When Bill Green became the School Reform Commission chairman earlier this year, he left an open seat on City Council that will be filled during Tuesday’s primary election. (To be clear: Even though it’s a primary, Philadelphians of all parties are eligible to vote for Green’s replacement.)
The three candidates are Ed Neilson, a Democrat; Matthew Wolfe, a Republican; and N.A. Poe, a Libertarian marijuana activist. It’s assumed that Neilson, the Democrat, will win — but Wolfe has picked up a few endorsements along the way (including the Inquirer’s) and, well, who knows?
Rather than bury you under a slew of position papers, we’ll instead offer a single quote from each candidate that, we hope, distills their candidacy down to its essence:
Ed Neilson is a workhorse: “I have not missed a vote in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since being elected to the post, a fairly rare accomplishment. Our office has attempted to help everyone who came through our door. The efforts of my staff should be applauded, for we helped more people collectively than four neighboring Northeast Philadelphia state representatives combined, according to statistics provided to us by the House Caucus. While each issue is quite different in nature, we found that more than 60 percent of the issues were related to the City of Philadelphia, not to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Our successes ranged from saving the privatization of the Pennsylvania Lottery, neighborhood outreach programs, securing funding for SEPTA and our roads, and creating a statewide pilot program to provide help for children and adults struggling with dyslexia.” (The Northeast Times)
Matthew Wolfe is ready to tear down this wall: “Philadelphia is one of the poorest big cities in the nation. And this didn’t happen by accident. It happened because the city continues to raise taxes, which drives away business. I quote Paul Levy when I say; ‘We have the perfect tax structure for the mid 18th century.’” This assessment applies to Philadelphia as a manufacturing-based city, Wolfe explained. “The city taxed those factories because they couldn’t go anywhere.” Even though Philadelphia is no longer a manufacturing city, “the city continues to tax in the same way. And in doing so, businesses move out of the city.” (Weekly Press)
N.A. Poe is going to keep on fightin’ the man: “I’m pretty sure that my probation officer gets his marching orders directly from Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Goldberg. He’s a good little lapdog. They deny my right to travel, to speak and work. I have weekly pee tests, house visits, they even go as far as to monitor my free speech on the Internet. The lengths these fascists will go to silence my activism and dissent is disgusting. It’s my job as an activist and a comedian to push their buttons. I’m sure it makes them sick that I am running for City Council and that they have to see my face plastered all over the media. They can try their best but they will never break my spirit or stop me from using my humor as a weapon. I sent my prosecutor an autographed copy of my Metro cover story the other day and thanked him for the inspiration to work within the system to change the law. I hope the cocksucker couldn’t digest his lunch because of it.” (Phawker)