THIS JUST IN: Phawker, DN Endorse Anne Dicker

THE DAILY NEWS: THE 30-YEAR reign of state Sen. Vincent Fumo has both blessed and cursed theFUMO_FINAL.jpg First Senatorial District. His 139-count indictment has badly stained the bags of money that he brought home to his district and to the city. And as the architect of the seriously flawed gaming act, he unleashed an unending and unresolvable battle between casino operators and communities, and between the city and the state. Three contenders for his seat are running in next week’s primary. Who is best to take over?

Not union leader John Dougherty. For many, Dougherty is the local equivalent of the 3 a.m. phone call, with all the terror that evokes. Our problems with Dougherty are these: his refusal to provide data johnnydoc_150px.thumbnail.gifon his union’s minority-hiring practices to City Council and the Convention Center. (And shame on Sen. Anthony Williams and Rep. Harold James for their endorsement of him.) He has refused to provide details of Local 98’s PAC spending, and has challenged campaign-finance laws in federal court. We’re also disturbed by his refusal to resign his post as Local 98 leader if elected, which he confirmed in a recent meeting with this board. “I’m not looking for another job” he explained about his run. Except the Senate seat is another job, and his refusal to see that is either stunningly ignorant – which no one has ever accusedLarry_Farnesse.jpg him of being – or supremely arrogant.

Challenger Larry Farnese, a lawyer, is a perfectly nice guy, but it’s hard to know what he stands for besides running for office. He is familiar with the issues. We wish it were true that his promise to stand up to legislators on gun laws was enough to make a difference. He dropped a second run against state Rep. Babette Josephs for this race. Many think that he’s the only serious challenge to Dougherty. If you see your vote as a strategic move in a chess game, he’s your man.

But we think making an endorsement solely on hypothetical outcomes is a mistake. That’s annedicker.jpgwhy we endorse progressive candidate Anne Dicker. She has long experience as a neighborhood and anti-casino organizer.

Her campaign hit some rocks this past weekend, when she lost most of her staff, including her campaign manager, but she vows she’s in it to fight the Fumo and Dougherty machines.

For that, she deserves support. She lacks legislative experience, but when we asked her what committees she’d want to serve on, she lit up like a policy wonk, and showed an impressive grasp of issues well beyond casinos.

Her idealism may lead to some bruising in Harrisburg, but we think she’s smart enough to navigate those shoals. Besides, haven’t we had enough of the jaded business-as-usual? She is the only candidate in this race who has the ability to represent a new day in Harrisburg.

PHAWKER: Ditto
PREVIOUSLY: Anne Dicker’s Got Balls

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arlen-specter-100-06.gifBREAKING: United States Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) has announced that he has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, in a press release from his office Wednesday afternoon. In a press release, Specter, 75, said he had experienced persistent fevers and enlarged lymph nodes under his left arm and above his left clavicle. The statement said Specter received testing on February 14 at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. The testing involved biopsy of a lymph node and biopsy of bone marrow. The lymph node was positive for Hodgkin’s disease. The bone marrow biopsy showed no cancer. A follow up PET scan and MRI established Specter has stage IVB Hodgkin’s disease, the statement said. Hodgkin’s disease is a cancer of the lymph system. His office said Specter is expected to receive chemotherapy over the next 24 to 32 weeks and he is expected to be able to perform all duties, including chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Senator Specter’s Hodgkin’s disease has a five-year survival rate of 70%. He is in superb physical condition, particularly in light of his daily squash regimen, ” said Specter’s oncologist, Dr. John H. Glick.

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