MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER made a visit to Harrisburg recently. He visited members of the Philadelphia Senate delegation. The purpose of his visit reportedly was to ask the Senator’s assistance in covering the School District’s education-funding shortfall. Those in attendance were Mayoral hopeful STATE SEN. ANTHONY WILLIAMS, Delegation CHAIRWOMAN STATE SEN. SHIRLEY KITCHEN, congressional possible STATE SEN. LEANNA WASHINGTON, STATE SEN. LARRY FARNESE, gubernatorial candidate STATE SEN. MIKE STACK, Senate Democratic Appropriations CHAIR VINCE HUGHES and candidate for reelection STATE SEN. TINA TARTAGLIONE. The Mayor has been asking for a possible five-cent increase in the liquor by the drink tax and a cigarette-tax increase. Both require state enabling legislation, so the Philadelphia Senate and House members will play an important role.
The Jefferson-Jackson City Committee Cocktail Party was once again a big success. CHAIRMAN BOB BRADY continues to have the loyalty of the party footsoldiers. He was joined onstage by Local 98 BUSINESS MGR. JOHN DOUGHERTY. Dougherty railed against BRETT MANDEL. Mandel is challenging City CONTROLLER ALAN BUTKOVITZ and has run a competitive campaign. Dougherty called Mandel a real one-percenter. This description was also used on presidential candidate MITT ROMNEY. Mandel is financially backed by the Post brothers, a conservative duo that usually helps pro-business Republicans. Regardless of Mandel’s funding, Butkovitz has to be considered the clear frontrunner and will likely be reelected.
MATT MYERS has been very popular with the judicial hopefuls. Myers always seems to deliver his ballot. His 39B Ward party was packed. Among those in the in attendance were JOE FERNANDES, JIM CRUMLISH and ANNE MARIE COYLE. The aforementioned Coyle has the number-one ballot position. She is not endorsed by Democratic City Committee but has been picking up ward support throughout the city. She is supported by a number of leaders, most prominently John Dougherty.
Former 64th Ward Leader and Zoning Board member MARTY BEDNAREK is recovering well from a bout with kidney stones. Bednarek also served on the School Reform Commission. His lovely wife LORI has run the 64th Ward effectively and has gained tons of respect in her own right.
The Philadelphia Board of City Trusts recently met to determine whether Girard College would be scaled-down. The residential school founded by Steven Girard currently includes grades 1 through 12. Because of a variety of financial reasons, it will likely be scaled down to a grammar school. The board contains a number of influential Philadelphia politicians. The Chairman is REGISTER OF WILLS RON DONATUCCI. The Executive Director is former Rendell Chief of Staff JOE MARTZ, Parking Authority Chair and General Counsel for the Republican Party MICHAEL MEEHAN, former COUNCIL PRESIDENT ANNA VERNA and power lobbyist STEVE WODJAK. Wojdak is recovering nicely from recent heart bypass surgery.
2015 Philadelphia Democratic mayoral candidate TOM KNOX has announced the appointment of noted Philadelphia attorney GEORGE BOCHETTO as Chairman of the Knox for Mayor campaign. Bochetto, a former mayoral candidate in 1997-1998 and a politically active fundraiser, is founder of Bochetto & Lentz, PC, a private law firm engaged in areas of complex civil trial and appellate litigation, white collar, defamation and RICO matters.
“George Bochetto is a trusted friend, an accomplished attorney, and a seasoned campaign strategist whose wise counsel will be invaluable to my campaign as we build momentum towards the 2015 mayoral Primary,” said Knox, the former Deputy Mayor for Management & Productivity under then-Philadelphia MAYOR ED RENDELL and the candidate who finished second to Michael Nutter in the hotly-contested 2007 Democratic mayoral primary. “I am honored that George has agreed to serve as my campaign chair.”
The selection of Bochetto as Democrat Tom Knox’s campaign chair will inevitably raise some eyebrows in political circles, given that Bochetto is most closely associated with the Republican Party. Despite perceived ideological differences, the decision to join the Knox team was easy, according to Bochetto.
“My own political leanings are moderate,” said Bochetto. “What attracted me to Tom’s candidacy was his somewhat-rare combination of being socially liberal, yet fiscally conservative. Those are the principles that Philadelphia needs in its next leader. As a product of the city’s housing projects, Tom has great empathy for the city’s poor and underprivileged. I was raised in an orphanage and had to pull myself up by my own bootstraps, just like Tom. I have deep admiration for his values, as he does for mine. As an accomplished businessman, Tom understands the importance of managing a budget and reducing waste and overhead. He would be a great Mayor for the City of Philadelphia and I am delighted to serve as his campaign chair.”