Hillary Clinton in Philly: Scenes From Last Night’s Big Fillmore Rally



By the time Hillary Clinton took the stage at the Fillmore in Fishtown last night, she’d had a long, eventful 24 hours. First, she finished off a 16-point drubbing of Senator Bernie Sanders in the New York primary on Tuesday night. Then, Clinton arrived in Philadelphia to appear at a panel discussion — which included former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Tanya Brown-Dickerson, the mother of a high-profile police-shooting victim in Philly — on gun violence, criminal justice and policing. All of which caused the former Secretary of State to arrive an hour late to the Fillmore, which by then was filled with 2,000 animated supporters who’d been lining up since the late afternoon.  Read more »

Kenney’s Soda Tax Gets a Big-Name Supporter: Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at Texas Southern University Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Houston.

The war over Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposal to tax sweetened beverages is fierce. The soda lobby is spending at least $1.5 million to oppose his plan, and Council members are raising pointed questions about it. Meanwhile, a coalition of numerous civic and labor organizations is lobbying hard for the levy.

On Wednesday, Team Soda Tax got a boost: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came out in favor of Kenney’s plan. CNN reports that she discussed Kenney’s proposal, which would fund expanded pre-K and other initiatives, at a forum hosted by a gun control group. Read more »

Hillary in Philly: Black Lives Matter Protesters Clash With Secret Service

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Black Lives Matter protesters at a Hillary Clinton rally. | Photos by Malcolm Burnley.

This was the sort of scene Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was hoping to avoid.

Security guards screened entrants to her campaign stop at the Fillmore in Fishtown Wednesday evening, taking a look at the signs the crowd was bringing in. But that didn’t stop a group of protesters from sneaking in very off-message placards, disrupting the rally, and being forcefully escorted out. Also caught up in the expulsion? Me. A credentialed reporter, there to cover the event for this magazine, who was told by the Secret Service that I needed to get out, or risk going home in handcuffs.

It started as a standard, stage-managed campaign event. Smooth-jazz renditions of Beatles hits and Katy Perry — lots of Katy Perry — filled the venue before former Secretary of State Clinton took the stage about an hour behind schedule, at 7:45 p.m. She quickly launched into a discussion of her longstanding ties to the Pennsylvania region, including memories of her father’s home in Scranton. She then acknowledged Senator Bob Casey and former Mayor Michael Nutter, both in the audience, among other dignitaries. After talking at length about the economic growth during her husband’s presidency, things started to get interesting.

Almost seven minutes into her roughly half-hour long speech, a group of about 10 protesters emerged from the audience with small signs that when strung together made up phrases like: “You’re Not Welcome Here” and “Stop Killing Black People.” Read more »

Opinion: Five Reasons African-Americans Need to Stop Drinking the Poisonous Clinton Kool-Aid

Hillary Clinton (center, Matt Rourke, AP). Protesters (left) and Bill Clinton (right, photos Dan McQuade).

Hillary Clinton (center, Matt Rourke, AP). Protesters (left) and Bill Clinton (right, photos Dan McQuade).

A version of this column also ran in the Philadelphia Tribune.

Black people love “Billary” (i.e., Bill Clinton plus Hillary Clinton equals Billary). But Billary doesn’t love Black people. Never did. Let me count the ways:

1. Billary believes Black children are vicious animals. When she was being her real self in 1994 and not a presidential candidate, she described Black juvenile delinquents as “super-predators (with) no conscience… (who need to be trained) to ‘heel.’” First of all, she completely ignores America’s blatant racism that created and continues to create inadequate schools, little or no job-training, and poverty-stricken neighborhoods, all of which in turn creates delinquency. Second, our children are not irredeemable and remorseless monsters with no conscience. A very small percentage of them instead are young, immature, alienated, and misdirected human beings who made mistakes. And third, our children ain’t no damn dogs that need to heel.  Read more »

Hillary Clinton Will Campaign in Philly on Wednesday

Hillary Clinton speaks Wednesday, April 6, 2016, at the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Convention in Philadelphia. Photo | Matt Rourke, AP

Hillary Clinton speaks Wednesday, April 6, 2016, at the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Convention in Philadelphia. Photo | Matt Rourke, AP

Update [4/19/2016]: Hillary Clinton, fresh off her big win in New York, has added a second appearance to her Philadelphia itinerary. At 4:15 p.m., the Democratic frontrunner will hold an invite-only discussion with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Mothers of the Movement at St. Paul’s Baptist Church, 1000 Wallace Street. Bill Clinton, who got into hot water in Philly earlier this month, will be doing his in-state campaigning in the run-up to Pennsylvania’s primary in Johnstown and Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, Governor Tom Wolf will be kicking off a Harrisburg phone bank at 5:30 p.m. at 510 North Third Street, Harrisburg. Her opponent, Bernie Sanders, who held a rally at Temple University on April 6th, spoke to large groups in Erie in State College yesterday.

Earlier: With just more than a week left before the April 26th Pennsylvania Democratic Primary, frontrunner Hillary Clinton plans to return to Philadelphia to campaign. Clinton will hold an event on Wednesday, April 20th, at The Fillmore, located at 29 E Allen Street in Philadelphia. She spoke at the AFL-CIO labor convention on April 6th at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Philly.

Doors for this Wednesday’s event open at 4:30 p.m., and it is scheduled to get underway at 6:30.  Read more »

Michael Nutter to Stump for Hillary Clinton in Wilmington

Photos by Matt Rourke/AP

Photos by Matt Rourke/AP

“When I support a candidate, I fully support that candidate,” said former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter back in 2008 while standing by his endorsement of Hillary Clinton in spite of growing support for her opponent Barack Obama.

“It’s what I do when I get involved in a campaign. I campaign like I’m campaigning for myself,” he said.

Nutter wasn’t exaggerating. Eight years later, he’s still in Clinton’s corner and still campaigning with just as much vigor.

On Sunday, April 17th, he’s heading to Wilmington, Delaware for a Clinton organizing event. There Nutter will join Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams, along with several Delaware state representatives and senators to plead their case for Clinton. Her campaign said in a press release that “Nutter will be joined by Mayor Dennis Williams and state and local elected officials to highlight their support for Clinton and her plans to break down the racial, social and economic barriers that hold Delaware families back.” Read more »

Hillary Clinton Defends Bill’s Comments to Philly Protestors

Hillary Clinton (center, Matt Rourke, AP). Protesters (left) and Bill Clinton (right, photos Dan McQuade).

Hillary Clinton (center, Matt Rourke, AP). Protesters (left) and Bill Clinton (right, photos Dan McQuade).

Last Thursday, former president Bill Clinton was interrupted by protestors during his speech in Mt. Airy as he campaigned for his wife’s presidential run. Instead of ignoring the disruptors — who were criticizing Clinton’s 1994 crime bill by holding signs and yelling criticisms — Clinton shouted back in defense of his policies.

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton came to her husband’s defense while also trying to temper the seriousness of the argument he had with the protestors, Erica Mines and Rufus Farmer. She touted his “great legacy” in criminal justice reform, most notably his 1994 crime bill, but did acknowledge that she would improve on his policies as president. Read more »

Bill Clinton: “I Almost Want to Apologize” For Controversial Comments in Philly

Erica Mines, Rufus Farmer, Bill Clinton - protest sign

From left: Erica Mines protests Bill Clinton’s speech, Rufus Farmer shows one of his protest signs after the rally, and Bill Clinton speaks in support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in Mt. Airy on Thursday afternoon.

Bill Clinton is sort of sorry for what happened in Philadelphia yesterday.

At a rally at the Dorothy Emanuel rec center yesterday in Mt. Airy, Clinton got into it with protesters Erica Mines and Rufus Farmer. They had come to the Hillary Clinton rally to protest, holding signs that said things like “Clinton crime bill destroyed our communities.” When Bill Clinton said that his wife was one of the first people to talk about prison overpopulation, Mines shouted out.

The two then got into a protracted argument, with almost all the crowd siding with Clinton (obviously). Clinton ended up making an extended defense of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, a bill that has attracted much criticism over the years. “I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out on the street to murder other African-American children,” Clinton said. “Maybe you thought they were good citizens.” (For more on the exchange, read my full report from yesterday, including Mines comments from a post-rally interview with Philadelphia magazine.)

Speaking in Erie today, Clinton walked back some of his comments from yesterday. Read more »

WATCH: Bill Clinton Spars With Protesters in Philly Over 1994 Crime Bill

Erica Mines, Rufus Farmer, Bill Clinton - protest sign

From left: Erica Mines protests Bill Clinton’s speech, Rufus Farmer shows one of his protest signs after the rally, Bill Clinton speaks in support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in Mt. Airy on Thursday afternoon.

Erica Mines said she didn’t plan on shouting at Bill Clinton on Thursday afternoon.

Mines attended a rally for Hillary Clinton‘s presidential campaign, but she’s not a supporter of Clinton’s candidacy. She said she isn’t supporting any candidate. She and Rufus Farmer, both Philadelphia residents, held up protest signs during Clinton’s speech to the 440 people in attendance.

“Clinton crime bill destroyed our communities,” read one. “Black people are not super predators,” said another. That second sign was a reference to a 1996 speech Hillary Clinton gave: “They’re not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called super-predators: No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”

Mines said she just wanted to stand there and silently protest until Clinton supporters surrounded her and tried to take the signs out of her hands. At about the midpoint of Clinton’s speech at the Dorothy Emanuel Playground’s basketball gym in Mt. Airy, she shouted at Clinton about the three strikes provisions in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Read more »

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