Saturday, April 16, 2011

Philly GOP: When will Philly have legitimate two party checks and balances?

Today, on his Facebook page, Dom Giordano of WPHT commented on his interview yesterday with Karen Brown, the Democrat-turned-Republican candidate for Mayor of Philadelphia saying "After my interview with Karen Brown, it's obvious that we must force the state GOP to come in and take over the Phila. GOP"

First, in the interest of transparency, allow me to say that Philadelphians for Ethical Leadership has sent Ms. Brown numerous emails and messages to confirm her attendance at the debate and council forum on the 20th.  As of last check, Ms. Brown did confirm her attendance at the debate with our co-sponsor, Kevin Kelly of the Loyal opposition, as reported by Daily News political writer Chris Brennan yesterday.  

Second, I would like to applaud Dom Giordano on his excellent interview of Ms. Brown.  In preparing for a fair, impartial debate I have heard and read numerous interviews with both candidates and can therefore distinguish good reporting vs. bad reporting by Mr. Giordano's continuous prying into Ms. Brown's answers...where he broke down statements that were clearly just political cannon fodder to try and obtain solid answers on what steps Ms. Brown would actually take to clean up the republican party in Philly and, if elected, repair the myriad of issues that are turning Philadelphia into a corrupt, broken city.  To hear for yourself, please click here.

After intense analysis of the political landscape of Philadelphia, I must concur with Mr. Giordano's Facebook post.  The political system here is broken and this is in part due to the long-term collusion between a corrupt Philly GOP and the Brady-controlled Democratic party.  Never in my life (and remember, I've lived in NYC, LA, and DC) have I seen a local republican party sell its soul to control a few patronage jobs (and at the Parking Authority, an agency with little political capital at that).  Now before you all think that this is because of my personal desire to see a powerful Republican party in Philly, that's not at all true.  As an investigator and former victim of an unbalanced political system (D.C.), I've seen first hand what a party is capable of if there are not proper checks and balances there to keep everyone honest.  This is the problem in Philadelphia.

Do you think that a democratically-elected Sheriff can steal (or "lose") $53,000,000 and failing to collect owed taxes or a democratically-elected Clerk of Quarter Sessions can fail to collect $1.5 Billion in owed bail revenue if there was an opposing party that was actively jockeying for elections in these offices checking their activities? HELL NO. 

However, the most egregious example of just how petty and corrupt the Philly GOP is can come from their endorsement and running of Karen Brown for Mayor.  At first, I shrugged over the outrage felt by my cosponsors because Ms. Brown was a long-time Democrat that was suddenly courted by the local GOP.  After all, I've seen real politicians like former Mayor Frank L. Rizzo, Senator Joe Lieberman, and Arlen Spector switch parties but still maintain the presence of thought and some ideas on how to serve their constituency.  However, after researching Ms. Brown, this is CLEARLY not one of those situations. 

Karen Brown does not at all seem to be qualified to hold the position of Mayor of Philadelphia.  She goes to great lengths to rail against Milton Street's comical run for the Democratic Mayoral primary (and even cites it as the reason she switched parties), but utilizes the exact same tactics in identity politics; sexual as opposed to racial, that he does.  In the interview, she offered no clear strategies for accomplishing the lofty goals she said she would accomplish and further says she can achieve what the last five Mayors (who held law degrees and former political offices) couldn't because, simply said, she's a woman.  That's it?  That's all you have?  My "B.S." detector is going off and I need you to tell me A LOT more before you can earn my vote, ma'am.

The thing that's most troubling to me as a political watchdog is Ms. Brown's attempt to tap into an ongoing trend in American politics that appeals to a public in need of instant gratification.  I call it "American Idol" politics.  Why take your time and research your candidate based on his/her knowledge of the issues, background, and strategies for change when we can vote for people based on how they look or whether or not you identify with them personally.  During the 2008 Presidential election, we saw interview after interview with young Americans who voted for Obama simply because he was a change from the "Old White Guys" that had run America since it's birth.

This is what is killing us as a nation.  In a good system with two strong, multi-dimensional parties, a completely unqualified...inarticulate candidate like Karen Brown would receive no party support, and get absolutely no popular support from voters.  When America was a society of readers, not reality TV fans, we wanted the smartest, most decisive person in the country to lead us, and would never consider voting for someone based on their gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. 

ANYONE who does vote for someone based on identity politics should be ashamed of themselves and should NOT be allowed to exercise their voting rights, as they are poisoning the political system to forward their own personal racist, sexist, or biased beliefs.

As far as Ms. Brown goes, we'll see if she has the intestinal fortitude to show up at the German Society on the 20th and debate her beliefs in front of an audience of voters.  I personally hope the reports of her shutting down parody websites and targeting members of the media because they've insulted her are not true; because a big part of being Mayor is the ability to listen to the gripes of your constituency, and a willingness to be burned in effigy to make your point and serve the citizenry. 

Show me you can do this, Ms. Brown, and I'll consider you more than a shill for the old Philly GOP.  


  1. This is well done sir, well done indeed.

  2. I just listened to the Karen Brown interview and you called it the way it is. The Philadelphia GOP is a corrupt organization that has hit a new low by serving up candidate who is clearly completely unqualified and nothing more than an excuse for the pathetic hacks who run the Philly GOP to claim that the Republican party still offers the citizens a choice.