September 6, 2008 |
The Democratic nominee for state attorney general has criticized incumbent Tom Corbett for spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on public service announcements in the Philadelphia region. The spots, which have aired on radio stations over the last two summers at a cost of about $625,000, take aim at illegal gun purchases. But John Morganelli, the Northampton County district attorney, says they are thinly veiled campaign ads for Corbett, a Republican. "The attorney general should not be using tax dollars to raise his name ID in Philadelphia," Morganelli said.
May 16, 2007
Michael Nutter may become the first big-city mayor to be elected by a 12-year-old. The 12-year-old would be Olivia, Nutter's daughter. Olivia starred in a fetching campaign ad that helped trigger her dad's come-from-behind surge, which culminated yesterday in an impressive win in Philadelphia's Democratic mayoral primary. In this Democratic town, Nutter's victory makes him the prohibitive favorite to win the fall election over Republican Al Taubenberger. Then, Nutter's job will be to worry day and night about 12-year-olds who don't have the same prospects in life as Olivia, the ones who attend the city's struggling schools, the ones who have to dodge bullets on its more dangerous streets, the ones who need their city to give them a reason to hope.
May 13, 2007 |
The five major candidates for the Democratic mayoral nomination spent the final Saturday of the campaign traversing Philadelphia in a nonstop search for votes. Dwight Evans planned to stump through the night in a 24-hour marathon. Michael Nutter rode on a bandwagon with a brass band, trailed by two Fairmount Park trolleys. Bob Brady rode a flatbed truck through the river wards. Tom Knox stopped at diners and rallied campaign workers. Chaka Fattah endorsed City Council candidates and greeted shoppers.
April 30, 2007 |
The city Board of Ethics will issue subpoenas to expedite its initial inquiry into whether the "527" political committees formed to attack mayoral candidate Tom Knox are truly independent of other campaigns, the board's chief said yesterday. "I intend to issue subpoenas . . . with a very short turnaround time," said J. Shane Creamer, interim executive director of the board. "We need a lot more facts, and I'm going to work my hardest this week to get those facts. " The 527s, which take their name from the section of the IRS code that governs them, were made famous by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which in 2004 slammed Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's Vietnam War record.
November 4, 2006
Here's a heads-up The last time high-tech public toilets appeared on Philadelphia sidewalks, it was just for show - a demonstration of the concept nearly a decade ago that, unfortunately, went nowhere. So maybe giving people a hands-on experience now will make all the difference. The European-style potty just installed outside City Hall already was turning heads this week, and it wasn't even open for, er, your business. When it does, anyone with a quarter will be able to try out the automated, self-cleaning toilet during a three-month trial.
November 2, 2006 |
How do candidates get away with those vile, misleading, and unscrupulous ads that keep jamming our mailboxes and poisoning the airwaves? Why doesn't somebody sue? Part of the answer has to do with New York Times v. Sullivan, a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1964. L.B. Sullivan, a Montgomery, Ala., commissioner, had sued the Times and four clergymen for defamation. He claimed that a political advertisement published in the paper had injured his reputation. The ad asked people to support the civil-rights movement.
October 31, 2006
In the annals of negative election advertising, this year should be known as the Year of the Playboy Bunny. You've probably seen the TV commercial attacking U.S. Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr., a Tennessee Democrat who is African American. It features a bubbly blonde, scantily clad, gushing that she met Ford at a Playboy party and urging him breathlessly to "call me. " The commercial plays shamelessly on prejudices about black men with white women; even Ford's Republican opponent called on the GOP to stop airing the offensive ad. The Republican National Committee, which gave money to the group that paid for the commercial, disavowed responsibility.
October 21, 2006 |
A "Strange" coincidence? Several weeks ago, Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann released a humorous campaign ad called "Decades," produced by Swann's media consultant, Stuart Stevens of the Washington-based firm Stevens and Schriefer, according to the campaign. The commercial featured an overweight, middle-aged man moving through the 1970s, '80s, '90s and on up to the present - dressed in the styles of those decades and moving to music specific to those times - and poking fun at Gov. Rendell's promises to reform government.
October 9, 2006
By now you've probably seen, repeatedly, Gov. Rendell's amazing campaign commercial featuring photographs of himself and Republican challenger Lynn Swann side-by-side on the TV screen. The thrust of the ad is that Rendell is a reformer, and Swann is not. The amazing part comes at the end, when Rendell attacks Swann for supporting "legislative leaders" who devised last year's infamous pay raise in Harrisburg and who lead one of the most "corrupt" legislatures in the nation. It's a reference to Swann's statement of support for state Senate President Pro Tempore Robert C. Jubelirer (R., Blair)
September 5, 2006 |
At this point, you might not know that three of the most competitive House races in the country are taking place in the Philadelphia suburbs. But you will come October, assuming you watch television. The national parties' campaign organizations have reserved an astonishing $16.1 million worth of commercial time on Philadelphia's television stations in the month leading up to the election on Nov. 7. That doesn't include ads funded by the candidates themselves or various interest groups.