Mayor Kenney is testing Clout’s patience a bit this week, so we feel obliged to give him a quick body check.
On Feb. 9, during a postmortem news conference on the Eagles Super Bowl parade, we asked how much of the parade bill was being picked up by taxpayers.
Kenney said the team and the city had not agreed beforehand on how to split up the costs, which were still being calculated at the time. He said the estimated price to taxpayers would be released within a week or two.
Yet here we are — six weeks later.
What’s the deal, Mayor?
“We’re in discussions with the Eagles, and we’ll be releasing the cost figures once those discussions conclude,” Kenney spokesman Mike Dunn said.
The Eagles didn’t respond to a request for a comment on the discussions.
This is all a little ironic given that, as a councilman, Kenney slammed Mayor Michael Nutter for boasting about his administration’s transparency while his underlings worked behind the scenes to clamp down on the flow of information.
“It has evolved from transparency to translucency,” Kenney told the Daily News in 2013. “It’s like putting Vaseline on glasses. You can see the light, but you can’t see what you’re looking at.”
For the record, it took Nutter less than two weeks to disclose the cost of the Phillies World Series parade to taxpayers. It topped $1 million.
Hopefully, we’ll have an answer for you before the next parade following Super Bowl LIII 2019.
Pa. candidate had property tax break in another state — till we called
Despite raising a record amount of money for his campaign, Jon Ossoff lost his bid for Congress in Georgia earlier this year.
One possible reason, according to pundits: Ossoff was branded a carpetbagger.
Could the same allegations be a liability for Scott Wallace, the party-backed Democrat trying to unseat U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in Bucks County?
Wallace lived in the D.C. region while he and his wife led the Wallace Global Fund, a charitable organization supporting the environment and other liberal causes.
Though Wallace is originally from Bucks County, the National Republican Congressional Committee has dubbed him a “multimillionaire Washington insider.” A memo for a poll conducted on behalf of Rachel Reddick, one of Wallace’s primary opponents, also claimed that his “carpetbagging causes major concerns” among voters.
Now Clout has learned that Wallace had a homestead tax credit on his house in Maryland since 2009 — until we asked him about it last week. Homestead credits are property tax breaks for people’s primary residences.
Eric Nagy, a spokesman for Wallace’s campaign, said the Wallaces pre-paid this year’s real estate taxes back in June, which is before they “moved full-time” to Bucks. He said it was an “oversight” that Wallace received the credit this year. He refunded $692 to the state after our inquiry.
“Scott Wallace lives in the very same Bucks County house he was born in,” added Nagy. “It’s always been a big part of his life. His children’s height marks are right next to his on the kitchen wall.”
Fitzpatrick, a Bucks native, previously resided in D.C. too, as well as California, while he worked for the FBI. In fact, he was accused of “carpetbagging” in the 2016 election — but won anyway.
Get ready for a ward battle between two Council members
A coming brawl for ward leader in Northwest Philadelphia is giving us déjà vu.
In 2016, the captains of two factions within the city’s Democratic Party faced off in a congressional primary: Dwight Evans and Chaka Fattah.
Evans was victorious in no small part because he is a leading figure in the Northwest Coalition, a powerful alliance of African American politicians, along with former Councilwoman Marian Tasco. Fattah, then the boss of his own mini-political machine, was defeated and sent to prison for corruption soon after.
This spring, prepare for a rematch between the two teams: Councilman Derek Green, a member of Evans’ coalition, is interested in running for leader of the city’s 22nd Ward if the incumbent chooses not to run reelection. So is Councilwoman Cindy Bass, a former aide to Fattah.
Green said he wants to be ward leader in order to bring best practices that he’s seen across the city back to the 22nd. Bass said she wants to keep turnout high in the area and help other wards duplicate its success.
There may be another reason the two lawmakers want the job: The 22nd is one of the top vote-getting wards in the city, which could be helpful for either pol. Green, an at-large Council member, could face stiff competition in a crowded 2019 election. Some potential candidates are also rumored to be eyeing Bass’ seat on City Council.
Bass denied that 2019 — or 2016, for that matter — has anything to do with her interest in the ward leader position. Green likewise said he had his eye on the seat for years.
Bass said “there wouldn’t be a race” if the incumbent ward leader wasn’t expected to step down: “It has a whole lot more to do with that and a whole less to do with people’s grudges.”
But one local political insider said the legislators may be fighting for control of the ward because a détente never took place between Team Evans and Team Fattah: “Here in Philadelphia, we carry slights, real or perceived, for generations.”