Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday top stories

A deluge again today, but these three stories got the most mileage on the local Nets:
  • Philadelphia City Council passes Goode's campaign finance bill

    • Inquirer summary: the biggest effect on the spring primaries will be a doubling of the contribution limits if/when Tom Knox officially declares, to put other candidates on a more competitive footing with a millionare in the race. The measure does nothing to rein in undeclared but obvious candidates (of which the mayoral field has many) from raising much more than would be allowed those foolish enough to be official. Anyone want to clarify what positive thing is accomplished here? Other than Goode's endearing himself to Fattah, Dougherty, and other big rainmakers...

    • Daily News overview. One clarification here is that excess money raised before "official declaration" cannot be spent once the candidate goes on the record; however, there are plenty of ways to spend it before that date (tons of campaign literature comes to mind)... Also noted here is that a state law to officially permit Philly to regulate its own campaigns is still only partway through approval in Harrisburg, and may not get Senate action before the end of the year. Make of the mess what you will.

    • Marc Stier thinks this is a step backward, and gets Goode into something of a hissy fit. "Don't take my blogging too seriously..." is the wrong way to frame an argument. Either you have points worth making or you should let the discussion roll right on by you.

  • Newspaper strike in the air?

    • I knew there were discussions underway, and that Tierney had threatened cuts (see prev. here) but was still a bit surprised to hear the Newspaper Guild authorizing a strike "if necessary" already last night. Current contract expires next Tuesday, which raises the astounding prospect of a disruption in news coverage during the last week of a hot election season. A national mediator has been requested.

    • Via PhiladelphiaWillDo, a PhilaWeekly piece that gives background for the dispute and issues at stake, an excellent resource for anyone who, like myself, was caught a bit off-guard.

    • A PhillyFuture poster declares the newspaper business dead, resulting in little sympathy for the reporters in this negotiation. Ok, there's actually some thoughtful analysis here about the value of specialization by local papers on the news that nobody else would cover, but in a context that blames the staff for the decisions made higher up.

  • Gay rights in New Jersey
    Not so much new news coverage of the ruling, but lots from the opinionistas today.

    • Inquirer editorial: applauds the decision and looks at the tough decision ahead for the legislature in deciding how to handle the charged term "marriage."

    • Daily News opinion page also sees this ruling as a step in the right direction, but wonders whether any separate institution set up to give gays the protection of marriage rights can ever really be trusted as "equal."

    • In a separate DN opinion piece, Christina Flowers shakes her petulant fist at the audacity of the justices in giving the legislature a mandate, and implies that God may yet punish them. (Oh, and while no man-on-dog action is mentioned, she does make the argument that the logic of this ruling could be extrapolated to allow sibling marriage. yeah.)


Blogger Ben Waxman said...

I wouldn't worry too much about that strike authorization vote. Every union takes them before contract negotations. If they didn't, employers would know that elected officials didn't have the support of the membership. By authorizing a strike before negoations, union negotators can bring that threat to the bargining table.

5:00 PM  

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