Feud within city GOP intensifies

    A battle is on for control of Philadelphia’s Republican party, as younger party activists seek to supplant longtime longtime party leaders.

    A battle is on for control of Philadelphia’s Republican party, as younger party activists seek to supplant longtime longtime party leaders.  But the old guard hopes to enact a change in party rules tonight to weaken the insurgents.

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    University City Republican ward leader Matt Wolfe is among the group of upstarts who say party leaders are too willing to concede elections to Democrats and negotiate for patronage crumbs. He says the move to change voting rules is a maneuver to keep the old guard in power.

    At a meeting tonight, party leaders propose to change its voting procedures to give more weight to leaders from wards with the highest number of registered Republicans. Wolfe says that protects the power of the current leaders.

    Wolfe: You know, they’re generally happy with the situation the way it is because it maintains the status quo for them.

    Wolfe says the change effectively gives power to twelve ward leaders, mostly in Northeast Philadelphia.

    But Committee Chairman Vito Canuso says the change makes the system more equitable.

    Canuso: Where there are Republicans, we want their voice to be heard.  One man, one vote rule.

    Opponents of the party leaders are backed by leaders of the state GOP, who say the local party must be re-energized.

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