Archive

Week in Review: Kane under more scrutiny as DA charges two lawmakers

December 19, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Attorney General Kathleen Kane still can’t break free of the scrutiny.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams this week cast doubt on Kane’s assertion a sting operation that ensnared Democratic politicians was flawed beyond … Read the rest

Wolf wants to hand Philadelphia schools back to city

December 19, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

When governor-elect Tom Wolf takes office next month, Philadelphia schools might get released from state control.

In 2001, the School District of Philadelphia was taken over by the five-member School Reform Commission — three appointed … Read the rest

Philadelphia drops civil asset forfeiture case against family

December 19, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

The city of Philadelphia has dropped its attempt to seize two homes using civil asset forfeiture laws.

HOME SWEET HOME: Chris Sourovelis and his family will be allowed to return to their home after

Read the rest

Lawmaker: General Assembly shouldn’t spend time naming roads and bridges

December 18, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State lawmakers didn’t get pension reform or liquor privatization finished in the past legislative session, but the General Assembly sure did ceremonially name a lot of roads and bridges — 73 of … Read the rest

Two Philly Dems charged in once-abandoned bribery sting

December 17, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

Two more Philadelphia lawmakers were charged Tuesday in connection to a sting operation that caught them accepting bribes in return for votes.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced charges against state representatives Vanessa Lowery Brown … Read the rest

Week in Review: State lawmakers raise familiar issues in new session

December 12, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Welcome to the new legislative session, same as the old legislative session.

State lawmakers started their latest two-year session Dec. 1, but the major issues already sound familiar. There’s a renewed push for … Read the rest

Artist James Dupree fends off eminent domain effort by Philadelphia City Hall

December 12, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority still wants to build a grocery store in the city’s Mantua neighborhood, but it won’t be taking James Dupree’s art studio to do it.

The PRA on Thursday relented on … Read the rest

Report finds teachers woefully unprepared for classroom challenges

December 12, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Evan Grossman | Watchdog.org

Teachers are not ready to teach.

That was the bold message delivered by the National Council on Teacher Quality this week in a scathing national report on educators.

Pennsylvania got particularly poor marks on retaining … Read the rest

Why 2015 could be the year for medical marijuana legalization in Pennsylvania

December 10, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Medical marijuana legislation will get a second chance in 2015.

The bipartisan pair of state senators who pushed for legalization during 2014 announced this week they will re-introduce the same text of a bill … Read the rest

SEPTA lawsuit: Does the First Amendment allow comparisons to Hitler?

December 2, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

A controversial ad comparing Islamic fundamentalists to Adolf Hitler could soon be appearing on buses and trains in the Philadelphia area.

The group paying for the ads says it has a right, under the First … Read the rest

New bosses look a lot like the old bosses after leadership shuffle in Harrisburg

November 26, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Gov. Tom Corbett and state Sen. Dominic Pileggi were given the boot earlier this month, reshuffling political power heading into 2015.

Corbett was ousted by the voters, who chose governor-elect Tom Wolf as … Read the rest

Auditor General: Pension funds spend millions on investment fees, but PA taxpayers in the dark

November 21, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Taxpayers are largely in the dark when it comes to Pennsylvania’s pension funds’ riskiest investments.

With nearly $8 billion invested in hedge funds, the state’s two public pension funds are chasing the promise of … Read the rest

Week in Review: Corbett-supported ethane cracker plant shuffles ahead

November 21, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Gov. Tom Corbett might be leaving office, but one of the biggest achievements of his single term is really just starting to take root.

Shell Chemicals took a major step when it purchased a Pennsylvania site … Read the rest

Sorry, wrong number: Shell wants feedback, but no one is answering

November 19, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Shell Chemicals says it’s listening to Pennsylvanians’ thoughts and concerns about a proposed new plant in Beaver County.

But no matter how hard the company listens, it might have trouble hearing.

As previously Read the rest

Teacher files complaint against unions over political letter

November 19, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Just days before the Nov. 4 election, leaders from the national and state teachers unions sent a letter to Mary Trometter’s husband, urging him to “Please join Mary in in voting for Tom WolfRead the rest

Week in Review: PA Senate leadership changes hands, budget deficit looms

November 14, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Leadership elections dominated the discussion in Harrisburg this week. That’ll happen when a caucus ousts its own majority leader just a week after building upon an advantage.

No matter who’s in charge, though, they’ll have to … Read the rest

In three state Senate races, unions give heavily to GOP incumbents in campaign’s final days

November 4, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Three incumbent Republican state senators facing re-election battles in the Philadelphia suburbs have received a late infusion of cash from labor unions.

In the two weeks leading up to Tuesday’s election, labor unions directed … Read the rest

PA teacher unions use dues for blatant Democratic political advertising

November 3, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

Teachers and students gather at a Philadelphia Federation of Teachers rally decrying education cuts.

By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org

In the remaining weeks of the heated gubernatorial battle for the Keystone State, Pennsylvania’s teachers’ unions have been incredibly vocal and … Read the rest

Week in Review: State Senate races grab attention before election

October 31, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

In just four days, Pennsylvanians will know whether Tom Wolf or Tom Corbett will be governor for the next four years.

Polls have found Wolf holds a healthy advantage in that race, but less clear is … Read the rest

After indictments, Ironworkers’ union staying mostly on electoral sidelines

October 30, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Formerly a heavy-hitter in Pennsylvania politics, at least in Philadelphia and its suburbs, Ironworkers’ Local 401 has spent far less during the 2014 election cycle than any others in recent history.

Ten members … Read the rest