Vol. III No. 30 (400)
Keeping You Posted With The Politics Of Philadelphia
February 21, 2012
Philadelphia Daily Record
Getting To Know You!
JOINING Congressman Chaka Fattah Commissioner at introductory meeting with his new constituents in Lower Merion Township were Township Commissioner Cheryl Gelber, State Rep. Pam DeLissio and Commissioner Liz Rogan; as he answers questions. Fattah spoke about education issues, economic investment, and cutbacks in state budget. Other picture page 5. Photo: Bonnie Squires
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Calendar Feb. 23State Rep. James Roebuck celebrates Birthday Party at Warmdaddy’s, 1400 S. Columbus Blvd., 5:30-8 p.m. Jazz, food. Friend: $125. Sponsor $250. Benefactor: $500. RSVP (215) 382-1268. Feb. 24Sen. VIncent Hughes hosts Veterans Benefits Seminar, presented by Richard M. Gordon III, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Park Av. Banquet Hall, 4952 Parkside. RSVP 215879-7777. Feb. 25Mothers in Charge holds Flapjack Fundraiser at Applebee’s, 9141 Roosevelt Blvd., 8-10 a.m. Donation $10, $5 for kids under 11. For info (215) 228-1718. Feb. 26St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Phila. Fundraiser at Insulators’ Ha., 2014 Hornig Rd., 3-7 p.m. Beer, wine, soda and buffet. Music and Celtic Flame Irish Dancers. $35. Contact Mary Frances Fogg (267) 228-0418, Kathy Fanning or Joe Fox at St. Patrick’s Day Observance Ass’n, www.philadelphiastpatsparade.com. Feb. 26Congressman Bob Brady Bunch Winter Party
at Finnigan’s Wake, 3rd & Spring Garden Sts., 3-7 p.m. Tickets $35. For info, reservations Tom Johnson (215-423-9027). Feb. 26Fundraiser for State Rep candidate Numa St. Louis at Nina Ahmad’s house, 405 E. Gowen Ave., 3:30-5:30 p.m. Contribution levels $50-$500. Mail checks payable to Numa & Friends for a New Direction at 5322 N. Carlisle St., Phila., PA 19141. RSVP (215) 621-8957 or Natalie@vote4numa.com. Feb. 27Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots-South Philadelphia Chapter-invites all to har Publisher Jim Foster of Germantown Courier. For info Bartfbarfa Dahdah Anderson, 609-634-4584. Mar. 1State Representatives Kevin and Brendan Boyle kick off reelection campaigns at The Hop Angel, 7980 Oxford Ave., 5:30-7:30 p.m. Buffet, open bar and 50/50 raffle $30 per person. RSVP (276) 988-6257 or send checks payable to Friends of Kevin Boyle, 8035 Burholme Ave., Phila., PA 19111.
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Toomey’s Bill Will Ease Small-Biz Credit On Friday, US Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) applauded the House Financial Services Committee’s strong bipartisan support for their plan to make it easier for growing firms to access the public markets so they can expand and create jobs. The proposal, also co-sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Mike Crapo (R-Ida.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.), passed a major legislative hurdle the night before, being voted out of the House Financial Services Committee on a strong, bipartisan vote, 54-1. The House version of the Senators’ bill, the Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies Act of 2011, has 51 co-sponsors. The Senators’ initial-public-offering bill would make it easier for small and medium-sized companies to raise capital through public markets. Studies show more than 90% of job growth occurs after companies go public, but fewer small and medium-sized companies are taking this step in recent years, often citing the administrative and compliance burdens as the main obstacles to going public. The Schumer-Toomey bill would reduce the hurdles of an IPO offering by phasing in many of the costliest obligations over time
while maintaining key investor protections. Schumer said, “During difficult economic times, it is critical that we give growing businesses, innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs the room to breathe, flourish and create jobs, the vast majority of which occurs after companies go public. “I am heartened by the bipartisan support this job-creating legislation,” Toomey said. “In this struggling economy, Congress should do everything it can to make it easier for small businesses to grow and create new jobs. This legislation will make it easier for firms to go public and in turn, create many more jobs. This legislation offers a bipartisan path for Congress to help get our economy moving again.” “The IPO Task Force estimates that the average cost for a company to go public is $2.5 million, and the annual cost to stay public is $1.5 million,” said Crapo.“This bipartisan legislation would help reduce these costs and open the IPO process to a greater number of private companies, making it easier for young companies to access the public markets and capital they need to create jobs.”
In a recent survey conducted by Nasdaq and the National Venture Capital Association, 86% of CEOs cited “accounting and compliance costs” and 80% cited “regulatory risks” as key concerns about going public. With companies taking longer than ever to go public – on average 9.4 years, compared to fewer than five years in the 1980s – rapid expansion and job growth is being delayed, and the Senators’ legislation aims to accelerate the expansion and job growth made possible by accessing public markets. The Schumer-Toomey bill would establish a new category of issuers, called emerging-growth companies, that have less than $1 billion in annual revenues at the time they register with the US Securities & Exchange Commission and less than $700 million in publicly traded shares after the IPO. The legislation creates a transitional on-ramp status for these companies to encourage them to go public. The on-ramp period would last as many as five years, or until a company reaches $1 billion in annual revenue or $700 million in publicly-traded shares. Full compliance with certain obligations would be phased in during that period.
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Casey: Stop Counterfeit Cancer Drug Casey Calls on FDA to Help PA Hospitals Deal With Outbreak of Counterfeit Cancer Drug US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) called on the Food & Drug Administration to work with Pennsylvania hospitals and healthcare providers to ensure patients in the state are
not receiving a counterfeit cancer drug that has flooded the US market. This week it was revealed the cancer drug Avastin has been counterfeited and distributed throughout the US. The drug’s counterfeit ver-
sion is missing an active ingredient that helps patients fight the disease. Currently the FDA does not know how far the drug, which is used to treat cancers of the colon, lung, kidney and brain, has been distributed.
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THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD “The idea that a counterfeit cancer drug could enter the US market is shocking and unacceptable,” the Senator said. “The FDA needs to step up right away and work with Pennsylvania’s hospitals and healthcare providers to ensure sick patients aren’t taking this counterfeit drug. Furthermore, the FDA, the pharmaceutical industry, drug
distributors, and other stakeholders need to work with Congress to pass legislation to create a nationwide tracking system so this never happens again.”
these patients could be receiving a counterfeit drug is a call to action for the FDA to step up and help Pennsylvanians deal with this outbreak.
Pennsylvania’s hospitals and healthcare providers treat millions of patients every year – many of them for cancer. The possibility
Patients taking Avastin who have questions about the safety of their drug should contact their health providers.
Fattah Meets New Lower Merion Voters
CONGRESSMAN CHAKA FATTAH will become the elected official in Washington to represent Lower Merion after November election, but he decided to come out and meet his new constituents early on. Civic associations hosted Fattah and about 100 of his new constituents at Merion Tribute House Thursday night, where Fattah discussed issues and answered questions. Seen here welcoming Congressman are, from left, State Rep. Tim Briggs; Karen Ayt, president of Gladwyne Civic Association; Fattah; and LM Commissioner Brian Gordon. Photo: Bonnie Squires • PHILADELPHIADAILYRECORD.COM
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Kitchen Leads Officials In Food-Stamp Protest State Sen. Shirley Kitchen (D-N. Phila.) called Gov. Tom Corbett’s 2012-13 state budget proposal and his administration’s plans to reinstate an asset test on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan recipients an assault on working-class families and the state’s most-vulnerable citizens. Kitchen, along with local elected officials, social-services organizations and community leaders, gathered Friday at the Philadelphia Recovery Community Center to point out the drastic impacts the Corbett administration’s plans would have on the public. “The Corbett Administration has once again announced a state budget plan that proposes misguided cuts to important programs and services,” Kitchen said. The Governor’s budget calls for $400 million in education cuts, from prekindergarten to college. Under his proposal, public school systems would see $100 million in cuts; state-related colleges would see a 30% decrease in funding and state colleges would see a 20% cut. “Our school districts are in financial distress. Philadelphia has been laying off teachers, nurses, librarians and security officers. They can’t take any more pain,” Kitchen said. “Additionally, our state-related and state colleges are supposed to be institutions where families can afford to send their children to receive a quality affordable education. But under the Governor’s plan, a diploma 6|
will be placed even farther out of reach for too many people.” The Dept. of Welfare would see $631 million in cuts to crucial human-services programs if the Governor has his way, Kitchen said. “The Corbett Administration’s priorities are an assault on the middle class and the state’s most vulnerable citizens,” Kitchen said. “If Gov. Corbett wants to close the state’s deficit, he should focus instead on closing Pennsylvania’s corporate tax loopholes, which are allowing major wealthy companies to play the system and avoid paying taxes.” In addition to the proposed state budget cuts, last month the Corbett Administration announced an asset test on foodstamp recipients. Under the administration’s plan, any SNAP recipient under the age of 60 who has more than $5,500 in savings and assets, including cash, stocks, bonds and money in checking and savings accounts, would no longer qualify. Individuals who are over 60 or disabled who have $9,000 in savings and assets would no longer qualify. “An asset test is demoralizing to families who are already on the brink,” Kitchen said. “Most states have abolished asset tests, including Pennsylvania in 2008. To reinstate it at a time when so many people are still out of work and suffering would only move this state backwards.”
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Hughes Cries For Swift Move On Foreclosures In reaction to a report released by RealtyTrac on Thursday indicating that foreclosures in Pennsylvania have risen 24% since January 2011, State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-W. Phila.) said immediate aid is needed to assist homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. “This is a crisis,” Hughes said. “Too many families are losing their homes due to circumstances beyond their control. Without proven programs, like HEMAP, I fear the cycle will continue.” Earlier this week, the Senator joined with his Senate Democratic colleagues to call on Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly to use funds from a $25 billion settlement to stave off foreclosures by reinstating HEMAP. Pennsylvania is set to receive a significant amount of funding from a national settlement with the nation’s five-largest mortgage servicers as a result of an investigation of mortgage and foreclosure abuses by state attorneys general and bank regulators. Under the agreement, Pennsylvania will receive $266 million with a direct payment of $69 million to the Attorney General’s office. Over the years, the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program has assisted over 46,000 families throughout Pennsylvania; 85% of the homeowners who have received HEMAP loans remained in their homes long-term. “This proven track record of success shows that Pennsylvania would be much worse off if
HEMAP had never existed,” Hughes said. “We must reinvest in this valuable program and keep families in their homes and communities intact.” HEMAP was forced to close on Jul. 1, 2011 after its funding was cut. Before its closure, HEMAP received annual funding of between $10 and $11 million for many years. HEMAP was not funded in Gov. Tom Corbett’s 201213 budget proposal. “With his budget proposal, Gov. Corbett has done a great disservice to Pennsylvania’s lower- and middle-income families. He is not planning to fund the mortgage-assistance program and is proposing cuts to other critical programs and services these individuals have come to depend upon, especially in times of economic distress,” Hughes said. “These families cannot tolerate more cuts. We must make them our priority.” “Without HEMAP, more empty houses will join an already-depressed housing market,” Hughes said. “There is a clear need for assistance. We need to use these settlement dollars for what they are intended – to help homeowners keep their homes and stabilize communities. “It is imperative this critical program be reinstated using these funds. I plan to continue working with my Senate Democratic colleagues to push for the reinstatement of HEMAP using these settlement dollars, as well as a permanent, long-term funding stream for this valuable program.”
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Comcast Signs Deals With 4 Minority Nets Comcast Corp., one of the world’s leading media, entertainment and communications companies, today announced it has selected four new minority-owned independent networks to be broadly distributed on Comcast Cable systems between April 2012 and January 2014. After a thorough evaluation of more than 100 proposals, Comcast selected four networks ― two of which are majority African-American owned and two that are majority American Hispanic owned and operated and programmed in English.
programming to AfricanAmericans families, including movies, documentaries, short films, music, comedy, visual and performing arts, and faith and inspirational programs. Aspire will celebrate the successes, achievements and accomplishments of the African American community and create new opportunities for the next generation of African American visionaries. The network will launch by summer 2012.
“We are thrilled to work with such talented individuals to launch these new networks that will bring exciting and fresh content to consumers,” said David L. Cohen, executive VP, Comcast Corp. “Comcast is committed to delivering programming that reflects the interests of our customers, and we look forward to integrating these great networks into our rich programming line-up.”
Proposed by superstar and entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs and MTV veteran Andy Schuon, REVOLT is designed to have programming inspired by music and pop culture, including music videos, live performances, music news, and interviews and will incorporate social media interaction for music artists and fans. The network has entered into an agreement to launch in 2013.
In the African American category are Aspire and REVOLT.
In the Hispanic category are El Rey and BabyFirst Americas.
Spearheaded by Entrepreneur and NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, in partnership with GMC TV, Aspire is dedicated to delivering enlightening, entertaining and positive
Proposed by legendary Hollywood director Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures executives John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa, El Rey will be an action-packed, general en-
tertainment network in English for Latino and general audiences that includes a mix of reality, scripted and animated series, movies, documentaries, news, music, comedy, and sports programming. The El Rey network will include programming that features Hispanic producers, celebrities and public figures. The network has entered into an agreement to launch by January 2014. BabyFirst Americas is designed for infants, very young children, and their parents, and emphasizes the importance of early development of verbal, math and motor skills. The network has entered into an agreement to launch by April 2012. “We are thrilled to partner with Comcast and commend them for recognizing the importance of quality education for young children,” remarked Constantino “Said” Schwarz, CEO and Chairman BabyFirst Americas. Comcast made a series of voluntary public-interest commitments in connection with the NBCUniversal transaction, one of which is to launch 10 new independently owned and operated networks over the next eight years. Of the 10 networks, four will be majority
THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY RECORD African American owned, two will be majority American Latino owned, two will be operated by American Latino programmers,
and two will provide additional independent programming. Ultimately, each of the 10 networks will be added on select Comcast
systems as part of the digital basic tier of service.