Friday, July 3, 2015

O'Neill files ethics & DA Office complaints about mailer

City Councilman Brian O'Neill, a Republican seeking a ninth term in Northeast Philly's 10th District, has filed ethics complaints and a complaint with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office about a mailer that started arriving last week in support of his opponent in the Nov. 8 general election, Democrat Bill Rubin.

O'Neill files ethics & DA Office complaints about mailer

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City Councilman Brian O'Neill, a Republican seeking a ninth term in Northeast Philly's 10th District, has filed several complaints since Friday about a mailer that started arriving last week in support of his opponent in the Nov. 8 general election, Democrat Bill Rubin.

The mailer, sent by AFSCME People, a political action committee for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, lists its name and address in Washington, D.C. but fails to include the disclaimer required by law that says who paid for it.  O'Neill filed an ethics complaint against Rubin and AFSCME on Friday and complaints against AFSCME and Rubin with the District Attorney's Office and City Commission today.

Rubin, a former City Commission employee, told us he had nothing to do with the mailer, which also got wrong the hours that polling places are open during the election.  "It didn't come from my campaign," Rubin said. "Whatever they're doing is separate from my campaign. We're not allowed to have any contact with them."

Rubin accused O'Neill of being "really scared" and "desperate" for filing complaints against him for a mailer put out by a third party.

Christopher Nicholas, a spokesman for O'Neill's campaign, countered that the complaints were necessary to "get to the bottom" of the mystery about who sent the mailer.

Chris Fleming, a spokesman for AFSCME in Washington, D.C., told us "It's pretty clear where the mail piece came from" despite the lack of a disclaimer.  He called the incorrect hours for polling places an "unfortunate typo."

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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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