News and Notes

1) Zack Stalberg, head of the Committee of Seventy, has a letter to the editor in the Daily News, asking when Mayor Nutter is going to fix Philly's campaign finance laws:

During his campaign, and in response to Seventy's Ethics Agenda, Mayor Nutter pledged to appoint an independent panel post-election to review the city's campaign-finance law. Earlier this summer, Seventy urged the mayor to follow up on his promise after a Supreme Court ruling placed a provision of the city ordinance in constitutional jeopardy.

Curiously, this promise by the self-described reform mayor remains unfulfilled.

Mayor Nutter responded that he was going to kick Stalberg's ass. Or something like that.

Anyway, good to see Seventy active, and willing to stand up to the Mayor if needed. (For whatever reason, they did not seem particularly interested in our little election fight with the City Commissioners' Office.)

2) Speaking of the Mayor, for those who have not read it, Sunday's New York Times magazine is about Obama, and the future of African-American politics and politicians, and it spends a bunch of time with Nutter. They talk about why he supported Clinton, and the Mayor then proceeds to bust the balls of the reporter.

3) The City Paper has followed up to check out how Philadelphia's innovative program to deal with foreclosures is working.

And so, the courtroom filled up again yesterday, as the 140 or so remaining cases were called back in. This time, though, cautious optimism seemed to be giving way to genuine relief, at least on the part of housing advocates.

Of the five or six housing counselors I spoke with, all reported high rates of successful negotiations between their clients, the homeowners and representatives for the lenders.

Pam Kennebrew, a housing counselor for Philadelphia Unemployment Project, had 25 cases — "Basically, they're all reconciled," she reported.

That is good to hear, and is much needed. 2008 is not finished, but, I have seen some year to date numbers, and Philly appears to be on pace for a record number of foreclosures.

Oh, by the way, in case you wanted a sign that we are all going to hell, you can now see Sheriff Sale properties On Demand from Comcast.

Yeah

Oh, by the way, in case you wanted a sign that we are all going to hell, you can now see Sheriff Sale properties On Demand from Comcast.

This was really truly surreal.

Also, regarding item number 1, Local 98 has now appealed their District Court loss to the Third Circuit. On what basis, we'll find out, I guess.

Whose foot?

Yeah, but it was only the DHS workers involved with the Danieal Kelly case whose asses Nutter promised to "personally" kick. I heard he's going to outsource Stalberg to an intern in the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy. Since that department's just getting off the ground, I don't think Zack's got too much to worry about.

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