Volunteers from the Pennsylvania Republican Party are leafleting South Philadelphia with new campaign literature asking, “Isn’t it time for change” from “corrupt Philadelphia Democrats” in the District Attorney’s Office?
The flier, in support of Republican nominee Beth Grossman’s bid for that office, lists the names of seven Democrats from the city who were convicted on public corruption charges or agreed to plea deals, including former District Attorney Seth Williams and former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah.
One thing stands out about the list: Six of the seven names are of people who are African American; the seventh is Latina. There are no names of disgraced white Democratic politicians, including former Traffic Court judges and former State Sen.Vince Fumo, one of the best-known names in South Philly politics.
Grossman said she had seen the flier but did not know why certain names were used or omitted.
“You have to ask the state party about that,” Grossman said. “This is not something I put together.”
Val DiGiorgio, chairman of the state Republican Party, took umbrage at the question about race. DiGiorgio said his party chose recent criminal cases, adding that he wished he’d had the room on the flier to spell out every case of Democratic corruption in the city.
“Shame on the Philadelphia Inquirer for trying to make this about race, which it is not,” DiGiorgio said.
The flier takes one brief jab at the Democratic nominee, asking, “Are we really going to elect anti-cop Larry Krasner as DA?” Krasner, a defense attorney for three decades, has a history of suing the Philadelphia Police Department in civil rights cases.
Krasner’s campaign responded with this: “The PA GOP’s name-calling is right out of Donald Trump’s playbook.”
Grossman, an assistant district attorney for 21 years, has often said since she declared her candidacy in January that corruption was the reason she left the Democratic Party and registered as a Republican.
She became a Republican in September 2013, returned to the Democrats in April 2015, and went back to the Republicans in June 2016.