Pa. Senator Wants to Legalize UberX, Lyft in Philly

Promotional photos from the press kits of Uber (left) and Lyft

Promotional photos from the press kits of Uber (left) and Lyft

Hailing an UberX may now be worse than taking a Philly cab these days, but the service’s popularity is undeniable. The problem? UberX (as well as Lyft, a competing ride-hailing app) is illegal in the city of Philadelphia.

A Harrisburg senator is hoping to change that. On Thursday, State Sen. Camera Bartolotta, a Republican, unveiled legislation that would legalize ride-hailing services in all areas of the state. Currently, UberX and Lyft are operating under temporary authority in all Pennsylvania counties except Philadelphia. The PPA has occasionally impounded UberX vehicles in sting operations.

“Legislation is necessary to ensure these companies are allowed to operate after the temporary authority expires. It is important for state laws to keep pace with the rate of modernization,” Bartolotta said in a statement. “While there is a golden opportunity for transportation network companies to provide new options for consumers, it is also necessary that we ensure these new services operate responsibly and safely.” Read more »

Kane: There’s Still More Porn

Kathleen Kane, left. Binder full of porn, right.

Kathleen Kane, left. Binder full of porn, right.

Turns out 400 pages of porn is just the beginning.

Embattled attorney general Kathleen Kane said Thursday she’ll seek court guidance whether to release even more pornographic emails shared by prosecutors, agents, and others in the attorney general’s office during the administration of her predecessor, Tom Corbett, before he became governor. They were discovered during an investigation of how Corbett’s office handled the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State. Read more »

Online Voter Registration Coming to Pennsylvania

Photo by Derek Hatfield/Shutterstock.com

Photo by Derek Hatfield/Shutterstock.com

Pennsylvanians can now register to vote online by going to register.votespa.com.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced the policy change at a press conference today. He said online voter registration did not need legislative approval.

The National Conference of State Legislatures told the AP Pennsylvania will be the 23rd state to implement such a measure.

“Online registration… improves accuracy, increases the integrity of voter rolls,” Wolf said. “This online voter registration is also going to help our democracy. Judged by our voter turnout rates, we’re not as good as we used to be.” Read more »

Here’s What’s in All Those Porngate Emails Kathleen Kane Keeps Talking About

The binder of Porngate emails, available at the Supreme Court Office of Prothonotary at City Hall. | Joel Mathis

The binder of Porngate emails, available at the Supreme Court Office of Prothonotary at City Hall. | Joel Mathis

Here’s the bottom line: A binder full of porn — about 400 of pages of it, several inches thick in total — is anything but erotic. It’s gross and sexist and occasionally racist and definitely misogynistic and homophobic now and again, but if you are forced to page through such a binder, you might just find your libido dying from an odd mix of disgust and anger.

But here’s the knowledge to be gained from paging through such a binder after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court took the wraps off the “Porngate” emails that Attorney General Kathleen Kane has said are crucial to her defense against charges she leaked secret grand jury information as part of a political vendetta against Frank Fina, a former member of the attorney general’s office who now works for Philadelphia D.A. Seth Williams:
Read more »

Catholic Org: Pope Visit Being Organized by Pro-Choice Politicians

From the Lepanto Institute's report on ties between the World Meeting of Families and Planned Parenthood.

From the Lepanto Institute’s report on ties between the World Meeting of Families and Planned Parenthood.

A key leader for the World Meeting of Families has come under attack from a conservative Catholic “investigative group” that says he donated campaign funds to pro-abortion candidates.

The Lepanto Institute said Robert J. Ciaruffoli, currently listed as chairman (but sometimes listed as president) of WMOF’s board of directors, has, in various years, given campaign donations to Allyson Schwartz, Chaka Fattah, Bob Brady, Joe Biden, and Bill Richardson — all pro-choice Democrats. (The donations can be affirmed at the Federal Election Commission website.) The donation to Schwartz, a former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic before her stint in Congress, was singled out for criticism.

“The Church simply can’t afford to have event leaders so cozy with Planned Parenthood’s political cheerleaders,” said Michael Hichborn, the Virginia-based Lepanto Institute’s president. He sent the story out to reporters with the headline: “President of World Meeting of Families Funded Planned Parenthood Director’s Political Campaign.”

Ciaruffoli did not respond to a call and email for comment. Read more »

What Can Joe Biden Learn From Five Pennsylvania Presidential Losers?

From left: James Buchanan, Arlen Specter, Joe Biden, Rick Santorum, William Scott Hancock.

From left: James Buchanan, Arlen Specter, Joe Biden, Rick Santorum, William Scott Hancock.

Pennsylvania has long been regarded as a kingmaker when it comes to presidential politics — we still get awarded “swing state” status by pundits even though it’s been a generation since the state swung to Republicans in a presidential election. But we do a lousy job of electing our own.

The only native of the Keystone State to actually win the presidency? James Buchanan. You might remember him from his stint as The Worst President in American History. (That tends to happen when you stand by and let the nation devolve into ugly, bloody Civil War.) As Joe Biden — Scranton native, longtime U.S. senator from neighboring Delaware (aka “Pennsylvania’s third senator“)  — contemplates his own run for the presidency, he might want to consider the woes that have befallen his predecessors.

Here are five notable Pennsylvanians who failed to win the White House: Read more »

Biden Pondering Presidential Run

biden

Vice President Joe Biden — the Scranton native and former longtime U.S. Senator from Delaware — is pondering a late entry into the 2016 presidential race, multiple reports say.

“Vice President Joe Biden met privately with Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday in his residence at the Naval Observatory, CNN has learned, another sign he is seriously deciding whether to jump into the Democratic presidential race,” CNN reports. “Warren and Biden discussed economic policy during a meeting that lasted about two hours, a person familiar with the discussion told CNN, adding that the presidential campaign or Biden’s future was not a particular focus of the discussion.” Read more »

Report: Planned Parenthood Isn’t Harvesting Fetal Tissue in Pa.

Planned Parenthood's offices in Center City. (Google Streetview)

Planned Parenthood’s offices in Center City. (Google Streetview)

Planned Parenthood clinics in Pennsylvania do not participate in the controversial practice of fetal tissue donation, the state’s top health officer says.

“Although donation of fetal tissue is lawful under the Abortion Control Act and federal law, our review has found that Planned Parenthood facilities in Pennsylvania do not participate in this practice,” Secretary of Health Karen Murphy wrote in a letter reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Moreover, there is no evidence that any Planned Parenthood site in this commonwealth is involved in the buying or selling of fetal tissue.” Read more »

Montco State Rep. to Run for Attorney General

State Rep. Todd Stephens, who is a Republican and represents part of Montgomery County, announced today he was running for Attorney General in 2016. He released a four-minute video, primarily focusing on his time as a Montgomery County and federal prosecutor. Read more »

Daily Pennsylvanian Finally Tracks Down Dude Who Remembers Trump at Wharton

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) URN:23754236

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) URN:23754236

Donald Trump may be making serious hay out of his Wharton degree on the campaign trail — he’s even leading the GOP in Pennsylvania, we found out today — but intrepid reporters from such august publications as the Washington Post, Fortune, Salon and the New York Daily News have found few classmates who have anything more than the haziest of recollections of him during his two years there. (He started out at Fordham, but who’d cite Fordham in a presidential campaign?)

Never fear, though: Penn’s student newspaper, the Daily Pennsylvanian, has managed to find a person who not only knew Trump in his Wharton years, but actually had lunch with him a few times. Granted, the DP had to ask 13 former Trump classmates before landing on fellow 1968 grad Ted Sachs, a retired consultant from Lake Forest, Illinois, but its reporters did prevail. Read more »

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