BROUHAHA AT CITY COMMISSION! Singer’s Camera Keeps Rolling; Cops Called

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COMMISSIONER Stephanie Singer ... hung onto TV camera she had arranged to have brought to public meeting.

COMMISSIONER Stephanie Singer … hung onto TV camera she had arranged to have brought to public meeting.

Long-simmering disputes on Philadelphia City Commission boiled over last week when Commission Chair Anthony Clark and Vice Chair Al Schmidt voted that a camerawoman purportedly brought by the third Commissioner, Stephanie Singer, should not be allowed to videotape testimony by witnesses at a public hearing.

Singer has pushed to videotape these meetings as part of her drive for greater transparency in proceedings of City Commission, which administers voting in Philadelphia.

However, several witnesses who were there to testify regarding voting challenges and other irregularities as a result of the May 20 primary election objected to being videotaped. Both Schmidt and Clark then passed the resolution to accommodate them by not allowing videotaping.

Singer refused, however. When Acting Voter Registration Administrator Greg Irving began to approach the videographer to the camera, Schmidt said, “We have no right to remove it.” The camera was not touched or turned off or obstructed, Schmidt said.

Singer called for police protection. Police did arrive but left after surveying the situation and the camerawoman remained at the hearing. Portions of the video are posted on her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-Singer/170204729690127).

Singer argued afterward there were no grounds to forbid the taping. “Video recording is permitted if done unobtrusively and in a manner that is not disruptive,” she wrote. “While the Commissioners may specify the location from which the videotape is taken, it is illegal for the Commissioners to bar video recording.”

Singer has sharply criticized earlier online coverage by the Public Record of the hearing. The camera was never in her control, she asserted. But it was noted during testimony the camerawoman was a friend of Singer’s.

Several other persons at the hearing called to keep the camera rolling, Singer pointed out.

Observers note that has cultivated a following in the city’s progressive community who are inclined to follow her lead.

(This article was updated Jun. 2, 2014)

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2 Responses to BROUHAHA AT CITY COMMISSION! Singer’s Camera Keeps Rolling; Cops Called

  1. What law is she talking about that makes it illegal for them to bar video recording? She won’t be around in that office come election time. Even her own party can’t stand her.

    matt
    June 9, 2014 at 4:28 am

  2. Singer is nuts. She really is. She called the cops over this? Seth Williams is sick of her too, as she called a bogus press conference in his lobby over nothing.

    Dude
    June 12, 2014 at 5:21 pm

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