Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8:37 AM

Here we go again.

The muddled and controversial Philadelphia sting case that caught four state lawmakers and a former traffic judge on tape taking cash and gifts was not, according to unnamed sources, all that so far has been reported.

It did not focus on the five Philly Democrats, all African-American, caught on tape by an undercover informant, did not focus only on African-Americans and was only the start of a much broader investigation.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 8:30 AM

Tax day, as they say, comes but once a year.

And every April 15 we all are reminded of the duty and drudgery of paying up to maintain our multiple governments and their services and the people who run/provide them.


POSTED: Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 8:53 AM

From the White House to Pennsylvania's Democratic primary race, a gap in pay for men and women is once again getting of attention.

But it's also getting challenged.

President Obama this week again calls for action on a Paycheck Fairness Act requiring employers to disclose salary info, protect workers who inquire about same and make employers liable to pay discrimination civil suits.

POSTED: Monday, April 7, 2014, 9:06 AM

You know how everyone says Philly is content with its political corruption?

Well maybe it's because the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection is simply under-caffeinated.

Maybe if Philadelphians woke up and DRANK the coffee they'd be more aggressively involved in civics. Maybe the famed "Philly shrug" would be replaced by hyped-up, vein-popping citizen action.

POSTED: Thursday, April 3, 2014, 8:46 AM

Among findngs in a new Franklin & Marshall College poll on the Democratic primary for governor are some interesting answers suggesting what PA Democrats want from their candidate and which issues are most important to them.

The poll shows wealthy York County biz-guy Tom Wolf still holding a commanding lead over Allyson Schwartz, Rob McCord and Katie McGinty -- though with 46 percent still undecided.

But it also shows which issues are most likely to drive voters towards a decision.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 8:44 AM

Couple of (your) money issues just caught my eye.

First, the state Revenue Department reports that tax collection is down for the fourth straight month, putting the Commonwealth $176 million behind for the fiscal year ending in July.

Second, Harrisburg's WHTM-TV reports on a right-to-know request filed with the Office of General Counsel showing that the executive branch spent $32.6 million last year on outside lawyers -- which is actually less than was spent during Gov. Rendell's last year in office.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 8:40 AM

It's one of those cases where you look sorta bad if you do but sorta worse if you don't.

So Philly Democratic Rep. Ron Waters decided to go ahead and do.

What he did, according to a report in the Harrisburg Patriot-News, was hold a campaign fundraiser in Harrisburg Monday.

POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 8:36 AM

Okay, kids, here's an update on PA job numbers.

Regular Growl readers (both of you) recall I'm keeping track of net jobs added in the state since incumbent Republican Gov. Corbett took office in January 2011.

This is because jobs and the economy always take a lead in campaigns and politics and because a large part of the guv's reelection pitch is that he's pulled the state's economy up and helped create, as his campaign says, "more than 150,000 private-sector jobs."

About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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