Monday, September 18, 2006

Monday deluge

  • Politicians and related follies

    • Over the weekend I heard that an appeals court ruled against Tony Payton in the contested 179th primary, opinining that some of the misplaced write-in votes for Emilio Vazquez should be counted. This is unlikely to be the last we hear of this matter, as some of the votes thus switched had also *marked Payton's box*! If the next round of appeals doesn't move fast, I don't know whose name will end up on the November ballot!

    • Michael Nutter has spoken out on the City Council special elections, sending a letter to Brady to request that his seat be left empty until the May primaries, when district voters could make their own choice; Brady counters that calling or cancelling council elections is not under his control. The Ward Leaders are meeting tonight to make their picks for the November ballot, and are expected to put Carol Campbell in Nutter's old seat. Nutter says it isn't personal, but didn't talk to Campbell about his feelings; she has stated her support for Brady if he enters the mayoral race; how much of this is principle and how much back-room politics?

      Three related bits:

      1. John Baer imagines what might be in Nutter's long-term dream, given potential Democratic victories in various venues this fall, and imagines that not many of his rivals would be willing to get in line with it.

      2. Dan UA is happy to see Nutter on the side of the good guys, if belatedly, and sees the move as a window into the value that Nutter places on the progressive community.

      3. Signe Wilkinson offers her own take on the presumptive coronation of Campbell, given her shady history.

    • Friedman at America's Hometown notes Nutter's testimony on transit needs in our region, including some concrete suggestions for improving service and increasing ridership.

    • Philadelphians Against Santorum is the first progressive local group to get Bob Casey to acknowledge their existence -- he's showing up tonight for a question and answer session at 6p. I can't make it, but look forward to Albert's inevitable disappointment, and perhaps to some other reports of how Casey deals with grudging supporters.

    • Apparently Ed Rendell and Lynn Swann will have three debates/forums between now and election day. You must be kidding...
      (via The Pennsylvania Progressive)

    • Above Average Jane offers an in-depth assessment of Paul Lang, candidate for the State Senate, using the criteria she set out some months back, looking at everything from campaign staff to tests of character. She finds him accessible, thoughtful, and trustworthy, among other accolades.

    • The Inquirer offers several short bits on city politics, including the changed dynamics of an underpopulated City Council, a plea from Nutter to let voters pick his successor, Brady inviting Evans to his second violence summit, and activity by Butkovitz on behalf of Sudan. A second installment of tidbits covers fancy fundraisers for legislative candidates, Casey getting a tough question from Catholics, and Swann making up for a cancelled appearance before a regional business group.

    • And finally, the Inky also showcases a host of questions suggested by readers, to be put to candidates seeking the paper's endorsement. An interesting mix.

  • Other (equally or more annoying) bits

    • Amtrak sets a great example for SEPTA by gladly waving farewell to 20% of its regular Northeast Corridor riders in search of a 3% increase in revenues. This is the cost of low public funding for transit: having to chase dollars means that service doesn't even matter, let alone growing long-term ridership and getting more people to think about giving up their cars. Stupid for society to throw away its options, and stupid for the planners to think about short-term bottom lines, but that's the current mode of operations. sigh.

    • Continuing to demonstrate the stupidity of slippery slope arguments, sportsmen gather to oppose all gun regulation, let Philly shootings be damned! Because if you can't kill deer with handguns, the terrorists have won! Santorum and Casey were there to cheer them on. In related news, the Pennsylvania Coalition to End Handgun Violence encourages everybody to join them for a full day rally in Harrisburg on Tuesday, September 26 -- free buses will be available.

    • New Jersey residents are increasingly being asked to show their Social Security cards as ID in a range of contexts, despite the fact that many such uses of SS cards are illegal under federal and state law. Signs of more paranoid times?

    • Looks like Philadelphia's new city wireless program (remember that?) may cost more than originally promised. Lots more info about the program at the link.

    • Finally, for a break (?) from the annoying stories, Dan notes the new phallic igloo being showcased by the Eagles. What next -- football?


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