August 1, 2015 |
At the heart of the federal indictment unsealed Wednesday against U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah are Philadelphia's campaign finance limits, and the legal battle he lost more than eight years ago to overturn them during his unsuccessful run for mayor. Fattah had a plan as he prepared in 2006 for the 2007 race: Raise six-figure contributions from wealthy donors and, if challenged, use the courts to overturn the limits, which became local law in January 2004. The conventional wisdom in political and legal circles at the time was that those limits would not survive a legal challenge.
May 27, 2015 |
A LOCAL WOMAN made the New York Times last week. Happy Rockefeller - nee Margaretta Fitler Murphy, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy Bryn Mawr family and the wife of the late New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller - died at 88 on May 19, the same day ex-City Councilman Jim Kenney won Philadelphia's Democratic mayoral primary. A large chunk of the Times ' obituary on Rockefeller focused on a 1963 scandal that sent shockwaves through the political world: Happy and Nelson - two divorcees - got married.
May 21, 2015 |
IN THE CLOSING scenes of 1972's "The Candidate," Bill McKay (Robert Redford), victorious Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, pulls his campaign guru out of a victory party and into a quiet hotel room, with the press banging at the door. Leaning back against a desk, with a deeply somber expression, McKay asks, "Marvin, what do we do now?" It's unlikely that scene was repeated last night at Vie after former City Councilman Jim Kenney crushed beat five rivals to ascend to Democratic candidate for mayor with a small percentage of the total of registered Democrats, most of whom didn't vote.
May 8, 2015 |
MILTON STREET is not talking to me and it's not the first time he has stiff-armed a journalist wanting to profile him. He likes to talk to the press on his terms, like when embracing a coffin and singing. But this snub hurts because I'm his Facebook friend! And I could use a good laugh. Right now, he is ostensibly a Democratic candidate for mayor of Philadelphia. I've seen him on the endless treadmill of tedious forums where candidates regurgitate their (already known, and similar)
May 6, 2015 |
William Wooden is a Philadelphia resident and registered voter. With two weeks until the mayoral primary election, he has no idea whom he is voting for. He is not alone. Like most of a dozen people interviewed during the lunch hour Monday at Dilworth Park, Wooden didn't know much about the candidates - even their names. Wooden said he had seen the television ads for a female candidate who said she would sue the state for not providing enough money for the schools. That would be Lynne M. Abraham, the former district attorney.
January 22, 2015 |
Ethics in government, a potent point in Michael Nutter's 2007 bid for mayor, emerged Tuesday as an issue for the candidates seeking to replace him. Terry Gillen, a longtime Nutter aide and briefly a candidate for the Democratic nomination for mayor, sparked the issue with an essay published in The Inquirer saying the next mayor and City Council should affirm the ethics reforms Nutter has put into place. And one of the candidates promptly heeded her call. Gillen pointed to the chief integrity officer, a post Nutter created, and the Office of Inspector General, which enjoyed significantly increased powers and resources after he took office in January 2008.
January 13, 2015 |
Michael Nutter is not given to sentimentality. Ask Philadelphia's mayor to dwell a bit on his waning time in office, and there is no wistful Barbara Walters moment. Just a steely "We have work to do. " "I'm quite aware of the calender," he says, brushing aside any hope of reflection, "but we serve until the last day. " The last day is still a ways off, a year to be exact, but the distance is deceptive. His influence, real or perceived, is dissipating rapidly as others anticipate his replacement from among a gathering field of mayoral candidates.
December 1, 2014 |
After nearly a decade of haranguing Philadelphia government officials on issues of ethics and transparency, the policy director and interim president of the watchdog group Committee of Seventy is stepping down. But not without speaking her mind. Ellen Mattleman Kaplan, 60, a Philadelphia-area native who lives in Chestnut Hill, has no plans yet for what she will do next, other than visit her former boss, Zack Stalberg, who recently moved to New Mexico after stepping down as president of the committee.