Why Voter Turnout Sucked in Philly’s Mayoral Race

APTOPIX America Votes

Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

1. Voter turnout in Philadelphia wasn’t always so pitiful.

The gist: Only 27 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in Philadelphia’s mayoral primary last week. It wasn’t always like this. In 1991, 49 percent of Philly voters came to the polls. In 1987, 67 percent did; in 1971, a stunning 77 percent did. Other big cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York have also seen voter turnout plummet in municipal elections over the past few decades. CityLab’s Daniel Denvir has a theory about why that may be: Read more »

Party Hopping: Scenes From Philly’s Big Election Night Bashes


Last night, Philadelphia magazine dispatched reporters to most of the Democratic mayoral candidates’ Election Day parties (sorry, Milton Street) to document the agony and the ecstasy as election results rolled in. For good measure, we embedded our real estate editor at the party for Allan Domb as the “Condo King” waited to see if his bid to become an at-large City Council representative was successful. (It was.) Below, a diary of five reporters’ adventures on Election Night: Malcolm Burnley (covering the Doug Oliver bash), Jim Jennings (Domb), Holly Otterbein (Jim Kenney), Jared Shelly (Nelson Diaz and Lynne Abraham), and Liz Spikol (Anthony Williams). Read more »

The Challengers: Allan Domb Thinks He Can Wipe Out Tax Delinquency

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/tag/allan-domb/#yov81b2TdtFSVoOi.99

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey

All week, Citified is featuring Q&As with leading at-large City Council Democratic challengers on topics of their choosing. The prompt was simple: if elected, what’s a problem you would you prioritize, and how would you address it? To keep the conversation substantive and on-point, we asked the candidates to focus on a relatively narrow question (i.e., not “schools,” or “crime.”)

Allan Domb — real estate magnate, developer, part owner of Starr Restaurants — seems an unlikely candidate for City Council. But he’s running, and he’s running to win: Domb has already spent $560,000 of his own money on the campaign. Domb’s business experience is unmatched by any of the council candidates, incumbents included. But he’s never served in government or worked in the non-profit sector. Nonetheless, Domb considers himself a policy wonk, and when asked what he wanted to talk about with Citified, he picked a subject as wonky as they get — property tax delinquency.

Read more »

Allan Domb Throws Big Bucks Into Council Campaign

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/tag/allan-domb/#yov81b2TdtFSVoOi.99

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey

When developer and real estate mogul Alan Domb got into the race for an at-large seat on City Council, there were two pressing questions. Question 1Why? Why, why, why, why, why? Question 2: How much money would he spend on the race?

We have a partial answer to question two. Domb has contributed at least $250,000 to his campaign, according to a release from the Philadelphia Board of Ethics. That’s a big enough check to double the contribution limits for all at-large City Council candidates. That means individuals can donate up to $5,800 to any at-large City Council campaign, and PACs can contribute up to $23,000.

Who does this help, apart from Domb? City Council incumbents. Incumbents are far more likely to get PAC cash than are challengers. And coming so close to election day, the doubling of the limits really only helps those candidates that are supported by PACs.

We don’t know exactly how much Domb has sunk into his campaign. It could be millions, or it could be $250,001. Either way, Domb has given a big assist to council incumbents, which is likely to revive speculation that his candidacy is a stalking horse bid orchestrated by City Council President Darrell Clarke. Domb has said repeatedly he’s in the race to win.

Of course, it’s possible for a campaign to serve more than one purpose.

The Brief: Democrats to Endorse Openly Gay Council Candidate for First Time Ever

Sherrie Cohen | Photo via Cohen's Facebook

Sherrie Cohen | Photo via Cohen’s Facebook

Bob Brady, chairman of Philadelphia’s Democratic City Committee, says City Council At-Large candidate Sherrie Cohen is expected to win the party’s endorsement.

Cohen tells us the policy arm of the city committee recommended her for an endorsement Saturday. She expects the full party to ratify the decision next month.

That could be a deciding factor in the City Council At-Large race (which, in all seriousness, is more interesting than the mayor’s race some days).

Read more »

First Look: Inside the Never-Before-Listed Raw Space at Parc Rittenhouse

Photos: James Jennings Floor plans: Allan Domb

Here’s the view. Photos: James Jennings; Floor plans: Allan Domb

“This is what we call beach front,” said Allan Domb during a recent private tour of the nearly 60,000 square-foot raw space on the second and third floors of Parc Rittenhouse. One look out of the large, three-panel windows and, sure enough, he wasn’t kidding. You’re at that perfect height above the Square to look through the trees and into one of Philly’s best public spaces. It’s downright captivating.

The never-before-listed raw space at Parc Rittenhouse is an opportunity for Domb, who has been a little busy recently, to reenergize the luxury game in the city’s ritziest district with brand new units. Read more »

Morning Headlines: Mega Construction Mix-Up at Triangle Park

Screenshot 2015-03-11 at 6.04.30 AM

This is perhaps one of the most outrageous stories we’ve heard in a long time. Naked Philly reports that the triangular spit of land bound by Christian Street, 6th Street and Passyunk Avenue–formerly a gas station turned park turned into fenced-off nothingness–was the site of a major construction mishap that could eventually be a good thing for the lot.

Confused? Here’s the scenario: Read more »

Is Condo King Allan Domb About to Run for Council?

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/tag/allan-domb/#yov81b2TdtFSVoOi.99

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey

Developer Allan Domb, a/k/a the Center City condo king, is one of Philadelphia’s biggest movers and shakers. Is he about to run for City Council?

It sure looks like it.

Domb authorized a political action committee this Tuesday called “Allan Domb for City Council,” according to documents filed with the Philadelphia Board of Elections. The documents show he is seeking the office of Democratic City Council At-Large (check out the docs below).

Read more »

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