South Jersey Democratic power broker George E. Norcross III and Toll Bros. cofounder Bruce E. Toll are both members of President Donald Trump’s fancy Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, according to a recent report from the New York Times. Read more »
When Philadelphia City Council debated Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed soda tax earlier this year, the beverage industry outspent supporters of the tax 5-to-1 on lobbying.
The American Beverage Association shelled out $10.6 million in 2016 to try to persuade lawmakers and members of the public to oppose the tax, according to lobbying reports released today and in April. The Coca-Cola Company spent $50,000. Philadelphians for a Fair Future, a pro-soda tax group founded by allies of Kenney, forked over $2.2 million. The American Heart Association spent an additional $334,000 in support of the tax.
Both sides of the fight paid for TV advertisements, phone banks, and organizing. In the end, the soda lobby’s deeper pockets weren’t enough to stop the tax, though: Council passed an historic 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks and diet soda on June 16th. Read more »
George Norcross slipped in through the back door.
It was May 19th, the day Jim Kenney won the mayoral primary in a landslide. Norcross was with Dan Hilferty, the CEO of Independence Blue Cross, when he got the news. “That evening we had a dinner meeting with a potential business partner,” says Hilferty, “and we hear on the radio that Jim has won the primary. We both say, ‘Let’s stop by and say hi to Jim.’” Read more »
Few political traditions in Philadelphia are quite as cherished as the Election Day gathering at Famous 4th Street Deli. (Yeah, we know you’re going to make a joke here about corruption being the most cherished tradition here. Go for it.)
There’s gossiping and backslapping and repeated attempts from political types in suits to look graceful as they shove sandwiches the size of car batteries into their mouths. But the scene today was oddly quiet. Former District Attorney Lynne Abraham made an appearance, as did City Councilman Derek Green.
George Norcross, the South Jersey Democratic power broker, was hunkered down at a table with former Daily News city editor Gar Joseph and political guru Neil Oxman, among a handful of others. There was no sign of state attorney general candidate Stephen Zappala, despite a plethora of Zappala campaign fliers outside. Read more »
You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.
The famous line from The Social Network seems apropos today, as the City of Camden has officially announced an ambitious plan to completely transform 16-acres of prime waterfront land between the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Adventure Aquarium.
Liberty Property Trust, the mega-developers behind the Navy Yard and Center City’s Comcast towers, will spearhead the $1 billion proposed development, the largest ever private sector investment in the city’s history.
If realized, the project will (largely) swap what seems like miles of surface parking lots for a live/work/play mix of glitzy office towers and low-rises, a residential component, lively restaurants and retail and even a hotel.
1. George Norcross lands the first post-win meeting with Jim Kenney.
The gist: The Next Mayor has a juicy little scoop: George Norcross, the political kingmaker of South Jersey, was the first person to meet privately with Jim Kenney after he won the Democratic mayoral primary last week. Lauren Hitt, Kenney’s campaign spokesman, deemphasized their discussion. “Jim met with a lot of people [that] night and he invited them all back into the staff room because it was the only way to have a real conversation with anyone, given the crowd outside,” she said. Read more »
Kempski is not the only new hire poached from Interstate General Media, where Norcross was a part-owner before losing an auction for the company earlier this year. Jonathan Tevis, who previously served as IGM’s spokesman — representing the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com to the press and public — is joining PhillyVoice.com as director of external relations.
Both moves were announced Monday afternoon in a press release.
Read more »
Less than six months since he was outbid for the company that owns the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com, it looks like South Jersey powerhouse George Norcross is ready to jump back into the oh-so-lucrative game of local journalism, joining BillyPenn.com and the maybe-one-day-it-will-happen, Ajay Raju-backed Philadelphia Citizen in the field of Philadelphia news startups. Read more »
Now that the Inky ownership battle has been resolved in favor of Lewis Katz and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, the guys we used to refer to as the “minority ownership faction” of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com — we’ll just refer to them as the “owners” from now on — we’ve got a few burning questions about the future of the newspapers
•Does anybody know what to do next? Sure doesn’t look like it. As soon as Messrs. Katz and Lenfest presented themselves to the media, reporters questioned them about the future of the papers: Who will be publisher? How to address declining circulation? Will there still be three websites? How to address declining revenue? What’s the plan?
The plan, reporters were told repeatedly, hasn’t been developed yet.
“We have to figure out the future,” Lenfest said. “We’re not there yet.”