Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday round-up

Short day -- so it goes...
  • Politicians and their business

    • Brady's day in court reviewed -- including the revelation that he's been building up a union pension for work he's not doing...

    • The Inquirer looks at the difficulties in running for State Supreme Court Justice in Pennsylvania, highlighting the experience of candidate C. Darnell Jones (about whom I've heard very good things), who wasn't even allowed to speak at the Montgomery County meeting of the Democratic Party (which had already chosen other candidates to back).

    • The State House voted to give Philadelphia rights to regulate its own campaign finance laws. Republicans were quite vocal in their opposition, however, which might mean that the bill's fate in the Senate is less rosy.

    • The Daily News reports a heap of candidates who've withdrawn from various races as of yesterday's deadline, in addition to those removed by challenge. Most of those withdrawing were judicial candidates whose ballot position may have discouraged them.

    • Philadelphia magazine offers profiles of two of Philadelphia's mayoral candidates, Tom Knox (who they seem to think is blowing his own momentum) and more in-depth on Dwight Evans (who they describe as failing to connect with voters, but capable).
      (via Fight for Room 215)

    • There was a mayoral forum in Society Hill last night, which drew many questions about the casino deal, among other topics. Albert offers some photos of the event, which was held in the striking Old Pine Church.

    • Marc Stier has a proposal to put Philadelphia's casinos near the airport, which would prevent some of the worst effects on neighbors while keeping many of the advantages in terms of jobs and revenue.

    • The CityPaper notes a variety of candidates wooing SEIU, a powerful liberal union composed largely of custodians.

    • Here's an odd bit for lovers of Fumo-Dougherty fireworks, with accusations of trash theft and other bizarre ideas.

  • Other top news

    • Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson to retire at the end of the year. The article treats this as no particular surprise, but it's the first I've heard of it. The search for a successor should be interesting.

    • Phoenix has bypassed Philadelphia in size, dropping us to #6 city in the US. Much weeping and analysis ensues, and Gaetano at YPP offers some ways to retain the population we have.

    • The Daily News looks at the rising percentage of the city budget going to healthcare and other benefits for city employees, and the limits that that may set for both hiring of new employees (such as the much-discussed added police) and expansion or improvement of other services. The next mayor may have to risk union displeasure by restructuring how the city handles its pensions et al.

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