3 Quotes That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About the City Council Election

Pithiness from Ed Neilson, Matthew Wolfe, and N.A. Poe.

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

When Bill Green became the School Reform Commission chairman earlier this year, he left an open seat on City Council that will be filled during Tuesday’s primary election. (To be clear: Even though it’s a primary, Philadelphians of all parties are eligible to vote for Green’s replacement.)

The three candidates are Ed Neilson, a Democrat; Matthew Wolfe, a Republican; and N.A. Poe, a Libertarian marijuana activist. It’s assumed that Neilson, the Democrat, will win — but Wolfe has picked up a few endorsements along the way (including the Inquirer’s) and, well, who knows?

Rather than bury you under a slew of position papers, we’ll instead offer a single quote from each candidate that, we hope, distills their candidacy down to its essence:

Ed Neilson is a workhorse: “I have not missed a vote in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since being elected to the post, a fairly rare ac­com­plish­ment. Our of­fice has at­temp­ted to help every­one who came through our door. The ef­forts of my staff should be ap­plauded, for we helped more people col­lect­ively than four neigh­bor­ing North­east Phil­adelphia state rep­res­ent­at­ives com­bined, ac­cord­ing to stat­ist­ics provided to us by the House Caucus. While each is­sue is quite dif­fer­ent in nature, we found that more than 60 per­cent of the is­sues were re­lated to the City of Phil­adelphia, not to the Com­mon­wealth of Pennsylvania. Our suc­cesses ranged from sav­ing the privat­iz­a­tion of the Pennsylvania Lot­tery, neigh­bor­hood out­reach pro­grams, se­cur­ing fund­ing for SEPTA and our roads, and cre­at­ing a statewide pi­lot pro­gram to provide help for chil­dren and adults strug­gling with dys­lex­ia.” (The Northeast Times)

Matthew Wolfe is ready to tear down this wall:  “Philadelphia is one of the poorest big cities in the nation. And this didn’t happen by accident. It happened because the city continues to raise taxes, which drives away business. I quote Paul Levy when I say; ‘We have the perfect tax structure for the mid 18th century.’” This assessment applies to Philadelphia as a manufacturing-based city, Wolfe explained. “The city taxed those factories because they couldn’t go anywhere.” Even though Philadelphia is no longer a manufacturing city, “the city continues to tax in the same way. And in doing so, businesses move out of the city.” (Weekly Press)

N.A. Poe is going to keep on fightin’ the man: “I’m pretty sure that my probation officer gets his marching orders directly from Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Goldberg. He’s a good little lapdog. They deny my right to travel, to speak and work. I have weekly pee tests, house visits, they even go as far as to monitor my free speech on the Internet. The lengths these fascists will go to silence my activism and dissent is disgusting. It’s my job as an activist and a comedian to push their buttons. I’m sure it makes them sick that I am running for City Council and that they have to see my face plastered all over the media. They can try their best but they will never break my spirit or stop me from using my humor as a weapon. I sent my prosecutor an autographed copy of my Metro cover story the other day and thanked him for the inspiration to work within the system to change the law. I hope the cocksucker couldn’t digest his lunch because of it.” (Phawker)