KYW reports that Mayor Nutter won’t use local dollars to re-open federal tourist sites like the Liberty Bell, even though New York is paying to keep open the Statue of Liberty. Gov. Tom Corbett has also refused to re-open tourist sites.
Al Sharpton’s in town today! Here’s what the MSNBC host and erstwhile reverend has been up to.
The Daily News has a great headline this morning: “Donors at Mayor Nutter fundraiser not sure why they’re there.” As we noted a little while ago, Mike Nutter’s organized a fundraiser that some speculated might serve to pad his war chest for a potential 2016 U.S. Senate run. Well, if that’s the case, the attendees of said fundraiser–which took place last night at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts–don’t seem to be in on the news.
Click on this State Impact story and you’ll see a photo of Michael Nutter and Tom Corbett, awkwardly trying to cut a ribbon with the same pair of oversized scissors. Why? To celebrate the opening of a new rail yard that will facilitate the import of crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shale to the massive refinery that sits on the banks of the Schuylkill.
Not all that long ago, it took a team of gumshoe reporters and endless following up on right-to-know requests to figure out who received tickets to “the mayor’s box,” prime seats for events at Lincoln Financial Field, Citizen’s Bank Park, the Wells Fargo Center, the Mann and the Dell. The answer, at least in the John Street days, was a medley of power players; according to one report, just 72 of the 1,358 tickets handed out during his first term were given to charities, nonprofits and first responders.
The extent to which Mayor Michael Nutter will actually leave the legacy of transparency on which he based much of his original campaign is debatable, but he has certainly made overtures since he took office, and the release of the names and data of ticket-receivers has been one of them. The latest report has just been released. Here are a few facts that are interesting, or useful, or both—or neither, but that jumped out at us all the same:
Pew’s got a new poll out that spells a drastic shift in public opinion towards Michael Nutter in the last couple years. In January 2012, he enjoyed a 60% approval rating. Now, he’s at 37%. Likely culprits: Acrimony among public-sector employees, many of whom are without a contract, and the roiling schools crisis. For that, Nutter would likely argue that the city and state are more to blame than he is. After all, he’s proposed several school funding options the City Council has declined to take up. Oh, would you look at that, City Council’s approval rating has dropped as well, to 30%. Also in the poll: More depressing figures, like these.
Anyways, good morning!
Last week, the political chattering class had itself a little spectulate-fest about why the mayor was holding a fundraiser. The Daily News has a juicy little item today that might help answer that question. The invite to the Oct. 3rd fundraiser came from Lindsey Perry, a former Nutter campaign consultant and administration member . Perry’s also the guy who registered a couple domain names in December for Nutter. They read: Nutter2016.com and NutterforSenate.com. (Toomey’s up for re-election.)The DN says a Nutter rep called them, and said the mayor was somehow “unaware” of the websites, and that he was not considering a run. [Daily News]
NBC 10 reports that Mayor Nutter is asking the public to donate school supplies to local schools:
Called the Philadelphia Education Supplies Fund, Mayor Nutter implored citizens, nonprofits and corporations to donate money to the program that will buy school supplies for all K-12 schools in the city — even charter and parochial.
“We all have a role to play in supporting the next generation of Philadelphia’s leaders,” Mayor Nutter said standing with the city’s educational leaders.
The city hopes to raise $500,000 by October 15. To kickstart the late funding push, the city dropped $200,000 into the initiative, according to Mayor Nutter.
You know, a lot of people will donate to this because they’re our schools and need our support, and hey, that makes a lot of sense.
But you know what also makes sense: Screw this. Public schools are not supposed to be a charity. It’s one thing for a class to do a bake sale so everybody can go on a field trip. When the schools can no longer furnish pens, paper, and other basic educational items, that means the system has failed. It’s good to try to keep things running with duct tape and bailing wire, I guess, but turning a basic mission of government into a philathropic opportunity means that government has surrendered. Will we be donating bullets to the police department next?
First came the new ad from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, claiming Michael Nutter and Tom Corbett were in kahoots, conspiring together to cut school funding.
The Nutter administration quickly called them out for it.
With its latest advert, the PFT should be ashamed x two. The pinocchio of public school teacher unions.
— Mark S. McDonald (@PhillyPressSec) September 4, 2013
Nutter then followed up with five YouTube videos in an attempt to debunk the PFT’s claims. “Lets talk about leadership. The PFT is running false ads distorting my record on education funding,” he said in the first one. Rather than cut funding, as the ad claimed, he says he’s increased funding by $155 million annually, while the Governor has slashed spending by $145 million. The figures come from Rob Dubow, the city’s finance director. He also called on the City Council, the legislature, and the PFT to acquiesce to various taxes and cost-saving measures he’s proposed that would help fund the school district.
Eventually, PFT seemed to concede the ad was misleading, telling Newsworks that it planned on pulling it from the air. “We think we got [Nutter's] attention,” said a PFT spokesman. “In the interest of fostering a productive dialogue, for right now, we’re going to suspend the ads.”