Who Will Primary Bob Brady?

Now that Congressman Bob Brady has screwed all the other Democrats in Pennsylvania who will step up and make him pay?  The man who controls Philadelphia Dems with an iron fist forced most of them to vote for a Republican gerrymandered redistricting because he liked what it did for him.  Brady didn’t give a damn about either other Democratic Congressional candidates or those people living in the Commonwealth stuck with an extreme GOP radical delegation.

It’s time for a reformer in Philly to step up to this bully and bring him down.  No Democrat in Pennsylvania can now legitimately criticize or challenge the crazy scheme because 36 House Democrats voted for it under orders (threats?) from Brady making it a bipartisan piece of crap.  Can you imagine the joy and glee in the Republican caucus when all of these supposedly “progressive” Democrats voted to enshrine a solid GOP majority in the state Congressional delegation?

If these Representatives will sell us out this easily what won’t they do?  Someone needs to make Brady pay.  Who will step up?  Neighborhood Networks sprang up to challenge the corrupt machine politics in Philadelphia and some serious minded reformers have run for office.  Stan Shapiro and Marc Stier need to recruit someone to atone for this travesty.

Update:  Brady does have a primary challenger.  I’d forgotten that Judge Jimmie Moore stepped down from the bench to run for the seat.  Go show him love ($$$).

Mary Bricker-Jenkins and Neighborhood Networks urge support for Cheri Honkala for Sheriff in Philly

Two recent updates to Cheri Honkala’s website show exciting signs of support for a campaign based on the promise to keep people in their homes and help give communities control over their land.

The first is from Mary Bricker-Jenkins, a social worker, author, and professor emeritus at Temple urging her fellow social workers to support Cheri in any way they can.  She wrote, in part,

You came into social work because you wanted change.

You learned quickly that we need fundamental, systemic change.

The “change we could believe in” hasn’t delivered.

So let’s listen to Ghandi:

We need to BE the change we wish to see in the world. . .

That’s why Cheri Honkala, co-founder of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC),is running for sheriff in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the Green Party ticket.

Neighborhood Networks is an organization in Philly that has, as far as I know, always been a progressive Democratic group.  In their message of support urging members to help get Cheri on the ballot, Neighborhood Networks said,

[T]here are

two races that Neighborhood Networks may well want to put resources into

in the Fall.  In one of those races, it’s time to act NOW.

Immediate action is needed in the race for Sheriff if we hope to have

any real choice in November.  That’s because Cheri Honkala, a Green

Party candidate that we may want to support, needs help just to get on

the ballot. The two major parties may not agree on much, but they do

agree that it’s in their interest to make it really hard for third party

candidates to compete.  So just for us to have a choice, Cheri needs

4,000 signatures of Philadelphia registered voters.  She aims to collect

them by July 1.

The Sheriff’s office is an object of scandal right now, with the

Controller having found that $53 million in fees is unaccounted for.  So

job one is to clean the place up.  But then it’s also important that

the Sheriff’s office operate in the public interest.  If Cheri is on the

ballot, she will bring to the election a lively debate about whether the

public interest at this time of growing economic distress and growing

homelessness requires that evictions be stopped.  We need to have that

debate.

So, if you’d like to get Cheri on the ballot, please call her at

888-434-7914.  Or just drop into her office at 718 Market Street and

offer to help out.

Governor Candidates Take Questions

Last evening I watched the Q&A session sponsored by Philadelphia’s Neighborhood Networks.  Attending were Joe Hoeffel, Jack Wagner, Dan Onorato and Republican Sam Rohrer.  Tom Corbett and Anthony Williams didn’t attend.  Watching Rep. Rohrer take questions from a decidedly liberal audience was interesting.  He danced very carefully around questions with his omissions as meaningful as his responses.  When Audrey Ross of Planned Parenthood asked about access to family planning and birth control the virulently anti-choice evangelical dodged it nicely without revealing his true position.

Jack Wagner was bold enough to say he is pro life and anti-gay.  Dan Onorato also said he against same sex marriage.  Joe Hoeffel was the only pro-choice, pro-equality candidate on the stage.  I don’t understand how progressives can support Mr. Wagner.  His positions are directly out of the 19th century.  His response to a question about federal funding of AIDS programs was to pledge to audit it.  A late question about relegating juveniles to the adult corrections system completely went over his head.  He listened as the panelists patiently repeated it for him three times.  He still had no idea of the issue they were presenting.  Duh???  Wagner came off very badly.

Rohrer’s presence at this forum was puzzling.  He says often he doesn’t believe government should serve any purpose outside providing for the common defense.  He kept repeating his mantra of lower taxes except for sales taxes which he would raise.  Interestingly these fall disproportionatley on the poor and this audience reflected many concerns of the urban poor.  Many of the questions had to do with social services of which Rohrer opposes on a deep ideological level.

Joe Hoeffel had good answers and Dan Onorato looked good on several.  I just don’t trust Onorato.  If he and Corbett are the nominees I’ll be voting Green in November as I will if the top of the ticket is Specter/Toomey.  Democrats cannot keep expecting liberals and progressives in Pennsylvania to continue voting Democratic when they keep giving us reactionary candidates.  If the Pennsylvania Green Party were better organized and hid their tin foil hat members they might get competitive.  The opportunity is certainly here.