Two School Reform Commission Members Resign

School District of Philadelphia

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Two members of Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission, the appointed body that serves in place of an elected school board, have announced that they will resign.

Marjorie Neff, a former principal at Masterman High School who was appointed to the SRC by former Mayor Michael Nutter in 2014 and made chair of the commission by Gov. Tom Wolf last year, will resign effective November 3rd. Feather Houstoun, who was appointed by former governor Tom Corbett in 2011, will serve until October 14th. Their terms were set to expire in January. A third commissioner, Sylvia Simms, has a term that expires early next year as well. Read more »

Tom Wolf’s Crash Course in State Government

Signs: Jeff Fusco; Wolf: James Robinson/ Press.

Signs: Jeff Fusco; Wolf: James Robinson/ Press.

In late July — on the day Donald Trump was nominated for president — Governor Tom Wolf drove from Harrisburg to a strip mall in Johnstown to talk about addiction.

Fighting addiction to prescription drugs and heroin has become one of Wolf’s signature issues, and his administration has designated 45 Centers of Excellence that will receive funding to attack the problem “holistically,” which is a word the governor uses often. In this case, it means giving help to addicts to overcome whatever is wrong with their lives, to solve the problems that led to abusing drugs in the first place. It’s a far-reaching plan. Read more »

Governor Wolf Wants to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana in Pennsylvania


Governor Tom Wolf recently said he believes that possessing small amounts of marijuana should be decriminalized in Pennsylvania.

During a “Small Talk” interview with Scott LaMar on WITF, Wolf said that “too many people are going to prison because of the use of very modest amounts or carrying modest amounts of marijuana, and that is clogging up our prisons, it’s destroying families, and it’s hurting our economy.”

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Pa. Doesn’t Shine in State Rankings for Economic Performance

Photo Credit: AP Photo | Jacqueline Larma

Photo Credit: AP Photo | Jacqueline Larma

Pennsylvania was ranked 39th in a study released on Monday of states’ overall economic performance conducted by

The rankings are based on six variables — the state’s unemployment rate, improvement in the unemployment rate over the past year, the state’s 2015 GDP per capita, percent change between the state’s 2014 and 2015 GDP, percent change in state resident’s personal income per capita, and percent growth in year-to-date increases in jobs for 2016. These figures come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis in each state and “offer a mix of static and dynamic measures of the states’ overall economic performance,” according to Governing. The survey was last conducted in 2013.

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Wolf Nominates Bruce Beemer to Replace Kathleen Kane As Attorney General


Gov. Tom Wolf has nominated Bruce Beemer, the current inspector general of Pennsylvania, to replace Kathleen Kane as attorney general. Kane, convicted earlier this week of perjury and obstruction of justice, resigned yesterday from the position.

“Bruce Beemer has a depth of experience, he has the respect of the employees of the Office of the Attorney General, and I have no doubt that he will make this transition seamless and smooth,” Wolf said in a release. “I have spoken with Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate, and we have agreed that Bruce is the right fit for Attorney General at this time, and I am confident that he will be confirmed expeditiously.” Read more »

What They’re Saying About Kathleen Kane’s Conviction

Kathleen Kane

Politicians around Pennsylvania called on Attorney General Kathleen Kane to resign after a jury convicted her Monday night of perjury, obstruction, and other charges related to an act of political retaliation against a former state prosecutor.

The case has consumed the political press since the spring of 2014, when the Philadelphia Inquirer ran one of its biggest headlines, typographically speaking, in recent memory: KANE SHUT DOWN STING THAT SNARED CITY POLS. The paper reported that day that Kane, who’d taken office the previous year, had quietly spiked an investigation into six Philly Democrats who’d been caught accepting bribes in a sting operation. She maintained early on that the sting was tainted by racial bias — all the targets were African-American — and that prosecutions weren’t winnable.  Read more »

Tom Wolf Bored the Hell Out of People at the DNC


It can’t be easy to speak at a big political convention, right?

I ask because Governor Tom Wolf was tasked with spending a couple of minutes behind the mic at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, knowing full well that the energized crowd of 20,000 people inside the Wells Fargo Center was silently counting down the minutes and hours until they got to see Hillary Clinton make history as the first female presidential nominee in American history. Read more »

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