Thursday, August 18, 2005

Mayoral speculations, next installment

Two pieces on frontrunners in the rumor horserace:
  1. A Daily News piece looks at Johnny "Doc" Dougherty -- specifically at the unusual resource he has in his large union and its generous PAC. Local 98 spent almost $3 million in the last two years on the campaigns and wellfare of local politicians, which could be investments in good will for Dougherty's own ambitions.
    That's more than twice the spending of the carpenters or laborers, two politically active local unions that are more than twice as large as Local 98, and nine times that of the much larger Philadelphia Federation of Teachers in 2003 and 2004, according to state campaign records.

    In fact, Local 98 with its 4,000 members spent far more than statewide unions like the Pennsylvania State Education Association, with 170,000 members, or AFSCME District Council 13, which represents 65,000 Pennsylvania workers.
    (Pretty amazing that all those electricians are such political activists -- surely they aren't expecting any quid pro quo...?) Need evidence that all that giving has had any results for the leader, rather than the union? Well...
    The union spent more than $200,000 on Gov. Rendell's campaign in 2002. Rendell appointed Dougherty to the Delaware River Port Authority, and made an official of Dougherty's union a deputy secretary of labor and industry.

    The union spent nearly $500,000 on the campaign of Mayor Street, who made Dougherty chairman of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority.

    Dougherty is treasurer of the Philadelphia Democratic Party. The union gave $110,000 to the party in 2003 and 2004 alone.
    And it's not just the big fish that have been getting buttered up:
    In 2003 and 2004, Local 98 gave $5,000 or more to 42 candidates and nine political committees. Seven were Republican candidates, who got a total of $75,000.
    None of the other mayoral hopefuls have spread the largesse to any comparable degree; only time will tell whether the final outcome rides on friends or other factors.

  2. In a smaller note, the CityPaper's "political notebook" raises an interesting question about Fattah's mayoral considerations (see the second of two bits at the link): would his wife have to give up her lucrative job as a local news anchor if her husband were one of the major local newsmakers (instead of a distant US Rep)? A nontrivial question to weigh into the equation!


Blogger Rep. Mark B. Cohen said...

I am not making any mayoral endorsements at this time, but I would point out that Rudolph Giulani's wife Donna Hanover was a prominent figure on the evening news in New York while he was mayor. This might not have been good for their marriage, which ultimately crumbled, but it appeared fine for TV news.

8:40 PM  

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