Super PAC spending for campaign’s final week approaches $1 million

    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.

    Earlier in the campaign, the group was buying about $500,000 worth of ad time per week, far more than any other political committee or candidate. With the latest purchases, American Cities total ad buys for the race now exceed $5 million.

    American Cities has a new ad (above) which is closer to the core message of the three wealthy suburban donors who are funding the effort. It talks about helping kids “trapped in violent, crumbling schools.”The ad also notes Williams’ endorsement by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    We reported Sunday that the members of the Inquirer editorial board had reached a consensus to endorse Jim Kenney in the race, but the paper backed Williams. Inquirer Executive Editor Bill Marimow told me the endorsement was his decision, even though supporters of Kenney have claimed it was mandated by the paper’s owner and publisher, H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest.

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    In another twist on that story, the Inquirer’s editorial page editor Harold Jackson has published a column critical of Williams. More on that (including Jackson’s statement) from our own Brian Hickey here.

    The two super PAC’s supporting Kenney haven’t yet placed their ad buys for the final week of the campaign, but Building a Better Pa has now spent over $700,000 on the race, and Forward Philadelphia has spent over $500,000.

    Also, former Pa. Gov. and Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell has criticized the negative ad Williams is running attacking Kenney.

    “The Williams ad is factual but unfair in my judgment,” Rendell told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It is taking a quote from 18 years ago. Everyone of us in politics evolves. I believe Kenney has. This was obviously aimed at inflaming people and making him look racially insensitive and clearly he is not. I’m not endorsing Kenney, but I just think that ad should not have been aired.”


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