Radio Times host Marty Moss-Coane this morning is talking with Philadelphia’s GOP mayoral candidate Karen Brown. We’ll hear from Brown about her campaign and what see envisions as mayor. Last week, Marty talked with incumbent Democrat Michael Nutter. Today we’ll also hear from Michael Meehan of the Republican City Committee and Kevin Kelly of the Loyal Opposition.
The broadcast ended at 11 a.m. You’ll be able to listen to the archived show later on WHYY online.
10:57 a.m. How do you build a party if the Republicans are fighting with each other? Kelly says it’s time to remove the machine and make the case for the Republican party.
10:54 a.m. Pennsylvania now has a Republican governor and Republican majority legislator. Can that help at the city level? Yes, Kelly says, and goes on to voice support for Al Schmidt as City Commissioner and criticizes the current Commissioner’s office.
10:43 a.m. Kevin Kelly of the Loyal Opposition joins the discussion. Kelly is the former chair of the Philadelphia Young Republicans. “I do not” support Karen Brown, he says. “[She] is simply a non-serious candidate.” He says Featherman would have been a better Republican candidate, though likely wouldn’t have won the election. Kelly says Brown is a pawn in the election.
“Michael Meehan doesn’t want to win elections,” Kelly says.
10:38 a.m. A caller from Germantown wants to know why Philadelphia has become a one-party town and what makes Brown and Meehan Republicans.
Meehan: The party has an issue reaching out to minorities, which is difficult when you’re not a minority yourself.
10:36 a.m. A caller from Center City asks Brown how she’ll transform education. Brown says she intends to physically go into schools and classrooms to gauge progress there and create new schools. Southern is teaching violence, Brown says.
When pressed by Marty, Brown says the school, through protocols like having metal detectors, are teaching students that violence is allowed. Brown cites Boys Latin Charter in West Philadelphia as a school that’s taking a stance against violence.
10:30 a.m. “I don’t believe the numbers are totally correct,” Brown says of the city’s homicide figures, which Nutter promised to lower. She says Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey classifies different types of homicides differently, changing the way murders are reported. “How can the numbers be down?” she asks.
10:28 a.m. The city’s demographics have changed in the last 10 years, Meehan says, and the Republican party needs to get a message to new voters. Brown says she’s been to ethnic and immigrant communities to let them know she’s there and encouraging voting. “Nobody goes to Fifth and Indiana,” she says of political campaigns.
10:23 a.m. Meehan joins the discussion and says Brown can attract Democratic votes — a key to winning a Philadelphia election. “We don’t limit ourselves simply to registered Republicans.” Brown was closer to Republican values than former Republican mayoral candidate John Featherman, Meehan says. Meehan and Brown highlight a need for a mayor who’s a public servant.
10:21 a.m. Brown maintains the School District of Philadelphia needs an elected school board with an appointed head from Philadelphia. Business and trade schools still need to be a priority, she says, for those who don’t want to go to college.
“Vouchers enhances the choices we give the parents,” Brown says of school choice, and that more schools should be created or improved to generate more viable options.
10:18 a.m. But cuts would have to happen, right? Brown says she’d get abandoned properties off the city’s budget, obtain federal grants for solar panels and bring more industry to Philadelphia’s port. As for the abandoned properties that are privately owned, Brown says conversations need to happen to spur revitalization. Rendell developed the city, Brown says, Street continued that and Nutter has let it all sit.
10:15 a.m. City and council staffs are too large, Brown says. “Four people to run a council’s office is plenty,” she says, and would cut the mayor’s 44-person staff in half. Additionally, she says she doesn’t see a reason for 311; city department numbers should be in the phonebook.
10:10 a.m. “I was always very fiscally conservative,” Brown says when asked how she’s different from her time as a Democratic candidate for City Council. “Reublicans and Democratics alike have the same problems.”
Brown calls Nutter a bully, saying she didn’t ask for endorsements so her supporters wouldn’t hurt their relationships with the current mayor.