August 27, 2014 |
BEFORE THE well-deserved inductions of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine into the Baseball Hall of Fame last month, an old, familiar advertisement from 1998 made the rounds on the various social-media platforms of the day. "Chicks dig the long ball" was a Nike campaign that took off, thanks, in large part, to the deadpan deliveries of the two everyman-looking Cy Young arms, who, after watching women fawn over the batting-practice blasts of Mark McGwire,...
June 12, 2014 |
There had been, in the words of Democratic Party Chairman Bob Brady, "a whole lot of hollering and screaming" this year about knocking off some of the city's longtime Democratic ward leaders. But Monday night, at the quadrennial gatherings to pick the party's 69 ward leaders, only one incumbent was tossed out in a contested race, as U.S. Rep. Brady noted. That doesn't mean peace reigned. Ward leaders can play pivotal roles on election day, and control of their fiefdoms can spark nasty battles.
November 21, 2010 |
Has State Rep. Dwight Evans jumped the shark? He has long been considered one of the good guys in Harrisburg, a policy wonk brimming with ideas and pushing for positive change. Evans has supported public school reform and the Convention Center expansion, and he was instrumental in bringing former Police Commissioner John Timoney to Philadelphia. More recently, he has helped lure supermarkets to urban neighborhoods. But critics say Evans has also become more detached and caught up in the trappings of power.
July 26, 2009 |
In March, it seemed the pro-union legislation known as "card check" was dead - thanks in part to Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.). Before that, Specter had been coy about the Employee Free Choice Act. He'd voted to allow a debate on the measure in 2007, without commenting on the substance. In March, he had two main concerns: (1) card check, where workers sign cards to indicate support for a union instead of holding a secret-ballot election, and (2) the potential harm of increasing costs to businesses in a recession.
May 28, 2009 |
After last fall's election, unions had high hopes for labor-law reform. But even with the eventual addition of Minnesota's Al Franken to the Democratic ranks in the Senate, there won't be a filibuster-proof majority in support of the Employee Free Choice Act. Already, a half-dozen or so Democratic senators, including Delaware's Tom Carper and the newly converted Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, have indicated they won't support the current bill....
March 26, 2009 |
The last time it was the Republicans' turn to capture the governor's mansion, the year was 1994. Turn? Yes, every eight years since Pennsylvania's constitution has permitted governors to run for a second term, no incumbent has failed to win reelection, and no member of the incumbent's party has won a campaign for an open governor's office. So all Republican eyes should be riveted to the primary race for governor, right? Not quite - thanks to the eclectic voting record of Sen. Arlen Specter.
March 25, 2009 |
Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) said yesterday that he would oppose legislation making it easier for workers to form unions, dealing a severe blow to organized labor's top political priority as he faces a 2010 primary challenge from the right. Union leaders were counting on Specter to be the 60th vote needed to stop an expected GOP filibuster of the Employee Free Choice Act later this year. He was the lone Senate Republican to support consideration of the measure in 2007, when it stalled in the Senate.
March 16, 2009 |
RECENTLY, an AFL-CIO official wrote that the Employee Free Choice Act would "restore America's workers' freedom to choose to come together to bargain for a better life. " Nothing could be further from the truth. The centerpiece of the act is the elimination of government-run secret-ballot union elections. And by stripping employees of the fundamental right to cast a private vote for or against union representation, the Employee Free Choice Act undermines the very principles of a free and democratic society, and only robs employees of their vital "freedom to choose.
February 18, 2009 |
In one recent television spot, actors playing union thugs join a hapless worker in his private polling booth to let him know just how to vote - presumably "yes" on whether his workplace should be unionized. To the chagrin of organized labor, the "secret ballot" issue dominates such business advertisements against the Employee Free Choice Act - passage of which is a top priority this year for unions. Business interests are equally adamant about defeating it. Less publicity surrounds two other major provisions of the proposed act - one calling for binding arbitration in stalled contract negotiations, and another that would stiffen penalties for violations of federal labor law. The binding-arbitration provision is truly distasteful to business, said James A. Craft, professor of business administration at the University of Pittsburgh's Katz Graduate School of Business.
December 30, 2008 |
The nation's most powerful labor unions have been lobbying heavily for a law, misleadingly named the Employee Free Choice Act, that would take away workers' basic rights to a secret-ballot vote on union representation. It would allow unions to organize through a poorly regulated "card-check" process instead. Many politicians have been falsely characterizing the card-check law as an essential part of an economic-recovery program. In reality, it would deepen the recession. Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter is the only Republican who has joined the Democratic senators voting to advance the legislation.