June 28, 2014 |
Jimmie Moore, a retired Philadelphia Municipal Court judge, was the only candidate to knock off an incumbent Democratic ward leader during the party's quadrennial reorganization this month. That's no easy task: The process of picking the 69 neighborhood political leaders can be contentious, and incumbents are notoriously difficult to unseat. Then, days after a chaotic meeting in North Philadelphia's 32d Ward, the incumbent, Gary Williams, challenged Moore's victory before the Democratic City Committee.
May 23, 2014 |
In Philadelphia, political underdogs usually have a tough time getting much traction without the requisite endorsements and donors, especially in low-turnout elections. Tuesday's primary - with a modest turnout estimated at 20 percent - held to that form, with upstarts around the city making minimal progress against the establishment. Meanwhile, candidates with money and support from Local 98 of the Electricians did particularly well, burnishing the union's position and reputation a year away from the next mayoral primary.
April 7, 2014
The rusty Philadelphia Democratic machine is stuck. Its leaders say they don't know what to do in the wake of an abandoned sting that allegedly recorded four state representatives taking cash from a lobbyist turned informant. But there is plenty they can do. First of all, the four state representatives implicated in the sting should be removed from the official party ballot distributed to voters on the day of the primary election, May 20. That would send a message that the party won't support candidates who face such serious allegations.
March 24, 2014 |
Four of Philadelphia's 26 state representatives are running for reelection under a cloud, implicated in a crime by the state attorney general but not charged with anything. The legal limbo, arising from an aborted sting operation, vexes leaders of the dominant city Democratic Party, who say they don't want to appear tolerant of corruption but also are reluctant to abandon their colleagues. The consensus: Sit tight. Only one of the four House members has any opposition in the May 20 primary.
March 16, 2014 |
To Lucress Irizarry, the July 2012 birthday party for State Sen. LeAnna Washington was like any other laid-back summer gathering. About 100 casually dressed guests milled beneath a tent on the lawn of Fairmount Park's Belmont Mansion, some holding plates of quiche and chicken from the buffet. As the afternoon sun fell, guests sat at round tables or danced to music from a DJ. "It was really nice," said Irizarry, who co-owns a photography company that Washington hired to shoot the event.
March 12, 2014 |
CITY COMMISSIONER Stephanie Singer, part of a three-member panel that oversees elections in Philadelphia, has a problem with the way her political party will select a candidate today for a vacant City Council at-large seat. Singer, in an email Sunday to about 4,000 people on her campaign list, questioned the "accountability" and "transparency" in the Democratic process. Singer said in other Pennsylvania counties, candidates for a special election are voted on by a political party's committee members, who are elected by voters.
March 6, 2014 |
CITY COUNCIL President Darrell Clarke announced yesterday that there will be a special election to fill the at-large Council seat vacated by Bill Green, who moved on to chair the School Reform Commission last month. It will be held May 20, the day of the primary election. "This will be a one-step election. Whoever wins on that day will be the councilperson upon certificate of the election results," Clarke said. The Council president was careful to open the referendum to all interested parties - Democrats, Republicans and independents alike.
February 18, 2014 |
Maria Quiñones Sánchez has never been beloved by Philadelphia's political power structure - she has twice won her seat on City Council despite opposition from the Democratic Party and with some of the biggest donors supporting her opponent. She's unlikely to gain much popularity with her latest move - backing a slate of four upstart candidates in races for the state House and Senate seats that overlap her Council district. She has strong ties to the candidates. One is her husband, Tomas, and the others have been aides in her Council office.
February 3, 2014
Is recently arrested State Rep. J.P. Miranda the face of Philadelphia's Democratic Party? The rookie legislator once worked for prominent city Democrats such as Mayor Nutter, Council President Darrell Clarke, and State Sen. Shirley Kitchen. What did he learn from them? Is the party represented by his sister and codefendant, Michelle Wilson, who worked for Councilman Curtis Jones Jr.? Or is the face of the party Ray Jones? He was recently the subject of a scathing federal audit of a charity he operates, having paid himself, the sole employee, $346,000 over three years.
November 20, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA Former City Councilman Frank Rizzo, son of the legendary Philadelphia mayor, officially changed his party registration to Democratic on Monday in hope of running in the party's 2015 mayoral primary. Since losing his Council seat in 2011 - in part because of his participation in the controversial early retirement program known as DROP - Rizzo, who served on Council as a Republican, had been registered as an independent. He had maintained a low profile of late. But on Monday he raised that profile, appearing with the city Democratic chairman, U.S. Rep. Robert Brady, to rejoin the party.