Riot reactions, new TV ads and pantsuits: NinetyNine’s week in review

 Philadelphia's Democratic mayoral candidates spoke about a variety of leadership-related issues at Monday's 'Leading Questions' debate at WHYY. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia's Democratic mayoral candidates spoke about a variety of leadership-related issues at Monday's 'Leading Questions' debate at WHYY. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

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:

Philadelphia mayoral candidates react to Baltimore riots: NinetyNine wanted to know what the candidates for Philadelphia mayor thought about the Baltimore situation, and the handling thereof. Each of the seven let us know.

Topic du jour at WHYY’s Leading Questions debate: Johnny Doc: Just before the end of Monday morning’s “Leading Questions” mayoral debate at WHYY’s Hamilton Public Media Commons, candidate Jim Kenney was asked a pointed two-part question. Perhaps, it set a tone for what’s to come.

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Million-dollar ad buy pushes for Philly charter school expansion: “Why are the politicians stopping good schools from helping more of our kids?” That’s the question asked by one parent in a new advertising campaign promoting the expansion of charter schools in Philadelphia. Philadelphia School Advocacy Partners, an arm of the Philadelphia School Partnership, will spend more than $1 million on the ads.

Moving to get out the Philly vote, black leaders aim to hold candidates to policy promises: At the Philadelphia Black Political Summit in mid-April, about 250 participants helped create the wide-ranging list of policy recommendations in the areas of education, health, housing and public safety, among others.

Abraham, Kenney launch first campaign-funded TV ads : You’ve likely seen mayoral candidate Jim Kenney’s face on television ads before this week, what with independent expenditure groups corralling airtime on his behalf. The same can’t be said for the Lynne Abraham ad, which is part of a “major TV buy” (read: $700K of reserved air time) though the campaign, scheduled to premiere on local television today.

Former police, fire commissioners endorse Tony Williams at Guardian Civic League event : Sure, the Guardian Civic League, a group supporting Philadelphia’s black police officers, announced its endorsement of mayoral candidate Anthony Hardy Williams last week. At a Tuesday press conference, though, Philadelphia’s former police and fire commissioners took the microphone to explain why they, too, believed Williams is the best candidate in the field.

Abraham still wants Kenney, Williams to sign her ‘people’s pledge’: Last Friday, mayoral candidates Jim Kenney and Anthony Hardy Williams told NinetyNine that they support a City Council bill designed to more frequently expose sources of money given to independent groups (not directly to campaigns) that have already resulted in a glut of television ads. On Sunday, candidate Lynne Abraham said the pair’s words weren’t good enough.

Williams super PAC boosts spending (Off Mic): In the wake of a couple of polls showing former City Councilman Jim Kenney leading in Philadelphia’s Democratic mayoral primary, the super PAC backing state Sen. Tony Williams has boosted its spending on television ads to nearly $800,000 a week.

On the campaign trail with Jim Kenney [photo gallery]: Photographer Tracie Van Auken recently caught up with candidate Jim Kenney for a two-day series of events including a technology forum at the Free Library, fundraiser at Yards Brewery and, among other stops, a meetup with SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members at their Race Street office.

Union supporters rally for Tony Williams at Love Park: Atop a flatbed truck parked near Love Park’s northwestern edge on Thursday, Anthony Hardy Williams rallied about 200 supporters from a variety of labor unions which had previously endorsed his mayoral candidacy.

Kenney plays East Falls Quizzo, Williams rallies Germantown voters: Presumed Democratic mayoral-primary frontrunners Jim Kenney and Tony Williams visited Northwest Philadelphia on Tuesday night to meet-and-greet potential voters at decidedly different events.

Lynne Abraham discusses childhood ‘treasure’ hunting, love of Julia Child, and what makes a solid marriage (Jennifer Lynn): In an effort to break out of the well-worn political discourse, I’ll be having casual conversations with the candidates about their lives as well as a few pet issues in the next few weeks. First up is former District Attorney Lynne Abraham, once dubbed a “tough cookie” for her no-nonsense approach to law enforcement. But there’s another, more private side to Abraham that the public may not know as well.

Listen: Radio Times completes its mayoral-interviews series (Radio Times): With Thursday’s hour-long chat with mayoral candidate Jim Kenney, our good friends at Radio Times completed a six-show series of one-on-one interviews with the Democrats seeking victory on May 19.

Where do mayoral and council candidates stand on the ‘Vision Zero’ road-safety initiative (Plan Philly): Way back in March, just before the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia hosted its mayoral forum, NinetyNine reached out to the candidates to ask them how they would go about implementing the “Vision Zero” traffic-safety initiative. Our good friends over at Plan Philly, who also examined the importance of “the aggressive new approach to reducing pedestrian and cyclist injuries,” revisited it with City Council candidates this week.

Nelson Diaz talks surfing in Puerto Rico, attending Temple Law School, and why education matters (Jennifer Lynn): “When I was in college, I took a bunch of guys from Long Island [to Puerto Rico]. There were about 15 of us in a Volkswagen with all of the boards and everything else. They all got sunburned. We had to put them in a hospital afterwards!” he said with a laugh.

Two mayoral debates (and a Rendell-involved forum) on tap next week: As Philadelphia’s mayoral-primary season approaches its conclusion, a trio of events early next week will offer candidates a chance to field questions from both children and adults.

The Regularly Updated Philadelphia Mayoral-Race Endorsement Tracker: With a shade less than three weeks until voters head to the polls, here’s where the candidates self-report their position on the Endorsement Tracker.

From elsewhere:

Kenney on firing police, PAC contributions (The Next Mayor/WURD): Mayoral hopeful and former City Councilman Jim Kenney discussed the public versus charter school debate, commented on opponent state Sen. Anthony Williams’ stance that police should be fired for offensive language, and addressed PAC money contributed to his campaign in his second interview on 900AM-WURD. Speaking with host Solomon Jones, Kenney said that he is not anti-charter, but rather “pro-child, pro-education” and discussed how lack of proper resources to schools can be problematic.

What good’s a cap if you have SuperPACs? (The Next Mayor/Inquirer): Philadelphia should do away with the strict limits on political contributions that were put into place in 2007. The intent of the law – to curb “pay-to-play” politics – was admirable. And, for a while, it worked. But it has been undermined – eviscerated is a better word – by a series of court rulings, beginning in 2010, that swept aside the strictures placed on political contributions by corporations, unions and wealthy individuals.

Pro-Williams PAC’s new ad scores the first ‘FAIL’ (The Next Mayor): On our Pass/Fail system, the “Changed Lives” ad is a FAIL. Its intended audience won’t find it credible. The success story in integrating these unions is yet to be written.

Will Philadelphia’s next mayor keep marijuana decrim? (The Next Mayor): The city’s new marijuana policy means that most of those arrested are not taken into holding cells, prosecuted in court, or stigmatized with a permanent record. The new citations also apply to juvenile offenders. Notably, the new law is saving the city nearly $3 million a year. Initially, Mayor Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey were critical when Council passed the decrim bill. But Nutter eventually signed it into law and Ramsey has fulfilled his promise to implement the policy. Philly420 asked four of the leading Democratic primary candidates for mayor to weigh in.

Lynne’s firm repped cops accused of corruption (The Next Mayor): Archer & Greiner, the law firm that’s employed mayoral candidate Lynne Abraham since she left the District Attorney’s Office, has had a prominent past role in defending police officers accused of misconduct, including some of the narcotics squad now on trial in a federal court.

Lynne Abraham Now OK with Pantsuits, Pot and Abolishing the Death Penalty (Citified): In an live interview Monday, Abraham said her views on everything from pantsuits to pot to the death penalty have changed. Whether she has changed enough, or whether it’s a good thing for her to change her opinion on these issues, is for you to decide.

The Philly media’s ‘Angry Brown Man’ mayoral candidate narrative (Al Dia News): In Philly, the representation of mayoral candidate Nelson Diaz by the media has been shaped by specific words. Diaz has repeatedly been called loud. Billy Penn says so. Philly says so. says so.

Racial math more complicated for Latino community (Inquirer): There are no monolithic communities where every member of a race always supports a candidate with the same skin color. Let’s turn to the city’s Latino community, where politics is often personal and fractious, for proof.

Op-Ed: Leave Behind “Reductive Thinking” on Race and Politics (Citified): As a gay Latina woman from Mount Airy, I am proud to support Jim Kenney — a straight Irish Catholic man from South Philly — as the next Mayor of Philadelphia.

Opening up prison records part of reform mayoral candidates support (The Next Mayor): “We should judge the candidates based on their records and their concrete plans for reform, not on their campaign-speech promises,” said Thomas Dichter of prisoner advocacy group Decarcerate PA.

City mayoral hopefuls invoke Baltimore tragedy at jobs forum (Inquirer): The tragic uprising this week in Baltimore weighed heavily on Philadelphia’s mayoral candidates Wednesday, they said during a forum on job creation and workforce training.

Mayoral Candidates respond to the Good Economy Challenge (Philadelphia Free Press): Voters got the chance to hear candidates’ proposals during the Good Economy Challenge at Temple University’s Fox School of Business Saturday, April 25th. Moderator Chris Rabb asked all of the Democratic candidates for mayor a series of questions on sustaining Philadelphia’s economy. All but Milton Street attended.

Unhappy With the Mayoral Options? Next Time, Make a Pledge for Someone Better (Citified): For over a year, the unofficial slogan of the 2015 Mayor’s Race has been THESE CANDIDATES SUCK. Nothing’s really changed that. Even as we’ve gotten to know the candidates better through the debates, the Q&As and the television ads, public interest in this election is running low and that’s at least partly because many voters find the candidates uninspiring.

Can Philly’s Next Mayor Fix the Police Department? (Next City): Philadelphia has 18 months to begin instituting 91 Department of Justice recommendations to reform a troubled police department, and there are eight months left in Mayor Michael Nutter’s second term.

Anthony Williams seeks ‘different’ Council, and what’s the ‘Indego Core’?: 6 lessons from ‘Parks, Pedals and Politics’ (Billy Penn): Mayoral candidate Doug Oliver was joined by mayoral Anthony Williams and a spokesperson for candidate Nelson Diaz as speakers at the “Parks, Pedals and Politics” event hosted by the Spring Garden Street Greenway. They gave brief talks to a crowd of about 50 people on bicycling, transportation, sustainability, infrastructure and other concerns geared toward making a healthier city for the future.

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