BY JOE SHAHEELI/ Last week we reported the possibility of two Latinos showing an interest in running for Mayor, only to remember we forgot a third, who has long been considered a serious contender.
That was Nelson Diaz, who has long been under consideration. He joins Richard Negrin and Ken Trujillo. All are well known around the city, all with public service to their credit, and all viable candidates.
Of the three, Trujillo has moved to announce he is serious about seeking the office. He has hired a team of highly regarded campaign professionals. Their credentials look good.
Who will think twice among the potential, serious candidates being urged to seek the Mayor’s seat, given Trujillo is in contention? If his campaign energizes and unites the Latino community, which is already embroiled in political activity, who will lose those votes?
Having to answer that question, in addition to the other two Latinos, are State Sen. Anthony Williams (D-W. Phila.), Councilman Jim Kenney, Controller Alan Butkovitz, Council President Darrell Clark, and possibly a Councilwoman.
About his team, Trujillo said, “Philadelphians have a unique opportunity to build a true 21st-century city that expands our middle class and finally provides the world-class public education our children deserve. That is why I’ve assembled a top-flight team of campaign professionals to help me lead a serious conversation with the people of Philadelphia about our future.”
His finance director is Vaughn Ross, who served on the finance team of State Sen. Bob Casey for his 2012 reelection campaign, and most recently served as deputy finance director for Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord’s gubernatorial primary campaign.
Leading the team as political director is Jane Slusser, who recently was organizing director at Equality Pennsylvania and led Human Rights Campaign’s Americans for Workplace Opportunity statewide effort in Pennsylvania. In 2008 and 2012, Slusser worked on President Obama’s election and reelection campaigns in Philadelphia and Northeastern Pennsylvania.
He’s added Hilltop Public Solutions (Bill Hyers and Jessie Bradley) for general campaign consulting, a leading national political-consulting firm. Hyers most recently led the come-from-behind victory in New York City for Mayor Bill de Blasio, which earned him the 2014 Campaign Manager of the Year award from the American Association of Political Consultants. Bradley has over 10 years of campaign management and field experience working in cities and states across the country. The pair’s Philadelphia experience goes back to 2007. With Hyers as campaign manager and Bradley leading the field effort, they secured victory for Mayor Michael Nutter.His polling will be done by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (Anna Greenberg) polling specializing in political polling and campaign strategy, helping political candidates, parties, advocacy groups, and ballot initiatives succeed across the United States and around the globe.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research is one of the world’s premier research and strategic consulting firms, Anna Greenberg, PhD has over 15 years of experience polling in the political, non-profit and academic sectors. She joined GQRR in 2001, after teaching public opinion and survey research methodology at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She was the pollster in many successful campaigns including for Mayor de Blasio, Gov. Mark Dayton, Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Congressman Pete Gallego and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham. Greenberg was named pollster of the year by the American Association of Political Consultants in 2014. She is currently the lead pollster for Pennsylvania’s Democratic nominee for Governor, Tom Wolf.
Snyder Pickerill Media Group (Ken Snyder and Terrie Pickerill) are familiar here, though based in Chicago. Most recently, they provided the media and strategy for Brendan Boyle’s primary victory for Congress and State Sen. Mike Stack’s (D-Northeast) primary victory for Lt. Governor.
We believe Ken Trujillo will announce when the time is right, just after the gubernatorial election. In the meantime, he’s into raising dollars because this seasoned crew has told him to do that. Being a partner at Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, LLP, he’ll have some help. Ken has served as the City Solicitor of Philadelphia and as an Assistant US Attorney.
His chits in the Latino community are many, having served as the Chair of Congreso, one of the leading nonprofits in the nation. He served on President-Elect Barack Obama’s Presidential Transition Team. He also served on the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority and as a Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Ken lives in Chestnut Hill with his wife Laura and their daughter.
The question, when he announces (and bet your bottom dollar he will), is who gets bounced out of the primary? In short, from whom will he take the most votes?
Justice McCaffery To Pa. Vets Hall Of Fame
Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery was selected as an inductee to the 2013 Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Hall of Fame at Indiantown Gap.
Justice McCaffery is the Supreme Court’s liaison to the state’s problem-solving courts program and has been a leading force in establishing veterans’ courts across the Commonwealth.
“This auspicious occasion not only recognizes your significant achievements, but also the honor and prestige that you have brought upon the department and Pennsylvania veterans,” Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig, adjutant general of Pennsylvania, said in a notification letter to the justice.
Now, will Harley Davidson do the same for this motorbike-riding crusader in its Hall of Famous Riders?
State Budget Veto Pricks General Assembly
What united Democratic and Republican members of the General Assembly more than anything else done by Gov. Tom Corbett in the battle of the budget was his line item vetoing of millions in legislative spending.
That’s where lie buried the hundreds of part-time and full-time jobs available to members through their leadership. That’s also where walking-around money found its source. It’s a bit surprising the watchdog groups have not responded with applause. It’s reported almost $150 million has been set aside in the Assembly’s reserve account.
Now in recess, legislative leaders from both chambers have to figure how to cope with the fact he vetoed $65 million from their accounts. He wanted that money to plug some of his budget holes.
Corbett’s major problem is how to convey to parents of Philadelphia public-school students how well he has done by them. A graph showing how well education has been treated, now in circulation by city Republicans, needs to be replicated by the thousands if Corbett hopes to win some of those Dems over.
John Kane Endorsed By State AFL-CIO
Democratic nominee John Kane picked up the endorsement of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO in his race to win the 26th Senatorial Dist. “It is a real honor to be the candidate of working families here in Delaware and Chester Cos.,” Kane said. “If we can commit to getting Harrisburg moving forward, we can tackle real concerns in education funding and job creation facing all Pennsylvanians.” The AFL-CIO represents 12,000 households in the 26th Senate Dist.
It’s Back To Courts For Ballot Access
The US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia has issued a 54-page opinion indicating minor political parties – such as the Libertarian, Green and Constitution Parties – have standing to challenge the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s existing election code and its regulation of third party candidates’ access to the ballot. This overturns an earlier opinion issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
It could eventually mean the reduction in the number of signatures needed by those parties to appear on the ballot.
Lawyers At It Again?! End Judicial Elections
Retired US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has recommended states that elect judges, like Pennsylvania, move away from partisan contests and toward a nominating commission and retention elections. The O’Connor Judicial Selection Plan has looked at different ways of approaching state judicial systems to promote processes for selecting and retaining state judges that inspire public trust in our courts and the integrity of their decisions.
Judicial candidates for local and state courts in Pennsylvania are elected through a partisan political process involving party primary elections and fund-raising, which critics say poses conflict of interest issues if judges take contributions from law firms or businesses that practice or have business dealings in the commonwealth.
We support voters’ remaining the final voice in who sits on the bench in Pennsylvania. Maybe O’Connor needs to set up a comparison chart of which states have the best courts, if such a method is possible. We’d venture to predict this state’s judiciary will do well and finish near the top.
No Rest For Pam In Roxborough
State Rep. Pamela DeLissio’s (D-Northwest) 194th Legislative Dist. seat is like riding an unruly bronco. No sooner does she tame the competition in the primary, than she finds she’s got rough riding again in the general.
This time GOP contender Billy Pounds has additional support from Republican City Committee, whose executive director Joe DeFelice has sent out a communique to party faithful to donate some of their spare time to Pounds campaign, hoping they can win over some of the Democrats who have voted against her for at least two primaries.