Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Monday, March 31, 2014, 3:05 PM
Pam DeLissio hugs a supporter after her 2010 election victory. (JIMMY VIOLA / Staff photographer)

A state Commonwealth Court judge just rejected a residency challenge that sought to knock state Rep. Pam DeLissio off the May 20 Democratic primary election ballot in the 194th District.

Senior Judge Rochelle Friedman ruled that DeLissio's "domicile" is her Philadelphia home, even though the two-term legislator listed her Harrisburg townhouse as her "primary residence" in 2009 for a homestead exemption that granted her a small property tax discount each year.

"It is well settled that a candidate's place of residence for purposes of the Election Code is 'the residence...in which his [or her] habitation is fixed, and to which, whenever he [or she] is absent, he [or she] has the intention of returning.'" Friedman wrote in her six-page ruling.

POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 5:55 PM
In this Feb. 20, 2014 photo, a patron exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at the Henley Vaporium in New York. the proprietors are peddling e-cigarettes to "vapers" in a growing movement that now includes celebrity fans and YouTube gurus, online forums and vapefests around the world. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

E-diculous. That’s what vapers are calling a bill passed unanimously by City Council today that adds e-cigarettes to Philly’s existing ban on smoking.

Council also voted today on a sister measure that bans the sale of e-cigs to minors.

Councilman Bill Greenlee’s proposal to regulate the product has been under fire for several weeks from advocates of e-cigs who’ve said the little electric invention has been a Godsend.

POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 1:28 PM
State Rep. Brendan Boyle will remain on the May 20 Democratic primary ballot. (File photo)

State Rep. Brendan Boyle today survived a ballot challenge that raised more questions than it answered in state Commonwealth Court.

Larry Otter, an attorney very active in campaign-related legal actions, last week filed the challenge to Boyle's nomination petitions for his re-election bid in Northeast Philly's 170th District. 

Boyle, who has no opponent in the May 29 Democratic primary election or Nov. 4 general election, is also a candidate in the highly competitive primary for the 13th Congressional District.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 6:25 PM
State Sen. LeAnna Washington (D., Phila.)

State Sen. LeAnna Washington was ordered held for trial yesterday on charges she abused the authority and resources of her Senate office to raise money for her re-election campaign.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has accused Washington of directing her legislative staff to perform personal political campaign work while on taxpayer time.

Following Washington’s preliminary hearing in Abington yesterday, District Judge John Kessler determined the charges of theft of services and conflict of interest should be heard before a higher court. Both violations are felonies carrying maximum sentences of seven years’ prison time and hefty fines.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 9:41 AM
Mayor Nutter and Pope Francis, left, embrace during the Papal Audience in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday. (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer)

In the end, Mayor Nutter got his private meeting with Pope Francis - sort of. 

“There were 100,000 people behind us, but you have your own private moment with the pope. There’s nothing like that,” Nutter said after meeting Francis during the pope’s weekly “general audience” St. Peter’s Square. “When you’re standing there with him, it is like you’re the only person standing there. He’s not trying to rush.”

Nutter, Gov. Corbett and a cadre of local business leaders were special guests at this morning’s event. After the pope’s address, they lined up, presented gifts to the Holy Father and accomplished what they came here to do: personally invite him to Philadelphia next year for the World Meeting of Families.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 6:26 PM

Tom Wolf, the front-runner in the May 20 Democratic primary for governor, offered criticism today for everyone involved in a controversial corruption investigation run by the state Attorney General's Office.

On Sunday, Wolf's four primary competitors declined to second guess Attorney General Kathleen Kane's decision, first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier this month, to shut down an investigation that secretly recorded four state representatives from Philadelphia and a local Traffic Court judge allegedly taking money or gifts from a lobbyist.

"I'm not a prosecutor but come on," Wolf, a former state revenue secretary, told the PennLive Editorial Board today. "The way different attorneys general have prosecuted this, I think is wrong."



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POSTED: Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 4:54 PM
Karen Brown has been booted from the ballot in a legal challenge from 1st Democratic Ward leader John Dougherty, who heads Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

There will be no political come-back this year for Karen Brown, the Democratic committeewoman from South Philly who defected from her party in 2011 to become the Republican nominee for mayor.

Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Cunningham III today ordered Brown removed from the May 20 primary ballot.

Brown had been seeking her former Democratic committee post in the 1st Ward.  Cunningham ruled her run for Republican judge of elections in the 2013 general election made her ineligible to run this year as a Democrat, according to the Democratic City Committee bylaws.

POSTED: Monday, March 24, 2014, 4:20 PM
Anna Verna and Ori Feibush

Ori Feibush, the 29-year-old real estate whiz with a team of candidates hoping to to take over the committee posts in South Philly's 36th Ward, ran into trouble today as he tried to challenge other candidates seeking those positions.

The legal battle pits Feibush against former City Council President Anna Verna, 82, the Democratic leader of the 36th Ward for nearly four decades.  Verna today said it was "quite evident" that Feibush is trying to take over the ward to use it as a base of power to challenge rookie City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson next year.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Cunningham III this morning started dismissing Feibush's nomination petition challenges for committee candidates because they did not include a copy of the disputed petition.

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
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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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