3/8 Ups & Downs

Some shady dealings with taxpayer money and political contributions headline this week’s list.

Down ArrowVaughn Spencer. Busted. The Mayor of Reading got $30K in campaign cash from Philly’s IBEW Local 98 labor union four days before the 2011 election. Literally the next day, Spencer turned around and gave $20K to two candidates for Philly city council (Bill Green and Bill Rubin), both of whom had already received the maximum contributions from Local 98. Now he’ll face an investigation by the Berks County Board of Elections, conducted by attorney (and PAGOP General Counsel) Lawrence Tabas.

Down Arrow Dwight Evans. The state Rep. and former ranking Dem on the House appropriations committee can’t catch a break. This week, a damning Philadelphia Inquirer report indicated that a non-profit that Evans founded misspent portions $12 million in taxpayer-funded grants. His city council ally, Marian Tasco, said the report was racially motivated.

Up ArrowPittsburgh. The Economist Intelligence Unit named the Steel City the best place to live in the United States.* Take that, Honolulu. Suck it, NYC. The survey ranks cities based on 30 factors such as healthcare, culture and environment, and education and personal safety. Is it a coincidence that the honor came just weeks after Keegan moved there? We’ll let you decide.

*In our excitement about Pittsburgh, which is great, we failed to notice that this article was from 2011. Oops…

Down Arrow Tom Corbett. It’s not the worst week the Governor has ever had, but it’s been a rough one. First, the week started with a Daily News article about $11K in gifts the Guv has got in 2010 in 2011 from lobbyist and business types. Nevermind that it doesn’t appear to be out of the ordinary, let alone against the rules. The optics stink. Add a poll showing Corbett pulling fewer than 50% of Republicans in a re-election contest, and you get a down.

Up ArrowMichael Smerconish. After rising to number 9 on Talkers magazine’s list of the “Heavy Hundred” political talk hosts from 19 last year, the Philly talk show host who leans moderate Republican is heading to satellite radio. He’ll be on POTUS on SiriusXM.

The tweet of the week goes to progressive organizer Kati Sipp, in the aftermath of the controversial feature in Philly Mag.


One Response

  1. Vaughn Spencer has had one mis-step after another since becoming Mayor of Reading. If history repeats, he will be a one termer. Former Mayor McMahon is, I think, the only individual to serve two complete consecutive terms in more than 100 years, maybe ever. Only one individual has served three full terms, all non-consecutive, J. Henry Stump.

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