Pa. House Majority Leader Mike Turzai met with Philly Schools Superintendent William Hite Monday to discuss the city’s proposed cigarette tax to fund local schools. No resolution to the ongoing standoff was reached, however.
Well, this is it: Philly’s time to shine.
We’re one of five cities competing to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Site selectors will visit next week. And local officials plan to put on quite a show for them.
We told you yesterday about Chaka Fattah Jr.’s indictment on fraud and tax charges. He’s accused of stealing from the Philadelphia School District and failing to pay federal taxes, among other things. Since then, though, Fattah has been on the offensive.
Yesterday, Fattah Jr. went on 1210 WPHT to talk to Chris Stigall and Dom Giordano, two broadcasters who are traditionally not big fans of Democrats. (Giordano switched his registration to Dem briefly in 2008 so he could vote for Hillary Clinton in the primary, believing her to be an easier target in the general election.) But Fattah Jr. had a Big Talker-friendly angle on this case: Government overreach!
“The people involved in the investigation are, I think — they’re primarily interested in potentially getting a promotion,” he said on air. “Things like that, things that have nothing to do with doing their job. It’s a political thing … I really think it shows the individual Assistant U.S. Attorneys and, in some cases FBI Agents or IRS Agents, have really too much power over people’s lives.”
Fattah also revealed he refused to take a plea deal which would have involved him cooperating against his father, as well as jail time. The government wanted him to cooperate against his dad and go to jail? That’s cold.
Remember all the skepticism that greeted last week’s poll showing Gov. Tom Corbett finally whittling away at the persistent 20-point campaign lead of challenger Tom Wolf? Maybe it was misplaced.
Keystone Report offers the results of its own poll — done by Magellan Strategies — on the race. And Corbett still appears to be gaining.
Another day on the brink for Philly schools: Activists and officials headed to Harrisburg on Monday — the day the Pennsylvania House was supposed to approve a cigarette tax to fund city schools — to rally and lobby state officials for the funding authority.
They didn’t get what they were looking for.
It’s been a busy week here in the P.C. States of America, with everybody defending everybody else’s right to be offended, with the usual head-spinning results. Let’s start at Ohio State University, which just fired the director of its world-renowned marching band for allowing hazing and sexual harassment to go on amidst its ranks. (You may have seen the band’s halftime tribute to Michael Jackson on YouTube last year.) One practice decried in a university report was the assignment of nicknames to new band members — nicknames that the university deemed degrading, such as “Jizzy” and “Twinkle Dick,” according to the august Chronicle of Higher Ed. Among the objectionable monikers the report cited was “Jwoobs,” given to a female Jewish student with large breasts. Read more »
Here’s something I’m not sure members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives have considered as they goof around on vacation and play games with the future of Philly schools: They’re about to hurt a lot of families in very tangible ways.
The equation goes like this:
• The House’s decision to stay on vacation next week instead of coming back to Harrisburg for a vote on a cigarette tax proposal makes it increasingly likely that Philly schools won’t start on time.
• If schools don’t open on time, tens of thousands of schoolchildren are going to need something to do.
• Parents of many of those kids will pay to put their children in child care for the duration. But child care isn’t cheap — it can cost upward of hundreds of dollars a week, and thousands of dollars a month, to keep kids somewhere safe and occupied. This is no small concern.
• So there’s that huge expense for families that didn’t expect to bear it. But it’s also true that many of those tens of thousands of family can’t afford the daycare, or can barely afford it. Those that can’t might rely on families … or they’ll make unorthodox arrangements that please no one.
Which is to say nothing of the thousands of teachers, administrators, and classified staffers who will sit home without getting paid. Or the impact on the education of every student stuck in limbo. Philly is about to pay a terrible price.