Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 12:16 PM

WASHINGTON – The federal government has asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit by Chaka Fattah Jr., the son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), arguing that the claims arrived too late and are based on inference, not proven fact.

The filing in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania takes a dismissive approach to Fattah Jr.’s suit seeking nearly $10 million in damages for claims against the IRS, FBI, U.S. Department of Justice and United States of America, all of which are named as defendants.

“Plaintiff’s amended complaint grasps at various legal theories, but they all fall short of what is required to bring a claim in federal court,” says a Department of Justice filing dated Monday. “Plaintiff’s claims are insufficiently supported by factual allegations.”

POSTED: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 4:29 PM

WASHINGTON -- Former Gov. Ed Rendell endorsed Shaughnessy Naughton heading into the final stretch of a tough Democratic Congressional primary in Bucks County.

The primary "has two excellent candidates" Rendell said in a statement, "However, I believe that Shaughnessy Naughton is the most qualified candidate and has the best chance to unseat Republican Mike Fitzpatrick in the fall."

Naughton's campaign released the statement in a fund-raising e-mail to supporters Wednesday. There was no formal press release or event.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 2:24 PM

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan, a Republican whose pending retirement has set off a heated GOP primary in South Jersey, endorsed Tom MacArthur as his replacement Tuesday.

As Runyan praised the former Randolph mayor, he warned that MacArthur's primary opponent, Steve Lonegan, could cost Republicans the seat if the outspoken conservative wins the nomination.

"Tom was a strong conservative as a Mayor, and his track record of building a business, creating jobs and understanding how to grow the economy is tremendously impressive," Runyan said in a statement released by the MacArthur campaign. "I strongly believe that if Steve Lonegan is our nominee, Republicans will lose this seat in November."  

POSTED: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 11:15 AM
Kevin Strouse (right) and Shaughnessy Naughton are vying for the Democratic nomination to run against Republican incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania's Eighth Congressional District.

WASHINGTON – Shaughnessy Naughton has called on her Democratic primary opponent, Kevin Strouse, to explain a series of donations apparently exchanged between his parents and the parents of other Democratic Congressional candidates around the country, saying they violated the spirit of campaign finance laws, if not the laws themselves.

“There’s a lot of unanswered questions here and I think we deserve answers,” Naughton said Wednesday morning in a conference call with reporters. “At best this is a bizarre scheme. At worst it was a coordinated effort to circumvent campaign finance limits – that should be troubling.”

Naughton, running against Strouse in a primary for a Bucks County-based seat, arranged the call in response to an Inquirer story Monday that showed that Strouse’s parents, after giving the maximum allowed to their son, then sent donations to eight other Democratic House candidates in states such as California, Colorado, Illinois and Florida.

POSTED: Thursday, May 8, 2014, 9:26 AM

Running updates on Thursday's House Judiciary Committee hearing on the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger are below. Updates are also on Twitter @JonathanTamari.

The hearing concluded just before 1:40 p.m.

12:50
WASHINGTON -- More than three hours in, we had the most unusual exchange of the day.

POSTED: Thursday, May 1, 2014, 9:08 AM

WASHINGTON – Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) urged Gov. Corbett to wave the white flag on Pennsylvania’s controversial Voter ID law Thursday, writing that the Republican administration should forego any further appeals after losing a court ruling Monday.

“At every turn Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law has been rejected by the courts,” Casey wrote in a letter sent to Corbett’s office Thursday morning and obtained by the Inquirer. “Continuing this appeal will only continue to cast a cloud of uncertainty over residents who are rightly concerned that this law will prevent them from exercising their right to vote.”

Casey’s letter comes three days after a Commonwealth Court judge denied the Corbett administration's request to reconsider a ruling that blocked the voter identification law.  The Corbett administration has 30 days from Monday’s decision to file an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Casey wrote that the law would "create a barrier that would prevent tens of thousands of Pennsylvania residents from exercising their right to vote."

POSTED: Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 2:29 PM

WASHINGTON – Pennsylvania’s split Senate delegation reflected the partisan divide on the minimum wage Wednesday, as Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey staked out sharply different positions in a morning vote.

Casey, a Democrat, spoke out in favor of raising the national minimum wage to $10.10 while Toomey, a Republican, said the bill would kill jobs. They were on opposite sides of a plan that never had much chance of passing, but that is expected to play a central role in Democrats’ political campaigns this fall.

“It’s one of the few things the congress can do in a short time frame to give everyone a fair shot, especially those who are particularly hurting in this economy,” Casey said in a conference call shortly before the vote.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 5:22 PM
U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach. (Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel, File / Inquirer)

WASHINGTON – In Ukraine for the past several days, U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.) said he has found a country eager for new elections and government reform – but with a “sword hanging over them” in the form of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Putin is not a friend of democracy. Putin does not care about anything other than trying to expand Russia into the old Soviet Union," Gerlach, of Chester County, said Wednesday in a telephone interview from Kiev.

Gerlach, co-chair of the Ukraine caucus in the House, has met with members of the Ukrainian parliament, the country’s acting president and prime minister and civic groups. He said the country’s leaders realize they need to end corruption and that the nation “is very stable.” But Russia looms as a threat to both Ukraine and its neighbors, he said.

About this blog

Jonathan Tamari is the Inquirer’s Washington correspondent. He writes about the lawmakers, politics and policy that affect Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Tamari previously covered the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL. Before that he worked in Trenton, reporting on the characters and color of New Jersey state government. He lives in Washington.

Reach Jonathan at jtamari@phillynews.com.

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