Thursday, April 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Rep. Mark Cohen hit on per diems

A challenger to Philly Rep. Mark Cohen says he won't accept per diems if elected to the state House.

Rep. Mark Cohen hit on per diems

Northeast Philly community activist Jared Solomon, who is challenging long-time incumbent Democratic state Rep. Mark Cohen in the May 20 primary, says if elected he will not accept taxpayer-funded expenses known as per diems.

This is a full-frontal attack on Cohen's long established (and reported) record for being at or near the top of expense-grabbing lawmakers for most of his tenure in Harrisburg.

As of May, Cohen will have served in the state House 40 years.

Solomon says Cohen used his (entirely legal) expenses to build a personal library, pay the mortgage on a second house and fly to and from Harrisburg -- all of which has been reported over the years, none of which has prevented Cohen's multiple reelections, often with no opposition.

Cohen held a reelect-campaign kickoff at Daly's Pub in the Northeast on Saturday.

Solomon issued a statement Sunday saying, "Serving as State Representative takes more than voting the right way. It means leading by example. In 40 years in office, Representative Cohen has only led the 253 legislators in one thing -- taxpayer funded personal expenses. When elected I'll put the brakes on the gravy tain leading to Rep. Cohen's doorstep, and start diverting it to residents of the Northeast."

Throughout the years, Cohen's response to heavy use of expense money has been that he's the hardest working lawmaker in Harrisburg.



John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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
Also on
Stay Connected