Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wednesday deluge I: Politicians

Suddenly a downpour of interesting links, so will post in two parts...
  • Mark Warner, former Virginia Governor and presumed 2008 Presidential aspirant, was in town yesterday to stump for local Democratic candidates Patrick Murphy, Lois Murphy, and Joe Sestak. Several sorts of coverage:

    1. General story (at the Daily News).
    2. Context of Presidential contenders keeping themselves in circulation (at the Inquirer), especially in electoral-vote-heavy Pennsylvania.
    3. Booman describes the Patrick Murphy event, to which a smattering of bloggers were invited.

  • Over on the US Senate side, Rick Santorum and Bob Casey have officially agreed to four debates, strangely including two in one day.

    Meanwhile, the Daily News opinion page calls on Casey to get moving, and on Ed Rendell to start helping him; in fact, Casey will start running his first statewide ad tomorrow; and the Pennsylvania Progressive looks at both candidates' efforts to define one another at this stage in the race. Finally, a poster at YPP points us to a short guide to differences between Casey and Santorum on a number of issues. (The Casey campaign has a pretty good version of the same thing, but apparently prefers not to make it public. hello???)

  • Speaking of debates, Patrick Murphy and Mike Fitzpatrick will have another one in Bucks County on October 12 -- presumably it will get radio or TV coverage; will let you know if/when I hear.

  • For those on the eastern side of the state who might have missed it, Pittsburgh's mayor Bob O'Connor was diagnosed brain cancer about a month ago and is undergoing advanced radiation and chemotherapy treatments. The city has held prayer vigils and other events to wish him well; I'm sure residents statewide are hoping for the best.

  • Last, calls for a smaller state legislature might not achieve what proponents hope: the Commonwealth Foundation reports that
    As "a stand-alone reform, reducing the size of the legislature would have a minimal effect on improving the efficiency and the effectiveness of the General Assembly and therefore must be complemented with other critical reforms."
    Better would be lobbyist disclosure regulations, independent redistricting, and other (cough, obvious) improvements in how things run. In a related vein, Marc Stier explores the rationale for public financing of political campaigns, pointing out that we're already paying for politicians' deals when their kick-backs to donors raise the cost of doing government business . . .


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