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Archive: August, 2012

POSTED: Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 9:24 AM

North Philadelphia neighborhood on edge since murder of Police Officer Moses Walker Jr.

Juvenile lifers have until Friday to appeal sentences under Supreme Court ruling.

John Baer opines on the controversy surrounding Republican congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin, who is under fire for saying women who are raped can't get pregnant.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 3:36 PM

Check out this release:


Philadelphia, August 21, 2012 – The quarterly Point in Time Homeless Count revealed a 2 percent decrease in Philadelphia’s street homeless population. The recent count showed 588 persons living on city streets, as opposed to 601 last summer.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 9:09 AM

Law school is expensive.  Some city prosecutors have taken second jobs just to make ends meet while paying off student loans.

With President Obama's campaign planning to turn the focus this week toward education funding, Mayor Nutter and the number two Democrat in the U.S. House pitch some hypothetical budget cuts that could result in a Republican presidential win in the Nov. 6 general election.

The top election official in Philadelphia calls on local academic institution, polling firms and community groups to help the city identify and assist voters who do not have the proper state-approved identification needed to vote on Nov. 6.

POSTED: Monday, August 20, 2012, 5:04 PM

The numbers presented this afternoon by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, the House assistant Democratic leader, appeared vexing.  They were also hypothetical.

Nutter and Clyburn, stumping for President Obama, said education cuts called for in U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan could have a "devastating impact" on students from kindergarten to college.  One key factor was left out: Ryan's budget was approved by the Republican-controlled U.S. House in March but then bottled up in the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate.

A few things have happened since then.  Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tapped Ryan for vice president on Aug. 11.  The next day, Romney said in a joint-interview with Ryan on 60 Minutes that his budget plan trumps Ryan's in the campaign. 

POSTED: Monday, August 20, 2012, 3:31 PM

City Commission Chairwoman Stephanie Singer, the top election official in Philadelphia, today called on local colleges, universities and polling firms to donate resources to identify people in the city "least likely to be ready" with a state-approved identification for the Nov. 6 general election.

Singer, speaking in City Hall's courtyard, denounced a ruling last week by a state Commonwealth Court judge, who refused to issue a preliminary injunction to prevent the new Voter ID requirement to be used in the upcoming election.

"I need someone to step up," Singer said. "We need some help."

POSTED: Monday, August 20, 2012, 9:08 AM

Friends and colleagues mourn the loss of Police Officer Moses Walker, who was killed Saturday.

A look at other cops who were lost this year.

John Baer says race remains a major issue in the presidential election.

POSTED: Friday, August 17, 2012, 2:05 PM

President and CEO of the National Constitution Center David Eisner announced today that he’ll be stepping down from his post in October.

“It’s the right time,” Eisner told PhillyClout, adding, “I got some big ideas.”

Eisner, who oversaw the Center’s FREEDOM! Initiative, an effort to increase the Center’s regional and national awareness declined to share details about those ideas and said only that the next step for him would be in the realm of civic engagement with a focus on strengthening the culture of democracy.

POSTED: Friday, August 17, 2012, 11:36 AM

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.

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