Sam Katz, Bill Green and Milton Street Walk Into a Bar…

Bill Green Sam Katz Milton Street

Not boring.

Let’s stipulate up front that whoever wins the Democratic nomination for mayor this May is the heavy favorite to be elected in November’s general election. That’s just the way it works in a city where 80 percent of registered voters are Democrats and a lot of the deep-pocketed donors are (excruciatingly) wary of bucking the likely winner.

Nonetheless, recent developments in the mayoral campaign are making it far more likely that Philadelphia will see a legitimate contest this Fall. The farce of 2007, when genial GOP mayoral nominee Al Taubenberger more or less spent his campaign talking about what a great guy Michael Nutter was, is not likely to be repeated. Read more »

The Brief: The 5 Council At-Large Candidates With the Best Signatures Game

Philadelphia City Council  | Photo Credit: City Council's Flickr page

Philadelphia City Council | Photo Credit: City Council’s Flickr page

A candidate has the opportunity to flex some muscle while collecting signatures for nominating petitions.

You only need to gather 1,000 legit signatures to get on the May 19th primary ballot for citywide office — but if a candidate amasses significantly more than that, they can theoretically inoculate themselves from a legal challenge and show the city that they’ve got a good ground operation. (Again, at least in theory. U.S. Rep. Bob Brady led the pack in signatures among mayoral candidates during the 2007 campaign, only to lose in the primary.)

March 17th is the deadline to file a legal challenge against a candidate over their nominating petitions. We told you how many signatures the mayoral hopefuls collected. What about the candidates in the second-most interesting race in town, the Democratic City Council At-Large tussle?

Read more »

Bill Green for Mayor? For Council? For Anything?


Bill Green is the son of a Democratic mayor and the grandson of a Democratic congressman and city party chairman. He’s also a lifelong Democrat.

Or he used to be, at any rate. Yesterday, Green—a former City Councilman and current School Reform Commissioner—switched his party registration from Democrat to “no affiliation,” as first reported by the Inquirer’s Chris Brennan.

Why? “I just wanted to leave all the doors open to me for the fall,” Green said. Read more »

The Brief: Happy Ballot Challenge Season!


We’ve officially entered that most wonderful time of year: Ballot Challenge Season.

To get on the May 19th primary ballot, a candidate running for citywide office in Philadelphia must get at least 1,000 voters to sign their nomination petitions. That paperwork must be filed by today, March 10th.

But the signatures can’t come from just anyone: They must be from registered voters of the candidate’s party. Each voter must write out their full name, address and the date on the petition, in addition to their signature. If any of these items are missing or somehow flawed, a candidate is leaving themselves open to a legal challenge from another campaign. Because why beat the competition in an open election when you can eliminate them beforehand?

Read more »

Green Won’t Challenge Wolf’s SRC Decision

Bill Green, last week at district headquarters after Gov. Wolf removed him from SRC chairmanship.

Bill Green, last week at district headquarters after Gov. Wolf removed him from the SRC chairmanship.

Bill Green said this afternoon he will not mount a legal challenge to Gov. Wolf’s dismissal of him as chair of the School Reform Commission, saying he did not want to undermine support for the Philadelphia School District. But he said he still believes Wolf overstepped his authority in removing him from the chair and replacing him with fellow SRC member Marjorie Neff.

“Lawsuits can wait,” Green said in a press release. “Harmony needs to prevail.” Read more »

Bill Green Gives the Backstory of His SRC Ouster

Bill green

If he had been shaken by the events of the last 24 hours, Bill Green wasn’t showing it when he appeared late Monday afternoon at Philadelphia School District Headquarters. He was all smiles and handshakes as he entered a meeting where students were being asked to weigh in on an issue — the district’s budget woes — that adults haven’t been able to fully resolve.

There wasn’t even an awkward moment when Matthew Stanski, the district’s chief financial officer, referred to Green as “Chairman Green” during public comments. Green — for now, anyway — is no longer the chairman of the School Reform Commission. Gov. Tom Wolf announced Sunday that he was replacing Green with fellow commissioner Marjorie Neff. Green has said he will seek a court ruling challenging Wolf’s authority to do so.

He told Philly Mag that events started rolling on Saturday. Read more »

Wolf to Green: You’re Out as Liquor Board Chair. (Huh?)


[Updated at 3:50 p.m: Gov. Wolf’s press secretary, Jeffrey Sheridan, emails to note that the letter sent to Green “was corrected immediately and the correct letter was issued.” Adds Sheridan: “Regardless, he is still not the chairman of the SRC.”]

In a letter to Bill Green today, Governor Wolf thanked Green for the service he rendered as “chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.”

Wait, what? Read more »

Analysis: The SRC Can’t Win

School District of Philadelphia

Now we know for sure: There is no good way to govern Philadelphia schools — because all attempts to do so will end in tears.

Today, those tears belong to Bill Green, who gave up a council seat last year to make a longshot bet that he could lead Philadelphia schools into a new, brighter era. Now he’s apparently lost that bet, pending the outcome of a legal challenge — but the issues exposed by his untimely fall from grace have not. The Philadelphia School District is all but ungovernable.

A central issue: One underlying assumption of the state takeover of the Philadelphia school district — lo these many years ago — was that the state would speak with something like one voice. Yes, the governor gets to choose three of the School Reform Commission’s five members, and three people can generate disagreement on any topic. But the direction from Harrisburg, at least, was supposed to be somewhat consistent.

Not so. Read more »

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