May 14, 2015 |
FORMER STATE SEN. Vince Fumo went on Facebook yesterday morning and weighed in on the mayor's race. Sort of. Fumo shared a NewsWorks story about the "four billionaires" supporting state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams and wrote that he'd choose their candidate over one backed by labor leader John Dougherty (who is throwing his money behind ex-Fumo protege and former City Councilman Jim Kenney). "Either those guys or Johnnie doc! I take anyone other than dougherty!" Fumo wrote. The four billionaires cited by NewsWorks are the pro-school-choice Susquehanna International Group trio funding Williams ads, and Gerry Lenfest - owner of the Daily News , the Inquirer and Philly.com - who has contributed money to Williams.
May 12, 2015 |
PHILADELPHIA, at the center of a convergence of growth, positive attention and forward movement, is having a moment. While still beset with big problems, we can more easily stand with other modern cities - no longer corrupt and content, no longer in thrall to pay to play, patronage, ethical shortcomings and soul-killing bureaucratic indifference, much of which can be credited to Mayor Nutter's past seven years. Interviewing candidates, and attending some of the countless debates and forums to weigh our choice for the Democratic choice for next mayor, we have focused a key question: Who is most likely to keep the momentum going?
April 29, 2015 |
It is the physics of Philadelphia politics: For every new sign of campaign strength, there is an equal and opposite attempt to weaken that candidate. "I must be doing good in the polls, because the attention seems to be focused on me," former City Councilman James F. Kenney quipped Monday morning after three of his five opponents in the May 19 Democratic primary election for mayor took aim at him during a feisty candidate forum. Two polls last week - one by Kenney's campaign, the other by Forward Philadelphia, a group supporting him - showed him opening up a lead in the race.
April 29, 2015 |
THE MAYOR'S RACE has officially shifted into oh-no-you-didn't mode now that the primary election is just three weeks away. For proof, look no further than the debate hosted yesterday morning by WHYY that saw three of the Democratic mayoral candidates take metaphoric golf clubs to former City Councilman Jim Kenney, who, according to a pair of recent polls, is now leading the race. Toward the end of the program, Kenney was asked how he'd respond to concerns that electricians union leader John Dougherty - a key supporter - would wield serious influence over a potential Kenney administration.
April 27, 2015 |
GREATER transparency is something every political candidate will promise to bring to the city in exchange for your sweet, delicious vote during the upcoming primary and general elections. But why wait that long for some sunlight? City Council President Darrell Clarke introduced a bill earlier this week that would reveal more information about the big money groups behind some of your favorite local pols. The proposed legislation would require nonprofit organizations, corporations, partnerships and political action committees that spend $5,000 on ads - televised, print, digital, whatever - in favor of a candidate to disclose their spending to the Board of Ethics four times in the weeks leading up to an election.
April 7, 2015 |
The city's television airwaves will be packed for the next six weeks with campaign commercials about mayoral candidates. But that air war is just half the effort needed to win the May 19 Democratic primary election. The other half? That's the ground game known as GOTV, for "get out the vote. " That means waves of people on the streets to distribute campaign literature, talk up candidates, and, on Election Day, bang on doors to remind voters to cast their ballots. Enter the unions.
March 12, 2015 |
THANK GOD for the Philadelphia Film Society! On Monday, it officially announced the acquisition of the historic Prince Music Theater, on Chestnut Street near Broad. The beloved theater had been shuttered since October, when the theatrical organization that occupied the building - the American Music Theater Festival - failed to find new leadership after its board chairman died. Prince reps tell me that the beleaguered theater had been in a constant state of bankruptcy but was being floated by its board chairman.
January 31, 2015 |
Jim Kenney and Kevin Dougherty grew up in the same South Philadelphia neighborhood, two kids from the block in Whitman who crafted careers in public service. The city councilman and Common Pleas Court judge are now aiming higher. And their ambitions align in a way that stands to benefit them both. Kenney, 56, resigned Thursday from his sixth term on Council and is now preparing a campaign for mayor. Dougherty, 52, is expected to announce in three weeks his bid for one of three openings on the state Supreme Court.
January 30, 2015 |
IN NORTHEAST Philadelphia, an increasingly vicious battle is brewing for control over a largely white, middle-class section of the city. The upstart Boyle brothers - Congressman Brendan and state Rep. Kevin - have ridden their ambition and charisma (not to mention support from electricians union boss John Dougherty and some well-timed political vacancies) into seats of power, against the wishes of the party establishment. Bucking established neighborhood ward leaders has earned them enemies - like 56th ward leader John Sabatina , who backed Brendan's congressional opponent Marjorie Margolies . It's also encouraged other insurgents.
December 15, 2014 |
NEW YORK - In a year of unusual political volatility, the chatter in the halls of the Waldorf-Astoria was all about who might run in what big races - for Philadelphia mayor and state Supreme Court justice next year and for U.S. Senate in 2016. And when attendees were not trading names of potential candidates, they were speculating about controversies surrounding U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane and debating how Gov.-elect Tom Wolf will respond to a budget crisis and a solidly GOP legislature when he takes office Jan. 20. This year's event featured some real news, with Supreme Court Justice Ronald D. Castille's comments on Kane, and the incoming Senate majority leader saying he was ready to talk budget deal with Wolf.