BY JOE SHAHEELI/Â Enjoy the Christmas and New Year holidays to the fullest, is the best advice we can give many of our readers in the political game. Because come Feb. 19, nominating petitions will be available for those seeking to run for the offices of Superior, Common Pleas, Municipal and Traffic Courts as well as the District Attorney, City Controller, and Election Board judges and inspectors.
The unofficial open court seats are none for Supremes, one in Superior Court, six for Common Pleas, two for Municipal and three for Traffic Court.
This wonâ€™t be official until the Pennsylvania Secretary of State makes that declaration by Feb. 29 at the latest. The deadline for filing all petitions is Mar. 12.
A score of judges will be seeking retention, but they need not worry until the general-election season approaches. That is, of course, if those seeking retention have filed their intentions with the Dept. of State prior to Jan. 7 at 5 p.m.
Itâ€™s expected at least half a dozen names, all familiar to most readers of this newspaper, will appear on the ballot for Traffic Court, despite the hullabaloo generated by probes of those presently sitting in that court. Creating one of the vacancies in Traffic Court is the official removal last Thursday of Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary by Court of Judicial Discipline. Singletaryâ€™s lawyer John Summers says Singletary resigned from the bench in February.
Shrewdly spending their time enlisting early support for the judicial vacancies listed above are a handful of wise men and women, and we wish them well.
SEEMS LIKE A SEMINAR FOR WOMEN ONLY….
The National Organization For Women and the Philadelphia Chapter of the Coalition Of Labor Union Women are holding a training session for women who wish to run in the primary to become an Election Board member or to run for committeeperson in the 2014 primary.
Scheduled to speak are City Commissioner Stephanie Singer and Norman Matlock, Esq., who is a judge of elections in the 2nd Division of the 9th Ward in Chestnut Hill. Itâ€™s to be held Jan. 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 1606 Walnut Street. Sounds good, but why have the men been left out? Should we males file a discrimination suit?
CASTILLE IS POSSIBLE RETENTION TARGET
The rumor mill has started up on the retention judges, one of whom reportedly is Chief Justice Ron Castille, who is in a fight with one or more of his colleagues, and was asked in an Inquirer editorial to resign the court because of his role in the building of the new judicial building going up north of City Hall. HeÂ is facingÂ some serious, moneyed operatives supposedly engineering a plot to give him a majority of â€œnoâ€ votes. Heâ€™s also near the retirement age of 70.
DA SEEN UNCHALLENGED – NOT SO CONTROLLER, THOUGH
It is doubtful anyone with a basic knowledge of what it takes to wage a serious campaign for elected office will challenge DA Seth Williams in the primary. Though he has some issues, they arenâ€™t enough to warrant a serious challenge. Any challengers will only serve to fuel contributions to Williamsâ€™ reelection efforts.
The City Controller will have serious challengers, but they are seen as negating the efforts of each.
It is interesting to note the fingerprints of Congressman Chaka Fattah can be found on the shoulders of one of them.
Adding to Controller Alan Butkovitzâ€™s list of headaches to eliminate or contend with in this coming primary is a website set up a former employee, www.therealalanbutkoviz.com.
AFTER THIS – FORGET GUV’S “VULNERABILITY”
Pennsylvaniaâ€™s Governorâ€™s Mansion has enjoyed the custom of alternating party control every eight years, especially when a member of the opposite party occupies the White House. But that tradition, which began in 1970, could come to an end if the Governor does not begin fence-mending with the pols from his own party first, and Democrat allies second.
Toying with privatizing the Lottery is considered a â€œnail in his coffinâ€ by many, with opponents already saving newspaper headlines that indicate seniors could be the losers if he were to go through with the effort.
Corbett will be pilloried by his handling of the Penn State child sex-abuse scandal. Expect the first elected Democrat to the Attorney Generalâ€™s office, Kathleen Kane, to begin pushing an inquiry into his role.
A more-visible primary would be an asset for Corbett, especially if Montgomery Co. Commissioner Bruce Castor is one of his challengers. Campaigning in the primary, though seen as a waste of funds by an incumbent, does serve to keep the candidate in the mind of voters.
Gov. Tom Corbett needs to rethink his efforts to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery. If he is successful, his election could depend entirely on how successful the awardee is in bringing in many more millions than is now coming into the most successful state-run lottery in the country. If they only come close to current revenue levels, heâ€™ll lose every senior vote.
In the meantime, he has been given an easy out. AFSCME Council 13 filed a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court last week to halt lottery privatization, gaming expansion and prevent Corbett from signing on with Camelot Global Services PA LLC, a subsidiary of the lottery manager for the United Kingdom lottery.
LINDA BATEMAN DIES; WAS REPUBLICAN ACTIVIST
It is with deep regret that the Philadelphia Republican City Committee announces the passing of Linda Wolfe Bateman, 12th Ward Leader and longtime member, former secretary and currently, trustee of the historic Germantown Republican Club.
Bateman is survived by her five children Maria, Michael, Matthew, Maurice and Margaret. The cause of death was heart complications arising from a long-term battle with cancer.
Linda Wolfe Bateman was born May 25, 1952 in Philadelphia, the daughter of Harold Wolfe, who owned a small cafe theater near LaSalle University. A 1970 graduate of the former Ancilla Domini Academy in Germantown, operated by the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she later studied computer sciences at Penn State University.
She was first married to Robert Moses of Norristown, which concluded in divorce in 1978 with no children. Her second husband, Anthony G Bateman, Esq. passed away in 2005.
Linda Wolfe Bateman was most recently the GOP nominee for the State House in the 194th Dist. which covers Manayunk, Roxborough, and part of Lower Merion Township, running against incumbent Democrat Pamela DeLissio. In 2011, she was the Republican nominee for Register of Wills. Despite a 6-to-1 voter registration edge, Bateman actually prevailed against the incumbent in three wards and multiple divisions throughout the City.
Bateman made her entry into politics as the Republican candidate in the 198th House Dist., running against Democrat Robert W. Oâ€™Donnell, the former Speaker of the Pennsylvania House in 1984 and again in 1990. She later served as campaign manager for the Phillips for Congress and for James for State Representative, 1980. Despite being a lifelong Republican, she managed her husbandâ€™s campaign when he was briefly a Democratic candidate for Mayor in 1983.
She was an employee of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Dept. of Revenue, from January 2000 until March 2011, rising up the ranks to become an inheritance tax supervisor. Mrs. Bateman also owned and operated several business incubator ventures in Germantown and Roxborough, the first being a cafe theater, the latest being Eflow & Co.
In response to a 2011 Committee of Seventy questionnaire, Linda Wolfe Bateman replied why she got involved in politics:
â€œMy retail career had brought me to the Washington, D.C. area when my father, Harold Wolfe, asked me to come home and help with his business, a small lunch and dinner theater next to La Salle University. I had experienced the Washington political crowd and was disappointed in the quality of our politicians and their staff and was eager to come home and see what was going on. I came home November of 1979 and when I saw the obvious deterioration that took place in the last nine years in Philadelphia and Germantown, my home neighborhood, I cried, and then I promised myself that I would try to make a difference to get this city back on track. I wanted the incumbent Democratsâ€™ control of Philadelphia to end, because quite frankly, they were not doing a very good job. Population was leaving and the tax burden was going up for those who stayed.
â€œIn the spring of 1980, Jimmy Dougherty, a comedian and candidate, invited me to the 15th Ward (in Fairmount) Republican Meeting with Ward Leader Judge ‘Eddie’ Quinn and I was in. I became a congressional campaign manager, trained by the National Republican Congressional Committee and became very knowledgeable on party building.
â€œI have been helping the Philadelphia Republican Party non-stop for 31 years, in one way or another, to get fair elections, improve the quality of our candidates and hopefully put forth some ideas that would make Philadelphia better.â€