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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: February, 2009

POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 10:15 AM

Will Bunch takes a look at President Obama's speech from last night, using the old Steve Austin analogy.  And a Philadelphia cop gets a front row seat for the event.

Chris Wright, City Councilman's former chief of staff, is convicted on federal corruption charges, along with two of Kelly's closest political allies.  And we learn why a juror was booted from the case two weeks ago.

In other political news from the federal court, a prosecutor has blistering words for former state Sen. Vince Fumo.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 5:23 PM

We just got a White House press release which details the folks who will sit with First Lady Michelle Obama during the President's speech on the economy tonight. Among them is one of Philadelphia's finest, Police Officer Richard DeCoatsworth.

From the release:

Richard G. DeCoatsworth, Police Officer (Philadelphia, PA)

POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 3:28 PM

We had a lot of creative entries into our Friday PhillyClout contest. As you remember, the challenge was to write a haiku about the city's potential trash collection fee.

After careful consideration, we agreed that the best and brightest entry came from Burt Rublin. Congrats! Email us to arrange to get your prize.

And here is Burt's masterpiece:

POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 1:47 PM

The federal jury in the case of Chris Wright, City Councilman Jack Kelly's former chief of staff, has started day six of deliberations.  The corruption trial, originally projected to last two weeks, is now into its fifth week, astounding defense attorneys who had predicted this would all be over by now.  Wright is accused of taking bribes from Kelly's one-time campaign treasurer, attorney Andy Teitelman, and developers Hardeep and Ravinder Chawla.

Prosecutors say Wright received $1,000, a rent-free apartment and free legal services to help Teitelman and the Chawla brothers, Kelly's most generous political donors, with city agencies and officials on real estate, zoning and tax issues.  Defense attorneys say Wright was given gifts by friends who had no need to bribe him because they had direct access to Kelly.

Check back here today for trial updates.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 10:16 AM

President Obama set to give budget talk tonight.

Dave Davies notes that the stimulus package will do little for cash strapped local governments.

During his closing argument in former State Sen. Vince Fumo's corruption trial, the prosecutor calls Fumo a man with a "royalty complex."

POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2009, 5:12 PM

City Director of Sustainability Mark Alan Hughes is taking on an additional title – chief policy advisor to the mayor.

Hughes, who served as policy director for Nutter’s mayoral primary campaign, said that his chief responsibility will be to coordinate the policy work of the four deputy mayors. Hughes said he will continue to work on the city’s sustainability agenda.

“There’s a lot of overlap between sustainability and policy in this administration,” he said.

POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2009, 3:04 PM

Here's the press release:

PHILADELPHIA SELECTED BY EPA AS NATIONAL WATER SAFETY MODEL
AWARDED AT LEAST $2 MILLION IN FUNDING


Philadelphia, February 23, 2009 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected Philadelphia as one of five cities in the nation to serve as a national model for drinking water security. As part of this pilot program the City will receive $2 million in funding for the development of a “Contamination Warning System.” The money will be used to enhance the City’s existing online water quality network and develop a consequence management plan. This is the first installment of a potentially much larger grant.

POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2009, 3:01 PM

The race for controller is heating up. Republican Al Schmidt said today that he wants Controller Alan Butkovitz to ready for a fight.

We reported several weeks ago that the former executive director of Republic City Committee was considering getting in the controller's race for the GOP. Following Butkovitz's announcement that he plans to run for re-election, Schmidt today put out a press release about his campaign. Check it out:

“Had Enough, Philadelphia?”
City Government Breaks Social Contract with Taxpayers

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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