POLS ON THE STREET: Ahmad, Butkovitz Eye Pa. Auditor’s Office in 2020

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SEIU led a noisy march through Center City as it threatened a strike by office cleaners. Mayor Jim Kenney came out to support the union. Photo by Wendell Douglas

BY JOE SHAHEELI
Two Philadelphians were among four working the Democratic State Committee get-together, looking to run for State Auditor General in 2020. That post’s current occupant, Eugene DePasquale, is term-limited and running for Congress.

Former City Controller Alan Butkovitz and former Deputy Mayor Nina Ahmad have been giving the race serious attention. Also pumping hands were Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb and former Lancaster County congressional candidate Christina Hartman.

Butkovitz’s qualifications are impeccable and he would command the loyalty of City Committee. Ahmad would make a strong appeal to the rising progressive faction and might cash in on the “Year of the Woman” mood.

NAZARETH HOSPITAL revealed its recently renovated intensive-care unit during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. During the ceremony, Nazareth Hospital representatives were joined by State Sen. John P. Sabatina Jr. and former Lt. Gov. Mike Stack. Nazareth received $1.6 million from the Commonwealth to help fund operations over a five-year period of time. Sabatina presented a Pennsylvania state flag to Nazareth President Dr. Michael Magro, who said, “By upgrading not only the unit’s infrastructure and medical equipment, but also the unit’s appearance, we will be able to better care for our community by providing a space conducive to healing.” L-R, Dr. Magro, Catherine Cardillo of Trinity Health, Stack and Sabatina.

But a harsh reality of statewide politics is that when two Philadelphians compete, they split the Philadelphia vote, clearing a path for a single Midstate or Southwestern candidate. These regions unite behind their own. In a four-way race, then, we would put our money on Lamb.

If the two Philadelphians got together and flipped a coin for one to drop out, then our city would stand a better chance of electing one of our own. But Ahmad and Butkovitz are both political animals, so that seems, even though wise, unlikely.

Domb Could Cash in with Poverty Break

Councilmember Allan Domb (at Large) is talking about resurrecting an old idea that could win him new votes in 2023. It’s a wage-tax refund for poor Philadelphians.

Since Philadelphia has a high poverty rate (around 25%), that could win him a strong talking point should he decide to run for mayor that year, to succeed Jim Kenney.

“We charge people in poverty the highest levels of taxation… and it’s all coming from City wage tax,” Domb said. “They can’t put food on the table.”

LOCAL STATE REPS staged a benefit baseball game for Share Food Program & Hunger Free Pennsylvania in Harrisburg last week. L-R, Delco’s Jen O’Mara, Danilo Burgos of Kensington, Joanna McClinton of W. Philadelphia, Share Food Program Director and 38th Ward Treasurer George Matysik, Morgan Cephas of W. Philadelphia and Jason Dawkins of Kensington.

The amount at stake could run to $43 million. Poor families might get a check of up to $1,700. Given the City’s current fiscal health, that number looks affordable now.

It didn’t, though, when Councilman David Cohen got a similar measure passed in 2004. After his death, City money managers stalled implementation and finally saw to its repeal.
This time around, the fate of Domb’s proposal may lie in the hands of fellow Council members who, like him, are considering a mayoralty in their future. There are several.
Should they get behind it, to split the glory? Or should they block it unobtrusively, to deny him that advantage?

‘Working People’ Claims to Top GOP

The Working People’s Party, a progressive organization, reports that its two independent candidates for City Council at large, Pastor Nicolas O’Rourke and Kendra Brooks, have both out-raised Republican incumbents Al Taubenberger and David Oh, as well as GOP challenger Dan Tinney, since June.

SUPPORTERS of Councilman David Oh’s re-election campaign turned out in number at the Racquet Club in Center City. Joining Oh, L, were Fernando Torres and singer Harrianned Chaurel, who performed at the affair. Photo by Wendell Douglas

Of course, come that fatal Tuesday, money doesn’t win elections; votes do.

Still, game on, Republicans!

McCaffery Gets Women Backers

Alas, poor Dan! Running for an obscure statewide office – Superior Court judge – Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge McCaffery must compete with three women for one of two vacancies in what many think is really the Year of the Woman, this time (unlike the last several times).

Prudently, Judge McCaffery has formed a “Women for McCaffery” group, touting endorsements by Planned Parenthood and several women Democratic leaders.

10TH DISTRICT councilmanic candidate Judy Moore picked up the coveted endorsement of the Keystone Mountain Lakes United Council of Carpenters. L-R, Mungu Sanche, Mike Hand, Moore, William Sproule, Michael Campbell and James Hocker.

The group has a Facebook page @McCafferyForSuperiorCourt. His communications team is collecting testimonials at Joseph@IndigoStrategies.com.

Moore Racks up Union Endorsements

Democratic candidate in the 10th Councilmanic District Judy Moore now claims the backing of several key unions.

Moore has flipped Philadelphia Firefighters’ & Paramedics’ Local 22, who also had previously supported 40-year incumbent Brian O’Neill. Other union endorsements include SEIU, 1199C and 32BJ, UFCW 1776, AFSCME DC 47, Plumbers Local 690, Boilermakers Local 13, Transport Workers Local 234, and Communications Workers Local 13000.

Judy Moore is the Democratic candidate for City Council in the 10th District. Born in Northeast Philadelphia, she lives in the neighborhood of Normandy with her kids and her husband, a Philadelphia Police Officer.

Register to Vote – NOW!

To vote in November, make sure to register to do so by this coming Monday. Pennsylvanians have until Monday, Oct. 7 to register to vote.

Potential voters have plenty of options to become registered, according to state officials, with the easiest being the use of Pennsylvania’s new online voter-registration system.

Be a full citizen!

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