Monday, December 19, 2005

Monday news bits

  • An Inquirer article looks at US Senate hopeful Casey's views on the abortion issue and what they might mean for the 2006 race.
    Given some key similarities with Santorum, Casey has sought to distinguish himself. In meetings and fund-raisers, he maintains that abortion has never topped his agenda. He steers the debate to other issues, emphasizing support for emergency contraceptives, comprehensive sex education, and increased public funding for family planning. Santorum opposes all three.
    His much-discussed lead in the polls may disappear once his views on abortion become more widely known, according to a study cited here...

  • Above Average Jane also takes a look at the three Democratic candidates' views on reproductive issues and finds that there may be better ways to handle them:
    Alan Sandals and his campaign have crafted what I think is the most well-written and uncontroversial statement I have ever seen. Instead of taking reproductive rights as a separate issue they have carefully woven it into a statement on personal privacy and choice. He sums it up this way on his web site "Let's face it. Our personal lives are hard enough as it is. We don't need politicians butting in to tell us how to make the most difficult decisions that we wrestle with as adults. With our faith, family and friends as our guides, we can find our own way. We always have and we always will." If anyone has said it any better than that, I haven't seen it.
    This might be the kind of contextual thinking that Casey should be considering.

  • Governor Rendell has chosen a new state Supreme Court justice to replace ousted justice Nigro: Allegheny-area judge Cynthia Baldwin. Confirmation to follow, and her term limited to two years, after which the seat is thrown open. More as the story is fleshed out...

  • An Inquirer editorial today applauds Fumo's efforts to improve the legislative process (see prev. here).
    Pennsylvania's constitution says that the House and Senate each must take at least three days to consider legislation. The reason is to make sure that the public has time to consider the merits of a proposed law. And a three-day waiting period might actually give lawmakers time to read a bill before deciding whether to pull the trigger.
    Imagine! They also mention that some requirement for disclosure of lobbying activities in Harrisburg is long overdue...

  • Ben Waxman at YPP is calling on Brady and Fattah to use their relative electoral safety as a base for more effective progressive advocacy on issues of national importance.

  • The Daily News notes that the Guardian Angels are becoming active in Philly after a two-year absence, promoting a (famously red-bereted) civilian response to increased violence that has worried the city. They've had hundreds of calls already from volunteers eager to help out.

  • Finally, PoliticsPhilly notes that "Doc for Mayor" signs continue to pop up around the city.


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