Friday, August 12, 2005

Latest bits on Philly politicians

  1. The Daily News reports that Mayor John Street may be rethinking his own smoking ban.
    "You know, I'm allergic to smoke," he says. "But when I encounter a restaurant that puts in expensive exhaust systems and goes out of its way to make nonsmokers happy, it's a problem for us to say, 'We don't care.' You hate to punish the good guys who have put these systems in. And you know? We wouldn't be having this discussion if everyone put in these ventilation things."
    . . .
    "I've been thinking about this issue in terms of the Constitution. Smoking is not illegal, it's highly taxed, so how far do we go in micromanaging what people will or will not decide they want to do?"
    . . .
    As the restaurateurs told Street over and over again, their bartenders and wait staff like to wait on people who smoke. Smokers drink more. They tip more.
    Seems like he's floating some possible arguments for a position shift in the fall...

  2. U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah continues to make moves that look like he intends to run for mayor.
    When we asked him about it, he confessed, "We're focused on building not only financial support for my political future, but any kind of support that might be necessary."
    Meanwhile, in that same article, PA House Speaker John Perzel was confronted by minimum wage advocates:
    ACORN, the ubiquitous low-income protest group, scored a win yesterday. House Speaker John Perzel emerged from his Northeast Philadelphia office to accept a pair of "minimum-wage worker's shoes" from the group. The idea was to get Perzel to "walk a mile in those shoes," to encourage his support for an increase in the minimum wage.
    Turns out he actually worked for minimum wage a few years back, so perhaps they picked the wrong guy. Intriguingly, however, he claimed support for a minimum wage:
    Perzel said he would support a bill to boost the current $5.15-an-hour minimum. There are several competing bills and our guess is that he'll back fellow Republican Rep. John Taylor's boost to $6.15 rather than the more generous versions offered by Democrats.
    The "more generous" bills are asking for a dollar more, putting PA in line with NY, NJ, and DE in the region -- however, nobody would sneeze at $6.15 if it could actually be brought to pass. Stay tuned.


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