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.
May 6, 1998 |
A decade ago, people talked about "lifestyles" and how they intended to preserve them. Today, the talk is all about "quality of life. " And in Harrisburg and Philadelphia, the pols are listening. Quality of life has become the organizing principle for legislation that many pols hope will ensure their political futures - along with those of their constituents' neighborhoods. Battle lines are being drawn, and the targets are the punks and thugs who have spurred the exodus of taxpayers from Philadelphia.
March 19, 2006 |
In the end, the crimes that ended Rick Mariano's political career were tailor-made for the man who spent a decade representing a struggling swatch of lower Northeast Philadelphia. Other crooked Philly pols have reached for the stars, conspiring with mobsters or taking bribes from purported Arab sheikhs. But Mariano, the ultimate neighborhood guy, was felled by just under $30,000 in ill-gotten gains - less than a third of his City Council salary. Mariano's defense strategy, likewise, involved asking the jury to view the case through the same small-time, parochial prism that defined Mariano's politics.
March 30, 1987
A question presented itself Wednesday in regard to those Haverford Township pols who have been handing out federal surplus cheese from their homes and campaign headquarters. Do they make the poor and elderly come around to the back door?
May 3, 2000
President Clinton left 'em laughing at the annual dinner of White House press correspondents last weekend. He zinged tormentors and spoofed the source of so many of his troubles: himself. This dinner roast is an annual Washington tradition. What's notable now is that these insider soirees aren't so different from the late-night programs, cable shows and Internet sites that offer viewers nonstop laugh lines about pols and politics. Some of it is vaudevillian. Take Jay Leno - please!
July 11, 2008
MAYOR Nutter can forget about my family's vote if he's going to institute a fee for trash collection. Instead of charging people who actually pay their taxes, stop building beautiful Section 8 townhomes for lazy bums. Why should the city pay millions for homes that the residents will destroy in a matter of years? I live in the city because I have to. If I didn't, I would be gone! My kids can't go to school in their own neighborhood because miscreants are bused in from 15 miles away.
January 20, 1998
There really ought to be a law to stop politicians from pandering for votes on the taxpayers' dime. That is why State Rep. Tom Scrimenti, a Democrat from the same Erie as the governor, has proposed a law every few years that would bar pols from advertising themselves in the same commercial touting Pennsylvania. The most blatant abuse of this practice so far this election year has been by Gov. Ridge himself. Here's a wondrous sampling of what's been running in a multimillion-dollar, taxpayer-funded, radio and television ad blitz throughout the governor's first term: "This is Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge.
February 22, 1987
A rainbow of reactions greeted New York Gov. Mario Cuomo's declaration Thursday night that he will not seek the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 1988. Surprise was near universal, for Mr. Cuomo had seemed certain to run. Polls long have shown him a strong second to front-runner Gary Hart. Recently he had been popping up around the country, speaking out on national issues, which pols everywhere took to mean he was running. Disappointment surely was the reaction of many liberals, for Mr. Cuomo's passionate commitment to liberal ideals is palpable and had made him the presumptive heir to the liberal legacy in the minds of many.
October 26, 2005 |
Grab your pitchfork, Philadelphians. Time to crank up the revolution. Don't worry. You don't have to storm the king's prison. Nor toss some Earl Grey into the harbor. You don't even have to wear tie-dye, drop acid or call anyone a pig. All you have to do is find time on Nov. 8 to stroll over to the school, church, library or rowhouse near you that serves as your Election Day polling place. Go in, sign in, slip behind the curtain, and when you come to the Home Rule Charter ballot question, vote Yes. Through this five-minute act, you'll activate a significant reform of the squalid, pay-to-play culture of city government.