Saturday, October 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 3:23 PM

WASHINGTON – In the waning days before lawmakers leave Washington, the House got something done Tuesday behind an effort led by U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.), of Bucks County.

What exactly they accomplished, though, likely depends on where you sit on the political spectrum and your level of skepticism as election day nears.

To Fitzpatrick and, presumably, the 319 Republicans and Democrats who voted with him on the “Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act” Tuesday night, the House was cutting through needless government regulations to help growing businesses keep expanding, and hiring.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 4:45 PM

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D. N.J.) called Tuesday for ending a tax exemption for professional sports leagues and spending the new revenue on domestic violence programs.

Booker’s proposal comes as domestic violence among National Football League players has dominated the national headlines and conversation, though it seems a longshot to passage, particularly with Congress on the verge of leaving Washington until after Election Day.

Booker’s office said the plan would raise $100 million over 10 years.

POSTED: Monday, September 15, 2014, 5:06 PM

WASHINGTON – The South Jersey race to replace U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (R. N.J.) is dead even, according to a Stockton Polling Institute survey released Monday afternoon.

The poll found that Democrat Aimee Belgard and Republican Tom MacArthur each have support from 42.2 percent of likely voters surveyed in the district. Another 12.8 percent were undecided and the rest said they would support someone else, no one, or refused to answer. The race is shaping up as the most competitive House contest in the Philadelphia region. Runyan is retiring.

“A congressional race this close will continue to draw national attention,” said Daniel J. Douglas, director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy, which includes the polling institute. “The candidates will be fighting over a relatively small number of undecided voters from now to Election Day.”

POSTED: Monday, September 15, 2014, 2:17 PM

WASHINGTON – Debo Adegbile, the civil rights attorney whose path to a high-profile post in the Obama administration was derailed by connections to the Mumia Abu-Jamal case, has withdrawn as a nominee and joined a law firm. 

Adegbile, whose nomination to lead the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division was blocked by a charged Senate vote in March, joined Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP as a partner, the firm announced Monday

"Debo Adegbile has withdrawn himself from consideration for a position at the Department of Justice, and we are actively working toward announcing a new nominee for the post," said a White House spokesperson. UPDATE: The White House later officially announced that Adegbile had withdrawn as a nominee.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 2:28 PM

WASHINGTON – The passengers and crew of United Flight 93, along with others killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, received Congress’ highest honor Wednesday in a ceremony at the Capitol awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal.

“Tomorrow, we mourn for what was taken. Today, we consider what was left behind: stories we tell and re-tell, a legacy we strive to claim, and families we ache to serve,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio).

With numerous family members in attendance, three medals were presented: one to go on display at New York’s 9/11 memorial and museum, one for the Pentagon, and one at the Flight 93 memorial site in Shanksville, Pa., where 40 passengers and crews were killed after what is believed to be a struggle for control of the fourth plane hijacked in the 9/11 terrorist assault.

POSTED: Friday, August 15, 2014, 11:50 AM

WASHINGTON — Democrats hit hard in their first TV ad of the general election, one targeted to a South Jersey district now represented by U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (R., N.J.).

According to Tom MacArthur, the Republican who is running to replace Runyan, Democrats also hit low — and dirty.

The ad, from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is backing Belgard, began running on cable TV in the district Tuesday. (It can be seen below).


POSTED: Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 11:08 AM

WASHINGTON – National Democrats have targeted South Jersey for one of their first ads of the fall House campaigns, underscoring how a suburban Philadelphia district has become a key battleground, one of the few where they may have a chance to pick off a Republican-held seat.

Democrats see opportunity in the Burlington and Ocean county-district where U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (R., N.J.) is retiring, leaving a contest between Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard, a Democrat, and Republican Tom MacArthur, a former mayor in North Jersey and ex-insurance executive.

The Democrats’ ad attacks MacArthur for lawsuits against his former company, York Risk Services Group, in which the insurance adjustment firm was accused of short-changing policy holders after wildfires and hurricanes.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 3:17 PM

WASHINGTON – New Jersey Republicans don’t know Jeff Bell – but they like him.

Or maybe they just don’t like Democrat Cory Booker.

Bell won the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in a quiet primary back in June, and is still little known even among partisans – 68 percent of Republicans (and 77 percent of all voters) don’t know enough about him to form an opinion, according to a Quinnipiac University poll out today. But Republicans still support him by 84-9, the poll found. 

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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