Politicians in The City of Brotherly Love just can't stay out of the news.
On Monday, Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Rochelle Friedman ruled that the "domicile" of Rep. Pam DeLissio (D-194) is within her district in Philadelphia. The ruling comes as a result of a residency challenge that sought to remove DeLissio from the May 20 primary-election ballot. DeLissio is running for re-election in her district that stretches from the East Falls to Roxborough sections of Philadelphia.
It seems that DeLissio has a residence in Philadelphia and one in Harrisburg. What apparently prompted the challenge was that the State Rep had her driver's license and car insurance listed at her Harrisburg address (until she changed them last week). She also filed for and received a homestead-exemption property-tax discount on the Harrisburg address. According to the Commonwealth application form, the exemption is only allowed for your primary residence.
The court may have sided with her, but Philadelphia voters will have a chance to voice their opinion in next month's primary election.
By now everyone has heard or read about the uproar over Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane shutting down a case in which prosecutors gathered evidence against five Philadelphia Democrats who undercover informant, Tyron Ali, captured on tape accepting money or gifts. Kane shut down the case citing it was flawed and not prosecutable.
Up until now, all we have is a case of "he said-she said." After the original piece appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kane showed up at the offices of the paper. Apparently the news staff was hoping she would shed more light on the entire issue, but surprise, she was accompanied by attorneys Richard and Thomas Sprague. At the beginning of the meeting, Richard Sprague announced that Kane was his client and that she would not speak.
Getting to the bottom of the entire fiasco wasn't going to happen at that meeting.
The people want the truth and they won't get it from participants who won't speak to the press.
So, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has gone to court to ask a judge to make public the secret court documents that detail the sting investigation approved and then halted by Kane that targeted Philly public officials.
As of yesterday, it was reported that the Inquirer would file a similar motion and that the Philadelphia Daily News; the Associated Press; the Morning Call, in Allentown; the Patriot-News and PennLive.com, in Harrisburg; Lancaster Newspapers, the publishers of the New Era and Journal; the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; and NBC10 have agreed to join with the Inquirer in a bid to make the material public. The Pennsylvania Freedom of Information Coalition also is expected to join in the filing. That's a lot of interest in this case.
Attorney General Kan and Ali's attorney have five days to respond to the newspapers bid to unseal the records.
Perhaps the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's managing editor Jim Cuddy, Jr., said it best when he opined that, "Our basic philosophy is, why not let people make their own decisions about who is telling the truth and who isn't?"
We agree. The people want the truth.