Nutter answer questions about party reform. Sort of.

Last week, Michael Nutter submitted, and the Inky Ed Board printed, an op-ed defending Congressman Bob Brady as both a Congressman and the leader of the party. The Mayor-elect said that:

Brady and I have had many discussions about the need to change the way we do business in Philadelphia. I believe he supports my agenda for reform in city government and the Democratic Party.

A lot of us wondered what exactly that latter part--about the party--meant. Today's Inky includes a brief attempt by Patrick Kerkstra to get Nutter to clarify on what he meant:

Asked what specific reforms he'd like to see, Nutter said the party ought to have an open process for choosing which candidates to support. He also proposed training for would-be candidates, stepped-up recruiting of candidates and committee members, and a guest speaker program. Asked about the shakedown that judicial candidates are subjected to by some ward leaders, Nutter said he'd prefer that judges not be elected.

"These are the kinds of issues I intend to have discussions with the chairman about," Nutter said.

Compare that to this list of reforms that some of us have been pushing directly with the party chair ourselves:

  1. Will the party change the unfair special election process so that individual voters have some say?
  2. Will every ward leader in the party commit to holding open ward meetings, where anyone can watch and ask questions?

  • Will the party chair convene an annual platform convention so that all members of the party can share their ideas for the policies and laws that party-endorsed candidates will push?

  • Will every committee person in the city commit to canvassing their division every election, making at least three attempts to have face-to-face contact with a voter?

  • Will the party chair lay out appropriate and inappropriate ways for ward leaders to handle "street money" to stop the shaking down of candidates, especially judges, for office?

    Nutter's reply to Kerkstra was given on-the-go at the Pennsylvania Society in New York. Nutter also said:

    Reforming the party is a priority for me, and I don't think people should try to read any tea leaves or read too much into the letter.

    I certainly agree.

    There wasn't much in his letter to read into. I hope when he returns from New York he will clarify once and for all which progressive reforms to the party he supports and which he doesn't. If he has been speaking with Congressman Brady about making these changes, it would be interesting to hear the process and time line for implementation they have come up with.

    If their conversations have been more general, then I wonder when Nutter plans to prioritize having a more detailed one, and if he will seek the input of others--like those of us who have already outlined ideas for party reform.

    Nutter rubbing off on Brady

    Did anyone see that Brady banned tobacco sales in the U.S. Capitol? It's going to be hard to have smoke-filled rooms, without tobacco sales...looks like Nutter really is rubbing off on Brady. First, Nutter has the smoking ban in Philadelphia. Then Brady has the smoking ban at the U.S. Capitol.

    Here is the piece from the Inky on it:

    Inqlings | Putting out a fire on Capitol Hill

    By Michael Klein

    Inquirer Columnist
    Bob Brady, health advocate.

    You can't buy tobacco products on Capitol Hill anymore, and it's the congressman from Philly who stubbed out smokes sales once and for all.

    Three congresswomen recently approached Brady, who chairs the House Administration Committee, to point out that the Senate banned sales in its buildings and to ask that the House do the same.

    Committee spokesman Kyle Anderson said last week that Brady believes "selling nicotine products in House office buildings is inconsistent with our focus on the overall health of the American population." A new vendor takes over tomorrow and will not offer nicotine, Anderson says.

    Capitol Hill cig prices had been at least a buck a pack cheaper than in the rest of D.C. because they were free of district tax.

    I like what Nutter had to

    I like what Nutter had to say there. Quite a lot.

    Is it a "complete package"? No. But I also think he has a lot on his plate in terms of reforming city government that for now, his comments on reforming the party seem a little like icing on the cake so at this point I feel its as much about us focusing where this should go as opposed to asking what Nutter can he do about it.

    MrLuigi, my cat, actually only types half as badly as I do.


    I'll repeat what I wrote on Heard in the Hall - Ray, that you feel full enough of yourself to tell our next mayor that he's not acting at a fast enough pace for you on an issue that few people think is the most pressing issue facing the city weeks before he is even sworn is presumptious to say the least. you have every right to advocate for your issue of party reform. thats cool. most of us care about party reform but have bigger concerns as well, like crime, education, and jobs. the Inky wrote an editorial he felt the need to respond to. that doesn't mean he has to announce all his specific reforms before he's been sworn in for crying out loud! he's up for reelection in 2011 - lets touch base in a couple years and see if he's sided your way or someone else's when a reform issue comes up, ok?

    Not to beat a dead horse,

    Not to beat a dead horse, but, it doesn't actually seem like Nutter felt the need to respond. According to the Inq., Brady felt the need to respond, and so got Nutter to do it for him. Nutter then immediately standing up for Brady as Party chair, while vaguely talking about party reforms, opened the door up to all of this. And, considering his staffers read and sometimes write on the blog, he could have dealt with it all pretty quickly.

    And I hear you on patience. But, there will always, always be be more immediate issues than party reforms. And, who knows, we might just need those reforms sooner than you think. So, I am glad he will make it a priority, and would like to know how he is going to go about thinking through these changes.

    new to blogs?

    You come on to a blog to accuse me of being full of myself? Um, hello that is the whole point of blogs. They are full of self-important people. Luckily for you, some of us don't need to hide behind handles and screen names to be so egotistical...

    As Dan points out, beating a dead horse is no fun. However, one more time, none of us can have it both ways.

    If it is presumptuous to expect Mayor-elect Nutter to tackle Democratic party reform, doesn't it follow that he probably should not mention the issue in an op-ed in the largest paper in the region?

    Call me crazy, but I think it was Michael Nutter himself who made a conversation about the Democratic party fair game.

    As for you other concern, I could not agree with you more that reforming the Democratic party is low on a list of concerns for the people of Philadelphia.

    However, some days, I take 'em as they come , and it truly is exciting to me that Michael Nutter's message of reform might have some resonance within the walls of City Committee as well as City Hall.

    I don't think it is unreasonable to ask the Mayor-elect to tell us more about what his plans for reforming the party are. That certainly does not preclude him from also laying out his strategy to reduce gun violence, raise wages, and improve our public schools.

    as detailed as I'd like

    not new to blogs, Ray, thanks for asking though. please navel-gaze away on your blog to your heart's content. but perhaps you're new to being quoted in the print media, because being quoted as telling the mayor of the sixth largest city in the US, a month before he's sworn in, that his party reform plans "aren't as detailed as I'd like" is, well yes, quite full of yourself. certainly a conversation about party reform is fair game - i did not dispute that - but demanding all the details now is just silly and demonstrates why bloggers have such a hard time translating in the real world. because the response to your quote in the Inky today is obviously, "who the hell cares if its as detailed as you'd like??"

    I guess Heard in the

    I guess Heard in the Hall/the Inquirer cared, since a reporter asked Ray about it and then they printed his answer.

    I thought Ray's comment was fine. I also thought Nutter's response was fine, too; he offered some general principles and a few ideas that make for a good start, and was asked a straight question about judicial elections and he gave a straight answer. And he did clarify that this is a discussion with Brady that's still in progress.

    I do have to add, though, that since the mayor-elect has publically discredited the reading of tea leaves, I am fresh out of material for political punditry. I mean, that's how I pick which judges to vote for in the first place. What do you guys do?

    Wardwatcher, if a reporter

    Wardwatcher, if a reporter asks what you think about something, do you think you should give an honest response? Or, because it has to do with our incoming Mayor, are you simply supposed to say that you would like to simply genuflect in his warmth?

    thanks for volunteering

    hey wardwardwatcher, give me your phone #. Next time the Inky calls, I will call you first and vet my comments with you.

    It'll be great, you'll be like my publicist...from what I hear you are already pretty good at Blackberry:

    (I love your green sweater!)


    Does this mean that I get to be Turtle in this scenario?

    Check out my website!

    Do you have cashmere

    Do you have cashmere pajamas?

    My tailor and I have

    My tailor and I have discussed the issue. I look forward to working with him on plan to get me into said pajamas as soon as possible.

    Check out my website!


    Does anyone know when Medillin comes out?

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
    — Margaret Mead


    Can someone explain the joke?

    Ok, my reputation as a hipster is gone forever, but I'm completely lost here.

    HBO, Entourage.

    HBO, Entourage.

    Oh, that explains it

    Uh. Not. But thanks for trying.

    At this point, I realize that further requests for explanation will only reduce my hipster rep even fruther. So I guess I'll just let this one pass.


    The main character, Vince, an actor, has a publicist (played by Debi Mazar).

    His friend Turtle -- the shortest of the three men in the picture above -- has cashmere pajamas.

    That's about all there is to it. Unless Dan can find a Youtube montage.

    Double sigh

    they are SWEATSUIT-style cashmere pajamas.

    Right. You can wear them to

    Right. You can wear them to a party, particularly a pajama party at the Playboy Mansion. You just have to watch out for body paint.

    Check out my website!

    And for Ralph Macchio and

    And for Ralph Macchio and Pauly Shore.

    Years ago (like the '90s - I

    Years ago (like the '90s - I am an old head) I was in the Buffalo Exchange on Melrose Ave. in LA and noticed they had this display 40 gallon drum of bright pink tuxedo shirts with the ruffled chest and remarked to my friend "Wow those are absolutely hideous. I bet only Pauly Shore would wear one of those." Anyway we walked around the store finding no appealing vintage finds and as we turned to leave and as if summoned like the devil himself sure enough there was Pauly Shore himself buying 3 of the hideous shirts.

    Anyhoo, such was my own personal brush with not-really-so-greatness.

    MrLuigi, my cat, actually only types half as badly as I do.

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