- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Defanging the Ethics Board and the Sabatinas
So, back to this whole defanging on the ethics board...
First, again, let's be clear what the ethics board thinks about this bill change:
By eliminating the electronic filing of campaign reports with the Ethics Board, this bill would essentially gut the City’s 2003 campaign finance law and reverse the progress Philadelphia has made toward greater transparency and accountability in City government and preventing large campaign contributions from corrupting city government.
Without electronic disclosure of campaign finance reports, it would be extremely difficult for the Ethics Board to enforce the City’s campaign finance law’s contribution limits and other provisions. The bill also would limit public access to the campaign reports because the Board could no longer post them on the Internet.
We had a successful election, where the candidate who won for Mayor did so largely by screaming CHANGE and ETHICS at the top of his lungs. And in response, Philadelphia State Reps are going to de-fang the goddamn ethics board. They say there are problems with it? Then fix the problems. But, you might at least have the decency to wait until that candidate becomes the Mayor...
We are truly down the rabbit hole here.
So, I thought it would be good to look at something... Such as the sponsor of the bill- John Sabatina Jr, and his father, John Sabatina, Sr.
Sabatina Jr. was effectively first elected by 4 guys in a restaurant in the Northeast. Why? The ever wonderful special election, of course! He replaced Alan Butkovitz, who became City Controller. And, he did so when the ward leaders had a hamburger and picked him.
On a completely unrelated note, his father, Sabatina, Sr, is a ward leader.
When Sabatina was being put into office, here is what he said he would focus on:
As he begins the campaign, Sabatina will stress honesty, integrity and accountability.
"That’s what the voter wants," he said.
That is rich!
So, why would Sabatina, of all people, be looking to end disclosure? Who knows. But on a completely unrelated note, I thought it would be interesting to look back at his dad again... Turns out, his ward leader father is one of those 'consultants' who makes tens of thousands from Philadelphia elections.
Lets look, for example at just this past election, at the money he was taking in:
Matt Ruben: $10,000
Bill Green: $15,000
Bill Green: $10,000
Joe Waters: $10,000
Mike Erdos: $30,000
So, basically, from the outside, it looks like Sabatina, who was kicked out of the party for backing Sam Katz in 99, then brought back, brought in at least
$52,500 $82,500 in 'consulting' fees. Nothing like a Philadelphia electoral system that rakes it in for you!
Anyway, so, to sum up all these completely unrelated things: Father, ward leader, backs Republican, is kicked out of party. Father then brought back in, is one of five ward leaders who installs son in office. Father rakes in money from the shadiest of that Philadelphia operation, 'consulting fees.' Son then votes to de-fang the City's ethics watchdog.
Just thought it was worth mentioning.