Dueling News Conferences Or Double-Down Safety Message?

There's a law-enforcement tradition in Philadelphia that any reporter on the beat can predict for Dec. 31 -- District Attorney Lynne Abraham holds a news conference to discuss safety during New Year's Eve and New Year's Day celebrations, with a special deterrence on the crazy practice of shooting guns off in the air to mark the holiday.  Abraham's term ends next week so this was to be her last news conference on the topic.

Sure enough, reporters received notice yesterday that they should be at Abraham's office at "11 am sharp!" this morning to hear this annual message.  That part we expected.  But then Mayor Nutter's staff sent out notice four hours later, announcing that he would have a 10:30 am news conference today on the same subject with District Attorney-Elect Seth Williams and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.  Nutter's City Hall office is across the street from Abraham's office but that's still cutting it a bit close.

And that has PhillyClout wondering, since Williams challenged Abraham in a bruising Democratic primary election four years ago that left a lot of bad feelings all around.  Did Nutter step on the one thing you knew Lynne Abraham was going to do today with the one guy sure to draw her ire?  Abraham's spokeswoman said her office knew nothing about Nutter's news conference.

Nutter spokesman Doug Oliver assured PhillyClout that nothing was amiss between the mayor and district attorney. Rather, he said, Nutter "just wanted to use this as an opportunity to underscore the message so all the news outlets have her voice, the Mayor's, the Commissioners and the DA-elect all saying the same thing."

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