The president trumps a critic, and local matters

    If you were getting quietly steamed listening to Donald Trump repeat every discredited allegation about President Obama’s birth, you’ll relish the prez giving the Hair Man his comeuppance at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, above.

    Obama comes right out of the gate mocking the birthers, then after some pretty standard political material, settles in to torture Sir Donald for several minutes. Trump is trapped in the audience the whole time, getting slowly cooked like a rotisserie chicken.

    Speaking of cooking, things continue to heat up in Philadelphia City Council races. WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler covered the endorsement of 7th district candidate Danny Savage’s endorsement by two Latino political leaders.

    The event was disrupted by supporters of incumbent Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez, captured in a piece with Fiedler’s report by Newsworks’ talented videographer Kimberly Paynter.

    Afrterward it emerged that a partisan on each side was a public employee, taking personal or vacation days to do some politicking.

    One was Quinones-Sanchez staffer Quetcy Lozada, who joined the protest and criticized Savage and his team to reporters. Quinones Sanchez said Lozada had taken a vacation day and would be on leave for the rest of the campaign. Quinones-Sanchez noted that Lozada is also president of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women.

    On Savage’s side, one of the officials who endorsed him is Emilio Vasquez is Democratic leader of the city’s 43rd ward. He’s also a claims coordinator for the Philadelphia Parking Authority. He told me he took a vacation day to join the news conference.

    City Council and Parking Authority employees are legally entitled to wider berth of political activity than workers in the city’s executive branch.

    And look for the contentious race in the 6th district between former ward leader Martin Bednarek and electricians’ union official Bobby Henon to get more contentious. Today Bednarek ran a full page, hard-hitting ad in the Inquirer with the headline “Northeast Philadelphia Doesn’t Need a South Philly Ward Leader and Political Boss Making Our Decisions.”

    The boss alluded to is electricians’ union leader John Dougherty, now Democratic leader of the 1st ward in South Philly. I’ll be interviewing both candidates and producing a radio piece on this race soon.

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