UMDNJ and its assets must contribute to the continued vibrancy, strength, and growth of higher education in the greater Newark region," Booker said.
August 12, 1986 |
When old Bill Green was chairman of the Democratic City Committee in the 1950s, the party used to bring in big names to spruce up the annual organization dinners. Averell Harriman was one of them, and the reporters who covered him were struck not so much by his patrician tones - rich people were still thought to talk that way all the time - but by the respect he commanded from old Bill's precinct workers. Whether he smoked cigars, I don't know. But at Bill's soirees, he'd be surrounded by people who did; the cigars must have come near to asphyxiating him. There was nothing mellow about the cloud of after-dinner smoke enveloping old Bill's get-togethers; his people affected cigars that smelled like old street-car transfers.
March 1, 1988 |
More years ago than I like to admit, I worked on Capitol Hill, thus gaining the opportunity for a close look at the U.S. House of Representatives. It was a fascinating study in diversity. There were huge people like Tip O'Neill and Rogers Morton and petite people like Carl Albert and Shirley Chisholm. There were theatrical people like Dan Flood and Roger Zion and shy people like Bill Barrett and Bob Nix. There were patricians like Peter Frelinghuysen, blue-collar guys like Earl Landgrebe and country boys like Carl Perkins.
June 8, 1998
Warren Beatty is getting way too much credit for creating and starring in the current film Bulworth. The basic plot was written by Newt Gingrich, Tip O'Neill and senators galore - and the lobbyists who trade politicians cash for favors. All the Hollywood star did was to walk reality through a house of mirrors. But what a walk it is. Mr. Beatty realizes that Americans have become numb to this undemocratic, vote-buying racket. So, to get their attention, he puts a wildly farcical twist on an outrageous reality.
October 29, 2009
POLITICIANS GO ga-ga over sports. From using tax dollars to build stadiums, to attending big games with great seats in owners' or donors' boxes, to inviting championship teams to the White House, the state House, City Hall, wherever. Heck, our governor/former mayor even does an Eagles post-game gig for Comcast SportsNet. And, of course, there's ever-present "friendly wagers" among pols in cities and states that are home to competing teams, a show of solidarity with ordinary people - as in, see, I'm just one of the guys.