Clout loves lunch and Election Day questions, but mostly just lunch

Common Pleas Court Judge Ellen Ceisler (left), a candidate for Commonwealth Court, and former Mayor Bill Green at Famous 4th Street Deli for the traditional Election Day lunch Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017.

Clout spent Election Day doing our favorite thing: eating lunch and posing three questions about power to people in politics as they noshed in groups at the Famous Fourth Street Deli in Queen Village and Relish in West Oak Lane.

Question one: What should happen to the controversial statue of the late Mayor Frank Rizzo?

Question two: Who will be the Republican nominee for governor in 2018?

Question three: Will Mayor Kenney have a primary election challenger in 2019?

City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr.:

  1. “With a 48 percent dropout rate, 300 murders last year, 1,300 shootings… none of those shootings were conducted by a statue. Leave it alone.”
  2. “[Republican state Sen. Scott] Wagner? [of York County]” he asked a friend. “Yeah, Wagner,” he then concluded.
  3. “He may but he doesn’t deserve one.”

Former Mayor Bill Green III:

  1. Shaking his head slowly, side to side, he said: “I don’t think I should be the one to decide.”
  2. “David Eisenhower.”
  3. “It’s too early to say. I don’t think he’s in trouble. But you don’t know what’s going to happen between now and then.

Longtime political consultant Neil Oxman;

  1. “They should move it to someplace, probably in South Philly.”
  2. “Wagner.”
  3. “By some idiot, you know, some B- or C-team person, sure. They always do.”

Marian Tasco, former city councilwoman and queen of the Northwest Democratic political coalition:

  1. “I never thought it should be there in the first place. I thought it was supposed to go in Marconi Park.”
  2. “I don’t know. But we’re going to work hard so whoever it is we’re not going to let him win.”
  3. “Somebody will try to run – and they have a right to run— but just be prepared to not win.”

State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams:

  1. “I think all the activity and conversation around the Rizzo statue is a distraction to the fact that we have current issues of race imbalance in Philadelphia with people who consider themselves open-minded and progressive.”
  2. “Scott Wagner.”
  3. “I am not running for mayor. I don’t know that there’s any person that would mount a challenge. And I don’t necessarily think that he should be challenged.”

Rebecca Rhynhart, Democratic nominee for city controller:

  1. “This isn’t in the role of the City Controller at all but I would say that there probably needs to be a comprehensive review of different statues to see what makes sense.”
  2. “I don’t know. I don’t even want to opine on that. I just want to make sure we keep a Democrat as governor.”
  3. “He could but he will be fine.”

Big heads, big questions

Local 98 turned some heads in the newsroom Tuesday when ace photographer Jessica Griffin captured this image of electricians Joseph Fareri and Alfio Sorbello hoisting the union’s Election Day heads-on-sticks out front of the Famous Fourth Street Deli. But they were Mayor Kenney heads. He isn’t running again until 2019 — assuming he actually likes being mayor, which is isn’t always a safe assumption.

Camera icon Jessica Griffin / Staff Photographer
Electricians from local 98, Joseph Fareri, left, and Alfio Sorbello, right, hold up photos of Mayor James Kenney, in front of Famous 4th Street Deli, in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017.

“Some union members appeared caught in a time warp,” one of our smartass writers noted on Philly.com.

We called Local 98 spokesman Frank Keel to give him a heads up that Kenney wasn’t on the ballot Tuesday. But Keel was way ahead of us.

“We were later joined by Maria McLaughlin heads and Ellen Ceisler heads,” Keel said, referring to the two Local 98-backed judicial candidates. “They just arrived a little late for the photo.”

Camera icon Jessica Griffin
Members of Local 98 hold signs of Philadelphia politicians outside Famous 4th Street Deli where people gather for a traditional election day lunch, in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer

“We added Mayor Kenney because we’re big fans, big supporters,” Keel continued. “And we also added Carson Wentz, because he’s our MVP candidate if you will.”

Which makes us think: How many other heads-on-sticks does John Dougherty keep stashed away in Local 98 headquarters?

Kind of creepy when you think about it.

Staff writers Chris Brennan, Claudia Vargas and William Bender contributed to this column. Tips: clout@philly.com.