OPINION: Macron May Have Won the French Election, but Le Pen Was Victorious

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen poses for a selfie as she leaves her campaign headquarters Sunday, May 7, 2017 in Paris. | AP Photo/Francois Mori

When Marine Le Pen lost her bid to become the next president of France, many Americans saw former investment banker Emmanuel Macron’s victory as that country’s rejection of a Donald Trump–like candidate. If the comments on Facebook were any indication, Le Pen for these Americans was a “far right” candidate every bit as dangerous as the current administration in Washington.

Of course, the media’s labeling of Le Pen as a far-right candidate was an attempt to scare people into not voting for her. It was much like calling someone a racist so that people will no longer pay attention to the one who has been labeled. Read more »

OPINION: Why Rich Negrin Should Be Our Next DA

Rich Negrin

Richard Negrin | Photo courtesy of Mark Nevins

Next Tuesday our city will have the chance to vote for a new district attorney amid a federal investigation that’s put a dark cloud over the office. With eight candidates running (seven from the Democratic Party), voter turnout might increase in comparison to previous low-turnout cycles. I predict, however, that voter turnout will still not exceed 20 percent because this is not a national election cycle. Further, I predict that three regions will dominate the turnout: Center City, the suburban Northwest, and the working-class Northeast. Given those factors, a thorough process of elimination will leave you with only one candidate able to secure enough votes to come out on top: former city managing director Richard Negrin.

Read more »

UPDATED: Council Unanimously Passes Bill Prompted by Gayborhood Racism Complaints

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After passing out of City Council’s Health and Human Services committee in a unanimous vote last month, an anti-discrimination bill introduced by Councilman Derek Green that would strengthen penalties against Philadelphia businesses found to discriminate against their employees, tenants, or customers was passed, again unanimously, by Council on Thursday.

“I am thankful that Council has once again demonstrated its allegiance to a culture of inclusion and acceptance in the City of Philadelphia, and hope that businesses and residents alike are reminded that discrimination is unacceptable,” Green said in a statement. Since introducing this bill in November 2016, Green has consistently cited incidents of Gayborhood racism as the genesis of his interest in amending the Fair Practices Ordinance.

Read more »

Sims on Ethics Investigation: “My Appearances Are Consistent With State Law”

State Rep Brian Sims

State Rep. Brian Sims

The Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission has launched an investigation of state Rep. Brian Sims after a complaint was filed late last year alleging that he might have committed “potential Ethics Acts violations” by accepting honoraria for certain speaking engagements. The existence of the investigation was first reported by PGN. Read more »

OPINION: Brian Sims, Stop Chasing the National Spotlight and Focus on the Gayborhood

State Rep. Brian Sims

State Rep. Brian Sims

If you frequent the Gayborhood, by now you’re aware of the ongoing conversations surrounding racial discrimination in the community. You’re most likely also familiar with the recent turmoil at the community’s leading LGBTQ nonprofit, Mazzoni Center. Regardless of your personal thoughts on these issues, you can’t ignore the impact both have had on the Gayborhood.

But oddly enough, it doesn’t appear as though our only openly gay state legislator finds these issues worthy of urgent concern. State Rep. Brian Sims, whose legislative district encompasses the Gayborhood, has been curiously hands-off when it comes to engaging in these public disputes in his own backyard. Read more »

OPINION: Trump’s First 100 Days Weren’t a Damn Comedy

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President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, April 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

This Saturday, Donald Trump will be celebrating his 100th day as the 45th president of the United States.

So far, there’s been no action on impeachment, Congress continues to operate per usual, and the country hasn’t exactly turned itself upside down. And while we still haven’t seen Trump’s tax returns, got to the bottom of his suspicious ties with Russia, or figured out his health-care plan, it appears as though he would have been our top pick regardless. Read more »

We Want Answers: Jake Tapper

Photo by Adam Jones.

Photo by Adam Jones.

“You’ll be sure to note that the Eagles mascot is by my side,” Jake Tapper says as we grab seats in his cluttered office inside CNN’s D.C. bureau, just down the street from the Capitol. Tapper, wearing blue dress pants and an open-collar pale blue shirt, holds up a small plush stuffed bird, decked out in Eagles gear, that normally sits off to one side of his desk. Right next to it: a spot-on replica of the Six Million Dollar Man lunch box Tapper had as a kid growing up in Philly. “Some Twitter follower of mine sent it to me,” he explains. “It’s not my original one. But it is what I had when I went to the Philadelphia School at 25th and Lombard.”

CNN’s 48-year-old chief Washington correspondent is having something of a pop-culture moment these days thanks to his aggressive coverage of the Trump administration. He found himself a guest on Bill Maher’s HBO show (Maher lauded him for “speaking truth to crazy”); has turned up as a character on Saturday Night Live; and saw his face — with the incredulous expression he wore while interviewing Kellyanne Conway in February — become an Internet meme. Read more »

LGBTQ&A: Henry Sias

Henry Sias | Photo by New Castro Camera Photography

Henry Sias | Photo by New Castro Camera Photography

Henry Sias is a transgender attorney and community advocate running for Court of Common Pleas judge. We speak with the trailblazing public figure on on social justice, trans-masculinity, and his thoughts on making history as the first transgender candidate to run for office in Philadelphia. Read more »

OPINION: Philly’s Tolerance for Corruption Is Why Seth Williams Hasn’t Resigned

Seth Williams at a February 10, 2017, press conference. Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

Seth Williams at a February 10, 2017, press conference. Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

The Philly reaction to political scandals usually rolls out like this:

1) Word of an investigation sparks chatter. Nobody really cares.

2) An indictment sparks concern. Some folks begin to actually care.

3) A conviction sparks outcry. Folks are absolutely done with the politician. Read more »

Here’s What’s Behind the Sharp Left Turn in Philly’s District Attorney Race

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Michael Untermeyer for District Attorney Campaign; ANNMARIE YOUNG; CITIZENS FOR RICH NEGRIN CAMPAIGN; JOSH PELTA-HELLER/KOALA PHOTOGRAPHY; krasner: NICK KELSH; ZAKIYAH CALDWELL; ERSKINE ISAAC/INVISION PHOTO; map: istockphoto

Clockwise from top left: Michael Untermeyer for District Attorney Campaign; Annmarie Young; Citizens for Rich Negrin Campaign; Josh Pelta-Heller/Koala Photography; Krasner: Nick Kelsh; Zakiyah Caldwell; Erskine Isaac/Invision Photo; Map: Istockphoto

Early in February, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams called an impromptu news conference. He arrived a few minutes after 10 a.m. in a pinstriped shirt, looking like he’d suffered through a long night with nothing but his own thoughts and a cigar. “Good morning, everyone,” he sighed into the microphone. “I have made the very difficult decision not to seek reelection to a third term.”

Williams was facing a rocky campaign. The FBI has been investigating him since at least 2015, and he recently was hit with the biggest fine in the history of the city’s ethics board for taking $175,000 in gifts and not bothering to report them. In those final moments of his political career, Williams made a revealing choice. He spent most of his time at the podium attempting to define his legacy as a victory for progressives: During his seven years in office, he said, he stopped locking people up for smoking pot, increased felony conviction rates, and helped bring humanity to the city’s punitive criminal justice system. Read more »

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