More than two weeks after filing to run for Philadelphia City Council, nearly half the 60 candidates in the May 17th primary still haven’t provided legally-required information to the city Board of Ethics about their political committees.
Seven of the non-compliers are Council incumbents: Jannie Blackwell, Darrell Clarke, Wilson Goode, Jr., Curtis Jones, Jim Kenney, Brian O’Neill and Frank Rizzo.
(UPDATE: Rizzo called Friday to say he’s now complied. “Don’t know how we missed, that,” he said. “Thanks for the heads up.”
The complete list of non-compliant Council candidates as of Thursday morning is listed below.
Some of those incumbents probably figured they didn’t need to tell the Ethics Board anything about their committees, since they’ve been filing regular finance reports with the board for a while.
The requirement to contact the Ethics Board after they become candidates for re-election is a new requirement imposed last year, and there are two reasons Council members should know about it.
One is that the Ethics Board wrote every candidate who hadn’t complied last week, and gave them until yesterday to provide the info. The second reason: they voted to impose this requirement last year in a Council ordinance.
I asked Ethics Board director Shane Creamer what happens now to candidates who still won’t provide the required information.
“We’ll continue to make efforts to get candidates to comply with this basic requirement,” Creamer said. “We’ll take appropriate steps to ensure compliance.”
Reading between the lines, I don’t think Creamer wants to bring formal enforcement actions on this. They’re time-consuming, and he’d rather use his ammo for real, substantive violations of campaign finance law.
This is more akin to getting all the kids in class to get their damn parental permission slips in so everybody can go on the field trip.
In fact the Ethics Commission didn’t even release a list of non-complying candidates. I had to submit a Right to Know request for the documents candidates submitted, then compare them to a list candidates who filed to run (and then go back through and weed out candidates who’ve withdrawn or ordered off the ballot).
It was a pain in the keister, which is why I’m just giving you the Council candidates who haven’t complied now rather than all offices. Just haven’t had the time to do everybody yet.
If you’re wondering about mayoral candidates, all have complied except for Democrat Milton Street. But if he doesn’t form a committee doesn’t raise or spend any money, he technically doesn’t have to tell the Ethics Board anything.
I doubt that’s the case, so I tried Milton’s cell phone this morning and reached his son Milton, Jr., who said he’s visiting the Ethics Board today to start taking care of business.
“We haven’t raised a dime, because we haven’t established our PAC yet,” Milton, Jr. said, adding that his dad’s campaign will consult with the board and and do everything it’s supposed to.
Council candidates who haven’t provided required info to the Ethics Board
Mark Squilla (D) (UPDATE: Squilla’s campaign said Friday they’ven now provided the information to the Board)
Tracey Gordon (D)
Kenyatta Johnson (D)
Jannie Blackwell (D)
Curtis Jones, Jr. (D)
Darrell Clarke (D)
Suzanne Carn (D)
none – all complied
Juan Rodriguez (D)
Robin Tasco (D)
Bobby Curry (D)
Rhaim Dawkins (D)
Thomas Lamont (D)
Brian O’Neill (R)
At Large Democrats
Louis Borda (D)
Lawrence Clark (D)
Francis Graff Jr. (D)
W. Wilson Goode Jr. (D)
Michael Jones (D)
James Kenney (D)
Ralanda King (D)
Janis E. Manson (D)
Humberto Perez (D)
Denise Ripley (D)
Alexander Wilson (D)
At Large GOP
Malcolm Lazin (R)
Steve Odabashian (R)
Frank Rizzo Jr. (R) (UPDATE: Rizzo called Friday to say he’s now supplied the info to the board).
Al Taubenberger (R)
Michael Untermeyer (R)