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Public Trust

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NEWS
February 21, 1995
Every time a police officer is convicted of a crime, a little piece of vital trust inside a city dies. John Shaw, former president of the Philadelphia police officers' union, was found guilty Friday of 29 counts of racketeering. He took bribes and kickbacks in exchange for union contracts, at the expense of taxpayers and fellow police officers. Anthony LaSalle, treasurer of the Fraternal Order of Police during Shaw's reign, was also convicted. Both men spent most of their careers patrolling city streets, putting their lives on the line to track down violent criminals.
NEWS
May 30, 2006 | MARK ALAN HUGHES
THE "PUBLIC trust" aspect of newspapers is a bloated, facile and ultimately incoherent basis for running a newspaper. And the new ownership of the Daily News and Inky give us a chance to abandon the idea. In February, I offered some advice to imaginary investors in our papers. The gist: Let the papers compete with each other, prioritize the day's events for readers and dominate the local market. We now have new owners - and they turn out to be people who make that advice sounder than ever.
NEWS
June 30, 2006 | By Brian Tierney
For too many years, newspaper ownership in this country was becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few large companies. Newspaper traditionalists mourned the loss of individual community character, as well as spirited personality, in their hometown papers. The industry was resigned to a fate of bland, generic corporatization, and concepts like family or local stewardship were as quaint as hot lead type. The trend seemed so inevitable, so relentless, and so unstoppable that even giants like Times Mirror and Knight Ridder succumbed to the same family squabbles and Wall Street pressure that swallowed up great newspapers from Louisville to Des Moines to Los Angeles to Boston.
NEWS
June 2, 2005 | By Victor Davis Hanson
The Dan Rather and Newsweek controversies hardly seem connected. But on closer examination, both incidents symbolize what has gone wrong with traditional news organizations. The old assumption was that opinion media - such as the National Review, the Nation and the New Republic - offer a slant on current events, but that major news outlets, outside of their designated opinion sections, do not. This commitment to disinterested reporting - and along with it the public's trust in mainstream media - has been shattered in recent years.
NEWS
February 9, 2001
Yes, it was somewhat shocking to see F. Joseph Loeper, the well-liked former Pennsylvania Senate majority leader, sentenced this week to six months in jail. But the penalty is justified. Loeper did real harm to public trust and the public good - in effect, putting a "For Sale" sign on his services. Bad enough that this once-powerful politician lied to cover up pocketing $330,000 as a consultant to a Philadelphia businessman for doing little actual work. That's the felony to which he pleaded guilty, triggering his Dec. 31 resignation, wrecking a 22-year legislative career and tarnishing what had been his record as a congenial straight shooter.
NEWS
May 24, 2006
What was old is now new. For decades, the tradition of local ownership of major newspapers was fading. Corporate chains, many with stocks publicly traded on Wall Street, were the norm. Yesterday, a partnership of local businesspeople bought Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. from McClatchy Co. That California company had put PNI - which runs The Inquirer, the Daily News, Philly.com and some smaller publications - on the block this year, immediately after buying PNI's former parent, California-based Knight Ridder Inc., once the nation's second-largest newspaper chain.
NEWS
March 7, 2003
What is the mission of police departments? For decades, it's been to serve and protect the public. Now, towns across the nation are seizing on a second motto: to promote and improve brand recognition. In Bucks County's Langhorne Borough and hundreds of other municipalities nationwide, public safety vehicles are becoming vehicles for advertising. Police departments are being lured by apparently fantastic bargains: $1 for a Crown Victoria or $2 for a Ford Expedition. The only catch is that the vehicle's trunk, hood and sides will advertise consumer products - to be chosen by the seller.
NEWS
December 7, 1994 | By Gwen Florio, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The good people of Jamesburg want it known that they did not remove the sign from their municipal building because they were so ashamed of what allegedly took place inside. The wind blew it off the front of the two-story grey-block building. Unfortunately, the missing sign is the only problem at Borough Hall that can be blamed on an act of God. The rest - the troubles that last week caused the state to label this rural Middlesex County community a den of political iniquity - seems sadly man-made.
BUSINESS
February 10, 1997 | By Larry Williams, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
The Internal Revenue Service is expected to finish collecting more than $1.4 trillion in 1996 taxes in the next few weeks, virtually without a scent of scandal - a continuing wonder in a world rife with corruption. In the process, the agency will likely refund about $130 billion to 80 million taxpayers, one of the more pleasant transactions of our modern democracy. Yet there is widespread opinion that the IRS is an agency so seriously flawed that it ought to be done away with - or radically reformed.
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NEWS
April 24, 2015
THE WASHINGTON Post yesterday offered two items - one on trust in government and one on how much lobbyists spend - that just might be connected. The first item comes from a Pew Research Center study showing just 23 percent of Americans trust the federal government to do the right thing "at least most of the time. " The second item compares government spending on congressional staff to private-sector spending on lobbying Congress. The latter is greater than the former.
NEWS
February 12, 2015
DOES IT MATTER if Brian Williams ever returns to his anchor chair? Not to me. I'm not among the 26 percent of Americans watching network news daily. But his story is important - for what it tells us about ourselves, for what it means to journalism. On one level it's familiar: a person in a powerful position pulled down by his own faults; a case of obvious intelligence overridden by judgment gone AWOL. We see such stories regularly. It's just that this one involves someone at the pinnacle of a profession who's supposed to seek the truth yet, sadly, seems to have trouble knowing it when he sees it. The "NBC Nightly News" boss, who early in his career (1986-87)
NEWS
February 1, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers
Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord will plead guilty to federal charges that he used his office to strong-arm political contributors during his failed gubernatorial bid last year, his lawyers said Friday. McCord, in a video statement, apologized for what he called a mistake, saying he "stepped over the line" in dealing with two potential donors in spring 2014. "I essentially said the potential contributors should not risk making an enemy of the state treasurer," he said.
NEWS
December 24, 2014
ISSUE | KANE MUTINY Party's voice can make a difference I agree with Congressman Robert Brady's criticism of state Attorney General Kathleen Kane for her handling of the bribery probe of state lawmakers from Philadelphia ("Brady calls Kane 'asleep at the switch,' " Dec. 18). There is something particularly unsavory about elected officials being recorded receiving envelopes stuffed with cash and other gifts - officials who then claim they thought they were simply birthday gifts or that they have no recollection.
NEWS
July 11, 2013
THERE IS an unofficial rule in journalism that three makes a trend, which means that Mark Sanford (disgraced former governor, now a South Carolina congressman), Anthony Weiner (disgraced former congressman, now running for New York City mayor) and now Eliot Spitzer (disgraced former governor, now running for New York City comptroller) have made 2013 the year of the quick-return-to-politics-after-a-sex-scandal-that-was-supposed-to-end-your-career. Whether this phenomenon is new or not, we find it worrisome and a little sad. It's not that we think that sex scandals should disqualify a person from holding public office.
NEWS
July 8, 2013 | By Daniel L. Davis
In light of Edward Snowden's recent National Security Agency tell-all, pundits and politicians have been debating one question: Which should carry more weight: Individual privacy or collective security? Unfortunately, that hypothetical question can't be definitively answered. There is a question, however, that hasn't been asked enough, and it's the one that matters most: Who gave the senior leaders of the United States the authority, with neither the knowledge nor concurrence of the American people, to secretly intrude deep into the private lives of our citizens?
NEWS
March 16, 2013
Former Philadelphia Police Inspector Daniel Castro cried, begged, and vowed he was a changed man at his resentencing on extortion charges Friday, but in the end got the same punishment: Five years in prison. After a nearly two-hour hearing, U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III said he saw no reason to change the sentence he meted out in October 2011. Castro won a bid for resentencing after an appeals court last year overturned his jury conviction on the separate count of lying to federal investigators.
NEWS
February 6, 2013
By Jim Sleeper The Senate Judiciary Committee was told often enough last week that the United States' intolerably high levels of murder and maiming by gunfire would drop sharply if we had the gun control of other developed nations. (Only Mexico and Guatemala have constitutional provisions resembling our Second Amendment.) It won't happen, unless we dissolve the deep bond between our libertarian individualism and our glorification of runaway corporate engines that are disrupting public trust more brutally than their own managers ever intended or know how to stop.
NEWS
October 23, 2012 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer
FEDERAL OFFICIALS announced on Monday a new public-corruption hot line aimed at rooting out wrongdoers in public jobs. "All corruption leads to an erosion on the public trust and a weakening of the city," said George C. Venizelos, the FBI's special-agent-in-charge in Philadelphia. Venizelos said the new tip line was not a response to any uptick in corruption cases. Rather, he said, the FBI has renewed its focus on finding and punishing anyone who would use public money or a public position to do wrong.
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