Sunday, December 19, 2004

The SEPTA board, T.O, and 2007

Some news from the past week or so:

SEPTA board extends middle finger to City:

So, as expected, SEPTA overrode the City's veto, and scheduled fare hikes that would eventually take the cash fare to the whopping 3 dollars, and further limit the already bare weekend service. Mayor Street did a little tilting at windmills at their board meeting, but has no real power in this situation. He then had the City promptly file a lawsuit to stop the fare hikes. I, unlike others, think the suit actually has a chance to succeed. The fact is that the case is being heard by a City Common Pleas judge, who is an elected official, and is going to be inevitably a little more in touch with the pulse of the city, is a good thing. Even if the fare increase is stopped, it will eventually be appealed, and in the end, SEPTA will win out. There just isn’t much to stand on here, legally.

However, this whole fiasco is instructive in how awful the SEPTA board is. If they cared at all about providing public transit to the people of SE Pa, they would resign. There is simply no way decent public transit is going to be provided without more dedicated funding. They should sign a letter, all 15 of them, saying their job has been made impossible, and that they resign effective one week after the legislature meets. The other bizarre, bizarre thing is that they scheduled the fare hike to go into effect the day before the State House comes back into session. In other words, this is not about them playing chicken with the State, and giving them one more chance to provide more funding, this is about destroying viable public transportation. It is just awful. In the end, I think the Governor will still find some loopholes to give the system a temporary infusion. But, we shall soon see.

Rumors about 2006 Senate and 2007 Mayoral races

None of this is particularly new, but, a source in the Governors office (I have always wanted to quote a "source." I now feel validated) tells me that Bob Casey, Jr. is willing to look at a run for the Senate. He clearly has his eye on the Governor's office for 2010, so I doubt he would even serve one term if he won. I think that he has a very good shot to beat Santorum. I know his pro-life stance does not endear him to a lot of people around here, but, he is also decent on most issues, and the difference between him and Santorum is stark. I hope he runs.

(Meanwhile, Big Al thinks we should draft Gen. Anthony Zinni to run. I am not convinced to this point.)

And, for the 2007 Mayoral race, it looks increasingly like Chaka Fattah is considering a run for office. That, my friends, would be amazing for the City. First of all, he is smart, progressive and dynamic. Second, he would thin the field dramatically, lessening the chance that some hack will sneak through with 22 percent of the vote. He has never really seemed to express interest in running for Mayor before, but maybe he feels like he has hit his limit as a Congressman in a minority party. This would be a huge, huge plus for the City. If he runs, I know I will personally do all I can to help him, and think a lot of others will, as well.

And finally:

T.O. goes down with a severe ankle sprain, and my boss undoubtedly chuckles.

The only thing stopping a sure Super Bowl berth is an injury to the big three (Donnie Mac, B Westbrook and T.O.). All I can say is I hope he recovers within four weeks because this city needs an NFC championship win, and I need to not ever be a registered Republican. So please, Terrell, get better quickly.

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