POLS ON THE STREETS: Saidel Heads Dems’ Transition Team

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Newly elected Pennsylvania Democratic Chair Jim Burn has appointed Jonathan A. Saidel, former Philadelphia City Controller, to head a transition team charged with evaluating all aspects of State Democratic Party operations, including staffing, fundraising, communications and more.

“Jonathan Saidel has an undisputed reputation as an innovative manager with the ability to maximize an organization’s efficiency by conducting a thorough analysis and applying out-of-the-box thinking,” Burn said. “He played a major part in bringing the City of Philadelphia back from the brink of bankruptcy in the 1990s and he is a passionate and tireless advocate for our party’s mission and the working families of Pennsylvania,” according to Burn.

Specifically, Burn has asked Saidel to expedite the search and interview process for key staff positions, analyze fundraising practices and opportunities, assess internal and external communications including the use of new media and internet technologies, examine the Party’s role in coordinating and contributing to the campaigns and elections of Democratic candidates at all levels, and identify existing strengths as well as areas where changes will increase efficiencies and effectiveness.

Saidel, who missed winning the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor in the May primary by less than half of a percentage point, is a well-known and popular figure among active Democrats. His decision to stop the automatic recount process in the 2010 Lieutenant Governor primary was seen by Democratic insiders as a positive step, allowing Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dan Onorato and his lieutenant gubernatorial running mate, Scott Conklin, to launch their General Election campaign without an unnecessary distraction and potentially divisive and expensive recount process.

“I am honored Chairman Burn has trusted me with this important responsibility,” Saidel said. “There are limitless numbers of talented professionals who can be called upon to help build our party by bringing their expertise to the table in the transition process. I look forward to conducting an expeditious, open and inclusive transition process working with our nominees for Governor and US Senate in a coordinated effort that focuses first on victory this fall, while balancing the longer-term interest of building our party,” Saidel said.


Tom Matkowski became the new leader of the GOP’s 65th Ward as a result of a reelection scheduled by the RCC’s contest committee last night. He beat Phil Innamorato. This is Phil’s second loss. The other was in the State Committee race. This is seen as a victory for GOP City Chairman Vito Canuso. Tom got 18, Phil 10 in the recount.

Jul. 7 marks the fifth anniversary of the infamous 2 a.m. pay raise enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. To mark this occasion, Democratic candidate for State Representative in the 172nd Dist. Kevin Boyle is pledging never to vote in favor of a legislative pay raise should he win the seat in November.

“The actions of the Pennsylvania State legislature five years ago were underhanded, selfish, and wrong. Public service is a noble profession that demands transparency, honor and selflessness. Unfortunately, that vote demonstrated many elected officials  had lost touch. I pledge to never vote for a legislative pay raise,” Boyle insisted. He is challenging incumbent John Perzel.
True to his pragmatic knowledge of politics as a local commodity, Pittsburgh’s Dan Onorato is spending enough time campaigning in this city to make it necessary for him soon to rent an apartment.

That’s happened in the past to other serious statewide candidates. All have realized the need to pump up the Philadelphia vote.

Fresh from a Saturday gig with Councilman Curtis Thomas, Onorato spoke to a host of people Tuesday just before noon at the University City Science Center. He is pitching his plan to bring jobs back to the Commonwealth. He’s picking up a slew of scheduled events from Democrat City Committee.
With exactly 18 weeks to go in the race for the next Pennsylvania Governor, Democrat Dan Onorato is sprinting already.

“I have been campaigning for two years full-time, so 18 weeks feels like a sprint to me,” Onorato told reporters in University City.

Onorato took a tour of the state-of-the art science center located at 3711 Market Street. There he told a group of reporters, local residents and science-center employees of his plans to create jobs in Pennsylvania. He will not cut funding to life sciences at any of the 32 educational institutions in Southeast Pennsylvania, he told reporters.

The science center helps small businesses that innovate in the life sciences and other technologies start up and grow.

Steve Tang, CEO of the Life Science Center, said they welcomed Onorato to their facility, but stressed the visit and group meeting was in no way an endorsement of his candidacy.

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