DEEP DOWN, PhillyClout just wants everyone in the city's political community to get along. So, we're now offering PhillyClout Mediation Services, for those oh-so-frequent times when political pals become sworn enemies.

Our first case? District Attorney Lynne Abraham, who we think is still smarting from a primary-election challenge four years ago by Seth Williams. She mentored him while he worked in her office. PhillyClout, naturally, likes a mediation challenge.

We asked Abraham yesterday if she had spoken with Williams, who last week won the primary election to replace her.

"Not yet," Abraham said. "But if he wants to call me, I'd be happy to talk to him."

Translation: Time for Mr. Heir Apparent to show a little respect.

Williams seemed to get the message, telling us he plans to call Abraham as soon as possible.

"I look forward to mending any fences, if needed," he added.

Translation: Sure, sure, I'll show her a little respect.

Abraham vowed to continue her tradition of supporting the Democratic ticket "wholeheartedly in every election" when asked if she'll endorse Williams.

Our first mediation success!

Abraham was less interested in speculation - laid out earlier this week by PhillyClout colleague Dave Davies - that top members of her staff scoured a confidential case file for information to support an attack that rival Democratic candidate Dan McCaffery leveled against Williams.

"This story is done," Abraham said, firmly. "Stick a fork in it and turn it over. It's done."

Dividing divisions in Center City

Center City's 5th Ward is a vote-rich environment packed with political potential. In fact, three of the ward's 23 divisions are way too packed with voters.

Mike Boyle, the ward's Democratic leader, sat down with the City Commissioners months before last week's primary election to remedy the situation. They try to keep divisions from growing larger than 1,200 voters.

Working with Republican leaders, they decided to break up three crowded divisions, making them into three new divisions each - for a total of nine.

They are the 16th division in Old City, the 13th division in Chinatown and the 9th division, which hugs the east side of Broad Street. That plan will be implemented this summer, which means many of the 9,400 voters from those divisions will have new polling places for November's general election.

On top of getting that organized, Boyle and his Republican colleagues have some recruiting to do. The new divisions each need two committee people - 12 new posts for each party - and five-member election boards - another 30 posts to fill.

City Hall's summer reading?

Next week, the Philadelphia Free Library kicks off its summer-reading program for kids. But we here at PhillyClout think it's never too late to do a little extra reading. So we thought we'd offer a few suggestions to Mayor Nutter and City Council.

Informed by the city's financial woes, here are our picks:

_ Les Misérables , Victor Hugo

And you thought your life was bad . . .

_ Persuasion, Jane Austen

Maybe she has some tips on dealing with a state Legislature.

_ The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

Nothing like the Great Depression to put things in perspective.

_ The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

How quickly fate can eat away good fortune.

_ Hard Times, Charles Dickens

Do we really need to explain this one?

Olympic departures?

So Deputy Mayor Andy Altman announced this week that he is skipping town to head up part of the development for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He's the third top official to leave since Mayor Nutter took office, and PhillyClout wonders if more might be out the door soon.

Should we call it the 500 Day Dash?


"I imagine that when London is calling, it is difficult not to answer that call."

- Mayor Nutter, invoking The Clash, on Altman's departure. *

Have tips or suggestions? Call Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or Catherine Lucey at 215-854-4712. Or e-mail

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