Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tuesday round-up I: Politicians

  • Apparently it's the season of releasing tax returns for public discussion...

    • 3/5 mayoral candidates release filings (Evans still to come; Fattah's somehow tied up in his wife's confidential contract). Mostly boring, more amazement that Knox is rich...

    • Oh, did I mention, Knox is rich? More details for the curious, from cars to charitable donations. yawn.

    • Marginally more interesting, Brady's wife has a pretty salary from a city contractor. Looks like she got the job through connections, but I suppose it's not conflict of interest until her husband has an official city office.

  • More mayoral news

    • Apparently a new poll is out, sampling exclusively black voters: it finds that Fattah is still ahead with this group, before he's run a single ad, but Knox continues to move up on Dwight Evans, currently second. A quarter of respondants call themselves undecided, which is more than the portion selecting any candidate but Fattah, so there's still a lot of room for flux (not to mention, more combative ads and debates).

    • The Inquirer notes a recent promise by Fattah to expand after-school programs, and breaks down the details.

    • The Daily News notes Nutter's first ads hitting the airwaves, and a general shift to more feisty sound bites from several candidates lately. Also analysis here of the financial constraints imposed by contribution limits, and thus a general leeriness of starting negative campaigning too soon (and running out of funds for each candidate to defend himself).

    • An Inky columnist notes the convenient timing of Brady's latest labor intervention. Another Inky article notes that Brady called on Rendell to actually make the deal happen, with a little state funding to grease the wheels.

  • Other pols

    • Gov. Rendell just came out with a heap of reform proposals to make state government more accountable and its workings more transparent.
      Limit campaign contributions. Expand access to government records. Set term limits for lawmakers. Shrink the legislature. Change the way legislative districts are drawn. Choose judges through a "merit" system instead of electing them.
      It's enough to leave you breathless. Will be interesting to see how many of these ideas (summarized at the end of the article) get out of the starting gate. However, apparently many of them would require a change to the state constitution, so they will have to make it past two legislative sessions and a referendum before taking effect . . .

    • A state court has ruled that future judicial candidates will have to file financial disclosure statements with the state Ethics Commission like candidates for other elected offices. (There had been some ambiguity on this front.)


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