Thursday, October 23, 2014
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POSTED: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 6:08 PM

City Commissioner Stephanie Singer doesn’t think the schedule City Council set for budget hearings is respectful of the Jewish holiday Passover.

The city commissioners, who oversee elections in Philadelphia, are scheduled to testify in a budget hearing before Council on April 14, which happens to be the start of Passover. Singer said she planned to observe the holiday with her family in Washington D.C., and she “assumed it would be easy” to get the hearing moved.

But, she said in an e-mail sent Wednesday from her campaign account, “Council President Darrell Clarke has explicitly refused to accommodate my religious tradition.”

POSTED: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 3:34 PM

Philadelphia Phuture PAC, one of the numerous political action committees funded by the city electricians union, IBEW Local 98, has agreed to pay a $1,000 fine for failing to make a timely disclosure of $17,975 worth of printing to promote various candidates in the 2013 Democratic primary election.

The PAC had ordered an assortment of flyers, bullet ballots, sample ballots and door hangers from Strassheim Graphic Design.  The material was distributed on Election Day by Concerned Irish Americans, another of Local 98’s satellite PACs.

 The $17,975 printing bill was eventually paid by Philadelphia Phuture in September 2013, but it should have been reported immediately, before the election, and listed as a debt to Strassheim when the PAC filed its post-election report in June,   the city Board of Ethics said in a settlement agreement released Wednesday.

POSTED: Monday, March 31, 2014, 3:49 PM
State Rep. Pamela DeLissio, whose district includes Roxborough, Manayunk and East Falls, has survived a residency challenge, based on her ownership of a suburban Harrisburg property where she had registered her car and claimed a homestead exemption. (PA House)

State Rep. Pamela DeLissio, whose district includes Roxborough, Manayunk and East Falls, has survived a residency challenge, based on her ownership of a suburban Harrisburg property where she had registered her car and claimed a homestead exemption.

Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Rochelle S. Friedman ruled Monday that while DeLissio used the Harrisburg property to ease her commuting while working in the Capitol, and took advantage of it to save money on her auto insurance, the evidence was insufficient to prove that she had changed her stated domicile in Roxborough, the base for her legislative seat.

“Candidate credibly testified that the Philadelphia property has been her permanent residence since 1997 and is the place to which she returns when she is not working in Harrisburg,” the judge said in a six-page opinion, noting that DeLissio’s voting address, family, doctors, bank and credit card statements and home garden remained in Philadelphia even after she bought the Harrisburg property in 2006.

POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 1:24 PM
An employee exhales vapor from a V-Revolution e-cigarette inside the company's store in London.

City Council unanimously passed two bills Thursday to add electronic cigarettes to the Philadelphia’s public indoor smoking ban and to forbid the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

If Mayor Nutter signs the bills, Philadelphia would join a growing number of cities and states that have taken action to regulate e-cigarettes, even while studies and debate over the products continue.

The sponsor of the bills, Councilman William K. Greenlee, said enough respected health officials have raised concerns that he thought action was warranted.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 6:03 PM

State Rep. Pamela DeLissio made arrangements this week to double her bill for auto insurance – not to get better coverage, but to move her drivers’ license, registration and insurance to her house in Roxborough, instead of the house in Harrisburg where PennDOT had her registered since 2007.

The new arrangements were provoked by a legal dispute over DeLissio’s residency, now pending in Commonwealth Court and threatening her bid for re-election to a third term.

 Though DeLissio has owned her Roxborough home since 1997 and has always considered it “home,” she testified Wednesday, she bought a house in Harrisburg in late 2006 while running a business there, and filed tax returns from the address from 2007 through 2010. She continued to use her Roxborough address for her voter registration, bank accounts, credit cards, weekends, family dinners and gardening, won election to the state House from Roxborough's district in 2010 and resumed filing taxes from Roxborough in 2011.   

POSTED: Sunday, March 23, 2014, 12:11 PM
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Jan. 13, 2014, at City Hall in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter joined a panel of political commentators on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday morning to discuss the crisis with Russia and the fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.

The show’s host David Gregory asked Nutter if he worried that President Obama’s focus on Russia would take away from his domestic agenda.

“President Obama can do many more things than one thing at a time,” Nutter said. “The world is starting to come together around this particular issue. China is with us. Russia is going to be increasingly isolated in this situation.”

POSTED: Friday, March 21, 2014, 6:44 PM

City sanitation workers (and other employees under the administration): No, you may not take candy or anything of value as a gift for doing your job.

The Nutter administration fears that this message might have been lost when City Council passed its ordinance Thursday that limits non-monetary gifts at $99 per donor per year.

In 2011, the mayor signed an executive order that prohibits any city employee in the executive and administrative branch (translation: all city employees not working for city council or the row offices) from soliciting or accepting any gift —- anything of value, including gratuity, favor, entertainment, food, drink or loan —-from anyone who does business with the city, whose activities are regulated by the city, is seeking legislative action or whose interests may be affected by the employee’s official duties.

POSTED: Friday, March 21, 2014, 11:40 AM

A 29-year-old Missouri man was charged Friday with trying to shut down the city of Philadelphia’s website,, with a series of computer commands in September, 2012.

The U. S. Attorney’s office announced the charges against Michael Crockett, of Kansas City, without any explanation of his motives.

The charges were included in an information filed with the court ­– typically a sign that the individual intends to plead guilty to the charges.  The information alleged that from September 24 to 26, 2012, “Crockett knowingly caused the transmissions of programs, information, codes and commands and . . . intentionally attempted to cause damage to the computer hosting the website”

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