One of Mayor Nutter's most vocal critics, former Democratic candidate for City Controller Brett Mandel, leveled some explosive charges in a mass e-mail earlier this week. Here's a taste:
"Just before he introduced his budget and proposed balancing his spending plan with a new tax on sugary drinks and trash collections, Mayor Nutter made a series of remarkable campaign donations from his 'Nutter For Mayor' fund. Even though members of City Council are not up for re-election for another year, Nutter's campaign account donated $10,600 -- the maximum amount permissible by law -- to a number of Council members in the days leading up to his budget address. At best, this looks like an attempt to 'buy' votes."
Mandel is referring to two Nutter donations which showed up on recent campaign filings, one to Councilman Bill Greenlee on Feb. 25, and another to Marian Tasco on March 1. Both contributions were made shortly before Nutter's March 4 budget address.
It is not remotely unusual for politicians to make contributions to other elected officials. But in Mandel's view the timing of these donations does not look good.