Archive

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

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 outright blatant about which candidate they prefer in the Governor’s Mansion.

For the Philadelphia … 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

Bizarre videos put Diamond on defensive as Election Day nears

October 29, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Russ Diamond was just protecting himself — at least that’s how the Pennsylvania state House candidate has described an altercation with an ex-girlfriend that’s the subject of a bizarre video that surfaced this week.

The … Read the rest

Week in review: Tom Wolf’s tax plan goes under the microscope

October 24, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has been trying to paint his Democratic opponent, York County businessman Tom Wolf, as a taxman who wants Pennsylvanians to fork over more of their money to state government.

What’s actually … Read the rest

The Tom Wolf income tax plan: Legislative and legal hurdles

October 24, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

Part three in a series exploring the issue of taxes in the 2014 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race. Read part one here. Read part two here.

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

Pennsylvania voters will go to the polls Nov. … Read the rest

Justices behaving badly: PA Supreme Court has embarrassing history

October 22, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Checking in on the state of the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court isn’t for the weak of constitution these days.

That’s thanks to the stunning development from earlier this week, when the state Supreme Court … Read the rest

Drop, cover and hold on: Pennsylvanians participate in worldwide earthquake drill as quake concerns rise

October 17, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

 

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Thousands of Pennsylvanians were expected to DROP! COVER! and HOLD ON! Thursday morning as part of a global earthquake drill.

Some 375,000 Pennsylvanians will take part in the drill, along with 20 million Read the rest

Week in Review: Lawmakers tackle Rx database, set aside medical marijuana

October 17, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

State lawmakers passed a flurry of bills this week, in what were the final scheduled session days before the November election — that is, before the state House decided it’s going to work on Monday, too.

Among … Read the rest

Week in review: Governor’s race keeps frack tax debate in public view

October 10, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

The race for Pennsylvania governor trudged on this week, again drawing attention to the lingering question of whether the state should impose a severance tax on the natural gas industry.

At the state Capitol, lawmakers rallied … Read the rest

Supreme Court lays to rest death-industry appeal without discussion

October 9, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to decide a case about state-level regulations for Pennsylvania funeral homes.

Funeral home director Ernie Heffner and 29 others successfully challenged many parts of Pennsylvania’s 1952 Funeral Read the rest

Week in review: Two resign as fallout over X-rated emails drags on

October 3, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By PA Independent Staff

As we look back at the week that was, the fallout over the so-called Pornogate scandal dominated the Capitol, with two state officials resigning amid allegations they were among a group who sent or received sexually … Read the rest

Know of email abuse? These reformers want you to send old-fashioned letters

October 2, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state Capitol’s resident reformers want to do their part to help unravel Pornogate, the X-rated email scandal that has ensnared two members of Gov. Tom Corbett’s cabinet.

Eric Epstein, coordinator … Read the rest

Philly cigarette tax ‘will not come close’ to solving district’s financial problems

October 1, 2014 | By | Posted in WatchBlog

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

A new $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes in Philadelphia will help keep the city’s school district afloat — and will help keep 1,000 employees on the job — this year, but does little to solve the … Read the rest