February 10, 2011
SMART GENERALS avoid battles they can't win. In the second Punic War, when Roman Consul Lucius Aemilius Paullus took on Hannibal in 216 B.C., almost 80 percent of the entire Roman army left the field in shrouds or in chains. When the Spanish sent their Armada against the English in 1588, more than half the ships and troops went to the bottom. Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812, and Hitler's re-creation of the folly in 1941, ended in disaster. A smart general doesn't pick fights he can't win, and I don't believe City Council Majority Leader Marian Tasco can be defeated in November when she runs for her Lucky Seventh term on Council.
March 12, 2015 |
Six Democrats seeking to be Philadelphia's next mayor each filed well over the required 1,000 signatures on nominating petitions by Tuesday's deadline. State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams led the pack, announcing that his staff and volunteers had gathered signatures from 15,269 registered Democratic voters. Former City Councilman James F. Kenney was not far behind, with 12,167 signatures. Former Common Pleas Court Judge Nelson A. Diaz's campaign said he had 4,939 signatures.
July 9, 2013 |
Eulogies for William H. Gray III, the minister and former congressman who died last Monday, will pay tribute to his fight against apartheid, his rise to majority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, his service as head of the United Negro College Fund. But in the Philadelphia political world, Gray may be best memorialized as the pillar of a group of independent black activists who emerged from outside the Democratic Party structure to gain unprecedented power and spawned a generation of political and civic leaders.
April 9, 2015 |
Philadelphia "condo king" Allan Domb, a candidate in the crowded City Council at-large race, aired a TV ad Tuesday pledging to forgo a salary if elected. Domb is the first - and could be the only - candidate in a Council race to go on TV. He wouldn't say what the ad buy cost but said 150 to 200 commercials would air each week leading up to the May 19 Democratic primary. The first aired Tuesday on Fox29. Federal Communication Commission reports show Domb's campaign is spending $312,325 for the 30-second spots on PHL17, 6ABC, and Fox29 through May 15. In the ad, Domb pledges to donate his $127,000 Council salary to Philadelphia's cash-strapped schools if elected.
February 28, 2011
There's an unseemly rush by the city Board of Ethics - with ample prodding from City Council - to get new rules in place that would free city workers from the decades-old ban on political activity. No matter what the timing, it's a bad idea that risks even more politics in the day-to-day operations of City Hall. With his passion for ridding the city of its pay-to-play political culture, Mayor Nutter should be in the forefront opposing such a backward step. With no credible opposition to his own reelection, it's even more troubling that the mayor is just going along.
March 22, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA City Council passed an ordinance Thursday that bars city officers and employees from receiving cash from anyone seeking business or official action, while allowing receipt of non-monetary gifts worth up to $99 per donor per year. The vote was unanimous. The bill amends the existing gifts ordinance with language that is easier to enforce, and some say stricter, than is on the books now. Mayor Nutter is expected to sign the bill into law. The city code now prohibits gifts of "substantial economic value," but leaves the term undefined.
January 8, 2014 |
City Council wants to hire a consultant to explore whether there is a "higher and better use" for the Philadelphia Gas Works than privatizing it. Council last week issued a request for proposals from experts to analyze potential uses for PGW in light of new discoveries of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation. The deadline for the proposals is Jan. 29. The consultant specifically would look at whether the city could get more use out of its liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) plant in Port Richmond, where gas is stored in liquid form for use on peak winter days.
May 22, 1991 |
Two City Council members apparently have been dumped, a third was barely hanging on and another got a scare last night in the Democratic primary. Councilman-at-large Francis Rafferty was running eighth and apparently out of the picture for five nominations. Councilman David Cohen led for the final nomination by a little more than 500 votes with 90 percent of the vote counted. In the 4th Council District, newcomer Michael Nutter, who was backed by U.S. Rep. William H. Gray III, appeared to have knocked off incumbent Councilwoman Ann Land.
May 28, 2014
Suffer the children As the parent of a kindergartner in the Philadelphia schools, my message to elected leaders is straightforward: You cannot continue to do nothing about the situation ("Inexplicable behavior," May 25). At my son's school, McCall Elementary, a nurse was rehired after money was raised by parents, and politicking, and who knows what else. But she also serves as: late-desk check-in, lunch aide, recess aide, guidance counselor, and volunteer coordinator. In April, they took away the security guard, so the nurse has to do all that he did, too: fire drills, emergencies, visitor security.
January 16, 1996
IN COPING WITH OUR SNOW-CLOGGED STREETS, WE WANT TO MAKE THINGS PERFECTLY CLEAR I sympathize with what Councilwoman [Marian] Tasco says, but most of those side streets you can't get down with our plows. Those plows are huge . . . Should we go out for a snowstorm of this dimension and buy all new [smaller] plows so we can do all these streets when we get a storm like this once a century? I think not. - Mayor Rendell, Jan 9, 1996 [Tasco] says we need a plan. Well, our plan is volunteerism: Shovel streets out to the extent you can. If you've got senior citizens, maybe people on the next block can do it. We will work, as we always do, as hard as we can, as fast as we can, to clear as many streets of snow as efficiently as we can. But we cannot do the impossible.