The Brief: Is George Norcross Staking a Claim in Philly Politics?

George Norcross | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

George Norcross | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

1. George Norcross lands the first post-win meeting with Jim Kenney.

The gistThe 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 »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Philly Moved Away From “Racial Math”

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Insider: Black Pols Will “Rue the Day” They Backed Kenney

The Kenney coalition. | Photo by Jeff Fusco.

The Kenney coalition. | Photo by Jeff Fusco.

(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from a Citified insider. McCalla is a policy consultant who has provided pro bono advice to mayoral candidate Anthony H. Williams, amongst other candidates this election cycle.) 

Over the last several weeks, culminating in the Tuesday election of Jim Kenney as the Democratic nominee for mayor, an historic shift was taking place amongst African American pols that creates a new reality in city politics.

Black political empowerment, before it went from a movement to a slogan, was fiercely predicated on cultural affinity. That is to say, like most Philadelphians, Blacks were going to “vote race.” Through the 1960’s, only three or four black elected officials — Congressman Robert Nix, Republican Councilwoman Ethel Allen, Councilmen Earl Vann and Tom McIntosh — made it into office in Philadelphia and not all at once. Political impotence combined with the oscillating indifference/hostility of City Hall, forged the determination to grow in power as the black population grew. Read more »

The Brief: Pay by Phone Parking Coming to Philly Really Soon


1. Parking kiosk down again? No problem.

The gist: PlanPhilly reports that the Philadelphia Parking Authority has picked a company — Pango USA — to provide a pay by phone parking service. The cost to the consumer is one cent per transaction, PlanPhilly reports. The system could be ready to go within 60 days, but will be piloted between 4th and 20th Streets and Arch and Locust Streets first. Read more »

Exactly How Wasteful Was the Tony Williams Campaign?

Photos by Jeff Fusco

Photos by Jeff Fusco

The only metric that really matters in an election is the vote count. But it’s interesting to look at which candidates got the most value with their campaign spending. One blunt way to look at that is to see how many votes the candidates get per dollar spent.

Jim Kenney fared pretty well, as you would expect. His victory cost him about $12 per vote, and $30 per vote if you factor in his super PAC support, and you definitely should. Anthony Williams and his super PAC? A gobstopping $149 per vote won. Wow.

Who got the most bang for his limited buck? Doug Oliver. He spent a measly $4 for every vote he won. And for that we’ll give Oliver campaign manager Mustafa Rashed the very last official campaign insult of the mayoral primary: “If you want to know why our city is in the fiscal shape it is in, look no further to how people in office manage their money.”

Shots fired — for the last time. Read more »

The Brief: Jim Kenney and the Rebirth of Big City Liberalism

Liberals ascendant? | Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Big city liberals ascendant? | Photo by Jeff Fusco.

1. Kenney’s victory is latest in series of liberal City Hall wins.

The gist: The big east coast cities of New York, Boston and Philadelphia have all elected pronounced left-leaning mayors to replace the likes of Michael Nutter, Michael Bloomberg and Boston’s pragmatic Thomas Menino. The Inquirer’s outstanding Thomas Fitzgerald ties together those threads (he could have included Rahm Emanuel’s unexpectedly tough re-election fight against the liberal Chuy Garcia in Chicago). Read more »

13 Biggest Winners and Losers in Tuesday’s Election

Some of Election Day's biggest winners and losers. From L to R: John Dougherty, Dwight Evans and Bill Green.

Some of Election Day’s biggest winners and losers. From L to R: John Dougherty, Dwight Evans and Bill Green.

There were the obvious winners and losers in Tuesday’s election. In the mayoral race, Jim Kenney eviscerated the competition, while Anthony Williams lost by a downright embarrassing margin. In the City Council At-Large race, challengers Allan Domb, Helen Gym and Derek Green beat a number of formidable opponents, while Council members Ed Neilson and W. Wilson Goode, Jr. lost despite having the power of incumbency on their side.

But what about the other winners and losers — the issues, interest groups and behind-the-scenes players — in the election?
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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 Brief: 3 Reasons Jim Kenney Crushed His Opponents

Jim Kenney | Photo by Jeff Fusco

Jim Kenney | Photo by Jeff Fusco

1. Jim Kenney won Philadelphia’s mayoral race by the biggest margin in modern history.

The gist: The former City Councilman defied the odds — he got off to a late start, he had “racial math” working against him, and his chief opponent’s super PAC allies dwarfed his in fundraising — and cinched the Democratic nomination for mayor Tuesday. It wasn’t even close. With 83 percent of precincts reporting, he trounced his primary foe, state Sen. Anthony Williams, by 32 percentage points. That’s bigger than any lead in a competitive mayoral primary since at least 1979. Read more »

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