For 2017, a coal-worthy list of bad behavior
From public policy to personal behavior, 2017 was a blustering, bullying, braying sort of year, landing many on the naughty list as Christmas approaches.
Christmas Eve is the last gasp for youngsters to review one more time whether their behavorial scales tip more heavily toward naughty or nice. "Naughty" is a fine word to use for children and, for that matter, the rest of the world, but it's a word far too mild to apply to Greater Philadelphia (and behavior) behavior. Here is our list of the bad actors, scalawags, and reprobates more deserving of coal than gifts this year.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey — After spending decades building solid credentials as a fiscal conservative, Toomey called the tax cuts a goal he has held "for 20 years." Well, what we know about "supply-side economics efforts" from previous experiences is it won't take nearly that long to drive up the national deficit. Toomey gets his tax cuts but loses his fiscal cred.
State Sen. Daylin Leach — Anyone who knows Leach knows he is a fiend for attention. His reactions to a series of revelations about his alleged harassment of women staffers are a case-study in re-victimization. Leach has scoffed and whined while telling us how hard all of this has been … for him.
Lt. Gov. Mike Stack III — A race is on for Stack to jump lists, from naughty to nice, after angry outbursts he and his wife directed toward state staffers paid to serve and protect them went public in early 2017. Gov. Wolf stripped the Stacks of their state-funded security detail. The lieutenant governor is trying to repair his image in time to save his political career in May's Democratic primary election.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — To borrow from an old Christmas carol: "We see you when you're beaching…" The outgoing pol's trip to Island Beach State Park while it was closed to the public over the July Fourth weekend was a classic example of losing touch with the people you serve.
City Commissioner Anthony Clark — It was simply perfect that Clark, who Philadelphia taxpayers paid $136,000 per year as chairman of the city agency overseeing elections, didn't show up for the meeting this month where his two fellow commissioners overthrew and demoted him. Clark has a long history of not showing up for work (or to vote in elections.)
The Philadelphia Parking Authority — The PPA's board did all it could to convince state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale that it was nice, accepting his highly critical audits of how the agency handles finances and harassment claims. Then it turned around and ditched a national search for a qualified new executive director, hiring instead a state representative with no relevant experience.
The Frank Rizzo statue — The city's Art Commission will hold a hearing on the fate of the bronze behemoth sometime in 2018 but the verdict has clearly been predetermined — retroactively naughty. Mayor Kenney's administration is clearly looking for a dignified place on the trash heap of history, far from the shadow of City Hall.
John McNesby: He called police protesters at an event for DA-elect Larry Krasner "parasites of the city." Earlier in the year, the FOP held a fund-raiser for a cop suspended for the fatal shooting of a citizen.
Former District Attorney Seth Williams — Our grandstanding former city prosecutor sits in a federal prison in West Virginia after pleading guilty to accepting bribes. But here's why he wins all the coal: After robbing his 85-year-old mother's estate, he requested he be released from prison so he could visit her.