More evidence of Mayor Nutter's growing national profile: he was recently named "New Democrat of the Week" by the Democratic Leadership Council, the "third way" organization that champions the causes of moderate Democrats.
"I'll take it," said Nutter, who was surprised and a little baffled when notified he'd received the honor, which he'd never heard of or applied for.
Nutter is a fan of the DLC, however. He's been a member of the organization since the 1980s, and it was through the DLC that Nutter met Bill Clinton, when Clinton was governor of Arkansas.
It isn't hard to see why the DLC likes Nutter. After all, despite his liberal positions on matters like gun control and the environment, Nutter is a tax-cutting maven whose chief priority this term is cutting the crime rate with the help of aggressive policing, so he's no true-blue lefty.
The DLC praised Nutter's anticrime agenda, particularly his focus on getting ex-offenders back into the work force.
- Patrick Kerkstra
No-fanfare release of prison report
When Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey handed Mayor Nutter his plan for cutting crime, it was marked by a high-publicity news conference at the Wachovia Center.
Not so when Prisons Commissioner Louis Giorla submitted his report to the mayor on how to drive down the city's ever-growing prison population.
That report reached reporters via e-mail at 4:36 p.m. Wednesday. No news conference. No limelight. No nothing.
And its public release came nearly a full month after Giorla gave his report to the mayor.
"I don't know that it was a strategic thing for it to go out at that time," and with no accompanying news conference, Nutter spokesman Doug Oliver said.
The monthlong delay, he said, was due in part to a longer-than-expected internal review of the plan.
In fact, senior administration aides had been discussing its official release, along with the scheduling of a news conference, just a few days before the May 3 killing of Philadelphia Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski.
But afterward, the report - with its proposals to find ways to release low-risk, nonviolent offenders - remained far from public view.
"I don't think it was a political decision," Oliver said. "But I will acknowledge that wasn't the week to announce anything."
- Marcia Gelbart
Street ex-staffers give Nutter boost
Two former high-ranking members of Mayor John F. Street's staff have recently found themselves in league with Mayor Nutter, the harshest critic of Street in last year's mayoral election.
Loree D. Jones, Street's managing director, started her new job March 31 as president and CEO of AchievAbility, the West Philadelphia nonprofit that provides affordable housing and other support services to single, working parents who are also going to school. Jones calls it "the nonprofit in Philadelphia with the best mission."
Her first big job - presenting the organization's inaugural Commitment to Education Award. To Nutter.
Joe Grace, Street's former public information director, was in City Hall last week to testify for Nutter in the National Rifle Association's suit to prevent the city from enforcing local gun laws.
Grace, now executive director of the gun-control advocacy organization CeaseFire PA, was to present poll evidence that most residents of Pennsylvania support the city's law requiring the reporting of lost and stolen guns. Grace didn't get to testify, as both sides instead submitted summaries of witness testimony in court.
- Jeff Shields