Monday, October 28, 2013

Shame of a City Screening with Q&A with Director Tigre Hill

Wednesday October 30, 2013
United Republican Club (Frankford and Allegheny Aves.)
Free Event - Cash Bar
The Philadelphia Republican City Committee, in conjunction with area College Republican Chapters - Temple, LaSallle and UPenn) invite you to a pre-election screening of one of the most riveting documentaries on Philadelphia Public Corruption ever produced; "The Shame of a City". Come out and get charged up prior to the election near the 10 year anniversary of the bug discovered in John Street's Office. 10 years and not much has changed in this City. This is a free event and will have food and cash bar and will also include Q&A with Director Tigre Hill who will have copies on hand for sale.

From Wikipedia
The Shame of a City is a 2006 feature-length documentary, which premiered at the Philadelphia Film Festival,.[1] Filmmaker Tigre Hill chronicles the 2003 Philadelphia mayoral race between Democrat incumbent mayor John Street and Republican challenger Sam Katz. Early polls showed Katz with a small lead in this predominantly Democratic city but twenty-seven days before the election, an FBI bug was found in the mayor’s office. The discovery at first seemed like a death knell to the Street campaign and a near certain victory for Katz. Yet this prediction was proven wrong when Street and his supporters successfully polarized the campaign by leveling accusations of instituational racial prejudice and playing on historical skepticism of the Republican-controlled federal government. As a result, Street won re-election by a sixteen-point margin.
With exclusive inside access to the Katz campaign,[2] “The Shame of a City” traverses the bizarre final month to Election Day with the losing candidate as he tries in vain to salvage his campaign while his victor succeeds in manipulating voter sentiment in order to thwart it.
“The Shame of a City” is named for Lincoln Steffens’ 1904 book, The Shame of the Cities, which sought to expose the wrongdoing of public officials in cities across the United States.[3] Considered one of the first and finest examples of muckraking journalism, the book sparked Hill’s idea to shine a similar light into the deep corners where Philly’s political cronyism and malfeasance lurk. In his book, Lincoln Steffens infamously calls Philadelphia “corrupt and contented.” One hundred years later, this documentary explodes with overwhelming evidence that not much has changed.
Contents [hide]
1 Media attention
2 Critic reviews
3 Political impact
4 Box office
5 References
Media attention[edit]

“The Shame of a City” gained widespread attention for exposing many high-ranking Street supporters as disingenuous opportunists who intentionally and falsely manipulated racial tensions and suspicion of President George W Bush's administration to get Street re-elected, despite a string of corruption indictments in his inner circle that threatened to implicate him directly.
The film won several awards (most notably “Best Feature-Length Film” at the 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival's Festival of Independents[4]) and generated monumental amounts of press, earning Hill an interview on MSNBC,[5] named references in five successive issues of Philadelphia magazine, and positive reviews by The Philadelphia Inquirer, among others.
Critic reviews[edit]

"Tigre Hill’s 'The Shame of a City' is a civic Rorschach test. A cautionary tale of the streetfight that was the 2003 Philadelphia mayoral contest, this scrappy exposé reveals how Smear-Room politics alienates voters across the political and color spectrum." Carrie Rickey, The Philadelphia Inquirer[2]
“'The Shame of a City' is sure to be studied in political-campaign war rooms for years to come." Stu Bykofsky, Philadelphia Daily News[6]
“'The Shame of a City' is political dynamite. Thumbs up. Four stars. Must-see." Michael Smerconish, talk radio host[7]
Political impact[edit]

The film quickly drew the attention of local politicians, journalists, academics and activists in addressing the endemic problems of a city once referred to as “corrupt and contented.”[8] The timing of these civic discussions inarguably benefited reformer and former city council member Michael Nutter,[9] who was by then attempting to succeed Street by securing the Democratic primary vote for mayor against two Street supporters portrayed negatively in Hill’s movie: Congressmen Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah. After receiving Hill’s endorsement, Nutter himself screened “The Shame of a City” five times to sold-out audiences, using it to raise money and awareness of his opponents’ admitted nefarious political techniques. Also, the DVD release was timed to coincide with the primary election cycle, thereby more broadly reminding voters about the previous elections controversies. In the primary of May 2007, Nutter went from underdog to winner then proceeded to statistically annihilate his opponent in the general election. “The Shame of a City” also provided an introduction to a Katz campaign consultant, Carl Singley, whose strongly positive appearance in the movie briefly made him the focus of an early, informal city-wide campaign for him to run for mayor[10] – a municipal conversation legitimized by a feature article in Philadelphia magazine [11] and silenced when Singley declined to run.[12]
Box office[edit]

Screenings were sponsored by diverse institutions ranging from the FBI, Philadelphia Forward, The University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University to Philadelphia magazine and[13] and were held at venerable locations like the National Constitution Center.[14].

Republican City Committee Recommends “No” On Debt Due to Lack of Details

Contact:          Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone:             215-756-4158 (mobile)

City Hall Needs Better Bond/Debt Disclosure for Vote
Republican City Committee Recommends “No” On Debt Due to Lack of Details
Philadelphia, PA, October 24, 2013:  Philadelphia Republican City Committee unanimously voted to recommend a “No” vote on the request for a bond issue for the Nov. 5th election due to lack of details on how the debt will be spent.
“If City Hall wants voters to approve more debt for buildings and infrastructure, they need to disclose to the voters what those projects are, so we can make an informed decision.  Right now, a voter doesn’t know on where the money is going.” says Executive Director Joe DeFelice.
The Philadelphia Republican City Committee feels strongly that the voters should reject this ballot question and demand that City Council provide them with adequate information to make an informed decision on future bond issues.
 “Philadelphia has a history of using capital funds for operating expenses, which is the functional equivalent of taking out a mortgage to buy groceries,” added Matt Wolfe, member of the RCC Policy Committee. “For example, Democratic Mayor Street’s signature program, the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI) was a nearly $300 Million scheme whereby the city sold bonds and, using cronies of the Mayor to manage the project, did things like clear vacant lots and tear down vacant buildings.”
“Philadelphia spent capital dollars and was left with long-term debt but few capital assets.”
The ballot question asks the voters to authorize a bond issue for almost $95 Million.  The question on the ballot reads as follows:

Should the City of Philadelphia borrow NINETY-FOUR MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($94,745,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows:  Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?

The legislation that City Council passed that authorized that this question be placed on the ballot gives little additional information.  It puts an amount of money for each category as follows:
$   1,070,000.00
Streets and Sanitation
$ 18,448,000.00  
Municipal Buildings
$  44,599,000.00
Parks, Recreation and Museums
$  18,816,000.00
Economic and Community Development
$  11,812,000.00
$ 94,745,000.00
The legislation also states that City Council can transfer money between the various categories at any time.
Capital expenditures are critical to the city’s operations.  The failure to adequately address renovations of property can end up costing more money over the long term.  In order to carry out its responsibilities, the city requires an infrastructure that logically must be financed over the life of the asset.  The RCC understands and appreciates the necessity for the city to borrow money to meet its capital needs.
Philadelphia should look at adopting legislation or a City Charter change that requires disclosing and linking bond debt votes to the programs they are intended for,” responds Adam Lang, Chairman of the Policy Committee.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Cocktail Party

Welcome to the Temporary Home of the Philadelphia Republican City Committee. To purchase tickets to our Fall Cocktail Party please check out the below: Fall Cocktail Party - Republican City Committee Date: Tuesday October 29, 2013 Time: 6-8PM Location: Hibachi 325 N Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-1416 Price: $125