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Report Calls LNG Export Terminal a Boon for DelVal Economy; Opponents Aren’t on Board

Whether southeastern Pennsylvania becomes the base for a liquified natural gas terminal remains unclear after the release of a much-awaited report from the bipartisan Philadelphia LNG Export Task Force.

“Our abundant natural gas resources not only fuel economic growth within the commonwealth but also offer us a unique opportunity to meet growing energy demand across the globe while creating tens of thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars in yearly economic activity that can benefit communities in the Southeast region,” said task force Chair Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia).

Recommendations in the final report include:

  • Facilitating pathways to support the current skilled labor workforce and workforce of the future by promoting educational opportunities and partnerships with the industry, institutions of higher education, and K-12 schools—especially those located in the Greater Philadelphia area and surrounding communities.
  • Streamlining and improving the permitting process in Pennsylvania to balance regulatory considerations with the need for an effective and efficient permitting process to attract investment in Pennsylvania.
  • Calling on Congress to reform the Jones Act to facilitate the transport of LNG between U.S. ports.

“As this report shows, Pennsylvania is poised to help address the increasing global demand for affordable, reliable energy by leveraging its abundant supply of natural gas and exporting LNG overseas,” said Stephanie Catarino Wissman, executive director of American Petroleum Institute Pennsylvania. “Under the leadership of Rep. White, this task force has put forth a comprehensive report and roadmap for Pennsylvania to establish an LNG export facility that would bring significant new investment and economic growth to the region and generate thousands of new jobs. Advancing the recommendations outlined in the report, including permitting reform at the state and federal level, is critical to developing an LNG export terminal and thus expanding Pennsylvania’s role as a global energy leader.”

Task Force member Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Bradford) said, “Pennsylvania’s diverse energy portfolio, robust energy sector, and extensive geological formations make us uniquely qualified to address the demand for affordable and reliable energy.”

“We already know the benefits of an LNG terminal are far too great to ignore, and the final report of the task force serves as a solid roadmap to position Pennsylvania as a global leader in energy exportation,” said Yaw, who chairs the environmental resources and energy committee. “Through the report’s recommendations to streamline the permitting process, strengthen our skilled labor workforce, and facilitate the safe and efficient transportation of LNG, we have the potential to create jobs, support economic development, reduce harmful emissions, and restore energy independence to this country.”

Toby Z. Rice, president and chief executive officer of EQT Corporation, a natural gas producer, sees this as a moment to seize the economic opportunity from the state’s standing as “a leading energy supplier.”

“For the first time in decades, the number of people without access to electricity increased in 2022. The task force’s report is clear – making clean, affordable, reliable Appalachian natural gas available on a global scale will increase energy security, decrease global emissions, and promote family-sustaining jobs across the Commonwealth. We have an incredible opportunity before us to unleash U.S. LNG from Pennsylvania, which will address the global energy shortage and generate thousands of jobs for Pennsylvanians,” Rice said.

Jim Snell, business manager of Steamfitters Local 420, likes what he sees in the report. “I am thrilled with the adoption of the final report from the Philadelphia LNG Export Task Force. This is an important step toward realizing the economic benefits of an LNG export terminal in our region, which can create thousands of well-paying union jobs and support the hard-working men and women in our community.”

White said the recommendations in the report are aimed at growing Pennsylvania’s economy, supporting Pennsylvania workers, and developing the future workforce.

“The adoption of this report is especially important in light of the decision by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court voiding Pennsylvania’s entrance into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state energy tax program that would have increased energy costs for Pennsylvanians,” said White. “We have the opportunity to not only increase energy production safety and efficiently and work toward reducing energy costs for Pennsylvania consumers.”

Carl Marrara, executive director of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, conducted an economic analysis, finding the LNG export facility would benefit the local, regional, and statewide economies.

“Assuming a four-year constriction phase, a similarly sized LNG export facility would produce over 7,000 jobs per year, with approximately $575.35 million in labor income alone added to the state and local economy. In total, construction of the facility would add approximately $1.195 billion in total yearly economic output.

“The industries most positively impacted from the increase in economic activity are those in the skilled trades, led by jobs created for the construction of the facility structures, as well as commercial and industrial machinery repair, concrete manufacturing and fabricated pipe and fitting manufacturing,” Marra said.

However, some local officials are lining up to oppose any LNG development.

Chester Mayor-elect Stefan Roots told DVJournal he is concerned about pollution and the danger an LNG terminal might bring.

“There’s a public health and public safety issue first and foremost,” said Roots. Typically, these plants are built on at least 1,000 acres of “unpopulated land,” he said. “To squeeze all that onto 100 acres displaces dozens and dozens of families, churches, and established entities here to create the blast zone that they need, which indicates this is not a safe business, is something I don’t like.”

It is also unclear whether Gov. Josh Shapiro will support the effort to locate an LNG facility in the Delaware Valley. His spokesperson did not respond when asked whether the governor supports an LNG terminal for southeastern Pennsylvania.

The bipartisan Philadelphia LNG Export Task Force was comprised of members of the General Assembly, representatives of the natural gas industry, organized labor, the Port of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Gas Works, the mayor of Philadelphia, and members of the governor’s administration.

WHITE: It’s Time to ‘Save Our Students’

]In Pennsylvania, we are having an SOS moment.  But this distress call is to “Save Our Students” when it comes to education. And as we learned at a recent Senate Education Committee hearing, time is of the essence to throw a lifeline to our most vulnerable students trapped in consistently failing schools.

There was hope for students in the state budget as negotiated by Gov. Josh Shapiro and passed with bipartisan support from Democrats like Rep. Amen Brown and Sen. Anthony Williams, who have been very vocal about the positive impact this would have on kids. This was a win for families driven by the Republican leadership in the House and in the Senate from Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward.

The bad news is Gov. Shapiro vetoed the scholarship program he supported multiple times since taking office, breaking another promise he made to Pennsylvanians. Why is the governor breaking his promise to the children and people of Pennsylvania? Because he buckled to a small group of radical Democrat representatives who prioritized special interests and their own jobs over what’s right for our kids.

With Gov. Shapiro turning his back on our students and vetoing the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (P.A.S.S.) scholarship program, students like Ian Torres of Reading Senior High School will remain trapped in a failing school. The worst part of this mess is that our most vulnerable students were only asking for a $100 million program or just 0.2% of this year’s budget.

Despite continued and historic investments made in education, including increased public education funding in the current budget, we still aren’t getting the desired results. The test scores prove it.

PSSA scores revealed 77 percent of Pennsylvania’s eighth graders are not proficient in math, and 44 percent are not proficient in language arts. We need to do better – and kids in failing schools don’t have time to wait for House Democrats to go on a “Save Our Schools” tour to try and cover-up their kowtowing to special interests.

One parent, Sara Torres, confirmed that too few dollars from the district’s budget are invested in the classroom experience. If a scholarship program were enacted in Pennsylvania, she’d pull her son, Ian, from Reading Senior High School and enroll him in a different school immediately. While she and her son think many of the Reading School Districts’ teachers are “some of the best,” she couldn’t say the same for the education and the system in place.

Regrettably, Sara Torres’ story is all too common when it comes to parents’ concerns for the state of education for their children. “While they figure it out,” her son Ian will graduate, and she doesn’t know of many lawyers who graduate from Reading.”

We know more money isn’t preparing our students for real world opportunities. We know the one-size-fits-all school systems are leaving too many students behind. We know one year of learning loss can translate into thousands of dollars in lost lifetime earnings. We know two out of three Pennsylvanians support school choice for students enrolled in the worst performing schools. We know we need education options for parents and students now.

Continuing to do the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is not a solution. It’s wasting your money and more concerning, it’s jeopardizing future generations of Pennsylvanians. Pennsylvania’s education SOS is about “Saving Our Students.”

The time is now for education options in Pennsylvania.

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PA House Appeals Krasner Impeachment to State Supreme Court

The state legislature may yet rid Philadelphia of progressive DA Larry Krasner.

The House impeachment managers filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court asking it to overturn a Commonwealth Court decision to stop the impeachment. The House voted to impeach Krasner in November 2022.

Under Krasner’s watch, murders and carjackings have skyrocketed in the City of Brotherly Love. Retail theft has jumped due to a non-prosecution policy that has businesses abandoning the city after seeing their bottom lines plummet.

But policy questions are not what is alleged by the impeachment managers. Rather, they allege actual criminal conduct.

Former federal prosecutor and Marine JAG state Rep. Craig Williams (R-Chadds Ford), the lead impeachment manager, talked to the DVJournal Wednesday about the charges against Krasner.

The seven articles of impeachment ranged from lying to a grand jury, lying to the state Supreme Court, failing to inform crime victims, and lying to a federal court.

“We’ve been saying from the beginning that this conduct is unlawful,” said Williams. “Not just that we think that Larry Krasner has not done a fine job as the district attorney, but he has conducted himself in unlawful ways.”

One case that the House managers document in the impeachment appeal is about a Philadelphia police officer, Ryan Pownall, that raised concerns about “prosecutorial misconduct,” including hiding information from a grand jury and a trial judge.

Justice Kevin Dougherty, who recused himself from the appeal, wrote that in the Pownall case, prosecutors had engaged in conduct “worrisome coming from any litigant” but “even more concerning” coming from a prosecutor. There was an “intentional, deliberate choice not to inform the grand jurors about the justification defense” available to Officer Pownall. Further, the prosecution appeared to be “driven by a win-at-all-cost office culture” that treats police officers differently from other defendants.

“It is a crime in the state of Pennsylvania to use your official office to suppress or oppress someone’s legal rights,” said Williams. “It’s called official oppression under Title 18, or conspiracy to do that, or solicitation to do that. In other words, telling one of your subordinates to go do certain things.”

Another case the impeachment managers cite is a federal death penalty case where the prosecutors withheld information from the judge and the victim’s family, said Williams.

“Using your official office to oppress someone else’s legal rights in Pennsylvania constitutes a crime under Title 18, and that’s what I intend to prove,” said Williams.

If the Supreme Court rules in their favor, the next step is to have a trial before the state Senate. And if two-thirds of the Senate votes to convict Krasner, he would be removed from office.

The DVJournal asked Williams what would happen if Krasner refused to leave office. Williams said they would file for a writ with the court to make him go.

“That would be the ultimate act of civil disobedience.”

Many people note Krasner was twice elected to office and question whether the legislature should be getting involved.

“So is that to suggest that once somebody’s elected to office, they can’t commit a crime or they can’t misbehave while in office?” asked Williams. “I think the answer to that’s clearly no. I mean, we, we’ve tried plenty of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia officials for their illegal activity. So being elected to office is not some sort of cloak of immunity.”

Krasner has yet to respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

But lawyers for Krasner had previously filed documents contending the impeachment was unconstitutional and denying any charges the House brought against him.

Krasner is a former defense lawyer whose progressive policies align with a group of other district attorneys whose campaigns were also funded by money from Democratic mega-donor George Soros. When the impeachment articles were introduced by state Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia), Krasner claimed the action was “devastating to democracy, and it shows how far toward fascism the Republican Party is creeping.”

White justified impeachment by saying at that time, “The information contained in the most recent preliminary report was so egregious to me I felt compelled to drop these articles of impeachment,” referencing an interim report that outlined findings but did not include a recommendation of impeachment. “Mr. Krasner has proven himself derelict in his duties as the Philadelphia district attorney by inappropriately using prosecutorial discretion to act against the public’s interest.”


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OPINION: Let’s Work Together to Rescue Students Stuck in Failing Schools

Recognizing that a ZIP code should never determine the quality of a child’s education, we are excited that Pennsylvania’s Democrat Gov. Josh Shapiro once again affirmed his support for initiatives like our Lifeline Scholarships that would give struggling students and their families much-needed access to a better education.

In an interview with Fox News regarding education and school choice, the governor said, “Every child of God deserves a shot here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and one of the best ways we can guarantee their success is making sure every child has a quality education.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Our Lifeline Scholarship program is simple. Parents with school-age children (kindergarten through 12th grade) who attend a low-achieving public school will be eligible to receive a scholarship to offset costs associated with choosing an alternative academic setting and curriculum that meets their child’s needs.

Despite what opponents claim, Lifeline Scholarships will not take money away from our public schools. No public school money will be used to fund Lifeline Scholarships. The program will be funded entirely by a separate source of state revenue.

A high-quality education is key to achieving the American Dream. We cannot expect our kids to thrive as adults, as parents, as workers, or as community leaders if we do not give them a solid foundation to build upon.

Lifeline Scholarships will be one of the most impactful educational reforms in Pennsylvania history, with the ability to change the trajectory of the lives of thousands of kids and their families.

During his campaign last year, our governor said he “favors adding choices for parents and educational opportunity for students and funding lifeline scholarships like those approved in other states and introduced in Pennsylvania.”

Our kids cannot afford to wait any longer. We look forward to working with Gov. Shapiro to make this life-changing reform happen!

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White Demands Action on House Ethics in Wake of Sexual Harassment Allegation

As it stands now if you are not a member of the legislature you can’t complain to the House ethics panel if a member sexually harasses you. You’re out of luck.

After testimony from lobbyist Andi Perez that she was sexually harassed by a Democratic state representative, Rep. Martina White sent a strongly worded letter Thursday to House Democratic leaders–Speaker Mark Rozzi and Leader Joanna McClinton–demanding action.

“As part of her moving testimony, which highlighted glaring holes in our ethics rules that have historically prohibited non-House employees from filing sexual harassment complaints against a member of the House, Ms. Perez called for reform of the sexual harassment reporting rules to allow anyone sexually harassed by a member of the House to file a complaint with the House Ethics Committee,” White (R-Philadelphia) wrote.

“This lawmaker decided to caress my leg — I was wearing a skirt — all the while telling me he was impressed by my passion and knowledge of the issues we were discussing. … I moved away from him, hoping he would stop,” Perez said. “He did not.”

Perez did not respond to a request for comment.

House Republicans proposed ethics rules for the special session that, among other things, would allow for sexual harassment complaints to be filed by non-House employees. In a speech from the floor Thursday, GOP Leader Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) noted all 102 House Democrats voted against it.

Cutler also reminded House Democrats that they overwhelmingly opposed House Resolution 192 last session, a bill to tighten House ethical conduct rules regarding sexual harassment.

“I’m glad we’re having this discussion because I wanted to have it some time ago,” Cutler said of the debate over the proposed ethics rules.

White said action is necessary now to protect staff from the unnamed Democratic House member involved in the alleged harassment and who is part of the Democrats’ 102-101 majority.

“This being the case, it is incumbent on the Speaker’s office—who claimed responsibility for managing House space—and the House Democratic Caucus who, implicated in this matter, to ensure members, staff, and outside visitors to the Capitol are kept safe from this individual who now has a history of sexual harassment.

“As a female member of this House, I encourage both of your offices to engage in an investigation to affirmatively identify this member and take any required remedial action, including seeking their resignation,” White wrote.

McClinton also spoke from the fl6oorfloor, mocking Republicans for what she claimed is a new-found concern about harassment in the House.

“I am so grateful that on this day in history the minority caucus is interested in protecting victims of sexual harassment,” McClinton said. In the past, she said, Republicans, dismissed concerns. “But now that we’re here for special session — suddenly everyone in the minority caucus is interested in handling sexual harassment.”

She also claimed the Pennsylvania State House has “a culture where there is harassment, unfortunately, [that] needs to be addressed.” But, McClinton added, “this is not the time or the moment to do that.”

In a statement to DVJournal, McClinton said, “Everyone deserves to feel safe in their workplace, and no person should be harassed or made to feel uncomfortable in the course of doing their job.

“Unfortunately, despite persistent advocacy for many years by the House Democratic Caucus, the rules that have governed our chamber have not provided a pathway for lobbyists, media, and other credentialed personnel whose business requires engaging with House members to report that they’ve been harassed or experienced discrimination.

“As the first woman House Majority Leader, I can affirm that discrimination or harassment of any kind in our institution will be treated with seriousness and urgency and that the forthcoming House operating rules to govern our chamber will include a fair process for claims of harassment and discrimination for all protected classes,” McClinton said.

The Delaware Valley Journal repeatedly reached out to the House member who sources said had touched Perez. He did not respond.



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DelVal Reacts to Krasner Impeachment Resolution

For Philadelphia’s Martina White, filing articles of impeachment against her city’s district attorney is not about Larry Krasner. It is about crime victims.

“Our people have suffered for long enough and his policies have pretty much destroyed our city,” the Republican state representative told DVJournal Wednesday, just hours after announcing the impeachment articles were being filed. And, she said, she saw no reason to wait for the Select Committee process to run its course.

“Earlier this week I took note of a report that was issued by the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order that described egregious misbehavior and conduct by Larry Krasner’s office and himself,” said White. “So, I just felt compelled to move forward with this. I don’t feel that it’s necessary to wait any longer. Our people have suffered for long enough and his policies have pretty much destroyed our city.”

Mike Chitwood

While the investigation is ongoing, “I just feel compelled to move forward because there are instances of repeated disregard of victims on sentencing matters, such as in the case of Lisa Hart-Newman, who was left to freeze to death as an infant at the scene of her parents’ murders,” said White.

The district attorney’s office never contacted Newman before going before a judge “to advocate on behalf of her parents’ murderer. The staggering amount of dysfunction that has come to light from untrained staff, from top to bottom being too inexperienced to successfully try cases,” said White.

“They have a lack of institutional knowledge on basic courtroom procedures, and it’s led to disastrous results. I mean, we have high levels of withdrawals, dismissals basically, criminals are walking free.”

Retired police officer Mike Chitwood said the impeachment move is good news for area law enforcement. Chitwood, who served 19 years as a Philadelphia officer before becoming police superintendent for Upper Darby, told DVJournal the officers working with this district attorney are very disheartened.

“The morale in the Philadelphia Police Department is zero to none,” said Chitwood. “That’s how bad it is, not only because of Krasner in there but because of the lack of support that they themselves receive from the (Kenney) administration.”

Asked whether Philadelphia voters, who are overwhelmingly Democratic, would just elect another progressive ideologue, Chitwood said, “Here is what really, really galls me, when he ran for reelection and won, where were the voters? Why did they vote him in?”

“He has allowed criminals to run the system. He has allowed criminals to run Philadelphia. And he has allowed criminals to do whatever they do without consequences. Period. That’s exactly what he’s done,” Chitwood added.

And, says White, it is not just voters and legislators upset by Krasner’s performance. Judges have noticed, too.

“Common Pleas Judge Barbara McDermott actually called the office’s prosecutors incompetent,” said White. And Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty, a Philadelphia native, issued a scathing opinion blasting the district attorney’s handling of a case.

Asked what was next, White said it would go to the House Judiciary Committee, then to the full House for a vote. After that the Senate would then have a trial, she said.

“The Speaker, I believe just put on another day (on the House calendar) for us to be able to facilitate running this impeachment article out of the House and get it over to the Senate,” White said.

Krasner had tried to stonewall the committee, she said. But after the House found him to be in contempt he turned over some materials.

Krasner pushed back against the impeachment, accusing the Republican-led House of political grandstanding, since it is shortly before the midterm elections, and also of racism.

White denied those contentions.

“This is specifically regarding public safety and had he not been a bad actor and misbehaving in his duties and responsibilities to the public and to do what’s in the public’s interest, he wouldn’t be going through this,” she said. And as for racism, “I would say it’s a fallacy, it’s a distraction from what is actually happening before our own eyes.

“Black and Brown people are dying on our streets and the district attorney standing there watching it and saying that we don’t have a crisis of crime.”


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‘Krasner Failed Us:’ Emotional Testimony From Crime Victims Sets Tone at Hearing

“Krasner’s office has failed us.”

That was the testimony of Karen McConnell on the first day of the House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order hearing at the Philadelphia Navy Yard Thursday. While the topic was the crime crisis, the target was progressive District Attorney Larry Krasner.

McConnell lost her granddaughter, Jailene Holton, in June after a man fired 15 shots into the Philly Bar and Restaurant in Northeast Philadelphia. She blamed the district attorney for “pacifying these criminals” who, because of his policies, evaded punishment on prior charges. McConnell was one of several family members of homicide victims who shared their stories with state representatives conducting the hearing.

Krasner and his allies dismissed the bipartisan committee’s investigation as a political stunt. Krasner allies mocked the proceedings by staging a fake “circus” outside, complete with jugglers and clowns. Republicans were outraged.

“This is the kind of respect the supporters of DA Krasner believe victims of violent crime and their families testifying today deserve,” said House GOP spokesperson Jason Gottesman. “This is grotesque and shameful. As tears are shed in today’s hearing over loss of life, Krasner’s supporters are throwing a party. Sickening.”

Supporters of Larry Krasner stage a mock “circus” to protest the House Select Committee Hearing on Restoring Law and Order.

And though the testimony was sometimes emotional, in the committee hearing there were few political fireworks. Rep. John Lawrence (R-West Grove) kept the hearing civil and focused on the testimony. “If you’re expecting simple-minded mudslinging, you will be disappointed.”

In his opening statement, Lawrence avoided rhetoric and instead told how his parents met in the city, attended Temple University, and eventually started a family.

“I would not be here without the story of Philadelphia,” he said. He added, “It would be a dereliction of duty if we did not take action,” and then laid an account of the rising crime and environment of lawlessness on the city’s streets.

“The increase in crime has led to a decline in the quality of life in the city, the regional impact to surrounding areas, and, of course, lifetimes of pain for those who have lost a family member to senseless criminal activity,” said Lawrence.

The four-member committee heard more than an hour of testimony from crime victims and family members of those who lost their lives to criminals. They testified about being discouraged by the slow pace of justice in their cases. Some claimed they did their own investigative work to find information overlooked by police. Others lamented poor communication from city prosecutors assigned to their cases. Longtime residents said their neighborhoods are overrun by emboldened criminals, pointing to suspects who either were arrested and released or had their charges dismissed. Either way, they said, the bad guys were back on the street.

And they blamed Krasner.

Nakisha Billa, who lost her son Domonic in March 2021 in a shooting at the Franklin Mills Mall, said the information provided by the CARES program was not helpful and she had to track down city victims’ services herself. Her testimony echoed a familiar refrain from victims’ families that the District Attorney’s office under Krasner has not put enough resources or attention to those families, she insisted that her testimony was without political motive or invective.

In an exchange with Rep. Amen Brown (D-Philadelphia), Billa said she wanted to leave the city, despite having lived here all her life and Philadelphia still being home to her family and support system.

A particularly poignant moment came when Brown shared a conversation he had with a 100-year-old constituent who wanted him to clean up her block in West Philadelphia. For years she spent part of her day sitting on her porch but said fear of crime had now driven her indoors. “She told me, ‘I want to do it one more time before I pass,'” Brown said.

Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia), the city’s former GOP chair, shared her frustration with the lack of results and her compassion for the city’s victims of crime.

“Larry Krasner has denied these victims a voice,” she said. “He has tipped those scales of justice in favor of the criminals. It’s out of control and we have to do more about it. I’m really grateful that Harrisburg and specifically the members of this committee have come to Philadelphia to learn about what is happening here, firsthand.”

Questioned by a reporter about why Krasner had not been called as a witness, White said, “That is up to the committee. The D.A. has already been extremely disrespectful to the process. He’s ignored subpoenas and was held in contempt out in Harrisburg by a bipartisan majority in the House. It is really time that he pays attention to what the people of Philadelphia want. They want criminals held accountable and they want it to start now. We’re tired of waiting. We need safety and security on our streets.”

As of Wednesday, the city has 401 homicides in 2022 while carjacking eclipsed 1,000 for the first time in history.  And though gun possession arrests have drastically increased recently, conviction rates — the share of cases prosecuted by the district attorney’s office that result in a conviction — for gun possession declined. Between 2015 and 2020, the share of illegal gun possession cases resulting in conviction fell from 65 percent to 42 percent, according to the city controller.

Billa compared the constant reporting on crime statistics to coverage of the score during a basketball game. “Only this is not a game, and I’m tired of losing.”


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PA House GOP Committee to Investigate Progressive DA Krasner

Pennsylvania Republican House members are stepping up their impeachment process against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved a resolution creating the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order. The resolution, announced by Rep. Josh Kail (R-Beaver/Washington) as part of the ongoing effort to impeach Krasne, now goes to the full House for consideration.

It comes after Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) invited crime victims to come to the capital and tell their stories. Several family members spoke passionately about their loved ones who were murdered in the city, and about their dissatisfaction with the district attorney.

White also blasted Krasner over the city’s crime rate. Violent crime in Philadelphia has increased dramatically since he took office in 2018. Krasner, a progressive Democrat, has espoused an approach that includes dropping gun charges against some defendants and not prosecuting minor crimes. The number of shooting incidents in Philadelphia is up over 7 percent, and the number of shooting victims is up almost 5 percent over last year.

“Since the beginning of the effort to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, we have heard from countless Pennsylvanians, business owners, and families who are fed up with the absolute lawlessness in Philadelphia,” Kail said.

“While DA Krasner has been transparent in his willful dereliction of duty to enforce the law and should be removed from office, it is imperative the House takes a comprehensive approach to holding Philadelphia officials accountable with a full airing of the facts, a comprehensive record, and vetted recommendations as we move forward to ensure state law is respected and enforced in our largest city,” he said.

According to the resolution, the Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order will consist of five members selected by the Speaker of the House—three Republicans and two Democrats—and have subpoena power.

Those members will be appointed after the resolution passes, officials said.

The committee will examine the effect Krasner’s alleged failure to enforce criminal laws in Philadelphia, how state public safety funding for Philadelphia has been used, and whether victims’ rights are properly protected, officials said.

In addition to impeachment and other methods of removal from office, the committee is also empowered to recommend potential legislative or policy changes that could ensure public safety is guaranteed.

“The problem of unchecked crime and violence in Philadelphia is a statewide concern requiring strong and deliberate state action,” Kail added.

“The investigative Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order will take a deep dive into this issue and offer real remedies to ensure local officials like Larry Krasner are held accountable for their refusal to enforce state law and our cities are once again safe,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Krasner did not respond to a request for comment. However, Krasner’s defenders, including Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), noted Philadelphia voters have elected him twice.

“We can’t go backwards,” Kenyatta said on Facebook. “We have a DA who cares about justice, safety, and accountability. We can’t elect someone who would take us the other way. I’m proud to support Larry Krasner for DA because he’s unabashedly led the charge (to) reform a broken system by building a big winning coalition.”

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In Harrisburg, Crime Victims’ Rallying Cry: ‘Impeach Krasner!’

Tuesday would have been Sean Toomey’s 16th birthday.

Instead of celebrating it with his son, John Toomey attended a rally in Harrisburg hoping to get some small measure of justice by supporting the impeachment of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

Sean was carrying a case of bottled water from his dad’s car in the Wissinoming section of the city when would-be carjackers assaulted him, shooting him in the head and killing him.

“Someone who commits terrible acts like this should be in prison. The D.A.’s culpable,” said Toomey, his voice breaking with emotion as he spoke. “It’s not his responsibility to act as a defense attorney for those who should be in jail. They already have a defense attorney. That’s taken care of…This individual calls himself a man. Who’s going to bring him back to me, who’s going to bring my boy? I say, impeach this son-of-a-b***h.”

John Toomey talks about his son, Sean, a murder victim.

Toomey isn’t alone. An angry mob of heartbroken parents and outraged lawmakers gathered to support an effort to remove the controversial district attorney from office. Krasner, one of the most progressive prosecutors in the nation, has overseen a huge spike in violent crime and murders in his city. At the same time, notes Kevin Williams at National Review magazine, prosecutions of gun crimes on his watch have plummeted.

“In Philadelphia, the majority of gun cases—60 percent—are simply dismissed with no prosecution, according to the local district attorney’s office. That’s double the dismissal rate of 2016 — and the district attorney is bragging about how few gun crimes get prosecuted,” Williamson wrote.

That dichotomy has energized the impeachment movement.

State Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia), who introduced the speakers at Tuesday’s gathering, supports a resolution to impeach Krasner for failing to do his job that is being circulated in the House. The legislators who introduced it —Reps. Josh Kail (R-Beaver/Washington), Torren Ecker (R- Adams/Cumberland), and Tim O’Neal (Washington)—were also on hand.

“Larry Krasner corrupted that position by ignoring certain offenses and in the process, is usurping the authority of this legislative body,” said White. “Let me be clear that his actions have real consequences. This is about the lives of the many men and women and children who experienced the tragedy and hurt that is the direct result of the dereliction of duty by the district attorney.”

“He has been coddling criminals rather than holding them accountable for their actions,” White said.  By not prosecuting crime, Krasner has “violated his oath of office,” she said. “The proof is overwhelming.”

“The impact on our communities is devastating,” she said. “Lives are lost and our citizens are living in fear.”

People have died after being shot, others were injured or traumatized by criminals who should have been in jail, White added. In 2021 there were 562 homicides in Philadelphia, an increase of 78 percent from the year before Krasner took office.

Nakisha Billa told the story of her son Dominic Billa-Lewis, 20, who was gunned down in the food court of the Northeast Philly mall in March. Billa-Lewis, who had worked since he was 14 years old and “paid taxes,” was at the mall to buy a new pair of pants for a job interview.

Billa said she was on her way to the mall when she saw police, an ambulance, and a helicopter heading that way. She prayed her child was okay. She did not know she was “feet away from my baby, laying in the mall, dying,” she said.

“Never would I have guessed that he would encounter criminals, repeat offenses criminals,” she said. “Never would I have imagined this would happen…At what point do we hold those that are responsible to account? How many sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, that we have to lose before someone makes it right and stops it? Never had I heard so many homicides of women that are pregnant, children that are dying, babies?”

Billa, who voted for Krasner because he was a civil rights attorney, now says the lawlessness in Philadelphia “is beyond out of control.

“We need to do whatever it takes to change. Never would I have supported him if I knew he’d be offering deals for murder, for taking someone’s life,” she said.

Julio Moran Jr. spoke about his mother, describing her as church-going and less than 5 feet tall.  She had gotten a protection-from-abuse order against a man who had hurt her.

However, the district attorney’s office refused to help her in court in January 2021 and the abusive person killed her, Moran said.

“They would not hold the offender accountable for his actions,” said Moran. “This was a violent predator.”

“She didn’t just fall through the cracks of the criminal justice system,” he said. “She fell through a trap door created by Krasner and his group of false public servants. For us, this is not about politics. This is about keeping malicious politicians from destroying the institutions that protect us.

“We’re devastated by the loss of our mom. Her grandkids miss her…One day they will have to fully understand why she isn’t able to be part of their lives anymore.”

Sukhvir Thind, who runs a convenience store, complained that “retail theft is at an all-time high. Criminals know that he [Krasner] is not going to prosecute. So they [are released] before our shift ends. My employees, they are scared to come to work. They know they could be the next victim of any gun violence or any crime. So we want the D.A. to start prosecuting retail theft and be aggressive on gun violence. Do your job and bulletproof the city.”

White insisted the opposition to Krasner isn’t just more partisan politics.

“This is more than a call to action,” she said. “It is an outcry to help save lives and keep our community safe.”

Krasner could not be reached for comment.


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‘Enough Is Enough:’ GOP Legislators Target Philly DA Krasner For Impeachment

A group of state House Republicans announced Monday they are launching an effort to impeach Philadelphia’s progressive District Attorney Larry Krasner to “highlight his absolute dereliction of duty.”

“Lives have been lost,” said Rep. Josh Kail (R-Beaver/Washington), one of the three lawmakers to begin circulating the impeachment legislation. “Property has been destroyed. And families have been crushed. Enough is enough.”

Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland) is also part of the effort, along with Tim O’Neal (R-Washington). “Krasner said six months ago, ‘We do not believe arresting people and convicting them for illegal gun possession is a viable strategy to reduce shooting,'” Ecker noted.

“Since that time there have been nearly 950 people injured or killed as a result of gun violence in Philadelphia,” Ecker continued, “a nearly 7 percent increase over last year. There have been 220 homicides in the city of Philadelphia, 194 fatal shootings, and 796 nonfatal shootings. There’s been an 8 percent increase in shooting incidents in Philadelphia. It’s widespread lawlessness in the city of Philadelphia.”

Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) backs the impeachment effort.

“The lawlessness in Philadelphia has been exasperated by the intentional lack of adequate prosecution by and under Krasner’s direction. That is coming to an end,” White said.

“Impeachment is a rarely used process, but the time has come,” she said. “No longer can we allow law-abiding citizens to live in fear or to be victimized by the criminals who have been emboldened by the district attorney?

“I want to thank my colleagues for standing with Pennsylvanians and announcing they will be introducing articles of impeachment for Larry Krasner. I have co-sponsored the articles and will support my colleagues in every way possible through the process,” White said.

The plan to impeach the progressive distinct attorney echoes the successful effort in California where voters in deep-blue San Francisco threw far-left prosecutor Chesa Boudin out of office two weeks ago. Removing Krasner has support from some legislative heavy hitters.

“Now is the time to have a serious discussion about impeaching Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner,” said Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin). “Philadelphia’s unchecked crime problem is a statewide concern and the district attorney’s open refusal to enforce current Pennsylvania law in the city is a clear dereliction of his duty to keep Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians safe.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) called for Krasner’s impeachment when he was campaigning for governor earlier this year.

“Today’s announcement couldn’t come soon enough,” said a spokesman for Corman. “Philadelphians deserve a D.A. who puts dangerous criminals behind bars instead of letting them back out onto the streets to seek more victims.”

A simple majority vote will be required in the House to impeach Krasner. It would take a two-thirds vote for the Senate to convict him.

Dom Giordano, a Philadelphia resident and talk radio host, has long decried Krasner’s handling of crime in the city.

“We’ve been involved in this pounding and pounding away,”  said Giordano.

He says he believes Krasner will likely be his own worst enemy when he goes before the House to testify with “his typical arrogance and smugness.

“It’s his arrogance. He’s just one of a kind. These other guys can’t hold a candle to him, the other progressive prosecutors. He’s dug in,” Giordano said.

Giordano noted that after the South Street shooting, Mayor Jim Kenney commented about the violence and the lack of prosecution of crime.

Kenney said, “We cannot accept continued violence as a way of life in our country. Until we address the availability and ease of access to firearms, we will always be fighting an uphill battle.”

That comment from Kenney might also be a turning point, said Giordano.

Giordano said the impeachment will get bipartisan support since Democrats are up for re-election, some facing competitive races.

Krasner did not respond to a request for comment.

However, Rep. Ben Sanchez (D-Abington) called the impeachment effort a “political stunt by three legislators who live nowhere near Philadelphia and who are looking to deflect from the pressure millions of Americans are putting on them right now to enact commonsense gun safety reform.

“I would implore those legislators to work on gun safety legislation to address this problem which has existed long before D.A. Larry Krasner was twice elected. We could start by passing House Bill 980 which would require lost and stolen firearms reporting and help reduce the flow of illegal guns to the City of Philadelphia and its suburbs.”


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