State Reps. Brendan Boyle and Kevin Boyle, both Democrats, last week endorsed Republican Dennis O’Brien for an at-large City Council seat.
The announcement came at Poquessing Creek Park, Academy and Torrey roads.
“This is a slam-dunk decision,” Brendan Boyle said.
The five Democratic at-large incumbents are virtually certain to be re-elected because of their party’s voter-registration advantage.
The five Republicans are battling for the other two spots. O’Brien, a veteran state representative, is favored to win one of the seats.
Brendan Boyle is in his third term, and his district borders O’Brien’s. The two lawmakers and their staffs have worked together on various issues.
Boyle credited O’Brien with fighting for services for children with autism and noted his two-year stint as House speaker.
Kevin Boyle, Brendan’s younger brother, described all three legislators as moderates who like to work in a bipartisan manner and share interests in law and order and support for children with disabilities.
Among the seven at-large members, only Somerton’s Jack Kelly lives in the Northeast. He is retiring. O’Brien lives in Millbrook.
“We need a champion for Northeast Philadelphia,” Kevin Boyle said. “For decades, we’ve been marginalized in City Hall.”
The candidate said he was humbled by the support. He added that former Mayor and Gov. Ed Rendell attended a recent fund-raiser and told him that the only other Republican he ever endorsed was the late at-large Councilman Thacher Longstreth.
O’Brien doesn’t have especially close relationships with city and state Republican leaders, but he believes he’s been an effective representative nonetheless.
“I think we should all be anomalies,” he said.
The Boyles declined to say which Democrat they would not support now that they are backing O’Brien.
Mayor Michael Nutter has appointed Al Taubenberger, a Republican candidate for an at-large City Council seat, to the Philadelphia Jobs Commission.
Taubenberger has been president of the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce for two decades and was Nutter’s opponent in the 2007 mayoral race.
The commission was created following voter approval in the May primary. It will consist of 17 unpaid members.
Members will examine regulatory practices, education, land policy and other issues that affect job growth. They will create a report detailing steps required to spur job growth.
“I know what needs to be done to bring jobs back to Philadelphia, and I will make sure the Jobs Commission proposes the best, most comprehensive jobs creation plan to City Council,” Taubenberger said.
David Oh, a Republican candidate for Council at-large, will appear on Sunday from 3 to 4 p.m. on Marvin Barrish’s Political Shootout, which can be heard on WIFI (1460 AM) and www.wifiam1460.com
Barrish will also discuss an Oct. 22 walk at Franklin Mills mall to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
The show takes place live from the Glendale Uptown Home, at 7800 Bustleton Ave. The call-in number for the show is 609-447-0236 (37).
Bill Rubin, the Democratic candidate in the 10th Councilmanic District, has outlined a reform agenda that calls for, among other things, legislation that would prohibit existing elected officials who are eligible for the Deferred Retirement Option Plan from participating in the retirement-incentive program.
Future elected officials are prohibited from joining DROP, but those who were eligible when the ban took effect can enroll.
On a related note, Rubin pledged to oppose any candidate for Council president who has taken or plans to take DROP money. In other words, he will not vote for Councilwoman Marian Tasco, who is expected to battle Councilman Darrell Clarke for the Council presidency.
Rubin, who is challenging longtime Republican Councilman Brian O’Neill, also wants to ban outside employment for Council members; eliminate personal vehicles, fuel and maintenance for Council members; shorten summer breaks and eliminate unnecessary holidays from Council’s legislative calendar; limit Council members to three consecutive terms; and prohibit organizations and individuals seeking to influence the decisions of Council from buying meals and gifts for members and staff.
“These reforms are common sense,” Rubin said. “With several new members on Council, we can enact all of these reforms and begin to restore the public’s trust in our Council and our city’s government.”
O’Neill has not said whether he would vote for Tasco for president.
Joshua West, the Republican candidate for sheriff, is promising to make sheriff’s sales more efficient, transparent and available to the general public through the use of Internet bidding.
“There will be no secretive, inside deals on my watch,” said West. “Moreover, I will see to it that any amounts above the owed balance will be immediately remitted to the rightful person — never again will someone be denied what is rightfully theirs.”
On another issue, West vows to streamline and accelerate the issuance of state licenses to carry firearms.
“The answer to high crime rates is not fewer guns, but more guns in the right hands,” he said. “The elderly widow living in a poor neighborhood has as much — if not more — need for an affordable firearm in her home for protection as anyone else. To her, the loss of a Social Security check can be devastating.”
West graduated from Temple University in 2000 with a degree in criminal justice. He is a captain in the Pennsylvania National Guard and has served peacekeeping tours in Bosnia and on the Israeli-Egyptian border.
The race for sheriff also includes Democrat Jewell Williams, a state representative, and the Green Party’s Cheri Honkala, a longtime housing activist.
The non-partisan Committee of Seventy is challenging Mayor Michael Nutter, Republican Karen Brown and independent Wali Rahman, aka Diop Olugbala, to declare their positions on 20 specific ethics reforms.
Included among the recommendations the group is asking the mayoral candidates to endorse are supporting legislation to require all city employees to register their outside jobs with the Philadelphia Board of Ethics; championing the elimination of the city commissioners and sheriff’s offices; and making city financial-disclosure statements submitted by top elected and appointed officials available online, rather than requiring the public to go to the records department in City Hall to review the statements.
The responses by the candidates will be published at www.seventy.org
The public is invited to a “Meet the Candidates” brunch on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 9 a.m., at the Congregations of Shaare Shamayim synagogue, at 9768 Verree Road in Bustleton.
All candidates for the Nov. 8 election have been invited. Admission is free.
For more information, call Harris Popolow at 215-676-7486.
Looking ahead to the 2012 election, former Philadelphia Mayor and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has endorsed Patrick Murphy for state attorney general.
“He understands the problems that Pennsylvanians face and will be a fierce advocate for working families and for making our streets safer,” Rendell said. “As a former federal and military prosecutor, he knows that reducing narcotics trafficking can substantially decrease street crimes like robbery, burglary and assault.”
Murphy, a former two-term congressman from Bucks County, will compete in the Democratic primary with former assistant district attorneys Dan McCaffery of Philadelphia and Kathleen Kane of Lackawanna County. Former District Attorney Lynne Abraham on Friday announced that she will not run.
Possible Republican candidates include state Sen. John Rafferty of Montgomery County and Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed.
Murphy has decided against challenging Republican Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, who beat him last year. A possible Democratic candidate is Cynthia Philo, a lawyer, Doylestown supervisor and president/CEO of the Old City District. She received 40 percent of the vote last year when she challenged Republican state Sen. Chuck McIlhinney. ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org