CITY HALL SAM on the Pa. Society

Filed under: Columns,Featured News,Pennsylvania Society,Politics |

L-R, LT. GOV. MIKE STACK stops to talk with former Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, who is now VP for institutional advancement at Temple University.

There seemed to be fewer Philadelphia people at the Pennsylvania Society than usual. The venue changed from the elegant Waldorf Astoria to the downtown Hilton. The Waldorf is under construction and is being turned into condominiums, so many traditionalists chose to forgo New York.

LT. GOV. MIKE STACK was in high gear and everywhere. He was seen shaking hands with GOV.TOM WOLF at the Reception before the big dinner and also at every party throughout the whole weekend. The pundits believe that crowded field guarantees a dominating Stack re-election. Also seen hanging out together at several parties with Stack were STATE SENS. SHARIF STREET and VINCENT HUGHES. They attended the Friday-night Stevens & Lee party and also hung out at the packed Cozen O’Connor event.

It’s great that Temple University had a strong showing at the Society. Their senior LT. GOV. CAWLEY make sure that the Temple cherry and white flies high. University PRESIDENT DICK ENGLERT has very good people skills and remembers everyone’s name. CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD PATRICK O’CONNOR is a skilled executive who always gets the top brass in the room.

The Pennsylvania Society dinner honored the Sheetz family. Sheetz is Wawa’s big competitor. Everyone from Philadelphia knows that Wawa is so much better; but the Sheetz family representatives took several sarcastic shots at Wawa and Philadelphia in general. They were kind enough, however, to wish for a Pennsylvania Super Bowl, noting what a great season the Eagles have had so far.

Eagles commentator and former GOV. ED RENDELL was seen at the Pennsylvania Society dinner, as was his former CHIEF OF STAFF DAVID L. COHEN. Well-liked Delaware County STATE REP. MARGO DAVIDSON made a favorable impression at many of the parties. Ambitious Northeast Philadelphia Republican STATE REP. MARTINA WHITE had her sister next to her as she attended a number of events.

The dinner was lightning quick compared to tradition. The formal event was over by about 8:45 p.m. Former EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CAROL FITZGERALD and her husband, JUDGE JIM FITZGERALD, were supportive and present at all the key events, but it must be noted that the dinner had lost its grandeur from previous years.

Philly CONGRESSMAN DWIGHT EVANS was at the 21 Club, as was labor leader Ryan Boyer, who appeared to be friendly with Lt. Gov. Stack. COUNCILMAN KENYATTA JOHNSON worked a crowded room at the Penn Breakfast on Saturday morning. Also seen there was DAVE GLANCEY, the former Democratic chair of Philadelphia, and LYNETTE BROWN-SOW, a member of the Philadelphia Board of City Trusts and vice president of the Community College of Philadelphia.

One of the notable events was the appearance of Republican gubernatorial candidate SCOTT WAGNER at the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association event on Saturday morning. Wagner apparently threw bombs and breathed fire all over the usually reserved crowd. Even though the audience is generally Republican and extremely pro-business, Wagner’s comments were seen as way over-the-top. He called Gov. Wolf a liar and a sellout. The strong consensus among people who attended the speech was that Wagner was generally too hard and too much.

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