Philadelphia City Commission Chairwoman Marge Tartaglione had two very clear messages to deliver during her weekly meeting this morning. First, she considers the controversy about her daughter, former top Deputy Commissioner Renee Tartaglione Matos, retiring for violating the City Charter to be over. And the 77-year-old, nine-term commissioner is willing to punch you out if you question whether that retirement means her office is corrupt."
"I love my daughter. It's over. It's settled. No more questions," Tartaglione said, cutting off a question from a Philadelphia Weekly reporter Aaron Kase, 28, who asked how the public could have faith that the City Commission runs fair elections. Tartaglione then called PW a "liberal paper" and said there would be trouble if anyone called her office corrupt.
"Now if you say that, I can jump over this table and punch you out," Tartaglione told Kase. "This is not corrupt."
Kase responded, "I'm right here," adding that he was looking for assurances that the office was run in a fair manner. But the "I'm right here" part of that drew the ire of Tartaglione's staff. Commission staffer Tim Dowling, his voice rising, said Kase was impugning the integrity of the Civil Service employees who work on elections. "Did you have to take a test to get your job?" Dowling asked Kase, who answered no.