Clout: Brady foe Moore has a tough task ahead

Posted: July 15, 2011

JUDGE Jimmie Moore knows plenty about tough times, catching a break, working your way up and then going out on your own.

Moore, who left the city's Municipal Court last month, is challenging U.S. Rep. Bob Brady in next year's Democratic primary election, which is fewer than 10 months away.

Today is the deadline for federal candidates to file the July quarterly campaign-finance


Moore, 60, has raised $22,650 from 56 donors in the first 25 days of his campaign, with half of that coming through his website.

Brady will report tomorrow that he has more than $700,000 in cash on hand as of June 30.

This will be a curious matchup because Moore, a kid from the projects in Hartford, Conn., who ran with a gang until he straightened out with a college scholarship, came up through Philly politics under the tutelage of a party chairman named Bob Brady.

Brady, 66, was first sent to Congress by city voters in a 1998 special election. He's been local party chairman since 1986.

Moore said he volunteered in the offices of the late U.S. Rep. Lucien Blackwell while starting his legal practice as a way to drum up clients. Blackwell sent him to the Democratic City Committee, where Moore volunteered as a way to gain support for a run for judge.

That support got him to Municipal Court in 1999 but faltered in 2003 when he ran unsuccessfully for a Common Pleas seat. He was re-elected to Municipal Court in 2005.

Moore steps carefully when speaking about Brady, saying "history will judge" how the congressman has served the state's 1st District, which runs through the heart of Philadelphia all the way down to Chester in Delaware County. Moore says he plans to focus on education, unemployment and poverty.

"All I'm going to do is go to the district and point to the district," Moore said. "I don't need to come out bashing or slinging. The facts speak for themselves."

There is at least one clear line of attack if Brady chooses to engage: The 1990s were a very tough financial time for Moore. He filed for bankruptcy twice and 18 liens were filed against him for unpaid bills.

Moore says a real-estate deal took him down and a sound financial plan brought him back.

And what about that time in the gang, the Wolverines from Hartford's Bellevue Square projects?

Moore laughs and says the gang was known to "wreak havoc" but he is vague when asked for details about what that means.

"We did a few things on the other side of the law," Moore told us. "Absolutely."

Sen. Williams: Down, not out

Anyone who has seen state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams recently can tell you he hasn't been well. But Williams doesn't want to say exactly what's going on with his health these days. We know because we asked him this week about rumors that he is dealing with some form of cancer.

"It's true I had surgery," Williams told us. "It's true that I'm recovering from it. But it's also true that I'm going to recover."

Williams was easily re-elected last fall to a fourth term in the Senate after finishing third in the spring in a four-way Democratic primary election for governor. He knows the rumors are swirling about his health problems.

"I guess people were counting the days to my demise, sometime this summer," he said.

Williams, who has dropped 60 pounds during his treatment, said he will probably talk about his health issues at some point, just not now.

"I'm recovering," he told us. "And I should be OK."

20 years gone: Mayor Rizzo

Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the death of former Mayor Frank Rizzo, a pugilistic titan of Philadelphia politics who passed while preparing to re-take his City Hall office.

A group of motorcycle enthusiasts will ride from Rizzo's grave in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Cheltenham at 11 a.m. to the statue of the former mayor outside the Municipal Services Building across from City Hall.

His son, Councilman Frank Rizzo, said a nice crowd is expected to gather at the statue between noon and 12:30 p.m. for a ceremony that will include the former mayor's brother, former city Fire Commissioner Joe Rizzo; former District Attorney Lynne Abraham, and former Police Commissioner Joe O'Neil.

"It's nice when people think about you when you're alive," Rizzo's son told us yesterday. "But it's really something when they think about you when

you're dead. Especially in politics."


"I think this fascination in getting the field set so early is something I'm not concerned with. We're going to have a candidate and the president is going to drag the field down."

- Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, commenting on the Pennsylvania GOP's efforts to recruit a candidate to challenge U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. next year.

Staff writer Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.

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Have a news tip? Gossip? Suggestion? Call Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or Catherine Lucey at 215-854-4712. Or e-mail

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