BY JOE SHAHEELI/ Itâ€™s getting to be a classic, the 13th Congressional Dist. Race … a war between counties.
Montgomery Co. Democratic leadership doesnâ€™t know it yet, but Philadelphiaâ€™s wards in the Northeast are being told by Democratic City Chairman Congressman Bob Brady, â€œItâ€™s time to support one of our own for the District. The emphasis needs to be for this county.â€
State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Northeast) has had a conversation with Brady, who told him, â€œIf you are the one Philadelphian in the race, you can rely on our endorsement for this race. Win and bring back the District to Philadelphia.â€
Brady believes Philadelphia, which could easily produce a heavier turnout than Montgomery Co. in the Democratic primary, deserves a representative who will focus on the two counties in the district, and not show partiality to one or the other.
Since Boyle now is the only Philadelphia horse in the race, and as we said last week, already pressing hard, he thanked Brady for that news and has begun trumpeting he has been tapped by Brady.
Boyle could have been bowled over by State Sen. Michael Stack (D-Northeast), who has his eyes focused only on the gubernatorial race and has been campaigning around the state for that primary support. The receptions Stack has received have been â€œgood to great.â€
Congressman Bradyâ€™s endorsement of a Philadelphia candidate is the latest big endorsement for the Boyle campaign. Just in the last few weeks, the following organizations have officially endorsed Boyle: Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, Sprinklerfitters Local 692, Steamfitters Local 420, Plumbers Local 690, Ironworkers Local 401, Operating Engineers, Teamsters Local 115, IBEW Local 98 and Transport Workers Union.
In the camp of Allyson Schwartz, the Congresswomanâ€™s team may have to go back on her statement she will not be endorsing. She has many friends who have indicated they would attempt to fill her 13th Congressional Dist. shoes.
These included former City Controller Jonathan Saidel, who was her campaign chair when Allyson first ran for Congress in 2004. He is a Party mainstay, at every event, and fulfilling every assignment nobly. When Jonathan announced he was dropping out of the race, that made Boyle the heir apparent for Bradyâ€™s support.
But Schwartzâ€™s fast pace in the race for the Democratic primary nod for Governor may not be an easy win for her. Her former ally and former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky has announced she may enter that race. So has Katy McGinty, a star in the Rendell Administration.
Brendan is proving to be the one Democrat who has moved up because he just won’t stand still. Heâ€™s always working â€“ to such effect he was instrumental in getting his brother Kevin elected to the adjacent House seat. He was tasked with helping House Democratic candidates win last term out, and has been busy seeking to become the cityâ€™s endorsed candidate even before Allyson officially announced her decision to vacate the seat after a 10-year tenure.
So Allyson may have to endorse if she wants to keep some support. Also seeking her seat is Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, who is married to Schwartzâ€™s congressional campaign treasurer. She has financial friends abounding, having already raised $218,000 since she filed Mar. 14. She has a network of supporters already voting for her on epolls.
Dr. Arkoosh, a University of Pennsylvania doctor, we believe will have the full weight of the Montgomery Co. Democrats behind her, even though Brendan has made some inroads into that county, having worked in a bi-county association comprised of two Montco legislators and his brother.
THERE’S NO ‘WALKING THE BEAT’ THIS WEEK
If you follow â€œWalking the Beatâ€, the very-opinionated and always-on-the-money column written by the politically astute Joseph Stivala wonâ€™t be available this week.
The reason is he broke two bones in his right foot as he treaded down steps at his summer home. Heâ€™s been operated on at Methodist Hospital with the bones realigned in his foot. Itâ€™s not sure if heâ€™ll be walking around in a cast. â€œItâ€™s the wonder of modern medicine,â€ he said. But still, at least for this week, Stivala wonâ€™t be walking the political beat, taking pictures or writing the behind-the-scenes stories you get to read here first, which he does so well. He will be leaving the hospital before you read this. He hasnâ€™t lost any time though, regular calling to advise Tracy B. Roman, his choice for Common Pleas Court.
FRANK RIZZO MAY SEEK MAYORALTY
Councilman Frank Rizzo has given an indication he may enter the mayoral race. Imagine â€œFrank Rizzo for Mayorâ€ signs popping up in some sections of South Philadelphia and the River Wards.
However, we suggest Frank, Jr., look at the demographics which have changed what was once sure Rizzo territory into a mosaic landscape dominated by more-liberally motivated voters. We think heâ€™d get a decent vote from the 26th, 1st and 2nd Wards in South Philadelphia and possibly the 31st Ward in Kensington. We see little enthusiasm anywhere else.
We suggest that Frank, although he had a great service reputation as a Councilman, realize his silence on key issues during his long tenure were lost chances to become a TV media star and remembered by voters. Add to that the fact he has been silent after leaving Council on erupting city crises that called for individual officials past and present to speak out â€“ more lost opportunity to develop his fatherâ€™s style of leadership. You either loved or hated Mayor Frank Rizzo. Junior has no hold on either category, or the support that went with it.
IT’S CIANFRANI NIGHT AT 2ND WARD MEET
State Sen. Henry â€œBuddyâ€ Cianfrani, long-time Democratic leader of the 2nd Ward, will be remembered at the wardâ€™s candidates night Apr. 29, at Saigon Maxim, 612 Washington Avenue. All candidates are invited. If you have a Cianfrani tale, you may be invited to tell the audience of committee people and friends. Expect to hear a few from Congressman Bob Brady, whoâ€™ll kick off the event. For information call the ward office at (267) 978-4839.
SUPREMES COULD MAKE UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAW
On a fast track is the effort to undermine constitutional law by the State Supreme Court. With its Chief Justice Ron Castille, who has a big stake in this move, now 69 and facing resignation at age 70 should he win retention for another 10-year term, there is no reluctance seen on the part of his benchmatesÂ to rule on the challenge to the retirement mandate. Itâ€™s definitely fast-track, with oral argument scheduled for May 8.
Should the majority of the Court recuse themselves, since at least four are still in their prime, but nearing the age limit? That is the question!
GAY GROUP ENDORSES 3 IN JUDICIAL PRIMARY
Ted Martin, executive director of Equality Pennsylvania, said his group has endorsed candidates across the state in various judicial and administrative seats for their support of the LGBT agenda. In Philadelphia, this could mean a boost for endorsees Common Pleas candidate Giovanni Campbell, Municipal Court candidate Shoshana Bricklin, and Inja Coates for Traffic Court.
REP. SIMS’ INFLUENCE SPREADING IN â€™BURG?
It may or may not be true State Rep. Brian Sims (D-S. Phila.) had a hand in the appointment of his former campaign manager Matt Goldfine as the House Democratic Campaign Committeeâ€™s new political director. Also helping Goldfine was the fact he had been HDCC Chair State Rep. Tim Briggsâ€™ (D-Montgomery) Chief of Staff for several years.
A SECOND CASINO MAKES BIG SENSE
Another casino is a dire need for Philadelphia. Itâ€™ll make this City the Atlantic City of Pennsylvania, a bigger draw for gamblers who want some of the excitement in the way of entertainment and eateries only found here.
Pennsylvaniaâ€™s casinos set a monthly record for gross revenue from table games, with its 11 casinos generating $67.4 million in gross revenue from table games for March, up 9% from March 2012, when the casinos set the previous monthly record.
Thanks to State Rep. Rosita Youngbloodâ€™s (D-Northwest) efforts rescue for the city of the second casino which had been due it, Philadelphians will share in the revenue sure to be generated from the second casino when it is up and running.
In meantime, the Gaming Board is asking Gov. Tom Corbett to slow up on Lottery privatization since the contract may give Camelot Global Services illegal forms of gambling.
CORBETT COUNTS PORT JOBS AS HE IGNORES LOCAL POLS
Itâ€™s been noted time and again, Gov. Tom Corbett doesnâ€™t think doing anything for city pols will earn him votes. He is constantly awarding commission assignments to anyone but a handful you count in Philly. Now heâ€™s recognized a host of local government officials for â€œoutstanding service to their communities and local government associations.â€
We see as a direct slap to Mayor Michael Nutter, whose administration has members who have been honored nationally.
In the meantime, his obvious commitment to grow the Port continues to attract more shipping lines, using it as a destination, and growing port jobs. He has brought back with him from South America a new manufacturing plant and new business pacts which produce jobs in other parts of the state.
We say again: Donâ€™t count him because his polls are low. Heâ€™s attending to the kind of business that generates future votes.
COMMITTEE OF 70 NEEDS ELECTION VOLUNTEERS
The Committee of 70 needsÂ good citizens to help it police polls or answer phones this primaryÂ election day, May 21.
It is seeking fieldÂ volunteers and hotline volunteers.