The DA and Conlin, Marge departs, and the map I can’t quit staring at

    Does it bother anybody else that Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams weighed in on the Bill Conlin child molestation allegations with a tweet saying “When I’m King of the World perverts like Bill Conlin won’t be able to hide from criminal prosecution….”?

    We all have our opinions, but I’d like prosecutors to at least save their demagoguery for campaign seasons. When you’re legally responsible for enforcing the law, you presume innocence, at least publicly.

    Bob Warner of the Inquirer has a interesting piece marking the end of City Commissioner Marge Tartaglione’s political career. Marge is a Democratic ward leader and an icon of machine politics. She’s a bare-knuckled political brawler who used her fists a few times, on men and women in the political game.

    But whatever her faults, I’m convinced she ran clean elections in this town. She lost in the Democratic primary this spring, and I spoke to her that day, working her Northeast Philadelphia polling place as she does every election day. You can hear the piece I produced by clicking the audio above.

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    Finally, I’ve been writing for days about the Pennsylvania’s Congressional redistricting plan, but today I finally came across a visual that tells the story in a glance. It’s a decent map of the 7th Congressional district in the Philadelphia suburbs, pictured above.

    I’ve spoken to the spokesman for the House Republican caucus, and State Rep. Darryl Metcalfe was good enough to get on the phone with me to talk about redistricting. He said the plan is legal, constitutional and fair, and didn’t get into specifics.

    I know Democrats have done their share of gerrymandering over the years. This isn’t a partisan rant. But please, will somebody, anybody explain how a rational attempt to craft compact, representative districts can result in the monstrosity pictured above. Anybody?

    The map, by the way, is from the blog of Daniel McGlone of the data-mapping firm Azavea, which has a lot of other useful information about the Pennsylvania districts.

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