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.
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.