Vol. I No. 138
Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia
January 13, 2011
Ban The ‘Box’
COUNCILWOMAN DONNA REED MILLER confers with Wayne Jacobs of X-Offenders for Community Empowerment at press conference to push for an end to “the Box” – a section on employment applications asking if the job-seeker has a criminal record. In Philadelphia, 300,000 citizens with a criminal record face routine discrimination because of a criminal record, no matter how long ago or how unrelated to job duties. Councilwoman is introducing Council Bill 100543 to remove this question from job applications.
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Ethics Complaint Filed Against Fitzpatrick For Faulty Swearing Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed an ethics complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick (RBucks) for what it termed “blatant violations of House rules, federal law and the US Constitution.” CREW’s complaint follows the revelation Fitzpatrick skipped the swearing-in ceremony for the 112th Congress in favor of attending his own fundraiser. During this fundraiser, he made an invalid attempt to take the oath by watching it on TV, and participated in official House business afterward. “Republicans have made strict adherence to the Constitution a hallmark of the new Congress,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Now we will find out if that was just window-dressing designed to appease the Tea Party movement, or if they were sincere. Two Republican House members have blatantly violated not only House rules, but federal law and the Constitution. Will they be held accountable, or given a pass?” Both the US Constitution and federal law explicitly ban people who are not sworn members of Congress from participating in official House business. Despite missing the swearing-in, Fitzpatrick voted six times on various issues particiTHE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
pated in the reading of the Constitution on the House floor. Speaker John Boehner administered the oath of office to the two representatives on January 6th, and the House passed legislation to “clean up” the problem by nullifying their previous votes. Rep. Fitzpatrick claimed the event in the Capitol Visitors Center was merely a reception and not a fundraiser. But a copy of the invitation to the fundraiser was posted on the Fitzpatrick for Congress website, and directed all questions to his campaign committee. The invitation lists a $30 per person cost, permits a donor to select a specified number of tickets, and lists contribution amounts of $30, $60, $90, $120, as well as “others.” Furthermore, the invitation also instructs individuals who prefer to donate by check to make checks payable to Fitzpatrick for Congress.
Casey Warns on Lebanese Gov’t Collapse US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released the following statement after Hezbollah forced the collapse of the Lebanese government: “The Lebanese government fell as the militant group Hezbollah with1 JANUARY, 2011
drew from the unity cabinet led by Prime Minister Hariri. During this challenging time, I call for calm in Lebanon and for all political forces not to resort violence to achieve their political aims. “Hezbollah’s activities have a direct impact on broader US interests in the region, including inspiring militancy, threatening regional stability and complicating prospects for a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. As I expressed repeatedly during my visit to Beirut in July 2010, I support an independent and sovereign Lebanon and hope that its leaders can establish a government that reflects the democratic and peaceful aspirations of the Lebanese people.”
LWV Calls For An End To Gerrymandering Olivia Thorne, president of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, released the following statement on redistricting in Harrisburg this morning. “We are here today to address the most politically contentious issue that will face Pennsylvania lawmakers this year – redrawing the boundaries of the Commonwealth’s congressional and legislative districts. How this is done will define the shape of representative democracy for the next 10 years. It will 13 JANUARY, 2011
impact control of Congress and the State legislature and which policies are passed into law. It will determine whether communities of interest have effective representation and whether voters have real choices at election time. It will even affect the much-discussed issue of political polarization, which many believe prevents members of our legislative bodies from solving the serious problems facing our state and nation. “With so much at stake, the flawed redistricting system used in Pennsylvania to redraw these boundaries is seriously in need of reform. The system fosters gerrymandering, which lets politicians put their interests ahead of that of the voters. “By some measures, the map politicians drew after the 2000 census includes some of the most gerrymandered districts in the country. Legislators can pick their constituents, rather than the other way around, to protect and enhance their election prospects. To accomplish this, counties, townships, and even city wards are sliced and diced into as many as six different Districts, making a mockery of such prohibitions in the Pennsylvania Constitution. Other Districts defy the Constitution’s requirement that Districts be compact and contiguous. Modern software can be used to create finely tuned custommade Districts. We don’t want election outcomes determined by using information on individual THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
residences, including voting history, ethnicity, age, gender, marital status and other data. “Repeated attempts to legislate an end to this abuse of power have been met with bipartisan resistance. Ideally, re-mapping would be assigned to an independent nonpartisan authority with clear anti-gerrymandering guidelines. Sadly, in 2011 redistricting in Pennsylvania will remain under the control of incumbent legislators and their leadership. But it is not too late to reform the way they do their work. Today, we challenge those controlling the redistricting process to put in place procedures that will make the process open and transparent, and adopt criteria that will create maps that are fair to both parties and put the interests of voters first. “Under our proposal, the redistricting process will be opened up to public participation and scrutiny. Mapmakers will have clear guidelines to discourage gerrymandering. Both congressional and legislative districts will honor criteria embodied in the Constitution of the Commonwealth. These criteria require legislative Districts to be ‘composed of compact and contiguous territory’ and prohibit dividing any ‘county, city, incorporated town, borough, township or ward … unless absolutely necessary.” “To make the process transparent and open to public participation: |
The public will have access to the computer software that will be used to draw district boundaries.
Any data that are to be used in drafting a redistricting plan, both the preliminary and any revised plan, notice of commission, committee meetings, public hearings, transcripts of testimony presented at public meetings, and any written testimony would be posted on the Internet and otherwise will be made available to the public within 48 hours of its being received.
All Commission and legislative committee meetings dealing with redistricting will be advertised widely and open to the public. All communications concerning any redistricting plan will be in writing and made part of the public record.
Prior to the drafting of any preliminary plan, the public will be invited to submit comments on their goals for any redistricting plans. Public hearings will be held in at least five different regions of the Commonwealth to solicit public input on their expectations relevant to redistricting. Upon publication of a preliminary plan, a second series of public hearings will held in at least five different regions of the Commonwealth to comment on the revised plan. In drawing maps, access to or use 4|
of data such as party affiliation, voting histories, location of residences of incumbent officials, candidates or other persons or any other data not needed to comply with the Voting Rights Acts would be prohibited;
speak with a volunteer attorney from the Philadelphia Bar Association by calling LegalLine P.M. at (215) 238-6333 from 5 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 19. The session is co-sponsored by the Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section and Young Lawyers Division.
The criteria set forth in Article II, Section 16 of the Pennsylvania Constitution that requires Districts to be equal in population, compact and contiguous and prohibits dividing counties, cities, townships and wards, will be clearly defined as appended to this statement.
Callers with other legal issues, including those involving family law, landlord/tenant disputes, wills and employment, and others, are also welcome to call for advice.
Any plan which deviates from any of these criteria shall be accompanied with a specific explanation defining why the deviation is necessary. It should include alternate plans which were considered that would have avoided the deviation.
“The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania calls on the General Assembly to be transparent and open, guarantee public participation, and refrain from unnecessary gerrymandering.”
Bar Association to Present Criminal-Law Legal Advice Philadelphia-area residents in need of legal advice on matters involving criminal-law problems can THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
LegalLine P.M., which takes place on the third Wednesday of each month, is a public-service program with the intent of providing quick and accurate legal advice to the Philadelphia community. As it has for more than 60 years, the Philadelphia Bar Association can refer callers to attorneys in private practice for up to a 30-minute consultation at a reduced fee of $30. The fee arrangement after that is negotiated between the client and the attorney. To access this service, simply call (215) 238-6333 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
People Can Donate To Windermere Ct. Fire Relief On Monday, a five-alarm fire devastated the Windermere Court Apartments, located at 4800 Walnut Street in West Philadelphia. More than 160 firefighters responded to the emergency, and the 13 JANUARY, 2011
fire displaced nearly 200 individuals and families. Mayor Michael A. Nutter would like to encourage those who would like to help with relief efforts to contact the American Red Cross or The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia, which are spearheading assistance for the affected families. “Philadelphians’ outpouring of generosity following Monday’s fire at Windermere Courts has been humbling. They want to know how they can help and what they can do. It is a testament to the quality of our city’s citizens,” said the Mayor. The American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are accepting monetary donations, which will better allow these support organizations to meet the needs of those affected by the fire. Donations to the American Red Cross can be made by visiting their website www.redcross-philly.org, by calling (215) 299-4000 or by visiting their headquarters located at 2221 Chestnut Street. Donations to The Salvation Army can be made by visiting their website www.salvationarmyphiladelphia.org or sending a check to The Salvation Army located at 701 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123. All donations should be marked “Fire Disaster Relief”.
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Hill-Freedman MS Celebrates’ International Bac’ Admission The Hill-Freedman Middle School in Germantown is fêting the school’s acceptance into the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme today. Hill-Freedman is the first District middle school to be admitted to the IB Programme, which encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers.
Freedom Essay Contest Is Seeking Entries In commemoration of the 323rd anniversary of the first “Protest Against Slavery”, the Johnson House Historic Site in Germantown is offering cash awards to students for essays. Three students will receive $100; three runners-up will receive $25. The competition will be held on Fe. 27 at the Johnson House Historic Site, 6306 Germantown Avenue. Submit an essay on one of the follow topics: Grades 3-5: What is the difference between Protest Yesterday and Protest Today? Grades 6-8: What was the impact THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
Jan. 14Fundraiser Reception for Council candidate Lawrence Clark at Chart House, 555 S. Columbus Blvd., 6-9 p.m. Tickets $15. Jan. 17MLK celebration and Awards by American Legion Henry Hill Post 385 and McDonald’s at Grays Ferry, at Mtg. Zion Pentecostal Ch., 122628 Point Breeze Ave., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Commander William Denny host. Jan. 17Phila.Tea Party Patriots NW meeting at Kendrick Rec Ctr., 5800 block Ridge Ave. by Roxborough Mem. Hosp. at 7 p.m. Speakers are Commissioner candidate Al Schmidt and Council candidate Sandy Stewart. For info Mike Lodise (2115) 4870118 or Pat Haraburda (215) 4827991, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jan. 19Reception for GOP 1st Council Dist. candidate Lou Lanni at home of 5th Ward Leader Michael A. Cibik, Esq., 334 S. Front Street, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 27Edward J. Lowry, founder of Phila. Veterans MultiService & Education Ctr., will be honored on retirement at Waterfall Rm. in Plumbers Local 690 Union Hall, 2791 Southampton Rd., Cocktails 6-8 p.m., followed by Tribute Program. Tickets $65. Order by phone (215) 238-8050. Event Chair Ed Keenan, Board Chair Jim McNesby and Exec. Dir. Marsha Four. |
of the Civil Rights Movement? Essays should be typed or legibly printed, 500 words or less. They should be turned in with the attached biographical page: Name – School Attending – Grade – Address – Telephone Number. Submit essays by Jan. 31, 2011 to: c/o Mrs. Ena V.L. Swain, Johnson House Historic Site, Inc., 6306 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144. Winners will be notified by Feb. 17, 2011. For more information, call (215) 438-1768.
Jerald David August of Fox Rothschild Leads ALI-ABA Tax Seminar Jerald David August, partner in the Philadelphia and West Palm Beach offices of Fox Rothschild LLP and
co-chair of the firm’s Tax and Estate Dept., serves as the planning chair and co-presenter of the ALIABA telephone seminar and audio webcast, “Income Tax Provisions of the New Federal Legislation: A Concise Summary for Tax & Business Lawyers & Estate Planners,” to be held on Jan. 18 from 1-2 p.m. In the seminar, August and co-presenter Bryan P. Collins, partner at Deloitte Tax LLP, will provide the framework to understanding the newly signed Tax Relief Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 and how it affects clients. August is nationally recognized for his taxation experience in federal tax matters, federal transfer taxation, tax litigation and tax controversy, corporate and partnership
THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD
taxation, estate planning for owners of closely held businesses, and international taxation (inbound and outbound). For three consecutive years, August has been named as one of the leading tax attorneys in Florida by Chambers USA. He has published extensively on federal taxation and lectured at leading tax institutes. August earned his LLM in Taxation from the New York University School of Law in 1980, his JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1977, his BS from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, and his BA from the University of Pennsylvania, College of Arts and Sciences.
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