The Byko voting guide to sensible candidates

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.

Chuck Peruto (left) for D.A., Rebecca Rhynhart for Controller

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?

23 thoughts on “The Byko voting guide to sensible candidates”

    Ah, the ‘goode ole days’ when you could vote early and vote often.
    On paper, the founding fathers gave us a fantastic . Independence, Constitution and the ability to govern oneself. Sorry to say, we do NOT govern ourselves. The low voter turn out at each and every election signifies just how sheepish we always were and are. Nonetheless, here’s my opinions:
    1) NO ! We are becoming a nation of drug users, therefore addicts.
    2) NO ! As it stands. Each department takes care of its own. Everybody has a wish list. They get what can be doled
    out. The departments then buy and maintain their own fleet. Better management always helps.
    3) NO ! Civil service is designed to put everyone on equal footing. If we ‘dummy down like we did for the police and
    firemen some years back, then we’ll have a problem.
    4) Brobson

  2. Based on what I’ve been reading about the murder rate in the city, maybe there should be money set aside to build a wall around Philadelphia, to make it sort of a nuclear waste zone.

    My prognostication on some of the ballot issues: (1) Krasner will win because the turnout will be around 20% — mostly leftists; (2) MJ will NOT be legalized because young people are too lazy to vote, and old people are scared of it; (3) the Dem will be named to the Supreme Court — no explanation will suffice.

        1. Vince, please stay with me on this.
          If you are complaining about the small thing Stu said does that not make you a pedantic. Since I am, in essence, complaining about you complaining I guess that makes me a pedantic as well.
          I guess if you complain about me complaining it will be ad infinitum.

  3. Brian and I agree with everything here and voted that way except for questions 2 and 4, on which we voted no. Given the gross mismanagement we have seen thus far in the city, neither of us have any faith in the city being able to manage the vehicle issue or the housing issue appropriately. While logical on their face, they seem like just another way to squander tax money and appoint more employees to patronage jobs.

  4. Stu, I agree with you on everything except the DA’s race. I will not vote for either Krasner or Peruto.
    It is funny that you mention Rebecca Rhynhart as a viable choice for mayor because I was speaking with a few of my friends and somehow her name was brought up as a possibility.

  5. I voted by mail last week. Be sure to place your filled out ballot in the blue secret envelope. No marks on the secret blue envelope. Make sure you sign and date the outside mailing envelope. Place envelope in USPS mailbox. No stamp needed to mail your ballot. You are done voting and don’t have to wait in line at the polls. It is convenient. Praying for a Pureto upset.

  6. Stu, on Q4, if I were still a Philly resident, I’d vote no on principle. The principle is that unless there is a direct connection between a revenue source and its use – like the gas tax goes to roads – it’s bad policy to tie the legislature’s hands via constitution or charter. Times change. What seems like good policy today may not be tomorrow. If we start mandating .5% here, 1% there, etc., it soon adds up and our spending ends up on autopilot. And, once money is dedicated to a goal, interest groups become dependent on it and it’s nearly impossible to undo via another charter change.

    I expect it will pass, but that’s not good.

  7. Since no one else is mentioning this I will. Trump has sunk to a new low because of what he said after General Colin Powell died. This comes from a POC that lied in order to get deferments from serving in our military. Trump is not even worthy of wiping Powell’s ass.

    1. Trump is at it again. Less than a week after trashing General Colin Powell Trump has once again atackedJohn McCain.

      Some time ago Trump claimed no one loved the military, and its commanders, more thanhe does. His hypocrisy is beyond belief. I cannot believe that ANYONE who HONORABLY served in our military can accept his attacks. As I said before Trump is a POC!

    2. I was a Colin Powell fan until he joined forces with Bush and Cheney to get us into that horrendous Iraq War.

      I don’t give Powell a pass for that .

      My friend whose son was killed in Iraq is no longer a Powell fan.

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