Op Ed: Response to ‘Oscar;’ You may need higher boots

Having received Mr. Malik Boyd’s comments regarding State Rep. Rosita Youngblood’s presence and comments at the March 10 Germantown community meeting, and having attended myself, I feel it important to at least respond to some fundamental facts about how public money has been distributed in Germantown and Philadelphia for many years.

Mr. Boyd’s outrage that funding might move outside of the prescribed guidelines of the law, without oversight and proper structuring, and that the highest levels of elected leadership don’t sometimes work diligently to keep the public uninformed about what they are spending and who receives it, is either the result of incredible naïveté, or he is the one making an Oscar level performance.

Does he not read the headlines of the Inquirer where almost weekly another city or state politician has been found moving six and seven figure amounts to favored law firms, contractors, other politicians; often way outside the regulatory and customary guidelines and for years and years no one notices?

Did he not read the headline stories just a couple of months back where State Appropriations Chair Dwight Evans of this area was stripped of the chairmanship by his own party members because they found his unbalanced use of public money in his district without disclosure more than even they could tolerate?  What made that situation all the more telling was that he was about to lose that power anyway in a couple of weeks due to the party change in Harrisburg.

Mr. Boyd reminds one of the Prefect of Police in the film Casablanca where he claims he is “shocked, shocked” to find gambling in the casino he himself gambles in.  If you are in the Philadelphia political system you know this stuff happens all the time.  And, if you are from Germantown, you know full well that hundreds of millions of dollars were directed to Germantown Settlement by the politicians for 25 years with most of it done with no community ability to participate whatsoever.

What brought that huge turnout last Thursday was that so many folks from this community know that is how it’s done, and they have had enough.  Do I believe that a powerful developer would do an end run around a State Rep if he thought someone above that level pulled the strings? – – you bet!  I have seen it done many times.

In my role as publisher of the Germantown and Mt. Airy Newspapers I have followed up on many projects where public funds had been requested and spent. I came across two in the recent past that were in Rosita Youngblood’s district, where other state reps falsified that they were the legal rep for those projects. In one case the money was already spent, and in the other it was stopped. Representative Youngblood was never consulted or informed.

Philadelphia is a political cesspool Mr. Boyd.  You may need higher boots.

 

Jim Foster

Publisher

Germantown Chronicle

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