Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Casey sighting

PA Sen. Bob Casey is addressing the Democratic convention (thankless, the speakers against the din of meanderers). About John McCain's record of voting 90% with George Bush: "That's not a maverick; that's a sidekick!" heh heh...


Monday, August 25, 2008

Score 1 for the little guys

Congrats to Dan U-A and Ed Goppelt for forcing Philadelphia's election commisioners to do their job and make election returns available online to all citizens, not just a few priviledged insiders. Good work, everybody who helped pile on the pressure by faxing a password request or by giving this story some of the fresh air it needed. Occasionally regular folks get to make things happen.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Positive rumblings on casinos?

Front page in today's Inquirer is news that Foxwoods is open to considering other sites for its casino complex. Not clear where, or how serious, but this is unprecedented in the discussions, so will be interesting to see. Getting these big boxes off of the riverfront seems like a good thing for the city's ability to develop its resources, but I suspect that any new site will face continued opposition from those who think any casino anywhere must be prevented.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer flotsam

Just a few recent articles that update ongoing stories or bring up interesting new points:
  • Remember that Fumo case? The one with several hundred indictments, and stories of everything from alpaca farms to shredding documents? It's still trudging along. A former computer aide appears ready to add his guilty plea to that of his partner in email erasure, and may testify against Fumo eventually.

  • Philadelphia City Councilman Jack Kelly appears to be surrounded with financial scandal, with at least one key staffer indicted. The Daily News notes that Kelly has been silent about the matter -- and the staffer's fate -- and suggests that in a city trying to shake off a history of corruption problems, we need clear statements and actions on ethical matters. In related news, the CityPaper looks at what Kelly has accomplished during his time on Council and finds the record a bit thin.

  • State legislators are considering a program of GPS ankle bracelets for sex offenders, 10% of whom currently go AWOL in PA. Civil rights issues are raised, as well as questions about the effectiveness of Megan's Law and related efforts, about who would pay the costs, and about whether the technology is even ready.

  • Is Unisys going to back down from moving its headquarters to Center City over the issue of hanging their name on the Liberty Place building (of which they would rent only a small fraction)? Young Philly Politics' Dan U-A shakes his head over the hubris of it all and urges the city to hang tough.

  • Finally, the fuel-cost-driven surge in transit ridership is propelling SEPTA to make customer-oriented service improvements, which D-Mac thinks could portend the apocolypse.

His own man?

Folks have expressed concern that Fumo's replacement in the 1st State Senate seat, while no known horror like Johnny Doc, might be a puppet, having gotten some late money from Fumo himself. Only time will tell, but here's a little video of Farnese claiming to be his own man and promising transparency in his future work. Here's hoping.