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Archive: August, 2009

POSTED: Monday, August 31, 2009, 9:43 AM


A judge this morning pushed back the scheduled trial date for a former state legislator who is among a dozen charged in the Bonusgate scandal.


Sean Ramaley, a Democrat who had represented Beaver County in the state House, will now go on trial Dec. 1. His trial on theft and conflict of interest charges was originally set for Sept. 21.

Mario Cattabiani @ 9:43 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Monday, August 31, 2009, 8:01 AM

Longtime ACLU Harrisburg lobbyist, Larry Frankel, was found dead  Friday in a Washington D.C. park. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle remembered Frankel - who in 2008 was promoted to a national position in the ACLU's Washington office - as a "brilliant tactician," committed to his causes and always fair. To many reporters he was a Capitol source on many issues and a valuable resource willing to take time to explain complex legal issues. Plans for memorial services in Harrisburg or Philadelphia have not yet been set.

Here are the obituaries in today's Inquirer and Daily News.

Click here for Philly.com's politics page.

Amy Worden @ 8:01 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Friday, August 28, 2009, 2:52 PM

Pennsylvania's agriculture secretary, Dennis Wolff, who is credited with improving food safety and expanding markets for the state's farm products, is stepping down after 6 1/2 years.

Gov  Rendell said Wolff's last day would be Sept. 12 and that he will nominate executive deputy secretary Russell Redding to lead the department.

Redding has worked in the Department of Agriculture since 1995 and run its day-to-day operations as the second-in-command since 2003.

Amy Worden @ 2:52 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Friday, August 28, 2009, 12:12 PM

Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty (D), who has pushed economic development and trimmed government in his city, was in the Philadelphia area Thursday meeting with prominent pols and operatives to express his interest in the party's gubernatorial nomination in 2010.

Doherty recently commissioned a statewide poll that showed 54 percent of Democratic voters had no favorite in the impending governor's race. Perceived front-runner Dan Onorato, the Allegheny County executive and a favorite of Gov. Rendell's network; Philadelphia businessman and unsuccessful mayoral candidate Tom Knox; and state Auditor General Jack Wagner of Pittsburgh; and Doherty himself were all bunched together between 10 and 20 percent in hypotheticals.

(The poll did not measure Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, who just last week told supporters that he wants to run for governor as the true progressive.) Onorato and Wagner are classic "Casey" Democrats who oppose abortion rights.

Thomas Fitzgerald @ 12:12 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 10:48 AM

Montgomery County Commish Joe Hoeffel, in an email to supporters Monday declaring he was exploring a run for governor as a champion of progressive values, invoked God with a feminine pronoun. It was little noticed amid the news that he was polling and criticizing the other, more conservative on social issues, candidates.

 "We are all children of God, and we are all equal in Her eyes," Hoeffel wrote (emphasis mine). "Our job is to make sure that our laws reflect and protect that equality."

Thomas Fitzgerald @ 10:48 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 10:39 AM

Gov. Rendell, following the lead of President Obama, asks that U.S. and Pennsylvania state flags be flown at half-mast until sunset on Aug. 30 to honor the memory of Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Click here for Philly.com's politics page.

Thomas Fitzgerald @ 10:39 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 9:27 PM

On the day Michael Vick made his debut as a Philadelphia Eagle, Gov. Rendell signed an anti-animal-cruelty bill that, among other things, increases penalties for dog-fighting.

The new law - most elements of which take effect in 60 days - makes it illegal for anyone but a veterinarian to perform the following surgical procedures:


Amy Worden @ 9:27 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Monday, August 24, 2009, 3:57 PM

A new internal state jobs report indicates that there were more jobs created than lost in Pennsylvania for the first time since the recession began last summer.

Gov. Rendell, speaking at a news conference in the Capitol, said that while the two-week report does not mean that the recession is over, it is "good news." 

Amy Worden @ 3:57 PM  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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