Who’s funnier, Philadelphia pols or Rick Perry?

    Most of you missed the chance to see Philadelphia politicians attempting to be funny last Thursday at Stu Bykofsky’s Candidates’ Comedy Night, so as a public service I’m giving you the best stuff in a tight three minutes.

    Hit the audio above to hear my piece on Newsworks Tonight.

    For those who don’t know, Stu is a veteran Philadelphia Daily News columnist who started a tradition 21 years ago of gathering local political candidates for an August night of amateur comedy to raise funds for Variety, the children’s charity.

    UPDATE: I just noticed that you can see video of Comedy Night, including the wince-inducing appearance by former City Councilman Rick Mariano at PoliticsPa here.

    And if you missed yesterday’s piece in the New York Times about Texas Gov. Rick Perry, you should go back for a look. Nicholas Confessore and Michael Luo document Perry’s aggressive fundraising among people who’ve benefitted from Texas state economic development programs and appointments by the governor himself.

    I’ve long believed that if you want to know whether a candidate is worth your vote, look less at what he says he will do than what he’s done when he’s had a chance to lead.

    From the Times piece:

    “Over three terms in office, Mr. Perry’s administration has doled out grants, tax breaks, contracts and appointments to hundreds of his most generous supporters and their businesses. And they have helped Mr. Perry raise more money than any politician in Texas history, donations that have periodically raised eyebrows but, thanks to loose campaign finance laws and a business-friendly political culture dominated in recent years by Republicans, have only fueled Mr. Perry’s ascent.”

    Confessore and Luo note that in 11 years in office, Perry as appointed roughtly 4,000 people to state posts…

    And Mr. Perry has been much more aggressive than any past governor in soliciting money from them. According to a study last year by Texans for Public Justice, a watchdog organization, Mr. Perry has raised at least $17 million from more than 900 appointees or their spouses, roughly one dollar out of every five that he has raised as governor.

    Read the rest here.


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