Thursday, July 07, 2005

Today's news briefs

A bunch of small stories today and not much time.
  • The PA legislature has approved a bill which would suspend the registration of anybody with 6 or more unpaid Philadelphia parking tickets.
    The legislation is aimed at Philadelphia because it lacks power to arrest scofflaws, according to the Parking Authority. In other Pennsylvania counties, those who fail to pay their tickets can be jailed.
    Booting can currently be used, but is limited by the number of boots and the probability of finding the cars in question. There are tens of millions of dollars associated with such scofflaws, but it's unclear whether the new law would get them to pay up, or just result in more uninsured drivers. Rendell's position on the bill unknown.

  • Senator Rick Santorum has a new book that blames the nation's woes on liberalism. No surprise there, but the title of the book is fueling speculation that he's gearing up for a head-to-head race against Hillary Clinton for President in 2008. Of course, having his opinions in print (some samples at the end of this article) could cut either way in the 2006 Senate race.

  • Billboard operators are unsurprisingly unthrilled with the outcome of recent Philadelphia city budget negotiations, which included a new tax on their business. Now they're bringing suit to challenge that provision, a move which should renew debate about business taxes in general. They're using a free speech argument, however, which seems a shaky basis to me.

  • Steven Vaughn, a former City Council aide and Germantown figure convicted of fraud and conspiracy, was sentenced to five months in prison as well as restitution. He straight-facedly suggested that maybe he should be used to instruct other city employees about ethics instead. Yeah, sure...


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