It's not unusual for underdog candidates in political campaigns to compare themselves to better-known public personalities in an effort to define themselves and raise awareness. T. Milton Street walks that road today, in a missive sent to the Daily News about second chances. Street cites three big names from current events and an even bigger name from the Bible: Moses.
Street, who spent 26 months in federal custody for not paying taxes, survived an effort this week by Mayor Nutter to have him thrown off the May 17 Democratic primary ballot for mayor.
"We live in a country that believes in giving a second chance," Street writes. "Just ask disgraced former governor of New York Eliot Spitzer, the recovered addict Rush Limbaugh, or the amazing Michael Vick."
Then Street, who says he is "left with a sense of awe" from the intense feelings of support and opposition his candidacy has sparked, takes it up a notch in the comparison. Street turns to Moses to note that mistakes carry consequences.
"Moses -- the greatest leader the world has ever known -- followed a similar path," Street writes. "Born poor but rose to prominence in the house of Pharaoh. Because of his terrible mistake he was exiled and suffered loss of position, status and dignity. But God had a plan for him that eventually returned him to the mission for which he had been chosen, albeit in a different way. I believe God has a plan for all of us."
You can read Street's entire letter, unedited, after the jump.
Having read the comments regarding my efforts to be the democratic nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia I am left with a sense of awe in the intense feelings of those who support me as well as those who do not. But there is a common element that seems to be missing in this discussion - do I have the experience to be Mayor. To answer the question - "Is he qualified" should be part of the primary question along with the ability to lead. First, as a community activist I proved I was a leader that tried to made life better for small buinesses, entrepenures, taxi cab drivers, and the homeless. Maybe some Philadelphians are too young to remember the revoltion for change that was led by folks like Dave Richardson, Charlie Bowser, Hardy Williams, C Delores Tucker and myself in the seventies to the early eighties. As a State Representative and State Senator I used my position as a legislator and politician to fight for those in need. Since then I have experienced the up and downs of life. I have endured loss of position and financial hardships. I have experienced tragic losses of family and fought through Muscular Schlerosis but through it all God has allowed me to survive. I have come through a difficult time and am a better, stronger, and wiser man.
We live in a country that believes in giving a second chance just ask the disgraced former governor of New York Elliott Spitzer, the recovered addict Rush Limbaugh, or the amazing Michael Vick. People may talk about the fact that I served time for 3 counts of failing to file taxes but I have paid the price and have seized on the opportunity it afforded me to recommit himself for the mission that I believe I was born - to be a voice for the forgotten or what I call "The Don't Counts". Some may forget that after an exhaustive investigation and trial I was found to be innocent of corruption and cleared of false accusations. However, this helped me understand that even the smallest mistakes or details missed carry consequences. Moses - the greatest leader the world has ever known - followed a similar path. Born poor but rose to prominence in the house of Pharoah. Because of his terrible mistake he was exiled and suffered loss of position, status, and dignity. But God had a plan for him that eventually returned him to the mission for which he had been chosen albeit in a different way. I believe God has a plan for each of us.
Senator Street - not Milton - has returned. I am focused, determined, and committed. I have returned to be a voice at a time when no one else was willing to speak up for neighborhoods who have had library and recreation closures threatened by the current administration. No one else was willing to speak up for home owners who can not afford to have their taxes raised. No one else was willing with the exception of State Represenatative Jewell Williams to fight against Stop and Frisk and its efforts to take away our human rights. Whether you vote for me or not is your choice but the issues must be discussed and now that God has allowed me to be on the ballot that will happen and the voices of the "Don't Counts" will be heard.
former State Senator
T. Milton Street