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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: September, 2012

POSTED: Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 3:26 PM

The city is eyeing tougher penalties for those who skateboard on public art and memorials.

A City Council committee approved today a bill sponsored by Councilman David Oh on behalf of the Nutter administration that would add public artwork and memorials to the city ban on skateboarding on public property and hike fines from $300 to $2,000 and imprisonment of up to 90 days.

Imprisonment would not be imposed on children and their parents.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 12:04 PM

The Pennsylvania Department of State and PennDOT declared Tuesday that they have met the standard set by the state Supreme Court last Wednesday on "liberal access" to identification needed to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.  That declaration comes one week before state Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson must rule on whether any voters will be disenfranchised by the state's Voter ID law.

Secretary of State Carol Aichele, in a statement released Tuesday morning, said the process for obtaining a new state ID developed for voting has now been streamlined.  A voter must visit a PennDOT office and provide their name, date of birth, Social Security number and address.  PennDOT will confirm if the person is a registered voter and issue the ID.

Opponents of the law and voter registration advocates had complained that voters trying to get the new state ID were required to make multiple trips to PennDOT offices and wait several days.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 11:20 AM

The Republican State Leadership Committee, which caused a stir last week by launching an attack ad on the Democratic candidate for state Attorney General, has deep pockets to impact races around the country.  Where does that money come from?  Ask Gov. Corbett.

Corbett was the headline guest at a July 11 fund-raiser for the RSLC at Comcast's headquarters here in Philadelphia.  The "suggested contribution" for the non-profit RSLC, based in Washington, D.C., was $5,000 per person.  Corbett appeared with Oklahoma Gov. Scott Pruitt, chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, which is part of the RSLC.

Corbett certainly owed the RSLC committee a major political favor.  The group dumped $480,000 into his 2004 campaign for state Attorney General with two weeks to go until the general election. A judge then ordered the RSLC to reveal where the money came from.  The primary source, it turned out, was Audrey McClendon, chairman of Chesapeake Energy Co., now a major player in the Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling going on in Pennsylvania under Corbett's watch. 

POSTED: Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 9:15 AM

A new study suggests that one in six eligible Latino voters in Pennsylvania could be disenfranchised during the Nov. 6 general election due to the state's new Voter ID law.

The city's blue-collar union has to pay $50 per paycheck to keep up with rising health care costs as a contract stalemate continues with Mayor Nutter.

Nervous parents are on patrol in Kensington's "Needle Park."

POSTED: Monday, September 24, 2012, 6:10 PM

The Republican State Leadership Committee, which had been running an inaccurate commercial for nearly five days about Kathleen Kane, the Democratic nominee for state Attorney General, has now released a new version of the ad.  The political non-profit, based in Washington, D.C., tries to blame Kane for the inaccuracy after she complained Friday that she played no role in the resolution of two rape cases cited in the original version of the ad.

“Now she lets others take responsibility for violent criminals given weak plea deals," a female narrator says in the new version, which drops claims that Kane went "soft" on the two rape cases while serving as an assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County.

The Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office has disputed the RSLC accusations, saying Kane was not assigned to the cases when they were resolved. The father of a rape victim in one of the cases issued a letter saying the RSLC "should be ashamed" of the ad.


POSTED: Monday, September 24, 2012, 10:09 AM

Hey teachers, there’s a charity website that can help pay for those school supplies.

The Republican State Leadership Committee keeps running an inaccurate ad about Kathleen Kane, the Democratic candidate for state attorney general.

The Daily News was chillin’ wit’ City Commission chairwoman Stephanie Singer yesterday.

POSTED: Friday, September 21, 2012, 7:09 PM

The Republican State Leadership Committee, under fire Friday for misrepresenting the role Kathleen Kane played in prosecuting a rape case while she was an assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County, is pulling references to that case from a television commercial running this week in the Philadelphia market.  That came after Kane, the Democratic nominee for state attorney general, released angry letters from the victim's father and the 1st assistant district attorney of Lackawanna County that accused the RSLC of using a lie to smear her.

The GOP group, based in Washington, D.C., is not exactly admitting to botching the facts here. Instead, RSLC president Chris Jankowski pivots to another criticism of Kane, that she claimed during the primary election campaign to have prosecuted 3,000 cases but took only 24 or so to trial.  The RSLC accused Kane of "walking away from a case with her name all over it. The paper trail, while confusing at best, shows that Kane's credibility and understanding as a prosecutor is lacking."

Kane signed the initial charging documents in the rape case, which was then handled by a different assistant district attorney, a fact easily verified in the Scranton Times-Tribune story the RSLC cites in the ad as proof.  The ad was reported on in Friday's Clout column.

POSTED: Friday, September 21, 2012, 1:01 PM

The father of a rape victim had denounced as a lie a Republican group's campaign commercial slamming as "soft" on rape Kathleen Kane, the Democratic nominee for state Attorney General in the Nov. 6 general election.  The Republican State Leadership Committee in Washington, D.C. used the man's daughter as one of two examples of rape victims to criticize Kane's experience as an assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County.

"The advertisement says that Kathleen Kane made a plea bargain in a rape case that a judge says wasn't tough enough," the father wrote in a letter released Friday by Kane's campaign. "I know that's a lie, because it was my daughter that was the victim in the case.

The father goes on to say Kane played no role in the case.  He calls on the RSLC to take down the ad, adding that the Republican candidate, Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed should do the same. "If they can't convince people to vote for him without lying, he should not even be running," the father concludes about the RSLC and Freed.


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
 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 dehuffj@phillynews.com
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

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