Katie McGinty Calls on D.A. Seth Williams to Fire “Porngate” Lawyers

Businesswoman and former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty has run a solid campaign, building a network and achieving fundraising success. But most important, she, unlike opponents Allyson Schwartz and Rob McCord, stayed away from attacking Wolf. Given that, combined with Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s implosion and much of the Democratic establishment disliking former congressman Joe Sestak, watch for the articulate McGinty to quickly become the frontrunner against freshman Pat Toomey in 2016.

Katie McGinty

U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty on Wednesday waded into the “Porngate” controversy, calling on Philadelphia’s top prosecutor, Seth Williams, to fire scandal-tarred lawyers in his office and saying that a state Supreme Court justice should resign over the matter.

“As a woman and the mother of three girls, I am appalled by the misogynistic, homophobic, and racist messages that were sent by these officials,” McGinty, a Democrat, said in a series of early afternoon tweets on the issue.

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Philly Newspapers Sue Landlord Over Lack of Signage at Headquarters

The entrance to PMN's headquarters at Eighth and Market streets.

The entrance to PMN’s headquarters at Eighth and Market streets.

The Inquirer and Daily News once occupied one of the most easily recognized buildings in Philadelphia — the 18-floor tower on North Broad Street that suggested the newspapers had managed to build their very own fortress.

These days? The papers can’t even get a good sign to advertise the location of their current headquarters at Eighth and Market streets, leaving the journalists there to practice in relative anonymity.

That’s why the papers’ owner, Philadelphia Media Network, filed suit against its landlord this month, seeking more than $3.5 million in damages: Signs identifying the headquarters of the city’s largest news organization were promised in the company’s lease of the former Strawbridge & Clothier department store, its lawyers say, and the landlords still haven’t made good. Read more »

Wolf, GOP Battle Over Refugees

Photos: Associated Press

Photos: Associated Press

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

Harrisburg Republicans are unhappy with Gov. Tom Wolf’s welcome to Syrian refugees — but he’s got Ed Rendell’s support.

“Republican lawmakers are pressuring Gov. Tom Wolf to stop accepting Syrian refugees in Pennsylvania out of fear that deadly terrorists attacks like those in Paris will happen here,” PennLive reports. “The governor has to realize this could be a life and death situation with radicals,” said Rep. Ron Marsico. “The danger is real and the safety of Pennsylvanians is at serious risk.” Wolf’s response? He couldn’t keep them out, even if he wanted to. “Despite the implication of some, states do not have the authority to refuse to accept refugees that are admitted by the federal government.”

Ed Rendell, talking on Rich Zeoli’s radio show, defended Wolf: “Remember who these people are. These are people who fled ISIS. They fought ISIS. When ISIS started rampaging in their country, they fled. I think it’s fair to assume that they’re not ISIS sympathizers. Now, would I be worried that some people who once the announcement was made that we’re taking people, that some people would try to jump in and get into the group? Sure. But people who fled and have been in refugee camps for six months, nine months, a year, I think it’s fair to assume that they hate ISIS too.” Read more »

In Refugee Crisis, Tom Wolf Reminds Us He Was the Right Choice

Democratic party candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, left, and republican Gov. Tom Corbett before a debate at the WTAE-TV studio in Wilkinsburg, Pa. on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Rodney Johnson,WTAE-TV, Pool)

Tom Wolf challenged Gov. Tom Corbett for office last year. Wolf won.

Well, good for Gov. Tom Wolf.

It hasn’t been an easy rookie year for Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor. He’s been faced with a Republican-controlled legislature that has goals pretty much the opposite of his, with the result that the annual budget — due in June — is still unfinished. He’s taken (ahem) a little bit of flack for that.

But on Monday, he made me glad he’s our governor. Read more »

Nutter: Gun Violence Is Like Terrorism

Mayor Michael Nutter at ThinkFest.

Mayor Michael Nutter at ThinkFest.

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

Mayor Nutter says gun violence in cities like Philadelphia isn’t any different from terrorist violence like the attacks on Paris.

AP reports: “Domestic terrorism is international terrorism,” Mayor Nutter told U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch Monday during a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “There is really no level of distinction between the violence that goes on, on the streets of America on a daily basis and the episodic acts of international terrorism that also take place — primarily in cities.” He called for federal and local officials to treat local gun violence with the same seriousness as international terrorism.

Nutter added: “Citizens around the world feel unsafe because of international terrorists … those same feelings exist for many in (American) communities. … These criminals are terrorizing our citizens and that same level of fear of violence, the death of citizens, the destruction of property, are the same. In many cities across the United States of America on a weekend, you very well could have six, eight, 10 people shot.”

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Will Police Reforms Work in Philly?

Philadelphia Police Dept. HQ - Roundhouse

Philadelphia Police Department headquarters (aka The Roundhouse) photo by Beyond My Ken, used under a Creative Commons license

Some discouraging news for advocates of police reform in Philadelphia: A new Washington Post/Frontline investigation has revealed “mixed results” in other cities where the Justice Department intervened to curb the excessive use of force by police departments.

“Measured by incidents of use of force, one of Justice’s primary metrics, the outcomes are mixed,” the Post reported Friday. “In five of the 10 police departments for which sufficient data was provided, use of force by officers increased during and after the agreements. In five others, it stayed the same or declined.” Read more »

Can Laid-Off Philly Journos Build Their Own News Organization?



George Miller isn’t quite sure what a new local news organization would look like, nor how one would get funding for a startup — but he does believe there’s room in Philly’s media ecosystem for another player, especially now that the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com are laying off nearly 50 journalists and support staffers.

That’s why Miller, publisher of Jump Philly music magazine and an associate professor at Temple University, is hosting “Let’s Start Our Own News Org” tonight, a brainstorming session for those who care about Philadelphia and the media who cover the city.

“Basically, the idea was, in two weeks there are people who are losing their jobs,” he said of the layoffs at Philadelphia Media Network. “It seems like a lot of people are leaving journalism and aren’t all that upset about it, but I was upset about it — I don’t want to lose all that talent from the city.” Read more »

Obama, Wolf Say Syrian Refugees Welcome

President Obama speaks during a press conference in Turkey. (WhiteHouse.gov)

President Obama speaks during a press conference in Turkey. (WhiteHouse.gov)

In the wake of deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, President Obama and Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf said today that the nation — and state — will continue to accept refugees from war-torn Syria.

They promised, however, that the open-door policy would be accompanied with an eye on security.

“Even as we accept more refugees, including Syrians, we do so only after subjecting them to rigorous screening and security checks,” Obama said in a press conference in Turkey. “We also have to remember that many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves, that’s what they’re fleeing. Slamming the doors in their faces would be a betrayal of our values.” Read more »

Philadelphia Shows Solidarity With Paris

Cloe Tinchant lights candles in LOVE Park, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, during a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the attacks in Paris. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

Cloe Tinchant lights candles in LOVE Park, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, during a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the attacks in Paris. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

Good morning, Philadelphia, and happy National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. Here’s what you need to know today.

Philadelphia is expressing its solidarity with Paris, while beefing up security at home.

This weekend’s horrific terrorist attacks in Paris inspired Philadelphians to many shows of solidarity: A vigil Saturday was organized by the French Consulate, a second was held Sunday at the French International School. Philadelphia-area Muslim groups also spoke out against the attack: “We totally and unconditionally condemn all actions of violence of this nature,” Mikal Shabazz, imam at the Masjidullah in West Oak Lane, told CBS3. Memorials went up around the city — the Cira Centre, Boathouse Row, and Lit Brothers Building were all bathed in the colors of the French flag over the weekend.

More police and security were on hand at the Linc, meanwhile, for the Eagles game — and fans attending Flyers and 76ers games should expect to see similar measures. “One of the targets of Friday’s terror attacks in Paris was a soccer stadium,” CBS 3 reported. “Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said in light of that, the city won’t be taking any chances.” Read more »

Agent Who Bugged Street’s Office Speaks Out


John Street

Good morning, Philadelphia, and National Indian Pudding Day. Here’s what you should know today:

The former FBI agent who bugged John Street’s office in a “pay to play” investigation in 2003 is speaking out — and he has some regrets about the bug being found.

“What’s probably more disappointing to me personally than the actual device being found is the effect it had on the mayoral election,” J.J. Klaver tells NBC10. “I wish it had never been found. If I could go back in time and do it differently, I would.” At the time the bug was found, Republican Sam Katz says he was leading incumbent Street his campaign’s internal polls, though other public polls showed Street leading, albeit by a narrow margin; Street’s campaign blamed the Bush White House for the bug and Katz ended up losing. “I knew it was preposterous to say the White House ordered us to bug a sitting mayor’s office,” Klaver says now, “but I couldn’t come out and say it was preposterous.” Street was never charged in the investigation. Read more »

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