Aug 10, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 45 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Chaka Fattah (né Arthur Davenport), the Democratic congressman who represents part of Philadelphia and its environs, has never been challenged in a primary election. Since he joined the House in 1995, he has never garnered less than 86 percent of the vote in his impregnable district.
Fattah’s modus operandi on the job has been to spread around as much money as possible. Quite a bit of it has gone to education (and, The Scrapbook expects, ultimately to teachers’ unions), particularly through Philadelphia’s CORE program ($27 million) and the federal GEAR UP program ($4.5 billion). Other pet projects of his include: NOAA’s educational program ($32 million), federal funding for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Big Brothers Big Sisters ($78 million), the Manufacturing Extension Program ($128 million), and various STEM-related programs ($266 million), among others.
All that money can make some very powerful friends, willing to do favors in return. Last year, the Philadelphia Daily News found that “between 2001 and 2012, nonprofits founded or supported by the Philadelphia congressman have paid out at least $5.8 million to his associates, including political operatives, ex-staffers and their relatives.”
Fattah has had access to such sums through his plum committee assignments. As ranking member of the House Appropriations subcommittee on commerce, justice, science, and related agencies, Fattah has considerable influence over what money goes where.
Ironically, some of the money he helped allocate went to the Justice Department, which was disinclined, apparently, to return the favor, indicting him on 29 counts of racketeering, bribery, mail fraud, and other crimes last week.
If something was amiss, as federal prosecutors allege, it probably shouldn’t have taken this long to figure out, considering that the (alleged) crimes date back to 2007. Still, The Scrapbook is hopeful the high-profile indictment of a notably free spender might, just might, make it marginally easier to trim federal spending.
The 2012 runner-up lowers expectations for Iowa.8:33 PM, Jul 20, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Rick Santorum is keeping expectations low for his second presidential campaign. Asked if he would need to win the Iowa caucuses to stay in the race, the former senator said it “depends.”
“If I finish third and half a percent behind first, I think I feel pretty good. If I finish third and I’m ten points out, well, that’s a different story,” he told a small group of reporters in a Washington restaurant Monday afternoon.
3:58 PM, Jul 6, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Chamber of Commerce has launched two new ads focusing on what are expected to be some of the closest Senate races of the 2016 cycle: the seats up in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
In Pennsylvania, the business lobby group's political advocacy arm has launched a 30-second ad lauding Republican senator Pat Toomey. The spot celebrates Toomey as a "practical and constructive conservative" who puts "partisanship aside to do what's right for Pennsylvania." Watch the video below:
3:02 PM, Aug 5, 2013 • By CHRISTINE FLOWERS
A visitor to Richmond can’t leave without a trip to John Marshall’s house, a living shrine to the greatest chief justice in the history of the United States. Passing through the halls of his former home, it is as if the spirit of the great man is present in the articles he used and the rooms he inhabited. The courtly tour guide will narr
The taxpayer-funded Obamacare temperance league. Jul 8, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 41 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
When Prohibition ended in 1933, Pennsylvania governor Gifford Pinchot promised to make purchasing alcohol “as inconvenient and expensive as possible.” To this day, Pennsylvania has some of the most stringent—and absurd—liquor laws in the country. Beer and wine can’t be sold in grocery stores, and you can only purchase six-packs of beer at delis or under the counter at bars and taverns, and no more than two six-packs can be purchased at a time.
8:00 AM, May 3, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Allyson Schwartz, the Democratic suburban Philadelphia congresswoman running for governor, was the director of the Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center, an affiliate of Planned Parenthood, from 1975 to 1988. Her time there coincided with the formative years of abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s infamous career.
2:02 PM, Apr 16, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The problem with Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist on trial for killing a mother and at least seven infants born alive after botched abortions, is that the government has too many anti-abortion regulations and not enough public funds for providing abortions to poor women. That’s according to the participants on a conference call hosted by RH Reality Check, a news and commentary website focused on “reproductive & sexual health and justice.”
3:51 PM, Apr 3, 2013 • By GARY BAUER
One of the most sinister characters on TV appears in AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead and is known as the Governor. Initially presented as a selfless leader, the Governor is soon exposed as a deranged tyrant who demands absolute loyalty from everyone around him and worships death to the point of preserving human heads in aquarium tanks. In this season’s finale, he even slaughters his own people in a frenzy of bloodlust.
The politics of liquor stores in Pennsylvania. Mar 25, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 27 • By FRED BARNES
The legacy of Gifford Pinchot rests heavily on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Pinchot is known nationally as a great conservationist. In Pennsylvania, however, he’s remembered as a great Prohibitionist. Pinchot was governor when Prohibition ended in 1933 and he regretted its demise. He vowed to “discourage the purchase of alcoholic beverages by making it as inconvenient and expensive as possible.” His success is felt to this day.
9:19 PM, Nov 6, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Fox News projects Barack Obama will win Pennsylvania. Mitt Romney's campaign gave a late push there, but it appears not to have paid off.
9:10 PM, Nov 6, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democratic senator Bob Casey has held on to his Senate seat in Pennsylvania, Fox News projects. Casey, whose significant lead in the polls dropped in the final weeks of the campaign, has held off a challenge from Republican Tom Smith, a businessman from Western Pennsylvania.
The former president pitches Obama in Pennsylvania.7:26 PM, Nov 5, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Blue Bell, Pa.
Bill Clinton was the star at a reelection rally here for Barack Obama, in suburban Philadelphia the day before the election. The former president addressed a crowd in the cold on the campus of Montgomery County Community College Monday afternoon. It was one one of four appearances Clinton made across Pennsylvania today.
10:26 AM, Nov 5, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Reuters writes the following about Mitt Romney’s Sunday night rally on the outskirts of Philadelphia: “The rally drew a huge crowd, but Romney arrived some 90 minutes after he was expected and hundreds of people streamed out of the rally as he spoke, angry and c