POLS ON THE STREET: DCC, Labor Solidly Behind Rep. Boyle

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CONGRESSMAN Bob Brady addresses congregation at Dr. Martin Luther King service held at Bright Hope Baptist Church, 12th & Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Photo by Rory McGlasson

CONGRESSMAN Bob Brady addresses congregation at Dr. Martin Luther King service held at Bright Hope Baptist Church, 12th & Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Photo by Rory McGlasson

BY JOE SHAHEELI/ Some Northeast ward leaders defected last week from State Rep. Brendan Boyle’s (D-Northeast) to Marjorie Margolies in the race for the Democratic nomination for the 13th Congressional Dist.

But last night at Morton’s Steakhouse on Walnut Street, over 20 union leaders and at least 10 of the ward leaders in that district gathered for dinner to show their serious support for Boyle.

In attendance, and co-chairing the event, were Congressman Bob Brady and union and Ward Leader John Dougherty. The invitation, which was sent out by Sprinklerfitters’ chief Wayne Miller, brought out most all of the Local Building Trades leadership, as well as leaders from other local unions, all members of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO.

The show of support came immediately after word of the defection of Elaine Tomlin, Bill Dolbow, John Sabatina, Sr., Janice Sulman and Mike McAleer, chairman of the Northeast Ward Leaders.
Two party loyalists expressed dissatisfaction at Boyle’s running for his House seat and the 13th Congressional seat at the same time. They want him to give up the legislative seat. We see it as a major political mistake if he does resign. If they want that seat vacant, they’d need to get him nominated.

The dissenting ward leaders are mostly in senatorial districts whose senators have announced for Margolies.

Boyle has also been poaching support across the county line, picking up endorsements from 16 Democratic leaders and officials in Montgomery Co.

If a special election to fill a seat were called before a primary or general election, the cost to the City Commissioners would be over $2 million, reports Commissioner Al Schmidt. He says the election board payroll alone runs over $900,000. Add to that costs of transportation of the voting machines, rental of polling places and more.

Even if the costs were ignored, there are periods of time in the election calendar in which the machines can’t be touched, known as the blackout period, when machines are subject to challenges and inspections.

So don’t look for a special election to fill Councilman at Large Bill Green’s seat which is expected to go vacant in near future; the cost of holding that election between a primary or general election makes it unlikely. Odds favor it taking place in the November general election.

If Bill does resign to take the chairmanship of the School Reform Commission, look for his seat to be up for voters to decide in the general election this November. Ward leaders in each party would select the candidate who will contest the vacancy.

There are temporary full-time job opportunities – typically three months long – every year at the Philadelphia Board of Elections and Voter Registration Division. Hiring for these positions will happen over the next few months. These jobs are open to all.

To apply, you may email your resume to any one of the three City Commissioners’ offices (City Hall, Rooms 130, 132 and 134).

Once again a judge decided against the State’s voter-ID legislation. It’s hoped Gov. Tom Corbett will tell his team to forget about it. Just from a political standpoint, he lost more points and tons of registrations, since it brought out Dems throughout a summer revving up registrations.

He needs to corral his legislative leaders into understanding the reality of the situation. Elections, especially those for statewide seats, are for the most part run honestly. There could be a bit of voter-influencing in some divisions where a Republican presence is missing. So the Governor needs to do what should be done, and that is push the local GOP to plug those holes.
Democratic Party Chairman Congressman Bob Brady (D-Phila.), seconded by the Democratic members of the House and Senate, called Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley’s decision “an important win in the battle to protect voter rights.”

A phalanx of Philadelphia legislators – State Sens. Mike Stack, Vincent Hughes, Christine Tartaglione, LeAnna Washington and Shirley Kitchen along with State Rep. Ron Waters – urged Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane to decline to appeal the Commonwealth Court ruling and asked for an audit of taxpayer money already spent in appealing judicial decisions. She hearkened to their appeal and is leaving the decision up to the Governor.

Congratulations to Joe Certaine, who has taken leave of the PA Voting Rights Coalition. He said, “The victory of the Coalition, in having the Pennsylvania voter-ID law declared unconstitutional on Jan. 17 was the signal that it was time for me to move on.”

Joe is taking on some community campaigns, including recognition and restoration possibly of a paved over cemetery for Blacks who died back in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

DEPUTY MAYOR Richard Negrin and his 8-year-old daughter Mariel, of Penn Charter, make a piece of artwork at Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service event at Furness HS in S. Phila. Photo by Rory McGlasson

DEPUTY MAYOR Richard Negrin and his 8-year-old daughter Mariel, of Penn Charter, make a piece of artwork at Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service event at Furness HS in S. Phila. Photo by Rory McGlasson

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason has named Sarah Schultz as PAGOP’s youth outreach director. It’s another look into how Corbett is shaping his campaign.

Last year, Schultz worked for the Republican National Committee as a regional field director for the 2013 New Jersey gubernatorial race. Previously, she served as finance coordinator for Dan Winslow for US Senate campaign, and as a member of the Ohio Victory Field Staff during the 2012 election cycle. A Commonwealth Honors College Scholar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Sarah currently resides in Harrisburg. Look for a strong field force for Corbett in November.

Don’t be surprised if the Building Trades Councils around the Commonwealth split heavily for Corbett. Though traditionally supporting Democratic candidates, their locals will be busy working at projects created through Corbett’s efforts.

A major job-maker in Philadelphia will be the $1.2 billion Comcast Innovation & Technology Center in Philadelphia.

“The transformative investment Comcast has chosen to make with this project will have a strong impact throughout the region,” said Corbett. “The Commonwealth’s partnership with Comcast will create more than 20,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction, at least 1,500 new Comcast positions, and energize Philadelphia’s Center City. I believe that it is our people – their creativity, ingenuity, talents and skills – who drive companies like Comcast to make Pennsylvania home.”

The Commonwealth has committed to providing up to $30 million in grants to be disbursed over multiple years and $4.5 million in job-creation tax credits to support the $1.2 billion project. According to an econometric study by Econsult, the Commonwealth’s grants will be more than repaid with the more than $80 million in tax revenues just during the construction phase, giving taxpayers a 200% return on investment.

The grants must be directed to costs associated to the public-improvement aspects of the project. This includes the plaza area, upgrades and direct connection to Suburban Station, and the widening of sidewalks and roads which will improve access to the area for all Philadelphians.

Add that to other job-creators scheduled to be announced during this campaign and you can bet there will be appreciative unions paying him back with votes.

In addition, it is reported the Governor is making some deals benefitting Democrat office-holders.

We reported last week some Democratic activists in the 194th Dist., which serves Roxborough, Wynnefield and Parkside as well as the Bala Cynwyd area, are seeking to draft Capt. David Henderson for State Representative in the May primary in a challenge to incumbent State Rep. Pam DeLissio (D-Northwest).

Now it appears the survivor of that primary will face Republican opposition in the fall, at the hands of Billy Pounds. Pounds started raising money last year and appears to have party-leadership support. Upcoming is a Feb. 13 funder at JD McGillicuddy’s in Roxborough.

The 194th is a peculiar district comprised of three different neighborhoods – in Roxborough, West Philadelphia and Lower Merion Township – that don’t have much in common with each other. This makes it always ripe for revolution.

In the 13th Congressional Dist., which straddles Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery Co., a Republican primary contest may emerge. Philadelphia’s John Fritz has already announced his candidacy to take on whoever replaces Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz on the Democratic ticket. Now Dee Adcock, the Abington Township businessman who challenged Schwartz in 2010, has indicated he may come back for another shot at this seat.

State Sen. Mike Stack’s (D-Northeast) campaign for Lieutenant Governor is showing a serious effort as his campaign chest starts off with $400,000 in the bank.

He has just added Marty Marks as his campaign manager, who has a strong background in Western Pennsylvania and with labor organizations across the state. Philadelphia-based Lindsey Perry, who has worked for Dan Onorato and Mayor Michael Nutter, joined the Stack team in mid-November as finance director.

Stack had originally been exploring a run for Governor, but reorganized his campaign when he decided to run for Lieutenant Governor instead. Although much of the field for Governor is from Southeastern Pennsylvania, Stack is the only LG candidate from this region.

A captain in the Pennsylvania National Guard, the four-term Senator has the Philadelphia Democratic City endorsement.

Second to him in the funding race is Bradford Co. Commissioner Mark Smith, with an announced $230,000.Also in the Democratic field for the Lieutenant Governor nomination are former Congressman Mark Critz, Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski and Brenda Alton.

A good campaign team needs a better communications director and it is understandable why Cameron L. Kline, communications and senior advisor to State Sen. Larry Farnese (D-S. Phila.), is taking a leave of absence from this post. Treasurer Rob McCord has lassoed in Kline to handle the key communications post in his campaign team as he seeks the Democratic nomination for Governor. (Kline will return to his post should McCord fail to make it.)

The State Treasurer has raised $6.6 million between his previous campaigns, a personal donation and other contributions, and still has $6 million on hand to spend in 2014 on his campaign for Governor. He also picked up two union endorsements: The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 163 and Local 81.

FREE DINNERS are time-tested campaign strategy being used by well-heeled challenger Jared Solomon in 202nd State House Dist.

FREE DINNERS are time-tested campaign strategy being used by well-heeled challenger Jared Solomon in 202nd State House Dist.

George Matysik, newly named president of the National Commodity Supplemental Food Program Association, and campaign manager for challenger Jared Solomon’s efforts to unseat entrenched State Rep. Mark Cohen (D-Northeast) in the 202nd Dist., reports positive feedback from Solomon’s free community dinner at Casa Brasil on Bustleton Avenue.

The Casa Brasil event was part of a series of “community dinners” the Solomon campaign is hosting throughout the district. Friends of Jared Solomon raised over $65,000 from more than 450 donors in 2013.

Chairman of the Philadelphia Republican City Committee State Rep. John Taylor (R-Kensington) announced that starting on Feb. 1, Joseph Buckley, a resident of Mayfair and a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, will be holding office hours every Wednesday at RCC.

Taylor stated, “I have gotten to know Joe over time and we are extremely excited to have him in our office assisting our veterans with any issues that the face. We owe our freedom to these individuals and if we can help ease their current situations in anyway, we are proud to do it. Joe has wide-ranging experience working in legislative offices throughout the region and I know he can and will bring his extensive knowledge of veterans’ issues to our office.”

If you are a veteran and would like to make an appointment to visit with Joe Buckley, please call the RCC office at (215) 561-0650.

Bob Guzzardi is known as a conservative Republican and an astute businessman. Why he wants to muddle the Republican primary is obvious: Corbett is too far left in his view and has been tarred by several major scandals to boot.

His announcing he doesn’t intend to spend any money in a primary campaign in which he will not seek contributions, as he asks for volunteers to circulate his petitions instead, is tantamount to shooting himself where it will hurt him the most. If he succeeds in getting enough signatures to get on the GOP primary ballot for Governor, we predict come the close of polls on May 20 so low will his vote count be, he’ll lose what clout he now has.

State Rep. Dwight Evans (D-N. Phila.) has endorsed businessman Tom Wolf in the party’s primary for Governor. He did so at a luncheon for 150 on Ogontz Avenue.

Evans and Wolf served together on an education-reform panel; then worked together as Wolf got into the nonprofit community-development game in his home town of York; and finally cooperated closely on state budget policy while Wolf was state revenue secretary.

Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-Phila.) now has a Sunday public-affairs show on Pennsylvania Cable Network.

“A Capitol Idea” will air twice a month and will be available in 3 million households across the Commonwealth. Hosted by Fattah, the program will promote his efforts.

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