The citizens in Philadelphia showed their disregard for their right to vote.
Of the roughly 800,000 registered Democrats in the City of Philadelphia, 161,890 voted in the primary for Governor. Given the hue and cry in Philadelphia about the â€œevil policiesâ€ of GOV. TOM CORBETT, one would think a few more might show up to select his opponent in the November election.
What was even more fascinating was the number of Democrats who did show up at the polls, but failed to vote in the special election for City Council. Democrat ED NEILSON only received 39% of the votes of those who voted in the gubernatorial primary. Yes, some of them did vote for Matt Wolfe, but most either opted not to vote for Neilson or could not find the special election. Wolfe received 12,509 votes, which exceeded the number of Republican voters of roughly 9,800 (I am assuming the number of Republican voters Tuesday was essentially equal to those who voted in the gubernatorial primary).
On Tuesday, the voters in the City of Philadelphia missed the opportunity to elect MATT WOLFE to City Council. He would have been a voice for change at Broad & Market. But perhaps the citizens are happy living in â€œpoorest big city in America,â€ as Wolfe frequently described Philadelphia. Some might say that his message about reducing taxes on businesses was an â€œoffensiveâ€ Republican message, but his opinion is shared by PAUL LEVY of the Center City District, who is clearly not a Republican. (Please see the Center City Districtâ€™s report on â€œPathways to Job Growthâ€).
However, the electorate did like Wolfeâ€™s message in ballot issue #2 concerning the proposed change to the City Charterâ€™s â€œresign to runâ€ provision. The ballot provision went down in flames. The City Charter requires that officeholders must resign from their current positions to run for other offices. Wolfe repeatedly said through this campaign it was not fair to voters and taxpayers for City Council members to receive their six-figure salaries while they did not do the job to which they were elected, as they worked full time campaigning for the job they really want.
What I find disheartening is that the electorate listened to Wolfeâ€™s message, but could not bring themselves to vote for a Republican. Instead they voted for the Democratic machineâ€™s hand-picked next-in-line party functionary.
Neilson, I believe in response to Wolfeâ€™s comments about politiciansâ€™ not doing their current jobs while running for another office, stated he did not miss a vote in Harrisburg during this election. Is that because he did not feel it necessary to campaign as the Democratic registration was so heavily slanted in his favor? We can only hope he remembered how he voted. His failure to remember how he voted on a key funding issue for Philadelphia schools was a contributing factor to his losing the endorsement of another Philadelphia paper to Wolfe. If this opportunity for City Council had not arisen owing to the resignation of BILL GREEN, and had he faced a primary fight in District 174 with incumbent STATE REP. JOHN SABATINA, would he have made all of those votes?
Neilson is currently a State Representative in the 169th Dist., which through reapportionment is in York Co. effective this election. Even if he could run in 169 owning to the residency requirements, he would not want to, as the new district is solidly Republican.
As an aside, the Republicans in York Co. must not have gotten the memo on the â€œwar on womenâ€ as the victor in the Tuesdayâ€™s crowded Republican primary in the new 169 was attorney KATE KLUNK.