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Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia

February 16, 2011

Philadelphia Daily Record

Top Dog

“JAMES”, a Great Dane from Bensalem, Pa., won Best of Breed at fabled Westminster Dog Show in New York City today. See page 6.

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THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

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Marguerite Handy, Leading Cleric, Dies Mayor Michael A. Nutter issued the following statement on the death of Rev. Dr. Marguerite E. Handy, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives:

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“Rev. Marguerite Handy was a woman of faith, a strong advocate for the vulnerable, a true friend to everyone she knew, and a beautiful person. Rev. Handy brought warmth and eternal optimism to the Mayor’s Office and the Greater Philadelphia clergy community. She cared deeply about government’s role in improving the lives of people all across the city, and she was dedicated to ensuring all communities of faith had access to city government. Rev. Handy was a friend and advisor to me and individuals in my Administration, and we’re all very saddened at her passing.”

sion, innovation and pastoral care while tackling some of the most difficult issues the city faces. “Rev. Handy deeply loved working in the AME church and especially with her home congregation. She also was committed to her family, especially her children Pamela, Christopher, Kenneth and Douglas. We’re all very saddened by her passing, but we know her legacy will continue to affect the lives of the communities she selflessly and tirelessly served,” said the Mayor.

Butkovitz Finds 80% Non-Compliance with Sales-Tax Laws

City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released an investigative report entitled, “Tax Discovery: Sales Tax Cross-Checking,” that found alRev. Handy began her public service most 80% of sampled businesses not with City government in 2004. After licensed for a state sales tax were in years in the health-care industry operation but were not paying the with Keystone Mercy Health Plan, State tax. Rev. Handy felt the calling for reli- The Controller’s Office crossgious pastoral care and then public matched 144,014 Philadelphiaservice. A minister of Mount Pisgah based businesses having business AME Church, she was consistently privilege licenses against a list of recognized by the Greater Philadel- State sales-tax filers to create a spinphia community as being a dedi- off list of Philadelphia-based busicated community servant. nesses that were not on the State’s She was a leader during the Peaceful Surrender initiative, which encouraged individuals with outstanding warrants to take responsibility for their actions and turn themselves in to their religious leaders. She also coordinated with Philadelphia clergy to persuade cooperation and implement HIV testing and prevention education by congregations throughout the city. Rev. Handy provided viTHE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD

sales tax list. A random sampling of 25 businesses in four specific categories, which included grocery stores, auto-repair shops, bars/restaurants and retail enterprises, was conducted to determine how many of the 100 different businesses were paying sales tax. After researching City business-tax filings and conducting on-site obser16 JANUARY, 2011


vations, the Controller’s Office found 80% of the total sampled businesses failed to pay State sales tax for the period Jul. 1, 2009 through Jun. 30, 2010.

Boyle Legislation Targets Conflicts Of Interest On Supreme Court

“We initiated this innovative method of cross-checking State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Northeast) has introduced State and City records to determine if and to ensure that legislation to allow partial public financing for Pennsylall businesses are collecting and paying all appropriate vania Supreme Court elections and retentions. State sales tax,” said Butkovitz. “There are many times that judges hear cases which diThe City raised its sales tax from 7% to 8% in October rectly involve individuals or organizations that have 2009. The State keeps 6%and remits 2% to the City. made substantial contributions to their campaigns,” Philadelphia is relying on an anticipated $242 million Boyle said. “This can result in at the very least a perin sales-tax collections maintain a balanced budget. ceived, and at worst a real, conflict of interest.” The Controller’s Office has sent a letter to the Pennsyl- Boyle said his bill would ensure judges rule impartially vania Revenue Secretary Daniel Meuser advising him regardless of an individual’s party affiliation or their of its findings and asking for cooperation in bringing all monetary campaign contributions. businesses in Philadelphia into compliance. The legislation would amend the Pennsylvania Election “As the Commonwealth’s new Acting Secretary of Rev- Code by adding a chapter entitled “Pennsylvania Fair enue, I would welcome your Department’s cooperation Campaign Funding” to protect against corruption or the in working with my office and using our findings as a appearance of corruption. vehicle to help ensure that all monies owed to the State It would also provide limited campaign funding for and City for sales tax are collected,” said Butkovitz. statewide Supreme Court elections. Under the bill, tax“I would request that your office review the enclosed payers would be given the option on their tax return list of what we believe to be tax-evaders and bring these form to contribute $3 to the fund. Licensed attorneys businesses into compliance with State sales-tax laws.” would be required to make a contribution to the fund of up to $50 when applying for or renewing their licenses In addition to detailing the findings of the Controller’s to practice law. tax discovery investigation, the report also examined the 1,000 Philadelphia businesses that were on the State’s Additionally, the bill would allow any candidate for tax-lien list and owed the state $13 million. election or retention as a Supreme Court justice to apply for Pennsylvania Fair Campaign funding if he or she Some of the top delinquent businesses and amounts meets certain contributory thresholds. owed include: Lees Industries Inc., $3,115,770; LS Services Inc., $1,224,831; Philly Car Share Inc., “More than a dozen states now have some form of pub$258,287; Cary’s Oyster House LLC, $249,190; and lic financing for elections,” Boyle said. “”My legislation Abbe’s Place Inc., $214,842. would enable Pennsylvania to join these states and help to ensure the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the court of “It is important State and local taxing authorities enforce last resort in the state, is free of corruption.” uniform compliance and ensure that all businesses that are required to collect and pay sales tax do so,” said Butkovitz. “An 80% non-compliance rate is totally unacceptable, especially when the City and State are faced with mounting financial troubles.” To view a copy of the Tax Discovery: Sales Tax CrossChecking “Review of Philadelphia’s Sales Tax Evaders” report, please visit the Controller’s Office website at www.philadelphiacontroller.org.

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PennDOT Removes Traffic Restrictions From Route 1 Bridges Over The Schuylkill PennDOT District 6 announced today travel restrictions have been lifted on the Route 1 Twin Bridges over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia as the $10.7 million project to rehabilitate the dual spans nears completion. Feb. 16- Bill Rubin makes 9th Dist. Council campaign announcement at Flaster/Greenberg, 1600 JFK Blvd., Suite 200, 8:30-10 a.m. Feb. 16- 5th Ward Democrat Leader Mike Boyle hosts dinner fundraiser for 5th Ward committeepersons at Bella Cena, 1506 Spruce St., 7 p.m. Candidates invited, $50 fee. Feb. 22- 5th Ward GOP hosts meeting for all Republicans at St. Michael Orthodox Ch., 335 Fairmount Ave., 6:30-8:30 p.m. RSVP Nate Shrader (267) 5192410. Feb. 22- State Sen. Shirley Kitchen hosts free blood-pressure screenings at her District office, 1701 W. Lehigh Ave., 10 a.m.-12 m. Feb. 22- 5th Ward/Northern Liberties GOP Meeting and Candidates Night 6:30-8pm--5th Ward at St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church Hall at 4th and Fairmount.. Voters invited to hear from Republican candidates for City Council-At Large and City Commissioner. For additional info contact Nathan@NathanShrader.com Feb. 24- State Rep. James Roebuck hosts birthday bash at Warmdaddy’s, Columbus Blvd. & Reed St., 5:30-7:30 p.m. Great jazz, good food. RSVP (215) 382-1268.

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Crews will finish the project by working under the bridges over the next two months to improve drainage on the structures. This final operation will not impact traffic. The bridges carry 109,000 vehicles a day. PennDOT’s contractor began construction in March 2010. The improvements to the structures’ overall strength, which also will extend their life spans, consisted of: • Removing and replacing existing pre-cast parapets and deteriorated portions of the bridge deck; • Resurfacing the concrete deck; •·Cleaning beam seats and performing concrete repairs on the abutments and piers; • Repairing and resurfacing the Route 1 ramps to Interstate 76 •·Cleaning and painting the steel beams and bearings • Removing and resetting light fixtures; •·Removing and replacing fencing; • Cleaning and repairing deck joints; •·Replacing selective strip seal joints; • Cleaning and repairing scuppers; • Replacing overhead signs; and • Repairing steel components. The Roosevelt Expressway Twin Bridges are steel-plate girder structures that carry northbound and southbound traffic between I-76 and Roosevelt Boulevard. The northbound bridge has 11-spans and is 1,921 feet long. The southbound structure has 12 spans and is 1,990 feet long. The bridges were built in 1960 and partially reconstructed in 1985. Each bridge carries three 12-foot travel lanes and two 2-foot shoulders. Buckley and Co.., Inc. of Philadelphia is the general contractor on the $10,760,387 project, which is funded with 100% federal ARRA funds.

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credibility to be successful on behalf of our firm’s clients,” said Stephen R. Wojdak, president of S. R. Wojdak & Associates, a preeminent government relations Tomorrow, Philadelphia City Council will vote on a res- firm in Pennsylvania. “Steve’s depth of experience in olution introduced last week by Councilwoman Donna working with all the Executive Branch agencies and his Reed Miller to endorse an application by Nolen Proper- credibility with members of the Legislature is unmatched ties LLC for a grant of federal Neighborhood Stabiliza- and will be a terrific asset to the firm.” tion Program Round 3 funds from the Pennsylvania As secretary for Legislative Affairs and chief of staff, Housing Finance Agency. Crawford was credited with effectively maneuvering The Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, within a divided government and a contentious political Round 3, authorized under the Federal Housing & Eco- atmosphere to accomplish some of the boldest publicnomic Recovery Act of 2008, provides assistance to state policy initiatives in modern state history, including aland local governments to acquire and redevelop aban- ternative energy, education, and economic development. doned or foreclosed properties that might otherwise beElected officials from across the political spectrum come sources of blight within their communities. praised Crawford’s capabilities and professionalism durThe Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been awarded ing this tenure in the Rendell Administration. $5,000,000 of NSP-3 funding, to be administered and distributed by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance State Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware), Senate MaAgency (PHFA); and Nolen Properties LLC has made jority Leader, said he and Crawford worked well toapplication to PHFA for $430,000 in NSP funds for a 31- gether. “I worked closely with Steve in his capacity as unit affordable senior-housing development known as chief of staff to the Governor,” said Pileggi. “Although Nugent Senior Apartments, which shall be used for NSP- we were usually on opposite sides of an issue, Steve’s integrity and comprehensive knowledge of State govern3 eligible activities. ment made him an effective advocate for the Governor’s positions. I look forward to working with him in his new position.”

Donna Reed Miller Seeks Affordable Housing For Seniors In 8th Dist.

Steve Crawford To Join S. R.

US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) agreed. “Steve Crawford has distinguished himself at the highest levels of government as a man of credibility and effectiveness,” Casey said. Steven Crawford, Chief of Staff to former Gov. Ed Ren- “He is a friend of long standing.” dell, has joined S. R. Wojdak & Associates as Managing VP, the company announced today. Crawford served as Former Gov. Rendell lauded the role Crawford played Rendell’s chief of staff and secretary of Legislative Af- in the achievements of the Rendell Administration. fairs over the last eight years, capping off a 25-year pub- “Steve Crawford was a top counselor, navigator and negotiator for eight years,” Rendell said. “He was an intelic-service career. gral part of everything we did. I once credited him as the During his tenure in the Rendell Administration, Craw- driving force that broke the budget impasse of 2009.” ford earned a reputation as a skilled legislative strategist and budget negotiator and was known for his ability to S. R. Wojdak & Associates LP is one of the largest govwork with both Republican and Democratic legislative ernment-relations firms in Pennsylvania, employing 30 leaders. In addition to working in the Rendell Adminis- people and providing services to a roster of clients that tration, Crawford also served in the legislature as a top include Fortune 500 companies, major universities, leadership staff director for the House of Representatives major hospital systems and health providers, and for several years, and served as the deputy secretary of statewide associations. Some of the firm’s better-known Agriculture in the administration of Gov. Robert P. clients include Comcast, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, Drexel University, Children’s Casey. Hospital of Philadelphia, Kimmel Center, The Philadel“Steve Crawford has the right mix of experience and phia Museum of Art, and the City of Philadelphia.

Wojdak & Associates

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Area Dogs Earn “Best of Breed” Titles At Westminster Dog Show by Adam Taxin A five-year-old female Scottish Deerhound known as “Hickory” emerged last night from a field of almost 2,600 non-neutered, purebred dogs representing 182 recognized breeds to win the title of “Best in Show” at the 135th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The two-day event, held at Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden, is America’s second-longest continuously held sporting event (behind only the Kentucky Derby). “Hickory,” who is the first of the Scottish Deerhound breed ever to win the prestigious title, looks less like a member of the pack of dogs from which Bambi rescues his doe Faline and more like “Tramp” of Lady and the Tramp. She is owned by Sally Swett of Minneapolis and, when not competing in shows, spends time on the farm of her breeders, Cecilia and Robert Dove, in Flint Hill, Rappahannock County (northern) Virginia, two miles east of the border of Shenandoah National Park. This is the second time in four years a dog from the Hound Group has won, the most successful run for the group in the history of the Westminster Dog Show. “Uno” a Fifteen-Inch Beagle, won “Best in Show” in 2008. In addition to “Hickory,” the final group of seven canines also included a Bearded Collie part-owned by a woman from Salem County in South Jersey. The failure of that Bearded Collie to win extended the Herding Group’s “Best in Show” drought to 24 years, since 1987, when the title was won by a German Shepherd.

Fox Terrier in the Terrier Group, a Black Cocker Spaniel in the Sporting Group and a Chinese Shar-Pei in the Non-Sporting Group. (The Non-Sporting Group is a sort of catch-all for dogs whose breeds have outlived their original purpose, e.g. the Bulldog, developed for bullbaiting, or the Dalmatian, once a coach dog.) Several dogs from in the Delaware Valley won “Best of Breed” titles during the day and advanced into the nighttime “Best of Group” competitions. Phoenixville Rottweiler “Friar Tuck” was clearly a favorite of the crowd (as also clearly was, among others, “Mickey,” a Chicopee, Massachusetts Saint Bernard) when the “Best of Breed-Working Dogs” finals were held in the early part of last night. Mt. Laurel, N.J.’s “Rocket” was named the top A.S.C.O.B. [Any Standard Color Other than Black] Cocker Spaniel. The kennel where “Rocket” lives is run by Betty Campbell, who showed the dog in the competition. Campbell’s deceased husband, Tom Campbell, who built the kennel, was a long-time Democratic fundraiser. Campbell was thrilled by the result, especially given that Rocket won’t even be two until this July: “I thought he was wonderful. He did everything I could ask for. He even made the judge smile. He was wagging his tail as looking for the treat. The video actually shows the judge, Jim Reynolds, saying ‘I think he wants my food.’” “James,” a three-year-old Great Dane residing in Bensalem (southern Bucks County, bordering Northeast Philadelphia), won “Best of Breed” for the first time, after achieving the #1 national rank among Great Danes last year.

According to Mary Ellen Thomas, James’ co-breeder and co-owner, who owns Beech Hill kennels in BenThe often-maligned Toy Group came up dry, inevitably salem, James, who is also a registered service dog, “was to the satisfaction of many viewers, for the twelfth very excited.” straight time, when its “Best of Group” Pekingese did not take home the top honor. (A Papillon won “Best in James also made the most of his trip to Manhattan: “He Show” in 1999.) loves people and loves children. He was a big hit in New York City. Everybody came up to him.” A Portuguese Water Dog, the same breed to which the Obamas’ “Bo” belongs, was judged the best of the “Bridey,” a five-year-old Pipersville (northern Bucks Working Group. It should be noted that, although Bo (a County) Kerry Blue Terrier in her fifth and likely final purebred) contains a non-insignificant amount of white appearance at Westminster, won “Best of Breed” after fur, most, if not all, of the Portuguese Water Dogs at winning “Best of Opposite Sex” the previous two years. Westminster had only black fur. According to Carol Brown, Bridey’s owner, breeder and handler: “We have bred her, we don’t know if she’s The other three “Best in Group” winners were a Smooth pregnant or not. I hope she is. I need puppies.” 6|

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tition in a proportion which corresponds to the percentage in which urban residents comprise the national human population, three dogs from Philadelphia proper nevertheless made it into Westminster this year. “Hamlet,” a Boston Terrier belonging to Ellen Kennedy and Mary Ann Gallagher of Philadelphia won an Award of Merit for the second straight year, after winning “Best of Other Delaware Valley “Best of Breed” winners in- Breed” two years ago. Other Philadelphia-resident dogs cluded a Cochranville (western Chester County) Sealy- in the competition included a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, ham Terrier, a Hopewell, N.J. Collie (Smooth) and a as well as “Eli,” a Long-Haired Chihuahua belonging to Hopewell, N.J. (again) English Foxhound. Tina Bregman of Philadelphia’s Society Hill neighborAlthough dogs from cities are, for understandable living hood. space-related reasons, are not represented in the compeSusan Lee of Medford, N.J., was “definitely in shock” about the “Best of Breed” win for “Jacques,” her almostseven-year-old Golden Retriever, who had come out of retirement for his second appearance at Westminster : “There were a lot of beautiful goldens there, and they all deserved to win. “

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