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Archive: May, 2011

POSTED: Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 6:38 PM

In a piece of non-election news that is still relevant to Tuesday's primary, the state authority that oversees Philadelphia's finances approved a comprehensive study of the city's firefighting needs.

The study, commissioned by the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), is meant to provide data-driven answers to questions that have poisoned relations between the Nutter administration and the Philadelphia Fire Fighters union, who have argued bitterly over the last two and a half years about the wisdom of cutting fire services during the recession.

The issue has become one of the rallying cries of candidates in the primary. Nutter's opponent, T. Milton Street, said he would end the temporary deactivation of fire companies that Nutter ordered last summer, the closings coming on an alternating basis and referred to as "rolling brownouts." Street, who got out of prison last year on federal tax charges, was even endorsed by Local 22 of the International Firefighters Association.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 6:10 PM

Staff writer Miriam Hill reports from the Second and Sixth Council Districts.

David Snelbaker, a 44-year-old metal worker, liked both State Rep. Kenyatta Johnson and Barbara Capozzi but cast his vote for Capozzi because Johnson already held elected office and could continue to work for Philadelphians in Harrisburg. The two are vying with Tracey Gordon to replace Council President Anna C. Verna, who is retiring in January after 36 years in office.

Snelbaker also voted for Andy Toy in council’s at-large race because of his economic development proposals. He was less familiar with the other candidates. Toy is one of 14 candidates vying for five Democratic nominations for Council at-large.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 5:53 PM

The Committee of Seventy is reporting a notably quiet election Tuesday, short on complaints and voters. Here's a missive from Ellen Kaplan, Seventy VP:

This day has been as quiet as I can ever remember at Seventy.

We are continuing to get reports of improper electioneering at a number of polling places (to some degree attributable to campaigners trying to get in from the rain). Our volunteers are getting a lot of practice reminding campaigners not to get within 10 feet of the place where voting is taking place. Our volunteers are also resolving many minor issues at polling places, e.g., names not in the poll books (the voter can use a provisional ballot), speaking with the Judge of Elections in the 40th ward, 25 division to allow a voter to get help with voting (a voter can have any help he/she wants as long as it isn’t from his/her employer, union officer or the Judge of Elections), and determining that earlier reports of machine buttons for Ivy Staten (Commissioner candidate) not working in the 66th ward, Division 46 were not true.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 3:46 PM

It took a while, but the first entrant in the nasty anonymous flier contest is in, and it's classic Philly election day shenanigans.

Someone who loves Maria Quinones Sanchez and/or despises Danny Savage in the Seventh District Council race trying to flare NIMBY fears. The Savage camp immediately blamed a ward leader for the mischief.

POSTED: Monday, May 16, 2011, 2:01 PM

Thanks to Howard Treatman's deep pockets, the campaign contribution limits for all candidates seeking to replace Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller in the Eighth District have been doubled.

City campaign finance law says that if a candidate contributes more than $250,000 of his or her own money, the limits for other candidates are doubled - a provision meant to level the playing field.

On Thursday, Treatman contributed $35,000 to his campaign committee, bringing the total amount of money he has funneled into the race to $279,486.

POSTED: Monday, May 16, 2011, 10:17 PM

Vito Canuso, the embattled former chairman of the city’s enfeebled Republican Party, is apparently particular about his luncheon companions. Two Republican ward leaders who’ve been critical of Canuso’s leadership showed up Monday for the party’s traditional pre-election lunch, at the United Republican Club in Port Richmond. And Canuso asked them to leave, saying they weren’t welcome.

Joe DeFelice, who’s been recruiting Republican committeemen and other party workers on behalf of the Republican State Committee, reportedly told Canuso he didn’t want his lunch, picked up his papers and left the scene. Matt Wolfe, the longtime GOP ward leader in University City, went hungry but stayed on for a brief meeting where Canuso introduced several of the party’s candidates, including mayoral hopeful Karen Brown.

Wolfe was the attorney who filed a petition with Republican State Committee last year, challenging Canuso’s election as party chairman on grounds that numerous elected ward leaders were not permitted to vote. A credentials panel at State Committee agreed with Wolfe, voiding the election. Canuso has contended that the State Committee’s authority extends only to participation at State Committee meetings.

POSTED: Friday, May 13, 2011, 3:28 PM

Investigators from the city Board of Ethics visited Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller's office this afternoon and examined computer hard drives in an apparent probe into her endorsement of Verna Tyner, a candidate to replace her in the Eighth District.

An attorney for Miller, Charles Gibbs, released a statement saying that Miller was cooperating, but no further comment would be made.

The issue seems to be related to the Tyner endorsement, which Miller's communications director, Michael Quintero Moore, e-mailed this week from his city e-mail account on Miller's city council letterhead. Ethics rules prohibt campaign work done with city time and resources.

POSTED: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 2:33 PM

Thomas A. "Buck" Riley Jr., chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority board since May 2007, is resigning as of May 15.

Riley informed his 14 fellow board members of his plans in an email sent early this afternoon.

A Republican and a Paoli lawyer who is chief executive officer of his own law firm, he cited no reason for leaving other than having a full plate. "The last four years as chairman have been most challenging and the equivalent of more than a second full time job," he wrote. "The Center is now entering a new phase of its life and it's time for a new Chairman to take the reins."

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