Clout: Clinton Vs. Obama in state AG race?

Posted: March 30, 2012

FORMER PRESIDENT Bill Clinton's endorsement Monday of Kathleen Kane in the Democratic primary for state attorney general has us wondering:

Could an endorsement from President Obama for Kane's primary opponent, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, be next?

Kane was regional volunteer coordinator in northeastern Pennsylvania in the 2008 presidential-primary campaign for Clinton's wife, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Murphy has strong ties with Obama, who, as a senator from Illinois, came to Philadelphia in 2006 to raise money for Murphy's campaign. Murphy, who served in the Army in Iraq, worked closely with Obama in Congress on legislation to bring troops home from that war. He was also an early endorser of Obama for president.

From our conversation with Murphy, we surmise that he is seeking Obama's endorsement before the April 24 primary.

Clout: Did you ask Obama to endorse you in the primary?

Murphy: There isn't a Democrat in America who wouldn't want the president's endorsement.

Clout: Did you ask Obama to endorse you in the primary?

Murphy: I respect the fact that the White House tries to stay out of primaries.

Clout: Did you ask Obama to endorse you in the primary?

Murphy: There isn't a Democrat in America who wouldn't want the president's endorsement.

Murphy countered the Clinton endorsement of Kane, a former Lackawanna County assistant district attorney, with his own endorsement by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

Rich Negrin's shadow

Managing Director Richard Negrin is a big guy, but his footprint has been a little larger the past few months now that he's traveling with police protection.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey confirmed that he authorized the one-man detail to staff Negrin several months ago.

"Personally I believe the mayor and the managing director should have a police detail," said Ramsey, who gave similar protection to Negrin's predecessor, Camille Barnett, after she was heckled by a homeless man while walking her dogs in LOVE Park.

Ramsey and Negrin wouldn't say if a specific incident or threat triggered the protection for Negrin, named managing director in June 2010.

"We've had a lot of things in the city that go on and on, on a constant basis," Ramsey said.

Negrin said that he took the commissioner's recommendation.

"It's based on facts and circumstances that are ongoing," he said. "I think the police made a decision based on information they know. They made a recommendation. I didn't ask for it."

Negrin was 13 when his father was murdered in front of him in Union City, N.J., by "Omega 7" terrorists who opposed Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Ramsey said that the officer came from the Homeland Security unit, and the assignment doesn't affect staffing on the street. He also said that Negrin was being driven in an unmarked city car.

Philly: It's a small town

Only in Philly - a phrase we often think about trademarking - would someone suing her former employer wind up spending time in a nonprofit boardroom with former colleagues and the judge hearing the case.

But that's what Madeline Apollo, former chief financial officer at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, faces at board meetings for the Avenue of the Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to fixing up Broad Street.

Apollo sued the authority in October, claiming that she was wrongly fired in 2010 for trying to "protect the integrity" of the authority's operations and finances.

Apollo, who served on the non-profit's board as part of her authority duties, continued to attend meetings even after being fired. The nonprofit and the authority work together on projects, since the Convention Center is a high-profile property on North Broad Street.

U.S. District Judge Petrece Tucker, who is also on the board, is overseeing Apollo's lawsuit. Former authority colleagues who are expected to be witnesses in the case also serve on the board.

This all apparently made for some awkward interaction during a December meeting, prompting Apollo to request that Tucker assign her case to a different judge.

Apollo declined an offer from the nonprofit to take a leave. On Tuesday, Tucker rejected Apollo's request for a new judge.

Apollo could appeal that decision to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which counts among its judges Marjorie Rendell, a former chairwoman of the Avenue of the Arts.

Grab that remote

The second 30-minute episode of the 12-part documentary series that former mayoral candidate Sam Katz is developing about the city's history will air on 6ABC Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

The episode, Fever: 1793, examines the yellow-fever epidemic that gripped the city and the advances in science and technology that it prompted here.

You can learn more about the series at Philadelphia: The Great Experiment, at HistoryofPhilly. com.

- Staff writer Catherine Lucey

contributed to this report.

Have tips or suggestions? Call Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or e-mail

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