Involved and happy to renew old political acquaintances, or so we think, are Supreme Court Justices Max Baer and Chief Justice Ron Castille, Superior Court’s Susan Gantman and Jack Panella, Phila. Common Pleas Judges Joseph O’Keefe, Frederica Massiah-Jackson, Allan Tereshko, Genece Brinkley, W. Webster Keogh, Jacqueline Allen, Rayford Means, Holly Ford, Nina Wright-Padilla, Lori Dumas, Ramy Djerassi, Doris Pechkurow, Joel Johnson, Paula Patrick, and Jeffrey Minehart, and the City Municipal Judges Teresa Carr Deni, Jacqueline Frazier-Lyde, Joseph O’Neill, and Wendy Pew.
But Retention Judges worry they could get more “no” votes than “yes” votes, even though history proves they could all hide until election day and reappear as winners. Retention losses have hit one Supreme Court and one Common Pleas Judge in over three decades, and that is because one got caught in a political storm (not of his making) and the other alienated the major daily in this town with a libel decision.
We learned this week the Retention Judges as a group have elected to contribute to the two political parties for election-day expenses and ballot printing, thus assuring their return to another 10-year tenure. We hear the price was cheap.
Lucky for them, since they take up much of the room on this year’s ballot and could lead to voter confusion.
GIVE MAYOR CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
Mayor Michael Nutter’s approval rating among Philadelphia residents plunged in a poll conducted this summer, due to the funding crisis that was threatening to delay the opening of public schools.
The percentage of people who approved of Nutter’s job performance dropped from 60% in January 2012 to 39%, according to a poll taken for the Pew Charitable Trusts. The summer poll also found that residents held City Council in even-lower regard – just 30% approval, down from 35% last year – and had a generally negative outlook on the direction of the city.
Larry Eichel, director of Pew’s Philadelphia Research Initiative, said the school crisis had an impact on attitudes. “There’s no question it influenced the mood of the poll,” he said.
Since his first days in office, Nutter has been buffeted by recession which made it impossible for him to get the funds necessary to meet the demands made on the city and to meet obligations to its workers.
However, he will leave a lasting legacy, of which many are unaware. Under his guidance, the city has planted 100,000 new trees, with more still coming. He’s done more than any other Mayor to restore the “Greene Towne” image first planned by William Penn, the city’s founder. Nothing works better than a tree for providing us with oxygen and shade.
The new website produced by the Commissioners makes it possible for interested voters, would-be candidates and anyone else with a curious mind, to be instantly in the know. Nothing is left to the imagination.
It obviously has made obsolete the Committee of 70’s information role. With a resurrecting Republican Party in some sections of the city, they need only act as arbiters. Time to reassess its value! Congrats to the Commissioners!
UNION LEADER ENTERS 26TH SENATE DIST. RACE
PhillyLabor.com broke news this week Plumbers Local 690 Business Mgr. John I. Kane will enter the race for the 26th Senatorial Dist. seat in the spring primary.
The district, presently held by Republican State Sen. Edwin B. Erickson, includes parts of Chester and Delaware Cos. Kane also has the support of the HCC Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors of Pennsylvania.
He will also have the support of much of the organized labor unions in Delaware Valley. The reason was summed up by Joseph Dougherty, Business Manager of Ironworkers Local 401 who said, “Too many times, candidates running for office vow their support for working people during their campaign and then forget about us after they’re elected. If John Kane is elected, we won’t ever have to worry about that happening. A vote for John Kane is a vote for all working men and women throughout Pennsylvania.”
Look for more labor leaders to announce for other elective offices as well.
Bishop Leonard C. Goins, who was ordained in 1971 at the age of thirty as a minister in the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ, made the announcement at a Prayer Breakfast in the city’s Germantown section. Bishop Goins stated change is needed in this city. If Terry Tracy becomes controller, “he will not be distracted from doing his job by pursuing the Mayor’s office as many believe the current controller will do.”
The Pentecostal Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity has 78 churches with a parishioner count of approximately 10,000, and is known for crossing party lines to endorse candidates. Bishop Goins went on to state we need to focus on education, and he believes in Tracy’s commitment to the Philadelphia public schools.
Tracy has consistently stated that the state of the schools is his motivation for running.
JUDGE DeLEON GETS A SPOOKY MESSAGE
Judge Jimmy DeLeon is one of the city’s most-recognizable members of the city’s judiciary.
In addition to his height and his constant smile, he can be seen wherever there is a community rally in need of support. Not only that, he can be seen several nights a week training youngsters in track and in swimming at either Lenfest or Kroc Recreation Centers, sharing time and giving guidance to the city’s young.
So neither the police, nor the judge, nor his countless friends around the city can figure out who would put a book of matches soaked in gasoline on his windshield … attached to a .38-caliber bullet.
Odds are that individual may soon be caught. The case is under investigation by the DA’s office and it is reported a DNA sample and fingerprints have been found.
TOOMEY SUPPORTS EVENT FOR G.O.P. CANDIDATES
A major fundraiser for GOP Candidates is being held at the home of GOP 5th Ward Leader Michael Cibik Oct. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Anticipate a huge crowd, as US Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is sending out the invitations. Heading the card will be Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley as special guest along with Republican candidates for District Attorney and Controller Danny Alvarez and Terry Tracy. For info call Mr. Cibik at (215) 704-5688.
“State Treasurer Rob McCord knows what working families in Pennsylvania are going through because he’s been there,” wrote Teamsters President William Hamilton in a letter that was sent to all the state’s members. “He’s experienced the kind of economic insecurity that Tom Corbett is causing so many Pennsylvania families to feel today, so we know Rob will fight for us.
“We’re proud to endorse Rob McCord for governor and we look forward to standing with him, shoulder to shoulder, to get the job done and we will have our boots on the ground.”
The Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters has 95,000 members, making them one of the largest unions in the Commonwealth.
That will give pause to the hopes of other Democratic candidates. These include former DEP Secretaries John Hanger and Katie McGinty, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-Northeast) and former Secretary of Revenue Tom Wolf.
Schwartz has received the backing of the state chapters of the United Mine Workers and the Sheet Metal Workers. McGinty has been endorsed by Local 85 of the Amalgamated Transit Union and is being personally backed by Pat Gillespie, the long-time business manager of the Philadelphia Building an& Construction Trades Council.
KOPLINSKI ROUNDING UP CHITS FOR LT. GUV TRY
If individual endorsements mean anything, Brad Koplinski counts well over 300 supporters from 54 counties, all of whom hold party or elected positions and have some clout.
The list includes former State Treasurer and Auditor General Barbara Hafer and former Congressman Joe Hoeffel.
The list of Democratic Party officials endorsing Koplinski now includes 25 Democratic County Chairs, 53 additional members of Democratic State Committee, 20 countywide elected officials, 30 Mayors and dozens of municipal leaders and former elected officials.
STATE REP INSPIRES A WEBSITE TO MOCK HIM
Arch-conservative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) has emerged as the unofficial leader of the Tea Party caucus in the State House of Representatives. Seldom shy about publicity, Metcalfe supplies a steady stream of print and video communiqués from his office and features himself on not one, but two, websites: his private one, www.darylmetcalfe.com, as well as the state-funded www.repmetcalfe.com.
Now he may be the first Pennsylvania State Rep to have a third website dedicated to him – a hostile one. Called “therealdarylmetcalfe.com”, it is packed with juicy tidbits about Metcalfe’s free-spending ways: $163,000 in per diem payments, $133,000 in state-funded printing, five cars on the taxpayers’ dime – embarrassing facts about a politician who claims to be a fearless foe of government spending, on other people at least.
On Monday, Metcalfe inexplicably called attention to the opposition website in a heated press release. “Anonymous robo-calls were made into Butler Co. homes to promote the misleading and deceptive website. They even called my Capitol office,” he complained.
Metcalfe has irked officials on both sides of the aisle. He has just vociferously attacked fellow-Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposals to accept federal Medicaid expansion and to raise new revenues for transportation.