Progs can’t Reclaim fair shake

You have to crawl to the bottom of this Chris Brennan column to get to the (marginal) Good News for reform D.A. candidate Carlos Vega.

Reform? You thought Larry Krasner was the reformer?

Carlos Vega talks to the media (Photo: Stu Bykofsky).

Yes, Krasner claimed that when he ran in 2017, but now that we have seen the prosecution-averse D.A. in action, we need reform from him, and that’s where Vega comes in, even over the objections of Reclaim Philadelphia.

As Brennan reported, Vega made a pitch for the endorsement of the small, hard-left group. As Brennan also reported, Vega sat down to play 5 card stud against a stacked deck.

“Vega had zero chance of winning the progressive group’s endorsement,” wrote Brennan. Vega knew that.

“If I am elected district attorney, I am representing everyone in the city — Black, white, rich, poor, conservative, liberal,” Vega told me. “It was important for me to tell Reclaim, this is who I am, this is what I am offering, these are my ideas of reform, and my ideas of safety.”

He might as well have been talking to a red brick wall, as far as having a shot at getting the endorsement from the progs.

“Krasner took that prize, winning 296 out of 310 votes, the group announced Monday,” Brennan reported. “Nine members voted for no endorsement and five abstained.” 

Here’s what else Brennan reported: There was no option of voting for Vega. Let me repeat, there was no option to vote for Vega.

Prog democracy at work. Thank you, comrades. 

In a city of 1.5 million, Reclaim Philadelphia had 310 members making the endorsement. Reclaim might have had more voters, but to vote you have to pay membership dues, according to an email sent to supporters. Yet the 5-year-old outfit is treated as a player in Philly politics. Maybe it is.

I’m pretty sure they can turn out people to knock on doors and make phone calls. They have more than 310 supporters, how many I don’t know. I emailed Reclaim asking for those figures, as well as for membership numbers. 

The latest budget it reports is 2017, with income of $100,000, most of it coming, it acknowledges on its website, from “the People’s Action organizing network, specifically directed at funding organizing to end mass incarceration.”

Incidentally, Vega shares many of my views on mass incarceration. China has fewer prisoners than we do, Vega says, because they just shoot many of the accused. You have bullets, why fill the jails?

Reclaim supported Krasner last time (so did George Soros) and is doing so again. Not a single vote for Vega, because unlike Let-‘Em-Loose Larry, Vega feels a strong responsibility to victims, who are often short-changed by Krasner.  

It’s not just heavy-duty crime that is being shirked by Krasner.

Have you been in a CVS or Rite Aid lately? Have you noticed all the products on shelves that are locked behind glass?

You can thank Krasner for that.

The lead homicide prosecutor in the D.A.’s office, Vega was there for 35 years before being fired by Krasner shortly after arrival. Hmmm. White man fires a person of color without cause and not a squawk from the usually hysterical Left. Makes you wonder if it is racism.

[Author’s Note: It probably is not racism. This is my way of making fun of those who use racism as a default position any time something bad or unlucky befalls anyone who is not a cisgender Christian male.]

One of the “reforms” Krasner announced was refusing to prosecute shoplifting for less than $500. 

Guess what?

Shoplifting went through the roof. A CVS manager told me that’s why the locked shelves were added, although he would not let me use his name. CVS headquarters would not comment on the locked shelves, nor on the added cost they sustain by having to add hired security at some stores.

One mass shoplifting episode at Center City Macy’s got coverage, because there was video. Knowing there will be no prosecution, knowing that they got a free shopping pass from Uncle Larry, the thieves get it. 

Vega gets it, too, because his mom ran a bodega when he was growing up and he knows how thieves who are immune from prosecution can steal you right out of business.

“You have to be practical. If you are not practical you will hurt people,” says Vega, who will square off against Krasner Monday afternoon in a debate sponsored by the Philadelphia Bar Association.

“We have to realize there is unfairness in the judicial system, and other systems,” he told me. “And we have to bring about change, but protect citizens at the same time, especially citizens of color, who are suffering the most.”

This should have appealed to a true progressive organization, but it sailed right over the head of Reclaim Philadelphia. 

8 thoughts on “Progs can’t Reclaim fair shake”

  1. Carlos will be a great DA as he was a one if the best ADA the District Attorney Office had .He will fight for all races and bring closer to many victims families

    I will record if not watch the debate. This particular one may be meaningful. I will put the word out, as you are doing. I ask people to register democrat for the primary, and oust Krasner. I ask people to ask people. Mass media reaches much further than door to door canvasing.

  3. a public service announcement !

    Carlos Vega debates “Let ’em loose ” Larry Krasner today !
    sign up for the webinar. I went on Vega’s twitter page for the info.
    Philadelphia Bar Association District Attorney Candidates’ Forum
    Mon, Mar 22, 2021
    4:30 PM – 6:30 PM EDT
    ask your people to register democrat for the primary and get rid of Krasner !
    ask your people to ask people to vote for Vega !

  4. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu,

    Thanks for your comments on Chris Brennan’s column. You make a good case for Vega as an appealing candidate. Still, its good that he decided to speak to Reclaim. What is doubtful is that Reclaim comes anywhere near to representing the common interests of the city, its citizens and residents. Their political program seems somewhat other-worldly. Notice that “hard-left” political grouping have long been a regular (or irregular) adjunct to the Clintonite Democrats.

    I wonder if you know whether Reclaim is getting major support from out-of-town sources? The influence and check book of Soros in the last D.A. race is suggestive, of course. But, more to the point, perhaps, I get the impression that the DNC has been sending out-of-town folks and candidates our way. From their perspective, it is crucial to turn out a large majority in Philadelphia (and now the suburbs, too) and thereby carry the state in the national elections. Whether or not the electoral politics makes sense in terms of the public interest of the citizens seems less important than that loyal, passive and dependable turnout?

    This is the party of Jefferson, Jackson and FDR?

    H.G. Callaway

    1. I reported what I found about Reclaim’s finances, per 2017, last year they posted. I might learn more by checking their IRS returns, but there’s a limit to my interest.

  5. A more clever word than ‘progressive’ could not have been co-opted by the Left, as there is damn little ‘progress’ in progressives’ actions. The Krasner debacle SHOULD send a LOUD message to Fluffyans and Comrade Krasner is putting their safety at risk.

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