The great debate wasn’t, but it was revealing

The highlight of Tuesday night’s mayoral debate carried by Fox 29, came around the mid-point when the bon homme slipped and candidates slapped at each other.

Fox 29’s Jeff Cole was an aggressive questioner

By my count, supermarket CEO Jeff Brown took four shots, uber progressive Helen Gym got slapped twice, Allan Domb once, not counting reporter Jeff Cole asking if he was trying to buy the election.

Cole didn’t single out Domb. He asked each candidate layered questions and then peppered them with followups if they tried to dodge.

For most of the 90 minutes the candidates trotted out well-rehearsed answers, with few slips, but a notable one was Gym being flummoxed by candidate Amen Brown who wanted to know if she met with Sixers ownership about the proposed Center City arena. 

She stammered before confessing that, yes, she did meet with management, although she opposes the arena now.

Jeff Brown said he favors it, providing Chinatown’s concerns are met, and he said he had no knowledge of a reported $250,000 donation from the Sixers made to a political action committee that is supporting him.

In some respects the candidates sounded like 20th Century Democrats, all talking law and order and public safety.

All except Gym, the only candidate to vote “yes” on D.A. Larry Krasner.

When public safety or homicides were mentioned, she pirouetted to root causes of poverty and bad education.

She opposes stop and frisk because, she said, it is unconstitutional.

Just the opposite is true. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled when done properly it is constitutional, as Cherelle Parker said. It is called a Terry stop.

At least twice, Gym said she was running “to change the way people live.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t need or want a mayor futzing around with the way I live. She sometimes sounds like a deranged Mother Superior overseeing a class of unruly students.

She believes that “Philadelphia impoverishes its citizens” because it is in the grip of shadowy, unnamed “powerful interests” that underfund the schools and keep the poor down, the little Marxist progressive continued.

Truthfully,  they all seemed “mayoral,” with Derek Green getting the speed talking medal, while the loud and proud award goes to Parker, who half-heartedly played the race and gender cards.

They all had plans to end gun violence, but only Amen Brown could claim to be walking around with a bullet in his ribs.

Jeff Brown said he had the endorsement of the Temple police union, but no one claimed the endorsement of the FOP.

That’s a secret held by FOP President John McNesby. I’d be willing to bet it won’t be Gym because, well, because she’s Gym, and Rebecca Rhynhart because McNesby didn’t like an audit of the police department she wrote while controller. Rhynhart claimed the police brass liked it.

She also spoke against the School District’s new lottery system for admission to elite schools. “You can’t fix equity with a lottery,” she said.

They all agreed we need more, better, cops, and more teachers, and new schools, jobs for young and old, and fewer taxes.

Hold it — if I heard it right, Gym has no problem with higher taxes.

She did have a problem with Jeff Brown.

There were a couple of knock downs, no knock outs, and anyone with a favorite (Gym’s supporters were most vocal with cheers and applause, even when asked by moderator Jason Martinez to STF up) remained with their choice.

Which way the undecideds might jump, I can’t say.

18 thoughts on “The great debate wasn’t, but it was revealing”

  1. I give the win to Amen Brown for most direct and out there candidate. Helen Gym is becoming dismantled and Jeff Brown can still win if he keeps on spending for television regardless whose money it is, he will weather the storm.

  2. At least for the first time, these candidates were able to mix it up and there was an attempt at follow up questions by the questioners. you really can’t pierce the veil of rehearsal until they are forced to go off script and some of that happened tonight. I thought Fox did a good job

  3. If Allan Domb is ‘buying ‘ the election, at least he is doing it WITH HIS OWN MONEY!!! He is a self-made man, using his hard-earned money after 38+ years of 18-hour days. I feel it is much more admirable to use your own money rather than grab millions of $$ from a ‘dark’ PAC money or union contributions who are looking for favorable juicy contracts.

  4. Candidates all agreed we need more and better cops… The term is Police Officers not Cops. I think we need more and better teachers and less but much better politicians.

  5. The same BS from the usual suspects. In the end, Philadelphia voters ALWAYS pick the worst of the lot.

      1. Okay, “almost always.” But Rendell was 23 years ago, and Street more than a decade.

  6. Can’t stand Gym; she is pure evil. Her solutions require money and expects to be able to accomplish this by taxing the rich (actually the semi-rich) and have them be happy with it. I just finished my taxes,
    and if I was still a city resident, my all-in rate would be over 50%.

  7. I had no idea you created this platform, Stu. Great move and consider me a new and loyal reader. We are Florida residents now and I won’t pay the paywall price for your wildly woke former employer. Keep feeding us the truth, brother. Thanks.

  8. Jeff Cole should be the debate moderator and the only one to ask questions. Other Fox personalities seemed to make it up themselves. Jeff knows how to ask tough and direct questions.

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