tv Inside Story ABC October 18, 2015 11:30am-12:01pm EDT
on "inside story," say goodbye to philly's top cop, retiring after eight years. what grade would you give charles ramsey? let's get the inside story. ♪ good morning, and welcome to "inside story." i'm monica malpass. let's meet our insiders this week. they are ajay raju, attorney. welcome. brian tierney, marketing executive. welcome back. jan ting, law professor. and val digiorgio, attorney. welcome to you, sir. so glad to have all of you here today. charles ramsey announced in january when mayor michael nutter leaves office that he, too, will leave. he's been police officer at the highest levels for almost 50 years, eight of them in philadelphia. and people are now weighing in on the highs, the lows, what legacy he leaves behind, and certainly what changes he made and his mark on the city. you can tick them off and just talk about how the homicides are way down by 1/3, more certainly transparency within the system with, you know, cameras, body cameras, and community policing. what overall, though -- there
have been some criticisms. what grade are you thinking? >> i'd give him an "a." when he came on board, i was at the inquirer at the time. i got a call from the publisher down there, don graham, who said to me, "you are getting one of the finest cops in all of america. this guy's unbelievable because he came from washington." and i think he's been that way. he's obviously super-bright, he's community-focused. the statistics are great. there's been issues, but you can look at anybody's eight years and find it. so i think he leaves a wonderful legacy, and i think they're big shoes to fill going forward. >> and richard ross is what he suggested, deputy commissioner, who said could be a phenomenal top leader, as well. there have been some issues, though. stop and frisk still very controversial and certainly people who believe the black lives matter movement say that he hasn't -- or his department -- hasn't hired enough black police officers. for example, that trend is not going the way they want. what would you say about the criticism? >> well, it wasn't for a lack of trying. you know, he had made the comment that he had trouble finding black police officers because of the requirements that are in having a certain number of credits per year. but it wasn't for a lack of
trying on his part. i think he struck the right balance between respect for the community and making sure that cops were acting appropriately and respect for police, and it's hard in this day and age to do that. i really think an "a" is the right grade, and it's a loss for the city. >> i concur. [ clears throat ] he was a reformer, and he fought corruption [clears throat] and he did a good job. he didn't win every case that he fought over. i also think he was right on a lot of the issues. he was right about stop and frisk. he was right telling the black lives matter people that they had to focus on more than the police, that there were larger issues of concern involving black lives, including the shortage of good-paying jobs. that's, i think, really at the root of the racial crisis in america. >> but there have been more police-involved shootings, and there was a federal study done by the justice department to try to fix that. they're implementing some of those changes -- >> but he brought in that study. you know, he requested that study, and, you know, that's leading to more reforms. >> where do you see the future
of the department at this point? because after such a high, i mean, he was even lauded by president obama when he announced his retirement, and certainly the president had used him, of course, to do the task force on 21st century policing for the whole country after so many of the incidents in other cities. and by the way, philadelphia state calm after a summer of violence in many other places, in missouri and elsewhere. >> well, i mean, all of us are reading the tea leaves, but there's only one teapot to consider, which would be jim kenney, the presumptive mayor most likely for philadelphia. he will decide who the next commissioner will be. indication is that it will be most likely somebody from the department. both jim kenney, as well as commissioner ramsey, have tipped the hat in favor of rick ross -- richard ross. so from all indications, if he wants that job, looks like that's where he's gonna go. but i want to make a comment on the black lives matter movement, which is a young, spontaneous grass roots movement. it is disruptive by design. it is disruptive by design
because its adherence are intent on making sure that they convey the disruption and outrage they feel in their own communities. the message is not supposed to go down easy. and from their standpoint, it makes us feel uncomfortable, but if it wasn't as disruptive, we as a nation will not be talking about these issues as we probably ought to, because there is institutional racism, there are issues about police brutality. for commissioner ramsey and philadelphia police, you know, they engage with community engagement. and as a result, if you notice, our relationship with the police force in philadelphia is a lot calmer compared to other cities, and it's an example of what works when the police force engages with community and when there's trust. 60%-plus of whites in philadelphia trust the police officers. in philly, 47% of african-americans trust our department. job well done. "a." >> much better than it was. all right, let's talk about the pennsylvania budget battle. three months overdue. july 1 came and went. we're almost at november 1 here.
still no break of the impasse between governor wolf and the legislature. an interesting couple of ideas came out this week, and i wonder if these are just too simple to work. the state auditor general, eugene depasquale, says, look, if they can just compromise on marcellus shale tax and use that money to pay for education, get pension reform over to the side, do it a little later, separately, and then make state stores a little easier, boom, bang, bing -- three topics. do it in a weekend at the governor's mansion. we're done. >> all well and good, but that's not the deal the governor wants. the governor wants wholesale change of the way we tax in pennsylvania. he wants to turn pennsylvania into illinois or, god forbid, california. the republican legislature doesn't want that. and that would be a great deal. they'd have the votes for that. but dave reed, the majority leader, went to the governor and said, "i just don't have the votes for wholesale broad-based tax increases. we're gonna give you the chance to lobby the general assembly over the next week. if you can get the votes, we'll run it." governor spent that weekend making calls, including to some of my republican colleagues, and
couldn't get one republican vote and had nine democrats peel off and wouldn't vote for that budget. >> and will they get more ds to peel off and maybe supercede him and he won't even matter on the budget? they'll just pass it without him? >> well, that's what they're talking about now. they are now having talks without the governor, and the governor says, "i will not cave." so it's a problem. you know, republicans put up a bill to some stopgap funding to keep social services and education going. that was vetoed. so where do you go from here? >> there's about a $600 million difference between where the two sides are out of $31 billion. so it's about a 2% difference. one of the things that surprises me is this governor gets elected and you think he's gonna be pragmatic and common sense, and he had some good support coming in. but you're the governor and you have to figure out how to work with the legislature. and there was more this sense of "as i say it, so it must be done." that's not -- these guys got elected, too. he got elected statewide. they got elected from their districts. so you have to find, you know -- the kind of emotional intelligence is to sit down with the other side and say, "how do we figure this out?" and kicking the pension part of
it down the road again is a huge mistake. it's a huge mistake. it does seem, though, compromise would be let's find the lowest tax on shale. let's at least be that, okay, so you're not gonna lose to other states if you have some tax, but it's on the low side. and the income taxes are high enough. find a way to save money. >> and state senator larry farnese -- he said, "look, can we get a $1.8 billion compromise budget? just give the schools and some of the social services agencies something. they're choking here." >> numbers can always be compromised, but, you know, in principle, the governor ran on his shale tax, on his severance tax. there's got to be a severance tax. and i've been saying the compromise is clear already. everyone knows what it's gonna be. it's gonna be a severance tax. there's gonna be no income tax increase, there's no sales tax increase, some money for education. and the republicans have to win on something, and pensions are a great issue that will have long-term benefits for the commonwealth. and i think public opinion is turning against the governor. you hear a lot of people who say, "i voted for this guy," but, as you say, he's not being very flexible here.
and eventually we know there'sg. why not do it sooner rather than prolong the agony? >> and have more damage in the meantime. >> he needs to understand, you know, this is not a one-year fight. he doesn't have to win everything this year. you know, the budget is a recurring thing. he can come back a second time and raise the issues again. >> and philadelphia schools among the entities not receiving all their state money, obviously, for this reason. they did get $25 million, at least much of the promise of it, from city council, and so that's helping in the interim. for today they're okay. but they have some other problems, including the group that they outsourced to fill in substitute teachers with promised 80% ability to fill those classrooms with subs, delivering at less than 20%, sometimes 14%, meaning regular teachers who would be in there planning on their break now have to go teach. there is no planning time. they have to get some retirees out of retirement and promise them bigger paychecks than they would like to comfortably pay a substitute so that they have some teacher in the classroom. it's a bit of a mess. even the superintendent, bill hite, said, "this cannot go
on," and he put the source for teachers company on notice. what's the answer? this just seems like one of those simple things. let's just get some people going. people need jobs. we need teachers. >> you'd think so. you start to come to the conclusion that the philadelphia school district is just too big to be run by one board up there if they can't even do this kind of thing right, to get substitute teachers in the classroom. it's staggering. there are plenty of people -- teachers, qualified teachers looking for jobs. why can't you plug them in? i don't understand. and the only conclusion i can come to is the school district's just too big to govern centrally. >> meantime, there's talk of eliminating the src. we've been hearing rumblings of that for a while. and there's some other "tempest in a teapot" issues, if you will, about a couple of the members. farah jimenez, a former member, long-time member of "inside story," is on the board, and now they're giving her a bit of a hard time, maybe legitimately, maybe not, because her husband is part of the charter school legal system. his firm does represent charters, and she's been voting on charters. is that fair? >> that's the underlying thing i think that's going on. and thank god for the school
reform commission, frankly, because it was going horribly before. but the underlying thing is the issue of the teachers union and the teachers, i mean, and the students themselves. 1/3 of the parents approximately, maybe 25%, 30%, have opted out to go to a charter school. it's because this is the only time their child has second grade or fifth grade or eighth, and they're just not gonna wait till they reform the schools. and there's a power play behind the scenes, and i think obviously the substitute teacher program is not working out well. and bill hite said it. bill hite's doing a terrific job, the school reform commission. the fact of the matter is, 1/3 of the people have abandoned the schools, so get real. get real. the people are voting with their feet. >> and so meantime, the issue with the one member of the src -- is it fair or unfair? she, in fact, did not vote. she abstained 26 times. but she's part of the discussions, part of channeling some ideas, and people who dislike that are even asking the governor to remove her from the src 'cause they said she shouldn't even be in on the discussion. >> well, that's not gonna happen. i think farah has bent over
backwards to try and abstain where it's appropriate. but it's her job to pay attention to what's going on and to inform herself on all the issues that are before the board, even if she needs to abstain on the vote. so, i don't think this challenge to farah is going anywhere, but i do think the substitute teacher thing is a disaster. the school district was filling 60% of the vacancies on its own, before they brought in this private company, and the private company was just trying to cut costs and generate profits by taking a slice out of substitute pay, and as a result, if you pay them less, you get fewer people. i mean, it's pretty simple. >> i'm gonna say one thing about this group that's bringing up these, what i think are, defamatory charges against farah. it's a group that nobody knows how they're funded. they're not a corporation, not registered with the state. what we do know about them -- they show up at src meetings to disrupt and to toe basically the educational establishment line, the teacher union line. and so they have an axe to grind with anybody who doesn't toe that agenda. >> yeah, she's an independent voice, and that's what they don't like.
let's face it. >> meantime, more porngate coming up. the supreme court specifically and the e-mails that lead to and from attorney general kathleen kane, who's in battle and has issues of her own, of course. there's now word that there is yet another person who is being looked at on the supreme court. one supreme court justice already retired early because of the scandal. is this, again, sort of a mess that all roads lead to our attorney general, who's fighting legal issues herself? >> well, possibly. i mean, i think right now, they're still waiting for more evidence, probable cause. and we're talking about judge eakin. what's next for that would be, you know, you need to have enough probable cause to bring formal charges against judge eakin. if that happens, then it goes to the court of judicial discipline. and if they decide that there's clear and convincing evidence, then, of course, they can impose sanctions or reprimand or a permanent removal of judge eakin. he then has the right to appeal, which goes to a special tribunal of seven who are comprised --
>> but these were 1,000 e-mails to his private yahoo! account. does that matter? >> but my larger point being, this is gonna be a long process, which is the process that judge eakin is afforded. but in between all of this is politics, which is people looking to shame another, or the supreme court, as it did with judge mccaffery, can come in and simply suspend while all this happened. but underlying all of this is the undercurrent in stench of politics, partisan politics. >> so, you're a legal attorney and also a professor. do you think that because it's a private account, that matters? do you think that he should know just the smell of something? it didn't pass the smell test here? >> well, i think what's disturbing is not so much the content of the e-mails, as this kind of intimate relationship between a sitting judge and prosecutors and attorneys that appear before him on a regular basis. that is sort of disconcerting. and fundamentally, we shouldn't be electing our judges, you know. i mean, the chief justice of the
supreme court says judges call balls and strikes. you know, it's like having the fans elect the empires. it doesn't make any sense. we need to go towards merit selection. here in pennsylvania, all you have to do is look at delaware, which has merit selection, and the business environment that that creates, where businesses have confidence that their problems will be litigated properly and fairly without political influence. you want to bring jobs to pennsylvania. you want to bring business to pennsylvania. you create a judicial environment in which the business community has confidence, and that's what we'll do, and you don't do that by electing judges subject to a political process. >> meantime, the sideshow to all of this with the e-mails is how they were released, when they were released by the attorney general, did she release them sort of to threaten people in small batches, or did she acquiesce and give you the whole group, which is not the case. she finally did release most of them now, but the judicial conduct board had to pursue charges against her and make her release them, if you will.
are you disheartened by the sideshow? in other words, is our whole judicial system between the supreme court issues with the e-mails, pornographic or otherwise, and her releasing them -- is the whole system broken here? >> no, you know what? i don't think it is. i do think appointing judges rather than elections would make a lot of sense particularly with terms of the supreme court. but you can't -- i don't think you have to be, you know, sherlock holmes to figure out that to suspect that some of this is tied to the attorney general, who got elected as the first democratic woman, and there's a certain sense of optimism. frankly, i'm a republican, but isn't this great and has turned out to be at an emotional decision making. and people very close to her saying the same things. just making one bad decision, one ill-tempered decision after another, and whether it be the frank fina thing and the seth williams thing and the supreme court thing, these are all, i believe, tied together somehow. and it stems back from her feeling embattled, you know, showing up again in terms of in montgomery county, showing up in, what, jeans and a sport coat or something like this?
i mean, you can't help if you were close to her to say, "i think she's falling apart." >> right. we're gonna take a break. "inside story" continues right after this. >> "inside story" is presented by temple university. temple fuels students with academics and opportunities to take charge. plugged into the city, powered by the world. temple.edu/takecharge.
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philadelphia d.a. seth williams under the microscope a bit. fairly or unfairly? we'll talk about it. but his pac friends of seth williams that raised money during the campaign 2012 to 2014 had some issues, and now they're being looked at and being investigated. he waited six weeks to turn over all the documents, and that's led some opponents or people who are naysayers to say, "hey, is this crusading d.a. who created an election fraud task force last year now violating the state election law himself?" can we trust our guy who's in charge of investigation? is that too harsh? >> yes. you know, in the interest of full disclosure, i went to high school with seth williams. we always thought he was a boy scout, the highest caliber of integrity, and he still is that guy. when he started his campaign, he was somewhat of an insurgent. he had sort of a kitchen cabinet, folks that hadn't been involved in politics, and they may or may not have kept the records the way they need to keep them. but he certainly -- he's changed the structure of his campaign now. what we're really talking about is the tangled web of kathleen kane continues to expand. it's caught seth up in the net. he's on her enemies list.
and this is what happens. so, we're not talking about anything wrongdoing. these are technical violations. he's gonna clean them up, and i think it'll be fine. >> he did hire three reform state prosecutors, so that may have, you know, hit her the wrong way. >> yeah, and that's when this all began, right? these people -- he hires them, she says she's not gonna prosecute, and he gets the convictions or he gets the pleas, and, you know, not to go back to kane, but one of the things is, you'd be saying to her, she was so focused on every news cycle instead of stepping back. and i do believe this is all tied in with the same package. >> and so what's the net result? do you think it'll be just a tempest in a teapot for seth, or is he gonna have some issues here? >> no, tempest in a teapot. it'll be over tomorrow. >> all right. all right, let's talk about city council. they submitted a bill to try to stem the use of e-cigarettes. and to do that, they're considering a couple of moves. mayor michael nutter in his last three months before he leaves office is spearheading this, trying to ban tobacco products from anywhere that healthcare products are sold, so that would include obviously drugstores, grocery stores, it could include hospitals.
you know, any place that has both prescription medicine and e-cigarettes, you would no longer be able to buy them from those locations. fair or unfair, ajay? >> well, i mean, look, cvs was the first to stop the hypocrisy of business where you sell life-saving medication or products in the back of the store and then you peddle life-destroying products up front, and that hypocrisy is what cvs did not want in its business. mayor nutter and the administration thought that was a good idea. now they're expanding that logic to other businesses. i think it's a great idea. cigarette-related and who pay for the healthcare and the rising cost related to that. philadelphia ranks among one of the highest, the biggest losers in terms of tobacco-related costs, both in terms of physical cost as well as fiscal cost. >> and it has one of the highest areas of sales in this. >> that proposal comes from people that are retiring -- the
mayor and council member tasco. [ clears throat ] but as part of that proposal, there's also a tax proposal. and any time there's a possibility of new revenue, you have to look at that. and there is a proposal for a tax on e-cigarettes and other forms of undertaxed tobacco, like loose tobacco, and i think that's a revenue opportunity that it might be worth pursuing. >> and the one thing about cvs. cvs did it themselves. it wasn't imposed upon them, so... >> and also they had their stock price drop and their profits have gone down. now, whether the two are exactly tied, you have to wonder because it did happen right afterwards. this, though, this idea of taxing e-cigarettes and having some other restrictions on where they can be sold worked in a couple of other cities. boston and san francisco saw their consumption of e-cigarettes drop by 5% or 6%. >> except that north philadelphia is a short drive to elkins park, and southwest philadelphia is a short drive over to delaware county, you know. so, it's interesting that the folks who were posing to reduce the ability to sell tobacco are the same folks who want to tax tobacco to fund schools. so, how you gonna fund schools?
it's sort of schizophrenic policymaking, whatever's sort of in vogue at the time. i don't get it. i do understand the cvs willingly, voluntarily deciding not to do that. i think that's a great decision. but the government policymaking in philadelphia just seems to me to be whimsical and sometimes lacking rationality. >> so, before we leave, one quick hit -- there are fewer women on local boards making decisions for this area, both private boards and public corporate boards. no real change since the year 2000, so for 15 years, there's been no growth in that area. not many women executives, not many women making higher salaries in philadelphia. it's stagnant. how are we gonna ever change that? >> i think smart boards look for diversity of all types, and i think that's what you need to see more. it needs to reflect who your consumer is. at the same time, you know, what they would say, and as this board group ages and gets off, there will be more, and you're seeing that in other parts of the country. >> all right, we'll have to leave it at that. inside stories of the week coming your way right after
>> "inside story" is presented by temple university. temple fuels students with academics and opportunities to take charge. plugged into the city, powered by the world. temple.edu/takecharge. >> time for inside stories of the week. and let's start with ajay. >> monica, last week, we learned about the passing of a homeless man in rittenhouse park. next to the body, they found two small bags, presumably the worldly possessions of this man. jarring, because it was surrounded by these expensive homes of rittenhouse area. on an average day, 650 people walk the streets homeless. would be a lot more if we didn't have a great organization like project home. so, just a gentle plea to support project home. >> all right. val. >> chester county's the mushroom-growing capital of the world. last week, our county commissioners michelle kichline and terence farrell met with the mushroom growers and found out for the first time in history, demand was less than the year
before. output was less than the year before. and the problem -- they can't find people to work, even though these jobs are good, relatively high in pay jobs, not minimum wage, and it's a problem. >> hmm. all right. jan. >> a new peer research study projects u.s. population growth from 324 million today to 441 million by the year 2065, an increase of 117 million. but the punch line is, 88% of that growth is attributable to future immigration going forward if we do nothing. and only 12% of attributable to the natural growth of the population that's here already today. think of the impact on infrastructure, the environment. we need to think about this as climate change and do something about it. >> all right. brian. >> pope is gone, but the ongoing battle surprisingly in social media is, as inga saffron said, "open streets are not the apocalypse." the idea of occasionally closing down a block or two for people to walk on a weekend, i think it's a good idea. >> all right, that's "inside story" for this week. and we want to remind you that next sunday right here at this
time slot for "inside story," we will be having philadelphia mayor's debate at 11:00 a.m., so i hope you'll tune in for that, as well. i'm monica malpass. thanks to all of our insiders. thank you for watching. have a great week ahead. we'll see you right back here next sunday morning. ♪ i'm in nydia han along with eva pilgrim. >> fire tears through a montgomery county country club. chester authorities investigate a drive by double murder. and special kids get a chance to forget their medical problems with a trip to disney world. those stories and the accuweather forecast next on "action news."