Endorsement drama, tech talk and more: NinetyNine’s week in review

 Estelle Charles and her daughter J'adore Dorvil, 8, of West Philadelphia, read a flyer that Nelson Diaz had just given them on the subway. (Tracie Van Auken/for NewsWorks)

Estelle Charles and her daughter J'adore Dorvil, 8, of West Philadelphia, read a flyer that Nelson Diaz had just given them on the subway. (Tracie Van Auken/for NewsWorks)

At high noon each Friday during Philadelphia’s mayoral-primary season, NinetyNine will post a roundup of noteworthy stories from the previous week. Miss a couple days of coverage, or just want to catch up over the weekend? We’ve got you covered.

From NinetyNine and NewsWorks:

Q&A: Dwight Evans on endorsing Jim Kenney and the race-tinged aftermath: On Monday, state Rep. Dwight Evans sat down with NinetyNine for breakfast at the Trolley Car Diner in Mt. Airy to discuss the rationale for endorsing Kenney and weigh in on the reaction to state Reps. Stephen Kinsey and Cherelle Parker and City Councilwomen Cindy Bass and Marian Tasco doing so.

Dougherty — quiet kingmaker in mayor’s race? (Off Mic): There’s a strange thing about this Philadelphia mayor’s race: One of the most influential players is hardly ever mentioned in connection with the contest. John Dougherty, business manager of Electricians Local 98, may be the single largest supporter of former City Councilman Jim Kenney, but the size of his contributions remain a secret, and you never see Kenney and “Johnny Doc” together.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Union-sponsored poll shows Kenney, Williams, Abraham in dead heat: For what it’s worth, a union-sponsored poll out Thursday shows Philadelphia mayoral candidates Jim Kenney, State Sen. Tony Williams and Lynne Abraham in a dead heat. The poll, commissioned by the public services employee union AFSCME, was conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based firm GBA Strategies, which surveyed 587 “likely Democratic primary voters” earlier this month. Three local divisions of AFSCME are supporting Kenney.

Self and the City: Finding meaning in our work depends on the communities around us (Human At Work): Ideas become reality only when we experience them — in our bodies, our selves, our daily lives. So when a great bunch of Philadelphians gathered recently in the Great Hall of Neighborhood House, at Christ Church, for the WHYY event “City and Self: Bringing Humanity to Work,” that’s where we started — and I hope where we ended up, as well.

Oliver TV ad targets young Philadelphians: Philadelphia mayoral candidate Doug Oliver has launched his first advertising campaign in a frugal, but carefully targeted effort to reach younger voters. Oliver’s advertising campaign involves radio spots, billboards and of course, TV commercials.

Missed connection: Kenney’s website falters in Philly schools: Kenney’s campaign website can not be accessed currently by teachers, students and employees using the Philadelphia School District’s servers. The websites for each of the other candidates in this year’s mayor’s race can be easily browsed, but the district’s servers block users from Kenney’s. The Philadelphia School District says the blockage is not intentional.

Latino political group jumps from Diaz to Kenney to the dismay of some: WHYY’s Katie Colaneri has reported that a group of Latino political leaders has dropped its support of Nelson Diaz to back Jim Kenney’s candidacy. And, when word of the Latinos United for Political Empowerment (LUPE) shift went public, it left City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez “disappointed” in her former colleague.

Nelson Diaz on his plan for victory and getting heard in a crowded mayoral crowd [photo gallery]: NinetyNine caught up with mayoral candidate Nelson Diaz last week to chat about his read on the race thus far and where he thinks it’ll head as the May 19 primary approaches.

Tony Williams, Milton Street exchange barbs at PCCA affordable-housing mayoral forum: Near the end of the two-hour $100/breakfast-plate event sponsored by the Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement (PCCA) — mayoral aspirants answered the same 10 questions — a pair of candidates came to verbal blows.

Tony Williams says his father ‘is smiling a broad smile’ in heaven after Black Clergy endorsement: The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity formally endorsed Anthony Hardy Williams for the city’s next mayor after its prayer breakfast in Overbrook on Thursday.

Mayoral candidates talk tech issues at Monday night forum: The highlights? Jim Kenney calling out online trolls who hide behind “disrespect and anonymity,” Doug Oliver likening his “bootstrap” mayoral-run approach to that of tech startups, Tony Williams discussing “Black Girls Rock,” Lynne Abraham citing the need to get police officers technologically up to speed and Nelson Diaz throwing shade at paying bills any way but online (and at his fellow candidates).

Environmental groups give Kenney green stamp of approval for Philly mayor: Four environmental groups in Philadelphia marked Earth Day by endorsing Jim Kenney for mayor. While environmental groups normally steer clear of endorsing candidates, the leaders of PennEnvironment, the Sierra Club, Conservation Voters PA and Clean Water Action say this is an important election for Philadelphia. The next mayor will follow an administration that has made a becoming “the greenest city in America” a top priority.

Talking points, beefs and eye-opening quips define Fox29 mayoral debate: Lynne Abraham thinks the Sixers are “pathetic.” Doug Oliver finds out one of his foes would vote for him. Milton Street namechecks kangaroos while talking about litter. Tony Williams hates the status quo. Jim Kenney says his anti-DROP vote almost cost him a city council seat. And, Nelson Diaz just wants some marijuana. Those are just some of the takeaways from Thursday afternoon’s mayoral debate at Saint Joseph’s University.

— Council moves to illuminate Super PAC money (The Next Mayor/Inquirer): Independent groups that make big ad buys during an election season would have to disclose their financial backers more often if legislation introduced to City Council Thursday is approved.

The regularly updated Philadelphia Mayoral-Race Endorsement Tracker: There’s been a bunch of activity on the endorsement charges this week.

From elsewhere:

New website by Williams campaign takes shots at Kenney, Abraham (The Next Mayor/Daily News): In the race to succeed Mayor Michael Nutter, three front-runner candidates have managed to go months without much mudslinging. Besides a few swipes at public forums, there haven’t been any negative campaign ads or other opposition material. That ended Wednesday.

Williams supporters count on racial math candidate disdains (The Next Mayor/Inquirer): Though Anthony Hardy Williams says he rejects the racial math of Philadelphia politics — white voters support white candidates, black voters support black candidates — his supporters are clearly counting on it.

Ready for a nasty mayor’s race? (The Next Mayor/Daily News): In a month and a day, one of six (or if we’re being honest, one of three) candidates wins the Democratic primary on May 19. So let’s-get-nasty stakes are high for top contenders Anthony Hardy Williams, Jim Kenney and Lynne Abraham.

Open data, municipal WiFi and, um, online bill pay? The mayoral candidates talk tech at #ptw15 (Technically Philly): Here’s who won, who missed the mark and who drew the most laughs (but not necessarily for good reasons) during our Philly Tech Week Mayoral Forum.

Here’s Why [Insert Your Favorite Candidate’s Name] Will Win the Mayor’s Race (Citified): There are viable paths to victory — or to crushing defeat — for each of the field’s three leading contenders: State Senator Anthony H. Williams, former District Attorney Lynne Abraham and former City Councilman Jim Kenney. The odds are longer, like a lot, lot, longer, for the other candidates.

How Philadelphia’s Fuzzy Racial Math Could Tip the Mayoral Election (Citified): The role of race in local politics — which, let’s face it, never remotely went away — has moved to the center ring of Philadelphia’s latest mayoral election.

LUPE drama is old-style ward politics, but our focus should be on issues facing the community (Al Dia): The drama about LUPE’s withdrawal of its endorsement of mayoral candidate Nelson Diaz is not a surprise. Old-style ward politics is well and alive in our community as it is in other neighborhoods in this city. Money is unfortunately a driving force that too often shapes who gets endorsed during an open primary like this one.

Q&A Series: How candidates will fund the pension plan (The Next Mayor): Given the recent failure of the PGW sale, what measures are the mayoral candidates prepared to take to help fund the pension plan? (Somewhat related: Public safety.)

Who’s winning the Democratic mayoral primary? Nobody knows — and here’s why (Billy Penn): In less than a month, Philadelphia voters will pick among six Democratic candidates for mayor. So who’s winning, right now? Nobody knows. Well, nobody without a vested interest in the race, anyway. No unbiased authority has commissioned a poll.

Independent groups drown out candidates in mayor’s race (The Next Mayor/Inquirer): With the May 19 Democratic primary a month away, the six mayoral candidates are increasingly being reduced to spectators by the volume of television ads produced by organizations officially unconnected to their campaigns. While they continue to debate, produce policy papers, and skewer one another’s positions, none so far appear to have the resources to match the level of ads created by three independent groups in the race at the moment.

Mayoral candidates discuss parks and arts (The Next Mayor/Inquirer): Parks and arts, what’s not to like? Very little, if you asked a cluster of would-be Philadelphia mayors at a Wednesday night forum dedicated to green space and cultural vitality.

Why Didn’t Lynne Abraham Prosecute a Cop Who Shot a 20-Year-Old in the Back? (Citified): Before Michael Brown and Eric Garner were household names, an off-duty police sergeant shot Lawrence Allen in the back in Philadelphia on Nov. 17, 2008. Allen was paralyzed and, three months later, he died. He was 20 years old. Lynne Abraham, the city’s district attorney at the time, decided not to press charges against Sgt. Chauncey Ellison, the cop who shot Allen, or his then-girlfriend, Officer Robin Fortune, who was involved in the melee. … Six-and-a-half years later, Abraham is running for mayor and police-involved killings are a source of major controversy throughout the nation.

Doug Oliver’s New TV Ad Has A “The Greatest Love Of All” Vibe (Philebrity): Do believe that children are the future and if they’re taught well then they can lead the way, showing us all the beauty we possess inside? If so, you’ll likely find the first campaign ad from Doug Oliver to be effective.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

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

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal