Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tuesday news

  • Politicians:

    • The court case attempting to settle the results of the contested state House primary (179th district) between Tony Payton (on ballot, current winner by a nose) and Emilio Vazquez (party favorite, write-in candidate) took testimony from lawyers and others yesterday, with the outcome hinging on whether to count a slew of stamped votes for Vazquez from one Division that were put in the wrong spot. I don't envy the judge this Solomonic decision, so my bet is on calling a special election to settle this race.

    • Joe Sestak, challenger to Delaware County's US Rep. Curt Weldon, had a strong fundraising quarter as this race gained more visibility nationally and started to garner some excitement. Sestak says he plans to build his ground troops first before launching "an air war" . . .

    • The Daily News devotes a major article to the question of Chaka Fattah's news-anchor wife, Renee Chenault-Fattah, and how her career might be affected (or her employer put in an unpleasant bind) if Fattah decides to run for mayor next year. The players are refusing comment for now, but plenty of readers left comments on this story...

  • Other

    • A task force studying Philadelphia's disaster-preparedness says we aren't ready for an event of Katrina scale. Mayor Street will talk about specific recommendations at a press conference later this week. It doesn't surprise me that we're less prepared than other major cities, because we're kind of out of the way of most hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and the like. Still, storms or explosions shouldn't catch our leaders napping.

    • An Inquirer story notes that many have states have found that the arrival of casinos can mean a slump in lottery revenues, a nontrivial risk, given the number of programs making claims on both sources of money. State leaders claim to be keeping this possibility in mind, but they seem mighty unworried.

    • Folks who use the western end of the Market-Frankford line will need to allow extra time next week, as the line will be closed for nine days starting Friday for major renovations, and riders will be bussed between 40th and 69th St. terminals. (See the link for details.)


Blogger Rep. Mark B. Cohen said...

Nothing is impossible due to the inherent power of courts to invent new remedies in the name of the legal principle of equity, but there is nothing in Pennsylvania law or precedent providing for the calling of a special election in the case of a legal dispute.

The Payton/Vazquez election is so close that no one can tell with absolute certainty how a majority of the voters who voted in the low-turnout primary actually intended to vote. Certainly, Payton must have lost some voters who intended to vote for him but could not find his name.

My guess is that the court follows the vast majority of the precedents and rules in favor of Payton.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous phillydem said...

Yes, I'd agree with that. The law doesn't make exceptions for "mistakes" of the voters like this. (Remember the "Buchanan voters" in 2000 in FL?) Putting a stamped vote in the wrong spot is NOT the same as something like misspelling "Vazquez" as "Valasquez", etc, where it's clear who the voter wanted to vote for.

I think Payton will come out with a court victory as well as the electoral win.

5:24 PM  
Blogger asdgsfd said...

The Sestak fundraising numbers are awesome news--a rising tide lifts all Democratic boats, though. The success of local Dem races is also going to be essential to Sestak's success. It's all about getting likely Democratic voters (everyone pissed off at Bush, the pay raise, Iraq, etc.) out to vote for Democrats in November.

To that end, supporting candidates like Bryan Lentz and other local races is critical.

11:39 PM  

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