Monday, March 2, 2015

State Rep. Mark Cohen on per diems: May be hardest worker

State Rep. Mark Cohen is under fire again for his practice of putting in for so many "per diem" payments each year. Cohen took to Facebook this morning to defend himself, saying he "may well be the hardest working state legislator."

State Rep. Mark Cohen on per diems: May be hardest worker

State Rep. Mark Cohen took to Facebook Thursday evening to defend himself for taking $39,000 in legislative per diems in 2011.
State Rep. Mark Cohen took to Facebook Thursday evening to defend himself for taking $39,000 in legislative per diems in 2011.

State Rep. Mark Cohen is under fire again for his practice of putting in for so many "per diem" payments each year.  Cohen took to Facebook Thursday evening to defend himself, saying he "may well be the hardest working state legislator."

"They're looking for scalps," Cohen responded when Harrisburg activist Russ Diamond asked him on Facebook "Why are they picking on you?"  Diamond was referring to a report on ABC27 in Harrisburg Thursday that Cohen led the state House in per diem payments in 2011 with $39,333.

The per diem (Latin for "by day") of $158 is paid to legislators for their travel and lodging when they are in Harrisburg or out of their districts on state business.

"What it comes down to is that I take very few days off, and they are trying to turn that into a scandal," Cohen continued.

The report has a strong Philly vs. Harrisburg flavor, asking at the start and finish: "Philly, can you hear us?"

Cohen has represented the 202nd District, which stretches from Fern Rock to Pennypack Park, since 1974.  He went unchallenged in Democratic primary elections from 1984 to 2012.  He defeated Numa St. Louis in the April 24 primary with 63 percent of the vote.

About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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