"What's black and white and read all over?"

Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Posted 10:09 PM by

N.J. monkeywrenches Exelon-PSEG merger

New Jersey's refusal to buckle under to Exelon-PSEG's demand for their merger may have nixed the deal. If completed, the company would have controlled more than half of the country's electricity production.The drive to create the nation's largest electric company by merging Exelon Corp., the parent of PECO, and Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. is now less likely to happen because New Jersey regulators have refused to approve it.

All I can say is, thank you New Jersey!

Thanks especially to public advocate Ronald Chen, for doing due diligence and not buckling to the company's demand that the merger, which would create a monopoly on electric power generation for the Eastern U.S., go through.

That's something Pennsylvania regulators didn't do before granting their approval last year.

Although a decade of deregulation was supposed to yield more competition and lower prices, Pennsylvanians are paying more than ever before and would have been at Exelon-PSEG's mercy.

The probability of the deal going through now is no longer "more likely than not," Exelon admitted in a federal filing roday as it charged off $55 million in costs asssociated with the $17 billion merger/acquisition.

On a funny election-year aside, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell announced today that the state will get one-fifth of its electricity from windmills and water-powered renewable sources, doubling the amount of juice it currently buys from Wayne-based Community Energy Inc.

Note, I did not say Exelon, which produces most of its power from nuclear and coal-driven plants.


U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum referred to middle eastern terrorists and extremists as "Islamic fascists" during a luncheon at the Pennsylvania Press Club on Monday.

Now the phrase is a national Republican buzzword, being used by even President George Bush.

There's only one problem. The description is completely inaccurate.

If U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum really wants to see a fascist, he need only look in the mirror.Fascists, like the Nazis, are right-wing believers in dictatorial powers. What the muslim terrorists want is more akin to a theocracy like Iran, where religion has the final say on everything and the mullahs rule.

They think their holy war or jihad will restore the international Islamic empire that was lost eight centuries ago.

It won't.

But neither will inaccurately recasting religious zealots as Nazis to the American public. That's a vision of the world more accurately depicting Santorum's ideal, not Osama bin Laden's.


Philadelphia's Committee of Seventy cannot impose city-only fundraising limitation on politicians who have yet to announce their candidacies for mayor, a judge ruled this week.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Gary S. Glazer did not explain his one-sentence decision issued Tuesday. A lawyer for the Committee of Seventy, Marianne Consentino, told the Associated Press the group "will be pursuing the case vigorously" but had not decided on its next step.

Philadelphia's Committee of Seventy cannot impose city campaign financing laws on politicians who have yet to declare their candidacies, a judge found Tuesday.City law says mayoral candidates may not accept more than $2,500 from an individual or $10,000 from a business partnership or political committee. But several people have been acting like candidates and raising money for a campaign without declaring that they are running.

Six potential Democratic candidates for mayor were named as defendants in the suit, but all except U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and labor leader John J. Dougherty were dropped because the others agreed to abide by the limits.

Hey, I give the city gang of 70 props for at least trying.

As I've said repeatedly, Pennsylvania election law currently sets no limits on how much a local or state-wide candidate can raise or where the money can come from, and his few rules on how it can be spent.
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