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Archive: January, 2010

POSTED: Friday, January 15, 2010, 5:08 PM

City Councilman Jack Kelly just lost his civil lawsuit against Paul Corbett, who Kelly said distributed fliers that damaged his 2007 campaign.

Kelly filed a defamation suit against Corbett. He argued that Corbett’s fliers, which accused Kelly of voting "with the homosexual lobby" to "promote sodomy to our youth," endangered his effort to be re-elected to an at-large seat on Council.

A jury today found that the flier was defamatory and false but not distributed with malice.

POSTED: Friday, January 15, 2010, 3:42 PM

You know a politician led a long, popular life when the bishop presiding over his funeral wields a long wooden hook from the pulpit to haul off speakers who ramble on too long.  So it was this morning at Sharon Baptist Church when former state Sen. Hardy Williams was laid to rest in front of a crowd of hundreds.  And the hook was only employed once, when attorney William H. Brown III refused to yield and spoke well beyond his two-minute limit.

He was warned.  Bishop Keith Wayne Reed Sr. told everyone to keep it brief.  And he held up the hook to let them see it.  "If I stand upon that side of the podium, you know you are trespassing in terms of time," Reed said as the crowd chuckled.

Brown, who was a law partner with Williams, recalled when they were the only two black students in the law school at the University of Pennsylvania.  A professor, Brown said, used a racial slur during a lecture and later denied it when Williams demanded an apology.  Williams boycotted the class and brought other students to the dean, who confirmed that the professor had used the word.  Williams got his apology.

POSTED: Friday, January 15, 2010, 10:26 AM

Politicians, friends recall the late political leader Hardy Williams at a viewing last night.

Former congressman Mike Fitzpatrick -- the Republican one-termer who lost the 6th District seat to U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy in 2006 -- is seriously considering taking another whack at it.

Reflections on the late great Teddy Pendergrass.

POSTED: Thursday, January 14, 2010, 10:26 AM

Mayor Nutter -- who used the song "Wake Up Everybody" as a campaign anthem in 2007 -- today recalled the late Philadelphia R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass.

"He had a meteoric rise during the 70s like virtually no one else and clearly was a superstar for Philadelphia International," said Nutter, who was loading a Pendergrass album on to his City Hall computer this morning.

Pendergrass died last night at Bryn Mawr Hospital. A star of Philadelphia International Records, he sang with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes before going solo. In 1982, Pendergrass was injured in a car accident on Lincoln Drive and left paralyzed from the waist down.

POSTED: Thursday, January 14, 2010, 9:49 AM

Philadelphia R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass dies at 59.

City cop dies in apparent suicide on Kelly Drive.

Haitian community in Philadelphia prays for family and friends after a massive earthquake devestated the small island.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 3:11 PM

Paul Corbett, the man being sued by City Councilman Jack Kelly for circulating flyers in 2007 that accused Kelly of "voting with the homosexual lobby" to "promote sodomy to our youth," told a jury this afternoon that he was trying to send a message to everyone on Council that "we can get you."  Corbett was angry that Council voted to evict the local Boy Scouts chapter from its headquarters on city-owned land because the group discriminates against gay people.

Corbett said he feared that most Boy Scouts would face some homosexual indoctrination if the group agreed to follow the city's anti-discrimination law, which protects sexual orientation.  "We're talking about homosexual activity being forced on the Boy Scouts, 12-year-olds," Corbett testified. "The only way [homosexuals] can continue their culture is to get people to join them because they don't reproduce like normal people."

In case the jury missed that, Corbett said it again.  "That's they only way they get new people," he added. "They have to recruit because they don't reproduce."

POSTED: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 12:49 PM

PLEASE NOTE: This story has been updated

Is Philly ready for another national political clam bake?

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady said today that he expects Philadelphia will be one of the cities competing for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

POSTED: Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 12:33 PM

City Councilman Jack Kelly testified this morning that he was concerned for his reputation and "nauseated" by the language in a 2007 flyer that accused him of "voting with the homosexual lobby" to "promote sodomy to our youth."

Kelly is suing for defamation Paul Corbett, who circulated 5,000 of the flyers at 20 churches in Northeast Philadelphia just before the 2007 general election. Corbett was angry that Kelly voted to revoke a lease for city-owned land held by the local Boy Scouts chapter because the group's anti-gay policies violate the city's anti-discrimination law.

Corbett's attorney, C. Scott Shields pressed Kelly on a 2007 letter he wrote to the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News, touting his continuing support on the issue. Kelly agreed that he tried as a politician to "please as many people as I can" but rejected a description of that as "pandering."

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to
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