With 25 candidates running for three spots on Philadelphia Traffic Court, it's hard for candidates to get much attention. Warren Bloom, who likes to call himself "your first choice for Traffic Court" thanks to his #1 ballot position, has put his candidacy to some rap-inspired verse:
"Bloom in the spring, do the right thing.
I'm from the 'hood, I'll do you good.
I love and need your support, but don't ever want to see you in Traffic Court.
If you're tired of the gloom, vote for Bloom."
Bloom did the rap routine three times last Thursday night at a meeting of the 46th ward Democrats, headed by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell. Bloom said he was performing for some old friends, the people who called him "Fuzzy," growing up in the Mantua area.
With federal indictments now alleging that Traffic Court maintained close-to-official policies of preferential treatment for friends, family and the politically-connected, did Bloom's second line -- "I'm from the 'hood, I'll do you good" -- suggest more of the same?
Bloom, 60, said in a telephone interview that he intended nothing of the sort. "I will do you good as an elected official by meting out the best service that I can, giving out fair and equitable treatment …doing you good as opposed to doing evil," he told The Inquirer. He added that he thought Traffic Court judges have sometimes been unduly harsh in their treatment of ordinary people, and he plans "to help people get back on the right track, especially if they go astray."
The court's very future remains in limbo, with the legislature moving to abolish the agency while candidates scramble for the $91,000-a-year jobs.