POLS ON THE STREET: Brady Remains House Administration Leader

Filed under: Latest News,Pols on the Street |

CONGRESSMAN Chaka Fattah receives Certificate of Appreciation for his support of St. Martin de Porres School from 8th-grader Tara Crews during dedication ceremonies for extensive upgrade renovations to school’s basement. St. Martin de Porres is an independent Catholic school, K-8, at 2300 Lehigh Avenue.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi lauded the re-election of Congressman Bob Brady as Ranking Member (Democratic Chair) of the Committee on House Administration in the 113th Congress. Brady was nominated by Pelosi and elected unanimously by the House Democratic Caucus.

He was first elected Chairman of the CHA in May of 2007 and served until the end of the 111th Congress in December 2010. He was elected Ranking Member during the 112th Congress which ends on Jan. 1, 2013.

“Middle-class families across the country will benefit from the wealth of knowledge Congressman Brady brings to this committee,” Pelosi said. “Congressman Brady is a leader who is committed to working with his Republican chairman to make progress for the American people.”

In response, Brady said, “I am honored by Leader Pelosi’s nomination to remain Ranking Member of the CHA and humbled by the trust placed in me by Democratic colleagues.”

Brady is the first Philadelphian to chair a full committee since 1988 and he is also the 4th most senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.

Brady said, “I’ve been a leader in the House’s effort to fight voter suppression, improve access to polls, and stop the flow of unlimited, unregulated money into our political system and through my leadership, we have made a positive impact in protecting free and fair elections and the right to vote in them. In the 113th Congress, I will continue to use my position as Ranking Member to protect every American’s right to vote.”

In the 112th Congress, Brady worked with other Democratic leaders to introduce the first comprehensive piece of voting legislation in a generation, the Voter Empowerment Act. The bill would modernize voter registration, ensure equal access to the ballot box for all Americans, and prohibit deceptive practices and voter fraud that keep people from exercising their constitutional right to vote.

In addition to legislation, the Committee fought on numerous fronts to protect the constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. Brady explained, “Where we saw eligible voters purged from the rolls, we engaged the Justice Dept. and the Attorney General to prevent widespread disenfranchisement. As Ranking Member, I pushed for hearings and consideration of the bill. Despite widespread public support, Republican Leadership refused to listen. In the next Congress, I will continue to push Republicans to listen to their constituents, and address the mess made by unlimited, secret campaign spending.”

WHO’S WHO of Phila. attended 55th Ward holiday affair at Knights of Columbus Hall. Attendees were Councilman William Greenlee; State Rep. Kevin Boyle; Lisa Deeley; Dan Savage; John Connelly; Anna Marie Aufiery; Judge Joe Waters; Mike Boyle, Esq.; Eleanor Dezzi; Joe Russo; Chris Mallios, Esq.; State Sen. Christine Tartaglione; Ed Harkins, host Bob Dellavella; Dan McCaffery, Esq.; and Judge Scott O’Keefe. Photo by Joe Stivala

STACK A POSSIBLE GUBERNATORIAL PICK?

Support is building for State Sen. Mike Stack (D-Northeast) to become Philadelphia’s favorite son in the Democratic primary for Governor and the challenger to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican.

Though no incumbent Governor has ever been unseated for a second term, since the two-term rule went into effect, rules are made to be broken. Stack, a very popular senator with a citywide reputation, is seen as a candidate who could engender the kind of Philadelphia turnout that could end Corbett’s career as Governor.

Democrats, noting Corbett’s flagging polls and several controversies which have swirled around his decision-making, are pushing Stack to consider the run. They believe Philadelphia voters will turn out in enough numbers to top other Democrat candidates who have earlier indicated an interest in challenging Corbett.

The four-term Senator is chair of the Banking & Insurance Committee, which gives him statewide connections to important industries. If he does enter the field soon, he would become the first Philadelphian native son in this race and could approach a contested primary with 20% of the state’s Democratic vote in his pocket.

SOME JUDGES OF ELECTION IGNORED MINORITY INSPECTORS

According to the Hon. Peter J. Wirs, “A post-election debriefing of 22 new Minority Inspectors reveals 15 judges of elections ignored the court’s decree and refused to sit the Republicans on the election board. However, once attorneys, City Commissioners or Sheriff’s Deputies arrived, 12 out the 15 judges complied.  Only six out of the 22 judges of elections allowed Republican inspectors to sign the payroll.”

No doubt this is expected to change as the City Commissioners reeducate Democratic Judges and Inspectors of Elections to the fact the Election Code requires a Republican Minority Inspector of Election.

OBITUARY: JUDGE ADAM M. BELOFF

Judge Adam M. Beloff was put to rest at Rodef Shalom Cemetery in Cardiff, N.J., yesterday, following his untimely death last week. He served as a judge in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court for just over two years.

REP. SIMS NAMES TOP STAFFERS

State Rep.-Elect Brian Sims announced Mason Lane as chief of staff andAnna Aagenes as district office director. Lane, 27, is a third-year law student at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, and has  been serving as Sims’ transition director.  Aagenes will be director of the 182nd Legislative Dist. office.

JUDGE STABILE SEEKS LOCAL G.O.P. SUPPORT

Cumberland Co. Judge Vic Stabile, a GOP statewide work horse with friends around the state, is expected to visit with local GOP members to drum up support for his candidacy as the GOP nominee for Superior Court.

That effort is fueling the fire among the city’s Republican leaders to come up with two viable candidates for City Controller and District Attorney. Stabile hopes so, since he would like to see “super GOP voters”  come out in the primary, offsetting what many see as a strong Allegheny Co. turnout for the now wide-open Pittsburgh mayoralty seat.

FETING its 44th anniversary, House of Umoja inaugurated Brotherhood Leadership Awards at National Museum of American Jewish History. Among celebrants were, from left, crime-fighter C. B. Kimmins, State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, Umoja founder David Fattah, Kenny Gamble and Brielle Kimmins.

DISSIDENT TICKET IN SPRING PRIMARY?

Word has it a coordinated ticket may oppose the two top incumbents in the Democratic primary this spring.

Melvin Johnakin, who just a few weeks ago was eyeing his chances in the Republican priamry for City Controller, is now said to have changed his registration to Democrat. He is considering a joint race alongside Renee Caldwell Hughes, who, according to this scenario, would seek the District Attorney seat now held by Seth Williams.

Hughes is currently CEO of the Southeasterrn Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross. She had previously served as a Common Pleas Court judge.

NOT MUCH OF CHRISTMAS FOR OUR INMATE READERS

The Philadelphia Public Record has long made it a policy to honor requests from Philadelphians who are inmates in our state and in federal penal institutions for free subscriptions. We can honestly claim a substantial number do get our newspaper free and, from what they tell us, do feel very much in touch with this city as a result.

However, we have some sad news for them. Pardons are not on our President Obama’s scene, especially for those in Federal prisons. As President, he has the unfettered executive power to pardon individuals convicted of federal crimes or commute their sentences. Yet while his 2008 campaign called for a review of federal mandatory minimum sentences to reduce the number of needlessly warehoused nonviolent drug offenders, Obama has pardoned a mere 22 offenders who served their sentences and has commuted only one sentence.

Political science professor and Pardon Power blogger P. S. Ruckman believes no President since John Adams has shown so little interest in exercising the power of the pardon. Why has Obama been so stingy with his clemency power? It’s a frequent topic of speculation among pardon watchers.

Some say Eric Holder, as Attorney General, brought more baggage to the office with respect to pardons than anyone else in history. As a Justice Dept. official, Holder gave President Clinton cover to pardon big donor Marc Rich, who fled the country rather than face fraud and tax-evasion charges.

STATE REP.-ELECT Jordan Harris is congratulated by long time State Rep. Harold James at ceremonies marking end of James’ tenure and the beginning of Harris’. Photos by Leona Dixon

PROPORTIONAL VOTING PROPOSED FOR PENNA.

It’s not expected to fly, but Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi will try to replace the winner-take-all system which delivers the state’s 20 electoral votes to whoever wins the Presidential popularity vote. His legislation would call for proportional voting.

If such were the case, Obama would have gotten 12 Electoral College votes, and Romney 8.  Had this been the case in all 50 states, Bloomberg.com reports the outcome would have been the same, the margin just a bit closer.

PLANNING A RUN? HEED THIS CLASS

Candidates seeking to run in the coming primary should attend a  class run by the Board of Ethics and the City Commissioners on the handling and reporting of campaign finance Dec. 12 at 5:00 p.m. on the 18th floor of 1515 Arch Street.

Those attending will be given the requirements for candidates and political committees under the Pennsylvania Election Code and Philadelphia’s campaign finance law. Those planning to attend need to register by calling (215) 686-9450.

CHANCE TO GET EVEN WITH SUPREME CT. JUSTICES?

Have a grievance with the Chief Justice on the State Supreme Court? Look at the Judicial Retention column in the upcoming election.

His Honor, Republican Chief Justice Ron Castille, is expected to seek retention and needs your support on the “yes” column. So is Democratic Justice Max Baer.

Another seat that could be up for grabs depends on whether Justice Joan Orie Melvin survives her day in court, which begins sometime in January.

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