Attack of the political attacks

It would not be Spring without the blooming of the political attack ad/flyer/blog-post, and the May 17 primary for City Council in Philadelphia promises a fruitful season.

In the heretofore genteel contest for First District, where four candidates are looking to replace retiring Councilman Frank DiCicco, Vern Anastasio's supporters have taken aim at Mark Squilla, who has received much of the establishment support in the race.

"Stop the Machine!! Stop Corruption NOW!" read a posting on Anastasio's Facebook page earlier this month. Anastasio says it did not come from him and he did not support. Anastasio removed it.

The flyer-type message went on to list Squilla's supporters and the "scandals" they have some connnection with. They are:

DiCicco (tied to Citizens Alliance, the Vince-Fumo funded neighborhood organization once run by DiCicco's son, Christian); state Rep. William Keller, whom it claims had his house raided by the FBI (Keller's offices were raided, not his home); and electricians union boss John Dougherty, whom it listed as "under FBI probe" (it's a great subject of debate about whether the FBI still has it's eye on Dougherty after searching his home five years ago). 

Neither Dougherty nor Keller have ever been charged with crimes in connection with any federal investigations.

"I concentrate on creating jobs for the men and women of Local 98. That other type of junk I just send over to Dick Sprague," he said, invoking the name of his attorney, the most feared libel lawyer in town.

The piece did not disparage Mayor Nutter, who also supports Squilla, and who has not had any run-ins with federal authorities.

The political offensive is also blossoming in the Seventh District,  where candidate Bobby Henon sent out mailers accusing his opponent, Marty Bednarek, of "attacking" and "slamming" police and firefighters.

The abuse Bednarek supposedly hurled at loyal public servants is based simply on his support for eliminating the controversial DROP pension perk that is beloved by police and fire.

Hang on - it's all downhill from here.