Editorial: The Grand Old Problem

Phil­adelphia’s moribund Re­pub­lic­an Party needs to do a lot of soul-search­ing …

Phil­adelphia’s moribund Re­pub­lic­an Party needs to do a lot of soul-search­ing in this Demo­crat­ic town. If party lead­ers Mike Mee­han and Vito Canuso really want to shake things up and show that they want to — gasp! — ac­tu­ally win elec­tions, they will get off their butts this sum­mer and do the fol­low­ing:

• Per­suade 10th dis­trict Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill to come out loud and clear against the pro­spect of Mari­an Tasco be­com­ing Coun­cil pres­id­ent. Mr. O’Neill’s Demo­crat­ic op­pon­ent in the Nov. 8 gen­er­al elec­tion, Bill Ru­bin, last week joined 6th dis­trict Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate Bobby Hen­on in prom­ising not to vote for Ms. Tasco. Mr. O’Neill has not made that pledge, but if he wishes to main­tain cred­ib­il­ity as a great pub­lic ser­vant, he will do so im­me­di­ately. So too should all five GOP Coun­cil at-large hope­fuls.

• Demon­strate a de­sire to pour new blood on City Hall by per­suad­ing long­time city elec­tions com­mis­sion­er Joe Duda to drop his re-elec­tion bid, thus clear­ing the path for re­form can­did­ate Al Schmidt in Novem­ber. Mr. Duda has been The In­vis­ible Man on the pan­el — the si­lent minor­ity-party mem­ber — for far too long. Send him pack­ing along with his ous­ted Demo­crat­ic col­league, Marge Tartagli­one.

• Re­cruit strong Re­pub­lic­ans to cam­paign as in­de­pend­ent can­did­ates in the gen­er­al elec­tion to chal­lenge Demo­crats in the dis­trict races where the GOP didn’t both­er to field can­did­ates in last month’s primar­ies. In ad­di­tion to 32-year in­cum­bent Mr. O’Neill in the 10th, the party found brave souls to run only in the 2nd and 6th dis­tricts. The at­ro­cious lack of Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates in the oth­er sev­en dis­tricts — es­pe­cially Ms. Tasco’s 9th — is an in­dict­ment of the poor lead­er­ship of Mr. Mee­han and Mr. Canuso.

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