CITY HALL SAM: ‘Twas A Very Democratic Christmas

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GALA ensemble sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to Democratic Party Chairman Bob Brady as he nears four decades in the job. Top row: Basil Merenda, Ernie DeNofa, Lonnie Richardson, Anthony Amen, Rich Cutts, Charlie Bernard, Joey Chitwood, Bill Dell, Lou Farinella, Anna Brown and Tracy Roman. Front: Vince Primavera, Bob Brady and Frank Oliver. Photo by Joe Stivala

GALA ensemble sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to Democratic Party Chairman Bob Brady as he nears four decades in the job. Top row: Basil Merenda, Ernie DeNofa, Lonnie Richardson, Anthony Amen, Rich Cutts, Charlie Bernard, Joey Chitwood, Bill Dell, Lou Farinella, Anna Brown and Tracy Roman. Front: Vince Primavera, Bob Brady and Frank Oliver. Photo by Joe Stivala

City Hall Sam’s engine was running on fumes last week, but he still managed to take in several VIP holiday parties. MARK SEGAL’S Holiday Bash was once again packed. Segal is the leader of a very strong faction of the LGBT community. He is also the editor in chief of the Philadelphia Gay News. His party was attended by powerful US Congressman and Democratic Party Chair BOB BRADY, former city Controller JONATHAN SAIDEL, City COUNCILMEN MARK SQUILLA and JIM KENNEY, and city CONTROLLER ALAN BUTKOVITZ. The elected officials were once again “persuaded” to lead the singing of the Christmas carols. Fortunately, a crowd of well-wishers joined in to sing, and therefore partially drowned out the politicians’ best attempts at holiday cheer.

The other very influential faction of the LGBT community is led by MALCOLM LAZIN. Malcolm is also highly respected and sought after by politicians, but his followers and members were not in attendance at the Mark Segal party.

The Democratic House chairwoman STATE REP. CHERELLE PARKER is making moves. She made the trek across the city to the FOP holiday party. Parker is from Northwest Philly but showed up to greet members of the FOP, City COUNCILWOMAN JANNIE BLACKWELL, STATE SEN. MIKE STACK, FOP PRESIDENT JOHN MCNESBY, lobbyist GENE BLAGMOND and political operative CYNTHIA MARELIA.

FOP  President John McNesby, 2nd from left, welcomes Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, State Rep. Mike O’Brien, Mary Isaacson and State Rep. Cherelle Parker to FOP gala for its members.

FOP President John McNesby, 2nd from left, welcomes Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, State Rep. Mike O’Brien, Mary Isaacson and State Rep. Cherelle Parker to FOP gala for its members.


The FOP Union Hall is the newest and most-elite hall in the city. It was the location for the newly chiseled Northeast ward leaders’ holiday party. Its CHAIRMAN MIKE McALEER is one of the first to bring teeth to the organization and the party was also a fundraiser. Among those in attendance were congressional hopefuls MARJORIE MARGOLIES, DR. VALERIE ARKOOSH, STATE REP. BRENDAN BOYLE and STATE SEN. DAYLIN LEACH. Among the ward leaders were BOBBY DELLAVELLA, PAT PARKINSON, Mike Stack, JANICE SHULMAN, MATT MYERS, TOM JOHNSON and BERNICE HILL. Other notable VIPs were STATE SEN. ANTHONY WILLIAMS and COUNCIL PRESIDENT DARRELL CLARKE. Williams continues to ride high as the frontrunner for Mayor in 2015, but Clarke has been making moves recently. In fact, he had a well-attended fundraiser in New York and sounded very mayoral.

Williams is still the frontrunner but Clarke would certainly rise to near the top should he declare his candidacy. Such a matchup would change the mathematics of the whole race. The entry of another African American or minority candidate or prominent white candidate such as Jim Kenney or Alan Butkovitz would make it difficult to calculate how the vote would get divvied up. For those who like to invest, the long shot would be a very attractive bet.

City Hall Sam wishes STATE REP. MICHAEL McGEEHAN good luck on his pending retirement. The 24-year State House vet and Transportation Committee Chairman decided to retire rather than run in a newly crafted State House District. McGeehan is leaving at the top of his game. He played a major role guiding a very important transportation funding bill through the fractious State House in November. His legacy will be his focus on neighborhood improvements, business-district improvements, and the 60,000 jobs he helped to create through passage of the transportation-funding bill. Great job and great career, Michael!

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