Joe Trippi comes to the Philly Mayor Race

Joe Trippi, Howard Dean's former campaign manager and general internet cult figure, is coming to the Philadelphia 2007 Mayoral race. How? As a high paid consultant to future candidate, and general rich guy, Tom Knox.

Trippi has become the darling of many progresives, and has managed the campaigns of people like Walter Mondale and Ted Kennedy, so it looks like he generally picks progressives to work for. What will he do for Knox?

Check out the extended entry for more...

Citizen Power and the Voter Referendum

Still seething with anger about the legislative pay raise last week, Inquirer columnist John Grogan wants to take direct action. According to him, the decision by Pennsylvania lawmakers to raise their own salaries is such an outrageous abuse of power that our elected officials need to be punished. His strategy? Voter referendum.

We wouldn't ask the legislature or governor. Heck, no! We would gather signatures and get this puppy on the ballot. We would let voters decide.

Simple. Clean. Beautiful.

Alas, it was not meant to be.

Philadelphia’s Economic Future Part 2: Population Loss Not the Only Factor in Determining the City's Health

A few weeks back, I started to examine Philadelphia’s economic future in a post you can read here. This is the second part of a series that will ultimatly make reccomendations to our city's political leadership on how to create a high-road economy in Philadelphia that has a tax-base sufficient enough to support citizens and businesses well into the future.

One of the most common ways that we Philadelphians have measured the relative health of our city has been through an examination of population growth. For instance, the Inquirer devoted front page space, in this article a couple weeks back, to the announcement that Philadelphia was going to maintain its spot as the nation's 5th largest city, having successfully kept Phoenix at bay one year longer. The implication of the Inky story was that Philadelphia was doing something right by not losing as many citizens as it had the year before.

And, it certainly is true that the city has bled population over the past 60 years. There are a lot of reasons for this population loss. However, regardless of how many Philadelphians have emigrated from the city, examining population growth or decline alone is not an accurate way to measure the health of the city’s economy.

Click read more, to see the rest

What's Up with Bob Casey?

I was planning to write about Santorum, but Dan beat me to the punch. As a follow up, there is another post over at Attytood drawing attention to speculation that Santorum might be trying to lose the PA senate race to run for President in 2008.

So what's left to write about? Bob Casey, of course! The folks over at Attytood are also wondering if Santorum is trying to lose the race anyway, why not get a more progressive Democratic candidate than Casey?

Well, for starters, you're not going to find many candidates with better positions on most issues than him.

Click Read More to see the rest.

Rick Santorum: Clinically Insane?

Every election, we have to deal with far-right politicians, who look their constituency in the face, and pretend they are "moderates," or "compassionate conservatives." And, too many times our media does not even bother to point this out. (My personal favorites are the Orwellian "Clear Skies" type bills offered by the Bush White House.)

Luckily for all of us in PA, I don't think this will be a problem in the 2006 Senate race. And, I think it is because Rick Santorum may be a little nuts. As in clinically crazy.

OK, so, PA is a reasonably moderate state as a whole. We have a Dem Governor, with Clinton/Clinton/Gore/Kerry all winning in the Presidential elections. Yet, we have a Republican AG, a Republican House, a Republican Senate, a Republican Majority of Congressional delegates and of course, two Republican Senators. You would think that as you approach the general election, you would end up trying to appeal to those in the middle, right?

Well, obviously, this is not the case with Rick Santorum, who seems to be aiming straight for the crazy vote, and hoping that will be enough to carry him through in 06.

Click "Read More" to see the list:

Hot Dogs, and the Appearance of Impropriety

As Ben said earlier, Mayor Street has some critics who are probably a little irrational in how much they hate him, and want him to fail. But, that said, when simple little things like Milton Street getting no-bid contracts happen, Mayor Street only stokes the fires.

The issue here? For Live 8, Milton Street was a subcontractor for a company that received a no-bid contract to sell food at Live 8. Why is it bad for Milton to get a no bid contract, even if it is only to sell hot dogs or pretzels? I will let John Street answer the question:

"I don't like the fact that this was a contract Milton entered into with no bidding... It has the potential to be looked at as a kind of insider's deal."

That was Mayor Street talking about Milton and his no-bid contract at the airport, during the 2003 election campaign. He promptly removed the appearance of impropriety by cancelling the contract with Milton.

STATE MINIMUM WAGE RAISED FOR LAWMAKERS ONLY

The Daily News has an editorial today titled : "MONEY FOR NOTHING
- STATE LAWMAKERS TAKE A STAND FOR THEMSELVES"

It rightfully notes that "THE MINIMUM $11,380-a-year raise that Pennsylvania state legislators voted themselves last week is more than their constituents who work full-time at the state minimum wage make in a year."

Clearly, as a lawmaker who voted against City Council's last pay raise to $98,000 ( $102k with the recent COLA), I am distressed that my counterparts would vote for the raise without the consideration of a minimum wage hike for all Pennsylvanians.

But, also as someone who has accepted the raise, I understand that many lawmakers believe that they deserve the raise. Some do, many do not.

John Baer on PA Legislators' Greed

John Baer, Daily News Columnist, has really been very good lately. He has spent a lot of ink on the legislative pay fiasco, where our legislators gave themselves a huge raise at budget time.

In the comments section of the old site, Mark Cohen defended the move, to my mind in a very unsatisfactory way. (But, to his credit, he was at least willing to try and defend the move, unlike many of his colleagues.)

As Baer notes, this is an issue of symbolism:

So at the same time lawmakers reduce access to health care to tens of thousands of poor, sick and disabled citizens they are sworn to protect, they get themselves more money.

Let's be clear, in the grand scheme of thing, this pay raise will not break the bank. But, that is wholly unimportant. What the raise shows, is just how out of touch so many of our reps are, even those who are generally our reliable allies and advocates.

Why does this matter? Let me count the ways:

John Street and the Politics of Live 8

I think Tim Whitaker hits the nail on the head at the end of his column in the Philadelphia Weekly:

The theory here is this: Some in our city have come to hate the current mayor so rabidly, to such an irrational degree, that they'd rather see us drown in collective misery than watch him garner any credit.

Listen closely, and you'll hear variations on the Street-is-evil sentiment-sometimes artfully camouflaged, sometimes not. The frustration from the angered is visceral.

They wanted bigger City Hall fish brought down by the probe, and more public condemnation of Milton Street, whom they blame for everything from lost airport baggage to global warming. For them the world was more just when Rendell was mayor.

YPP Interview: Brandon Silverman, Center for Progressive Leadership

Last week I conducted an email interview with Brandon Silverman, of the Center for Progressive Leadership. CPL was formed with the goal of helping create the next wave of progressive leaders. Read on, and if it interests you, seriously consider applying for their 9 month fellowship program. My questions are in

bold.

I have heard CPL described, and have described it myself, as attempting to create a "farm team" of Democratic politicians. Is that an accurate description?

Not quite. First off all, we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization...which means, among other things, that we are not specifically tied or affiliated with any party. Our goal is to invest in the long-term development of progressive leaders...individuals who believe that government has an ongoing responsibility to help build a moral economy and a more just society, as well as ensure basic individual rights, protect the environment, defend the rights of the minority, and work for global cooperation.

Click read more, to see the rest

Welcome to The New Young Philly Politics!

Welcome to the re-launched Young Philly Poltics. We have left blogger, and moved onto CivicSpace, which will let this site continue to grow. And, if you are looking for a past blog post, you can always check out the old blogger site.

And, for Philly Future users, you can use your PhillyFuture usernames (just use your sn, followed by: @phillyfuture.org).

Really, coming soon!

As Alex noted, we are beginning to the long switch away from blogger. This will hopefully allow us a lot more freedom and flexibility to grow as a more powerful source for progressives.

In the meantime, head on over to the original site, and this will be functional very soon.

coming soon

COMING SOON!

The New And Improved Young Philly Politics Site, Using Civic Space.The Old Blogger Site Can Be Found Here.

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