This is the Republican candidate for mayor?

    Here’s Karen Brown, who expects to be the Republican candidate for mayor, happily mugging with Mayor Nutter, the Democrat she plans to run against.

    You might expect to find this embarrassing photo on a rival’s website. But this actually comes from Brown’s own site, which was constructed when she was running as a Democrat for City Council.

    As of Thursday morning, it was still up, showing Brown smiling with Nutter and other Democrats. That’s the kind of weirdness that happens when the Philadelphia GOP embraces a Democratic committeewoman from South Philadelphia.

    Brown said she expects to be endorsed by Republican party leaders an an event this evening.

    Party Counsel Michael Meehan told me he isn’t committed to Brown, though some of  the party’s “people” are circulating nominating petitions for her. The other announced Republican candidate is John Featherman, a self-described libertarian who hasn’t found much favor with the city Republican establishment.

    When I asked Meehan if his folks were helping Featherman with nominating petitions, he said, “actually some of our people are.”

    Meehan said the idea is to get both candidates nominated for the party primary, and let party leaders figure out who they want to endorse at at March 24th meeting.

    He said the eventing event Brown referred to would likely feature an endorsement of some South Philadelphia Republican ward leaders.

    Meanwhile Featherman has sent an angry e-mail to supporters charging that Republican leaders had him in for a meeting Tuesday “and lured me into believing that they would be making changes and might be supporting me and other reform-minded candidates.”

    Featherman says after that an e-mail was sent by the Republican City Committee announced Brown as their candidate. He said Meehan later told him it was sent in error. You can see the text of Featherman’s message below.

    Running former Democrats for mayor is nothing new for the Philadelphia Republican party, but Brown is a far more obscure member of the opposition than they’ve typically come up with.

    One of Brown’s complaints about the Democratic party is that she couldn’t even get the support of her own ward leader, electricians’ union business manager John Dougherty.

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    FROM: John Featherman

    SUBJECT: [Loyal Opposition] RCC and Karen Brown

    I want to thank everyone for the tremendous outpouring of support I have received from so many people in our Loyal Opposition community. For those of you that know me, I am guilty of having an innocent, but intense passion for reform in our local Republican Party. At City Council Candidate Joe McColgan’s request on Monday night, I contacted the RCC. I politely asked them to stop the trash talk about me so that we could have a civil, issues-oriented race between me and whomever they would choose as their endorsed mayoral candidate. Their surprising invitation to meet the following day (a meeting they requested between me, Vito Canuso and Michael Meehan) lured me into believing that they would be making changes and might be supporting me and other reform-minded candidates. Why else would they request such a meeting? In this meeting, they specifcally asked to circulate my petitions. In my quest to unite us all, I had blinders on.

    Less than 24 hours later, they have selected Democrat Karen Brown as their candidate. Despite what Mr. Canuso and Mr. Meehan told me in separate phone conversations this afternoon, the fact remains that there was an email — attached below — that was sent from the RCC indicating that Karen Brown was the RCC’s endorsed candidate. To be fair to Mr. Meehan, he has said that email was sent in error and that he will retract it.

    I ask that any ward leaders reading this please let me know if it’s retracted. Regardless, the damage has been done.

    I decided to have several of my petitions notarized this afternoon at the Board of Elections, and I stayed there until 5 p.m. — the closing time for registration changes for today. Despite her public statement that she would change her registration today, Karen Brown still remains a Democrat.

    You can’t be a RINO if you’re a registered Democrat.

    I can’t thank everyone, but four people deserve mention. Mike Cibik: You were right — I was being used. Matt Wolfe: I don’t always listen to you, but you’re a legal genius. Kevin Kelly: You remain the powerful voice that will never be silenced. Finally, Steven Boc, for keeping everyone together and keeping me on task.

    This will be a fascinating primary in which we will soundly defeat a “straw” candidate. The Republican voters won’t get fooled. And to quote The Who, “I won’t get fooled again.”

    I hope you will all join me.

    John Featherman

    —————

    Republican City Committee e-mail:

    Rep City Com [mailto:repcitycom@yahoo.com]

    Our Mayoral Candidate is Karen Brown

    Republican City Committee

    The Windsor Suites

    1700 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy. LL

    Philadelphia, PA 19103

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