August 18, 2016 |
Former Mayor Michael Nutter called City Controller Alan Butkovitz "a liar, a snake, and a hypocrite" Tuesday in response to a controller's report that more than $380,000 in Philadelphia Marathon proceeds were used as a "slush fund" under Nutter's watch. The report, released Tuesday, said the money was used in part for unapproved grants, a trip to Rome by Nutter and his staff, and an open-bar reception last year. The spending was approved solely by the chairwoman of the fund at the time, former City Representative Desiree Peterkin Bell, according to Butkovitz, with no oversight by the fund's board of directors, effectively circumventing the board's policies and control checks.
February 9, 2016
Philadelphia spent $1.7 million last year to keep Forbes' "Under 30 Summit" in the city, according to WHYY, or upward of $1,000 for each of the callow go-getters who attended the October gathering of young entrepreneurs. Was it worth it? Former Mayor Michael Nutter, who tirelessly pursued buzzy events to burnish the city's image, obviously thought so. Mayor Kenney, on the other hand, has expressed mild reservations. While he's weighing the city's substantial investment in the festival, he might also consider its source.
January 29, 2016 |
From the outside, the unremarkable building at 2637 N. Fifth St. - Juniata Community Mental Health Clinic's headquarters - looks no different from dozens of other drab structures that line the roads in the city's poverty-stricken Fairhill neighborhood. But, federal authorities say, the building lies at the heart of a fraud worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and one that could leave yet another blemish on the reputation of a Philadelphia political dynasty. On Wednesday, prosecutors accused Renee Tartaglione - the building's owner and daughter of former city elections chief Margaret "Marge" Tartaglione, sister of State Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione (D., Phila.)
March 21, 2011 |
With age comes experience. And wisdom. And, apparently, advances in technology. Brian Boucher has been the recipient of all three in the NHL - both on and off the ice. It is Boucher's experience off the ice - with nutrition, diet and interaction with his body's signals - that has enabled him to continue his NHL career into its second decade. Ten years ago, when his career first started, Boucher notoriously struggled with cramping on the ice during games. There was no medium in hydration for Boucher; his muscles either would be deprived of water because of profuse perspiration, or he would flood his system to compensate.
November 26, 2009 |
White Christmas, making a two-week stop at the Academy of Music during its national tour - four years and counting - is more holiday event than actual theater. Cobbled together from the 1954 movie that starred Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, with extra songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake, this show is about as genuine, and as exciting, as the soapsuds snow that showers down on the audience during the finale. There are, of course, some great Irving Berlin songs; with a lineup including not only the perennial favorite, "White Christmas," but also "Sisters" and "Blue Skies" and "How Deep Is the Ocean" and "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," we should all leave humming happily.
November 23, 2009
ALL RIGHT, from now on, the description of the Pennsylvania Legislature in any encyclopedia should read: "the place where things have been so screwed up for so long that they seem normal. " This occurred to me as I listened to state Attorney General Tom Corbett announce his corruption case against state Rep. John Perzel and seven others. Corbett says they used up to $10 million in tax dollars to develop sophisticated computer systems for chosen Republicans to use in election campaigns.
July 5, 2009
Republican legislators who are demanding more budget cuts from Gov. Rendell should look in a mirror. Pennsylvania's legislature is the second-largest and second-costliest in the nation, with annual operating expenses of more than $300 million. Legislators have agreed to some in-house cuts already, but their budget pain isn't as deep as in many other state agencies. If legislators are looking for places to cut the budget, they should also take a whack at WAMs. "Walking-around money" projects are special expenses for legislators' home districts, and they serve as taxpayer-funded protection for incumbents.
October 8, 2008 |
The corruption trial of former Camden County Sen. Wayne Bryant has thrown a sharp twist into one of the most closely watched congressional races in the nation. In a Third District campaign that one poll labels a virtual dead heat, Republicans have seized on the trial's revelations about a fund controlled by top state Democrats and used for handpicked projects, attempting to link Democratic candidate and State Sen. John Adler to the scandal. Republican candidate Chris Myers, mayor of Medford, personally went on the attack yesterday with an issue that Rutgers University political scientist Ingrid Reed said meshed well with the existing political narrative.
October 7, 2008 |
The state treasurer's office had almost no authority over who received millions of dollars from a special-grant program, even though the office administered the money, according to testimony in federal court yesterday. Instead, legislators and the governor's office supplied lists of recipients, and the treasurer's office then notified the grant winners, said state Treasurer David Rousseau. The so-called "MAC account" grant program, which distributed a total of $128 million in 2004 and 2005, has become a focal point in the ongoing corruption trial of former State Sen. Wayne Bryant (D., Camden)
July 13, 2008
In the final days of budget-making in Harrisburg, House and Senate leaders were willing to cut just about any program except their cherished slush fund. The kitty of taxpayer dollars that is being hoarded by Republican and Democratic leaders has grown to about $211 million, according to an audit earlier this year. Legislators say they're saving it for an emergency (i.e., to keep paying their salaries in case of a government shutdown). The slush fund fueled the outrageous staff bonuses and other abuses alleged in an indictment last week.