Council candidates news, and a correction

    Of all the dozens of City Council candidates former Gov. Ed Rendell might endorse, what a surprise that he’s picked the political director of the union that was his strongest labor supporter when he ran for office.

    According to a campaign news release, Rendell believes Bobby Henon, the political director of Local 98 of the electricians union “will be an exceptional public servant for the people of Northeast Philadelphia because he will not be outworked, he knows how to create jobs, and he understands the importance of public safety, personal responsibility, and civic pride.”

    Henon’s union and political committees associated with its powerful Business Manager, John Dougherty have contributed many tens of thousands of dollars to Rendell’s campaigns for mayor and governor, and Rendell has appointed to Dougherty to influential government posts, including the Delaware River Port Authority.

    Henon is running against former ward leader Martin Bednarek for the river ward 6th Council district seat being vacated by Democrat Joan Krajewski.

    Also here’s a fun item from the Daily News’ Chris Brennan about Jeff Hornstein, a candidate for the 1st Councilmanic District, who wants to make Philly “less weird” when it comes to its tax structure.

    Also, I have to correct a factual error I made in a discussion of City Council races yesterday on WHYY’s Radio Times.

    I was explaining Philadelphia’s system for electing seven City Council at-large members. I said that in the general election voters citywide get to choose seven from a slate of at-large candidates, but that each party is permitted to nominate only five, a provision that has resulted in seven Democratic and two Republican at-large Council members for decades.

    In fact, the charter provides that voters choose five, not seven candidates, and the top seven vote-getters win a seat. Each party is indeed allowed to nominate only five at-large candidates, and the effect has been to give us five Democratic and two Republican at-large members.

    I have to re-learn this every four years myself, and should have checked before I went on the show. Thanks to Republican mayoral candidate John Featherman for catching my error.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.