Report: Tom Wolf Is Nation’s Most Liberal Governor


Tom Wolf has been ranked as the nation’s most liberal governor by InsideGov, a website that tracks and analyzes government data.

Wolf, Pennsylvania’s governor, achieved the ranking after being compared to peers based on “public statements, press releases, campaign platforms and voting records to score each governor’s view on important issues.” Butch Otter of Idaho was ranked most conservative.

With Wolf, though, it seems, the ranking is a bit premature. Yes, he’s been through a campaign — and barely tested, either in the primary or general elections. But halfway through his first year in office, at least, he doesn’t have much in the way of accomplishments, liberal or conservative, to factor in. Read more »

The Philadelphia Rebound: Philly Politicians Don’t Stay Down Long

Former state Sen. Vincent Fumo leaves the James A. Byrne US Courthouse in Philadelphia, secure in the knowledge that he’ll rise again. (AP | Matt Rourke)

In May 1903, as part of a series about American cities, muckraking New York reporter Lincoln Steffans wrote in McClure’s that Philadelphia was regarded as the most corrupt city at that time. Other corrupt cities eagerly pointed the finger at Philadelphia, he noted, “as worse — ‘the worst-governed city in the country.'” Steffans himself acknowledged Philadelphia’s corruption, but felt what distinguished it was that it took place in a city that had access to and experience with reform. Other cities were just as corrupt, but their citizens might not know any better, while Philadelphians seemed to be making a choice. He wrote:

“The people” seem to prefer to be ruled by a known thief than an ambitious reformer. They will make you convict their Tweeds, Mc-Maneses, Butlers, and Shepherds, and even then they may forgive them and talk of monuments to their precious memory…

Some traditions die hard. Read more »

Toomey, Casey on Opposite Sides of Planned Parenthood Debate

Pat Toomey, left; Bob Casey Jr., right.

Pat Toomey, left; Bob Casey Jr., right.

In recent weeks, a pro-life group has released several videotapes purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price their organization will be paid for fetal tissue, from abortions, that it provides to researchers. The tapes have sparked a new battle over federal support for the organization, and Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey Jr. find themselves on opposite sides. Read more »

Report: Court Could Remove Kane From Office

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Republicans who control both the Senate and House picked up additional seats in the November election. In the House, Republicans outnumber Democrats 119 to 84 and in the Senate, 30 to 20. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Attorney General Kathleen Kane has vowed to stay in her job even if — as is expected — she is indicted on charges she leaked secret grand jury information. But a new report suggests that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court could choose to remove her from office if charges are filed.

TribLive’s Brad Bumsted reports: “A little-known emergency valve in rules governing attorney conduct would allow the state Supreme Court, upon request, to suspend the license of a lawyer suspected of ‘egregious conduct.’ That could remove Kane from office because the state constitution says the attorney general must be an attorney, said Ernie Preate, former attorney general from Kane’s hometown of Scranton.” Read more »

GOP Will Try Again to Let NRA Sue Pennsylvania Cities

Background |

Background |

If at first you don’t succeed…

A Republican legislator is trying to revive a bill that would allow third-party organizations like to NRA to sue Pennsylvania towns and cities for having overly restrictive gun laws. An earlier version of the law was struck down in March by a Commonwealth Court panel that said the legislature had passed the bill in an unconstitutionally opaque fashion.

“The court’s decision was based merely on technical procedural rules, meaning that the substance of the legislation itself was never called into question,” Rep. Mark Keller, a Republican from South Central Pennsylvania, said in a memorandum to colleagues. Read more »

Report: State Sells Driver Information to Private Companies

Pennsylvania made $41 million in June from the sale of driver’s license information to private third parties, TribLive reports.

“The records include gender, license class, expiration date and up to 10 years of traffic violations, all of which is available to insurance companies, credit businesses and employers at a price of $9 per driver,” reports Melissa Daniels. Read more »

Kane: Won’t Resign if Charged

Kathleen Kane. AP | Bradley C. Bower

Kathleen Kane. AP | Bradley C. Bower

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Tuesday she will not resign if criminal charges are brought against her over accusations she leaked secret grand jury testimony.

“For the past 13 months, I have been carrying on,” Kane said. “I will handle it and continue to do my job.” Read more »

Report: Katie McGinty Close to Deciding on Senate Challenge to Pat Toomey

Katie McGinty

The wooing of Katie McGinty has apparently become quite serious.

When last we checked in, McGinty — Gov. Tom Wolf‘s chief of staff — had been approached about running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Pat Toomey by Democratic leaders desperate not to have Joe Sestak represent the party on the ballot next fall. But Ed Rendell pooh-poohed the whole thing and that, we figured, was probably that.

Think again.

“This weekend the DSCC held a retreat at Martha’s Vineyard. Dozens of Senators and Senate candidates were there. So was Katie McGinty,” PoliticsPA reports. “PoliticsPA has learned she flew to the event on a chartered flight with over fifteen Senators. We were also able to confirm with McGinty’s top political strategist Mike Mikus that she left on Friday night and returned Sunday.”

She’s apparently generating enthusiasm that Sestak, who lost to Toomey in 2010, hasn’t been able to muster.  Read more »

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