Is Brian J. O’Neill being picked on because he’s a Republican? Yes, but the longtime Philadelphia councilman from the Far Northeast is a big boy and can handle it.
When City Council last week approved a redistricting plan that puts the heavily Democratic 56th Ward in Mr. O’Neill’s 10th district, it made all 10 Council districts more compact. It also stuck it to Philadelphia’s sole independent-minded (i.e, Republican-leaning) district. Neither Mr. O’Neill nor anybody else should be shocked. After all, Democrats have been running this town — into the ground, many might say — for more than 60 years.
Expect Mr. O’Neill to continue giving good constituent service and voting the correct way on most matters. Of course, on Election Day Nov. 8, if Mr. O’Neill has not publicly ruled out voting for DROP queen Marian Tasco for Council president in January, voters in the 10th district should kick him out of office.
Meanwhile, Mr. O’Neill deserves to be angry with his fellow Republicans, especially the two men who “lead” the Republican City Committee, chairman Vito Canuso and general counsel Michael Meehan. They’ve done a rotten job leading what is supposed to be an “opposition” party.
In particular, they didn’t bother to find a single Republican to challenge the Democrat candidate in seven of the 10 Council districts. Each district has approximately 150,000 residents.
A real Republican Party would have recruited candidates in all 10 districts. Had even a few more district seats been won by Republicans over the years, Democrats in City Hall would give Brian O’Neill the respect he deserves. After all, there’s strength in numbers. ••
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