Thursday, November 20, 2014

Al Schmidt Fundraiser

Thursday December 4, 2014
Home of Mike Cibik
334 S. Front St. 
Host Committee
Sen.  Pat. Toomey
Republican National Committeeman Bob Asher
PAGOP Chairman Rob Gleason
Philly GOP Chairman State Rep. John Taylor. 


Philadelphia Republican Party Exec. Dir. Joseph DeFelice, Esq., this week revealed the Republican Party of Pennsylvania will host its 2015 Northeast Republican Leadership Conference this June in Philadelphia. Why, in a city, where Democrats continue to dominate registration rolls and voter turnout?
Maybe it is the beginning of an effort to invigorate more of the party regulars into pushing registrations. City Republicans last night answered a call at Ladder 15 for potential candidates to make their interest known as the local GOP leadership has begun an effort to challenge more of the Democratic incumbents holding long uncontested district seats. If interested and you missed the event, call Joe at (215) 756-4158.
The Republican Party of Pennsylvania is also encouraging all potential candidates for the 2015 Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Court races to contact the Keystone State GOP for more information regarding the upcoming party process so that candidates can engage with our grassroots activists. Participating in meetings this December and January will provide candidates with opportunities to share their qualifications and experiences with Republicans from all across the Commonwealth.
All interested candidates should send a resume and/or CV to Deputy Political Director Cody Harbaugh at or call (717) 234-4901 for more information.

City Hall Sued Over Property Sales

Philadelphia Republican Party

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

City Hall Sued Over Property Sales
Lack of transparency and continued Councilmanic Privilege a problem

Philadelphia November 20, 2014 –Councilman Kenyatta Johnson (D) and the City of Philadelphia have been sued over insider dealing and preferential treatment dealing with the sale of government property.

Because of the near total control and lack of transparency individual Councilmembers are given over the sale of City property, corruption remains part of the system.

“There are so many ways the City can handle selling off land to make sure it is fair and ethical,” says Executive Director Joe DeFelice. “Obviously, that isn’t their intention to run the City well.  They even made sure to hobble the new Land Bank law and built in preferential backdoor treatment to keep this sort of corruption going.”

The lawsuit alleges that Johnson directed City properties to several political friends that made donations to his campaign when multiple people were interested.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014



November 19, 2014
In A City Where Democrats Outnumber Republicans 8 to 1, Philadelphia GOP Fights Odds And Image
by Jeffrey D Kolakowski  @jdkolakowski
Today, the 2015 Philadelphia Mayor’s race will double on the Democrats side. Two well known names will announce their campaigns. State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams and former District Attorney Lynne Abraham will join former City Solicitor Ken Trujillo and Terry Gillen, ex-aide to Mayor Michael Nutter, in a race to be the Democratic nominee for Mayor.
And, after the May primary, the Democratic nominee will be the next mayor. Or so it may be assumed.
Philadelphians have not elected a Republican mayor in over sixty years since voting Bernard “Barney” Samuel in for the second of two terms in 1948.
Being a Republican in the City of Brotherly Love puts one in a minority. Around 12 percent of registered voters identify as GOP.
Some Republicans register as Democrats so they can have a say in who becomes mayor by having a vote in the primary.
Joe DeFelice, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Republican City Committee, spoke to me about what the party will attempt to accomplish in an effort to sway voters in 2015, and beyond.
GOP Message
City Republicans plan on repeating the theme of Democrat complacency and taxes over the next year.
DeFelice believes familiarity has bred criminality, pointing out court cases and investigations involving judges and city political representatives like former Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes and State Senator LeAnna Washington. DeFelice sees the Democrats as being comfortable and working for themselves and not their constituents, no fear of being voted out.
He hears dismay on the streets over increased taxes, looking no further than the recent cigarette tax to fund Philly public schools. Add that to sales tax, stormwater tax, wage tax and business privilege tax increases which leads to residents wanting to leave Philadelphia’s boundaries.
Finding Votes
DeFelice says there is an interesting dynamic happening as empty-nesters and Millennials move into Center City and surrounding neighborhoods. Those who lived in the Philly suburbs and other towns are now transplanted into the city and retain positive feelings towards Republican policy they experienced.
The Millennials are a group to target indicates DeFelice. Those who are Libertarian or Independent with Republican leanings want less government, less taxes and less spending. They have political beliefs which fall in line with city Republicans. The younger age group is
an important percentage of the city’s population and economy, but there may be a problem when it comes time to settling down.  A Pew survey published this year say half of those 20-34 year olds who live here plan to move out in five to ten years. The Republicans see the tax issue as a major factor contributing to this and hope it moves Millennials to the GOP.
Evolving Image
There is a stereotypical image of a “Republican” that the Philly GOP is hoping to erode. A look at November’s General Election shows the changing face of the GOP, believes DeFelice.  Armond James and Megan Rath both ran as Republicans against longtime Philadelphia Democrats Chaka Fattah and Bob Brady. Both James and Rath lost, but DeFelice is happy with the exposure they and the party gained. Armond is a black male in his 30′s. Rath is a millennial female.
Danny Alvarez, who ran as Republican against Seth Williams for District Attorney in 2013, is of Hispanic heritage. Alvarez won several wards but was unsuccessful in his challenge.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Six Election Takeaways:

My two favorite interviews of election season came from an unexpected place: Philadelphia Republicans with virtually no chance to win.
In a city dominated by Democrats, up against longtime incumbents Chaka Fattah and Bob Brady, Armond James and Megan Rath had little support and even less experience. They were raw, unscripted, bursting with energy and naiveté and honesty, for better and worse.
Unlike most candidates, they sounded like real human beings. Ask them any question and they answered in a straight-forward way that let you know where they actually stood. Some of it was even colorful and fun.
When James told me why he wanted to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, he said energy independence would “shut Putin up.” And he called on Philadelphia voters to hold public officials accountable with “the same passion” they used to hold Andy Reid accountable after every Eagles loss.
Some of it may have been bad politics in heavily-Democratic districts. (James said he favored Voter ID laws – hated by many Democrats -- because “if you’re a man and you’re 30 and you don’t have ID, I don’t want you voting.”).
Some of it showed where honesty meets inexperience. (Rath volunteered how she had to return one campaign check after the donors found out she is pro-choice).
And some of it would have been devastating if these races were competitive. (James, who has visited Tehran, assured me that Iranians love America and that the tension between the countries is just media hype).
But as they ran two of the most uphill campaigns in America, the two Republicans still seemed to represent so much of what is both great and ill in our democracy.
On one hand, it was encouraging to see a 33-year-old high school teacher (James), and a 34-year-old medical sales consultant (Rath) able to campaign and argue and raise up their voices as loudly as they could manage, even against two longtime incumbents.
On the other hand, hearing the two ramble through their ideas, go against party dogma and stray into mistakes was a stark reminder of how scripted, professionalized and sanitized so much of our politics are.
When a straight answer on the first try is reason to celebrate, it tells us about the quality of dialogue most candidates offer the public.
I’ve raised the issue of staid campaigns before, after months of hearing candidates who sound indistinguishable.
Professional political advisers –paid to read the polls and script answers and win races – say they have good reasons for what they do. Most regular people are busy and have a limited bandwidth for politics. So when candidates have 30 seconds to woo a voter, their pitches better be precise and they better be sharp and they better be focused on the issues voters care about most.
If James and Rath were in tighter districts, they might have had more money and more staff and more of that type of advice, and the traits that made them distinct would probably be professionally sanded off, leaving only those attributes poll-tested to convey authenticity.
Which would be too bad.

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