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Archive: February, 2009

POSTED: Thursday, February 26, 2009, 12:16 PM

Stop and smell the ... wine.

Sure, there will be all kinds of exotic flowers and plants at the 2009 Flower Show in Philadelphia. But for the first time ever, the state Liquor Control Board (LCB) will also be operating a kiosk on site to display an array of wines - Italian wines, in fact, to honor this year's "Bella Italia" theme at the Flower Show.

Angela Couloumbis @ 12:16 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, February 26, 2009, 10:54 AM

The latest poll conducted by Franklin and Marshall College proves once again -- in case you doubted it -- that the state of the economy colors our attitudes towards most things in life, including how we perceive politicians.

And for the moment at least, it looks like Pennsylvanians are giving their pols pretty good marks, despite the nation's bleak economy.

Angela Couloumbis @ 10:54 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 8:25 AM

Four months after the passage of the toughened dog law, the state has agreed to suspend enforcement of a core provision of the law until a federal lawsuit is decided.

In an order filed Feb. 18 in U.S. District Court, the state will allow commercial breeders appealing their license revocations to continue to operate pending the outcome of the case. In exchange, the Professional Dog Breeders Advisory Council, which is suing the Department of Agriculture on constitutional grounds, agreed not to seek an injunction to stop the enforcement of the entire law.

Under the law, the department has the right to issue cease and desist orders restricting breeders from selling or buying more dogs while their revocation cases are on appeal. It has issued such orders on two occasions since Jan. 10 when the law went into effect, officials said.

Amy Worden @ 8:25 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 6:13 PM

An overwhelming 81 percent of likely voters in next year's Pennsylvania Republican primary oppose proposed federal legislation that would make it easier for unions to organize workplaces, according to a new poll conducted for a coalition of business groups trying to kill the idea.

The findings appear aimed at an audience of one: Sen. Arlen Specter (R.,Pa.), who is running for reelection in 2010 and has not said how he would vote on the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, which is anathema to broad swaths of the GOP electoral coalition.

Thomas Fitzgerald @ 6:13 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 2:54 PM

Oh my God, can you BELIEVE it??

So screamed the headlines on several websites and blogs after Gov. Rendell's wife showed up at Sunday's dinner for governors at the White House wearing the same (or nearly the same) red gown as the wife of Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

Angela Couloumbis @ 2:54 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 1:51 PM

When he was running to become national Republican chairman, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele had to fight perceptions on the right that he was a little squishy, i.e. not sufficiently conservative for the job.

Maybe that won't be such a problem now. Steele said in a Fox News interview Monday that he would be open to supporting primary challengers to Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, the three Republican senators who crossed the aisle to vote for President Obama's stimulus legislation.

Specter is the only one of the group who is up for reelection next year. Conservatives have ripped the three for betraying Republican principles in voting for what they consider a pork-swollen bill that has too few economy-spurring tax cuts and will do little to create jobs. Pennsylvania critics on the right have vowed to finance a challenge to Specter in next spring's primary, though no candidate has yet stepped forward.

Thomas Fitzgerald @ 1:51 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Monday, February 23, 2009, 12:21 PM

Let’s ... get ... ready ... to ...REALLY ...rumble…


Pennsylvania has joined the growing number of states to allow Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, events within its borders.

Mario Cattabiani @ 12:21 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Sunday, February 22, 2009, 11:10 AM

Gov. Rendell today announced the appointment of a new Pennsylvania "stimulus enforcer:" himself.

Rendell, speaking on Fox New Sunday, said he will dedicate the last two years of his administration to ensuring the federal economic stimulus money will be spent wisely here.

Amy Worden @ 11:10 AM  Permalink | 0
About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



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