POLS ON THE STREET: Mayor Nutter Boosts Jordan; Philadelphian Comes Home For Support

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MAKING it clear whom he prefers in 186th State House race, Mayor Michael Nutter lifts a cup in salute to Jordan Harris at La.Va. Cafe on South Street, prepared by barista Christine Mikus.


There’s a Philadelphian in a statewide Republican race in next Tuesday’s primary election.

A South Philadelphian, to be precise. Frank Pinto even ran for State Representative in the 183rd Dist. in 1975 – losing to the legendary Jim Tayoun.

Two years later, Pinto moved to Harrisburg, where he forged a new career in statewide affairs. But he never forgot his home town. This week he was back, looking for support in his race for Auditor General in a city that, he points out, has more Republicans than any other Pennsylvania County but one.

Pinto is determined to be an independent fiscal voice for all Pennsylvania. That’s a role his opponent, State Rep. John Maher, cannot fulfill, he says. Maher, like Gov. Tom Corbett, is from Allegheny Co., which in the last cycle seized the preponderance of the levers of power in Harrisburg.

“He’s a career politician, hand-picked by the Governor,” charged Pinto. “He voted for the legislative pay raise, the pension grab and is running for two offices at the same time.”

Not that Pinto lacks experience. For 10 years he was chief of staff of the Senate President.  From 1986 until last year, Pinto led the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers, which represents small local banks. A former professor at Penn, Villanova and LaSalle, teaching history, public administration and government regulation, he has the chops to audit the Commonwealth.

Most importantly, Pinto said, “The Auditor is supposed to be an independent watchdog. He’s got to have an arm’s-length relationship with other elective leaders.”

Pinto is pursuing independent-minded Republicans with a campaign that includes radio ads.

On visits home, he stays at 1616 S 10th Street, which has been in his family since 1876. “When I die, I’m going to be buried here,” he said.


DELIGHTED to see his old fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha was working to educate public on voter-ID law at W. Phila. Y, State Rep. James Roebuck proudly posed with his frat brothers.


Wayne Miller, business manager of Sprinkler Fitters Union Local 692, slapped us hard on the wrist, sending us a letter that corrects the scenario we printed in the Boyle-Collins race last week.

We couldn’t report it better than Wayne does in his letter to us, which reads:

“Your ‘reporting’ on the Boyle-Collins race in the 172”0 district is filled with inaccuracies, bias and lies.

“You wrote Dan Collins ‘has the support of labor leader Wayne Miller.’ This is completely false! You didn’t even bother to call me and check this before reporting it,

“The fact is I am a strong supporter of both State Reps. Brendan Boyle and Kevin Boyle. I have raised a significant amount of money for both Boyle brothers and continue to support them 100%.

“Your article goes on to say this race will be the Boyle’s “first real test.” Let me ask you this; what rock are you living under? Both Boyles are about as battle tested as any two young guys I know. Combined, they’ve been through five tough races.

“Brendan started off by taking on a popular 20-year incumbent. He put together such a strong operation and came close enough to winning that the incumbent opted to not run again. Then in 2008, Brendan waged an expensive, hard-fought race to win his seat. Speaker Perzel and the Harrisburg Republicans dumped half a million to beat him, but Brendan prevailed.

In 2010, Kevin first had to win a three-way primary election. Kevin beat two opponents by over 30 points, including Dan Collins. Then, Kevin faced the formidable John Perzel and beat him.

“You also wrote the only support Kevin has is from his brother. What are you talking about? The bulk of labor unions in this area have endorsed Kevin.

“I like both Boyle brothers because they work like hell. Absolutely no one will outwork them. They are also darn good legislators. I’m glad, as a labor leader, I can count on these two to go to bat for the workers I represent.

“This is a tough time for all of us in organized labor. You have radical Republicans in charge in Harrisburg who want to take away everything unions have gained over the last 100 years. So I’m very glad we have both Boyles in office to fight for working men and women.

“Both Brendan and Kevin are smart guys who have been really successful, and some people are jealous of that, I have some advice for those people: Rather than spending so much energy on their petty jealousies, they should spend their time on fighting the important fights that actually matter to people.”

Kevin Boyle’s challenger Dan Collins is a graduate of La Salle University, earning a Master’s degree from Holy Family University, moving on to become a Philadelphia public school teacher. Collins is a CYO basketball coach, and a member of the Mayfair Town Watch and the Mayfair Civic Association.


188th House Dist. candidate Fatimah Muhammad greets seniors at Good Friday Fish Fry she sponsored at Boys Latin School.


We need to take a vacation. Last week we reported 61st Ward Leader and judicial candidate Sharon Losier was not being faithful to the Democrat City Committee rules and traditions by supporting her nephew Numa St. Louis this primary election.

She judiciously called to our attention, “This is a primary”. She is not supporting an opposition party candidate and a ward leader is free to choose whom he or she wants to in a primary.

Since St. Louis is one of her committeepeRSONS and her dear nephew, he obviously is closer to her than incumbent State Rep. Mark Cohen. For her, she’s right, choosing Numa is a “no-brainer and violates no DCC precept.”

St. Louis also has the endorsement of Councilwoman Cindy Bass, herself newly elected to the 8th Council Dist., which overlaps the 202nd in the 17th and 49th Wards of Philadelphia.

Add Bass’ endorsement to those St. Louis has received from Americans for Democratic Action and the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization of Woman.

Numa St. Louis is 31 years old with a Master’s degree from Temple University. He is a regular contributor to Radio Haiti of Philadelphia and a former fellow at the Center for Progressive Leadership.



African Caribbean Political Action Committee has announced is endorsements of 2012 Pennsylvania State candidates. The candidates were evaluated based on their responses to the committee’s questionnaire, focusing on candidates with a significant number of African and Caribbean individuals and/or businesses within their districts.

In some cases, it’s either/or. Dividing the PAC’s support are Jordan Harris and Damon Roberts, Esq. in the 186th; the same in the 188th, where the group is content with either incumbent State Rep. James Roebuck or challenger Fatimah Muhammad. The PAC endorses Will Mega over State Rep. Louise Bishop in the 192nd; challenger Malik Boyd in the 198th,  and, of course, Haitian American Numa St. Louis in the 202nd.



Karen Brown, who led the Republican ticket in last fall’s mayoral race, is continuing an activist path in city GOP circles. This month she is reviving the Republican Women’s Club.

“There used to be one, but it faded away,” she noted. “I am going to breathe new life into an old tradition.”

Brown says this group will meet on the last Friday of each month. It will discuss women in the Republican Party and in politics in general, and women’s opinions of the politicians who are there.

“It’s to encourage more activity and more voices among the women in the party,” Brown said. “I am hoping to entice young women to join the club.” Brown stated she has always been a firm advocate for empowering women in politics regardless of party.

The first meeting will be a luncheon affair at the Vesper Club at noon Friday, Apr. 27.



Philly For Change has rounded out its endorsed slate after successive meetings, supporting  pro public school and anti voucher candidates.

These include William Dunbar for the 177th; State Rep. Babette Josephs for the 182nd State House district; State Rep. James Roebuck for the 188th Dist.; challenger Charisma Presley in the 198th Dist.; J. Miranda for the vacant 197th Dist.; Michael Ellis in the 201st Dist.; State Rep. Mark Cohen for the 202nd Dist.; as well as Larry DeMarco for the 161st State House Dist.

The progressive body also endorsed State Sen. Larry Farnese for the 1st Senate Dist. and Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz for the 13th Congressional Dist.



Supporters of challenger Kenneth Walker in the 197th Democrat Primary picketed the building which houses Sheriff Jewell Williams’ offices on Tuesday. They want the Sheriff to state he is not running for his former office of State Representative in that district. Either they are not aware it is Jewel, his daughter, who is the candidate; or they think the Sheriff is seen too often in the district, where he lives. Whatever, it smacks of a wasted effort on behalf of their candidate.


MIKE JONES, only blind candidate challenger in Phila., escaped a challenge to his petitions in his effort to unseat Rep. Michelle Brownlee in 195th. His attorney was J. Matthew Wolfe. Here he is with wife and daughter.


Following the recent US Supreme Court ruling, Citizens United, and a subsequent ruling in a lower court, Speech Now v FEC, any entity (be it an individual, union, or company) is now able   to make unlimited contributions to Super PACs to specifically advocate  for or against federal candidates as long as they do not explicitly   coordinate with those candidates’ campaigns.

MapLight has conducted an  analysis of the geographical origins of the nearly $78 million in campaign contributions to  Independent Expenditure-Only Committees (Super PACs) from Jan. 1, 2011 to Feb. 29, 2012. Data source: Federal Election Commission (http://fec.gov/portal/super_pacs.shtml). Super PAC candidate positions provided by the New York Times.


A link to a spreadsheet of itemized data (names of contributors and contribution origin) from the Origins of Super PAC Money report can be found there. MapLight is a 501(c)3 nonpartisan research organization that tracks money in politics.



Pennsylvania Grassroots & Conservative Coalition announced its support for Sam Rohrer as the Republican Party’s US Senate Candidate.  A straw poll taken by coalition grassroots and conservative groups throughout the state of Pennsylvania resulted in a consensus of support for Rohrer. Candidates for the Democrat Party were also considered, but “none drew the needed response to garner coalition support.”

Diana Reimer, one of the coalition coordinators, said, “The coalition strongly hopes that all like-minded and conservative citizens across Pennsylvania bring their support behind Sam Rohrer. In my opinion, political party-endorsed candidates get tremendous support from political-party resources across the state, so in a bold move, the coalition determined to band together behind one of the candidates whose traditional conservative values are closest to those of the coalition, such as fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets.”

The endorsement of Steven D. Welch at the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee meeting was one of the reasons reportedly moving the coalition to undertake this process. Party-endorsed US Senate candidate Steve Welch has earned the endorsement of 33 key state legislators representing every geographic area throughout the state.

Candidate Joe Vodvarka was considered as an alternative candidate to Sen. Bob Casey in the Democrat primary, but Vodvarka did not receive enough votes to get the backing of the coalition.


State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio has won several key endorsements in the past few weeks. Backing her again for the second term around are Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania, District Council 47 of AFSCME, and Marcel Groen, chairman of the Montgomery Co. Democratic Committee.



The Independence Hall Tea Party PAC, a tri-state (DEL./Pa./N.J.) regional group, announced its Board of Delegates has voted overwhelmingly to endorse 11 Pennsylvania Congressional candidates.


The PAC has endorsed six incumbents, three of whom it backed as Congressional challengers to Democrat incumbents in 2010:  Lou Barletta (PA-11), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) and Pat Meehan (PA-7).


Early in the month, the PAC announced it had endorsed Tom Smith for US Senate.


The Association is the largest Tea Party group in the tri-state region, with thousands of members and supporters.


For more information, visit www.IndependenceHallTeaPartyPAC.com.


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