Nutter in Paris for lame-duck confit?

Posted: July 25, 2014

BON VOYAGE, Monsieur Nutter!

The mayor and his wife, Lisa Nutter, yesterday arrived in France for an official six-day trip to promote international business interests in Philadelphia.

In his second term, Nutter has traveled extensively in his official capacity, making previous trips to Beijing and Tianjin, China; Florence, Italy; the United Kingdom and Israel; Panama and Rome.

Nutter's travel expenses will be paid for by the city, while his wife's, including their hotel room, will be covered by Advanced Sports International. Lisa Nutter is an ASI-sponsored cyclist, and part of the trip will be dedicated to promoting the sport and checking out Paris' bike-share program. (Philly will launch its own next year.)

As the Tour de France competitors enter Paris on Sunday, Philly's first couple will be watching from a "VIP location," said Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald.

All the second-term travel has critics wondering whether the mayor is promoting the city or just looking to try some lame-duck confit.

City Councilman Jim Kenney, who has criticized Nutter's frequent absences in the past, has been urging the mayor to sign a bill that could limit marijuana arrests. Yesterday, he took to Twitter to ask Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who met with Nutter, to take up his cause.

"S'il vous plait demandez a Maire @Anne_Hidalgo elle arrive à ne pas incarcerer ses citoyens pour la marijuana! @Michael_Nutter," he tweeted, which means, "Please ask @Anne_Hidalgo not to imprison her citizens for marijuana! @Michael Nutter"

McDonald, Nutter's spokesman, said that the mayor's trips boost the city's profile and that he keeps in contact with city officials while he's abroad.

"We think it is a highly profitable use of the mayor of this city's time," he said. "He has continued to oversee the city and take care of business."

Nutter will be joined on the trip by business leaders who are paying their own way. No staff members will make the trek.

On Twitter: @SeanWalshDN


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