Posted on Fri, Apr. 15, 2011
AND NOW a report from the correspondence office at the mayoral-campaign headquarters of T. Milton Street Sr.
Street, a former state legislator still on supervised release after serving 26 months in federal custody for not paying taxes, has been sending his rival in the May 17 primary election, Mayor Nutter, emails asking for information about topical subjects like city schools and public safety.
Street has also been declaring in public that he hopes to debate Nutter before the primary.
An assistant city solicitor replied Wednesday to Street’s first email, since he labelled it a “Right to Know” request, a citation for the state law that requires government to make records public. The city rejected his request because he asked for answers to questions, not documents.
Street responded with an email asking for every document related to potential budget cuts in the school district. The one letter Street has not written is a formal request to the Nutter campaign for a debate.
Nutter’s campaign stated he would debate Street if the event was held by a nonpartisan group with an appropriate mission.
Whether to debate is also up for debate on the other side of the aisle in the mayor’s race. GOP mayoral hopeful John Featherman is eager for a scheduled debate Wednesday with Karen Brown, the Democratic committeewoman recruited and endorsed by the local GOP leadership to challenge him in the primary.
Larry Mendte, the former local tv news anchor, will moderate the event, which also includes a forum for Council at-large candidates.
But will Brown show up? Vito Canuso, chairman of the Republican City Committee, calls the debate “a setup” because it is sponsored in part by the Loyal Opposition, a splinter GOP group that wants the party to pose more of a challenge to the dominant Democrats in the city.
“I do not see it as a legitimate group running a debate,” Canuso said. “They have criticized so many people who are supporting Karen. It’s a setup.”
Kevin Kelly, of the Loyal Opposition, stated Brown concurred to the debate last month. He promised that she would be treated fairly but predicted that Republican voters will ask why they should support a longtime Democrat.
Brown stated she is so busy that she cannot state until next week if she will attend the debate. “Some things are more of a priority than others,” Brown said.
We can attest to Brown’s hectic schedule. We ran into her this week at the Union League when she tried to crash Nutter’s “State of the City” speech but was turned away at the door. Featherman stated he had be happy to take on Brown in a debate set up under any rules that Canuso wants. He doesn’t anticipate that offer to be accepted.
Councilman Frank Rizzo failed last night in his second attempt to win the Republican City Committee endorsement for City Council at large.
We heard some ward leaders at the Philadelphia Parking Authority were pushing for Rizzo anew. But after protracted debate centered on Rizzo’s participation in the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan, the party decided to leave one endorsement spot open.
John Giordano, who came in second in the February endorsement vote, left the race last month after he took a job with Gov. Corbett’s administration. Giordano, who had raised almost $130,000 in just five weeks, had a poll showing Rizzo was leading in the race.
We ask five locals who have toiled on Democratic and Republican mayoral elections to estimate the odds for the four candidates running for mayor in the May 17 primary election.
This week, our experts were unimpressed with Street’s pick-up of two high-profile endorsements, from blue-collar workers and firefighters. They gave Street a bump of a mere 2.4 percentage points in the odds.
Brown gained 1.4 percentage points on Featherman since the last Clout Line was published on March 25.
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Submited at Saturday, April 16th, 2011 at 3:00 am on Politics by robert
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