In Philadelphia, 2021 is what’s known as an “off-year” election because no mayor or governor candidates are heading the ticket.
In Philly, the top lines are D.A., and Controller, as if those offices were not important. It is a shame, a pity and a scandal that off-year elections seldom pull as much as 20% of registered voters.
With homicides poised to shatter a record, and with low-level lawlessness breaking out because of low- to no prosecution — whether it is shoplifting gangs or the ATV and dirt bike mechanized mayhem on the streets — we should understand the importance of a district attorney, otherwise known as a prosecutor, to keep the bad actors in check.
By this measure, Democratic incumbent Larry Krasner is a miserable failure.
The choice for D.A. is (now) Republican Chuck Peruto. Like Krasner, he has spent his career as a defense attorney. Unlike Krasner, he is not insane and believes, as do the majority of Philadelphians, Black and white, that police are central to a safe city.
And, as a defense attorney, I trust him to color inside the lines, and not abuse his authority as some previous D.A.’s have done. (Looking at you, Seth Williams.)
Controller is an easy call, as incumbent Democrat Rebecca Rhynhart is running unopposed.
She has shown more balls in criticizing Mayor Jim Kenney, now a lane duck by the grace of God, than any other Democrat.
She has issued fierce reports criticizing, to name two, police response to the George Floyd riots, and the management of ACCT Philly, the city animal shelter. While she is a reformer, she manages to do it without going woke, a movement animated more by emotion than reason.
There are persistent rumors that Rhynhart might run for mayor, and not complete her term as Controller. Given some of the progressive loons who might want to run for mayor (looking at you, Helen Gym), I’ll take that chance. It would be lovely for Philly to again be led by a reasonable, rational adult (looking at you, Ed Rendell.)
Before getting to the judges — pretty important jobs, don’t you agree? — let’s look at the four questions
that most Philadelphia voters ignore voters will find at the bottom of the ballot.
I actually read and try to understand the questions. It’s simpler to read what the Inquirer says and just do the opposite (that’s a joke) but that’s not how I roll.
You are free to take my advice, as always, or ignore it.
Question 1: Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to call upon the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the Governor to pass legislation that would decriminalize, regulate, and tax the use, and sale to adults aged 21 years or older, of cannabis for non-medical purposes?
This is a fart in the dark with no real effect. A “yes” vote means you want the state to legalize recreational marijuana. It becomes legal, and we can tax it (just like sugary drinks.) 😃 No sense fighting the inevitable. Vote Yes.
Question 2: Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to establish and define the functions of a Department of Fleet Services, headed by a Commissioner, to manage all City-owned motor vehicles and City programs concerning alternative vehicle fuel initiatives?
Several entities currently oversee the city’s vehicle fleet — everything from garbage trucks to police SUVs. A “yes” vote would consolidate acquisition, maintenance, repair, and disposal under a Department of Fleet Management. Vote Yes.
Question 3: Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to revise provisions related to the civil service system, to allow the Personnel Director to determine the number of people on an eligible list from which a hiring or promotion decision may be made, and to determine the number of times a person may be passed over and remain eligible on such a list, all based on the position and the needs of the civil service program?
As you may know, the woke say it is racist to believe the best person should get the job. The current system rewards merit. A new system would enshrine some kind of weird “equity” by awarding a job to someone less qualified. Some say the tests are biased. If so, fix the damn tests. Vote No.
Question 4: Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to provide for a mandatory annual appropriation for the Housing Trust Fund?
Affordable housing is scarce in Philly, and this bill would earmark about $25 million annually for it. Out of a $5.2 billion budget, $25 million isn’t even peanuts, it’s peanut shells. Maybe it will get a few more homeless off the streets. Vote Yes.
There really are too many judges for me to cover here.
I will take a shot at the highest court in the state — the Supreme Court, the oldest appellate court in America. It is currently dominated by Democrats, 5-2.
Democrat Maria McLaughlin and Republican Kevin Brobson both are “highly recommended” by the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Bar Associations.
In this embarrassment of riches, I’m voting for Brobson because I believe a balanced court is a better court.
How’s that for diversity, wokesters?