Friday, April 07, 2006

Friday news

  • The Inquirer gives a preview of the casino site hearings that are being held next week. More than 200 people are signed up to testify, but they have to be prepared to sit all day, because nobody has a time yet. Noteworthy on the map is that 4/5 sites under discussion are located along the Delaware River, meaning that this issue is a hot one for the 175th District state House race (that contains all of them) and may explain some of the flurry among the Big Dogs to line up behind one or another of the current candidates...

  • Speaking of which, today's Gar Josephs column has a portion on the race in the 175th (it starts about 1/3 of the way down, under the heading "Liberty City showdown") looking at some of the dynamics directing support of various candidates for Maria Lederer's state House seat. There's the clash of Dougherty and Fumo factions, a division of union support, questions of who should get "grassroots" support in the race, City Council folks lining up behind one candidate and regional Ward leaders behind another (ok, maybe I know that from elsewhere), and generally a multifaceted battle developing. I've gotten a clearer picture of this race in that last week, after chances to talk in depth to some of the contenders, and hope to have a longer piece in a few days with my thoughts.

  • In more local political earthquaking, a local electrician is getting federal scrutiny in part for his apparant role as "electrician to the stars" of the local Democratic machine. That piece is long and mostly speculative, but it interested me because this guy's woes appear to be reopening old wounds between John Doughterty and Vince Fumo, among the bigger dogs in Philly. Loyalty is still a big word in the old-world business of politics here...

  • Also, Wednesday night was a Philly for Change meeting that featured a host of local political candidates, presumably angling for the group's endorsement. Albert has photos and a report. Seemed like a top-tier lineup. There's a lot of energy in this year's races!

  • Another Quinnipiac poll finds that in the race for US Senate, Casey's lead over Santorum has narrowed a bit. The challenger maintains a 2:1 lead among independent voters, however, which could be key in November.

  • A DN letter-writer is unimpressed by Rick Santorum's claims about his environmental record.

  • John Baer looks at the Pennsylvania Pastor's Network, which aims to register enough new conservative voters to turn PA from a blue state to a red one. Needless to say, the group's activities raise questions about the separation of church and state. This PA effort may be a testing ground for a future conservative strategy nationwide.

  • The Daily News opinion page is underwhelmed by Lynn Swann, in part because of his shifting stance on gambling in Pennsylvania.


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