Philly’s Political Elders Lament the Lack of Millennials Running for Office

Photo by Bradley Maule

Photo by Bradley Maule

Mayor Michael Nutter is in that glorious final phase of his tenure where he’s calling things exactly as he sees them. With seven weeks left in office and very little to lose, he’s taking on everyone from mega-restaurateur Stephen Starr to elections chief Anthony Clark to the School Reform Commission.

One of his most intriguing targets has been millennials. Over the last few months, he’s been shouting from the rooftops that too few young people are running for elected office in Philadelphia. “Where are younger people?” he asked at Philly Mag’s ThinkFest last week. “Are they even thinking about running for office?”

He’s even gotten mean about it: “I’m increasingly concerned that many young people are just finding other avenues. And, you know, having 9 million followers on Twitter is not your level of political engagement.” Read more »

Stephen Colbert Skewered Bob Brady for Stealing the Pope Glass


Ever since we heard that Congressman Bob Brady stole Pope Francis’ water glass in Washington, D.C. last week (in case you missed the only-a-Philadelphia-Congressman-could-do-this story, go here), we thought that this would be the perfect fodder for Stephen Colbert. And on Tuesday night, Colbert proved us correct with a genius skewering of the congressman. Read more »

Dear Bob Brady: Here’s What You Need to Do With the Pope Glass You Took

In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, and provided by U.S. Rep. Bob Brady's office, Brady, D-Pa., holds a glass that Pope Francis used during his speech to Congress, while standing outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington. As Pope Francis left the chamber Thursday, Brady, who is Roman Catholic, headed to the lectern to retrieve the pontiff's drinking glass. (Stan White/U.S. Rep. Bob Brady's office via AP)

In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, and provided by U.S. Rep. Bob Brady’s office, Brady, D-Pa., holds a glass that Pope Francis used during his speech to Congress, while standing outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington. As Pope Francis left the chamber Thursday, Brady, who is Roman Catholic, headed to the lectern to retrieve the pontiff’s drinking glass. (Stan White/U.S. Rep. Bob Brady’s office via AP)

Follow Philadelphia magazine’s live coverage of Pope Francis’s historic visit all weekend long.

Oh, Bob Brady. You are so Philly. Leave it to you to go to Washington, D.C. for Pope Francis’ address to the joint session of Congress — a truly history-making event — and take the man’s water glass. Read more »

If Fattah Goes Down, Who Would Voters Replace Him With?

Clockwise from the top: Mayor Michael Nutter, Council President Darrell Clarke, District Attorney Seth Williams and state Sen. Vincent Hughes.

Clockwise from the top: Mayor Michael Nutter, Council President Darrell Clarke, state Sen. Vincent Hughes and District Attorney Seth Williams.

It finally happened: Philadelphia Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah was indicted on corruption charges Wednesday.

Already, political insiders are wondering if the congressman will resign in the coming months or simply choose not to run for reelection in 2016. If either scenario unfolds, who would replace him? And how would that work?

The question has been bubbling up ever since two members of Fattah’s inner circle pleaded guilty last year. You can expect more names than ever to be bandied about now.

Some of the bigger ones include Mayor Michael Nutter, City Council President Darrell Clarke, District Attorney Seth Williams, Councilman Curtis Jones, Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, state Sen. Vincent Hughes, state Sen. Anthony Williams, state Sen. Daylin Leach, state Rep. Brian Sims, School Reform Commission member Bill Green, former mayoral candidate Doug Oliver, ward leader Daniel Muroff and real estate analyst Dan Kessler. That’s not even a full list. Check out some other possibilities here.

Watching some of these candidates confront each other in an open election would be a sight to see, but there’s no guarantee that’s what would happen. Indeed, there are five distinct scenarios that could unfold here. Let’s run them down.
Read more »

The Brief: 130-Year-Old Water Main Bursts in West Philly, Eats Cars

1. A water main ruptured in West Philly, wrecking homes and swallowing up cars.

The gist: As you can imagine, the water main break on Sunday in West Philadelphia was a huge pain the butt for everyone involved. City officials evacuated 14 residents from the neighborhood, and dozens of cars were damaged. Jason Nark of the Daily News reported:

No one was killed or injured when the massive, 130-year-old water-transmission line burst on 52nd Street near Pennsgrove Street, but 8 to 10 million gallons can ruin a Sunday in a hundred different ways, and the ripples of inconveniences could already be felt after the waters receded, locals said.

“Look at my car, it’s done. I can’t call to set up a ride for work because the power is off, and I can’t charge my phone,” Wyalusing Avenue resident Albery Canty said, motioning to his muddy Cadillac.

[Robert] Johnson, 68, was supposed to be in South Jersey working on a customer’s bathroom and instead was sitting on his front porch complaining about federal infrastructure funding, while a worker readied a water pump and generator beside his basement window. The hoods were propped up on his pickup truck and his minivan, the mud drying to dirt in the heat, and he doesn’t know how long he’ll be out of work.
Read more »

The Brief: Attorney Says Black Pols’ Endorsement of Kenney Has Past Black Leaders “Rolling Over in their Graves”

L to R: Anthony Williams and Jim Kenney

L to R: Anthony Williams and Jim Kenney | Photos by Matt Rourke

1. Activists and Former Lawmakers from Northwest Philly Announce Support for Tony Williams After Controversial Jim Kenney Endorsement

The Gist: A group of community activists, former legislators and ministers from Northwest Philly said they are surprised and dismayed by the fact that several black politicians in the area have endorsed former City Councilman Jim Kenney, who is white, for mayor. At an event Thursday, they said they are supporting state Sen. Anthony Williams, the only top-tier black candidate in the race, instead.

NewsWorks reports that attorney and former City Councilman George Burrell, one of the event’s speakers, said past black leaders such as U.S. Rep. Bill Gray and City Councilwoman Augusta Clark “are rolling over in their graves at the notion that respected African-American elected officials who essentially represent an African-American constituency would turn over the mayor’s office voluntarily to a community other than our own.”  Read more »

The Brief: Dems Ditch Council Candidate with Crazy Facebook Page

Manny Morales Facebook Page

It seems even Philadelphia’s Democratic City Committee has its limits.

Manny Morales, who is challenging 7th district City Council incumbent, Maria Quiñones Sánchez no longer has the blessing of party elders, who withdrew their support two days after Sánchez posted screen captures of some pretty out-there ravings on the Manny Morales Facebook page. Read more »

Philadelphia Finally Gets a Veterans Parade

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Believe it or not, Philadelphia did not have an official Veterans Parade until now.

That’s right: The city where American democracy got its start did not have a citywide parade to honor its veterans. U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, philanthropist/Inquirer owner H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, City Council President Darrell Clarke, City Councilman David Oh and other city officials announced Wednesday morning that that will change this year.

Read more »

Brady: Kane “Asleep at the Switch” in AG’s Office

brady kane
Congressman Bob Brady, Philadelphia’s top Democrat, has harshly criticized Attorney General’s Kathleen Kane’s handling of the “abandoned sting” case — raising more doubts about her continued political viability.

The Inquirer reports that Brady said he has “no faith” in Kane as the state’s top law enforcement officer, though it did not provide a quote of him saying so. But his quoted comments were still plenty clear.

“People make mistakes,” he said. “There’s plenty of time to see how she handles herself, but this is certainly a misstep. It looks like she was asleep at the switch.”

Read more »

Court Rules Law Firm Can Forgive 2007 Brady Legal Fees

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court ruled Cozen O’Connor can forgive a 2007 loan made to Bob Brady. O’Connor worked to keep Brady on the ballot in the 2007 election after a challenge made by Tom Knox.

The Commonwealth Court ruled the money paid to O’Connor was money paid to influence the outcome of the election, and so it could only be legally forgiven in $10,000 annual installments. The Supreme Court agreed with O’Connor’s argument that the legal fees accrued fighting a ballot challenge was not money paid to influence the outcome of an election. An appeals court said this argument “invites the willful suspension of disbelief.”

Read more »

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