Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday news round-up

Short day, many tabs, will do what I can here...
  • Sunday's paper featured a new increment in the saga of the federal investigation of State Senator Vincent Fumo, noting his use of substantial state funds to pay his lawyers. Add this to recent revelations that majority leader Perzel is spending a fortune for an image consultant, and the residue of anger over last year's pay-hike, and I'd have to guess Fumo is lucky he's not on the ballot this year. Anyway, amazing what counts as Appropriations budget these days...

  • A related Fumo story noted that his lawyers had picked out the lawyers for the various aides who might be called to testify against him (or about their own activities). I'm sure *nothing* was intended by having the Senate pick up their legal bills, either.

  • Word comes that the state legislature may allow debate on the one-gun-per-month bill that's been collecting dust for some time. Discussion would involve the whole House and take place in September.

  • Meanwhile, columnist John Baer wonders where Street has been as Philadelphia's violence rates have become the hot issue of the day, and while Brady and others have taken the lead. Speaking of which, Rep. Dwight Evans touts his record on violence. Q: Is Street dropping the ball, or staying out of the way of mayoral candidates and others who want to build credibility on this issue?

  • Along similar lines, Dan at YPP asks what compromises of civil liberties we would be willing to tolerate in service of successful campaign against city violence (as in a short-term measure until longer structural fixes could be found). An interesting question, bound to come up more and more often.

  • The Teamsters vote to endorse Ed Rendell for reelection as Governor. Longer story here.

  • Marc Stier looks at what it means to endorse a candidate and the factors that an organization has to consider before making their pick in any race.

  • AAJane notes an odd occurrence during an everyday candidate conference call with the press, featuring Patrick Murphy and John Kerry, when a member of his opponent's staff (not campaign staff, but Mike Fitzpatrick's congressional Chief of Staff) crashed the call and tried to disrupt it (by diverting discussion from national security to some petty logistical claims). eRobin gives a lengthy description of the encounter, along with her own view of expected behavior and the awkwardness (and desperation) around this strange move. More amazement here. Note that this incident merited a brief news mention below.

  • Jane also notes some mentions of Pennsylvania political circumstances in the Wall Street Journal.

  • An Inky editorial welcomes the suggestion of a longer school year for troubled schools.

  • A Daily News opinion piece says the recent agreement on billboards should be only the start of a more responsive regulatory collaboration.

  • A DN letter calls for a more humane way of dealing with the nation's drug problem.

  • On the positive side of politics, AAJane notes that Montogomery County officials have capped their own pay increases at the exact rate given to county employees. An excellent example.

  • Six short (1-2 paragraph) bits at two links in the Inquirer are of interest: the first includes thoughts on stopping violence, the Knox campaign, and the city's improved car fleet arrangements the second touches on a division within the AFL-CIO over the Weldon-Sestak congressional race, an odd move by a Fitzpatrick aid (also mentioned above), and fraternizing of staff from opposing candidates.


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