- Showing that some incumbents are more equal than others, the Democratic City Committee is once again bypassing State Rep. Tony Payton in favor of endorsing one of his more establishment-connected opponents. Nothing like embracing the youthful and energetic wing of the party and encouraging the flourishing of progressive politics citywide! Even Ed Rendell thinks this move is folly. I guess the local hacks would rather have back the empty suit who occupied the seat before Payton came along...
- Meanwhile, matters in the 1st State Senatorial District just took a turn for the even more bizarre, with news that Johnny "Doc" Dougherty is circulating petitions for the primary. Lessee, voters in the district either (a) like Fumo (either from past favors or the sense that he's being unfairly prosecuted), in which case they're unlikely to switch allegiance to perpetual nemesis Doc, or (b) are disgusted by Fumo's hundreds of indictments and see him as a representative of All That's Wrong In Harrisburg, in which case consummate insider Doc doesn't seem like quite the breath of fresh air they'd be looking for (while activist Dicker is a prime alternative). I suppose that there are some folks who (c) have never really liked Fumo but never had another choice, in which case Doc could represent a familiar and thus nonthreatening option (of the One of Us sort) -- but are there really many folks in this category anymore? (And if Doc had a big fan base of his own, wouldn't he have run for mayor?)
I guess only time will tell how this plays out, but count me as among those hoping that Doc would serve to split the Old-Timer vote, leaving Dicker a wide-open field for those looking for reform, energy, and good ideas.
- Meanwhile, progressive Ward Leader Terry Gillan is stepping down to take a city job in the Nutter administration. (Does this mean that Nutter is stepping down too? I find the Ward Leader rules, ahem, a bit opaque.) Gillan was instrumental in the revolt that led to a subset of WL's endorsing Nutter rather than Brady, and I suspect she sowed other good sorts of trouble out of the public eye. She also ran for State Rep. some years back, but will hardly be missed in the already crowded race to challenge Babette Josephs this year. Anyway, I hope that Gillan has great ideas for economic development in Philly, especially in bringing some progressive outlooks to a traditionally more conservative aspect of city government. (I don't know enough about the 30th Ward to guess who might step up to succeed her there.)