BY JOE SHAHEELI/ City Commissioner Stephanie Singer is deep into her reelection campaign, using her office to gain entry into a host of political events which have little to do with the responsibilities of her office.
MAYOR Michael Nutter made good on his promise to Blackhawks Athletics Club who won Pop Warner Championship by bringing together city and private sources to renovate their home field at 11th & Cecil B. Moore Avenue. New facility will also become a practice field for St. Joseph’s Prep School. Cutting ribbon are Council President Darrell Clark and Coach Don Richardson.
To her credit, she realizes she is facing the toughest hurdle of her political career this coming primary. To be seen, she hopes, is to be remembered and supported. So Singer has been working at building an army of voters who remember her, like her enthusiasm to remove all hurdles to voting, and see her as an elected official with whom they can communicate.
Singer is now the target of many of the Democratic ward leaders of this city, though not of Democratic City Committee which normally endorses all incumbents. She will not have the money muscle from some of the labor leaders which she enjoyed her first time out. Most importantly, she doesn’t have an elected official that she could blame for all that is wrong.
She may have main media on her side, since their reporters still don’t understand fully the functioning of the office of City Commissioners.
Now she has read the handwriting on the wall. One of her own deputies, Dennis Lee, has resigned to run for City Commissioner, and will announce his campaign kickoff Saturday at high noon at 1800 N. 54th Street. Lee has been increasing his exposure with a series of town hall type meetings he has hosted the last two years.
She might find a break in the fact at least six will be in the running for that office including Commission Chairman Anthony Clark, who enjoys the support of the city Democratic ward leaders.
The City Council at-Large races are expected to draw a record number of entries. We’ve lost track in keeping up with those who have already expressed their intention to do so.
This is true for both Democrats and Republicans.
Among the Republicans, an early announcement came from Lou Lanni, who held his kickoff at the Tailhook Tavern in Mayfair across from City Republican Committee headquarters. Though not an official candidate of that party yet, Chairman State Rep. John Taylor was among guests.
Then an impressive gathering at Racquet Club brought out heavy hitters for University City Republican Ward Leader Matt Wolfe Tuesday night. See pics of both events in this issue. Randy Robinson spent Tuesday lunch at AFL-CIO Christmas Party promoting his intention to run at large on the Republican ticket.
Among the Democrats, the list is growing. Pushing himself almost daily on email and internet is schoolteacher Isaiah Thomas, whose dedication to teaching in public schools will limit time he can spend on the campaign trail.
George Matysik, who made his teeth sharp in the Jared Solomon campaign in a valiant failing effort to pry State Rep. Mark Cohen (D-Northeast) from his seat, is announcing Dec. 10th at the Epicure Cafe in East Falls at 5:30 p.m.
For those who wish to get their announcements before our readers, please communicate with us.
Republican candidate Mike Tomlinson wants this message to get to State Rep.-Elect Mike Driscoll, who defeated him in the general election:
“I extend my congratulations to Rep.-Elect Mike Driscoll for being elected by the people to represent the 173rd Legislative Dist. I view Mike as a friend and I commend Mike for his campaign. I support Mike Driscoll as our most-recent newly elected State Representative.”
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party unveiled plans to increase political participation of the state’s Hispanics, who are Pennsylvania’s fastest-growing major ethnic-linguistic community.
Democratic Party Chairman James R. Burn announced the effort, stating that the first step will involve the formation of a new Hispanic Caucus within the Democratic State Committee.
“Recruiting more of Pennsylvania’s Hispanics as Democratic voters, workers and candidates is a cornerstone for future Democratic success,” said Burn. “Just as important is for the Democratic Party to be an effective vehicle to empower Pennsylvania’s Hispanic citizens and to address issues critical to their future.”
The Chairman said this effort “is one element of a broader strategy to enlist and engage the constituencies that are key to the Party’s future, particularly women, African Americans, Asian Americans and young voters, as well as Hispanics.”
According to the 2010 Census, Pennsylvania’s Hispanic population nearly doubled in the previous decade to 720,000, or about 6% of the state, and that four counties, Lehigh, Berks, Monroe and Northampton, as well as Philadelphia, are each more than 10% Hispanic in makeup.
“It’s clear the Hispanic community represents an enormous opportunity for Democratic Party growth, just as the Democratic Party represents an enormous opportunity for a new generation of Hispanic leadership to emerge,” Burn said.
The Chairman explained the initiative begins with the formation of the Hispanic Caucus at State Committee, a process that will entail the collection of at least 30 signatures from State Committee members, and the submission of by-laws for review and approval by the Committee’s Executive Board. Burn said his goal is to get the petitions signed and by-laws submitted at the February meeting in Hershey, and to formally inaugurate the Caucus at the June meeting in Allentown.
Republican voters nationwide want 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney back in the game, giving him the top position at 19% in an early look at the 2016 presidential race in the most recent Quinnipiac University national poll. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is next with 11%, followed by New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie and Dr. Ben Carson at 8% each. No other Republican tops 6%, with 16% undecided.
With Romney out of the race, Jeb Bush leads with 14%, followed by Christie at 11%, Carson at 9% and US Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 8%.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sweeps the Democratic field with 57%, followed by US Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 13% and Vice President Joseph Biden at 9%, with no other candidate above 4% and 14% undecided.
If Clinton does not run, Biden gets 34%, followed by Warren with 25%.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell’s administration members have been tapped for Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf’s budget-stabilization task force.
Wolf has filled out the rest of the task force’s membership: Clay Armbrister (current president of Girard College, and former COO at Temple University, managing director of the Philadelphia School District and chief of staff to Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter); Rick Bloomingdale (president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO); Ida Castro (current president of the board of directors at the Employment Opportunity & Training Center of NEPA, former chair of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and acting director of the Women’s Bureau at the US Dept. of Labor during President Bill Clinton’s administration); Dennis M. Davin (director of Allegheny Co. Economic Development, ACED); Michael Newsome (executive vice president and CFO of the Wolf Organization); Bill Schenck (president of TriState Capital Bank, and former Secretary of Banking for Gov. Ed Rendell); Glenn D. Steele Jr., MD, PhD (president and CEO of Geisinger Health System); Larry Stern (former CEO of Talecris Biotherapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company that makes, markets and distributes plasma-derived protein therapies); Robin Wiessmann (former Pennsylvania State Treasurer and deputy director of finance for the City of Philadelphia); David Yarkin (current president of Government Sourcing Solutions, former deputy secretary for procurement of the Pennsylvania Dept. of General Services during the Rendell administration); and Janet L. Yeomans (former vice president and treasurer of 3 M Corp.).