News you can useFriday is usually a pretty slow news day, but there are a few important things in the paper this morning. The budget passed yesterday in Philadelphia City Council, along with cuts to the Business Privilege Tax. The budget restores the previous cuts made to libraries, firehouses and other city services. However, the cuts to the BPT will almost surely be vetoed by the Mayor and Councilman Nutter only has 9 of the required 12 votes to override a veto. Despite the torrent of e-mails from Philadelphia Forward assuring everyone they won an important victory, yet another round goes to tax cut opponents.
As we reported yesterday, Councilman Nutter's smoking ban went up in flames yesterday. Don't let the quotes from DiCicco, Clarke, and Street fool you. The defeat of the bill has nothing to do with the amendments or public policy. Street doesn't want Nutter to have another victory and killed the bill for that reason.
And then there are updates about the various Philadelphia politicians who are under indictment or suspected of breaking the law. Senator Vince Fumo failed in his attempt to call off the FBI investigators who are searching his computers that were seized in his office a few months ago. Although the court filings have been sealed, it's widely suspected the investigation has to do with payoffs by PECO Corp. to various nonprofits controlled by Fumo and his allies. In addition to Fumo's troubles, closing arguments were made today in Imam Shamsud-din Ali's racketeering trial. I'm guessing he and his co-defendants will be convicted and sent to jail. Finally, Milton Street is in trouble again.
Oh yeah. The Phillies apparently have "completed the long climb to mediocrity."