Monday, January 31, 2005

Slots for SEPTA?

Tim Kearney, who ran against (and unfortunately, lost badly to) John Perzel, made an interesting suggestion in a Q&A in today's Daily News. He suggested that before the State sells any slot parlor licenses, they should write into law that the first 300 million dollars worth of profits (of an estimated 1.6 billion dollars) goes to mass transit.

He says:
The advantages are: 1) The Legislature doesn't have to pass any new taxes to fund mass transit. Every politician up there hates to raise taxes and be known as the guy who raised taxes. 2) We are not taking money away from anybody. This new rule - dedicating the first $300 million to mass transit - would be put into the law before the 14 slots-parlor owners are chosen, so they know about it going in.

3) Most of the money that will be gambled away in slots parlors will come from roughly the same group of people who use mass transit. I used to work for Action Alliance of Senior Citizens, and I know that a lot of seniors who ride on SEPTA will be gambling in the slots parlors. So with my proposal, if they lose money gambling, at least some of that money will help the mass-transit system that they depend on.
I mentioned before,\ that I am not a big fan of bringing gambling into PA, because the slots are effectively a tax on the poor anyway. But yeah, Kearney's idea (which would have to be tied to inflation) is not bad one. Now if he could only knock off John Perzel...


At 3:29 PM, Blogger Friedman said...

I'm thankful that Kearney didn't get elected. It would have been bad for Philadelphia to replace the Speaker of the House with a "Councilman Cohen Democrat".

At 6:51 PM, Blogger DanielUA said...

I think you are insane. Perzel is no friend of Philadelphia. That is like saying we don't want to replace Santorum in the Senate, because he has power in the Republican leadership.

And, I would be pretty curious as to some examples of what Kearney has done that you disagree with.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Friedman said...

Thanks for your diagnosis of my mental health. Perzel is most certainly a friend of Philadelphia, who must balance his loyalties to his caucus and those of his home district and City. Kearney's weakness is his philosophical orientation; he considers himself a "Councilman Cohen Democrat". Councilman Cohen is one of the most ineffectual public servants this City has seen is a long time. He plays the role of the loyal liberal, but doesn't get much done. Heavy on rhetoric, light on substance. I don't think Philadelphia needs old school liberals to lead/represent it here or in Harrisburg. P.S. - I would love to get Santorum out of the Senate and hope Casey runs against him.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Charles said...

I am sure that I know that answer to this, but I will ask it anyway. Have you ever met Dave Cohen or Tim Kearney? Dave Cohen absolutely gets a lot done. It may not be in his legislation as much as it is in his constituent service. Name me one person that has called his office and not been able to get help if they could help them.

Dave Cohen believes that the Government is there to serve the people. He is the only politician that I have ever met that truly understands that. Tim Kearney, would have followed in his footsteps. Perzel is a friend of Perzel. He gets a lot done for Perzel and not the people of his district (except at election time), the city of Philadelphia, or the state of Pennsylvania.

Is there anything wrong with being the loan liberal in the Council? I don’t think so. We need somebody on our side, don’t we?

At 11:23 AM, Blogger DanielUA said...

Hmm, which did you like better?

When Perzel made a DVD of his swearing in ceremony, sent it out, and charged taxpayers with the bill?

Or was it when he sent out campaign lit that had Kearney as friends of Stalin?

Or maybe when he gerrymandered democracy out of Pennsylvania with bizarre looking districts that insure that our blue state constantly sends a stream of Republicans to Washington?

When he made sure that PA House members literally do not even have to show up at the Capital to vote?

The list, of course, goes on. But with friends like Perzel...

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Friedman said...

I have met Tim - nice guy. Have you guys met John Perzel? I used to work for the City, and remember Councilman Cohen for his inane rants about this or that. One of my favorites - he was complaining about the goose-neck lamp in the back of his taxpayer funded Crown Vic. I also remember him speaking out against bike lanes in his district - how liberal and environmentally concious of him. Are you guys big supporters of his opposition to nepotism laws? Consituent services, not a big deal - I used to work for a legislator in NJ - it was the easiest part of the job.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Charles said...

I’ve seen Perzel at a function, but I have never met him. Some say that I would get coodies if I did.

If constituent services is so easy, then why do most people’s constituent services suck?

You have met Tim and you would rather have Perzel? Are you a freeper? Like you said, Tim is a nice guy, he know his politics, and he really wants to help people. What the hell is wrong with that?

I’m a little tired of little old man stories of Dave Cohen. That guy may be old, but he is sharp as a tack, and everyone who has ever worked for him has love for him as he does for them. Can you say the same of Perzel, or any other elected official for that matter?

At 1:47 PM, Blogger DanielUA said...

I agree that Cohen is dead wrong on the ethics bills, as I have wrote about earlier. However, if that is your problem, how in the world could you support Perzel? He is so unethical it hurts, and specifically holds up actual ethics reforms in the PA House (like making sure you are actually there to vote, to stop stealth legislation, etc.)

Just because he is powerful and from Philadelphia does not mean he is good for Philadelphia.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Friedman said...

I don't "support" Perzel, this conversation stems from my reaction to your first comments about how it was unfortunate that Tim Kearney didn't knock off Perzel. I don't think it's unfortunate at all; I like having an important state legislator from Phildelphia walking the corridors of power, gettin' things done. I think that having him and Rendell out there together helps the City in terms of attracting state dollars. I don't think that Tim Kearney would have been as effective at doing this because he'd be in the minority party and not have much stature.

At 2:26 PM, Blogger DanielUA said...

In my mind, rooting for him to win is supporting him. I guess I would just refer to my earlier post for just a few of the reasons Perzel is bad for Philly and the State.

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Friedman said...

And I think that trading a seasoned and powerful politician for an untested and unpowerful one is bad for our City and I want the best for Philadelphia. I'm also extremely suspicious of anybody who comes out of the Councilman Cohen crowd, because he's one of the most overrated politicians this City has. Not that his heart isn't in the right place or that he's not a fantastic person, but as a political leader he's big on rhetoric and light on results.

At 2:51 PM, Blogger DanielUA said...

The Councilman Cohen crowd? Come on. Everything I have seen is that Kearney has basically been a tirless adovocate- the kind of person we can use in the House.

Yes, Perzel is indeed seasoned and powerful. However, the things he does that stem from that power are many times awful.

Having a potential President from PA would certainly insure PA got a lot of pork, just as having the Speaker of the PA House from NE Philly gets us. But, is that all we are after from our politicians? Then why not support any Philly person anywhere, as long as they are seasoned veterans of the pork rolls? Why not support the 3rd ranking Republican US Senator for re-election?

At 2:53 PM, Blogger DanielUA said...

And, I just want to say that I enjoy the debate. As the person who writes the most on the blog, I definitely do not want to make it seem like someone has to agree with me to write on here.

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Friedman said...

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