How to Improve City Council

"And please, god, let me be re-elected.. Amen." Photo Credit: City Council Flickr page.

“And please, god, let me be re-elected. Amen.” Photo Credit: City Council Flickr page.

Philadelphia’s City Council is about as popular as I was in high school.

The legislative body’s approval rating stands at a sad 30 percent, according to Pew’s most recent survey. And that poll was conducted months before the local news media ripped City Council day after day for killing Mayor Nutter’s proposal to sell Philadelphia Gas Works behind closed doors. (You know you’ve screwed up when Dave Davies, perhaps the most measured reporter in town, calls you “cowardly.”)

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Kenney Tweets: About Pot, Soft Porn, Jasmine Oil and the Pope

jim kenney philly

Almost three years ago, writing for the Daily News, Citified’s own Holly Otterbein and DN staffer Will Bender broke the news that City Councilman Jim Kenney was paying social media company Chatterblast $28,000 to, basically, tweet for him. “I, at 53 years old, do not have that facility,” Kenney told the Daily News back then.

Au contraire, councilman.

You’ve heard about Kenney’s Twitter feed. The jabs at Chris Christie. The occasional cursing at constituents. The mystery of who tweeted his “Legalize Now!” call to arms. That was entertaining enough, as far as it went. But those are just the made-for-radio hits. We at Citified challenge you to go deeper, to check out the B-sides; his obsession with Fox 29, his opinion on exotic fragrances, his not-remotely-blind items about the Nutter administration, his justifiable fury at d-bags in bars. Kenney’s Twitter feed is Philadelphia’s id, parsed into thousands of 140-character bits. The hoagiemouth veritably oozes through the screen.

“Twitter is kind of stupid and it’s kind of funny and it’s supposed to be used that way,” says Kenney, who might run for mayor but probably won’t. “People take it way too serious. This is basically throwaway crap you do when the feeling hits you.”

But enough preamble. Here’s what happens when the feeling hits Kenney.

Kenney tweets… about pop culture.
Kenney tweets… about social justice and the man.
Kenney tweets… about the vagaries and tribulations of life.
Kenney tweets… about exotic scents.
Kenney tweets… about the mysterious, majestical and grotesque nature of Philadelphia.
Kenney tweets… about the Nutter administration.
Kenney tweets… about dopes on Twitter.
Kenney tweets… about Fox 29.
Kenney tweets… about d-bags in bars.
Kenney tweets… about marijuana decriminalization.
Kenney tweets… about Sriracha.
Kenney tweets… about the media.
Kenney tweets… about the mutterland.
Kenney tweets… about sports.
Kenney tweets… about the pope.
Kenney tweets… about unblocking me on Twitter.
Kenney tweets… about It’s a Wonderful Life.
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Jim Kenney’s Mean Girl 101

Jim Kenney, Chris Christie

Jim Kenney, Chris Christie

Like most people who were tweeting from the Linc on Sunday night, I’m going to assume that Councilman Jim Kenney wasn’t putting much thought into his 140 characters.

An Eagles fan, the possible mayoral candidate was annoyed when he spotted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie snuggling up to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in the skybox. Here’s what that looks like:

Admittedly, part of me likes that a Philly politician would not only publish those tweets but defend them. Councilman Kenney – who has a history of Twitter tantrums – didn’t take them down, explaining, “I have a big nose and he has a fat ass. Just as life deals you.”

But, as much as I enjoy Philadelphia’s unique brand of feisty real-talk, I can’t help but think the same thing I think every time someone attacks Christie for his weight: Kenney sounds like an idiot, and he probably needs a hug.

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