Friday, January 31, 2014

TOOMEY, FITZPATRICK, TAYLOR & O'NEILL TO ADMINISTRATION: DOJ NOMINEE NOT FIT FOR POST


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 31, 2014

Contact: E.R. Anderson (202) 224-8609 or
Steve Kelly (717) 782-3951

MEDIA ADVISORY:
TOOMEY & DISTRICT ATTORNEY WILLIAMS TO ADMINISTRATION:
DOJ NOMINEE NOT FIT FOR POST

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and a bipartisan group of elected officials will hold a press conference in Northeast Philadelphia on February 3 at 10:45 AM to express opposition to the nomination of Debo Adegbile to serve as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice.  Adegbile volunteered to represent Mumia Abu-Jamal.

WHAT:      Press conference to oppose to the nomination of Debo Adegbile to serve as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

WHO:        U.S. Senator Pat Toomey
U.S. Representative Mike Fitzpatrick                  
First Assistant District Attorney Edward McCann
State Representative John Taylor
Councilman Brian O’Neill
Representatives from the Fraternal Order of Police

WHEN:      Monday, February 3 at 10:45 AM

WHERE:   Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5- Michael G. Lutz Room
                  11630 Caroline Rd, Philadelphia, Pa. 19154

Prior to being nominated to the Assistant Attorney General post, Debo Adegbile worked for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund as its director of litigation.  In this role, he authorized representation and work on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who murdered Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. 
For questions on site, please contact Steve Kelly at (717) 480-2806.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

State of the Union Lacks Urban Agenda

Philadelphia Republican City Committee
Hon. John J. Taylor, Chairman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:          Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone:             215-756-4158 (mobile)
Email:              josephjdefelice@phillygop.com

Urban Agenda Absent from
State of The Union
President Obama lacks ideas to create urban jobs
Philadelphia, PA, January 29, 2014:  Yesterday it became abundantly clear that President Obama does not have a plan to entice good paying jobs to cities such as Philadelphia. Instead the President chose to regale us with empty platitudes and promote tax and spend policies. “Obtaining a good paying job is an issue that affects every family in this city. Instead of rolling out the old stale policies of big government, we would like to see the President work with Congress to greatly reduce federal taxes and burdensome regulations in cities struggling with above average unemployment such as Philadelphia,” stated Philadelphia Republican City Committee Executive Director Joe DeFelice. According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Philadelphia’s unemployment rate is 9.5% for December 2013, three points above the national average. But the real unemployment rate is believed to be significantly higher since many long-term unemployed have given up looking for work or hold jobs below their skill level.
“Enticing people to build businesses and create jobs in Philadelphia is an issue both Republicans and Democrats support,” DeFelice continued.  “What we need is the President to sit down with Congress and think outside the box to develop a plan to reduce the burden of doing business in a large city such as Philadelphia. Unfortunately though, it seems we are not on the President’s radar.” If the President will not act to create urban jobs, The City of Philadelphia must take the initiative by reducing and removing elements of the Business Income and Receipts Tax (formerly the Business Privilege Tax) as Mayor Nutter promised during his 2009 campaign. Removing burdensome local taxes will be a good start to creating jobs in Philadelphia and a step towards growing our city’s regional economy into a global economic leader.

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Philadelphia Republican City Committee · 3525-27 Cottman Avenue · Phila., PA 19149
                      215-561-0650 · http://www.phillygop.com · Facebook.com/PhillyGOP · Twitter.com/PhillyGOP

Miranda – It’s About Time. Can We Expect More?

Miranda – It’s About Time. Can We Expect More?

Philadelphia Republican City Committee
Hon. John J. Taylor, Chairman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:          Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone:             215-756-4158 (mobile)
Email:              josephjdefelice@phillygop.com

It’s About Time.  Can We Expect More?
District Attorney Arrests Sitting Democrat State Rep.
Philadelphia, PA, January 27, 2014:  Today, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced the arrest of sitting Democratic State Representative JP Miranda.  While it’s disheartening to again see one of our public servants betray the public’s trust, it is encouraging to see our District Attorney try to clean up his own house.  Unfortunately it does raise important questions.
“What took so long?  Why now?’”  said Executive Director Joe DeFelice.  “This arrest had been rumored for months after FOX 29 released a story on Ghost employees working for Miranda.  This was followed up by a story by Chris Brennan on the potential candidacy of a Councilwoman’s husband which referenced a District Attorney’s investigation into ghost employees of Miranda.”
While it is nice to see our DA finally using his ‘Dream Team’ of public corruption prosecutors, we wonder why this is his starting point.  Why no prosecutions of Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, for instance?
We hope this prosecution is the start of a more aggressive pursuit of corruption amongst our elected officials and not one that was just politically convenient for an ally.
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Philadelphia Republican City Committee · 3525-27 Cottman Avenue · Phila., PA 19149
                      215-561-0650 · http://www.phillygop.com · Facebook.com/PhillyGOP · Twitter.com/PhillyGOP

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Few. The Connected. The Democrats.

Philadelphia Republican City Committee
Hon. John J. Taylor, Chairman

www.phillygop.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:          Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone:             215-756-4158 (mobile)
Email:              josephjdefelice@phillygop.com

The Few. The Connected. The Democrats.
Local Pastor and Son of Former Police Commissioner
Get Preferential Treatment.
Philadelphia, PA, January 27, 2014:  Today’s Daily News article titled “Outsider candidate with insider friends?” shows another example of how Philadelphia government isn’t “For the People”, but instead “For the Connected People”.
 The story tells about how a friend of previous Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia Arlene Ackerman was able to get his three kids into one of the most desirable schools in Philadelphia when he doesn't live in the area.
 “It’s unthinkable that kids that live in a catchment for a highly sought after school can get bumped out because someone can make a phone call to a powerful friend,” says Republican City Committee Executive Director Joe DeFelice.  “How is this even remotely fair to the parents that stood in line and participated in lotteries for the Penn Alexander School?”
 It is an example of the culture in Philadelphia City Hall.
 “This is why tax collections, the Land Bank setup and other processes are a continuing problem in Philadelphia,” adds RCC Policy Chairman Adam Lang.  “City Hall has a mix of laws and ‘unwritten rules’ that work for people that have contacts, but not for the regular resident and business.”

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Philadelphia Republican City Committee · 3525-27 Cottman Avenue · Phila., PA 19149
                                215-561-0650 · www.phillygop.com · Facebook.com/PhillyGOP · Twitter.com/PhillyGOP

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Death of Philadelphia Legend Tom Gola

We are saddened to hear about the death of former City Controller Tom Gola.  Tom epitomized what it was to be a neighborhood kid.  He made us proud as an all star basketball player at LaSalle College as well as in politics first as a State Representative then as our City Controller. 

Joe DeFelice, our Party's Executive Director and former student, alumni board member and professor at LaSalle University had this to say.  "The first time I stepped foot at 20th and Olney, the name Tom Gola was staring me right in the face; probably not a day went by that I didn't see or hear that name at LaSalle University.  This man, a product of our City's neighborhoods, took a tiny Catholic College and led them  to be National Champs.  However his impressiveness did not stop there as he took his career in different paths including one as Philadelphia Republican State Representative and City Controller.   He is a true legend who will always be revered by one of his campaign slogans 'he [was] young, he [was] tough and nobody [owned] him.'"  RIP Tom Gola. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Philly GOP Seeks Quality Interns

Philadelphia Republican City Committee
Hon. John J. Taylor, Chairman

www.phillygop.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:          Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone:             215-756-4158 (mobile)
Email:              josephjdefelice@phillygop.com

PHILLY GOP SEEKS INTERNS AND VOLUNTEERS IN VARIOUS DISCIPLINES TO CHART COURSE FOR    21ST CENTURY POLITICAL PARTY
Philadelphia, PA, January 21, 2014:  The Philadelphia Republican City Committee is reaching out to various local Universities to recruit qualified interns in various disciplines to help strengthen our political Party.  Executive Director Joe DeFelice stated,
“As a student at LaSalle University in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I was the product of a dynamic internship program which helped foster my career in politics and government.  Later in life, as a College professor, I saw the benefit of utilizing the fresh perspective students bring to a political organization and value the relationships I have made with students from area colleges; many of these schools have provided us with the future of our Party and we hope to continue to do so.
 In the past we have strictly reached out to Political Science Departments in order to recruit Interns; however, because of the changing landscape in politics, the political operation is just a small part of running a business in this environment.  We also realize that Marketing, Finance, Communications, Technology and Journalism majors play a huge role in American and Local Government and would like to incorporate students from those backgrounds into our organization as well.”

If you, or someone you know, would like to get involved in rewarding internship in the 5th largest City in America, please contact us at josephjdefelice@phillygop.com or call us at 215-561-0650 or direct message us on Twitter @PhillyGOP or reach us through Facebook by Liking our Page @Facebook.com/PhillyGOP and sending us a message. 

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Unanimous Reelection Endorsement for Governor and local Reps

Philadelphia Republican City Committee
Hon. John J. Taylor, Chairman
www.phillygop.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:          Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone:             215-756-4158 (mobile)
Email:              josephjdefelice@phillygop.com

Unanimous Endorsement for Governor and local State Representatives


Tonight, the Philadelphia Republican City Committee unanimously endorsed Governor Tom Corbett and Lt Governor Jim Cawley for reelection along with State Representatives John Taylor and Tom Murt citing these individuals exemplify what it means to keep your promises.  

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Philadelphia Republican City Committee · 3525-27 Cottman Avenue · Phila., PA 19149
215-561-0650 · www.phillygop.com · Facebook.com/PhillyGOP · Twitter.com/PhillyGOP

PHILLY GOP ANNOUNCES VETERANS’ SERVICES COORDINATOR


Philadelphia Republican City Committee
Hon. John J. Taylor, Chairman
www.phillygop.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:          Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone:             215-756-4158 (mobile)
Email:              josephjdefelice@phillygop.com

PHILLY GOP AND STATE REP JOHN TAYLOR ANNOUNCE VETERANS’ SERVICES COORDINATOR
Joseph Buckley, PA VFW Chair of Veteran Service
Will Hold Office Hours at Republican City Committee
Philadelphia, PA, January 16, 2014:  Today, Chairman of the Philadelphia Republican City Committee State Representative John Taylor announced that starting on February 1, 2014, Joseph Buckley, a resident of Mayfair and a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, will be holding Office Hours every Wednesday at Republican City Committee.  Taylor stated, “I have gotten to know Joe over time and we are extremely excited to have him in our office assisting our Veterans with any issues that the face.  We owe our freedom to these individuals and if we can help ease their current situations in anyway, we are proud to do it.  Joe has wide-ranging experience working in legislative offices throughout the region and I know that he can and will bring his extensive knowledge of veterans’ issues to our office.” 
            If you are a Veteran and would like to make an appointment to visit with Joe Buckley, please call our office at 215-561-0650.

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Philadelphia Republican City Committee · 3525-27 Cottman Avenue · Phila., PA 19149
215-561-0650 · www.phillygop.com · Facebook.com/PhillyGOP · Twitter.com/PhillyGOP

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

General 2013 Election Postmortem

Republican City Committee Chairman John Taylor asked us to publish the following report re our efforts in General Election 2013 as well as our preliminary plans for next year and beyond.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mayor's Office responds to Matt Wolfe's Accusations and Wolfe Rebuts from Metro

Here is a snippet of Mayor's response:

“The three deputy mayors mentioned have a range of duties and titles, but they are paid for one job,” McDonald wrote in an email. “Going back at least to 1969, city solicitors have concluded that this is no violation of the Home Rule Charter by those holding multiple positions in city government as long as they are drawing a single salary.”
Wolfe contested that opinion, saying a solicitor’s opinion was not a “legal authority.”
“That’s not what the city charter says,” Wolfe said. “It should not surprise anybody that a city solicitor who was appointed by the mayor and is receiving a salary in excess of the salary legally given to her by the law will say that so she can continue receiving a higher salary and doing what the mayor appointed her to that position wants her to do.”
Philadelphia charter section 8-301 states that no one working for the city may hold another position of profit with a governmental entity.
Wolfe’s piece also said that salaries are paid to the deputy mayors and other top city officials in excess of the maximum salary for those positions listed in the city charter.
For example, according to charter section 20-303, the salary of the Philadelphia police commissioner must not exceed $120,000. According to a report on the city’s highest paid employees in Philadelphia Magazine published in June, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey receives a salary of $261,375.
But the “maximum salary” charter code also states that it is “subject to the cost of living provisions” McDonald pointed out.
- See more HERE
Here is Matt's Response - 

JMatthewWolfe 
Today’s Metro reports that City Hall is “spitting mad” over my commentary taking them to task for firing 13 little “double dippers” but failing to enforce the same law with their top officials. “Mr. Wolfe is very, very far from the facts,” said Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald. Well, let’s see.
McDonald says that I misunderstood the charter because the officials have two positions but are paid for only one job. First, the Metro article misquotes the city charter. Section 8-301 does NOT say that “no one working for the city may hold another position of profit with a governmental entity.” What it says is: “Except as otherwise provided in this charter, no person shall hold more than one office OR position of profit, whether elective or appointive, under the City and no such person shall hold such office or position while holding any other office or position of profit in or under the government of the United States, of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or of any county, city or other political subdivision thereof, other than the office of notary public, any office in the military or naval service of the United States or of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or any ex officio office held by virtue of another office or position.” [my emphasis]
Courts, in interpreting statutes have always held that all of the words in a statute should have meaning. Why say “office or position of profit” if they are the same thing? Probably to avoid the situation that we have here. So they’re wrong that it’s OK for a managing director to also hold the office of deputy mayor, because that is more than one office, whether it is a position of profit or not. I don’t think I’m the one misunderstanding the charter.
Next they argue that the cost of living increases in the law put them in the clear. Not quite. While they are correct that there are cost of living adjustments allowed, there is no possible way that all of these salaries are under the caps even with the adjustments. While it is true that I said that if the cost of living adjustments took Negrin from $135,000 to 171,000, they would be right, the next sentence out of my mouth was something to the effect that there is no way that the cost of living adjustments took Ramsey from $120,000 to $261,375, which would be more than a 100 percent increase (the Metro didn’t print that comment – hey, they have space limitations, too). So they’re wrong about the cost of living increases being the justification for the salaries over the legal cap. If that calculation of the cost of living adjustment for the Police Commissioner is correct, I’ll do a Chris Christie. Note that they have not provided any breakdown.
Let’s look back to what they were saying when they instituted this policy in 2008. On January 28, 2008, Jim McCaffery of the Bulletin reported as follows:
“When new mayor Michael Nutter decidd to pay his new managing director and his new police chief each $195,000 per year, he did so knowing those salaries exceeded limite set down in the City Home Rule Charter. Mr. Nutter provided second titles to the managing director, Camille Cates Barnett, and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. Ms. Cates is also the ‘deputy mayor’ and Commissioner Ramsey is the “director of public safety,” Mr. Nutter said. Thus, he told inquirers, they are doing two jobs and are eligible for more money.”
The same article stated that Zach Stalberg of the Committee of Seventy “frowned at Mr. Nutter’s explanation.” He was quoted as saying that “The process, though, makes people question [Mayor Nutter] and his feelings about transparency and the way things work.”
In a follow up article the next day, January 29, 2008, McCaffery reports:
“Mayor Nutter has avoided Home Rule Charter limitations on his senior staff salaries by giving them two titles. Ms. Barnett will make $195,000 substantially more than the approximately $175,000 charter limit for the managing director’s job. Mr. Nutter has sidestepped the charter by giving her the additional title of deputy mayor. He believes the added title allows him to bump her salary above the Charter limit. The mayor did something similar with new Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey who also is receiving a $195,000 salary. The charter only allows approximately $155,000 for the commissioner’s job so Commissioner Ramsey also carries the title of director of public safety. Similarly, Mr. Altman will receive $185,000 in his new job. He carries the title of Commerce Director and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.”
As I said, I do not have access to the Inquirer and Daily News archives. I did find in my notes that I relied upon a Daily News article from January 18, 2008 entitled “Breaking the fiscal rules.” There was also a “Heard in the Hall” piece that was probably entitled “Taxpayer dollars at work What Nutter’s paying.” I note that KYW Radio also had a piece “Mayor Nutter Defends High Salaries for Top Staffers.” My guess is that they will say substantially the same thing as the Bulletin articles.
In 2008 Nutter was not saying that the cost of living adjustments bumped the salaries up to legal levels. He was not saying that they did not really have two jobs. He was saying that they had two jobs and that is why they could pay them more than the salary caps in the Philadelphia Code.
My guess is that in 2008 they had read about the salary caps in the charter and Philadelphia Code but had not noticed the provision that prevented employees from holding two positions. Now they are caught in a trap of trying to enforce a provision that they are in violation of at the highest levels and are scrambling to say anything to have the controversy did down. In any event, they are wrong.
“Wolfe is deeply in error, and what’s disappointing is that the Inquirer editorial page didn’t see fit to check any of the facts in this before running it,” McDonald said. I don’t think that either me or the Inquirer have any apologies to make.
- See more at: http://www.metro.us/philadelphia/news/local/2014/01/13/city-hall-says-inquirer-op-ed-criticizing-deputy-mayors/#sthash.L8aWtWZF.dpuf

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Matt Wolfe Article Top Story in Today's Currents Section of the Inquirer

27th Ward Leader Matt Wolfe submitted the following article on behalf of the Philly GOP Policy Committee and it was the top story above the fold in today's Currents Section - Excellent Work Matt!

What about top-level home-rule double-dippers?


J. MATTHEW WOLFE, REPUBLICAN WARD LEADER IN WEST PHILADELPHIA
POSTED: Sunday, January 12, 2014, 2:02 AM
Philadelphia's inspector general, Amy Kurland, recently announced the results of an investigation that led to 13 city employees being fired from their part-time jobs.
Section 8-301 of the Home Rule Charter forbids most city employees from holding another office or "position of profit" with the city or another government agency. The 13 employees held two government jobs, which Kurland referred to as double-dipping. One example was a School District teacher who also worked part time at a city recreation center. None of them was accused of not working both jobs, just violating the charter.
Some of the employees held both jobs for years, reporting them as required. Doesn't matter, says Kurland. "Our job is to discover situations where the rules and regulations are not being followed," she said, "and these are one."
Kurland is not done. She asked crusading City Controller Alan Butkovitz to assist in conducting a citywide audit for other violations of the charter. He should have plenty of time to do that, since he admits he does not perform the yearly financial audits of every city agency that the charter requires he perform. Maybe that could be the first violation of the charter that he can "find."
I, too, am a stickler for the rules. I may not have the investigative resources of the inspector general, but I am always willing to step up and help the city I love. The inspector general found 13 employees. I wondered what I could find. I proceeded to conduct an exhaustive investigation to see whether I could find any employees holding down two city jobs.
Well, in the interests of full disclosure, the search was not all that exhaustive. I just went to the city website: www.phila.gov.
I found one quickly: Richard Negrin, the managing director. He also holds down the job (with a separate salary - remember the charter language of "position of profit"?) of deputy mayor for administration and coordination. Then I found another: Alan Greenberger, the director of commerce. He is also the deputy mayor for economic development. And then there was Donald F. Schwarz, the health commissioner. He is also the deputy mayor for health and opportunity.

Friday, January 10, 2014

President Obama Has Turned His Back on Philadelphia Law Enforcement


Philadelphia Republican City Committee
Hon. John J. Taylor, Chairman
www.phillygop.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:          Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone:             215-756-4158 (mobile)
Email:              josephjdefelice@phillygop.com

President Obama Has Turned His Back on Philadelphia Law Enforcement
Nominates Cop Killer Defender to Lead Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department
Philadelphia, PA, January 10, 2014:  Yesterday, Democrat President Barack Obama turned his back on law enforcement in Philadelphia and the region by nominating Debo Adegbile to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.  Today, Chairman of the Republican City Committee John Taylor stated, “I find it absolutely appalling that the President of the United States would not respect the opinions of those that keep us safe.  In fact, what is more horrifying, is that Danny Faulkner’s civil rights were cut down by a gun wielding radical in the middle of the night while the man convicted of killing him has adopted celebrity status.  While the Philadelphia Police Department and Maureen Faulkner were still in mourning, Debo Adegbile was keeping Mumia Abu Jamal comfortable and avoiding the death penalty; having this man oversee the Civil Rights Division is disgusting.”
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Philadelphia Republican City Committee · 3525-27 Cottman Avenue · Phila., PA 19149
                                215-561-0650 · www.phillygop.com · Facebook.com/PhillyGOP · Twitter.com/PhillyGOP

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Passing of Joe Duda (Updated)


We regret to inform you of the passing of former City Commissioner, longtime Executive Director and Leader of the 66th Ward Joe Duda. Party Chairman John Taylor stated, "I have know and worked with Joe for a long time and he always put our Party first.  I am saddened by his death and truly appreciate his dedication to our Party."  Joe committed his life to the Philadelphia Republican City Committee and the City of Philadelphia and will truly be missed. 
A viewing will be held on Monday, January 13, 2014 from 7-9
p.m. at Givnish Funeral Home, 10975 Academy Road, Philadelphia, PA.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at Saint
Anselms Church, 12650 Dunks Ferry Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154.  Time to be determined.