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Archive: February, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, February 16, 2012, 2:20 PM

State Rep. Camille “Bud” George was elected in 1974 after a stint in the Navy, helping to run a Ford dealership and serving as mayor of Houtzdale Borough (population 871) in Clearfield County, a.k.a. God’s Country.

He is, at age 84, not seeking reelection this year.

He spent his career advocating for environmental and conservation issues, energy and coal technology and was instrumental in enacting laws governing recycling, waste management and environmentally safer trucking.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 2:46 PM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Yo, boss, ya know who's been socking Obama pretty hard these days?

BE: Uh, everybody who's running against him and every Republican in Congress and out?

POSTED: Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 10:06 AM

Here's a question. And even though I'm pretty sure answers will reflect feelings and alliances against or with the direction the incumbent president wants to take the country, I'll gamely ask it anyway.

Should President Obama have proposed a budget plan that could actually mitigate Washington's gridlock and drama or, as he did yesterday, issue a campaign document thinly disguised as a budget so he can contrinue to run for reelection against Washington?

Here's a clue. Gallup daily tracking polls show Obama's job approval rating at 46 percent. It shows Congress' approval rating at 10 percent. Since governing is all about politics and since politics is all about poll results, there's a strong practical case to be made that the president is playing smart-ball.

POSTED: Monday, February 13, 2012, 10:17 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Ya know, boss, state budget time reminds us all of Gov. Cobett's no-tax pledge, as does the Guv who proudly asserts he's yet again offering no new taxes.

BE: A man of his word.

POSTED: Friday, February 10, 2012, 10:50 AM

Earlier this week, I wrote a column detailing the chaos created by the Legislature and state courts over failure to draw a proper map with new boundary lines for House and Senate seats as required every 10 years following a new U.S. census.

The column mentioned there are six House vacanies, three in Philadelphia, for which there can be no speicial election scheduled until such a map is in place.

Of course, given my view that the Legislature -- the largest full-time legislature in America -- is oversized and should be cut, I mentioned that the more vacancies we have, the better for all of us.

POSTED: Thursday, February 9, 2012, 10:38 AM

If any Pennsylvania citizen or taxpayer needs further evidence of the arrogance and self-interest that pervades the corruption-filled culture of Harrisburg, I'd refer them to the case of former Democratic state House Speaker H. William DeWeese.

Convicted this week on five criminal counts related to abusing his decades-long-held public office, including charges he oversaw underlings draining $2 million in tax money to fuel political campaigns, the Greene County lawmaker, unrepentent and still claiming he did nothing wrong, now wants the courts to delay his scheduled April sentencing so he can run for reelection.

“If I were to exit the stage in April, having been renominated and benefiting from my name being on the November ballot, I would certainly hope that the appropriate [courts] would give prompt and fair hearing to our appeals and that, if and when vindicated, I could return to the hall of the House,” DeWeese told the AP yesterday.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 10:43 AM

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Yo, boss, know what my favorite part about budget day is?

POSTED: Tuesday, February 7, 2012, 10:29 AM

Back in 1988, I interviewed Bill DeWeese after he became, at age 37, the first non-lawyer to chair the House Judiciary Committee.

He told me he’d push hard for judicial reforms because, “I am obviously fearless relative to judges since I have no concerns about appearing before them in one of their courts.”

He also told me his “dream” was to be Speaker of the House one day.

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 baerj@phillynews.com.

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 baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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