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tv   Inside Story  ABC  January 8, 2017 11:30am-12:00pm EST

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>> it's a brand-new day in harrisburg, trenton, dover, and washington. we'll talk about it on "inside story" now. good morning, everyone. i'm matt o'donnell. it is sunday january 8, 2017. welcome to "inside story." let's meet our insiders of the week. jim eisenhower, attorney, joins us this morning. hi, jim. jan ting, law professor. >> happy new year. >> hi, jan. ajay raju, attorney. >> happy new year. >> you, too, and dom giordano, radio talk-show host. >> went to law school, just for the record, with three other attorneys here. [ laughter ] >> we'll put that down there as an addendum, how about that? >> thank you. >> well, it's a new year, and it's a time for people that you elected -- and pay -- to run our governments to get down to business. now, for instance, the pennsylvania legislature elected its new leadership for this year. no change, joe scarnati returned as president pro tempore of the senate, mike turzai returns as a
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house speaker. now, the state senate, as you know, has the largest republican majority since 1950. there's the guy that's gonna have to deal with them, governor tom wolf, a democrat. the state house has the biggest republican majority since 1958. goodness me. dom giordano, how is governor wolf going to do anything over this next calendar year? >> well, he's gonna have a lot of trouble doing anything. he's gonna be on the defensive, but i don't have a lot of faith in these guys in harrisburg who are republicans. >> how come? >> you still have the liquor law in place, even though we've had widespread pushback with wolf, and they just seem to be out of touch. the sanctuary cities bill got passed, wolf vetoed it, but they ran out of days and didn't do anything with it. so he'll be on the defensive, but i don't know that there's so many people there pushing back against him in a united way among republicans. they squabble. >> and, you know, matt, there's a lot the governor can do where he doesn't need the legislature. i think governor wolf discovered that after that first year where
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he couldn't get that budget through. economic development -- there's a lot of latitude there that the governor has in terms of grants and actions that he can take, and he has taken. >> port of philadelphia. >> yeah, things like that. the opioid crisis, there's money that he has to set up centers to address that, and he's doing that. he doesn't need the legislature to get those things done. >> but the governor's restricted by the overall financial crisis in harrisburg. it's not a new day for harrisburg. the same problems are there that were there before. we have big budget problems. the governor is actually restricting some of the grant programs that he could authorize if he wanted to, but he's not doing it, and some financial study came out that called pennsylvania one of the worst-governed states in the united states, with all our fiscal problems, our gridlock, our dysfunctional judicial system with judges who are not selected on the basis of merit, our lack of restraint on political contributions from
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individuals and political action committees. i mean, this is a problematic state, and the chronic problems continue, and the new year changes nothing about that. >> i think the dark storms are certainly gathering for governor wolf, and i agree with the general sentiment, but just to put some finality to it, you have a $500 million, almost $500 million of budget deficit that we have to shortfall, that we have to deal with. >> and i think it might grow to what, $1.7 billion, which is a big chunk. >> another elephant in the room is the $60 billion pension problem that we're sitting on. as you said, we're not one of -- it was ranked as the worst-run government... >> let's get full credit. >> trying to soften the blow. >> and then you have a sinking bond rating, and, also, you now have an opposition in the legislature that is the strongest that it's ever been in 70 years, and governor wolf, when he first started, did not have the right people on the bus to make sure that he reached out across the aisle to develop that
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relationship. he's gotten some of those people off the bus, but it may be a little too late to start new relationships with legislature, which was necessary to deal with the budget that's coming out. >> you can talk about relationships, and i think all the coffees and going to visit their offices and inviting them to play golf -- i don't think governor wolf plays golf, but things of that nature -- i don't think that's gonna convince any of these, or very many, of these legislators. these people dyed in the wool right-wing republicans. they're opposed to virtually anything that governor wolf wants to do, and he's got to work around it. >> yeah, i'm not talking about the cosmetic. when you first come into power, especially if you have the mandate, the way he came in, i'm talking about having your troops reach out to the other side, develop some sort of a consensus, and build a working relationship. not the golf, not the dinners. a working relationship. not going to the media and attack the other side as the nasty villain. >> okay, i see where you're going, yeah. >> once you position that, you have an "us versus the other." you can't bridge that divide. >> let me throw something else
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in here. obviously we know how much more conservative the legislature is, more solidly republican. then you also have the campaign season virtually beginning for governor wolf's job. he's up for re-election next year, and there are republicans lining up left and right that want to run against him and at least try and win the primary. lou barletta is one of them, charlie dent, tom marino, pat meehan, the local congressman here, mike turzai, who's the house speaker. how do you see this playing out? and another one, scott wagner, who tends to be the biggest foe for wolf in the legislature. >> that's the guy i'd be afraid of. he's a money-raiser. he's a driver, wagner. he's an out-of-the-box. i think he sees himself as a mini trump. the advantage i see that wolf has this year, though, matt, is people, at least in the philadelphia area, i can speak for listeners and others, don't care about what's going on there too much. the energy is here in philadelphia, and it's trump and washington and all that. wolf is not exactly on the radar screen, but i think scott wagner is the biggest opponent. >> and i think any time you have
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your incumbent -- it doesn't look like there will be any democratic challenge to governor wolf -- >> right. >> having many people in a republican primary is great for him, and if you got wagner as a ring-wing candidate and charlie dent as a moderate, that's gonna be a very contentious thing. >> i was just gonna say -- look what happened with the republicans and how many were in their primary for presidency. >> true. >> they're like, "oh, there's too many, none of them are gonna rise up." >> but the russians helped out on that one. [ laughter ] >> there will be consensus eventually. one of the folks you didn't mention is the former lieutenant governor jim cawley. now he runs united way. there will be consensus at some point. >> okay, and one more thing i want to mention. i'll be hosting conversation with the governor, tom wolf, on tuesday with the chamber of commerce of greater philadelphia, and we'll have some details on that on "action news," but i just wanted to ask you guys -- what should i ask him? what should i ask governor wolf? >> what's the solution to the pension crisis? >> that will be a question, yeah. >> i'd like to know about liquor privatization and the whole deal. he's inching towards this. if he did that and went with
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that -- i know his base, some people wouldn't like it, but i think it would be groundbreaking, and i think he could be led toward that. i want to know where he is with it now. he inches towards it. ajay? jim? >> i think we're known as the most regressive state when it comes to taxes. we're not the most attractive to attract businesses. >> okay. and what are we gonna do about the shrinking population, especially the corporate community that is leaving us? >> i think you should ask him what's the number-one thing he learned in the beginning first couple years as governor? what's the one takeaway? >> hopefully governor wolf's not watching and he's in harrisburg. then he'll know what questions i'm gonna ask him, right? let's move onto new jersey to trenton, which could be in full campaign mode for the next 10 months. they have an election this year. governor christie's poll numbers have been pitiful. he's not joining the trump administration, something that seemed certain back in the fall. as many as 15, up to 18 people, maybe more than that, could be vying for his job -- seven republicans including lieutenant governor kim guadagno, who hasn't really seen eye-to-eye with christie recently. comedian joe piscopo could run as a republican. in terms of the democrats,
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state assemblyman john wisniewski. the primary's on june 6th of this year. so, christie's unpopularity, bridgegate, state pensions just like in pennsylvania... superstorm sandy could also be an issue in this campaign. what do you think's gonna come out of this, ajay? >> i think i can make a prediction of this one. i think phil murphy from goldman sachs, with wall street chops, as well as left-leaning policies, will be the next governor of new jersey. >> interesting. >> former ambassador to germany. >> yes. >> i think he's the clear one. >> is it the finances, do you think, or...? >> no, i think among the d's, there will be consensus around phil murphy. it seems like that's what happening behind the scenes, the conversations. and i just don't see the republicans getting their act together, having an incumbent with such low ratings, and i don't think anybody else has emerged on the other side. >> it's time the pendulum to swing in new jersey. after eight years of chris christie, they're ready for a democrat. >> it's a democratic state. >> yeah. >> having a republican governor was a bit of an anomaly. >> i've seen moderate republican governors -- tom kean,
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christine todd whitman -- but it's pretty certain, you think, the democrats will... >> yeah, and i think murphy strikes me as a pretty smooth, well-organized sort of guy with a home court advantage, and god knows what christie might do between now and then. >> what do you think might happen with the governor? is it gonna be a pretty quiet... >> no, i don't think it's ever quiet with him, no. >> no, you know, i said last week, i think he is the political lazarus. i don't think we can count chris christie out. most of this, what we're hearing as far as not being appointed to the trump administration has to do with the fact that the hearings haven't been done yet. i think once all those things clear up, i suspect that he's probably still close to the trump administration. trump just doesn't need the kind of attention that christie's bringing at the moment. >> i heard they may have offered him some smaller jobs, and christie said no. >> i think that's pretty accurate. i think bridgegate has legs, though. >> yeah. >> this type of stuff is still out there. there's a lot of political play with it, it doesn't go away. >> there's gonna be a new u.s. attorney in new jersey, as well. >> should be republican. >> that's true, and the
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u.s. attorney that pursued bridgegate, tried the case, got those convictions, will no longer be in that chair. it remains to be seen who trump will select to run that office. >> okay, let's talk about delaware, dover, its own spending revenue woes. an advisory council estimates that delaware will have a $350 million budget gap, not $1 billion like pennsylvania, but that's a big chunk of a spending plan that's been below $10 billion in recent years. wilmington gets a new mayor. that's john carney there, the new governor coming in. mike purzycki is running wilmington, has a new city council president. a huge murder rate. big problem there. 28 homicides in wilmington last year, which tied the record set in 2010. smaller state, smaller big city, jan, but similar problems. >> well, it is a new day for delaware -- a new governor, new leadership in the city of wilmington, which needs new leadership, and a new member of congress from delaware, lisa blunt rochester, the first african-american, the
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first woman to ever represent delaware in the united states congress. there are now only two states left that have never sent a woman to congress. guess which -- mississippi and vermont. >> vermont? >> yeah, vermont has never sent a woman... >> they only get one, but still. you would think a progressive state like vermont... >> just like delaware, but they haven't yet. but lisa blunt rochester is a bright new face in delaware. so, i think people in delaware are feeling that the problems are manageable. they do have increased spending because of medicaid, schools, and education, generally. health care expenses for their state employees have been a rising factor, and corporate income tax collections are down a little bit, so that adds up in a small state -- a bunch of small problems. >> sales tax always is generally the same -- zero. >> zero. that's right. so that's one of the attractions of the state, and they continue
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to attract corporate registrations. corporations want to register in delaware for a variety of reasons that are not mainly tax-related. mainly because they have a good court system. i mean, that's one of the attractions of delaware. >> it's interesting to have a new name in delaware because of the term limits in delaware, and maybe the size the state. it always seems like it's the same four people rotating around from one position to the next. >> right, castle was a congressman, then he's governor. i mean, i have to look it up and see which one of these guys' turn it is. tom carper did the whole... >> yeah, he's done them all. >> governor, senator... >> they're kind of quiet. you don't hear too much... >> after being governor, your term-limited out, and with the democrats controlling everything, i think governor markell, the outgoing governor, doesn't have a clear place to go. the democrats occupy all the spots. >> he might be waiting for tom carper to retire, which may not happen. >> you're always waiting for a space to open if you're a democrat. if you're a republican, you can challenge everybody. >> how about the murder rate in wilmington, ajay? in philadelphia, homicides are generally the same as the previous year, in 2015. any sense that you get on why
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you have these smaller big cities with such a big problem with violence, whereas philadelphia has sort of flatlined? >> i think part of it could just be policing neighborhood tactics and the problems just, you know, going to different areas. when you focus on one area, the problem just doesn't evaporate. it starts shifting, finding new location, and delaware may be getting the brunt of it, considering that they're neighbors of ours, and i think we're doing a much better job in recent times in terms of overall violence and relationships with neighborhoods, and a lot of it has to do with the police department that we have. >> i would say we know what works. chicago's an example of what does not work, and various police chiefs, retired or replaced, have said there's not enough severe sentencing for people that continuously are in trouble with the law -- gang members and the like in chicago. i'm not sure if it's the same in wilmington, but i think it's pretty much the same everywhere. there are tactics that work. new york works. >> but, also, just keep in mind,
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i mean, delaware has my problem. if i eat a hoagie, the next day, my suits are tighter. it's a a small state. small issues here or there, positive or negative, become big news, and i think that, for us, if there is a little blip up or down, because we're much larger as a city, it doesn't register as front-line news. >> real quick before the break. the new congress comes in washington, the 115th congress. first thing they do is this ethics thing where they're gonna gut it, and they back off. >> bad idea, jim? >> i happened to be on capitol hill that day, and the scrambling around of members going from one direction to get rid of this body that they don't like because it investigates them and had been pretty aggressive over the last couple of years. then, all of a sudden, the trump tweet, then, all of a sudden, they got to scramble and change it. >> trump was against them. >> yes, and i think it showed the power of the tweet, especially coming from trump at this point. he's got the bully pulpit, and republicans really backed down quickly. >> but the big issue for them is
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the repeal of the aca, the affordable care act. and if they don't do it right, they're gonna own the catastrophe that follows. so they have to be really careful. >> break and back with more "inside story" next. >> "inside story" is presented by temple university. remarkable change isn't easy, but for those who take charge, it comes naturally. explore temple's impact. visit temple.edu/impact.
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"yo! my soft drinks cost so much!" philadelphia's beverage tax went into effect on january 1st. some consumers went to store in philadelphia and were shocked to learn the cost is being passed right onto them. wow! that is not required because it's a tax on distributors, but nevertheless, grocery stores are itemizing the money to pay for the tax on customers' receipts. they're even putting it out for them. for instance, a customer bought a $0.99 bottle of soda. that actually went up to $1.62. it's a big jump. so, if you were mayor kenney, would you be concerned about this at all, and are you surprised that consumers didn't even know that this was going to happen? >> no surprise, but this should be a one-week story. new tax comes into effect. it should be news for a week, but i think it's gonna be played up by the soda industry, which it feels it's in their interest to keep the story going and give the story legs and support it in every way they can, so we're gonna be hearing more. >> well, matt, i would say brilliant -- i oppose this. it's gonna be up and down the
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line, but kenney is brilliant on this, and he realizes in philadelphia, both the ignorance of people not seeing this and all these other people around him, he will not suffer from this. in fact, nationally, he's being touted as a genius, as a model. 12 other cities are doing it. >> i read on friday that lawyers for the city are seeking an immediate appeal to the supreme court. >> right. >> they're already won at the first level, upholding the tax. it's likely they're gonna win again. so i don't see this tax going away, and i'm not surprised that people are surprised. [ laughter ] >> let me get you in on this, ajay, but i just want to read philly mag's victor fiorillo's advice. he said, "you don't like the soda tax? drink water." [ laughs ] it's free, right? >> during the commercial, i was talking about that scene from austin powers, where you have that steamroller, slowly, 2 miles per hour, coming at you, and a guy screaming all the way at the other end of the room. that's what we sounded like before the soda tax got enacted. that's what we'll sound like for
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the next two, three years. look, the idea that you can drink water -- the soda tax, being regressive, while i appreciate that it will have overall benefit to population health, the community that drinks it doesn't have any other option. the folks who have the ability to go to delaware and buy it cheaper, the folks who actually rely on those sugary drinks as part of their staple diet -- whether it's good or bad, we can debate later -- they don't have the option to go somewhere else. for them, this is a very heavy burden. and to say that all of this, eventually, helps with pre-k... if the dollars go to that and we see results, then the sacrifice would be worth it. >> and that's not gonna happen right away, that's the problem. >> well, if it doesn't, then what you have done is you've taken the most burdened portion of our community and burdened them with even more burdens. >> well, wait and see, then. >> there's enough people that like this, that are on kenney's side. the bike-lane crowd loves this. >> that's an interesting group terminology -- the bike-lane crowd. >> they don't like people
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drinking mountain dew, and they like the bike lanes. you know, i'm into fitness and health and all that, too, but... >> everything you guys say about the soda tax could be said about the cigarette tax, right? people who ride in the bike lane don't smoke cigarettes, either. >> but the mayor has been effective in being -- the bike-lane crowd like him and the mummer crowd likes him. that's a great combination. >> i would say this. it's not the cigarette now. we've demonized soda, the guys pushing soda? they're not philip morris, here. >> i don't know, i think soda's bad stuff. there's a new book out... >> i think philadelphia -- >> i actually was reading about that book the other day. >> yeah, gary taubes, "the case against sugar." >> look, i do think that in terms of overall population health, philadelphia county ranks worst amongst all counties in pennsylvania in population health, depending on rich neighborhoods versus poor neighborhoods. in my neighborhood, life expectancy's 80 years old. five minutes away in a poorer zip code, it dips to 60 years old. that's a 20-year death sentence for being poor in philadelphia. so if there is an indirect benefit, if you eliminate some
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of the preventative things that we can do, which is, you know, a better diet, better resources, the problem is, they don't have the ability to access those resources. i can go to whole foods and get the right food. not many can also afford that. >> can you talk real quick about your interview with john dougherty and the interesting things he said about donald trump? >> yes, it was a christmas miracle. john dougherty's guy frank keel, who is very persuasive, tracks me down -- i'm in a supermarket -- texts me the letter than dougherty sent to his members, matt, talking about cultural liberalism and how the national democrat party is labeled like that -- sounds kind of what i would say -- and he says, "we're not into this anymore. we can't work with trump against undocumented workers, infrastructure, and all the like." comes on the show, says all that, and now there's apparently a tweet out there that mayor kenney may want to go to trump tower that surfaced around this, and dougherty said he's not in love with the rat that unions put in front of buildings. we may not see it in 2017.nt wis
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believed, and he is a constituent servant. he cares about the working-class philadelphians, and if the general sentiment is that trump got elected because of the support and the enthusiasm from the working class, then, you know, there is some common ground. >> and he knows who's gonna appoint all the u.s. attorneys. >> real quick, the d.a. race got a little more crowded. beth grossman is now announced as a candidate as a republican. about five people now running, one republican, four democrats. jim, what do you think is shaking out with this race to replace seth williams? >> number one, it shows how vulnerable seth williams is, that this many people, some of whom are giving up positions such as a judge, to run for this position because they think they got a real shot to win it. people get in. >> got to go. inside stories of the week coming up.
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>> "inside story" is presented by temple university. remarkable change isn't easy, but for those who take charge, it comes naturally. explore temple's impact. visit temple.edu/impact. >> inside stories of the week. we start with jim. >> matt, this week, the california legislature hired eric holder as their attorney to fight what trump is gonna try to do once he becomes president. you're gonna see this state by state, and it's not gonna be hiring outside law firms. it's gonna be attorneys general, in democratic states, finding ways to trump trump. >> interesting. thanks, jim. >> on tuesday, the senate judiciary committee opens hearings on jeff sessions to be our next attorney general, and many senate democrats have promised to do what they can to block and obstruct his confirmation. the problem is, back in 2013, when the democrats controlled the senate, they invoked the "nuclear option" on
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appointments, which means no filibuster, just a simple majority vote, and that means, in effect, that all of president trump's appointees are gonna get confirmed if the republicans can stick together. >> okay, thanks, jan. ajay. >> matt, our foundation, along with our partnership with 6abc is sponsoring an essay competition, a region-wide essay competition on "covering letter," the exhibit at the museum. over 300 submissions came in from high school students. around 85 of them came from collingswood high school, and we noticed there was a trend -- mr. bennett, the english teacher and references to mr. bennett. that's what teaching is about -- not when it matters to you, but when you care about others around you and you encourage young people to go the extra mile. >> thanks, ajay and mr. bennett. >> that's a great story. bud selig, a guy that i think was a disaster as the baseball commissioner is going into the hall of fame, disgracing it by his mere presence. but the inside story is, a lot of younger sports writers are in
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there now. they see nothing wrong, and you're gonna see bonds and all the other who were alleged -- we'll say that, even though he had a pumpkin head -- who are out there as steroid users, are inching closer to the hall of fame. i think it'll be a bad day when they're in the hall of fame. they will be, though. >> okay, and i'll throw an inside story out for you. espn says the next phillies, or former phillies, to go to the hall of fame are... curt schilling, chase utley. do you agree? tell us. i'm guy gray, coming up next only "action news" we're following breaking news out of bucks county. new charges in the murder of a 14-year-old girl. a raging fire at an apartment complex. plus a deadly attack in jerusalem, the latest on it is victims and the why police are calling it annual act of terror. those stories all next on "action news."
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we take some unexpected extra steps to raise healthy chickens with no antibiotics ever. for example, thyme. it's part of our 100% veggie diet and helps support their immune system. perdue. over 200 products no antibiotics ever. us, it is sunday, january 8. i'm gray hall, nydia han has the day off. here's some of the stories we're following on "action news." a woman faces charges in connection with the murder of her adopted daughter. we'll tell why prosecutors say the 14 was killed. dozens are displaced after an apartment fir

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