New blood needed

    A free-for-for all is taking shape in Philadelphia’s first Councilmanic district (that’s South Philly and center city east of Broad, plus some river wards) as challengers emerge to take on incumbent Frank DiCicco.

    One of the most curious entrants is Karen Brown, a former school teacher who says she’s running for not one, but two offices. Brown says she plans to file as a Democrat for both the first district race and for a Council-at-large post.

    “If I get elected to both, I’ll do both jobs but only take one salary,” Brown said.

    It’s apparently legal to file for both offices, not so legal to hold both, I’m told.

    Its also seems a bizarre political approach for a political unknown. Given that resources are precious in any campaign, you’d think you’d want to focus them on places you can get the best results.

    An at-large candidate competes in 69 wards. A district candidate, about a tenth of that.

    But hey, it’s a free country. Anyway, Brown says she doesn’t want a lifetime sinecure.

    “I think Council should be two terms, not a lifetime,” she said. “We left England to get away from that.”

    Jeff Hornstein, first district Council candidate

    I didn’t make it to first district candidate Jeff Hornstein’s official announcement Wednesday evening, due to fundraising responsibilities on WHYY.

    Hornstein, on leave from his organizing job at the Service Employees International Union, says he wants to focus on “the wasted economic opportunities in our district.”

    “We have a Walmart at one end of the waterfront and a casino at the other,” Hornstein said. “That’s what drove me into the race after ten years of organizing janitors. I decided it was time stop pushing from the outside and work from the inside.”

    Also, you should check out this study from the Pew Charitable Trusts that concludes

    Jeff Hornstein, first district Council candidate

    Philadelphia’s City Council spends more money and has less turnover than just about anybody. Sounds like some new blood would be a welcome change.

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