Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Was Corbett's meet-and-greet in Northeast Philly a secret?

Last night, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett whisked into town to do a quick “meet and greet” with more than 350 GOP supporters at the Southampton Room in Northeast Philadelphia. The free open bar/open buffet event -- hosted by the Republican City Committee (RCC) and its chairman, State Rep. John Taylor (R-177) – was billed as a free event, but was closed “to Republican ward leaders, committeepeople and select volunteers,” according to RCC Executive Director, Joseph J. DeFelice, Esq.

Was Corbett's meet-and-greet in Northeast Philly a secret?

Joseph DeFelice, left, listens as Gov. Tom Corbett speaks during a meet-and-greet with city Republicans on Tuesday in Northeast Philadelphia. (Photo by Darin Bartholomew)
Joseph DeFelice, left, listens as Gov. Tom Corbett speaks during a meet-and-greet with city Republicans on Tuesday in Northeast Philadelphia. (Photo by Darin Bartholomew)

Last night, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett whisked into town to do a quick “meet and greet” with more than 350 GOP supporters at the Southampton Room in Northeast Philadelphia. The free open bar/open buffet event -- hosted by the Republican City Committee (RCC) and its chairman, State Rep. John Taylor (R-177) – was billed as a free event, but was closed “to Republican ward leaders, committeepeople and select volunteers,” according to RCC Executive Director, Joseph J. DeFelice, Esq.

DeFelice told me that the event featured speeches from Corbett, Taylor, city controller candidate Terry Tracy and district attorney hopeful Danny Alvarez. “Danny gave a fiery speech standing on a chair,” DeFelice said, adding, “This was just another great example of a positive movement forward to show we are a united party committed to building the Republican Party in Philadelphia.”

Not everyone shared the love of Corbett.

“The people of Allyson's home district understand the clear difference between her experience getting real results for middle class families and Governor Corbett's failed priorities,” said Reesa Kossoff, the communications director for Allyson Schwartz for Governor. Congresswoman Schwartz (Pa.-13) is considered a frontrunner in the Democratic primary for governor next year.

And in the immediate vicinity of the event, depending upon who you talked to, there were between 10-20 peaceful protestors outside carrying signs and shouting.

“[Corbett’s] constituents are not very happy with him, as has been demonstrated by poll after poll. Particularly, he's very unpopular in Philadelphia” said Jesse Kudler, communications coordinator for Fight for Philly, a group he described as “a community organization fighting for a fair economy.”

“It seems he [Corbett] only appears here when it's in the Northeast, and then it was kept pretty secret,” Kudler quipped in a telephone interview with me today.

When I asked Kudler how he found out about the event, he said, “We saw a brief notice on the Internet from the Philadelphia Young Republicans,” later telling me that someone from his group said, “I heard Corbett's gonna be in Philadelphia. And we Googled, and that came up."

Made me wonder how something could be a secret if it was easily Googled on the Internet?

So before I contacted the chairman of the Philadelphia Federation of Young Republicans, I wanted to find out just how “secret” the event was.

Not secret at all, as the event is prominently listed on the front page of the Young Republicans’ Website.

“It was emailed out to a huge universe with no disclaimer asking people to not forward, and it was on the YR website,” said Steven C. Boc, Esq., the group’s chairman.

And just in case you’re wondering, the next not-so-secret, but also not-so-free event of the RCC will be the 29th Annual Billy Meehan Clambake on Sunday, Aug. 25 at the Cannstatter Volkfest Verein at 9130 Academy Road.

John Featherman
About this blog
John Featherman is a contributor at Philly.com and writes about politics and consumer-related issues. Reach John at john@featherman.com.

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