Philadelphia has one of the worst city tax burdens in America, and voters aren’t pleased. It will also be a struggle for city leaders to find a politically popular solution.
A poll from the Pew Charitable Trusts found that Philadelphians have become more opposed to taxes, but an anti-tax revolt isn’t brewing in the city either.
John Toomey, flanked by other relatives of slain Philadelphians as well as state lawmakers at the Pennsylvania Capitol Building in Harrisburg on Tuesday, tearfully discussed the fate that befell his 15-year-old son Sean. Many who gathered near him showed similar anguish as they listened.
Toomey and dozens of his fellow bereaved Philadelphians convened at the legislative building’s front lobby to condemn the performance of District Attorney Larry Krasner (D) since he became the city’s top prosecutor in 2018.
The attorney general’s office has charged eight Philadelphia municipal workers, alleging they claimed more than $300,000 in pandemic-related unemployment funds.
Thanks to a referral from Philadelphia’s Office of Inspector General, the eight were found to have received payments from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program while still on city payroll. Each worker received between $20,000 and $60,000 in PUA benefits.
Republicans very recently used to dominate the locale composing much of Pennsylvania’s Fifth Congressional District. Geographically overlapping with much of the erstwhile Seventh District (nixed four years ago by the state Supreme Court), the Delaware-County-based territory had Republican Pat Meehan as its U.S. representative from 2011 to 2018. Before Meehan’s predecessor Joe Sestak (D) won the seat for two two-year terms, GOP Congressman Curt Weldon held it for two decades.
The district today is, well, different: Republicans’ old stronghold of Delaware County has flipped Democratic (though the GOP still fares well in some municipalities). And anyone waging a general-election campaign against Democratic Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon must also make inroads in south Philadelphia, Lower Merion, Upper Merion, Narberth, Bridgeport and Norristown — all places where “blue” voters have long outnumbered “red” ones.
Republican members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Monday circulated a memorandum seeking cosponsors for articles of impeachment for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D).
Reps. Josh Kail (R-Monaca), Torren Ecker (R-Abbottstown) and Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) wrote in their message to House colleagues that impeachment is a severe option that they would only initiate in the face of a prosecutor’s clear “dereliction of duty.” They charged Krasner with a “willful refusal to enforce Pennsylvania’s criminal laws” in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives voted 151-49 Wednesday for legislation allowing state prosecutors to handle some of Philadelphia’s gun-related cases.
The bill would renew the state attorney general’s “concurrent jurisdiction” with the Philadelphia district attorney, letting the commonwealth shoulder part of the effort to prosecute firearm-related offenses in a city where many feel the job isn’t getting done.
The two largest cities in Pennsylvania have prohibited single-use plastics at businesses after Pittsburgh City Council passed legislation on Tuesday, joining Philadelphia’s ban approved last year.
“This landmark piece of legislation will sharply curtail litter, mitigate stormwater risk, reduce the amount of microplastics in our soil and water, improve the city’s recycling efficacy, and begin to break our dependence on fossil fuel-based products,” Councilwoman Erika Strassburger said in a press release.
Philadelphia said Monday the city is bringing back its indoor mask mandates for public places, schools and daycares amid an increase in COVID-16 cases and hospitalization.
The mask mandate will officially return on April 18. The city’s previous mask mandate was dropped March 2, roughly just six weeks ago.
Philly Weekly’s brief, modest shift to the political center has ended and its new editor apologized on Friday for giving non-leftists a voice in its pages.
Josh Kruger, who also wrote for PW in its earlier days as a reflexively progressive tabloid, issued a note to readers lamenting that the Philadelphia, PA-based paper ever strayed from its longstanding party line. He blasted PW’s deviation from that line as “really offensive and, frankly, hurtful.” He recalled he “was sort of devastated” when, in autumn of 2020, the publication announced it would embrace “alt journalism that’s conservative” and sought financial support via Kickstarter.com so it could realize that vision.
With homicides in Philadelphia, PA reaching a new record high this year, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has renewed his call for gun control, leaving progressive law-enforcement officials like Philadelphia’s infamously lenient District Attorney Larry Krasner (D) unmentioned.
As of Dec. 29, 557 murders took place in Philadelphia in 2021, a 10.4-percent increase over the 499 murders that occurred during 2020—a year that itself saw 143 more murders than the previous year. (Homicides in Philadelphia have not numbered as many as 500 since 1990.) Gun robberies, vehicle theft and retail theft have all risen significantly.
Pennsylvania was by far one of the most contentious battleground states in the 2020 election, but new analysis shows even in Philadelphia Democrats are only treading water.
In 2020, both Democrat and anti-Trump groups dumped millions into Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs, with roving food vans that would extract votes out of people in exchange for a meal, or the use of “street money” to incentivize election-day door knockers to push people to the polls.
Despite these borderline-bribery efforts to drag people out to vote against Trump in 2020, Democrats gained less than 20,000 votes in Philly compared to 2016 numbers.