Friday, May 29, 2015

Romney vs Obama: How Philly business divides

Checkbook politics: Comcast's David Cohen vs real estate investor Ira Lubert, and their friends

Romney vs Obama: How Philly business divides

With President Obama and GOP frontrunner-challenger Mitt Romney in town, as the Inquirer's Thomas Fitgerald reports, Philadelphia's wealthy are showing their political colors. lists members of Romney's PA finance committee here. These include:

  Tom Caramanico (McCormick Taylor engineering)
  Pasquale Deon Sr. (of Bucks County: owner, Pat Deon Beverages; WBCB-AM, Levittown; SEPTA board chair; Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission member)
  J. Brett Harvey (Consol Energy, coal mining)
  John Ireland (Valley Forge Advisors Investment Corp.)
  Ira Lubert (real estate investor, Valley Forge casino owner, and lead partner in Independence Capital, whose $12 billion+ in assets includes a billion dollars in PA state pension money)
  Mitchell Morgan (Morgan Properties, the King of Prussia firm that is New Jersey's largest apartment landlord; a prominent friend of Israel; past host at PA fundraisers for GW Bush and John McCain)
  Jeff Orleans (Orleans Homebuilders, whose bankruptcy followed the housing collapse)
  William Sasso (Stradley & Ronon law firm, co-chair of Gov. Corbett's transition team, lawyer for the Archdiocese and other prominent clients, chairman of the National Constitution Center)
  Dr. Dick Schmidt (orthopedist)
  Jim Shacklett (National Label Co.)

Of course the Philadelphia area delivered Pennsylvania for Obama in the last election. But Politico writes that prominent Philadelphia Jewish lawyers who back Obama are having to defend the President's attempt to win an Israeli-Palestinian settlement to Jews who worry Obama isn't pro-Israel enough.

Still in Obama's corner: David L. Cohen, the Comcast counselor who successfully shepherded the cable company's controversial purchase of NBC Universal through the (Democratic-led) Federal Communications Commission; and plaintiffs' lawyer Daniel Berger, among others.

About this blog

PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at,, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano