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Pennsylvania in focus: Pa. House GOP leaders on Democratic National Convention bonuses: We want state money back

By   /   May 19, 2017  /   News  /   No Comments

The Patriot-News: Pa. House Republican leaders on Democratic National Convention bonuses: We want state money back

State House Republican leaders have joined the chorus of critics angered by the cash-out of surpluses in the accounts of the “Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee” for the Democratic National Convention.

And, they went one step further, demanding Thursday in a letter to former Gov. Ed Rendell and Democratic National Committee Chair Thomas Perez that Pennsylvania get a portion of its $10 million appropriation back.

“Pennsylvania taxpayers want and need our money back,” the letter stated.

“Without the $10 million contribution by taxpayers, the (host committee’s $2.1 million) surplus would not have existed,” the letter signed by the full majority Republican caucus’s leadership team stated.

Philadelphia Inquirer: In DA’s race, one candidate paid $104 per vote … and finished fifth

Michael Untermeyer spent a bundle in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election — $104 per vote! — trying to win the party’s nomination for district attorney.

The former city and state prosecutor, who finished fifth out of seven candidates with 8.14 percent, poured $1.3 million into his campaign, including a final $50,000 on Monday. He got 12,485 votes.

Untermeyer’s $104 per vote, however, is not even a record for self-funding candidates in Philadelphia.

Tom Knox put nearly $11 million into his unsuccessful bid in the 2007 Democratic primary for mayor, winning 71,731 votes. That comes to about $150 per vote. (And Knox still may have some green to toss around. We’ll come back to that.)

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster pushes privatization of air traffic control

A House Republican committee chairman called on lawmakers Wednesday to turn the nation’s air traffic control operations over to a new, nonprofit corporation, saying no other infrastructure change has as much potential to improve travel for the average American flyer.

President Trump has also called for privatizing air traffic control operations, suggesting placing them under an “independent, non-governmental organization” to make the system more efficient while maintaining safety.

Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told colleagues his top priority this year is to overhaul the Federal Aviation Administration along those lines. He said the effort he’ll pursue will fund the new corporation through fees assessed for air traffic services and will free the operations from government dysfunction and the uncertainty of the annual appropriations process.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Port Authority will use part surplus to balance proposed budget

Starr Magwood has watched for more than five years as her neighbors at Mifflin Estates in West Mifflin have struggled to walk nearly a mile for bus service or nearly two miles to reach a grocery store along mostly narrow roads with no sidewalks.

That likely will end in September, when Port Authority extends service on Route 55 to the complex via Camp Hollow and Lebanon School roads. Nearly five years after eliminating the service due to budget problems, the agency announced Thursday it would extend seven-day service to the complex with 200 families.

“I am absolutely excited,” said Ms. Magwood, spokeswoman for a group that has been lobbying for bus service for more than a year. “Knowing that they will have reliable service coming will put a lot of people at ease.”

Molly Nichols of Pittsburghers for Public Transit, who has been working with the group, praised the residents for their persistence and Port Authority for extending service.

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