POLS ON THE STREET: Legislative Dists. Face Fierce Petition Challenges

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STATE REP. Tom Murt asked Gov. Tom Corbett at press conference at Upper Moreland HS to urge passage of additional $22.4 million he has asked for in his budget request. Funds would be used to provide community-based services for 1,000 citizens with intellectual disability who are now on a waiting list. At conference were, from left, were Michael Weingram, president of PDDC; State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf; Laura Princiotta, CEO of SpArc Phila.; Tanya Regli, executive director of The Arc of Phila.; Murt; and Corbett. Photo by Bonnie Squires

STATE REP. Tom Murt asked Gov. Tom Corbett at press conference at Upper Moreland HS to urge passage of additional $22.4 million he has asked for in his budget request. Funds would be used to provide community-based services for 1,000 citizens with intellectual disability who are now on a waiting list. At conference were, from left, were Michael Weingram, president of PDDC; State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf; Laura Princiotta, CEO of SpArc Phila.; Tanya Regli, executive director of The Arc of Phila.; Murt; and Corbett. Photo by Bonnie Squires

BY JOE SHAHEELI/ Eleven Legislative Districts in Philadelphia were rocked with petition challenges, more than normal in a General Assembly primary. Some were decided Apr. 1, but most are strung out through the month of April. Many will be heard in Courtrooms 1 or 2 in the Widener Building, 1339 Chestnut Street.

Commonwealth Court challenges were filed against David Hall in the 179th by Jason Dawkins and Thomas Neilson; by Danilo Burgos against State Rep. JP Miranda (D-N. Phila.), Juan Rodriguez and Edward M. Lloyd, Jr. in the 197th; by Humberto Perez vs. Leslie Acosta, also in the 197th; by Michelle Syzlowski vs. Brendan Boyle in the 170th; by Sean Stevens and Nicholas DiPiero against State Rep. Pamela DeLissio in the 194th; by Jared Solomon vs. State Rep. Mark B. Cohen (D-Northeast) in the 202nd; by State Rep. Angel Cruz (D-Kensington vs. Quetcy Lozada in the 180th; by Margaret McCall vs. John Connelly in the 198th; by Edward Harkins vs. Jeffrey Voice in the 172nd; by Duncan Black, Shirley Smith and Charles Goodwin vs. Babette Josephs in the 182nd; by Terrence Devlin vs. Paul DeFinis and Arlen Curtis Larue in the 173rd; and by Raimon L. Artis and Melissa A. Scott vs. Bobbie T. Curry in the 200th.

All those challenged had filed for the Democratic primary.

That situation could change some of the ballot positions, but for now it’s Tom Wolf leading the Democrat ticket for Governor and Mike Stack for Lieutenant Governor.

In Legislative Democratic primary races in order of ballot position: 172nd- Kevin Boyle, Jeffrey Voice; 173rd- Paul DeFinis, Dennis Kilderry, Mike Driscoll, Arlen Curtis Larue; 175th- Sean Sullivan, Michael O’Brien; 179th- David Hall, Jason Dawkins, James Clay, Jr.; 180th- Quetcy Lozada, Angel Cruz; 181st- K. Williams Medley, Rep. W. Curtis Thomas, Emily Rodriguez, Kenneth T. Walker, Jr.; 182nd- Babette Josephs, Brian Sims; 188th- Algernong Allen, James Roebuck; 190th- Wanda Logan, Isaac Patterson, Vanessa Brown; 198th- John Connolly, Rosita Youngblood, 200th- Bobby Curry, Cherelle Parker; 201st- Lamont Thomas, Stephen Kinsey, 202nd- Mark Cohen, Jared Solomon.

State Rep. Pam DeLissio (D-Northwest) weathered a challenge filed against her by Sean Stevens and Nick Di Piero, citing domicile and driver’s license differences. Judge Rochelle Friedman ruled in her favor.

In Senatorial Democratic primary: 2nd- Danny Savage, Tomás Sánchez, Christine M. Tartaglione; 4th- Brian Gralnick, Art Haywood, LeAnna Washington.

Seven Democratic Representatives in Philadelphia without opposition in the primary and general election are State Rep. William Keller (D-S. Phila.) in the 184th Dist., State Rep. Maria Donatucci (D-S. Phila.) in the 185th, State Rep. Jordan Harris (D-S. Phila.) in the 186th, State Rep. Ronald Waters (D-W. Phila.) in the 191st, State Rep. Louise Bishop (D-W. Phila.) in the 192nd, State Rep. Michelle Brownlee (D-N. Phila.) in the 195th, and State Rep. Dwight Evans (D-N. Phila.) in the 202nd.

This marks the least amount of Democratic legislators without Republican challenges in over a decade.

STATE SEN. Vincent Hughes shares moment with host Laborers’ Local 135 Business Mgr. Daniel L. Woodall, Jr., and Plumbers Local 690 Business Mgr. /Financial Secretary-Treasurer John Kane, who is candidate in 26th Senatorial Dist. primary. Hughes told labor leaders at LDC conference of problems facing organized labor’s efforts in General Assembly.

STATE SEN. Vincent Hughes shares moment with host Laborers’ Local 135 Business Mgr. Daniel L. Woodall, Jr., and Plumbers Local 690 Business Mgr. /Financial Secretary-Treasurer John Kane, who is candidate in 26th Senatorial Dist. primary. Hughes told labor leaders at LDC conference of problems facing organized labor’s efforts in General Assembly.

LABOR LEADER SEEKS STATE SENATE SEAT
Republican State Sen. Edwin Erickson’s (D-Delaware) retirement at the end of this session handed Democrats their likeliest pickup of the 2014 cycle.

Democrat John Kane, business manager for Plumbers Union Local 690, will face Republican Tom McGarrigle, the Delaware Co. Council chairman, for the 26th seat which covers parts of Delaware and Chester Cos.

Based on the recent performance of statewide candidates in this district, any Democrat carries a 3-point advantage to win, even before other factors, such as personality and fundraising, are factored in. Kane’s $267,000 first-quarter fundraising haul didn’t hurt either and is expected to go over a half million by campaign’s end.

Kane is working hard because he knows the Democrats need that seat. “It’s an all-out war for this seat as far as I am concerned. No rest until it’s over,” he said.

CLINTON SHOULD BRING BIG BUCKS TO MARGOLIES GALA
It’s the Clinton magic again … and it doesn’t seem to be wearing off. It’s not every day you see a fundraising email go out asking for $1,000 or $5,000 contributions. But if you want to reserve a spot at Marjorie Margolies’ “old-fashioned person to person” fundraiser with President Bill Clinton at the Prime Rib restaurant in the Warwick Hotel on Thursday, Apr. 10, you’d have to write bigger checks.

Margolies’ son Mark Mezvinsky is married to Chelsea Clinton. Response to the solicitation is bringing in a host of one-to-one moments for father-in-law Clinton.
Margolies faces State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), physician Valerie Arkoosh and State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Northeast) in the Democratic primary for the reliably-blue 13th Dist. It would be like Bill to telephone his regrets to her competitors.

For this event, the Feds are requiring background checks, regardless of how big the voluntary checks are.

Undaunted, Boyle believes his grassroots support will weather out a television blitz by Margolies. He reports nine elected officials from Northeast Philadelphia are backing his campaign for the 13th. They include brother State Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-Northeast), State Sen. Mike Stack, City Controller Alan Butkovitz, 6th Dist. Councilman Bobby Henon, Councilmen at Large Bill Greenlee and Jim Kenney, State Reps. Ed Neilson and Mike McGeehan (both D-Northeast), and State Rep. James Clay (D-Kensington).

“I am proud to have the support of such an accomplished and wide-ranging group of leaders in our community as I campaign for Congress,” said Boyle. “These endorsements are yet another example of how our campaign continues to build momentum, and of our shared vision for how to make Northeast Philadelphia, from Mayfair to Somerton, a better place to live and work.”

KIRK BERRY from People For People promotes Developing Active Dads at State Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood’s, seated left, Community Meeting at Heart Church Ministries.

KIRK BERRY from People For People promotes Developing Active Dads at State Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood’s, seated left, Community Meeting at Heart Church Ministries.

YOUNG DEMOCRATS LIKE WOLF, KOPLINSKI
The Pennsylvania Young Democrats endorsed Tom Wolf for Governor and Brad Koplinski for Lieutenant Governor at their summit.

According to the Young Dems, the choice was difficult. Both former Secretary of Revenue Tom Wolf and Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz appeared to be capable of running the kind of robust campaign necessary to knock out Tom Corbett in November.

But Tom Wolf’s “populist campaign” gave him the edge over Schwartz in the final vote between the 18 members of the executive board.

“I am proud to receive the support of the Pennsylvania Young Democrats. I am running to give our state a fresh start and I am working to build a future where our young people can be economically secure and feel comfortable building their lives right here in Pennsylvania,” Wolf said. “I look forward to working with the members of the Young Democrats as we move forward and thank them for their confidence in my campaign.”

The frontrunners in the endorsement for Lieutenant Governor were State Sen. Mike Stack and Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski, but Koplinski with “his wonky knowledge of public policy” wowed the executive board and won him their nod.

JOINING Councilman Mark Squilla, left, at Francoluigi’s Pizzeria in E. Passyunk were attorney Mike Boyle, Ward Leader Roseanne Pauciello and consultant Joe Russo.

JOINING Councilman Mark Squilla, left, at Francoluigi’s Pizzeria in E. Passyunk were attorney Mike Boyle, Ward Leader Roseanne Pauciello and consultant Joe Russo.

COUNCILWOMAN SAYS SHE BURNS NO POLITICAL BRIDGES
Taking umbrage at last week’s “Pols on the Street” column indicating she was burning bridges, Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez said we erred in our belief she was alienating some of the ward leaders in her district who supported her in one or two of her runs for office. She knows the scorecard better than we do, so we extend to her our apologies.

WITH ALL THESE CANDIDATES, WILL TURNOUT BE LOW?
According to recent statistics, only 46% of voting-age residents voted in all six federal elections since 2000. More disturbingly, voter participation in elections that do not involve presidential candidates is bleak.

Only 37% of eligible residents participated in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 congressional elections. When compared to voting data from 1932 through 2010, voter participation is down a whopping 17% in non-presidential election years.

But what is the cause of voter apathy in the United States? Additionally, what is driving the perception that congressional races are less important than the race for the White House?

Stephen P. Tryon, army veteran, political servant, highly successful executive, and author of a new book, Accountability Citizenship – a simple guide for citizens who want accountability in their relationships with elected officials – believes “the fact more of us vote during national presidential election years reflects a misunderstanding of the relative importance of our votes and our opinions,” says Tryon.

“The relative power of a vote might be measured by the impact of that vote in determining the outcome of an election and in affecting the behavior of the elected official while in office. Given the rising trend in voter apathy, particularly for Congressional elections, voting for one’s congressional representatives may be more important and powerful than voting for the President.”

MAKING her third try at the 190th State House Dist. seat, Wanda Logan challenged incumbent State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown to resign from office after being caught taking unreported payments in Attorney Generals' Ali sting operation.

MAKING her third try at the 190th State House Dist. seat, Wanda Logan challenged incumbent State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown to resign from office after being caught taking unreported payments in Attorney Generals’ Ali sting operation.

WANDA LOGAN PITCHES ‘STEP DOWN’ CAMPAIGN
Wanda Logan, who was set back in her first two efforts to seek the Democratic nomination for the 190th Dist., believes she now has help from the Ali-gate aborted investigation. She demanded at her headquarters campaign opener at 5200 Westminster Avenue Tuesday, that incumbent State Rep. Vanessa Brown (D-W. Phila.) step down. Brown was caught up in the investigation which has now closed down.

But that may not gather her traction from voters, since the only actual offense the sting uncovered – non-reporting of gifts – is a misdemeanor. The gifts themselves are legal. And we know that the gifts are in the same category as $11,000 in gifts Gov. Tom Corbett’s wife received from business execs.

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