- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
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A Conversation on Michael Nutter
This week's City Paper cover story is a profile of Michael Nutter. The article is reasonably fair, and semi-interesting. I excerpt sections of it in the extended entry (just click "read more"). But, aside from the article itself, I think this is a good chance to talk about Mike Nutter generally, and his likely candidacy for Mayor.
So, how about it? Why do you feel like Nutter will be a good mayor? Why does he make you uncomfortable? Let me know. And click read more to see some interesting parts of the City Paper story itself.
It seems to me, that aside from his own little machine in East Falls, etc, that a lot of Mike Nutter's support comes from what I would call "new progressives" in Philadelphia. That could mean bloggers who liked the anti-smoking thing, or just a new-ish resident of Philadelphia, who is taken with his anti-pay-to-play stance, and the fact that he got a (weakened) bill passed in City Council, despite Mayor Street's attempt to derail it.
But, there are a lot of people, a lot of old-school Philly progressives, who seem to be pretty uneasy with Nutter, and I am curious as to why? This is a guy who authored the City's law on benefits to same-sex couples, and who pushes good government bills, an issue that while boring, is crucially important to progressives like myself. Is it that he supported and was out in front on the cut of the business privilege tax? Is it, that despite campaigning on good government, he has refused to stand up to people like all-powerful ward leader Carol Campbell on issues like the 15 trolley, or even lobbied for a no-bid contract for her?
Some interesting parts of the story:
1) His constituency:
Developer Dan Neducsin, who also sits on the Manayunk Development Corporation board, says Nutter has helped with various projects such as getting funding to restore the canal. He values residents' concerns, but weighs them against benefit to the community.
"Whenever I want to do any project, his first question to me is, "Have you spoken to the neighbors?' Neducsin says. "His second question is, "What did they think?' I always know where he's coming from. He doesn't sway with the wind."
In addition to the more well-off East Falls and Manayunk, Nutter's Fourth District territory includes the diverse populations of Wynnefield, Overbrook, Roxborough, parts of North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia and West Mount Airy.
Despite Manayunk residents' concerns about flooding, in 2002 Nutter won a drawn-out battle for residential development of Venice Island, once an industrial center in the Schuylkill.
But the most knockdown, drag-out fights have pitted Nutter against Street, who loves a good rumble.
2) His style:
Councilman Juan Ramos says that's Nutter's way.
"The best way I can sum it up is to say when he worked for Councilman Ortiz he knew there was not much of a working relationship between Ortiz and myself," Ramos recalls. "He came to me and said, "I know there isn't much you and my boss see eye to eye on. You can always come to me.'"
It remains to be seen if voters will take to a candidate with a subtle, cutting wit. Gregarious he's not. But Nutter is likable, and walking around Center City a few weeks before fall session he's at ease, running into people he knows every 10 feet, joking with waitresses at Capital Grille, his perennial lunch spot.
Nutter is also private, rarely talking about his wife, Lisa. The couple has a 12-year-old daughter, Olivia, and Nutter has a 22-year-old son, Christian, from a previous relationship.
3) His rivals, or one at least:
Frank Keel, Street's former spokesman, who supports John Dougherty for mayor, blames that less on the feud and more on Nutter, whom he has called a "lone wolf." "I think Councilman Nutter is a bright guy but I don't always believe his intentions are pure," Keel says. "He legislates based on the news headlines of the moment. Some might call that crassly opportunistic."