Sunday, March 29, 2015

POSTED: Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 11:09 AM
Harvey Rice (right) is the new executive director of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), the state board that oversees Philly's finances. Here, Rice is seen at a 2011 news conference with state Rep. John Taylor. (April Saul/Staff/File)

State officials seem to be too busy to remember that they have a stake in how Philadelphia manages its finances.

For the second consecutive month, the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), the city’s fiscal overseer, is not meeting because the majority of its members have not been appointed.

Three of the five seats on PICA’s board are empty. That’s because members haven’t been appointed or reappointed by the designated state appointing officials, PICA’s executive director, Harvey Rice, said. The board’s March meeting was scheduled for Tuesday.

POSTED: Monday, March 16, 2015, 5:10 PM
Seventh District Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez (left) is accusing her party-endorsed rival, Emanuel ‘Manny’ Morales, of posting dozens of ultra-conservative, racist and anti-immigrant messages on Facebook. ((left) Staff file (right) Facebook)

A Philadelphia city councilwoman is accusing her party-endorsed rival of posting dozens of ultra-conservative, racist and anti-immigrant messages on Facebook.

Seventh District Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez said she was “outraged” at what she discovered on the Facebook page she says is that of her opponent, Emanuel ‘Manny’ Morales. She released a website “MeetMannyMorales.com” with screen shots of the postings today.

“From his words, any rational person would conclude that he is: anti-black, pro-gun, anti-Obama, pro-voter ID, anti-Choice, pro-stand your ground, anti-woman, pro-drug testing for welfare recipients, anti-poor, pro-Corbett/pro-Republican, anti-Gay, pro-Ferguson police and George Zimmerman, anti-immigrant, pro-English only, anti-Israel, pro-Ron Paul, anti-child support and pro-close the border,” Quiñones-Sánchez said in a release. “I honestly could not find anything in common with his thought process or that would serve the diverse constituencies of the 7th Councilmanic District”

POSTED: Monday, March 16, 2015, 11:06 AM
Milton Street answers questions during a press conference outside the voter registration office on Delaware ave., in Philadelphia on Monday, March 16, 2015. ( STEPHANIE AARONSON / Staff photographer )

A local labor leader challenged in court Monday the mayoral candidacy of T. Milton Street Sr., claiming the former state senator is not a registered Democrat and does not live in Philadelphia.

The legal challenge was filed in the First Judicial District by attorney Kevin Greenberg on behalf of Joseph Coccio Jr., secretary-treasurer of the Transit Workers Union, Local 234.  Greenberg said Coccio was acting on his own behalf, and not for any of the other five candidates in the May 19 Democratic primary election.

"My client is looking forward to a serious debate among serious candidates," Greenberg said. "Milton Street is not a serious candidate."

POSTED: Friday, March 13, 2015, 5:23 PM
James Kenney speaks at Woody's bar in Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 11, 2015. ( STEPHANIE AARONSON / Staff Photographer )

Former Councilman James F. Kenney received another labor endorsement Friday, signaling that he is the labor community’s mayoral candidate of choice.

The Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, which is comprised of more than 100 local labor unions representing 130,000 working in the public sector, private industry, and the building and construction trades, is endorsing Kenney for mayor, the group’s president Patrick J. Eiding announced in a statement.

"Jim Kenney is the right choice for Philadelphia. As a Councilman, he stood up time and again to defend working families on everything from prevailing wage to the right to organize,” Eiding said in his statement. “We look forward to working with Jim to create a city where everyone has access to fair, safe working conditions and a living wage.”

POSTED: Friday, March 13, 2015, 4:48 PM
Anthony H. Williams announces he is running for mayor of Philadelphia on Nov. 19, 2014. ( (David Maialetti)

State Sen. Anthony H. Williams said Friday that if elected mayor, he would look to increase vehicle registration fees by $5 in Philadelphia to create a recurring revenue stream for the city Streets Department.

That means your passenger vehicle registration fee would go from $36 to $41. Motorcycles would go from $18 to $23. Truck registration fees vary by weight.

Using the city’s ubiquitous potholes as the prime example for what he says is an underfunded streets department, Williams said the increase in fees would be “a little extra effort” that would have “a visible impact on the quality of our lives.”

POSTED: Friday, March 13, 2015, 11:27 AM
Jim Kenney poses for a portrait at Woody's bar in Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 11, 2015. ( STEPHANIE AARONSON / Staff photographer )

Former City Councilman James F. Kenney received an endorsement for mayor from Philadelphia’s LGBT leaders.

At a Friday morning news conference, state Rep. Brian Sims said Kenney has been a “tireless advocate” for the LGBT community for more than 20 years and wants him to be Philadelphia's next mayor.

“More than anything it’s been having a guy that is so traditionally Philadelphian standing up for the LGBT community,” Sims said following the endorsement announcement at the William Way Community Center. “It’s brought us support, it’s brought us allies in a way that we weren’t seeing before.”

POSTED: Thursday, March 12, 2015, 5:06 PM
The coffee canister, which has been used for decades for ballot position draw, will be used again March 18.

A Horn & Hardart's coffee can has for decades brought joy or dejection to political candidates, becoming a well-known City Hall icon for ballot fortune, good or bad.

Meet Mr. Horn N. Hardart.  The icon now has a Facebook page, describing him as non-partisan, vintage, interested in political intrigue, easy on the eyes and, of course, "very well rounded."

The city's Board of Elections uses the can to select the order in which candidates appear on primary and general election ballots.  Candidates draw numbered bingo balls from the can (no peeking) to determine the order.  The first ballot position is considered the best pick.  A high number in a crowded race can dash hopes.

POSTED: Thursday, March 12, 2015, 4:35 PM
Nelson Diaz speaks during a mayoral forum at West Oak Lane Charter School on Saturday, February 28, 2015. ( STEPHANIE AARONSON / Staff Photographer )

Mayoral candidate Nelson Diaz wants to reform Stop & Frisk and create an ethics czar position within city government, according to his new policy platforms.

With two months left until the primary election, Diaz and the other five mayoral candidates are starting to release their policy platforms on specific issues, such as education and economic development. Diaz, a former Court of Common Pleas judge, is seeking to be the city’s first Latino mayor.

Diaz’s campaign website was updated Thursday to include his platforms on public safety and government ethics. (He already has education, community development and social justice platforms on the website.)

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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