Lynn Swann has made his first substantive policy proposal, outlining a radical restructuring of Pennsylvania's property tax system. His proposal is based on a similar law in California, which has been quite controversial, and critics are already questioning whether schools could be adequately funded under the plan. But in the absence of any action by the state legislature, these suggestions may find a favorable reception with some frustrated homeowners.
US Senator Rick Santorum is running attack ads against challenger Bob Casey, perhaps trying to get first rights in defining the lesser-known candidate.
Despite the fact that the ballot measure called for the city to "consider the use" of surveillance cameras, its approval appears to be being called a mandate to proceed. Luckily, a task force including both police and community members will help set up guidelines for how such cameras are to be used. The ACLU is reserving judgement, but many violence-troubled neighborhoods are rushing to be first in line.
The matter of who will represent the 179th State House district in Harrisburg is still up in the air, as careful examination of records and write-ins puts Tony Payton back in a slight lead over party-backed Emilio Vazquez with provisional and absentee ballots yet to be counted (and unknown legal complaints still to follow). A surprise nail-biter!
Above Average Jane reports on another close race (in the 183rd) as well as a smattering of other political bits from the area.
Philadelphians list environmental concerns high among their criteria for mayoral candidates and City Council aspirants. Better sewer management, improved transit, and other infrastructure issues stood out as critical for the area's future economic health, to the surprise of some analysts.
Asked to rate various issues according to their importance, city residents ranked stopping water pollution and redeveloping abandoned property just behind fighting crime and improving the public schools. The business leaders agreed with the primacy of crime and education, but said improving roads and bridges and the redevelopment of blighted areas were next most important.
There's plenty to go around... In related news, a coalition of state and local environmental agencies, called Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future, is putting together an agenda of proposals to help shape the debate in 2008's elections.
Speaking of possible mayoral candidates, Fattah is still undeclared, but he's collecting volunteers and screening promotional videos...