Three 007 Candidates Piling Up Cash

by Joe Shaheehli and Rory G. McGlasson


The mayor's campaign for 2007 is rolling along. Though no candidate has officially announced, the fundraisers continue to move.

Three, in the forefront of the candidates freqently mentioned as entries into the 2007 Mayoral Primary, held successful fundraisers this week.

The first, Johnny "Doc" Dougherty, Business Manager of Local 98 and Democratic Party treasurer, held another in a series of fundraisers at McFadden's, at the Phillies Ball Park.
This event drew the largest crowd by far, increasing the funds going into DOD007 campaign treasure chest. The Draft Dougherty committee, unlike the birthday party, held the following night in the Northeast, distributed enough pre-election paraphernalia to leave no doubt its intention is to see that John Dougherty soon announces his intention to run for the mayor's seat.

It was Controller Jonathan Saidel's birthday party, a perfect time for a fundraiser, and the first publicly promoted event for him since his "not running" announcement. It was held at one of the major union halls along Southampton Road in the Greater Northeast.
Though it's obvious Saidel intends to run for mayor, neither he, nor the guests who attended the event displayed any material that would leave those attending or the press to believe his party was anything but "a birthday bash".

Elected officials on hand for the Saidel event were Sen. Michael Stack, Rep. Mike McGeehan, Democratic candidate for the office of City Controller Rep. Alan Butkovitz, and City Commissioner Edgar Howard.

Rep. Michael McGeehan worked the role of master of ceremonies well saying to the crowd "It's rough to be the emcee who introduces the city's most renowned emcee".

Labor, on the whole, has yet to make any decisions as to who will be supported at this stage. Labor leaders were in abundance at all three events, with unions sending representatives to each party. The conclusion from that is organized labor, for the most part, are in a wait and see attitude, as one leader said, "It's a long two years before we have choose sides."

Philadelphia Building Trades President Pat Gillespie has attended all Dougherty's events at McFadden's at the Ballpark giving the hint the building trades would push for Doc. Northeast Philadelphian ward leader John Sabatina, 56th, was also present at the Doc ballpark affair.
"Getting more new faces and more people at these events is what it's all about," said Dougherty's spokesperson Frank Keel. "We are in a good position if John decides to run."
Congressman Chaka Fattah is raising money he doesn't need to remain in his present office. A number of Mayor John F. Street's elite fundraisers put in an appearance at a Wyndham Plaza fundraiser Monday night.

His hosts included Comcast Vice President David Cohen, Developer Robin Rubin, and attorneys Leonard Klehr and David Hyman, among others. They've all been with the mayor through his two terms.

Present, but not present at the Wyndham Plaza event was Mayor John F. Street. His close staffers, showing up in support, included Shawn Fordham, George Burrell, and Joe Grace, among other members of the mayor's staff.

Fattah has come the closest of the three to indicate he will be a candidate for the mayor's seat. If he does run, he told the crowd, "I expect to see more new faces in government." He also announced he plans to unveil a vision of a "new and greater Philadelphia" in the near future.

Since "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray", there is more to this race than what can be reported here.

Rev. Dr. Anthony Floyd, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Council of Clergy, with a long history of backing winners in municipal and state elections, has his own ideas of who should be mayor.

He launched a petition drive early in March "drafting Congressman Bob Brady for Mayor". He believes his goal of 100,000 signatures is easily attainable and indicates he is well on the way to gathering that many names.

"We believe, when those petitions are presented to Congressman Brady, the only one we believe who can truly bring this city together, he will have to give our cause serious consideration."

There are other scenarios playing out behind the scenes, all pointing to a fact the 07 race won't be easy to handicap until all the players are in past the withdrawal of petitions deadline.