State Could Ban Cold Medicine Sales to Minors

Wikimedia Commons | MarkBuckawicki

Wikimedia Commons | MarkBuckawicki

The war on cold medicine continues.

State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, a Republican who serves parts of Bucks and Montgomery counties, told colleagues this week he will sponsor a bill that bans over-the-counter sales of certain cold medicines to children under the age of 18.

The medicines — Robitussin, Tylenol Cough & Cold, and NyQuil — contain an ingredient, dextromethorphan, that helps suppress coughs. It can also help you get high.

“Unfortunately, some teens are abusing DXM by consuming these medicines in large amounts,” Greenleaf said in a Tuesday memo to colleagues, using a shorthand, DXM, to identify the drug. He said a recent study shows a third of teens use the medicine to get high. Read more »

Pa. Senate to Vote Wednesday on Kane’s Future

"PennsylvaniaKathleen Kane’s ability to survive scandal will face its biggest test so far on Wednesday.

That’s when the Pennsylvania Senate will vote, deciding whether or not the attorney general — whose law license is suspended while she awaits trial on criminal charges — should be ousted from office. Read more »

Christie Gets Down on One Knee to Woo Undecided New Hampshire Voter

Screen grab via ABC News.

Screen grab via ABC News.

New Hampshire, Chris Christie needs your vote, and he is prepared to show you just how badly. The New Jersey governor got down on one knee to appeal to an undecided voter at his town hall in Hudson, New Hampshire, Monday morning.

The normally brash, occasionally caustic Christie displayed his softer side, and it paid off. Read more »

Q&A: Malcolm Kenyatta on Being Openly LGBTQ in Local Politics

Malcolm Kenyatta, 25, is known as "North Philly's Biggest Fan."

Malcolm Kenyatta, 25, is known as “North Philly’s biggest fan.”

How would you best describe your career?
At my core, I’m just a kid from North Philly who refuses to leave. I was born and raised in the neighborhood, went to college here, left for a year or so, and then came back first chance I got. I’m also a believer in the power of words to make change – politically or artistically. My passion in the arts goes back to college, when I founded a performance group, Babel (Temple’s poetry collective). For the past two years I’ve been one of the producers for a play, You Gotta Eat Dirt Before You Die, and used it as a platform to discuss and raise awareness around HIV/AIDS. Politically, at 25 I’m the youngest member of the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club board of directors, a Point Foundation mentor, was recently elected to the board of directors of Smith Playground and appointed president of the Philadelphia NOW (National Organization for Women) Education Fund, which raises awareness about issues involving women and families. Read more »

Report: Rick Santorum Dropping Out of Presidential Race, Which He Was In

James Buchanan will remain the only President of the United States from Pennsylvania after the 2016 election.

You know that, of course, but today it becomes official: CNN reports Rick Santorum is dropping out of the presidential race, citing two Republican sources.

Santorum was the second-place finisher in the 2012 GOP primaries, capturing 11 states. But despite winning Iowa that year — although political media at the time reported a Romney win — he finished 11th in the Iowa primary this time. He even lost to Chris Christie! Read more »

Pa. Bill Could Curb Corporate Political Spending

If corporations are going to spend money lobbying government and making campaign contributions, Eddie Pashinski wants to make sure they do so with the consent of their shareholders.

Pashinski, a Luzerne County Democrat in the Pennsylvania House, said this week he will soon introduce a bill requiring shareholder approval of corporate political expenses. The bill, based on similar legislation in Maryland, will bring “fairness and transparency to our system of campaign finance,” Pashinski said in a written memo. Read more »

WATCH: John Fetterman Ran This Ad on MSNBC During Iowa Caucus Coverage

Braddock mayor John Fetterman, who I profiled in December, is ramping up his campaign for U.S. Senate. Last night, a TV spot pitching Fetterman aired during Iowa caucus coverage on MSNBC.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review called the ad a pared-down version of “the best campaign video of the season.” It was produced by Lydia Morin, a Fetterman campaign staffer. Read more »

Can Philly’s Ed O’Donnell Win the Presidency?

Ed O'Donnell for president

Photo | Dan McQuade

Ed O’Donnell knows he’s not going to become president.

“The only way I can become president is if the vice president resigns,” O’Donnell says. “And the president appoints me president and then resigns. That’s constitutional.” But that has’t stopped him from paying the $1,000 fee to get on the New Hampshire democratic primary ballot next month. It hasn’t stopped him before; he’s been running for president for 32 years. He hasn’t been on the ballot every year, but he’s gone up to New Hampshire and campaigned for votes. He’s spent $1.2 million, he tells me, and has garnered 468 votes, or roughly $2,564.10 a vote. That sounds like a lot, but it still seems like a better return than Jeb Bush is getting.

O’Donnell lists his home base as Bridgeport, Montgomery County, in his New Hampshire filing, but the announcement for his candidacy proudly states that “Ed O’Donnell lives in Philadelphia.” He says during primary season he rents out of his apartment and lives in hotels for months. He’s from Delaware, where he went to Wilmington Friends before heading to upstate New York for college at Colgate.

He says he’s run a charity, the Winthrop Foundation, for more than 40 years and that it’s given out sports tickets to under-privileged kids and clothes to the homeless. O’Donnell — who made headlines in 2013 when he said he was a virgin — gets most of his clothes for free or cheap himself from a place at his favorite shore town, Ocean City. He says wears a lot of women’s clothing, because that’s what they have there. Read more »

Bill Would Punish Harassment of Abortion Clinic Patients

Opponents and supporters of Planned Parenthood demonstrate Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Philadelphia. Anti-abortion activists are calling for an end to government funding for the nonprofit reproductive services organization. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Opponents and supporters of Planned Parenthood demonstrate Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Philadelphia. Anti-abortion activists are calling for an end to government funding for the nonprofit reproductive services organization. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Sen. Larry Farnese is pushing a bill that would punish harassment of women entering abortion clinics — and give prison sentences to anybody who injures or kills a woman entering a clinic.

Farnese, the Philly Democrat, introduced the bill earlier this month. He promoted it Wednesday with a “Twitter Town Hall” held online with pro-choice and other liberal Pennsylvania groups.

“I have escorted women through crowds of protesters and I have witnessed the verbal and physical harassment that has been angrily directed towards them,” Farnese said in introducing the bill. “The walk from the curb to the clinic door should never be the last one of their lives, so people need to know that if they hurt someone they can be punished with felony crimes and big fines.” Read more »

Cruz Seeks State Audit of School District

cruz schools

A Philly Democrat is once again seeking a state audit of the Philadelphia school district’s finances, saying the district needs to show a “greater level of accountability” for its spending.

Rep. Angel Cruz, who represents a portion of North Philly, sent a memo to colleagues last week, asking for their support of his effort. Read more »

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