Archive: May, 2011
With more than 2,000 votes since our ElectionEar Ultimate Primary Poll went live late last week, the results are shaping up to be interesting indeed — and, surprisingly or not, a little different that conventional wisdom about this election and who's going to win it.
What do the results represent? Who knows — maybe this is the CP readers' ticket; maybe it's a younger, online demographic; maybe it's the candidates' friends.
The Ultimate Primary Poll is still open! Vote here; then vote for real using our mini voting guide:
--> Get your polling place location here
--> Read our exciting descriptions of selected races here.
--> Read our ongoing blogging of the whole shebang here.
--> Read profiles from the candidates who submitted them here. or at Seventy.
In any case, a few highlights from the poll so far:
While recently touting his campaign to clergy members, judicial candidate Jim DiVergilis said that he has hit people before — and he has "no problem" continuing to do so as a judge.
"I've done it. ... It's not only a punch in the mouth, but there is a baseball bat or a golf club," he said. "I have no problem doing it today as a lawyer or as a judge. And you can bet as a judge, if the parents are not gonna discipline these children, I'm gonna jump off the bench and I'll discipline either the parent and [sic] the child," he said.
Then, while talking about flash mobs, he added, "It's time to get up off that bench and give them a back hand to the mouth. And that's exactly what they need. If they got it like we all got it growing up, this city would be better."
You can hear DiVergilis' words yourself in the video above. According to a source who was there, DiVergilis was speaking to the Pentecostal Clergy PAC, along with several other politicians, in March.
DiVergilis did not immediately respond for comment. He is running for judge in the Court of Common Pleas in May 17's election.
Another part of the video worth noting: While talking about committee people, DiVergilis says there are "some things that we can take care of, to give them something for their efforts of getting petitions signed."
DiVergilis, if you recall, was just in City Paper last week: According to a letter obtained by CP, if you donated money to his campaign at a recent fundraiser, you would get police "courtesy cards" — better known as "get-out-of-jail-free cards" on the street — in return. Read more here.
"Patronage has its purpose," says an Inquirer-endorsed candidate for the (historically political) job of Philly sheriff.
On April 24 — before a public debate (partly sponsored by Philly.com) had taken place, and well before candidates had submitted campaign finance reports — the Inquirer went ahead and endorsed State Rep. Jewell Williams for Sheriff.
Although the position is responsible for such seemingly normal city functions as transporting prisoners and overseeing sheriff's sales, it's been an independently elected position since the mid-1800s.
It's also a well-known bastion of patronage. And it's also been enmeshed in scandal after an audit by City Controller Alan Butkowitz found accounting ... problems.
Due to a miscommunication, an earlier version of this story reported that the FBI was raiding Miller's office. In fact, it was the Ethics Board. CP regrets the error.
The Ethics Board is raiding Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller's office right now.
Her office could not share any more details, but City Paper will confirm more as it comes. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: According to PhillyClout, the Ethics Board was there to investigate Miller's office allegedly using printers to create campaign materials for Verna Tyner. Just this week, Tyner was endorsed by Miller.
Outside of Miller's office at City Hall, Ethics Board director Shane Creamer declined to comment, and Miller's attorney said she was cooperating with the investigation. Laura Frank, the spokeswoman for Tyner's campaign, meanwhile, says, "We dont know anything about it," adding "No one's talking to us about it."
Want to get a taste of next week's election, like, right now?
Head over to City Paper's nail-biting 2011 Ultimate Primary Poll!, where there are landslides, upsets and big losers aplenty ... where mayoral candidate T. Milton Street is somehow grabbing 21 percent of the vote, Al Schmidt is the biggest winner of anyone with 87 percent of the vote, and incumbents are losing all over.
Want to cast a vote? Our polls are open until Tuesday, May 17, at 8 p.m.
Here are some of the most interesting results thus far:
- Michael Nutter is winning in the Democratic mayoral race, of course, but you might be surprised he's got 70 percent of the vote. T. Milton Street has 21 percent.
- Al Schmidt is on the verge of a landslide in the Republican City Commissioners race with 87 percent of the vote, while incumbent Joseph Duda has 5 percent and Marie Delany 8 percent.
- Democratic City Commissioners candidates Stephanie Singer (62 percent) and Blair Talmadge (15) are winning. Incumbents Anthony Clark (5) and Marge Tartaglione (7) are losing pretty badly.
- Sheriff candidate John Kromer, the guy who wants to abolish the office he's running for, is winning with a whopping 71 percent. Jewell Williams is behind him with 19 percent.
- In the Republican Council at-large race, Joseph McColgan (12 percent), David Oh (20), Dennis O'Brien (15), Al Taubenberger (12) and Elmer Money (17) are the top five winners. Incumbent Frank Rizzo is not among them.
- In the Democratic Council at-large race, Blondell Reynolds Brown (14 percent), Sherrie Cohen (13), Andy Toy (29), Bill Green (8) and Jim Kenney (12) are winning. Incumbent Bill Greenlee is not.
- Mark Squilla's winning in the 1st Council District race with 48 percent, but guess who's second? Jeff Hornstein with 29. Guess an endorsement from former Gov. (and Mayor) Ed Rendell isn't worth what it used to be: Joe Grace has 7 percent of the vote.
- In the 2nd Council District race, Barbara Capozzi is winning with 54 percent, while Kenyatta Johnson's claiming 35 percent and Tracey Gordon has 12.
- It's a tight race in the 6th Council District: Bobby Henon has 52 percent; Martin Bednarek has 48.
- In the 7th, Danny Savage is beating incumbent Maria Quinones-Sanchez with 60 and 40 percent of the vote, respectively.
- And in the 8th, things are split every which way: Cindy Bass is winning with 36 percent of the vote, with Howard Treatman (22) and Greg Paulmier (18) right behind her.
NOW VOTE FOR REAL.
FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE HERE. POLLS CLOSE AT 8.
YOU'RE STILL REGISTERD AT THE SAME PLACE IF YOU VOTED OBAMA/MCCAIN
AND YOU DON'T NEED ID. MORE VOTER INFO HERE.
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CORRECTION: This article incorrectly stated that Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr. had not filed his Cycle 2 campaign finance report. Councilman Goode did file, under the Committee "Forum 2007." We apologize for this error.
UPDATE: Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown filed her Cycle 2 report on May 12, 2011.
UPDATE: 2nd District Candidate Verna Tyner's campaign told CP her report had been filed on May 6, but due to a "computer glitch" was not available. It is now online.
According to Board of Ethics Director Shane Creamer, no less than 21 candidates for city offices failed to submit required campaign finance reports last Friday — a breach of the city's campaign finance law, which requires all candidates and candidate committees for city office to file pre-primary "Cycle 2" reports electronically with the Board of Ethics.
Because failure to submit the reports could possibly result in an enforcement action, Creamer said, he could not give CP the names. Creamer said that letters have gone out to those in violation of the law.
But thank God for electronic campaign finance reporting (a feature the city's Board of Ethics offers but which the City Commissioners, who oversee far more campaign finance information, do not), which let CP figure out who culprits were anyway!
According to CP's own review of electronic campaign documents, the following candidates (all of whom are still on the ballot) failed to submit campaign finance reports on time:
Vern Anastasio (1st Council District, D)
Suzanne Carn (5th Council District, D)
Bobbie Curry (9th Council District, D)
Michael Jones (Council, At-Large, D)
Humberto Perez (Council, At-Large, D)
Blondell Reynolds Brown (Council, At-Large, D) *(Submitted May 12, 2011, see above note)
Damon Roberts (2nd Council District, D) *(Roberts has announced his withdrawal)
Lamont Thomas (9th Council District, D)
Verna Tyner (8th Council District, D)* (now available online; see above note)
Jacque Whaumbush (Sheriff)
It's election time, folks!
For four weeks, the ElectionEar has brought you (increasingly hard to find) coverage of this year's primary election, in which nothing less than the future of the fair city of Philadelphia is at stake.
For a list of all candidates on the ballot, go to the Board of Elections website. For extremely helpful voting information (including polling places and a list of who you'll get to vote for) visit the Committee of Seventy.
And for fun, exciting, amazing City Paper coverage, read this week's cover story by Holly Otterbein and Isaiah Thompson — and don't forget the special edition of ElectionEar, which looks at the battles behind the battles.
And now: Dozens of candiates are running for a slew of offices — Mayor, City Council, Sheriff, City Commissioner, Register of Wills, and city and state and judicial races.
But who are these candidates? And why should you vote for them?
To find out, read the candidates' responses to ElectionEar's 2011 Ultimate Primary Candidate Questionnaire below. You'll find out their thoughts on everything from the city's biggest weakness to the Philadelphia School District — and even whether or not they can spell.
A highly controversial abortion bill penned by state Rep. Matt Baker just passed in the House, 148-43. For background, read here.
City Paper is awaiting a statement from Baker.
Meanwhile, the Women's Law Project released a statement just now saying that Baker's bill will lead to a "public health catastrophe" and "Gosnell-style illegal abortion practices arising all over Pennsylvania." The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania also released one, arguing that under the bill, "poor women and those who live in rural areas will not have access to care and will be more likely to turn to a disreputable doctor like Gosnell.”
UPDATE: Baker has released a statement, which says that, "Simply put, under House Bill 574 the state’s abortion industry would not be exempt from commonsense safety standards that apply to other ambulatory surgery centers," adding that his bill "was created in direct response to the outcome of a grand jury presentment regarding atrocities" found at Gosnell's clinic.
Yesterday, a ferocious debate went down at the state House that suggests that it might be hard for lawmakers to pass any bill written in the wake of Kermit Gosnell — the Philly abortion doctor who's been charged with murdering seven babies and one woman.
Currently, two bills are gaining steam that would regulate abortion clinics in order to prevent another Gosnell. The state Health Department has been widely blamed because it failed to inspect Gosnell's clinic for 17 years, supposedly for "political reasons" — and these bills also strive to deal with that.
But the two bills are very different from each other: One was penned by Rep. Matt Baker, which he says came directly from the grand jury's report on Gosnell, but that women's health advocates say is an anti-abortion "Trojan horse" that could shut down every clinic in the state. It has passed committee, and is expected to go up for a final vote today.
The other bill, penned by state Sen. Pat Vance, has been called "way better" by women's health advocates. It would guarantee regular inspections and allow patients to make anonymous complaints about abortion providers to the state's Health Department. (In the past, the agency has refused to take such complaints.) It has also passed committee.
Yesterday, the state House debated proposed amendments to Baker's bill — including one by state Rep. Chris Ross that would make Baker's legislation much more like Vance's.
But Ross' amendment was defeated, 68-130. Does that indicate that the House and Senate will be unable to agree on a bill to prevent another Gosnell? The two bills are very different, and neither house seems ready to budge — at least not yet.
Baker's bill is being debated by the state House right now, and is expected to get a full vote today.
Also, FYI, I live-tweeted yesterday's whole darn debate. Click below for some highlights:
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