How weird is this? The political committee formed early in 2013 to support the exploratory effort of mayoral candidate State Sen. Anthony Williams is now headed by a full-time employee of the Philadelphia school district.The Philadelphia Daily News’ Solomon Leach reported Saturday that the Believe Again PAC is headed by the district’s government affairs director, Rodney Oglesby.When Williams formally announced his candidacy for mayor in November, he designated a different PAC, the one used for his past State Senate campaigns as his mayoral campaign committee (city law requires municipal candidates to have a single committee).So Believe Again is, by definition, no longer a Williams vehicle. But it’s interesting to note that it paid $25,000 to Dawn Chavous, now a Williams campaign staffer between January and July of last year, and donated $10,000 to Williams campaign in December.The school district is okay with Oglesby’s role, according the piece. But it’s strange.
A historical note
Today public school activist Helen Gym is expected to announce her campaign for city council at large, and I can’t help but be reminded of a moment 28 years ago.That’s when Happy Fernandez, founder and leader of a group called Parents Union for Public Schools announced she’d run for City Council-at-large. Though Fernandez was a well-known school activist, the Council bid seemed a bit of a long shot.She wasn’t elected that year, she won the next time out, serving two terms in Council before resigning to run for mayor in 1999.This isn’t an endorsement or a prediction, but I think Gym will be an interesting candidate to watch.Fernandez died two years ago. Here’s a piece I wrote remembering her then.