(A version of this post was first published today in the Philly Clout DNC newsletter. It will be emailed around noon each day this week. Sign up here).
Monday, July 25, 2016
Bob Brady throws 'nonpolitical' party ... for Philly politicians
Clout pop quiz: Which city pol is most likely to throw a party where a stage is shared by U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who as House speaker was once second in line for the presidency, and local legend Jerry Blavat, "the Geator with the Heater" disc jockey?
The only plausible answer: U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, chairman of the city's Democratic Party.
#DNCleak: The Russians did it?
We'd be remiss not to mention a minor development in national Democratic politics over the weekend. As you might've heard, Wikileaks unloaded a trove of hacked emails showing that "national party operatives were scheming to undermine Bernie Sanders during the presidential primary campaign," in the words of our reporters Thomas Fitzgerald and Jonathan Tamari.
The New York Times seems particularly troubled, saying that party officials had conspired to "sabotage" Sanders and worrying that the emails "threatened to undermine the delicate healing process" between Sanders and Hillary Clinton, raising the possibility that the convention "could be marred by dissension and disorder."
Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign blamed the Russians. Which apparently isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's son, Donald Jr., was not happy about the Clinton camp's attempt to draw a connection between Vladimir Putin and his dear old dad. "I can't think of bigger lies," he said on CNN.
The email leak – #DNCleak – outraged Bernie Bros from sea to shining sea and led to the pending resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic national chairwoman, who was greeted with boos this morning at a delegation breakfast. The FBI is now investigating the hack.
"When will this madness end?" pro-Sanders protester Ian O'Malley asked Sunday in Philadelphia. Good question, Ian. Oddly enough, despite these fairly regular reminders that key players in both the Republican and Democratic parties are ethically challenged, we keep sending their candidates to Washington. Go figure.
Brady: Pound sand ... or something like that
The backstory's backstory
As we've noted before, Brady started pushing for the DNC to be held in Philadelphia while the last DNC was still going on in Charlotte, N.C. In 2012. But did you know the whole thing apparently got rolling over a lunch at the Oyster House in Center City? That's the takeaway from this interesting read from Salena Zito in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Saturday.
GOP welcomes Hillary
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort hosted a gathering of journalists Sunday, at which they took turns discussing what a terrible, horrible, no-good person Clinton is, while noting that the Democratic Party appears ready to tear itself asunder in bitter, factional feuds. So, basically, the normal talking points. Not to be outdone by the mother ship, the Republican City Committee on Friday sent Clinton a "welcome to Philly" message. That message, complete with an unflattering photo, says Clinton "will fit right in" here in Philadelphia.
From left to right, that is Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (who goes on trial next month for allegedly leaking grand jury secrets), former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, who was convicted last month on federal corruption charges, Clinton, state Sen. Larry Farnese (who is awaiting trial on federal corruption charges) and state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown (who is awaiting trial on state corruption charges.)
They are, like Clinton, Democrats. Clinton's mock mug shot has the caption "Clinton Crime Family, Hillary Clinton for President." Clout veteran Catherine Lucey, now with the Associated Press, compiled this handy collection of Pennsylvania Democrats with serious legal issues.
BTW, the Inquirer editorial board took city Dems to the woodshed over the weekend, calling them a "disgrace," among other things: "The city's chief flaw as a backdrop for the Democrats is, well, the Democrats. In just the past three years, Philadelphia Democrats have seen a congressman, a state senator, five state representatives, and eight city judges found guilty of corruption. A former city sheriff also faces charges, and our top elections official has come under scrutiny for frequently failing to show up to work or, ironically, vote."
Damn. When you put it like that …
"What we have is a kind of bromance going on between Putin and Trump, which is distinct from this leak. -- Clinton campaign chair John Podesta on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" this morning, discussing #DNCleak