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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The Single Weirdest Campaign Donation in the Philly Mayor’s Race

Jim Kenney | Photo by Jeff Fusco

Jim Kenney | Photo by Jeff Fusco

A strange thing happened last week.

Campaign finance reports revealed that an Edison, N.J-based group called the “Carpenters’ Fund for Growth and Prosperity” donated $750,000 this spring to a political committee known as “The Turnout Project.” Not long after that, The Turnout Project cut checks totaling $725,000 to Building a Better Pa., a super PAC that is supporting Jim Kenney in the Philadelphia mayoral race and which is partly funded by the city’s powerful electricians union.

Stay with me now. I promise it gets weird. See, the Philadelphia carpenters union has endorsed another candidate for mayor: state Sen. Anthony Williams. As in, um, Kenney’s chief opponent. Labor groups from out of town don’t typically jump into a city election to help fuel a super PAC that is propping up the No. 1 rival of the candidate backed by their union brothers.

It only gets stranger from there. WTF is going on? Read more »

The Brief: Why the “Philly Is Baltimore” Protest Was Mostly Peaceful

The "Philly Is Baltimore" protest | Photo by Victor Fiorillo

A scene from the “Philly Is Baltimore” protest | Photo by Victor Fiorillo

1. The “Philly Is Baltimore” Protest Was “Tensely Peaceful,” and That’s a Good Thing

The Gist: After riots and looting broke out this week in Baltimore in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, state Sen. Anthony Williams said Philadelphia is “sitting on a powder keg.” District Attorney Seth Williams said “at any given time, anything could happen.” Thankfully, though, Thursday’s “Philly Is Baltimore” protest was, according to news reports, largely peaceful. Philadelphia magazine’s Victor Fiorillo, who was there, called it “tensely peaceful” and said “as of 11 p.m., we’d only heard about a handful of arrests.”

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The Brief: Johnny Doc’s Giant Helping Hand to His Supreme Court Candidate Brother Kevin Dougherty

1. Kevin Dougherty—Johnny Doc’s Brother—Is Amassing a Huge Warchest for His Supreme Court Campaign. Want to Guess Where a Lot of That Money Comes From?

The Gist: The Inquirer reports that Kevin Dougherty raised $707,931 through March, including at least $302,000 from IBEW Local 98, the union controlled by his brother John Dougherty. Kevin Dougherty’s total is $131,481 more than the other party-endorsed Democrat in the race, David Wecht, and $161,051 more than the best-funded GOP candidate, Michael George. Read more »

The Brief: Why Have City Dems Endorsed a Council Candidate Whose Facebook Page Compared Gay Men to Flatworms?

Maria Quinones-Sanchez | Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Maria Quinones-Sanchez. Not the tapeworm candidate. | Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

María Quiñones-Sánchez is one of the more consequential members of Philadelphia’s City Council. She was the driving force behind the new land bank. She’s gotten major small business-friendly tax reform legislation enacted. She just pushed through a charter amendment that, if approved by voters, would require all city departments and agencies to have plans in place to serve city residents who don’t speak English. And that’s to name just a few of her accomplishments. Read more »

The Brief: Anthony Williams Scores Another Union Endorsement

Willie Brown

TWU Local 234 president Willie Brown

SEPTA’s Transport Workers Union Local 234 announced Thursday it is endorsing state Sen. Anthony Williams for mayor.

“Throughout his career, Tony Williams has dedicated himself to fighting for the good of all Philadelphians,” said TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown in a statement. “He has been on the front lines working to bring people together. He’s a consensus builder and problem solver with the skills that will be required of the next mayor to meet the challenges of this city.”

Williams also already has the endorsements of the carpenters union and the Teamsters in the bag.

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Why John Dougherty Won’t Get to Pick Our Next Mayor

Demonstrators protest ahead of Mayor Nutter's budget address at City Hall in March 2013. AP photo/Matt Rourke

Demonstrators protest ahead of Mayor Nutter’s budget address at City Hall in March 2013. AP photo/Matt Rourke

A year ago, it looked like labor unions might just pick Philadelphia’s next mayor.

Led by influential electricians union chief John Dougherty, labor leaders across Philadelphia hatched a plan: They would coalesce around one and only one candidate in 2015. In other words, they wouldn’t make the same mistake they made in 2007.

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Meet the New Doc. Same as the Old Doc?

Photograph by Adam Jones

Photograph by Adam Jones

I’m searching for the good Johnny Doc, the one he wants me to find. The new one.

And here he is, in plain sight, on a cool, partly cloudy morning in early October, sitting quietly on a folding chair near the corner of 12th and Market streets in downtown Philadelphia.

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