by Joe Shaheeli
It’s time for non-committal members of the PA General Assembly to show their support and put in their appearances at the weekly Friday informational protests outside the Convention Center. They also need to pressure the Convention Center management demanding an end to an unfair lock out.
Calling in their dues for the support they have gotten over the years are the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters and the Teamsters Union.
This week both unions received support from the Selection Committee which visited here to see if Philadelphia should be picked as the site for the Democratic National Convention. Gov. Ed Rendell, Congressman Bob Brady, and Mayor Nutter, who are among the organizers hoping to woo the Convention, heard the message from the Selection Committee, which was “We know this is a union city. We don’t understand why the discord!”
In full page ads in the main media and the Philadelphia Public Record this week, both Unions stated “The Carpenters and Teamsters Unions will only support candidates willing to stand up for working men and women and who support ending our LOCKOUT from the Pennsylvania Convention Center.”
The message continued: “The Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters and the Teamsters Union both signed the Convention Center’s ‘Customer Satisfaction Agreement.’ Management refused to accept our signed agreements and have LOCKED US OUT—refusing to let us work in the center.”
When the facts are made known, it is clear the State’s Convention Authority is in the wrong. The big question to Gov. Tom Corbett is “Are You happy with the feud? We asked him a while back, “When will you step in to break the lockout?” His answer was “When the time is ripe?”
Our question to him now is “Will the time be right after you’ve lost the election, in part due to your inaction with the lockout?”
He should wake up to an opportunity to earn some Union friends, especially with the repercussions felt across the state, when the Wolf-Stack team picked up an important endorsement from PA chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, which followed the endorsement from Lodge 5.
FOP consists of the Commonwealth’s current and former law enforcement officials and their endorsement is particularly sought after because unlike many other labor unions they don’t consistently choose one party over another. Gov. Corbett won the group’s support back in 2010. At the time, the candidate and the group’s leaders made a big show of the endorsement, holding a joint press conference.
“We’ve been solidly behind Tom Wolf from the beginning and carried that over to the state,” Lodge 5 President John McNesby, who represents Philadelphia, stated. “We feel it’s time for a change and we are looking forward to the next four years. This is one endorsement the FOP was clearly and fully behind and sends the message that we’re gonna get out there in.
So we see the Convention issue becoming an agenda item when Corbett and Wolf debate in three different locations across the state. The first debate is in the Harrisburg media market on September 22 in Hershey, PA at the 30th Annual Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce dinner. The second debate, October 1 at KYW-TV
studios in Philadelphia. The final October 8 at the WTAE-TV studios in Wilkinsburg and will be shown in the Pittsburgh media market.
A plus for Corbett is the fact the Harris Poll finds registered Pennsylvanians of both parties not only support increased energy development, but are more likely to vote for candidates who promote increased production of oil and gas. But, remember, the poll was conducted on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute.
Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason stated “The War on Coal is costing hundreds of Pennsylvanians their jobs and endangering the livelihoods of thousands more. The War on Coal is putting the jobs of every coal worker at risk. Recently, 500 workers in our Commonwealth received pink slips because President Barack Obama is choosing ideology over our economy.”
Mayor Michael A. Nutter congratulated at-large City Councilman Ed Neilson on his swearing in, stating “Congratulations to our newest member of the Philadelphia City Council, Ed Neilson. I’ve enjoyed working with him on behalf of the City when he was a State Representative, and now I look forward to working with him in our City Council. Ed served in Governor Rendell’s administration as a Deputy Secretary of Labor and he has been both a mentor and sports coach in his community. To Ed, his wife and their five sons, I offer my congratulations on this new step in his personal and political career.”
Former State Rep. Ed Neilson thanked the residents of the 169th Legislative District for the opportunity they gave him to serve them “It has been an honor to serve in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and it truly has been an experience I will never forget,” Neilson said. “I believe I served the people of Northeast Philadelphia with integrity and passion, and I am proud of my accomplishments, especially the creation of the Dyslexia and Early Literacy Pilot Program.”
Neilson, who was elected to the House in 2012, said the other accomplishments he is most proud of are being involved in the passage of the bipartisan transportation funding plan, and standing up against the majority by voting against budgets that severely underfund education.
Neilson’s district office, located at 3294 Red Lion Road, will remain open Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., until the end of November. Constituents can contact the office at (215) 281-3414.
Commissioner Stephanie Singer’s office has teamed up with the Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development (PHENND) to register Temple University students as they arrive for fall semester. “PHENND is committed to setting students on a path of lifelong civic engagement, through both service and voting,” says Director Hillary Kane. They are targeting freshman students who are moving on campus for the first time.
Yheralis Lantigua, a Campus Election Engagement Project Coordinator for Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development, is looking to register about 4,800 students for the November 2014 elections. “When people learn the habit of voting at an early age, they are more likely to stick with it over time,” says Ms. Yheralis.
Leigh Cravotta, our 5th Ward Republican Vice-Chair, Election Board Clerk, and Committeeperson, along with Scott Adams, also a 5th Ward committeeperson and Election Board Inspector, have put together an exciting new website, www.BugleCall.org. They say it is going to be the go-to-site for common sense politics both locally and nationally, with commentary, live radio, and political resources.
We hope they succeed. We need more common sense.
Political Ad Sleuth, a Sunlight Foundation tool for tracking the big bucks behind big political ad buys, has tracked $12 million worth of Philadelphia market ad buys.
Most of the ad spending came in statewide races.
Second place went not to any candidate but to “non-candidate issue ads,” as the Federal Communications Commission dubs them. These are the political mega-spenders whose ranks include super PACs and the dark money groups, political nonprofits that produce ads on a wide range of issues.
The Pennsylvania Ethics Commissioner reports Mayor John Street violated one of its resolutions by failing to file Statements of Financial Interests with the PHA for Calendar years 2006-2011 when he was a Commissioner and Chairman of the PHA Board. They want him to do so, if he has not already done so.
Don’t they have better things to do?
We believe the daily Metro needs to be congratulated on acquiring the City Paper, which rumors had was in financial straits. It proudly proclaimed on page one and two other pages how great the merger would be for the two papers.
What confused us was Metro’s statement “Metro and City Paper reach 840,000 people in Greater Philadelphia.” That could be because Metro prints 117,000 of which it says 80,000 are delivered “within the city. It also claimed City Paper had “nearly 450,000 weekly readers which is nearly five times more than its competitor”, and again “City Paper boasts more than $630,000 monthly readers”.
But Metro has to do a fact check on City Paper readership and circulation: It’s story includes a paragraph which reads “ City Paper, which was awarded 2014 Keystone Press Award for best major newspaper with a circulation “under 10,000 in the state….”
Now, we ask Metro publisher Yggers Mortensen to correct his article with more accurate figures.