The mayoral-campaign weekend that was

 Real-estate developer Ori Feibush was the target of some catty comments at City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson's campaign-launch event this weekend. (NewsWorks, file art)

Real-estate developer Ori Feibush was the target of some catty comments at City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson's campaign-launch event this weekend. (NewsWorks, file art)

When the Philadelphia political world entered the weekend, most everybody was all, like, “Yo, is Jim Kenney running for mayor?

And when the Philadelphia policital world enters this new week, most everybody is all, like, waiting for a formal declaration beyond those reliant upon those all-knowing “sources.”

Side note: I earwormed Kenney at Thursday’s council meeting and Twitter direct-messaged my cell number if he’s so inclined to, you know, give NinetyNine the formal scoop. We’ll see how that works out.

A council launch

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Aside from that, the weekend’s big city-election news came from the City Council column. Namely, incumbent Second District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson launched his re-election campaign at a Saturday event.

This time around, he’ll try to fend off a challenge from real estate developer Ori Feibush, a fellow who Mayor Michael Nutter deemed a “little jerk with a big checkbook.” OH SNAP.

As WHYY’s Katie Colaneri pointed out in her report from a launch event that featured event-circuit bigwigs Ed Rendell, Nutter, Council President Darrell Clarke, formally declared mayoral candidate Anthony Hardy Williams and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, Johnson has his work cut out for him.

To get the message out about his record, Johnson will have to raise a lot of money. Feibush is well-funded and earlier this month put $250,000 of his own cash into his campaign, triggering a city law that doubles the contribution limits for the match-up.

Kenney notwithstanding, the candidates’ focus is shifting towards $$$, and WHYY’s Dave Davies is left wondering whether the councilman is “just the Flavor of the Week“?

The Oliver/Kenney beef returns

Oh, and one last thing related to Kenney. All the speculation regarding whether he’ll run prompted the Doug Oliver campaign to reach out with a message via email. To wit:

Based on Councilman Jim Kenney’s previous statements about Doug Oliver while he was employed at PGW:

On the LIHEAP commercials: “You don’t get free face time on the rate-payer’s dime,” Kenney said. “It’s not complicated.”

Again on Doug Oliver: “PGW customers are paying to give Oliver valuable ‘face time,’ a political advantage that could help him raise his name recognition as he prepares to run for mayor.”

Three things:

Does the councilman intend to request an opinion from the city’s Board of Ethics about whether his very publicly mulling a run for office gives him the same political advantage that he complained about another candidate having?

Is it now somehow now OK for the councilman to get free face time on the taxpayer’s dime as he is currently enjoying right now to raise his name recognition while he decides whether or not he wants to run for mayor?

What is the official legal opinion of Shelly Smith, City Solicitor? Based on her previous concerns about Doug Oliver being a city employee and contemplating a run for office? Does this not fall under the same category?

It is no secret that the councilman has vacillated for months about whether or not he wants to run for mayor.

Just getting to the start line to run for mayor in this town is a herculean task so his well-known indecisiveness can be understood. But if the councilman has finally made up his mind whether or not he wants to run for mayor, he should immediately resign his position and do so.


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