Other notable Wednesday bits
- PA House Speaker Perzel predicts that the state legislature will enact lobbying disclosure rules by the end of this term, bringing Pennsylvania in line with other states.
Perzel revealed few other details of what the final lobbying-disclosure bill might contain. He did say, however, that it likely would require lobbyists to report "every single dollar" of what they spend to influence state government. He intends to include high-level judges in drafting the legislation, to help ensure that it will withstand legal challenges such as those that derailed a previous regulatory effort.
- A Philadelphia Weekly story looks at the efforts in Harrisburg to change voting requirements. The House and Senate appear to disagree on what they want, with the Senate cutting out voter-ID and anti-parolee provisions of the House bill and adding others that limit the buildings that can be used for polling places (which could mean long shleps from some urban neighborhoods). The House changed some of that stuff back. The piece explores the viewpoint of one activist for offenders' rights.
- Johnny "Doc" Dougherty, long quiet on whether he would give in to his supporters' desire that he throw his hat into the ring for the 2007 mayor's race, continues to give grounds for speculation, including his recent announcement of an anti-violence program for Philadelphia (DN take here). The program would use union members as mentors for at-risk youth.
- Donald Trump has offered to buy a public school near his proposed Nicetown casino location. The school is currently in use, but the offer includes building a higher-tech replacement. This could be just greed in getting the most profitable surrounding layout (to include some nice open space), but it could also be savvy recognition that a casino would be less intrusive if it weren't next door to a population of impressionable high school students. Question: what does Trump do with all this property if he doesn't win one of the licenses??
- The Sheriff's Office, presumably reacting to some recent bad press, has hired a former city controller to provide ethical oversight.
- Daily News columnists get snarky with politicians:
- John Baer expresses faux shock about alleged judicial-legislative collusion.
- Jill Porter snorts at the mayoral candidates who cling to their "undeclared" status as though it fooled anybody.
- The DN's own opinion page applauds Councilman Goode, Jr., for taking on banks (or rather, just Wachovia) that unfairly deny loans to blacks and low-income applicants. A little pressure now and then keeps everybody honest.
- The DN also chimes in with support of Sen. Arlen Specter's asbestos-suit trust-fund bill. Supporters applaud the chance to move ahead and get some relief to the injured; critics note that it caps corporate liability to a degree that may disproportionately benefit those who caused the original problem.