November 15, 2012
NORMALLY any column I write involving our state lawmakers includes phrases such as "greed-heads," "overperked," "morally bankrupt," "shortsighted" or "totally inept. " And the names of lawmakers appearing in such columns are almost always pols to watch out for. This time I have one to just watch. He's Rep. Eugene DePasquale, 41, a Democrat representing Republican York County. He's a Pittsburgh native whose family runs a Squirrel Hill neighborhood bar, the Panther Hollow Inn, and whose paternal grandfather, Eugene "Jeep" DePasquale, was a colorful, outspoken member and later president of Pittsburgh City Council.
October 28, 2012 |
With November's vote days away, those Americans suspected of still having capital to invest in the politicians of their choice are getting hammered with last-minute fund-raising appeals. State Rep. Mike Gerber (D., Montgomery), a past leader of the Pennsylvania statehouse Democrats' finance committee, can relate as he prepares to leave politics for a job in the private sector. "It's hard, grueling work raising money," Gerber told me last week in the board room of his new office at Michael Forman 's $6 billion-asset Franklin Square Capital Partners at Cira Centre, after fielding a call from a suburban colleague in a tough race.
October 23, 2012 |
DOVER, Del. - A Republican who recently dropped out of a state Senate race for personal reasons was indicted Monday on charges of child sexual abuse. A Sussex County grand jury returned an indictment charging Eric Bodenweiser, 53, of Georgetown, with 39 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and 74 counts of unlawful sexual contact involving a young boy. Bodenweiser turned himself in to State Police, was arraigned and was being held at the Sussex Correctional Institution on $250,000 secured bail, according to the state Attorney General's Office.
October 22, 2012 |
HAVANA - Former Venezuelan vice president Elias Jaua said Sunday that he met with aging revolutionary icon Fidel Castro for five hours and showed the Associated Press photos of the encounter, quashing persistent rumors that the former Cuban leader was on his deathbed or had suffered a massive stroke. Jaua also confirmed that the retired Cuban president personally accompanied him to the Hotel Nacional after their meeting Saturday, in which they talked about politics, history, culture and tourism.
October 21, 2012 |
CHERRY HILL - New Jersey Assemblyman Paul Moriarty took the unusual step Friday of showing a police dashboard-camera video of a motor-vehicle stop that led to his drunken-driving arrest. Moriarty said the patrol car video proves he's not guilty of the charges, including driving while intoxicated. Moriarty, 56, was pulled over by a Washington Township patrolman on late-July afternoon and charged with failing to maintain a lane, DWI and refusing to take a breath test. The officer's report says he stopped Moriarty after the legislator cut him off. He claimed to smell alcohol on Moriarty's breath and ordered him out of the car. Moriarty contends he was driving lawfully in the right lane and didn't change lanes without signaling.
September 27, 2012
By Robert Maranto President Obama gave a great speech accepting the Democratic Party nomination speech for reelection, so good I could vote for him. And then I thought of my 8-year-old daughter. I thought about her future. I promised her that I would vote against almost all federal incumbents, so on Nov. 6 I'll vote against both Obama and my perfectly decent Republican U.S. House member. Here's why. Each April more than 16,000 Americans are assaulted by loved ones driven to temporary insanity by our maddeningly complex tax code.
September 27, 2012 |
LET ME TELL YOU about a bill that's been flying through Harrisburg with so little public input, it seems meant to screw us. House Bill 2224 would allow political leaders to get rid of certain types of public parks any time they felt it was for the best - and "best" could mean whatever they wanted it to mean. So they could sell off a park if, say, their borough needed cash to pay for a new firehouse. Or if a favorite developer needed a lucrative site to build townhouses. Or if they thought a strip mall would make better use of the land than a baseball diamond would.
September 22, 2012 |
George Orwell, a font of wisdom on politics and power, once wrote that "journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations. " That remark came to mind the other day when I heard author Michael Lewis pulling back the curtain on a tawdry journalistic practice that's now standard procedure in Washington. Lewis wanted to hang out with President Obama, and write about it for Vanity Fair. The White House said yes, but only on the condition that he submit his quotes to the Obama team in advance of publication - in case the president's handlers deemed it necessary to censor something.
September 14, 2012
THERE ARE certain things that an American citizen should avoid if at all possible. One is singing the national anthem as if it were a stand-up joke, like Roseanne Barr did a few years ago in a sad and menopausal attempt to remain relevant. Another is bad-mouthing your country and your president, regardless of which party he belongs to, when you travel abroad, like the Dixie Chicks did during the Bush administration. Yet another is returning the bust of Churchill to the British even though you might have a personal grudge against the fellow and the country he hailed from.
September 14, 2012
FOR A NARROW alley in Northern Liberties, Bodine Street is packed with political intrigue. Finnigan's Wake, the politically connected bar and catering hall run by Democratic committeeman Mike Driscoll , sits at the intersection of Bodine and the 200 block of Spring Garden Street. Driscoll has big plans for both streets, and City Council was happy to help make them happen. Mayor Nutter ? Not so much. Nutter on Tuesday vetoed legislation to let Driscoll build decks over the Spring Garden Street sidewalk and put tables and landscaping on Bodine Street City Council on Thursday unanimously overrode Nutter's veto.