Headline writers... Can't live with them, can't live without them.
That's the headline of an article in today's Daily News. I'm in it. It's about the young progressive movement going on here in Philly. And if you actually buy the paper for 60¢, you'll be treated to a pic of me, Hannah and Chris. Puzzling why Philly.com doesn't post all the photos that make it into the paper, maybe that's just the premium for the paper version. Aside from my own ego pumping, there is some juicy stuff in there.
Chris noted how we've come across quite a bit of pushback
We have received significant and very disturbing pushbacks from city committee... It's extremely counterproductive when you consider that a vast majority of what we're doing is challenging for seats where no one is doing anything.
Lucey [the writer] asked Congressman Bob Brady, the Philadelphia Democratic party chairman, about the pushback and he had this to say:
I'm not aware of it, nor am I concerned about it... Everybody has the right to run.
That's really funny. REALLY FUCKING FUNNY. Why? Because I remember being passed a few letters via a friend. One of them from the desk of Bob Brady, on Philadelphia Democratic Executive Committee letterhead and all that stated:
Does he not recall the letter he wrote and signed on March 8, 2005? It's shit like this that makes Hannah's words ring so true:
It has come to my attention that there is an organized effort to file petitions to become a Democratic committee person in many wards in the city. It is clear that this effort has been started by forces that seek to polarize and destroy this party. I strongly urge you to oppose their efforts. I suggest that you immediately notify me at City Committee of the divisions where this has occurred. I will have the petition reviewed to determine if it is defective. If it is, I will assist you in filing a petition with the Common Pleas Court to have the person stricken from the ballot on behalf of your designated candidate in that division.
We are a family united. As your leader and friend, I will fight to make sure we remain united.
I will also prepare withdrawal slips for these individuals that filed and I will try to have them withdrawn.
The Democratic Party will wither and die unless active people get involved.
I know of much nastier stuff going on than a simple letter.
And the ending of the story is just priceless with a quote from Terry Gillen, 30th ward leader. She sent out a letter of her own in defense of the sitting committeepeople which said, in part:
The story ended with this:
I wanted to pass along a letter from the Chairman of our Democratic Party, Bob Brady. He is concerned that many committeeperson throughout the City are being challenged by outsiders who are trying to created division within the Democratic Party and within some of our wards and divisions. I personally believe that some of the people who are doing this are working hand in hand with the republican [sic] Party.
This week, some committeepeople may receive a notice that their petition is being challenged in court. If you receive this notice, let me assure you that Bob and I and the Democratic Party will go to court and fight to make sure that you can run for reelection. Democratic Party lawyers will argue your case for free in order to keep your name on the ballot. We will do this because we all need to stick together and fight these people who want to divide us.
Let me know as soon as soon as possible if you receive a legal challenge of if you believe that someone is trying to remove your name from the ballot.
If we stick together we can stay strong. We won't play into the Republicans' hands and allow anyone to divide us!
What I hope doesn't happen is you have people knocking off longtime committeepeople and then dropping out in two years because it's boring.It seems that she has failed to notice how her us are the ones who are now bored with the job and not doing a thing now. That's why we're running. The Party is broken here in Philadelphia. It is rotting from the inside out. I'm proud to say that I'm part of the fresh blood that wants to gut this rotting tree and plant a new forest of progressive change.
To think that people running for committeeperson are doing it for shits and giggles and aren't really committed to the job is such fucking bullshit. Who wants to take on another job wich pays nothing; takes up a good chunk of time in election cycles; is the first contact from the private citizens; and did I mention this is basically a volunteer gig which pays nothing? Committeepeople are almost a free customer service department for the city. Don't like the pothole on your block? Walk up to your committeeperson in the grocery store and tell them. A stop sign fall down? Knock on your committeeperson's door and tell them. Need help trying to get a cutout in a sidewalk? Let your committeeperson know and s/he'll send it up the ladder. What crazy fucks want that job? Crazy fucks like me. And crazy fucks like me have more crazy friends who are also running. Thank you everyone who is are committed to and running for change: Chris, Danie, Sabra, Marc, Stephanie, Andrea, Robin, Hannah, Sam...