Milton Street pays $130 campaign-finance late fee, doesn’t care about money [video]

Listen
 As Board of Elections officials look on, T. Milton Street Sr. fields questions while filing his campaign-finance reports seven days after the deadline. (Brian Hickey/WHYY)

As Board of Elections officials look on, T. Milton Street Sr. fields questions while filing his campaign-finance reports seven days after the deadline. (Brian Hickey/WHYY)

If a candidate for elected office in Philadelphia County is late to file his or her campaign-finance reports, the Board of Elections levies a $20 fine in each the first six days and $10 for each subsequent day until the tally maxes out at $250.

This is pertinent today because T. Milton Street Sr., who will launch his mayoral campaign next Tuesday night, missed the Feb. 2 deadline.

So, he and his namesake son/campaign manager arrived at the Board of Elections’ City Hall office around 12:15 p.m. Wednesday to remedy that tardiness. Thanks, in part, to a sign posted on the door that cash is no longer accepted, though, a normally quick process took about an hour.

You see, Street’s fine reached $130, but the candidate only brought a $120 money order.

Since the $11 cash in the candidate-to-be’s wallet could not cover the gap, a second trip to the 7-Eleven across the street was needed to transform legal tender into fine mender.

By 1:15 p.m., financial affairs were put in order.

Paperwork that indicated he’d received $2,900 in donations (from City Council candidate Ori Feibush, he said) in 2014 were handed over.

And Street held court with a trio of reporters who’d staked out the Board of Elections office off-and-on all week to see it all officially happen.

Among the topics covered:

— Why he filed late (“My treasurer had a problem. He hurt his back, so he had to go to the hospital.”)

— The peculiarity of his being aligned with Feibush, a developer entrenched in a big-money battle against Second District City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson (“I’m not aligning myself with Ori. Ori is aligning himself with me.”)

— The seemingly never-ending speculation about his residency (see video at the bottom of this post, most notably the Daily News‘ Wendy Ruderman inquiring about Street’s Facebook posts tagged in New Jersey)

— How the fixation on fundraising doesn’t apply to a candidacy buoyed by name recognition Street-valued at $800,000 (“There are very few people in this city who don’t know who I am. … I got out of prison with a $1.69, a seniors’ bus pass and a parole officer, and got 36,000 votes in 2011. You do the math.”)

— Issues not being discussed by his competitors (“I’m the last to make a [campaign-launch] announcement, but you know what I haven’t heard: No one has mentioned violence because they think that’s only important to people who won’t vote. I believe I can mobilize those voters.”), and

— A voter-landscape reading that involves elites and poor people (“Will the elites vote for me? Absolutely not … but [state Sen. Tony] Williams can’t get my vote because I have a comprehensive plan that poor people will attach to.”)

Sporting a Philadelphia Eagles cap, Mercedes Benz windbreaker and cuffed jeans, Street also predicted how opponents and the media will treat him in the coming months.

“The problem for them is that I have a message that’s so solid, they’ll figure out that they won’t be able to attack it, so they’ll attack the messenger,” he said. “People are going to be thrown off when I’m a lot more focused than they’re expecting me to be.”

Street will launch his campaign at 5 p.m. Tuesday, at the New Jerusalem Baptist Church (2119 W. Diamond St.). There, he will field questions from the press and public, but topics are confined to the Philadelphia Gas Works hullabaloo, public-school funding, violence in schools and a proposal to reduce violence in the community.

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.