Taking an odd flier for bipartisanship

Posted: October 15, 2012

Mayor Nutter has been getting lots of national attention lately as an Obama surrogate, while battling at home with one of the party's biggest constituencies - labor unions.

Last week, we got our hands on a flier titled "Mike Wants To Be Like Mitt," with head shots of Nutter and GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

The flier states both men "think it's better to have the middle class pay up, not the rich," and "think it's OK to disrespect working men and women," and "put profits ahead of our neighborhoods." The flier doesn't say who's responsible for the content. But given that Nutter isn't actually on a ballot, it seems likely the work of labor.

All of which makes for an interesting internecine tussle, especially since the political chattering class believes Nutter is working his way toward a potential position in the Obama administration.

At this point, local unions might be happy to see him go. - Troy Graham

Pension bill still awaiting introduction

And speaking of labor . . .

Nutter sent a bill to Council last week to make changes to the pension plan for nonunion employees, increasing contributions and putting new hires into a less expensive hybrid plan.

Because the administration wants municipal unions to accede to a similar plan (and the unions have steadfastly refused), codifying the changes could be politically dicey.

Council leadership, which typically would introduce a mayoral bill of this significance, did not do so, saying the bill arrived too late to be reviewed before the meeting.

Council President Darrell L. Clarke told KYW, "We anticipate introducing this bill in the future, but I want to understand what we're putting in the hopper."

This despite the fact that bills, once introduced, have been known to languish in Council for months - even years. So, we'll see what happens this week. - Troy Graham

The controller and the councilman

In the last two weeks, Controller Alan Butkovitz has put out two reports on unscrupulous builders, just as Councilmen Bobby Henon and James F. Kenney were introducing a bill to crack down on those same folks.

Kenney last week offered this opinion of Butkovitz: "The Rosie Ruiz of politics." Ruiz, of course, was the woman who sneaked into the 1980 Boston Marathon about a mile from the end and pretended to have won the race.

"I don't know what contractors in North Philly has to do with the controller's office," Kenney added. "The next thing you know, he'll be doing a report on NASA."

Butkovitz said his office had been working on the issue for years - and he thought he and Kenney were friendly.

"We're interested in fixing the problem, and I thought he was, too," Butkovitz said. "Does he think it would be better if there was less evidence supporting his legislation?"

Did we mention that Kenney and Butkovitz are both eyeing a 2015 mayoral run? - Troy Graham

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