FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone: 215-756-4158 (mobile)
Philadelphia Republican Party Condemns Democrat’s Sham Commission on Universal Pre-K
Philadelphia, PA July 8, 2015: Democratic Mayor Michael Nutter recently released the names of the members of the city’s Commission on Universal Pre-K. Philadelphia Republican Party Executive Director Joe DeFelice noted that the commission seemed to have no Republicans as members and certainly no members selected in consultation with the city’s Republican leadership.
“Once again, we see the Nutter Administration demonstrating that they are in the pocket of the city’s Democratic Machine that acts to preserve its power rather than to improve the quality of life for our citizens. If they were serious about implementing and funding universal pre-K in Philadelphia, they would have made the commission bi-partisan rather than a branch of Democratic City Committee.”
DeFelice found only Democrats on the Commission. In addition to Democrats from Philadelphia, there were Democrats from Upper Merion, Lower Merion, Upper Darby and Pittsburgh. While there were some members for whom their party registration could not be ascertained, there were none known to the local Republican Party.
There are over 100,000 Republicans in Philadelphia. Both houses of the legislature in Harrisburg have large Republican majorities. Philadelphia Republican Party Chairman John Taylor is a State Representative with significant seniority and clout in Harrisburg. If there is any thought of funding this with help from state government, ignoring the Republican constituencies in the city and the legislature makes that remote. “They demonstrate that they are really only looking to put on a show for partisan gain rather than really advancing any educational goals,” said DeFelice.
The commission was created with an amendment to the city charter. Since it has no authority to actually implement a plan or raise money to fund it, there no reason to go through the process to amend the charter to do so. Either the Mayor or City Council could have simply formed a commission to “study” the issue on its own. DeFelice said that “We opposed the charter change because it was unnecessary and unnecessarily cumbersome and costly. Now that we see a commission that is just a shill for the Democratic Machine, we know we were right.”