Monthly Archives: April 2012

Do the Lessons of Washington State’s Liquor License Auction Apply to PA?

Earlier this week Washington State officials auctioned off 167 liquor licenses for a total of $30.75 million, an average of $184,000 per license, according to media accounts. The highest winning bid was $750,100 for an individual store in south Tacoma … More after the jump

Posted in Budget Tagged ,

“$250 Payday Loans With $2000 in Fees/Interest”

Clearly a horrible deal! And yet, predatory lenders have distressingly little trouble finding rubes to take the deal. Mark Price brings us the latest on Rep. Chris Ross’ nefarious bill to legalize +300% APR payday loans: The legislature is back!  This Thursday … More after the jump

Posted in Economy

Republican Rob Kauffman Refuses to Debate Democrat Susan Spicka in the 89th District

After securing the Democratic nomination for the 89th General Assembly District, Susan Spicka immediately invited her opponent, Republican Legislator Rob Kauffman, to join her for a series of three debates across the deep-red district in the coming months. Spicka, a … More after the jump

Posted in Elections, Harrisburg / South Central, Open Government Tagged ,

Why the Blue Dogs’ Defeat Matters

Most Democratic members of Congress are afraid that they will lose elections if they are too liberal, and are not afraid of losing elections if they aren’t liberal enough. It’s a constant frustration for those of us who want to … More after the jump

Posted in Miscellany

Philly and Pittsburgh Among Top Music Trend Setters

Richard Florida links to a study of last.fm user data, and finds that Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are both in the top 20 most influential music scenes in the US and Canada:

Posted in Economy

What Kathleen Kane Would Do About Fracking

Scott Detrow sends us to an interview Kathleen Kane did with WFMZ in Allentown. Building out the AG office’s environmental crimes unit sounds like a very good idea. It is the mission of the Environmental Crimes Section to investigate and prosecute … More after the jump

Posted in Environment

Some Residents Are Fleeing Shale Country

Susan Phillips at StateImpact PA brings us a good long piece about Butler County residents who are moving out of Gasland in response to fears of bad water and air pollution, rising rents, truck traffic and generally deteriorating conditions: Gas … More after the jump

Posted in Economy, Environment

Couldn’t It Be That Chronic Underfunding is Taking a Toll on Philly Schools?

Dan U-A at the Young Philly Politics blog has some excellent commentary on the turmoil in the Philadelphia School District. I’ll add that the state school funding formulas are needlessly regressive, and deny racial minorities equal funding: I go through that, … More after the jump

Posted in Education

Voter ID Bill Has Hidden Costs

When Governor Corbett signed into law one of the toughest voter identification bills in the nation, we knew that the bill would cost taxpayers roughly $11 million dollars.  While it may only cost the Commonwealth a paltry few million dollars, … More after the jump

Posted in Civil Rights, Harrisburg / South Central Tagged

Zero Democrats Should Vote for the House GOP Student Loans Bill

It’s a trap! It’s unclear whether enough House conservatives will vote against the bill to prevent it from passing, however; House GOP aides seemed confident last night that it would pass. House Dem leaders are whipping their members to vote … More after the jump

Posted in Education