One line item marked the biggest news of campaign-finance filing day

 State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, a Philadelphia mayoral candidate, could benefit big time from a pro-school choice PAC. (NewsWorks, file photo)

State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, a Philadelphia mayoral candidate, could benefit big time from a pro-school choice PAC. (NewsWorks, file photo)

To my eyes, the most important nugget to emerge from Monday’s campaign-finance filing deadline wasn’t the overall paucity of cash money, though that certainly could come into major play as we proceed.

Nor was it old head T. Milton Street Sr. more or less challenging young buck Doug Oliver to a bike race, though I doubt I’m the only person covering the campaign who’d savor the chance to report on such an event.

Nope, the biggest news Monday came via this WHYY’s Dave Davies scoop: “Three principals of the Bala Cynwyd-based Susquehanna International Group have contributed $250,000 to a relatively new political committee that will support Williams’ mayoral campaign.”

The PAC, called American Cities, is a self-described “bipartisan, nationwide organization empowering citizens to have a stronger voice in municipal elections.” So, why is this a big deal?

While city law places limits on the contributions candidates can accept, Citizens United and other court decisions permit independent groups to accept and spend unlimited funds on their media campaigns, as long as they don’t coordinate with the candidate they favor.

Campaign finance reports released Monday show none of the mayoral hopefuls had as much as $500,000 on hand, well short of what it would take to mount an effective media campaign in the expensive Philadelphia market.

Translation: The school-choice issue has already given Williams a financial head start and could, presumably, extend his $$$ lead as Primary Day approaches.

Click here to read more from Davies’ post.

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