Feds Indict Ex-Pennsylvania Treasurer Barbara Hafer

Pennsylvania Republican state Treasurer Barbara Hafer appears at a rally in the State Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2002, in a sea of signs after endorsing Democrat Edward Rendell for governor of Pennsylvania. Photo | Paul Vathis, AP

Pennsylvania state Treasurer Barbara Hafer at a rally in the State Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2002. Photo | Paul Vathis, AP

Federal authorities indicted former Pennsylvania state treasurer Barbara Hafer today, charging her with lying to federal agents and concealing half a million dollars.

Hafer served two terms as treasurer from 1997 to 2005; she was also auditor general from 1989 to 1997. She was a Republican until 2003, when she switched to the Democratic party. She was charged with two counts of making false statements to authorities and concealing $500,000 in payments from a businessman. The indictment did not identify that person, but the Inquirer reported it was Richard Ireland, one of Hafer’s biggest fundraisers.

Federal authorities said in a release they interviewed Hafer in May as part of an ongoing investigation. She allegedly lied about her financial relationship with a businessman (reportedly Ireland) in that interview, even when “shown a signed contract between Hafer & Associates, LLC, and a company owned by the business person.” Read more »

Kenney, Other Philly Pols Added to Lineup of DNC Speakers

Jim Kenney Tom Wolf

L: Jim Kenney (Photo by Jeff Fusco) R: Tom Wolf (Photo by Matt Rourke)

The Democratic National Convention just got a bit more Philly.

Today, the DNC announced five more speakers for the event: Mayor Jim Kenney, Gov. Tom Wolf, Sen. Bob Casey, and Congressmen Bob Brady and Brendan Boyle.

“As Donald Trump continues his divisive convention in Cleveland with dangerous ideas that would pose a threat to our economy and national security,” the DNC said in a release, “Democrats are preparing to lay out the clear stakes in this election in Philadelphia — a choice between building walls and tearing people down or an optimistic unifying vision where everyone has a role to play in building our future.” Read more »

A Q&A with Don Russell, New Editor-in-Chief of Philly Weekly

Don Russell - Joe Sixpack - photo of him holding a beer

Photo via joesixpack.net

Earlier this week, Broad Street Media announced it had been purchased by Donnelly Distribution, an advertising and circular company in New Jersey. Donnelly’s purchased gave them a chain of community newspapers in Philadelphia and the suburbs, including the Northeast Times, the South Philly Review and the Fishtown Star. It also bought Philadelphia Weekly, the remaining alt-weekly in town.

At the time of the announcement, Donnelly Distribution also announced it had installed a new editor-in-chief of all its publications: Don Russell. Best known as beer columnist Joe Sixpack, he recently announced he’d be taking his column away from the Daily News and to the Weekly and its sister publications. Before taking a buyout at the DN in 2005, he was a longtime reporter for the tabloid pub.

Philadelphia magazine chatted with Russell about the future of PW and the other papers. This interview has been lightly edited for style and condensed. Read more »

North Wildwood Considers Changing Name to Anglesea

a shot of the rocky shoreline at the northern tip of North Wildwood

Photo: Dan McQuade

North Wildwood may not be North Wildwood for much longer.

Residents yesterday submitted a petition with more than 100 signatures on it asking for the city’s name to be changed to Anglesea. There are about 3,200 registered voters in North Wildwood.

Anglesea was the original borough on the northern end of the island that contains the Wildwoods. Anglesea Borough was incorporated in 1885, but was eliminated when the Borough of North Wildwood was created in 1906 (the borough became a city 11 years later).

The Press of Atlantic City says residents now consider it a neighborhood on the city’s inlet; the best-known place with the name is probably the Anglesea Pub on West 1st Avenue. Read more »

What You’ll See in Center City’s New Target

A mural inside Target on Chestnut Street shows Philly landmarks in Target's design style

A mural inside the new Chestnut Street Target. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

The wait is finally over. Center City has a Target.

The new Target, located at 1128 Chestnut Street, is one of the discount chain’s 23 “flexible format” stores and the first located in Philadelphia. It is the 35th Target in the Philadelphia area.

The store can be entered from either Chestnut or Sansom Street, and is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.

It’s smaller that an average Target, which is around 130,000 square feet. The one on Chestnut Street is just 19,000 — which means it won’t be selling big-screen televisions, couches or other big-ticket items you’d find at a Target store. Read more »

WATCH: Did Pikachu Give Crowd the Finger at Phillies Game?

Pikachu on the field at Citizens Bank Park, flipping off fans

I know what you’re going to say: It seems unlikely the Phillies would have a guy run around in a costume of the best-known Pokémon and have him flip off the Crowd at Citizens Bank Park.

But, c’mon! What else does this possibly look like? Pikachu runs onto the field and immediately tells Phillies fans where they can stick it. Read more »

Poll: Plurality of Pennsylvanians Want Philly to Secede

PA map with Philly five-county area detached

Original map via Wikimedia Commons, used under a Creative Commons license

Pennsylvanians want Philadelphia to leave the state.

Not all of them, of course. But according to a new poll from conservative firm Harper Polling, among those who could decide, a plurality of Pennsylvanians selected the five-county Philadelphia region as the one they’d like to leave the commonwealth. A Philexit!

Harper asked 500 adults in the state earlier this month the following question: “As you may have heard, the United Kingdom recently voted to leave the European Union, an event that has been referred to in the media as Brexit, or the British Exit. Which region of Pennsylvania would you most like to see leave the Commonwealth in its own Brexit?”

Fifty-two percent weren’t sure. But 29 percent of Pennsylvanians say Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania should leave. No other region was close. Pittsburgh and the Southwest got 7 percent. Scranton/Lehigh Valley, South Central PA and the Northern PA all got four percent. Aw, well at least everyone was nice to York. Read more »

Katie McGinty Rolls Out First TV Ad of General Election

We’ve been following the campaign ad blitz in the race for Pennsylvania’s junior senate seat pretty closely. There was the pro-Sen. Pat Toomey ad from a conservative independent group with an atrocious depiction of a cheesesteak, and there was the anti-Toomey ad from a liberal group that had a litter box in it for some reason. Plus, there was an independent ad saying McGinty might kidnap your kids, and a web ad from the McGinty team tying Toomey to Donald Trump.

Well! Today, McGinty is unveiling the her first television ad of the general election campaign. And… it’s a standard political “intro” ad. McGinty talks about how she was one of 10 children growing up while eschewing a Just the Ten of Us reference.

There is one part of it that especially caught my eye, though. Read more »

Christie Defends Melania Trump: “93% of the Speech Is Completely Different”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives his thumb up as he walks off the stage with his wife Melania during the Republican National Convention, Monday, July 18, 2016, in Cleveland.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives his thumb up as he walks off the stage with his wife Melania during the Republican National Convention, Monday, July 18, 2016, in Cleveland.

Melania Trump headlined the first night of the Republican National Convention yesterday, and she gave what many considered a fine speech. “Melania Trump initially appeared to deliver the speech her husband needed to portray him in a softer light,” CNN reported. “She offered testimony about the character of her husband, Donald Trump, and said he would never let America down.”

But it’s that initially part of the report that is key here. Because about two paragraphs were cribbed from another speech. It gets funnier: The speech it was taken from was Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC speech. Well, one way to make Melania sound like the first lady is to literally copy the words of the current wife of the president.

Plagiarism is generally not a huge deal in politics, and Republicans rushed to point out VP Joe Biden copied while in college and on the campaign trail. But others have just denied it. Read more »

Republicans Reserve Old ECW Arena for DNC Week

Hiroshi Tanahashi poses on the turnbuckle at the 2300 Arena

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Hiroshi Tanahashi appears at the 2300 Arena before a match in May of 2015. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

There will be only one word to describe the presidential race after next week: Extreme.

The Inquirer’s Chris Brennan reports Republicans have reserved their venue for its “counter-convention” during the Democratic National Convention in Philly next week: The 2300 Arena. That venue is better known by its unofficial name from the 1990s and early 2000s: The ECW Arena. Read more »

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