Friday news -- laws and politicians installment
- Nearly forgotten among other stories, former Philadelphia City Councilman Rick Mariano was sentenced yesterday, to the surprising term of 10 years; apparently his last-ditch attempts at cooperation got him nowhere. The judge prosecutors sounded disgusted at the way Mariano had "sold his office" . . .
Correction: misread this one. A 10-year sentence was recommended, but no sentencing order has yet been passed down.
- State House Speaker John Perzel's sudden conversion on lobbyist reform appears to have borne fruit, as the House just passed disclosure legislation that it had been sitting on for four years (while the Senate and executive branch adopted internal rules of their own). The main points of the new regulations are listed at the end of the piece. The Senate could consider the measure as early as next week; they passed a similar bill a year ago, so passage looks good. More takes on the regulations, including criticisms that it's too weak, here and here.
- The recently passed state gay marriage bills are still in the news today, with John Baer hopeful that the two houses won't be able to agree on a compromise, the DN opinion page decrying the resurgence of intolerance, and Albert applauding state Sen. Vince Fumo for being on the right side of this one. The Inquirer editorial page also bemoans this move, as well as the underpowered gun control bill under consideration.
- Lynn Swann released his education plan, including increasing incentives for corporate contributions, giving extra support to students who fail to master elementary level skills, and rewarding teachers for helping their students make gains. All sounds reasonable, but I don't know the degree to which these ideas differ from Rendell's or are known to be effective. In related news a recent poll shows the governor with a substantial lead.
- US Sen. Rick Santorum takes some ribbing today, first in an Auth political cartoon that captures the general response to his claims that WMDs were found in Iraq, and later this evening in a contest of mock impersonators that will be held at venerable Ortliebs.
- Gar Joseph's DN column is rife with political gossip, from Tom Knox's anti-violence posters to who might be making a move on whose (Council or Congressional) seat once the mayoral race goes official, etc.