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Dougherty repays Campbell, in a way

Former City Councilwoman Carol Ann Campbell announced months ago that she was advising electricians union leader John Dougherty on his state Senate campaign.

Former City Councilwoman Carol Ann Campbell announced months ago that she was advising electricians union leader John Dougherty on his state Senate campaign.

Dougherty didn't win, but the advice netted her and her political circle a generous reward: $50,000.

According to new campaign-finance reports, Local 98's political committee made two $25,000 donations in April to Genesis IV, a PAC with strong ties to Campbell.

That sum represented nearly every dollar in Genesis IV's bank account, and to be sure, the committee spent every last dime - and then some, as a campaign-finance report shows that it is now $3,700 in debt.

Where did the money go?

Nearly half - $26,200 - went to expenses related to the successful primary reelection campaign of State Rep. Rosita Youngblood.

Another chunk - $8,000 - went to Campbell herself. And it was in the form of a personal check authorized by Campbell's brother, Edgar, treasurer of Genesis IV.

The payment is described as "reimbursement for election" on the report, and Campbell said Dougherty reimbursed her for personal checks she had given to ward leaders, most for $500 apiece. At least one ward leader, Ralph Wynder, confirmed receiving the money.

Campbell said she kept no money herself and wouldn't take it from Dougherty, whom she considers a friend. To be sure, her brother also received some Genesis IV money, $6,300 for what was described as "food for election."

In an interview, Campbell, who is also secretary of Philadelphia's Democratic Party and a ward leader, carefully noted that she did not run the PAC.

Indeed, Campbell founded Genesis IV in 2003 and, according to state records, remained its chair until Jan. 24, 2007. That's when Edward C. Wright - her chief of staff in Council - took over.

Yet another deal on Youth Study Center move

Neighbors of a former state mental hospital in East Falls, targeted as a temporary home for the city's Youth Study Center, will drop their opposition to the move if the city and state guarantee that the land will be put to a "more productive" use when the juvenile detention facility moves to a new and permanent home in West Philadelphia.

Residents of East Falls and North Philadelphia were not among those cheering last year when City Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell ended a three-year holdout and introduced legislation allowing the Youth Study Center, which houses juveniles awaiting trial, to move from its home off the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to West Philadelphia.

That's because the Youth Study Center will have to move for two years to the state-owned former Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Center in East Falls. The Barnes Foundation has signed a 99-year lease with the city for the land the Youth Study Center currently occupies. The Youth Study Center is supposed to move to East Falls by late summer.

Local Democratic Ward Leader Ralph Wynder said the community wanted state legislation guaranteeing that the facility would be resold for redevelopment purposes. "We need something that's more productive to the neighborhood," Wynder said. Wynder, in talks with Mayor Nutter and State Sen. Vincent Hughes, (D., Phila.), also is looking for a few recreation-related plums in the area that, he said, would keep kids from ending up in the Youth Study Center.

Wynder said it looked like "we're moving in a direction where we may find a resolution."

Nutter said Friday that he had a commitment from Gov. Rendell that the East Falls site project would proceed, but that he supported community efforts to get binding state legislation.