Tomlinson announces he’s running for city controller

The former CPA wrote on Face­book that the city over-taxes people and has too much waste, fraud and cor­rup­tion.

Holmes­burg res­id­ent Mike Tom­lin­son will be the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for city con­trol­ler.

In a Monday night Face­book post, he said the city over-taxes people and has too much waste, fraud, cor­rup­tion and in­ef­fi­cien­cies.

If elec­ted, he plans an audit of the School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia.

Tom­lin­son has pre­vi­ously run for state sen­at­or and state rep­res­ent­at­ive.

A former CPA and high school teach­er, he’s been act­ive in the com­munity coach­ing youth sports, op­pos­ing the open­ing of meth­adone clin­ics and as a mem­ber of the Friends of Holmes­burg Lib­rary and oth­er neigh­bor­hood groups.

City Con­trol­ler Alan Butkovitz faces a Demo­crat­ic primary chal­lenge from Re­becca Rhynhart, the city’s former chief ad­min­is­trat­ive of­ficer.

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Last week’s de­cision by Dis­trict At­tor­ney Seth Wil­li­am to not run for re-elec­tion leaves five can­did­ates in the Demo­crat­ic primary.

The re­main­ing Demo­crats are former fed­er­al pro­sec­utor Joe Khan, former Mu­ni­cip­al Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni, former city man­aging dir­ect­or Rich Negrin, civil rights at­tor­ney Larry Krasner and at­tor­ney and real es­tate de­veloper Mi­chael Un­ter­mey­er.

The Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate is Beth Gross­man, a former as­sist­ant dis­trict at­tor­ney and chief of staff at the city De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions.

Wil­li­ams was re­cently fined $62,000 by the Phil­adelphia Board of Eth­ics for fail­ure to re­port sources of in­come and gifts on city fin­an­cial state­ments over a six-year peri­od. The board re­por­ted that, among the gifts giv­en to Wil­li­ams that he failed to dis­close, there were “20 gifts from in­di­vidu­als who had a fin­an­cial in­terest that the Dis­trict At­tor­ney was able to sub­stan­tially af­fect through of­fi­cial ac­tion at the time they gave the gifts.”

Negrin said, “This news, while per­haps not sur­pris­ing, is, in my view, the right de­cision for Seth. I was among those who were op­tim­ist­ic when he took of­fice, but those ex­pect­a­tions were not met and his eth­ic­al and leg­al troubles have be­come a dis­trac­tion to the of­fice. The hard-work­ing at­tor­neys and staff de­serve to be led by someone who puts a premi­um on crim­in­al justice re­form, in­teg­rity, in­nov­a­tion and com­munity ser­vice. I be­lieve the Of­fice of the Dis­trict At­tor­ney in Phil­adelphia should be a na­tion­al mod­el for pro­gress­ive policies, pro­fes­sion­al­ism and pub­lic safety. That’s why I’m run­ning. I look for­ward to bring­ing my pas­sion and ex­per­i­ence in­to the of­fice so we can move for­ward and do great things for this city. These prob­lems will soon be his­tory as we ush­er a new era of ex­cel­lence in­to what should be the best dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice in the coun­try.”

Khan said, “I want to com­mend Dis­trict At­tor­ney Wil­li­ams for do­ing the right thing and de­cid­ing not to seek re-elec­tion. This de­cision al­lows us to move on from the scan­dals plaguing the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice and gives the people of Phil­adelphia the op­por­tun­ity they de­serve to have a real dis­cus­sion about the im­port­ant is­sues fa­cing the city, from re­du­cing gun-vi­ol­ence to ad­dress­ing crim­in­al justice re­form. I will work with the may­or and po­lice com­mis­sion­er to en­sure that un­con­sti­tu­tion­al stop-and-frisk policies be­come a thing of the past and that Phil­adelphia will re­main a sanc­tu­ary city and a wel­com­ing city where every res­id­ent is treated fairly. Now more than ever, our city needs ef­fect­ive lead­er­ship in the DA’s of­fice to keep our city safe and to pro­tect our cit­izens from the over­reach­ing of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

Gross­man said, “When I an­nounced my can­did­acy, I em­phas­ized that a dis­trict at­tor­ney must hold him or her­self to the highest of eth­ic­al stand­ards, which Dis­trict At­tor­ney Wil­li­ams has failed to do. What is cru­cial go­ing for­ward now, however, is that Wil­li­ams is just one of a long line of re­cent eth­ic­ally, and some­times crim­in­ally, be­lea­guered Demo­crat­ic pub­lic of­fi­cials. Even my ment­or in the DA’s of­fice, Lynne Ab­ra­ham, saw it as ne­ces­sary to re­cuse her­self from pub­lic cor­rup­tion mat­ters in­volving fel­low Demo­crats be­cause there is no cred­ib­il­ity to team­mates, run­ning mates, also be­ing zeal­ous watch­dogs of one an­oth­er. Enough is enough. It is time for change. It is time for a Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate, with more pro­sec­utori­al ex­per­i­ence than any oth­er can­did­ate, and the in­de­pend­ence of be­ing out­side the Demo­crat­ic ma­chine, to re­store in­teg­rity to the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice and polit­ic­al bal­ance to Phil­adelphia. I am that can­did­ate.”

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Fol­low­ing re­ports of Im­mig­ra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment raids tak­ing place last week in cit­ies across the coun­try at the or­der of Pres­id­ent Don­ald Trump, dis­trict at­tor­ney can­did­ate Joe Khan prom­ised to main­tain Phil­adelphia’s sanc­tu­ary city policy and called on his op­pon­ents to make the same com­mit­ment.

“I am deeply dis­turbed by the news that Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion has launched an ag­gress­ive ‘surge’ in im­mig­ra­tion raids and de­port­a­tions. Not only does this fur­ther di­vide us as a people, but we are less safe when vic­tims and wit­nesses of crime hide in the shad­ows be­cause they are afraid of de­port­a­tion. In light of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s shame­ful travel bans and im­mig­ra­tion crack­downs, it is more im­port­ant than ever that Phil­adelphia pre­serve and strengthen its status as a sanc­tu­ary city to pro­tect vul­ner­able and mar­gin­al­ized com­munit­ies,” he said.

“My fath­er is a Muslim im­mig­rant who helped build Phil­adelphia, and I will do everything in my power to res­ist Don­ald Trump’s cruel and dis­crim­in­at­ory war on im­mig­rant fam­il­ies. To that end, I pledge that I will not co­oper­ate with any of Trump’s ef­forts to con­duct in­hu­mane im­mig­ra­tion raids, nor will I fa­cil­it­ate mass de­port­a­tions by grant­ing fed­er­al im­mig­ra­tion au­thor­it­ies ac­cess to PARS (Po­lice Ar­raign­ment Re­port­ing Sys­tem) data, ar­rest re­cords or oth­er re­cords in the pos­ses­sion of the Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice. I call on all can­did­ates in the dis­trict at­tor­ney race to join me in this pledge. Phil­adelphia voters de­serve to know that their next dis­trict at­tor­ney will be an ad­voc­ate for our most vul­ner­able fam­il­ies, not an ally of Trump’s de­port­a­tion force.”

ICE ar­res­ted hun­dreds of il­leg­al im­mig­rants from a dozen Lat­in Amer­ic­an coun­tries at their homes and work sites. The agency tar­geted known crim­in­als, and locked up people who face charges on crimes such as murder and do­mest­ic vi­ol­ence.

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May­or Jim Ken­ney last week is­sued the fol­low­ing state­ment re­gard­ing the nom­in­a­tion of Alabama Sen. Jeff Ses­sions to be at­tor­ney gen­er­al:

“Last night, Cor­etta Scott King’s con­cerns over Sen. Jeff Ses­sions were si­lenced, so I will echo them here. I have great con­cern that, as at­tor­ney gen­er­al, Jeff Ses­sions will re­verse the re­form that has strengthened po­lice-com­munity trust in Phil­adelphia, help­ing to bring our crime rate to a forty-year low. I also fear that Ses­sions will en­force dis­crim­in­at­ory vot­ing laws that serve only to dis­en­fran­chise mil­lions of voters — the ma­jor­ity of them poor and people of col­or — in or­der to ad­dress stat­ist­ic­ally in­sig­ni­fic­ant, isol­ated in­cid­ents of voter fraud. I hope he proves those con­cerns un­foun­ded. But if he does not, then I en­cour­age Phil­adelphi­ans to protest his nom­in­a­tion by ex­er­cising their right to vote as they nev­er have be­fore.”

On the Sen­ate floor last week, Mas­sachu­setts Sen. Eliza­beth War­ren read a 1986 let­ter from Mar­tin Luth­er King’s wid­ow that op­posed Pres­id­ent Ron­ald Re­agan’s nom­in­a­tion of Ses­sions to be a fed­er­al judge. Mrs. King claimed that Ses­sions, as at­tor­ney gen­er­al, lacked com­mit­ment to vot­ing rights for blacks.

War­ren, a pos­sible 2020 pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate, was stopped from fin­ish­ing the let­ter be­cause she broke a rule pro­hib­it­ing sen­at­ors from im­pugn­ing the motives and con­duct of a peer.

Ses­sions sup­port­ers poin­ted to a 2000 video in which Mrs. King re­cog­nized Ses­sions at the ded­ic­a­tion of Rosa Parks Lib­rary.

Alveda King, Mar­tin Luth­er KIng’s niece, ac­cused War­ren of play­ing the race card.

Ses­sions was con­firmed as at­tor­ney gen­er­al, 52-47. Sen. Pat Toomey voted for him. Sen. Bob Ca­sey Jr. voted against him.

Only one Demo­crat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Vir­gin­ia, voted for Ses­sions. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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