Philly bids for 2016 Democratic National Convention amid a political slap-fest

Kenney
Kenney
Posted: February 28, 2014

I N A POLITICAL tug-of-war, with U.S. Rep. Bob Brady and City Council on one end of the rope and Mayor Nutter on the other, guess who usually gets dragged across the line?

There were skid marks behind Nutter yesterday after another bout of City Hall dysfunction, this time about whether Philadelphia should officially express interest in hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, sent letters to several cities on Feb. 7, initiating the "very first step" in the 2016 convention process. She asked those cities to respond by tomorrow if interested.

City Councilman Jim Kenney told his colleagues yesterday that Schultz on Wednesday asked Brady why she had not heard from Philadelphia. Kenney added that Nutter was out of town and, when reached by Brady, said he would look at the letter Monday, two days after the DNC deadline.

Kenney introduced a resolution yesterday morning, unanimously approved by Council, to say the city wants the 2016 convention.

Consider this passage: "Whereas, Philadelphia City Council is bewildered as to why the administration has not jumped at the opportunity to simply express an interest in competing to host this major event when the economic benefits are obvious . . ."

Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald, tweeting as Kenney's resolution was coming up for a vote, said the city would be replying to the DNC "shortly" with an expression of interest. That letter went out before noon, he tweeted later.

McDonald later said Kenney had not contacted Nutter or his office about the issue and was "manufacturing a tempest in a teapot" to get media attention.

McDonald also denied that Nutter said he would wait until Monday to review the DNC's letter.

You have to wonder: What does all this look like on the outside to the DNC, which will make the call on a host city that stands to make millions from the convention?

Brady has been pushing for the city to host a Democratic National Convention since 2010. Nutter wavered then on bidding for the 2012 convention, even as the DNC gave Philly a one-month extension to consider it. Nutter then ruled out a bid for 2012.

Brady started pushing for 2016 while the 2012 convention was underway in Charlotte, N.C.

Nutter has expressed cautious interest as Brady last summer launched a "working group" of politicians, tourism officials and labor leaders to prepare for a potential convention bid.

"All I want to do is just be helpful," Brady said with a sigh yesterday when asked about Nutter. "I don't need to be out front. He's the mayor. Let him be out front."

Speaking of 2016 . . .

Quinnipiac University released a poll yesterday that has good news for one potential contender for the 2016 presidential nomination with Pennsylvania roots and bad news for two others.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has family ties to Scranton, would make a good president, according to 59 percent of the 1,405 Pennsylvania registered voters in the poll.

The same number, 59 percent, said Vice President Joe Biden, a Scranton native, would not be a good president.

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who looks to be making another run for the Republican nomination, would also not be a good president, 52 percent said.

Peruto on the case

The criminal case against rookie state Rep. J.P. Miranda may get more interesting today as defense lawyer A. Charles Peruto Jr. enters the fray.

Miranda and his sister, Michelle Wilson, have a preliminary hearing this morning on three felony charges after a Philadelphia grand jury on Jan. 27 accused them of using a "ghost employee" to funnel cash to Wilson from Miranda's office payroll.

"It's a prosecution of the most minimal infraction because Seth has a personal vendetta against J.P. Miranda," Peruto said of District Attorney Seth Williams. "There are at least 100 more serious violations in the House of Representatives in Philadelphia right now that are being overlooked."

A little history: Peruto is still furious that Williams called a grand-jury investigation after Julia Papazian Law, 26, was found dead in Peruto's bathtub in May.

Peruto was out of town at the time of Law's death, which was ruled an accidental drowning as a result of alcohol poisoning.

A one-sentence news release from the District Attorney's Office two weeks ago said "there was no evidence of criminal activity found" in Law's death.

That prompted Peruto to call Williams something on Facebook that rhymes with "hat trick."

Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for Williams, responded to Peruto yesterday by noting that the Miranda investigation started with a televised report by Fox 29 reporter Jeff Cole.

"The evidence, which includes video, in this case speaks for itself and after a lengthy grand-jury investigation the jurors concluded that Mr. Miranda and his sister not only committed the offenses they are charged with, they also perjured themselves in court," Jamerson said in an email.


Email: brennac@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5973

On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN

Blog: ph.ly/phillyclout

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