Libertarian Party picks pot activist

Tamaccio: Call him Mr. Poe.
Tamaccio: Call him Mr. Poe.

Council run while on probation

Posted: April 04, 2014

PHILADELPHIA'S Libertarian Party this week selected a marijuana-legalization activist on federal probation as its candidate in the May 20 special election for an at-large City Council seat.

The party filed a nomination certificate for Richard Tamaccio yesterday, according to the Philadelphia Board of Elections.

Tamaccio, a comedian who uses the stage name n.a. Poe, also filed a ballot name-change affidavit seeking to list himself on the ballot as Nikki Allen Poe.

Tamaccio, 34, who this week registered to vote as a Libertarian, said in an email that he "will be attacking the Local 98 machine and running a grass-roots peoples campaign."

The city's Democratic ward leaders last month chose state Rep. Ed Neilson, a former political director for Local 98 of the electricians union, as their candidate. The Republicans selected lawyer Matt Wolfe, a West Philly ward leader, as theirs.

Tamaccio helped organize Smoke Down Prohibition rallies at the Independence National Historic Park. He was arrested on May 18 at the event and later admitted smoking marijuana and then resisting arrest by a U.S. park ranger.

He was sentenced on Dec. 13 to one year of probation with routine drug testing.

A probation report file in federal court on Jan. 27 said Tamaccio told a probation officer that "he had been using marijuana 'virtually every day' until Dec. 11" but intended to "refrain from marijuana use" while on probation.

The Council at-large seat is vacant because former Councilman Bill Green IV, a Democrat, resigned in February to become chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission.

The city's three certified political parties - Democratic, Republican and Libertarian - are allowed to nominate a candidate for the special election.

Other third-party groups and independents must gather the signatures of 1,785 registered voters in the city by next Tuesday to qualify for the ballot.

On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN


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