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:
— Next Mayor Philly debate features feisty, funny moments: Fifteen days before Philadelphia voters decide which Democratic mayoral candidate advances to the general election, Jim Kenney found himself beseiged by an attack ad and some pointed questions from his opponents at the Next Mayor debate.
— Nutter: Anyone who doesn’t retain Commish Ramsey ‘isn’t smart enough to run this city’ : After Tuesday night’s debate at 6ABC, mayoral candidate Anthony Hardy Williams said that, if elected, he wouldn’t retain Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey because “people have to be replaced when they stand for a [stop-and-frisk] policy that people don’t trust.” At a Wednesday afternoon memorial for fallen police officers and firefighters in Franklin Square, Mayor Michael Nutter indirectly addressed those comments. Namely, he attacked the intelligence of anyone who wouldn’t retain Ramsey.
— Ramsey sidesteps political minefield, focuses on leading Philly police force: The future of Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has been a hot topic on the campaign trail, but the man himself says he plans to keep his political opinions to himself, and put his fate in the next mayor’s hands.
— Williams launches first attack ad in Philly mayor’s race (Off Mic): Two weeks before the May 19 Democratic primary, state Senator Anthony Williams has launched the first attack ad of the Philadelphia mayoral campaign. The target, to no one’s surprise, is former City Councilman Jim Kenney.
— Super PAC spending for campaign’s final week approaches $1 million (Off Mic): American Cities, the super PAC supporting State Sen. Anthony Williams has increased its planned TV and radio advertising for the final week of the Philadelphia mayor’s race to over $950,000, according to two sources familiar with political ad placements.
— Millennial PAC ‘Philly Set Go’ endorses Doug Oliver for mayor: Mayoral candidate Doug Oliver landed his first formal endorsement of the campaign season when Philly Set Go, a nascent “bipartisan PAC aimed at encouraging millennials to become more involved in state and local politics” announced its support on Sunday.
— Youth mayoral forum elicits ‘poignant’ response about police, community relations: By asking five mayoral candidates a question about police brutality, a trio of Julia De Burgos Elementary School students sparked one of the campaign’s most eye-opening moments to date.
— Mayoral debate leaves Brewerytown residents unimpressed and unconvinced: Philadelphia’s six Democratic mayoral candidates have participated in dozens of forums to discuss their ideas and zing their opponents. With less than two weeks left before the primary, the question is: Are their messages getting through to voters? To find out, NewsWorks/WHYY gathered a few residents from the North Philly neighborhood of Brewerytown to watch the final televised mayoral debate at Sarah’s Place, a tiny bar on the corner of 29th and Flora streets.
— Jim Kenney defends PAC donations at Mt. Airy mayoral forum: It was musical chairs at the Mayoral Forum in Mt. Airy on Wednesday night with candidates coming and going, and two never showing up. More than 100 folks showed up to the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Northwestern Philadelphia for the 7 p.m. start time, but the event did not begin until 7:30 p.m. as moderator Tamala Edwards of 6abc Action News, also a Mt. Airy resident, stalled for state Sen. Anthony Williams’ late arrival.
— Reports from the mayoral-primary season’s last televised debate (spoiler alert: it was tame): What was the takeaway from Tuesday night’s live event aired commercial-free on 6ABC? Yawn.
— Q&A: GOP candidate Melissa Murray Bailey on female leaders, work ethic and her unique mayoral-race position: Six candidates are vying to win the May 19 Democratic mayoral primary, but look closely at the stage at some forums and debates, and you’ll notice a seventh candidate. In that unique position of getting airtime and attention despite her uncontested Republican primary is Melissa Murray Bailey.
— Jim Kenney talks charter schools, Philly’s ‘neighborhood mentality,’ labor unions (Jennifer Lynn): In Kenney’s view, achieving real change citywide would require breaking down the neighborhood mentality that makes some people care less about what’s going on across the city than what’s going on down the block. “I would like to maintain the city-of-neighborhoods attitude,” Kenney said, “but at the same time break down some barriers so that we understand that we need to take care of each other … and show some real brotherly love and sisterly affection.”
— Milton Street holds court at Quizzo Night in East Falls [photos and video]: Street’s appearance at Billy Murphy’s Irish Saloonery came in the wake of similar invitations extended by NinetyNine and accepted by candidates Doug Oliver and Jim Kenney. For more than 20 minutes, Street sipped water and held court, fielding questions about education funding, charter-school moratoriums, stop-and-frisk, violence and vacant properties. Like at the debate, he also took shots at foe Anthony Hardy Williams.
— Days after Inquirer endorses Williams, its editorial-page editor takes candidate to task: “The editorial, like all editorials, was the institutional position of The Inquirer. My blog posts and columns represent my personal point of view, which may or may not match an editorial’s. On Williams, my blog post wasn’t an endorsement of anyone; it was a personal observation. You can quote me on that. And thanks for asking.”
— Doug Oliver talks quitting his job at PGW, his background, and how he’s reaching voters (Jennifer Lynn): It’s clear Oliver wants to reach young and disaffected voters, promising to usher in a new era at City Hall if elected. “Please don’t give up on your city. Don’t vote because you need government — that model has changed,” Oliver said. “Vote because government needs you.”
— NinetyNine’s Mayoral Race Quotes-of-the-Day Quiz Vol. 9: Who said what? Test your luck with this week’s quotes quiz.
— The Philadelphia Mayoral-Race Endorsement Tracker [regularly updated]: Candidates received more support this week. For who? From where?
— Troop of mayors backs Quiñones-Sánchez for Philly Council re-election: Four of Philadelphia’s five living mayors — Michael Nutter, John Street, Ed Rendell and Bill Green Sr. — all threw their support behind Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez Tuesday in her bid for a third term on City Council. They say she received a raw deal from the Democratic Party, which refused to back her re-election campaign. Instead, the party for a time supported her primary opponent Manny Morales.
— Manayunk-based Intuitive Company looks to change the future of voting: The future of voting could be as simple as scrolling through your phone. That’s thanks to the latest invention from the Manayunk-based Intuitive Company.
— Police reform, politics collide in mayor’s race (The Next Mayor/Daily News): The emotionally charged issue is coming to a head just as the mayoral primary hits the final stretch, creating headaches for two of the Democratic candidates: former District Attorney Lynne Abraham and former City Councilman Jim Kenney.
— Voters in the city’s poorest neighborhood say they’re not feeling the love (The Next Mayor/Daily News): In the city’s poorest neighborhood, registered voters can tell you the cost of a gallon of milk, down to the penny. … But asked which mayoral candidate they prefer, most draw a blank, either unsure who’s running or what, if any, difference their vote would make in a pocket of North Philly long in the strangle-grip of poverty. A place where, for decades, nothing much changes, no matter who is mayor.
— Abraham releases more of her tax returns (The Next Mayor/Inquirer): Democratic mayoral candidate Lynne M. Abraham made good on a pledge at Monday night’s debate and released three more years of her personal tax records Tuesday. They showed just what she said they would: that her financial dealings in those years varied little from those reported in her 2013 return, which she had already made public at The Inquirer’s request.
— Undecided city voters relying on last-minute research – and grandma (The Next Mayor/Inquirer): Like most of a dozen people interviewed during the lunch hour Monday at Dilworth Park, William Wooden didn’t know much about the mayoral candidates. Even their names.
— Oliver, Diaz campaigns call out mayoral coverage (Al Dia): Most troubling, there’s been what seems to be a conscious decision to actively define some of the candidates by their pasts and their associations, while giving a pass to one candidate for the same things.
— Watch video of the #PTW15 Mayoral Forum and see if these survey results make sense (Technically Philly): There’s a telling little nugget in the data from a survey sent to attendees of the Philly Tech Week Mayoral Forum that goes beyond the two front-runners.
— Sorry, but Tony Williams is not the new Stokely Carmichael (Daily News): Say goodbye to buttoned-down Harrisburg insider policy wonk. Say hello to Tony Williams, #PhillyIsBaltimore street radical. OK, maybe not quite radical, but what is clear is that in the waning days of the mayor’s race, Team Tony has made one of the crassest calculations in recent Philadelphia political memory (which is saying something, isn’t it?)
— As Ramsey backlash lingers, Williams doubles down (The Next Mayor/Inquirer): The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week continued for State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams after he campaigned for mayor by calling for the firing of Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey. Ramsey on Thursday said he was disappointed that Williams used a televised debate Tuesday to air what should have been a private conversation.
— Diaz has good record but faces long odds in mayor’s race (The Next Mayor/Inquirer): If mayoral elections were determined by the heft of a candidate’s resumé, Nelson A. Diaz might advance from long-shot to front-runner.
— Will Philly’s Next Mayor Stand Up to Bad Cops? (Citified): How is the strained relationship between police and community members affecting the city’s mayoral race? And which candidate would do the best job of cracking down on bad cops?
— School Activists, Students, Dropping In on Williams Campaign’s Wealthy Backers (Philly Mag): Well, we’ve apparently reached the stage of the mayoral campaign where theatrics will start to play a larger role.
— Dear Philadelphia Media: Stop Calling the Mayoral Race Boring (Jim Saska): When the press calls a race boring, they’re telling a reader: “Do not pay attention to this.” You don’t have to be Kathleen Hall Jamieson to get how jaded press perceptions can rub potential voters the wrong way, causing them to stop paying attention entirely.
— Debate heats up over civil rights, dark money, white lies (Al Dia News): After almost an hour of tepid responses, former City Councilman Jim Kenney proposed to teach Civil Rights to police officers, citing that not enough people knew what Selma, Ala. was. State Sen. Anthony Williams didn’t like that.
— Could Philly mayoral race cost Delco a state senator? (Delaware County Daily Times): There’s an interesting angle for Delaware County residents in the Democratic Philadelphia mayoral primary. It could cost us a state senator. That’s because one of the front-runners, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, actually represents a slice of Delaware County.
— Next mayor must help rebuild the middle class (The Next Mayor): In Philadelphia, we see the implications of gross economic inequality every day in the form of unacceptable poverty rates that disproportionately affect people of color. But this troubling spiral to the bottom not only affects those stuck in poverty with no opportunity for a way out, but increasingly threatens Philadelphians with full-time jobs who pay their taxes, work harder, and are more productive, but still never seem to benefit from the fruits of their labor.
— Who will be Philly’s next Mayorachi? (Al Dia News): In 2014 AL DÍA News photographer Samantha Madera took this picture of Michael Nutter at the inauguration of Mexican Week. This is a look at what we expect from the next mayor of Philadelphia.
— House Williams, House Street: 7 Philly families, ‘Game of Thrones’ style (Billy Penn): While Philadelphia’s political scene isn’t as dramatic or fantastical as the one unfolding in the Seven Kingdoms — hey, technically, we’re a democratic republic! — the oldest city in America has spawned familial control of epic proportion, passing seats in government through generations.