ELEPHANT CORNER: Hank Salvatore, Philly Republican Hero, Is Mourned

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Last week, a great Philadelphian and stalwart Republican passed from this world.

HANK SALVATORE, Phila.'s last Republican State Senator, died this week.

HANK SALVATORE, Phila.’s last Republican State Senator, died this week.

FRANK A. “HANK” SALVATORE, at the age of 92, left us. Salvatore represented Northeast Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (170th Dist.) from 1973 to 1985. He went on to be a Pennsylvania State Senator (5th Dist.) from 1985 to 2000.

He believed in the importance of family. He is survived by his wife Gloria, four children, 18 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He was a successful businessman before entering into public service. In 1958 he started L&M Brewing Co., which was sold in 2001. Six years prior to selling L&M, he started Hank’s Brewing Co., which continues to sell his Hank’s soda line. If you have not have had Hank’s Root Beer, you are not a Philadelphian. He was known in Harrisburg for the casual get-togethers in his office where his soda was served.

He was born in Philadelphia and attended Northeast HS. He eventually went on to St Joseph’s University and the Fels School at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a marine in WWII.
Although he was a true Philadelphian, he supported the succession of the Northeast from the City to form “Liberty County”. Many including Democrats saw his push for secession as a gimmick. Salvatore perhaps realized succession was not going happen, but the sentiment behind this campaign was founded in his profound disappointment with the gross mismanagement of our City by the Democrats in City Hall.

Salvatore truly understood his constituency. He did not see working with the people in his district as “work””. He responded to every letter, to every call. He not only understood the concept of constitute service, he loved doing it. He was quoted as saying, “I can feel the pulse of the people.” He had the reputation of caring about the wellbeing of those who put him in office. He was there to serve the voters and not the other way around, as some of the political class in Philadelphia appear to believe.

was quoted in another Philadelphia paper as noting that no law-enforcement agency has contacted him regarding irregularities concerning his “Peace Not Guns” charity.

Peace for Guns, which has collected funds since 2008, has a little problem. It billed itself as not-for-profit 501(c)(3). Apparently he even sought Internal Revenue Service approval. When it was initially uncovered roughly a month ago that Peace Not Guns did not have 501(c)(3) status, Johnson contended he raised money for the cause but his contributors made the donations directly to the beneficiaries and not to Peace Not Guns. Then it was asserted that only a few hundred dollars were given to Peace Not Guns. Now it is reported that it is at least $10,280 was raised.

STATE REP. John Taylor, center, is joined by Ward Leaders Walt and Chris Vogler and union leaders Dan Grace and John McNesby at RCC chair's Jersey-Shore shindig.

STATE REP. John Taylor, center, is joined by Ward Leaders Walt and Chris Vogler and union leaders Dan Grace and John McNesby at RCC chair’s Jersey-Shore shindig.

Johnson declined to release the name of the benefactors, stating that the donors had an expectation of privacy. If Peace For Guns was really 501(c)(3), he could refuse to release the names. However, these funds were collected in the name of, in his words, “my mission of Peace Not Guns.” While his mission may be well intended, he is a politician collecting funds for an entity that does not have 501(c)(3) protections.

While I find this story disquieting, the saddest aspect of this story is that this abuse of the US Tax Code will not bother most of the voters in this City.

On a more positive note, STATE REP. (and Chairman of Republican City Committee) JOHN TAYLOR held his annual summer fundraiser in N. Wildwood last weekend at Casey’s on Third. At the height of the party, the bodies were wall-to-wall. The crowd was entertained by the music of WARD LEADER GARY GRISAFI.

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