Nutter may punish council foes

Fair or not, one of the running criticisms of Mayor Nutter has been that he is too reluctant to use the hammer, too slow to punish political opponents who fail to back him or his initiatives.

Last week, though, as his budget fight with City Council warmed up, Nutter hinted that he might bring out his hammer, and hit council members where it hurts the most: in their districts and their pet projects.

“Members will need to put up a vote for revenues, and those who don’t will see reductions in services in their areas. That’s the way it goes,” Nutter said.

We later asked Nutter spokesman Doug Oliver to clarify his statement. Was the mayor threatening to retaliate financially against council members who do not support his budget? Check out Oliver’s e-mail response below.

“This isn’t about retaliation - this is about being accountable for the vote one casts. And this isn’t about discouraging alternative revenue raising proposals or ideas. This is about passing a responsible budget that preserves services - something that Philadelphians want and deserve.

The Mayor receives numerous service and program requests all the time - even right now - that require his discretionary approval. Council members request all sorts of funding and support for any number of things.

Should a member who does not want to make a tough vote in favor of raising revenue be the beneficiary of the spending that is provided by other members who do make the tough vote? We think the answer is no.

Again, citizens will continue to get the regular services that all citizens get, but the Mayor will evaluate ‘extra’ requests in this context. Its only fair.”

Seems to us like the mayor is prepared to kill the pet projects of those on council he deems to be uncooperative.

Click here for's politics page.