Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wednesday round-up

  • News from the courts

    • Mariano business still in the news? Another business confederate sentenced to 3 years in jail for bribery.

    • Brady testified in his own ballot challenge case, apparently taking the line that he didn't claim to know anything about any of the forms and relied on his legal advisors. Jill Porter got the same impression from his remarks that I did: that he might not be bright enough to run a city as complex as Philadelphia.

  • Other bits

    • Street and School Reform Commission in battle over new school budget, and particularly the need for more city funding. Caught in the crossfire is a Wilson Goode bill to shift a bit more property tax money to schools, to make up for the tax-deferred income, etc.

    • Inquirer editor to undergo treatment for prostate cancer; he hopes to be back in the newsroom in just a few weeks.

    • Apparently the May primaries will be chock full of ballot measures, including one that I somehow missed, addressing the planned revaluation of Philadelphia properties. I'm not clear what the specific question would be, but (the ubiquitous) Brett Mandel says that there's no outlet for the outcome; the city charter would have to be amended to allow citizen input. Perhaps somebody hopes this will be good for voter turnout in a hot primary election.

    • AAJane notes that Michael Nutter has hired a star Rendell campaign guru as his media consultant, and also mentions an upcoming Nutter social event.

    • Opinionizers:

      1. The Inquirer calls on the state legislature to pass legislation authorizing Philadelphia's attempts to write its own campaign finance laws.

      2. The Daily News mentions yet another proposed ballot initiative, this one that they think is a bad idea. Jannie Blackwell would like to ask voters about whether PGW's latest rate increase request should be approved; the DN notes that there are many reasons why regulators, and not bill-payers, have to make that decision. They also note that a better approach would be to request more state funding of the LIHEAP program of low-income assistance, rather than making Philadelphia shoulder the full cost of subsidizing the poor.


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