The Not-So-Secret Puppetmasters of Philly Politics

The Daily News‘ Catherine Lucey and Chris Brennan brave the dark underbelly of the city’s power structure list the contents of their phones’ quick-dial apps in a look at the 13 media consultants who shape the public face of local politics:

THEY’RE SOME OF the biggest players in Philly politics, yet you’ve probably never heard of them.

They’re behind the scenes, advising politicians, unions, public officials and CEOs on what to say, where to go and who to talk to.

They strategize on political and issue campaigns, putting a spin on the facts to favor their clients, from charter schools to soda taxes.

They are Philadelphia’s top political media consultants, and what follows is a who’s who of folks in the know.

It is a tangled web. The 13 consultants on our list have worked for many of the same clients, like former Mayor John Street (Frank Keel, Dan Fee, Mark Nevins), former Mayor W. Wilson Goode (Ken Smukler, Larry Ceisler), the American Beverage Association (Ceisler, Dan McElhatton) and the 1st Judicial District (Frank Keel, Jeff Jubelirer).

Sometimes they’re on the same team and sometimes not.