BY JOE SHAHEELI/ In time to make it an interesting race, Council President Darrell Clark has issued a writ of election to fill the seat vacated by Councilman at Large, Bill Green whose appointment by Gov. Tom Corbett to head the School Reform Commission has been confirmed by the Senate. The contested seat will appear on the primary ballot.
President Clarke will issue the writ of election on Monday, Mar. 24. He said, â€œThis will give the County Board of Elections time to prepare the voting machines and for other steps required by the Election Code.â€
Clarke noted, â€œThe special election will be a one-step (not primary) election, with the winner serving the balance of the term to which Councilman Green was elected until Jan. 4, 2016. The deadline for each party to file its nomination certificate designating its candidate is Apr. 8.
Unlike the independents running, the two major-party candidates will only need a nominating certificate forwarded to the Registration Commission from their respective party leadership which attests to their endorsements.
Frontrunners for the endorsement by the cityâ€™s two major parties are Democratic State Rep. Ed Neilson (D-Northeast) and Republican Ward Leader Matt Wolfe. There may be others running, but theyâ€™ve got to come up with a minimum of 1,785 signatures on their nomination petitions, which no doubt will be challenged by both major parties. Their petitions need to be filed by April 8 as well.
If you need more information, we suggest you contact (215) 686-3469 or www.PHLCouncil.com.
A CHANCE TO RIGHT THE ABSCAM WRONG
Congressman Michael â€œOzzieâ€ Myers, who continues to be an effective force with candidates he has successfully supported over the years, has discovered he has been given a chance to right the wrong of Abscam.
Though the FBI entrapment, which became known as Abscam, was totally illegal at the time, the feds got away with it, destroying the lives of many good elected officials. Now the FBI and its similar enforcement agencies are forbidden by law to entertain similar entrapments of elected officials.
The motion picture American Hustle, which garnered several nominations at the Academy Awards has given Myers an opportunity to explain to the public what really went down and why today it is forbidden to set up an entrapment for anyone who does not show an intent to commit a crime.
Myers has appeared on â€œABC Newsâ€ and NBCâ€™s â€œToday Showâ€ to explain just why the entire investigation was in itself a law-breaker and why, then and now, several US Attorneys refused to involve themselves in proceedings that resulted in imprisonment for elected officials from several states.
A WORD TO J.P. MIRANDA! DONâ€™T RUN THIS PRIMARY
According to State Rep. J.P. Mirandaâ€™s (D-N. Phila.) attorney, the word is the legislator intends to run and win the Democratic nomination this May 20 for his 197th Legislative Dist. seat. In the history of elected officials under indictment, we can only remember one official who was renominated to run again. That was the late Congressman Ray Lederer.
.J.P. no longer has the key support of State Sen. Shirley Kitchen (D-N. Phila.) or any of the other ward leaders in that district. So we advise him to forget it and concentrate on winning an acquittal, for which there is a possibility due to vagaries of law governing General Assembly staffing.
His opposition includes Jason Dawkins, a former staffer of Councilwoman Maria QuiÃ±ones SÃ¡nchez and Leslie Acosta, endorsed by the districtâ€™s ward leaders. Dawkins is holding an open house tomorrow at 6 p.m. at his campaign office, 4664 Frankford Avenue.
We must mention here only one elected official was ever elected to office after he died. If you havenâ€™t guessed already, it was Congressman Bill Barrett in the 1st Dist.
BOB HENON HOSTS TELE-TOWN HALL
6th Dist. Councilman Bob Henon will be airing views of his constituents as to their budget priorities are, with the base question being, â€œWhat kind of a city do you want?â€ His tele-town goes will be held Mar. 6 at 6 p.m.
He said, â€œAs we head into yet another budget season riddled with unresolved issues, itâ€™s all hands on deck. However, there are also opportunities our city must capitalize on. For example, there is a manufacturing renaissance currently sweeping the country. Philadelphia can lead the way as a manufacturing center once again, bringing family-sustaining jobs back to our neighborhoods â€“ but only if we take the appropriate action.â€
To join in, call 1 (877) 229-8493 and use 112405 when prompted for PIN number.
MIKE DRISCOLL SEEN SHOO-IN FOR 173RD
Restaurateur Mike Driscoll will be the next holder of the 173rd Legislative Dist. seat which is being vacated by State Rep. Michael McGeehan (D-Northeast), who held the seat beginning in 1991.
That statement should be considered a fact since Mike Driscoll, popular credit-union administrator and a former top executive to Gov. Robert P. Casey, has the support of the Democratic leaders in that district as well as John McNesby, head of the FOP, who is also his campaign manager.
Driscoll said he will make constituent service and job creation the centerpieces of his campaign.
â€œMy campaign will focus on the important everyday concerns of the people of the 173rd Dist.: jobs, fair wages, educational opportunities and first-rate constituent services,â€ Driscoll said.
Driscoll cited his extensive background in both state government â€“ serving as the Deputy Secretary of General Services in the Casey Administration â€“ as well as his credit-union financial background and service on a number of influential community nonprofit boards, including the Delaware River City Corp., Impact Services and Self Help Movement. Recently, he served on the St. Hubertâ€™s Advisory Board and Glen Foerd Conservation Corp.
He resides in Torresdale with his wife Franny and their five children: Molly, Katie, Rose, Patrick and Grace.
McNesby announced a campaign headquarters has been opened at 8344 Torresdale Avenue. Some see it as an exercise for the likeable FOP leaderâ€™s future campaign for City Council.
JOHN PERZEL BACK HOME
After serving nearly two years for political-corruption convictions, former State House of Representatives Speaker John Perzel has been paroled from Laurel Highlands Prison in Western Pennsylvania. Perzel will remain on parole, subject to certain restrictions and monitoring, through the end of his maximum prison term in April 2017.
GOP OFFERS MANY PREXY CANDIDATES
The Republican National Committee is polling for presidential choices as it solicits donations from top Republican voters nationally. It has offered for consideration 32 of its leadership, many of them known in their areas but not nationally. That looks good initially, but it shows the lack of really a topnotch vote-attractor or two, well known to all Americans.
RECEPTION FOR ALL REPUBLICANS
The University City Republican Committee held a reception for all Republicans last night at the home of Matt Wolfe and Denise Furey in University City. A big turnout brought new recruits to the drive for new committee candidates.
It was also announced by Sarah Schultz, Outreach Director, Philadelphia Teenage Republicans will hold its first meeting Mar. 27. She says, â€œThis is the beginning of our partyâ€™s serious commitment to engaging young voters, and starting life-long relationships with the Republican Party.â€ Site was not announced.
PROGRESSIVE POLL FAVORS HANGER AND KOPLINSKI
Following strong performances in their respective debates last weekend, Brad Koplinski and John Hanger left the Progressive Summit with straw-poll wins.
Summit volunteers circulated straw poll forms for attendees to select their choice for each office during the respective gubernatorial and Lieutenant Governor debates.
Hanger is clearly the most-popular candidate among progressives, taking 31.5%. State Treasurer Rob McCord came in second with 24%. Former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf came in third with 22.8%. Former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty got 10.9%, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz 9.4% and former Auditor General Jack Wagner and Lebanon Co. Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz both took less than 1%.
The Lieutenant Governor straw poll showed an even more resounding victory for Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski who won with 59.7%, followed by State Sen. Mike Stack (D-Northeast) with 22.7%, City of Harrisburg adviser Brenda Alton 10.4%, former Congressman Mark Critz with 4.5%, Bradford Co. Commissioner Mark Smith at 1.3%. Jay Paterno, the newest entrant to the race, brought up the rear with 0.6%.
SPEAKER RETIRING, BUT KEEPS ONâ€¦.
Despite announcing his retirement earlier this year, Speaker Sam Smith (R-Jefferson) has been named the 2014 Chairman of the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee.
The RLCC is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to electing Republicans to state legislatures, started in 2003. The RLCC provides financial training and strategic assistance to state legislatures, ensuring that candidates are equipped with the tools necessary to run effective and efficient campaigns, including campaign training schools in key states across the country.
According to the RLCC website, as Chairman, Smithâ€™s goal will be to help states nationwide retain or gain a Republican majority in state legislatures as he did in Pennsylvania in 2010.
Smith was first elected to the General Assembly in 1986, succeeding his father, L. Eugene â€œSnuffyâ€ Smith, who represented the 66th Legislative Dist. from 1963 to 1985.
AFTER PETITION DEADLINE, COME THE ABSENTEES
Nominating Petitions must be in by Mar. 11 at 5 p.m., both here and in Harrisburg. Next all-important deadline is May 16 for absentee ballots. The last day to apply for those ballots is May 13.
Absentee ballots have always proven to be the decisive factor in close elections. Newbies are advised to remember this, if they hope to survive.