Friday, September 4, 2015

Clarke responds to Daily News profile

City Council president Darrell Clarke took issue with a recent profile describing him as a single father.

Clarke responds to Daily News profile

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City Council president Darrell Clarke penned a lengthy letter to the editor that was featured in today’s Daily News.

In it, Clarke took issue with a recent profile – written by myself and David Gambacorta -- which described him as having been a single father to his daughter, Nicole. (Sharif Street, the son of Clarke’s mentor, former Mayor John Street, told the Daily News that Clarke “raised Nicole. He was her primary caretaker for most of her life.” Sharif has known Clarke for more than 30 years.)

Clarke disputes that notion in his letter. “Had they bothered to run this information by me, they would have learned that Nicole was loved and raised by both parents. They also incorrectly reported the name of Nicole’s mother.”

Later, in his letter, Clarke wrote: “I agreed to an interview with your reporter Ms. Ransom for this profile. Not once did she attempt to verify what she was told about my family.”

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After weeks of repeated requests for an interview, Clarke agreed just two hours before our deadline and only after others had convinced him to do so.

This is a transcript of what he said when I brought up his daughter.

Ransom: “And from talking to people we also found out that you were a single parent at a time back then, I guess it was …”

Clarke: “Oh let me finish…”

Ransom:  “Huh?”

Clarke: “The educational thing.”

Ransom: “Oh, yeah sure.”

[Clarke went on to talk about a certificate program that Street helped get him in.]

Ransom: "Yeah so, single parent, what was that like? Did you ever have a moment when you struggled? Single fathers are rare, so I guess if you can just tell us a little bit about that."

Clarke: "They’re not rare. Single fathers are not rare."

Ransom: "I don’t know a lot of single fathers."

Clarke: "Yes you do."

Ransom: "I actually don’t."

Clarke: "You just don’t talk about them."

Ransom: "That’s the problem. So can you indulge me?"

Clarke: "You have a child and you take responsibility for your child. In my case that was, you know, the most important responsibility I ever had and whatever sacrifice I had to make I made."

Ransom: "Did you have to make any sacrifices?"

Clarke: "I don’t like to characterize it as sacrifices. The most significant achievement in my life was raising my daughter."

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About this blog
William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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