Thursday, May 12, 2005

John Street, Mayor of the little people long as they treat him with due deference, that is.

Apparently the Streets went out for a movie recently, and the ticket-taker asked to check the bag that the mayor was carrying on their way in. This is standard practice (a combination of post-9/11 security and craven desire for more concession sales), and the disabled worker didn't recognize the mayor as a Big Dog and hence above normal procedure. Street refused, and the incident was settled when a nearby police officer intervened, identifying the mayor and letting him pass. However, this was apparently not enough for Philadelphia's feisty mayor, and so he had one of his lawyers call the theater to hassle them about their policy.

I guess Street has a history of taking personally all dealings with police and security folk.
At the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles in 2000, Street angrily accused the L.A. police of racism after his aide, Shawn Fordham, was stopped for jaywalking.

But the signature incident in Street's past is the time in the early 1990s when an official at the Dad Vail Regatta attempted to stop him from jogging through the event along the Schuylkill River. Recalling the incident the following year when he was in the midst of a bitter political brawl with event organizers over inclusion of African-Americans, then- City Council President Street said, "One of them had the nerve to try and charge me a toll to pass by a regatta. They stopped me, a bunch of teen-agers, and arrogantly told me I had to pay $2 to pass on the sidewalk. Who do they think they are?"
His managers have their hands full, if this is all the political sensitivity that he can muster in the midst of a federal investigation that's already sapping his effectiveness and popularity. Great, John, your dad yelled at Rizzo on the steps of City Hall, but perhaps we're in a different era and people are more likely to take you seriously if you can behave like an adult...

Update: the kerfluffle continues.


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