Chairing the organizational meeting was Lou Farinella, of Democratic City Committee, who attended as Party Chairman Bob Brady’s surrogate when the group met at Randi’s Restaurant on Grant Avenue.
Farinella chaired the meeting, which was addressed by DCC Secretary Sonny Campbell and State Sen. Anthony Williams (D-W. Phila.) commending their efforts and promising support.
Heading the new group as chair is 66B Ward Leader Mike McAleer; 25th Ward Leader Tom Johnson is vice chair; 63rd Ward Leader Bernice Hill, recording secretary; and 35th Ward Leader Bill Dolbow, treasurer.
Attending as well were several judicial candidates whose names will appear on the November ballot. These included: Joe Fernandes, Marty Coleman, Anne Marie Coyle, Timika Lane, Sierra Street, Henry Lewandowski, and Dan McCaffery, as well as Controller Alan Butkovitz, also leader of the 54th Ward.
Missing due to other schedules were Ward Leaders Councilman Bob Henon and State Sen. Mike Stack.
Adding to this impressive gathering was the good news Stack (D-Northeast) and Christine “Tina” Tartaglione (D-Kensington) had mended fences, at the urging of Chairman Bob Brady. The two Senators had split over a leadership vote in the Senate. The two will give added weight to the group’s efforts to keep the needs of their area on the front burners in the General Assembly and City Council.
Tartaglione’s efforts to ensure decent living standards for workers have already ensured her the support of this city’s organized unions. Though she expects primary opposition, Tina will have the support of Congressman Brady (D-Phila.) and the Democratic City Committee. Also running in the next primary for reelection will be State Sens. LeAnna Washington (D-Northwest) and Anthony Williams.BIG-NAME ENDORSEMENTS ENTER 13TH DIST. RACE
We keep posting candidates’ endorsements in major races, many now popping up in the 13th Congressional Dist. Since Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-Phila.) is not running for another term, there is competition and with it endorsements as each challenger seeks to muscle out the others. Those include former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies, State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Northeast), State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) and Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, who is considered a member of Schwarz’s inner circle.
Boyle has a key heavyweight endorsement from Philadelphia Democratic Chairman Bob Brady, and endorsements from 18 powerful trade unions in the city. He expects to have the support of most of the ward leaders in his district.
However, he’s got to be disappointed ward leaders and State Sens. LeAnna Washington (D-Northwest) and Shirley Kitchen (D-N. Phila.), whose districts interface in part with the 13th Congressional Dist., have announced they are backing Margolies. But he gets good news with Council President Darrell Clarke, whose 5th Dist. includes several divisions that are within the 13th, announcing he was definitely committed to Boyle’s campaign.
He explained, “Boyle cares deeply about our city and our region. He will do a great job for us in D.C. I’m excited to endorse him.”
Not having any impact on the outcome is the endorsement of 8th Council Dist. Councilwoman Cindy Bass for Margolies, with whom she has a long working relationship. But her name recognition and popularity don’t translate into votes from her councilmanic district since none of the divisions in her district are anywhere near the 13th. Perhaps the name game still has an effect here, though we can’t feel it.
State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) lists endorsements from former Congressman Joe Hoeffel and State Rep. Brian Sims (D-S. Phila.). Once again, Sims’ Center City district is far away from the 13th Dist.’s voters. But the young Representative’s name is quite familiar to LGBT voters across the area, since he is the first openly gay legislator in Pennsylvania. His endorsement may catch a few eyes as a result.
In addition, Leach now has support from colleague State Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks), who cited his support of women’s rights and education.
Hoeffel was Schwartz’s predecessor in the US House and the 2004 Democratic nominee for US Senate against then-Republican incumbent Arlen Specter.
DEMS EYEING RUN FOR LT. GUV
Lehigh Co. District Attorney John Morganelli announced he is running for Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor. He’s emailing friends throughout the state to circulate his petitions.
He’ll have company. Former Congressman Mark Critz, from Johnstown, hasn’t made it “official”. If only those two are in a race, it could become a classic East-versus-West battle.
The only pressing immediate goal for Morganelli is to raise enough funds to make it a race. He ran twice for State Attorney General. If the flow isn’t there, he may forgo the run.
It looks, though, to become a crowded field nevertheless. Announced are Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski, Bradford Co. Commissioner Mark Smith, Harrisburg official Brenda Alton, State Sens. John Wozniak (D-Blair) and Larry Farnese (D-S. Phila.), and State Reps. Brandon Neuman (D-Washington) and John Galloway (D-Bucks).HERE IS OFFICIAL JUDICIAL-RETENTION LIST
Voters will be asked this fall to cast a “yes” or “no” vote to retain several sitting judges in Philadelphia. Names on the column to the right of the voting machine will be those seeking retention in 2013.
RETENTION: Judges Joseph D. O’Keefe, Frederica A. Massiah-Jackson, Allan L. Tereshko, Genece E. Brinkley, Webster Keogh, Jacqueline F. Allen, Rayford A. Means, Holly J. Ford, Nina Wright Padilla, Lori A. Dumas, Ramy I. Djerassi, Doris a. Pechkurow, Joel S. Johnson, Paula A. Patrick, Jeffrey P. Minehart.
Appointed judges up for election in 2013: Judges Roger F. Gordon and Kenneth J. Powell, Jr.
EFFORT MADE TO SHRINK GENERAL ASSEMBLY
It’s a boon for taxpayers, makes good campaign fodder — but it just won’t happen, no matter how you cut it. But credit is still due to House Speaker Sam Smith (R-Jefferson), who understands the need to shrink the General Assembly.
An effort failed last session, but he has a new tactic. Have two bills introduced. One trims the Senate from 50 to 38, and the other the House, 203-153. A single bill containing both reductions didn’t move in the Senate by the end of the 2010-12 session.
In tough economic times, elected officials need to show they are aware of the financial impact on their voters and set some example of frugality. So news like the amount of per diem dollars state legislators have been earning with meetings that mainly exploit an issue doesn’t sit well with voters. The report by the Pennsylvania Independent, a political website, found $1.2 million in per diems were collected by lawmakers in the first six months of 2013. A total of 32 lawmakers, all members of the State House of Representatives, collected more than $10,000 in per diems during the first half of 2013.KENNEY WAS MAIN DISH ON SHORE MENU
No need to guess if Councilman Jim Kenney has intentions to run for Mayor. It’s obvious he can’t announce it, but those close to him are even more impressed than he is at the amount of support pushing him in that direction. He ran a successful fundraiser in Margate as Councilman recently; and lo and behold, at a dinner hosted by IBEW Local 98 boss and Leader of the 1st Ward John J. Dougherty, Jr., a couple weeks later, also in Margate, Kenney was discussed as the candidate who can turn the city around as Mayor. Some of the ward leaders present indicated they’d be happy to support Doc’s choice. Others had their “ifs” and “buts”, since some are in State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams’ (D-W. Phila.) district and are beholden to him.
ULTERIOR MOTIVE TO OBAMA’S PA. TOUR
President Barack Obama understands the need to win friends and help political allies, which we believe, is a major reason why he will stop in Scranton in addition to three cities in New York. Further details are not yet available.
Even with the 2012 election behind him, President Barack Obama is not done campaigning in Pennsylvania. The president will swing through the state, as well as New York, as part of a bus tour this Friday and Saturday.
The tour’s public purpose is to show his concern for the middle class. Yet Pennsylvania happens to be the one state where it might be possible to unseat an incumbent Republican Governor and put a Democrat in that office. Gov. Tom Corbett is still considered a vulnerable candidate. So Obama should be squeezing in time with announced Democratic candidates to assess their winnability and maybe commit some campaigning time for the one he likes best.
SB 5 or Act 10 of 2013, sponsored by Sen. Edwin Erickson (R-Chester), establishes the Community-Based Health Care program. It supports the creation of new community-based health-care clinics and expands services at existing clinics that serve low-income clients.
This includes facilities such as non-profit certified rural health centers, free or partial-pay health clinics, nurse-managed health clinics, nonprofit hospital health clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers and FQHC look-alikes.
Also a Corbett campaign theme could be more jobs created than ever. One needs to know for the third consecutive month, the state’s unemployment rate held steady at 7.5%. It is the state’s lowest unemployment rate since March 2009. Just over “4,000 private sector jobs added,” said Julia Hearthway, Secretary of the Dept. of Labor & Industry. “Pennsylvania has now added 131,100 private-sector jobs since Gov. Corbett took office in 2011.”