Commentary on this site is in no way associated
The Publius Group
409 Washington St.
Hoboken, NJ 07030
of the Year
||The most powerful man in Harrisburg -- House Majority
Leader John Perzel -- is this year's Politician of the Year. And for good
reason. The Northeast Philly Republican has grow immensely in his
job...from deal-cutter to a man who gets things done. When the education
establishment in Philly threatened to close the public schools if it
didn't receive more money, Perzel responded by passing legislation to
allow the state to take over the school district. When Mayor John Street
said the city could not afford to give the schools more money, Perzel took
over the cash rich Philly parking authority (and its patronage jobs) and
directed the money to the public schools. He has even squared off against
the White House in a Congressional Redistricting showdown with Senate
Republicans. Perzel has the respect and admiration of his entire
caucus...including a dozen Democrats. When this politician walks into
battle...he usually wins. Perzel's success has truly earned him the
distinction as Politician of the Year.
||First runner-up is
Governor, Congressman, war hero, and American success story....Tom Ridge.
The man who would be Vice President got drafted once again on September 20th
when President Bush named him Director of Homeland Security. Ridge
became a key player in the year's biggest drama. In the final 15 months of a
successful two terms as Governor, Thomas J. Ridge was riding out a wave of
enormous popularity, defining his legacy and looking for the next one. For a blast from the past, read
the August 27, 2001 AP story Strategist plots Ridge's future and his
mayor makes our short list. In a state devoid of much political
personality, John F. Street corners the market. Two years ago, the
Philadelphia Tribune named Street as the city's most influential African
American. They underestimated him. He is Pennsylvania's most
influential African American. Thanks to Edison
Schools and Governor Schweiker, Street has a bigger stage than ever.
And don't forget, President Bush singled out Street in a state of the
union message earlier this year for his support of faith-based initiatives.
In just his first term as mayor, Street will be a major player for some
||Leading a clean sweep
of GOP statewide judicial candidates, Judge Michael Eakin makes it to the
final four as Politician
of the Year. Eakin was the upset winner in this year's Supreme Court
election and his victory gives Republicans control of the high Court. The rhyming Superior Court judge is now in a position to influence
public policy from the bench for years to come.