Balk radio

ASSOCIATED PRESS Gov. Corbett silences his phone during a speech in Erie yesterday. He likewise declined a call from union president Wendell Young IV.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Gov. Corbett silences his phone during a speech in Erie yesterday. He likewise declined a call from union president Wendell Young IV.
Posted: July 12, 2013

 G  OV. CORBETT spent the week of July Fourth on a media tour declaring his independence from the state General Assembly's failure to pass his legislative agenda.

That included his monthly appearance on Dom Giordano's WPHT (1210-AM) radio show, where Corbett batted the host's rhetorical softballs with ease.

Corbett took particular aim at Wendell Young IV, president of the union representing state liquor-store employees and a key player in the defeat - for now - of the governor's push to privatize that system.

Corbett derided Young as a guy just trying to save his own job.

This from a governor who earlier this year told Republicans in the Legislature that he needed a win on liquor to secure a second term in office in 2014.

Giordano took some calls from listeners. A producer told him Young was waiting on the line.

And then . . . nothing. Giordano didn't pick up, leaving Young on hold as Corbett wrapped up his appearance.

Just imagine the verbal fireworks that might have been.

Giordano this week said Corbett didn't want to take the call, citing Young's behavior during the privatization debate.

Specifically, Giordano said, Corbett was upset about Young "giving someone the finger" during the legislative process.

That was apparently a reference to an April Fools' Day parody post on PoliticsPA.com.

The popular website published a picture of a hand, middle finger extended in salute, with this quote attributed to Young: "I got your privatization right here."

It was one of 26 parody news stories the site published on April 1. One said Corbett had nominated a potted plant for a vacancy on the state Supreme Court. Another - perhaps more on point here - said the governor decided "to privatize the management and operation of his mouth."

We're not sure if Corbett also took those stories seriously.

Mike Barley, Corbett's campaign manager, said he didn't know why the governor didn't want to take Young's call but accepts Giordano's explanation.

He called Young a "picture of behaving badly" during the privatization debate in Harrisburg.

Giordano says he'd love to have Young and Corbett debate the issue on his show. Young is game but Corbett's camp didn't exactly leap at the opportunity.

"He lives in a bubble," Young said of the governor. "I would not have been rude or ugly. But I would have challenged him."

From FOP to Council?

John McNesby, president of Lodge 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police since 2007, is seeking another three-year term on Oct. 1.

We hear that isn't the only ballot on McNesby's mind. Could the FOP post be a springboard to a run for City Council's 10th District seat, held for nine four-year terms by Republican Council minority leader Brian O'Neill?

McNesby's union just opened a massive new headquarters in the Far Northeast district with a restaurant, bar and gym for members - and a constituent services office for O'Neill.

McNesby, a Democrat, called talk of a Council run "speculation" but followed up with this bit of knowledge: "I can tell you that 70 percent of our members live in the 10th Council district."

Bill Rubin, a former City Commission employee and Pension Board member, ran against O'Neill in 2011. Rubin, who now works for City Controller Alan Butkovitz, said he heard McNesby might take a shot at the seat.

Rubin, who can't be political because of his current job, is rumored to be a potential candidate for a City Commission seat or a Council seat, especially if one or more Council members resign to run for mayor.

O'Neill, who calls McNesby "a good friend," knows there are rumors he won't seek a 10th term on Council. Not true, he said.

"I have absolutely no intention of retiring," O'Neill said. "I love the job more than I ever have."

Quotable:

" Did the Nutter Administration support "shared prosperity" for airport workers? #bull----"

- A tweet from City Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. yesterday after Mayor Nutter unveiled "Shared Prosperity Philadelphia," a plan to combat poverty. Goode's tweet, which refers to efforts to raise wages for some Philadelphia International Airport workers, did not include dashes in the hashtag.


Email: brennac@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5973

On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN

Blog: ph.ly/phillyclout

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