THE RICH and powerful have

little time to make New Year's resolutions, which is why they let Clout do it for them.

Mayor-elect Nutter

Resolves to find a few more Philadelphians to staff his administration.

Gov. Rendell

Re-resolves to lose the 25 pounds he said he'd lose last year, but somehow added on instead.

Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll

Promises to work hard to put a Democrat in the White House who'll name Rendell as energy secretary, which would make her governor. Rendell resolves to turn the job down.

Ron Castille

Philly's former D.A. becomes chief justice of the state Supreme Court in January. He resolves to convince the media that the high court bases its decisions on the law and not on political and business interests.

Mayor Street

The outgoing mayor will be teaching a course on urban politics at Temple. He resolves to include a section on media relations. With a substitute teacher.

Joe Grace

Street's press secretary is taking a job as executive director of the anti-gun-violence group CeaseFire PA. Unlike at his last job, Grace resolves to rebel if his boss tries to equip him with a silencer.

Bill DeWeese

The House majority leader resolves to continue knowing nothing about any bonuses to House employees in exchange for campaign work, even as the attorney general's noose tightens.

Vince Fumo

Philadelphia's savviest state senator promises to continue his run of do-gooding and progressive legislation - even if his motive is image improvement - right up until his corruption trial begins next fall.

Dennis O'Brien

The state House speaker resolves to keep his back against the wall whenever former speaker John Perzel is in the room.

John Perzel

Resolves to remain poised and attentive in the tall grass.

Bob Casey

The state's first-term U.S. senator resolves to do something to get into the news so the people who voted for him are reminded that he actually did take office.

Daylin Leach and Bob Rovner

The state rep and the former state senator, two of the craziest pols we know, resolve to stick with their plans to run in the Democratic primary for the Senate seat vacated by Connie Williams, thus providing months of new material for Clout.

Mariano on the 'net

Most of the Philly pols we like have either served time in jail, are in jail or will end up in jail. When we can lend a hand, we do our part.

That's why we recommend joining MySpace so you can interact with the blog attributed to jailed City Councilman Rick Mariano.

Mariano's landlord, the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, doesn't allow him access to the Internet.

But according to the blog, he's sometimes able (likely through a friend) to get his thoughts from the Big House to your house.

The latest, dated Nov. 23, reads, "It still amazes me that in the greatest country in the world we have such backwards penal practices.

"People who are no threat to society in any way are wasting time, energy and potential in stagnant confinement, denied any opportunity to make some form of restitution for our mistakes.

"We all suffer, family suffers most. The public pays and nobody benefits.

"Bassackwards."

His current mood is "bored."

If you'd like to comment or ask a question, you can find the blog at www.myspace.com/freerickmariano.

People Paper poetry

Clout offers best wishes for the new year via a verse-minded reader (who last week waxed poetic over Alycia Lane):

As two thousand seven dwindles down,

It's time to reflect on the year in our town.

From January through the end of

December

These are some things we'll likely

remember.

Travel and Leisure ranked us fat and ugly

But who cares if our clothes fit too snugly?

We'd rather eat cheesesteaks than some healthy lean dish

Even if when ordering we have to speak English.

The primary was exciting, the underdog won,

Knox came out poorer, Chaka was stunned.

Brady was challenged, and at debates stumbled,

Stayed on the ballot, but in the end humbled.

In City Council things stayed almost the same

DiCicco crushed Vern and Green won on his name

Kelly limped in with a sigh of relief.

Stier didn't make it; nor did Sharif

Campbell was beaten although well connected,

Kenney and Goode won just as expected.

Clarke got back in with numbers quite high,

Jannie won easily but backed the wrong guy.

After the primary, things became  boring

Al and Mike's lovefest left us all snoring,

Luckily, other news kept us engaged

Like Fumo's indictment and Alycia's road rage

The case against Vince - a hundred counts plus

Contained enough details to fill up a bus

From Orecks to torches to spying on exes

And using state dollars to pay his detectives

Then there's Alycia, our favorite news anchor

Whose improper emails provoked a wife's rancor

She rode out bikinigate and stayed right on top

But then got arrested for punching a cop,

(Unless she's soon cleared and quits all her partying

She'll probably end up boxing Tonya Harding.)

Comcast's new tower rose in the sky

To our beloved Hy Lit we said goodbye

Paul Levy planned us a waterfront trail

Garrett and Brett Reid couldn't stay out of jail.

At City Hall, Mayor Street counted  his days

And retroactively took a fat pay raise.

So now as oh-seven's end edges near

Let us be hopeful; let us not fear.

Raise up our glasses with fine good cheer

And welcome in a Nutter new year. *

Staff writers Gar Joseph and John M. Baer contributed to this report.

Have a news tip? Gossip? Suggestion? Contact Gar Joseph at clout@phillynews.com, call 215-854-5895, or fax 215-854-5910.