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Archive: June, 2010

POSTED: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 3:53 PM

It's a good-news/bad-news day for Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, the Democratic nominee for governor.  Onorato raised more money from May 4 to June 7 than state Attorney General Tom Corbett, the Republican nominee for governor, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Department of State today. 

But Corbett now holds the lead in campaign fund-raising over Onorato, who consistently led that field when he competed against three other Democrats in the May 18 primary election, including the well-funded state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams of Philadelphia.  Corbett held off an underfunded GOP challenger, state Rep. Sam Rohrer of Berks County, in his primary election.

The reports show:

  • Onorato had $1 million in the bank on May 3, raised $1.6 million from May 4 to June 7, spent $1.7 million during that period and has $1 million left.*
  • Corbett had $3.8 million in the bank on May 3, raised $1.4 million from May 4 to June 7, spent $1.8 million during that period and has $3.4 million in the bank.*
POSTED: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 12:49 PM

Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. just held legislation that would fine those guilty of witness intimidation and dedicate that money into a special fund, saying that Mayor Nutter has instead pledged $200,000 to the goal.

“It would have taken us several years to put the money together,” Jones said.

For more on the proposal, read this story in today’s Daily News.

POSTED: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 11:52 AM

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, the Democratic nominee for governor, is certainly pleased that GOPAC [Motto: Training the next generation of Republican leaders] is holding its third annual state and local summit in his hometown of Pittsburgh today through Saturday. Onorato's campaign put out a news release today proclaiming that "National Republican leaders recognize Onorato's accomplishments," adding that the turn-around in the Pittsburgh economy is being touted by GOPAC as a model for the rest of the nation.

State Attorney General Tom Corbett, the Republican nominee for governor who also lives in Allegheny County, is scheduled to address the GOPAC summit during a breakfast tomorrow.  Onorato's campaign is distributing to GOPAC visitors a "Greetings from Pittsburgh" post card to mail home that says this:  "Onorato reformed government and balanced six budgets on time without raising property taxes. All that would be great, except Onorato is running for governor against our nominee, Tom Corbett, who has no experience balancing a real budget, enacting real reform or encouraging private sector job growth."

It's nice the Onorato campaign can maintain a sense of humor. reported this morning that Corbett now holds at least a 2-1 advantage in campaign cash, based on finance reports due today to the Department of State.  PhillyClout has asked both campaigns for copies of their reports.  We'll post results when we get them.

POSTED: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 11:30 AM

At the final Council session of the legislative season today, Councilman Frank DiCicco announced plans to introduce legislation that would call for a voter referendum on whether to abolish the Sheriff’s Office.

“I think we have a responsibility and obligation to look at what we can do to downsize government,” said DiCicco. The bill is co-sponsored by Councilman Bill Green.

Longtime Sheriff John Green last week announced he would retire before his term ends in January 2012 and said his deputy would take over. The Sheriff's Office - responsible for transporting prisoners, providing security for courtrooms, serving warrants and auctioning real estate to satisfy tax or mortgage debts - is often cited by reformers as one of a series of “row offices” that could be eliminated to improve service and save money.

POSTED: Thursday, June 17, 2010, 8:42 AM

An 18-year-old who stalked Sabina Rose O'Donnell to steal her bike sexually assaulted her and then killed her, police announced yesterday.

City Council will consider legislation to fine people who threaten witnesses in criminal cases.

An off-duty state trooper facing DUI charges is killed in a crash while driving the wrong way on the Schuylkill Expressway.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 3:28 PM

Jonathan Ramos stepped up his complaints against state Rep. Angel Cruz about the May 18 Democratic primary election for the 180th state House District seat today, asking the City Commission to investigate results in the 7th Ward division by division.  Ramos was represented at this morning's Commission meeting by attorney Kevin Greenberg, who claimed: "If you go through this division by division, the 7th Ward is rife with improprieties."

The state Attorney General's Office has already opened an inquiry, based on a complaint referred to that agency by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.  Greenberg laid out his claims about the 7th Ward, where Cruz is the leader, for the City Commissioners this morning.  The Commissioners said they would consider the request for an investigation.  Here's a run-down of claims made today by Ramos:

  • There was an unusual "over-vote" in the 180th District race, with 1,271 voters in the ward casting ballots while just 793 voters cast ballots in the ward for the governor's race. Typically "top of the ballot" races like governor and senator draw far more ballots that state House races.
  • Cruz took home the tape that records results for a voting machine in the ward's 23rd division and never turned it it.  His brother, Luis, took home a tape from a machine in the 11th division and didn't turn it in until the next day.
  • Investigators for Ramos found that 72 people registered as Republicans, independents or in other political parties were allowed to vote in the Democratic primary for the 180th District.
  • Ramos claims that one voter who cast a ballot in the race is dead, four no longer live at the address where they were registered to vote, three were registered in vacant properties and three had bogus addresses.
  • Nine voters claimed that they were accompanied into the ballot booth with "assistors" who showed them who to vote for or voted for them.
POSTED: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 10:46 AM

John Baer calls President Obama's speech on the gulf oil disaster "soulless."

The city's lawyer says Boy Scouts lack the courage to repudiate the national organization's ban on openly gay members.

Teacher transfers are delayed until next week, at the union's request.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 3:55 PM

City Council today gave preliminary approval to Richie McKeithen, Mayor Nutter’s pick for the city’s first chief assessor.

McKeithen, director of Washington's Office of Real Property Tax Administration, will be charged with the daunting task of setting up the new Office of Property Assessment and fixing Philadelphia’s broken property tax assessment system.

“I’m excited. Philadelphia offers a lot of unique opportunities,” McKeithen said before the largely cordial hearing.

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
 Follow Chris on Twitter

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
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

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