Did State Rep. Rosita Youngblood shortchange poll workers in the primary? Has she earned the enmity of Democratic machine queen Carol Ann Campbell? And will the controversy come back to haunt Youngblood in 2010?
There seems to be a difference of opinion.
Campbell, secretary of the Democratic City Committee and a former city councilwoman, is still fuming that Youngblood paid election-day workers $75 when many had been told the pay was $100.
"She is the epitome of ingratitude," said Campbell, who arranged for her brother's political action committee to lend $10,000 cash on election day to Youngblood, who had run out of money.
What Youngblood calls a misunderstanding originated in a meeting with more than 100 campaign workers Monday night before the April 22 primary. Joyce Eubanks, Campbell's former legal counsel and political ally, who had agreed to help Youngblood, told workers that night they would be paid $100, though Youngblood said she had planned to pay them $75.
"I was there to hear it, but if you have a roomful of people, it would be a riot if you want to contradict what was stated," Youngblood said. Campbell and Eubanks said Youngblood never would have received the money if they had known her plans.
Youngblood said that she wanted to make sure everyone got paid and that she had no rift with Campbell. "I love her dearly, and she's a great person," Youngblood said.
Campbell was not sounding so chummy.
"I just hope she enjoys what we did for her while it lasts," Campbell said, "because two years comes around mighty fast."
- Jeff Shields
Knox gets ready to run for governor
Failed mayoral candidate Tom Knox is moving steadily ahead with Plan B - his run for governor.
"Tom's father was a steel worker at the nearby Midvale-Heppenstall Steel plant and his mother supplemented the family income by selling homemade pizzas to their neighbors," reads his new Web site,
» READ MORE: www.knoxforgovernor.com
There's the part about young Knox joining the Navy to help support his struggling family, the tale of his financial success as a businessman, and the $1-a-year deputy-mayor job in the Rendell administration.
"I'm determined to become governor," says Knox, who has already set up a political committee and is searching for campaign staff.
In last year's primary bid for mayor, Knox depleted his personal bank account by $11 million, and his campaign spent every dime of it.
Knox says he expects the 2010 governor's race to cost three times as much, but he will not yet say how much of his own money he'll put in, just that it would be "a substantial amount."
- Marcia Gelbart
City looks for cash at the Parking Authority
The Philadelphia Parking Authority enjoyed some rare good press recently when it came up with extra money for the city and the school district at the end of its fiscal year.
Soon, a team of auditors will look to see if they can wring more money out of the patronage-rich agency.
As requested last year by Gov. Rendell, the City Controller's Office is close to hiring an auditing firm to conduct a "desk audit" of the authority. Unlike an average audit, this one will seek to judge how efficiently the agency operates, looking specifically at executive salaries and the matter of "redundant management or overstaffing."
The Controller's Office says it expects to hire a firm by next week.
- Patrick Kerkstra