POLS ON THE STREET: Bullet Voting – Whom Do You Love, Really?

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JOE BIDEN kicked off his presidential campaign Apr. 25 at a fundraiser at Comcast VP David Cohen’s Mount Airy home.

BY JOE SHAHEELI
An important political tactic comes into play in primary races where there are multiple seats in a given office which are being contested by more candidates than there are seats.

Example: Democrats get to nominate two seats on City Commission – but there are 13 candidates for those seats on their primary ballot. All Democrats are entitled to vote for their two favorites among that lot.

If, however, you are strongly rooting for one candidate in particular – then it may be a strategic mistake for you to cast a second vote for the next-best candidate. That’s because the next-best candidate may use your vote to come in second – thereby winning a berth on the November ballot and a sure win – nudging out your favorite, who came in third.

For this reason, seasoned political operatives want their hardcore supporters to cast only one vote, for their champion. If you are really excited about one candidate, you should vote only for that candidate, no matter how many other choices stare at you on the ballot.

Bullet voting matters greatly in at-large councilmanic races, for both Republicans and Democrats. It’s a game of musical chairs for those five names on the November ballot. If you are dedicated to electing one person in particular, don’t vote for four more names, no matter how highly you think of them.

CONGRESSMAN Brendan Boyle recently travelled to Ireland with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a trip to Ireland to discuss BREXIT issues. This is a picture of them crossing the border in Belfast to demonstrate our support for the Good Friday Agreement.

The same is true in judicial races, where six openings are being contested by more than a score of candidates. If there is one person that you are convinced should be a judge, vote only for that person. Any five other votes you cast may wind up defeating your favorite.

It seems counterintuitive, in a time when all activists decry low voter turnout, to encourage people not to vote for every choice that lies before them as citizens. But the first mission in voting is to enable your people to win and bulleting is a way to win.

This doesn’t matter if your choices are more generic than personal. Say you’re rooting to elect as many judges as possible who are saints, or scholars, or Slovenians, or southpaws. If you have a list of six potential jurists who qualify in your category, then vote for those six.

If you are primarily loyal to a slate chosen by an interest group you identify with, it’s smart to vote that slate: There is strength in numbers. But if you know and like a candidate off its slate, you can “BB bullet” him or her by skipping one on your team’s slate and punching your pal’s button instead.

FLANKING councilmanic at-large candidate Vinny Black at RePoint Philadelphia candidates forum were organizers Aaron Wunsch and Janice Woodcock. The event, held at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens on South Street, drew numerous candidates such as Black, who closed with his campaign slogan, “I’m Vinny Black and I got your back.”

Election strategy can be baffling for an ordinary voter. But it can also be fun to learn and practise. And it’s free.

FOP Gives Nod to Dan Tinney

Philadelphia FOP Lodge 5 has endorsed Republican candidate Dan Tinney in his campaign for City Council at Large in the May 19 primary election.

“We are very proud to endorse Dan Tinney for City Council At-Large in the primary election. Tinney is a neighborhood guy with strong ties to our members in the community. We believe he will always support our brothers and sisters in blue in City Hall. Our members need allies in City Hall now more than ever,” said FOP President John McNesby.

“I am very humbled and honored to receive the endorsement of the FOP. Their support means so much to me because they represent so many of my family, friends and neighbors in Northeast Philadelphia. They sacrifice so much at such great personal expense. I will be a strong voice for the police community in City Hall,” Tinney responded.

FOP endorsement is a big boost in urban Republican politics because its members all live in Philadelphia, many lean Republican and all are trained in team spirit.

Gym Racks up Endorsements

The final weeks before a primary see a flurry of endorsements. Councilwoman Helen Gym has picked up her share.

A BREAKFAST support meeting for Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., C, was hosted by Bellevue Strategies last week.

She announced last week she had picked up hugs from Ascend PAC, One Pennsylvania, UNITE HERE and the Sierra Club. “As a big believer in local politics and community organizing, I’m grateful to have the support of groups committed to uplifting a progressive agenda,” she said.

Number 1 Draws Rivera-Reyes Fans

Pulling top position on the councilmanic at-large ballot always invites a closer look from a host of endorsers. In all fairness, Adrián Rivera-Rivera-Reyes already had certain angles going for him before that moment, though.

COMMUNITY linchpin Donald “Ducky” Birts’ Foundation held its annual Medallion Scholarship Banquet in Cheltenham last Saturday. Honoree State Rep. Joanna McClinton was flanked by David Birts, L, and Ducky. Photo by Robert Mendelsohn

In the past week, Latino Victory Fund announced its endorsement of Rivera-Reyes in the Democratic primary on May 21.

“From growing up in a working-class family in Puerto Rico to becoming a PhD cancer researcher, Adrián Rivera-Reyes’ perspective and voice are what’s missing in the Philadelphia City Council,” said Latino Victory Fund Interim President Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Adrián’s passion for helping Philadelphia’s working families is nothing new. As a community organizer, he has seen firsthand what struggling families are going through. He will be the strongest advocate at City Hall, fighting for quality housing, education, and health care. Make no mistake: this PhillyRican can get things done.”

“Our city is better when our leaders reflect our diversity,” said Rivera-Reyes. Philadelphia has the largest Puerto Rican population after New York City.

AT-LARGE councilmanic candidate Justin DiBerardinis, C, made his case to the Schuylkill Navy at an event at Crescent Boat Club. He posed here with Commodore of the Schuylkill Navy Paul Horvat and Vice Commodore Bonnie Mueller.

Rivera-Reyes also picked up the kiss of the Working Families Party.

In 2017, Working Families Party, one of the largest and most active progressive organizations nationwide, backed 1036 candidates across 23 states, and won in nearly 2/3 of its races. WFP was active in many of the recent progressive victories in Philadelphia, including Larry Krasner, Chris Rabb, Joe Hohenstein and Elizabeth Fiedler.

Speaking for her party, Vanessa Clifford said, “As a member of City Council, Adrian will stand up for fully-funded public schools, higher wages, affordable housing and a Green New Deal. We are proud to support him.”

“With their support, we will make Philadelphia a city that puts working class people first,” responded Rivera-Reyes.

A CITYWIDE Community Day and Anti-Violence Summit was sponsored by the Philadelphia Masjid and the Coalition for the Reconstruction of Unified Community Involvement & Leadership at Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse in Fairmount Park E. L-R were Ron Waters, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Neil Blount, State Sen. Anthony Williams and Rajan Muhammad. Photo by Leona Dixon

Gordon Snaps up the Choice 9th Ward

Tracey Gordon was thrilled to trumpet her endorsement by the 9th Ward Democrats in the race for Register of Wills.

Dormant for years under the leadership of incumbent Ron Donatucci, who has a management record with no glaring stumbles, this primary contest has drawn two challengers this year, Jacque Whaumbush and Gordon.

Gordon served as deputy City commissioner and has been around town both in that capacity and in progressive political circles.

The 9th Ward Democrats are a bastion of well-heeled progressives who also show up at the polls in large numbers.

Memo to all candidates in a contested citywide race: Travel north of Market Street once in a while.

Libertarian Toure Hunts at-Large Seat

COUNCILMAN Mark Squilla’s friends turned out for his NFL Draft Party at McGillin’s Olde Ale House. L-R were Brian Stevenson, Squilla, State Sen. Larry Farnese, Ward Leader J.R. Rowan and Justin Whitmore. Photos by Wendell Douglas

Maj Toure, activist and Philly native, has declared his candidacy in an at-large bid for Philadelphia City Council. In his words:

“Philadelphia’s City Council has problem. We are under-educating our young people. Citizens are being lied to about marijuana. Our neighbors are being locked up. We need new solutions. I am running for this seat to be a Solutionary. Things need to change, and I will be that change when I am in office.”

Toure outlined his priorities as criminal-justice reform: to end the practice of solitary confinement; legalization of marijuana: bring home our family members now; and improved education in Philadelphia: conflict resolution training for disconnected youths.

Toure describes himself as a hip-hop artist turned 2nd Amendment advocate.

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