Long-time District Attorney Lynne Abraham never brought errant local politicians to trial. She was a Democrat and most of those coming into view of her scope were Democrats. Lynne did the best thing for her career, forwarding targets to the State Attorney General or the US Attorneyâ€™s office.
District Attorney Seth Williams has changed that policy with his indictment of State Rep. J.P. Miranda (D-N. Phila.) and his sister for allegedly breaking State House Ethics Codes, taking kickbacks from an employee, who in essence did not perform the work for which he had been hired.
Channel 29 broke the story and the DA ran with it.
That moves Philadelphiaâ€™s entire caucus in the General Assembly under the watchful eyes of Williamsâ€™ office. It is interesting to note Assistant DAs E. Marc Costanzo and Frank G. Fina, who played gangbusters withy state lawmakers in Harrisburg, are part of the DAâ€™s anti-corruption team.
Shame J.P. didnâ€™t heed the advice of his political mentors to play by the rules. His case could serve to be a warning to possible new members in next yearâ€™s State House, since at least half a dozen, and possibly more, Legislative Districts will have contentious primaries.
On one of those districts, the 194th, which spans Roxborough, Manayunk and East Falls, Wynnefield and Parkside, and a chunk of Lower Merion, we learned this week that Roxborough activist and former Council candidate Dan Pellicciotti will be the most-serious challenger to State Rep. Pam DeLissio (D-Northwest), who hasnâ€™t endeared herself to the rank and file in the 21st Ward. She has had to appeal to three different segments of society in her diverse district, but she seems to have failed as a juggler, since it is reported Pellicciotti, a strong campaigner, also has the endorsement of Lou Agre, Democratic leader of the 21st, which bring out the bulk of that primary vote.
In the 197th, primary challenger Leslie Acosta is picking up more support in her announced effort to challenge Miranda, whose reputation as a rep is now seriously flawed. Also expected to run is TomÃ¡s SÃ¡nchez, husband of Councilwoman Maria QuiÃ±ones SÃ¡nchez. Former State Rep. Ben Ramos, who has had an illustrious career, will also have a go at it.
History has shown endorsements for local State Reps by outside-the-district pols, even those of note, have little impact on the outcome. But former Congressman Joe Sestak endorsed Jared Solomon who is challenging State Rep. Mark Cohen (D-Northeast) in the 202nd Dist. Makes sense for Sestak, who is trying to get coverage for his anticipated US Senate challenge.
Â State Reps. James Clay (D-Kensington) in the 179th and Jim Roebuck (D-W. Phila.) in the 188th are also facing challengers in this cycle. A third potential challenger is said to be eyeing veteran State Rep. Louise Williams Bishop (D-W. Phila.) of the 192ndâ€“ a rumor that prompted Democratic Party Chairman Bob Brady to come out with a resounding endorsement of the incumbent at a party meeting last week.
Congressman Bob Brady (D-Phila.) will go down in the pages of the political history of this city as a record-setter, having done so Â as leader of the Democratic City Committee and soon to be the longest-running Congressman of the 1stÂ Dist., building power with tenure in Washington.
Isabella Fitzgerald, acting ward leader of the famous Democratic 10th Ward in Oak Lane, on behalf of Ward Leader Edgar A. Howard, has written Commissioner Stefanie Singer she congratulates 40th Ward A and B â€œfor their achievement in improving their getting out the vote effort over the past four years.
â€œWe also thank you for recognizing the proficiency and consistency of the 10th Wardâ€™s getting out the vote efforts. While it is true that 40th Ward A and 40th Ward B, with their 51 Divisions, increased their vote count, the 10th Ward, with its 29 Divisions, still had a higher percentage of people who voted as compared to registered voters.
â€œCheck the records! It is not an anomaly that the 10th Ward secured nearly 16% of the vote during this past General Election. Our past and present performance has proven that the 10th Ward does produce and current numbers reflect that fact.
â€œWhile we are happy for 40th Ward A and 40th Ward Bâ€™s improvement over the past four years, the 10th Ward has consistently and effectively been frontrunners in making sure that we get the job done. We can be proud of our record, not just over the past four years but before and, we expect, beyond.â€
The Philadelphia Republican City Committee is reaching out to â€œvarious local universities to recruit qualified interns in various disciplines to help strengthen our political party,â€ reports Exec. Dir. Joe DeFelice.
â€œAs a student at LaSalle University in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I was the product of a dynamic internship program which helped foster my career in politics and government. Later in life, as a college professor, I saw the benefit of utilizing the fresh perspective students bring to a political organization and value the relationships I have made with students from area colleges; many of these schools have provided us with the future of our Party and we hope to continue to do so,â€ he writes.
â€œIn the past we have strictly reached out to political-science departments in order to recruit Interns; however, because of the changing landscape in politics, the political operation is just a small part of running a business in this environment.Â We also realize that Marketing, Finance, Communications, Technology and Journalism majors play a huge role in American and Local Government and would like to incorporate students from those backgrounds into our organization as well.â€
DeFelice invites those interested to contact him at email@example.com or call (215) 561-0650.
He also commented on the death of former City Controller and basketball star Tom Gola.
â€œHe made us proud as an all-star basketball player at LaSalle College as well as in politics, first as a State Representative, then as our City Controller.
â€œThe first time I stepped foot at 20th & Olney, the name Tom Gola was staring me right in the face; probably not a day went by that I didnâ€™t see or hear that name at LaSalle University. This man, a product of our cityâ€™s neighborhoods, took a tiny Catholic College and led them to be national champs. However, his impressiveness did not stop there as he took his career in different paths, including one as Philadelphia Republican State Representative and City Controller. He is a true legend who will always be revered by one of his campaign slogans, â€˜He [was] young, he [was] tough and nobody [owned] him.â€™â€
â€œYoung Philly Is Ready For Hillaryâ€ and it extends an invitation to all to join its leadership at a fundraiser at G Lounge, 111 S. 17th Street, this evening at 6:30 p.m. Event chair is Dan Kessler.
Ready for Hillary PAC, which is both encouraging Hillary to run and assembling a national grassroots army to support her if she does, is ticketing the event at $20.16.
â€œDemocrat President Barack Obama turned his back on law enforcement in Philadelphia and the region by nominating Debo Adegbile to head the Civil Rights Division of the Dept. of Justice,â€ charges RCC Chair State Rep. John Taylor (R-Kensington).
â€œI find it absolutely appalling that the President of the United States would not respect the opinions of those that keep us safe. In fact, what is more horrifying is that Danny Faulknerâ€™s civil rights were cut down by a gun-wielding radical in the middle of the night while the man convicted of killing him has adopted celebrity status. While the Philadelphia Police Dept. and Maureen Faulkner were still in mourning, Debo Adegbile was keeping Mumia Abu Jamal comfortable and avoiding the death penalty; having this man oversee the Civil Rights Division is disgusting.â€
Tom Corbett will kick off election year with $7.5 million cash on hand, having raised $6.8 million in 2013. â€œWe are building a winning campaign using the latest technology and an expansive grassroots network to highlight Gov. Corbettâ€™s accomplishments that are growing our economy and creating jobs,â€ Campaign Mgr. Mike Barley said in a statement. â€œGovernor Corbett is thankful for the countless supporters of his campaign who recognize his â€˜More Jobs, Less Taxesâ€™ agenda is delivering real results and that he keeps the promises he makes to his constituents. We must reelect Gov. Corbett and Lt. Gov. Cawley so we can ensure Pennsylvaniaâ€™s best days are just ahead.â€
Corbett did better last year than the equivalent time in the 2010 cycle. He raised $4.2 million in 2009. The full 2013 campaign-finance report is not due to be filed until Jan. 31. Corbett leads all of his Democratic opponents with the exception of Tom Wolf. The former Dept. of Revenue Secretary brought in $12.9 million in 2013; $10 million of that came from Wolf personally. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D-Northeast) and Treasurer Rob McCord raised $6.5 million and $6.6 million respectively. Schwartz carried over $3 million from her previous campaigns. McCord carried over $1.3 million and donated $1.7 million of his own money to his coffers.
Katie McGintyâ€™s campaign raised $2.4 million for the Governorâ€™s race in 2013 â€“ at the back of the Top 3 plus Tom Wolf class of viable contenders for the governorship.
If the primary winner hasnâ€™t been riddled through by his Democratic peers, Corbett may need more than heâ€™s hoping to raise to bolster his poll figures to bring him in contention for a second term.
Based on the fact the Democratic primary candidates for Governor have learned a lesson from the past, they are taking most of their pot shots at the incumbent.
We think we understand why Gov. Tom Corbett hasnâ€™t given up on the stateâ€™s controversial Voter ID law. But Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, has asked for the same thing â€“ changing from her earlier position supporting such judicial decisions.
Both have asked Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley to reconsider his Jan. 17 ruling, which they said contained numerous errors in finding a photo-identification requirement for voting to be unconstitutional.
Retired Col. Beverly Plosa-Bowser has entered another war, this one facing more formidable odds than those in which she was engaged in her 30 years of service in the US Air Force and Air Force Reserve. She received a Bronze Star for her service in Iraq.
This one is her effort to win the 13th Congressional Dist. as a Republican candidate. She made that announcement Tuesday at the American Legion Post, 7976 Oxford Avenue.