BY JOE SHAHEELI/ It should not have come as a surprise to those who have studied over the years the pronouncements coming from the state’s most-influential vote-getter, Congressman and Philadelphia Democratic Committee Chairman Bob Brady.
This decision by Bob to endorse Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-Northeast) in a crowded field of hopefuls seeking the gubernatorial endorsement was the only one he could make and feel good about. “She is one of us,” he said, “our local Congresslady. She stands with us on all things for this city and also for the Commonwealth. She has proven herself to be ready to take the leadership of this state.”
He noted she has served beside him in the House since 2004, adding, “I have gotten the opportunity to work with Allyson for almost 10 years in Washington. There is no one who is more effective at fighting for Pennsylvania families. Allyson is smart, tough and principled. I am proud to strongly support her for Governor.”
His decision has set all the other candidates back to their bunkers. Add to that her fundraising prowess has given her a good lead over the others in the race. It is expected she will double in the next quarter what she has already with Bob’s endorsement.
Bob’s endorsement and the money race is expected to shake off some of the other contestants before filing deadline. Probably, as we see it, eventually conceding their chances and withdrawing would be likeable Katie McGinty, pragmatic Rob McCord and Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski. Moneyed Tom Wolf swears he intends to spend $10 million of his own and John Hanger, who is all about women’s rights and believes he can sew up the female vote, are expected to hang in.
With Brady committed to Schwartz, will that have an effect on the ability of State Sen. Michael Stack (D-Northeast) to win the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor? His announcement this past week seemed to lock in the office, since of all those announced, he is the only Philadelphian and Southeasterner in the race.
Brady had waited until Stack made his decision, since the well-liked Northeast Philly Senator had been investigating a run for the governorship. The two are tight teammates. It’s obvious they deliberated the pros and cons of the moves now announced.
Stack expects the City Committee endorsement and believes the turnout that can be whipped up in this city and its suburbs by a Schwartz-Stack combination effort would easily bring both to victory in the primary.
Stack has represented Pennsylvania’s 5th Dist. since 2001. Stack has seen an opening in the Democratic field for a candidate with a more pure-liberal background.
“I decided to get in the race when I saw that the highest-profile candidate currently running boasted an A rating from the NRA, a zero rating from pro-choice groups, a weak environmental record and even voted against critical Wall Street reforms in Congress after the great financial collapse of 2008,” Stack said, referring to former Congressman Mark Critz from Johnstown.
Stack also announced Brady and State Sen. Shirley Kitchen (D-N. Phila.) will serve as his campaign’s honorary co-chairs.
Stack’s competition includes Critz, Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski, Bradford Co. Commissioner Mark Smith and Harrisburg city official Brenda Alton. Waving signs for attention are Mike Crossey, State Rep. Brandon Neuman (D-Washington), and State Rep. Margo Davidson (D-Delaware).
“I have worked closely with Bob Brady on behalf of Philadelphia and the region, and I’m very proud to have his support,” Schwartz said. “Bob’s deep commitment to Philadelphia is demonstrated by his standing up for our city’s working men and women time and time again. In Congress, he is leading the way on voting rights protections, a critical issue here in Pennsylvania.”
And, though his numbers are not gong any lower than they are, Gov. Tom Corbett’s campaign team has already seen Schwartz the primary winner and general foe. They feel she will not have the liberal base for which she contends, being too far left.
13TH CONGRESSIONAL IS STILL OUR ONLY CUP OF TEA
Congressional candidate Marjorie Margolies will be hosting a fundraiser on Oct. 31 (Halloween) with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Cost is $250 with or without costume. Now would you think, knowing Albright served under President Bill Clinton, whose daughter Chelsea is married to Margolies’ son, an appearance at some point in the campaign will be made by Bill? The party is being staged in the Jenkintown home of State Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Mongomery).
In the meantime, State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) is sopping up the progressive and liberal votes according to liberal websites.
Jon Geeting wrote on the Keystone Politics, “As Daylin’s first campaign video amply demonstrates, we have an opportunity to elect a national progressive superstar to a safe seat in the 13th Dist. We do not have to settle for another hospital industry shill (Arkoosh), a building trade-union puppet (Boyle), or the building trades’ second pick (Margolies). This is a chance to build a progressive power base in southeast Pennsylvania that’s not dependent on the conservative wing of the labor movement or the usual interest groups. With a national base, Daylin won’t owe anybody anything, and can begin the important work of building a progressive alternative to the Bob Brady machine.”
We shall see, we shall see.
TRACY OPENS NORTHWEST FIELD OFFICE
The Terry Tracy for City Controller Campaign has opened a Chestnut Hill field office at Germantown Avenue and Gravers Lane. “We have Center City, Kensington and Northeast offices to work from in this campaign and this location allows us to reach folks in the Northwest more readily,” said Tracy.
The Tracy campaign appeals to reform Democrats and the almost 90,000 unaffiliated and independent voters in Philadelphia, many of whom reside in the Northwest. With a quarter of Democratic votes, and a strong independent turnout, Tracy said he feels “this race will be competitive, and could go either way, if enough of the many Philadelphians who have recently voiced their dissatisfaction with the city’s direction take their disposition into the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 5.”
MIKE MORRILL TAKES ANTI-CORBETT MESSAGE TO SKY
Give Mike Morrill, executive director of Keystone Progress, an E for effort. This past Sunday, he had an airplane fly a banner with an anti-Corbett message around Lincoln Field where crowds gathered to watch the Eagles take on Dallas. Prior to that he had a team pass out anti-Corbett cards.
His biggest mistake, as we have been trained to never do, is to mention your opponent in headlines, in plane trailers, or anywhere since all you succeed in doing is reinforcing the name in a voter’s mind, who normally doesn’t pay attention to the message.
LARRY KANE BRIGHTENS UP LOCAL D.A. RACE
Incumbent DA Seth Williams and GOP Challenger Danny Alvarez, who worked for eight years in the DA’s office, squared off in their first and only debate with Larry Kane as moderator. Alvarez thinks fighting corruption should be a number one goal, but Williams thinks the priority remains gun violence.
“What I see is the biggest challenge is continuing to bring down the rate of gun violence,” Williams says. “Now gun violence is down 18% in the City of Philadelphia this year. Homicides are down almost 30%, and we’re going to talk about why that is.”
“It really all starts with public corruption and the fact that nothing has been done with public corruption,” Alvarez argues. “Every single dime that is wasted in municipal corruption is a dime that is converted into a bullet out on our streets.”