Deeley takes over as commissioner chair

Rhawnhurst resident Lisa Deeley has stepped into the role of chairwoman of the Philadelphia Board of City Commissioners.

Lisa Deeley was elected last week as chairwoman of the three-person Philadelphia Board of City Commissioners.

Deeley, a Rhawnhurst resident who took office in January 2016, replaces fellow Democrat Anthony Clark.

Republican Commissioner Al Schmidt nominated Deeley at the Dec. 13 meeting.

Clark, whom Schmidt backed as chairman last January, was not at the meeting. He has enrolled in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan and is not expected to run again in 2019.

“The time was right for change,” Deeley said. “We do a lot of things right, and I am proud of the uptick in participation that we have seen in recent elections, but we can be doing so much more. I have a vision for what this office could be and I look forward to implementing it. I am humbled by the amount of confidence my fellow commissioners have placed in me, especially given their wealth of knowledge and experience.”

Schmidt said, “After working with Commissioner Deeley for the past two years, I am confident that she will provide the leadership and continuity we need going forward. I would also like to thank Commissioner Clark for his support of our efforts to modernize and improve election operations since he became chair in 2012 and I wish him luck in his retirement at the end of this term.”

Schmidt made a similar move in 2012, nominating Clark to overthrow chairwoman Stephanie Singer.

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Republicans are faulting Gov. Tom Wolf for refusing to release the results of the state inspector general’s report on Lt. Gov. Mike Stack’s reported verbal abuse of staff.

“After originally being encouraged by Tom Wolf’s decision to launch an inspector general’s investigation into Mike Stack’s abuse of taxpayer-funded staff, including Pennsylvania state troopers, I am now disappointed by his lack of transparency. Pennsylvania taxpayers deserve to know the details of the inspector general’s investigation. Sadly, Tom Wolf has made a politically calculated decision to blatantly hide unflattering information about his administration, because he is afraid that the contents of the report will damage his re-election chances,” said Val DiGiorgio, chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.

State Sen. Scott Wagner, a Republican candidate for governor, said taxpayers deserve to know what is in the report.

“Gov. Wolf’s decision to conceal this information in order to protect a political ally is just the latest example of his willingness to put his own interests above his responsibilities to taxpayers. This type of secrecy is exactly what Pennsylvanians despise about Harrisburg insiders, and as governor, I promise I would put a stop to it,” he said.
Wagner has endorsed businessman Jeff Bartos as his lieutenant governor running mate, though they’ll have to win the primaries to run as a team.

“If elected, I will lead Pennsylvania with professionalism and will respect all those who work in our government,” Bartos said. “If Lt. Gov. Stack has failed to meet that same standard, then it is Gov. Wolf’s duty as a leader to make it known.”

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Meanwhile, Wagner cheered House passage of Senate Bill 3, which would shorten the time frame in which a woman could choose to have an abortion from the 24th week of pregnancy to the 20th week and would end so-called “dismemberment” abortions.

The bill, which would allow abortions if the life of the mother were at risk, passed the Senate, 32–18. Sens. Tina Tartaglione and John Sabatina Jr. voted against it.

The bill passed the House of Representatives, 121–70. Reps. Tom Murt, Martina White, Mike Driscoll and John Taylor voted for it. Reps. Kevin Boyle, Ed Neilson, Jason Dawkins, Jared Solomon and Isabella Fitzgerald voted against it.

Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the bill on Monday.

“As lawmakers, it is our duty to stand up and fight for the rights of the most vulnerable, including unborn children,” Wagner said. “I was proud to co-sponsor and vote for Senate Bill 3 back in February and applaud the House for acting today to move the legislation to the governor’s desk.”

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Republicans are criticizing Sen. Bob Casey Jr. for calling on President Donald Trump to resign.

Casey told the left-wing news site ThinkProgress that Trump should resign due to past allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

“Bob Casey’s lurch to the left continued yesterday in a feckless fashion. President Trump carried Pennsylvania by securing nearly 3 million Keystone State votes — Bob Casey should be reminded of that fact so that he stops obstructing President Trump’s America First agenda every chance he gets. Keystone State voters are going to hold him accountable for selling out to Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren and liberal Washington, D.C. special interests at the expense of Pennsylvania families,” said Greg Manz, spokesman for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania

“Someone should tell Bob Casey that the 2016 election is over and the American people, including nearly 3 million Pennsylvanians, elected President Trump,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Bob Salera. “Pennsylvanians are sick and tired of Bob Casey’s toxic brand of partisanship and deserve a senator who will fight for them instead of playing political games.”

Casey is expected to seek a third term next year. The Republican field consists of U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, state Rep. Jim Christiana, retired energy company executive Paul Addis and businessman Bobby Lawrence. ••