POLS ON THE STREET: Will Write-Ins Win the Day for Honkala?

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Dan Muroff, Democratic 9th Ward Leader, was inundated with candidates at his Chestnut Hill reception. A happy surprise was the entry of Jim Crumlish, Esq., 2nd from L, as a judicial candidate. Of fond memory was the service of his father as Philly DA. Among those on hand were Michael Untermeyer, DA candidate; Crumlish; 55th Ward Leader Robert Dellavella; Rebecca Rhynhart, city controller candidate; Harold Mosely; John Macoretta and Rania Major, judicial candidates; 53rd Ward Leader Janice Sulman; Muroff; Marissa Brumbach, Christian DiCicco, Carmella Jacquinto and Betsy Wahl, judicial candidates; 35th Ward Leader Bill Dolbow with 11th Ward Leader Dwayne Lilley; and Len Deutchman, judicial candidate. Photo by Joe Stivala


Not only does longtime welfare activist Cheri Honkala face an uphill battle in her write-in campaign to win the special election for the 197th Dist. vacated by State Rep. Leslie Acosta, she now has had that effort turned into a slippery slope as well.

Though she no longer holds the title, Acosta believes she still has a loyal following in the district – enough to make a difference when she endorses, or in the case of Honkala, when she opposes. Acosta is quoted on her Facebook page as saying of Honkala, “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a duck!”

Acosta tells her followers, “Honkala claims to have a strong name recognition which should be enough to claim the 197 seat. The voters, however, will have their say, and so far, her fanfare is not resonating with the residents of the 197th Dist. In fact, the voters are not drinking that Kool-Aid with the write-in-campaign – why? She projects the ‘I’ word a little too much. The ‘I’ word raises some red flags.”

CHERI HONKALA, R, is endorsed in her 197th Dist. special-election write-in campaign by 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

A state Commonwealth Court judge nixed a petition Wednesday to keep Honkala on the ballot by ruling her nomination paperwork wasn’t filed by the deadline. But Honkala, a longtime activist and the founder of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, is not ending her bid to replace Acosta in the district, which encompasses parts of North Philadelphia and Kensington, in the March 21 special election.

Her campaign plans to appeal Senior Judge J. Wesley Oler Jr.’s ruling. If that fails, it’s ready to mount a write-in campaign, and in a rare move, the Green Party appears ready to back her.

She has the backing of the Green Party, according to Chris Robinson, the party’s membership secretary. That may mean a handful of supporters, if any of them can be found in the 197th, leafletting on her behalf. She will need to advertise in the Public Record if she hopes to get any traction.

Honkala says she has more name recognition than other candidates in her district, including those of Democrat Fred Ramírez and Republican Lucinda Little.

STATE REP. Angel Cruz, 3rd from L, 7th Ward Democratic leader, held a candidates’ reception in the exciting Salsa Club. Numerous candidates for Common Pleas judgeship were on hand. Richard Negrín, candidate for District Attorney, 4th from L, also attended.


Brady Notes Judges Eye DA Job

With Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams out of contention in the May 16 primary for the Democratic nomination, the field continues to be filled by aspirants. But then again, another race is shaping up to replace him until his term ends should he elect to resign.

Democratic Party Chairman Congressman Bob Brady (D-Phila.) reportedly has been receiving calls of interest from some of our judges should Williams resign.

That makes sense! The Congressman explained, “The Board of Judges would pick the successor to fill out the end of the term.” That happened when DA Ron Castille resigned to run for mayor. The judges picked DA Lynne Abraham, who then easily earned successive terms to that office from which she retired.

THAT MAKES SIX: DA’s Office veteran Tariq El-Shabazz entered the DA’s race at the Platinum Grill in Chestnut Hill,. L-R, Zakariyya Abdur-Rahman, El-Shabazz, Sam Staten, Jr. and Saadiq Jabbar Garner. Photo by Wendell Douglas

El-Shabazz Makes It Six

Tariq El-Shabazz, who recently resigned his first assistant DA post, this week became the 6th to enter the race to fill the Democratic post for district attorney created by the decision of DA Seth Williams not to seek reelection in the May 16th primary.

He drew a huge supportive crowd thanks to the presence of Sam Staten, Jr., business manager/co-chairman of Laborers’ District Council 332. The indication of the support of LDC makes him an extremely viable candidate, since the union has successfully supported for office dozens of Philadelphia’s and Pennsylvania’s elected officials.

DEMOCRATIC 42nd Ward Leader Elaine Tomlin, C, staged a well-attended community meeting at Aspira Olney High School to introduce a bevy of candidates. Photo by Leona Dixon


Academe a Haven for Ex-Mayors

Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is now on the Senior School of Social Policy and Practice Executive Fellow at the Penn Institute for Urban Research.

Beginning this spring, he will have an active role in steering the institution’s research and investment into policies designed to alleviate poverty in Philly and other cities. Nutter also holds a position at Columbia University where he was named an urban policy professor at its School of International & Public Affairs.

Seems, according to Dean John L. Jackson, Jr. his concerns for the poor and needy earned him the role. We find, also in a similar role, Mayor John Street lecturing at one of our nonprofit, reduced-taxpaying universities.

Obviously Mayor Jim Kenney will be sought after in such a capacity after his second term.

THE 5TH WARD is always hotly sought after by Democratic candidates. At its petition party at Me & Mo’s were, L-R, judicial hopeful Zac Shaffer, host Ward Leader Mike Boyle, Ward Leader Dwayne Lilley, consultant Joe Russo, judicial candidate Christian DiCicco and Gary Silver. Photo by Wendell Douglas


Toomey Now at Custom House

Effective March 1, US Sen. Pat Toomey’s (R-Pa.) Philadelphia office will be moving to the federal building known as the US Custom House located at 200 Chestnut Street. His office will be in Suite 600. It once was home to Congressmen Jim Byrne and Joe Smith.

DANNY’S PLACE in W. Phila. was swinging with jazz as well as political action when the 44th Ward Democrats held their petition party. Mixing and mingling were, L-R, judicial candidate Carmella Jacquinto, DA candidate Michael Untermeyer, Shanese Johnson, host Willie Jordan and Bryant Dickerson. Photo by Wendell Douglas


First to Challenge Casey for Senate

US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) has had a long honeymoon with Pennsylvania voters. That will continue through the Democratic primary this May. However, the Trump victory bequeathed by a huge turnout in the state’s more rural counties has emboldened serious thoughts in the Republican Party that he is now worthy of a serious challenge.

First out is State Rep. Dr. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny), who will announce his candidacy against Casey in Harrisburg next week.

“Pennsylvanians have spoken when they elected a new president that represents them, but the work is not done,” said Saccone. “Bob Casey is representative of the bloated governmental system that has decimated our country since 2009.”

Saccone commands a diverse background. He is a retired US Air Force officer. Since earning a PhD in international affairs, he has spent over 15 years as a college professor. Saccone has taught numerous courses, including international relations and global terrorism. He has authored nine books and has worked in international business and diplomacy. He has lived and worked extensively overseas.

SOCTT & KAREN Agatone, with their newborn baby, joined Gov. Tom Wolf in Phila. when the governor announced he would veto SB 3, which would prohibit all abortions after 20 weeks. Photo by Wendell Douglas


Bill Would Commit Opiod Addicts

Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) could help end the opiod-addiction problem. He has a bill that would give families the opportunity to seek involuntary commitments of loved ones for treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. He says, “Families are suffering. We have to put the resources in place to support them in their time of need.”

The opioid-addiction situation in Pennsylvania could prompt many to support Costa’s bill, he feels, since it would allow families to petition their county administrator to determine whether an individual suffers from addiction and is a threat to themselves or others, with a determination of such a threat triggering a hearing at a health-care facility by a mental-health review officer, who would determine an appropriate length of stay at the facility. It’s reportedly opposed by ACLU.

ALICE HERRICK performed as “Blind Justice” at a General Strike rally in Clark Park. The circus-arts community urged, “We support the rule of law” and “We need balance.” This was Herrick’s first blindfolded tightrope walk. She recently crossed the Susquehanna River on a tightrope.


We Are Home to 50k Illegals

The Pew Research Center reports Philadelphia has about 50,000 unauthorized immigrants, which means approximately 1 in 4 foreign-born residents in the city is unauthorized.

Its research has found the city’s total foreign-born resident population increased in the last decade, reaching about 200,000 and accounting for about 13% of Philadelphia’s overall population. The city ranks second of the four largest Northeastern cities — Boston, New York, Baltimore and Washington.

In 2014, the last year for which data was available, approximately 25% of foreign-born Philadelphians were unauthorized immigrants. A decade earlier, in 2005, unauthorized immigrants had accounted for about 27% of the city’s 170,000 foreign-born residents, Pew estimates.

Among this group, we ponder, how many voted in the last presidential election? Few if any, thanks to our vigilant City Commissioners and their dedicated staffs. Without their checks and balances, and their educational efforts, it might have been more.

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6 Responses to POLS ON THE STREET: Will Write-Ins Win the Day for Honkala?

  1. Dan Murnoff lied about the environmental felonies, participated in the 9th ward Democratic Cover up and intentionally allowed depraved and dangerous crimes and injury against neighbor to Devon Project that was set up by former leader of 9th ward Democratic committee John O’ Connelly and back by many in that Committee- causing years of injury, hospitalizations and multiple crimes against the closest neighbor to the illegal project. Causing homelessness and permanent illness and deliberate destruction of life. This deliberate corruption led to the same type of corruption that caused the deaths on Market Street. He is deep in the corruption of the Establishment Dem Political Machine that consistently destroys the lives of average Philadelphians with their corruption and insider abuses of their positions.

    Margaret Motheral
    February 26, 2017 at 2:05 am

  2. With the non-resident Dem Party pick now off the ballot, this race will go to a write-in candidate. The Green Party nominee was bumped from the ballot on a technicality, but is still running at full tilt. Cheri Honkala has been organizing on economic-justice issues for decades and is committed to the residents of the 197th Dist. It is time to throw a wrench into the entrenched party machines.

    March 2, 2017 at 12:51 pm

  3. Vote for Cheri Honkola 197 whether she gets on the ballot or not!

    March 3, 2017 at 12:58 pm

  4. Vote for Cheri Honkala 197 whether she gets on the ballot or not!

    March 3, 2017 at 1:03 pm

  5. Write-in Cheri Honkala! This is the opportunity for meaningful changes to happen.

    March 5, 2017 at 8:54 am

  6. Carmella jacquinto is dumb blond hack good at being a thief

    Randal russell
    June 19, 2017 at 9:58 pm

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