Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When an Ordinance Becomes an "Umbrella"

I've been thinking alot lately about Ordinance 10-3...the one that pretty much says that the Commissioners may pick from an "approved" list of vendors, in lieu of using the recently scrapped RFP ordinance of 1998.

The new ordinance states that all vendors for the County...ALL vendors, must first be approved by the commissioners, and by commissioners, I mean J-Huff and Jimbo. That means that the coroner must first have the commissioners approve an outside vendor for forensic work, the Sheriff's department must use approved vendors for their safety equipment, and the DA must use approved vendors for lab work, fingerprint analysis, and for expert witnesses who may very well put a bad apple in prison...every last one must be approved.

Let's revisit the last one, the DA's office.

If the DA is working on a case, and they have to go before the county commissioners to hire the services of an expert who will be providing valuable information and technology to both arrest and convict a known criminal, wouldn't that tip the hand in the favor of the accused, as they pretty much will know what's coming at trial. The DA cannot be hamstrung like that, and should be allowed to contract for their own services, outside the county's approved vendor list.

This brings to mind one example that makes me wonder if the ordinance was written exclusively to obstruct such investigations. Say, for example, that a forensic accountant is required by the District Attorney's office to (hypothetically, of course) investigate some kind of financial fraud? If one of those being investigated happens to be an official who is friendly with one of the two controlling commissioners, couldn't said commissioners approve a forensic accountant who contributes to their campaign account may not be so inclined to count every penny?

It makes one wonder, doesn't it.

DA Risa Vetri Ferman is taking steps today to make sure this doesn't happen by asking the commissioners to repeal and rethink Ordinance 10-3, or be subjected to yet another the commissioners (the two in power) can't afford for the county to fight and, again, lose.

The commissioners should very well be visiting this issue as this is published, download a very interesting letter sent to them yesterday here.


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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sightings: XXVII

Last evening there were three events going on at almost the same time...a fundraiser for Tom Bogar in Abington, A fundraiser for Springfield GOP in Flourtown, and a Fundraiser for Upper Gwynedd Ambucs in at the LuLu Temple.

Chairman Bob Kerns attended two of them-Springfield, then the Ambucs event.

As reported by a friend who attended both events as well, Chairman Kerns left the Springfield event, and our buddy, King James III waltzed in not a minute later.

Coincidence? Yeah, right.

Apparently, Jimbo was literally sitting in the parking lot waiting for Kerns to leave. My source says JimTurd walked in just way too soon after Kerns exited. Unfortunately, Jimbo isn't as slick as he believes himself to be and your humble blogger has this tidbit to report to you today.

It's great to have friends!

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Castor Right Again, Jimbo Has Egg on His Face

Jimbo and J-Huff once again voted against Republican Commissioner, Bruce L. Castor, Jr., on a lousy ordinance penned by King James III's royal solicitor, BABs...and once again, Castor's "nay" vote was more than justified.

You see, this ordinance was nothing more than a quick, "cover our ass" ordinance made up in a back room (or back alley) to squash any action that may have been taken against the commissioners for violating statute 98-02, which required 5 requests for proposal be sent out to procure services for the county.

Barry, being the astute attorney that he has proven time and again to be, didn't foresee the ramifications of his new ordinance, 10-03, beings that the commissioners would have to "approve" vendors for all county offices, including the duly elected (or acting) row officers.

The Sheriff's Department has formally filed suit against the county, challenging the legality of the new ordinance as it pertains to professional services and the row offices. The Public Defender's office and the office of the President Judge have also chimed in.

According to Margaret Gibbons in today's Intelligencer:

County President Judge Richard J. Hodgson said the policy does not fit the courts needs, whether it is hiring private defense attorneys to represent murder defendants or experts to help the court in its own decisions, according to Matthews.

The public defender's office, which hires expert witnesses to help in that office's defense of its clients and contracts with private attorneys to represent the office's clients in preliminary legal proceedings, also informed Matthews of its concerns.

Keith Phucas, of the Times Herald, quotes Commissioner Castor:

“(The new lawsuit) is just like the ethics ordinance (litigation),” Castor said. “Every time we try to take control of the row officers, it’s like a power grab.”

Well, Jimbo, next time you'd like to waste the taxpayer's money defending a lawsuit against another of your cockamamie "get out of jail free" ordinances, do yourself a favor...consult with a REAL lawyer, not that nincompoop you hired because he handles your campaign finances and likes to go to PJ's with you for drinks, paid for by checks he approves and your human resources manager signs from your campaign fund.

A real lawyer like Republican Commissioner Bruce L. Castor, Jr, for one...

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jimbo's Having Car Trouble...

Jimbo may not be as "in the clear" as he thinks, concerning his campaign finances.

According to
Department of State spokesman Charlie Young, "an elected official is obligated to prove the assertion that he’s effectively campaigning night and day." (Times Herald, 04/18/10)

“The burden of proof would be on the official to show that he’s campaigning ‘24/7,’” Young said.

“If they’re using campaign funds for anything other than to influence the outcome of an election, then they’re violating campaign finance and reporting law,” Young said.

I'm sure that living the "Starbucks culture" is "effectively campaigning night and day", isn't it, Jimbo? As is beers with Barry at PJ's, huh?

Matthews response?

When the law requires a daily diary, you won’t have me to kick around anymore"
Um, Jimbo? The law does require's called a "campaign finance report".

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Missing John

I went to the Conshohocken Bakery yesterday. Tuesday is rye bread day, and I needed an Italian bread for dinner, so I got one of each. The Conshy Bakery makes the best bread for my money.

They've installed a portrait of Sheriff John P. Durante over the pasta case to the right of the counter. It's John's "official" portrait, of him in uniform. On the frame is a small brass plate with "1949-2010" engraved on it. It's both grand and understated at the same time, a fitting memorial to my dear friend.

So, I'm the only customer, Scraps is with me, and the woman behind the counter asks "is there anything else I can do for you?" (mind you, I'm looking up at the portrait). I replied, "Can you bring him back (pointing up and to my right)?".

We both smiled, I paid for my bread and went home, missing John.

Just thought I'd share.


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Friday, April 2, 2010

King James III-Episode XXIX

Now, Jimbo scolds citizens for having an opinion. AN OPINION? I guess because it's not his opinion...who's the demagogue now, Jimbo?

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King James Explains It Away...

King James III snarkily explains that driving a Ford Taurus (that his campaign pays for) is not an "enhanced lifestyle"...I don't want to be a "noodge", but if somebody else decided to pay my car payments, this would, in fact, enhance MY lifestyle. A great deal, mind you.

Check out the video:

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

All good things, et al...


I'm not going anywhere!

Yesterday, I was served with a cease and desist order from a certain person to stop posting about him/her on the blog. The paperwork said I could be sued for financial damages if I "failed to comply" within 48 hours and remove all previous posts about him/her.

Although I am loathe to remove this body of work from the internet, I am also loathe to pay monetary damages to an a**hole for exercising my first amendment right to free speech.

As of midnight tonight, I will no longer be posting on "Writemarsh" and will be taking the blog down, piece by piece over the next several days.

I appreciate each and every one of my followers and hope to someday resurrect this page. But for now, I'll take it easy and concentrate on other pursuits.

Thanks for joining me here over the past 2+'s been a helluva ride.


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