Monday, June 13, 2005

Rainmaker

The Daily News has a piece today about the waves being made by U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's possible mayoral aspirations. It's not clear whether he's declaring, but he appears to be flexing his muscles locally, either testing the water or at least making sure he'll have some say in the decisions to come.
Fattah said he'll lay out a sweeping "agenda for the city" early next year, and his fund-raiser tonight is hosted by an all-star lineup of Democratic money men and political heavyweights.
The fundraiser is for his congressional campaign fund, so officially none of the players who show up are taking a stance on majoral prospects, but it's another of those clear sabre-rattling events (like Saidel had this spring) that get everybody busy.
Meanwhile Fattah said he plans to advance an agenda of change through his allies in City Council early next year.

"Ordinance by ordinance, I will offer my proposals for moving Philadelphia in a new direction on critical issues including crime, education, tax policy, and housing," Fattah said.
Will be interesting to see whether his proposals are helpful or just grandstanding, and how much of a toehold they get in fractious City Hall discussions. As for the mayor's race, Fattah is now planning to withhold his decision until spring...

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fattah's political skills and substantive effectiveness are overrated; the more we hear from him, the less impressive he will become.

4:45 PM  
Blogger ACM said...

Funny you should say that -- he has the aura of being a mover and a shaker, without anyone's being able to really point me to anything he's said or done that had a direct impact. (possible exception is a program for disadvantaged youth that he has championed.) I've never seen him speak or heard him quoted on anything I cared about, but perhaps that's just because the House is so crowded with would-be stars...

Lack of good links is all that's kept me from including Fattah in The Scorecard. If anybody wants to fill me in on some stories of note...

4:51 PM  
Blogger Friedman said...

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a Nutter supporter and know that he’d be a great Mayor. That aside, I agree with “anonymous” about Fattah. He’s my congressman and lives in my neighborhood, but I really couldn’t tell you much about what he’s done – he’s sort of invisible up here in East Falls. I know that he does some education stuff and that he’s been pushing some sort of a universal sales/transaction tax that would replace our current tax system. In terms of his capacity to serve as Mayor, I don’t think he’s got any significant city government experience, which I think is a pretty big drawback for somebody who wants to be the CEO of Philadelphia.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Tulin said...

He doesn't /have/ to say anything significant - he hasn't faced a significant challenger in the general in years.

He won his last election with 88% of the vote. Before that, in 2002, he won with 81% of the vote. In 2004 he crushed the person who ran against him in the primary and in 2002 no one ran against him in the primary.

The people that face competitive elections are the ones that actually have to force themself into the press by being significant - they're the ones that have to introduce legislation and they're the ones that have to try to stand out to the voters.

Chaka Fattah has never had to do any of that. He's never had to have anything but a small portion of the local spotlight.

If Fattah runs for Mayor, he will have to try to be significant, especially because he can't count on the African America vote since he's one of 5 such potential candidates.

11:08 AM  

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