CLOUT, YOUR must-read source for treachery, lies and counterfeit ballots on Election Day, stands and delivers.
But we can't top the armed robbery of a Tom Knox campaign office in Frankford, which we really don't understand.
Why use a gun to steal street money when all you have to do is get elected ward leader?
Aside from the robbery, there were the usual fake "official ballots." Our favorite was the Bob Brady ballot that had his name but Knox's lever number.
Election Court issued injunctions against several ballots that carried Knox. None of the ballots had the required disclaimer saying who paid for them.
One appeared to be the work of Traffic Court judge candidate Albert Littlepage, who was running an independent operation for unendorsed candidates.
Calling itself the "Philadelphia's Future" ballot, its candidates varied by neighborhood.
In black neighborhoods it carried City Council candidates Wilson Goode Jr. and T. Milton Street. In white neighborhoods, Goode and Street were replaced by Jim Kenney and Marc Stier.
Speaking of Stier, we wondered if his campaign paying $135 for a haircut might've created a voter backlash, a la John Edwards.
"No, the only thing they throw up to me about my haircut is that it looked like Don King's three years ago when I ran for state rep," Stier said.
In fairness, we should mention that the $135 was actually for two haircuts - one for him and one for his campaign manager. He later reimbursed his campaign.
"I just used the wrong check," Stier explained.
His barber? "Julius Scissor, who also does Michael Nutter's beard."
Carpenters vs. electricians
One of the subtexts of the election was the carpenters' union, which backed Brady, vs. the electricians', which backed Knox.
Outside the Famous Deli, while top pols dined inside, a gaggle of linebacker-size union members did a bit of Kabuki theater.
The anti-Knox group held signs on adjacent corners of 4th and Bainbridge reading, "Knox = Shark," a reminder of banker Knox's high-interest payday-lending operation.
The electricians climbed onto milk
crates and unfurled blankets to block the signs.
The sign guys would then move to a new location and the little dance would begin again.
Everyone was very polite and, alas, smashmouth democracy did not break out.
Howard Cain, a veteran field op working for Brady, spent the day deploying troops, pumping turnout in the Northeast and making sure Brady voters got called to the polls.
At one point in late afternoon he took a call from South Philadelphia ward leader Joe Hoffman.
"He says the ward is flooded with electricians," Cain said. "They're behind every bush."
Cain made a call to the carpenters staging area at the Seafarers Union Hall, 4th and Shunk, to counter the imbalance.
Community service, Philly-style
Luke Walker is a grad student at Penn recently directed to perform 20 hours of community service for a minor infraction.
He dutifully appeared at the University City District on Friday. After orientation, he was handed a broom to sweep Powelton Avenue. After an hour and a half, things got interesting.
"The supervisor, John something, told us, 'We've got something else for you,' " Walker recalled. "They put us on a truck and drove north to a garage. It wasn't even in University City."
At the garage, the community-service volunteers were directed to load a truck with barbecue grills, coolers and a couple of Moon Bounce inflatable kiddie amusements.
"The next day, they drove us out to Malcom X Park [51st and Osage] and had us unload, inflate the Moon Bounces and set everything up," Walker said.
Included in the setup were "Knox for Mayor" posters, which made Walker think this was unusual community service indeed.
Several hundred people attended the Knox rally. When it was over, "we put it back on the truck and went on our merry way," Walker said.
"It was bizarre," he said. "All of a sudden I found myself working for the Tom Knox campaign and wondering, 'How did I get here?' "
The director of UCD's cleanup effort is John Fenton, who Walker heard was close to City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell. Blackwell supported Knox.
Fenton was off yesterday and did not answer an e-mail. Blackwell did not return our phone call.
Jesus: I'll run again
Jesus White, Philadelphia's first homeless mayoral candidate, could afford only a few big posters and a few hundred postcards.
But in the last week before the election, he went up on the air with ads on WURD 900-AM.
"He's a good man," said Harold L. Fisher, who bought the radio ads for White. "He serves the homeless dinner at the Second Pilgrim Baptist Church, 15th and Ogden."
Fisher cut the ads himself, with the message, "It's about time a common man got elected mayor."
"That was very nice of him," White told us last night from the Ridge Avenue Men's Shelter. "I loved that message."
White said he was exhausted by the end of his campaign, but probably will run again.
"I think this participation in the primary will give me more leeway to run again," he said. "I think people may notice me a bit more now."
Katz's Nutter connection
Yes, former GOP mayoral candidate Sam Katz has Michael Nutter signs in his Mount Airy lawn.
No, he didn't put them there. Son Ben did.
Ben Katz is a Nutter volunteer. It's his senior project at Penn Charter, which he'll deliver on May 31.
"Nutter reminds me of my father," said Ben. "The way he runs his campaign, respectful and staying above the fray, not getting involved with name-calling, staying focused on issues."
He's off to college in the fall, Northeastern University, in Boston, and a criminal-justice major. *