Gov. Corbett visited Philly Monday afternoon, and it went about like you’d expect:
— Dustin Slaughter (@DustinSlaughter) June 9, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett can’t visit Philadelphia, his state’s largest city, without facing mass protest. Recent appearances here have been clouded in secrecy, subject to last-minute change—and infrequent.
This evening, hundreds of students, teachers and parents gathered in front of the Comcast Center to protest Corbett’s deep cuts to public education funding as the governor (reportedly) held a fundraiser with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie inside. Demonstrators blocked the street chanting “what do we want? Fair funding!” and “arrest Gov. Corbett!.” Police arrested a handful of activists committing civil disobedience without incident.
Activists initially believed that Corbett and Christie would appear at the Union League, the city’s traditional venue for high-end Republican fundraisers. But the Republican Governors Association, which also organized a Christie-Corbett fundraiser in Pittsburgh on Friday, refused to make the location of his Philadelphia fundraiser public.
NBC 10’s Lu Ann Cahn reports she was told by a Union League employee that “they were notified last week the fundraiser was supposed to be here and then they got a call sometime today saying, ‘No, this was a decoy location’ and…we learned from the Corbett campaign it was all very secretive until about a half hour ago that the event has been in fact moved to the Comcast Center.”
To amplify my earlier point, this is not normal political behavior, and I say this with more than 30 years (sigh) of experience with political campaigns. Presidents, ward leaders, whatever — I’ve seen security to keep people out of fundraisers (which is totally within their rights) but this thing with the “decoy” is a new one. How can you expect to be re-elected when you’re afraid to tell your own constituents where you are?
Reports say six protesters were arrested.