The race for district attorney isn't quite over. Sort of.

While Democrat Seth Williams is preparing to take office next month, Dan McCaffery, the runner-up in the Democratic primary, is suing the Philadelphia Board of Ethics and its executive director, Shane Creamer.

The suit accuses Creamer and the board of making "frivolous, misleading, and false statements about McCaffery" to "sabotage McCaffery's campaign, to embarrass McCaffery, and to tarnish his name and reputation in the eyes of the voting public."

In essence, the suit, filed Tuesday in Common Pleas Court, says the board and Creamer set out to depict McCaffery's campaign as unethical by accusing it, one week before the primary, of hiding campaign funds from the public.

In October, both sides signed a settlement in which McCaffery agreed to pay a $1,500 fine for mishandling a contribution from a political committee, the Pennsylvania Good Government Fund, tied to his law firm. The agreement also stated that neither McCaffery nor his campaign treasurer had intentionally violated the city's campaign-finance rules.

"The board is disappointed that Mr. McCaffery has chosen to sue the board and its executive director after his campaign admitted violations of the city's campaign-finance law and agreed to enter into a settlement agreement," the board said in a statement Friday.

McCaffery last week referred calls to his attorney, Dion G. Rassias, who said: "It's time for the empire to strike back."

- Marcia Gelbart

Nicknames turn tables on mayor

Mayor Nutter has collected more than his share of nicknames since taking office nearly two years ago. The sobriquets began fondly enough, but they have turned kind of mean. Consider:

Mix Master Mike, early 2008. Fresh off his election and a command performance of "Rapper's Delight" at his inauguration party, the mayor's fans often used this nickname, inspired by his early days as an amateur D.J.

M.A.N., mid-2008. For Michael Anthony Nutter. Used mostly by his staff early in his administration, this potent-sounding nickname is heard less and less often in City Hall.

Mayor Cutter, early to mid-2009. Popularized by labor leaders and designed to mock Nutter's budget reductions, "Mayor Cutter" is still common in some circles.

Chicken Little, summer. Invented or at least popularized by Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News columnists and cartoonists, "Chicken Little" mocked Nutter's repeated and dire warnings that the city would endure devastating spending cuts if state lawmakers did not approve his requests for a temporary sales-tax increase and pension relief.

Little Caesar, November. SEPTA labor leader Willie Brown coined this nickname while critiquing Nutter's role in transit contract talks. For some reason, "Little Caesar" has stuck, at least in quarters hostile to the mayor.

Honorable mentions: Bizarro Nutter, Nutter Butter, McNutty.

- Patrick Kerkstra

West meets Southeast as Onorato woos Council

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato knows he's going to need Philadelphia to have a shot at the Democratic nomination and a chance to beat Republican front-runner Tom Corbett.

So Onorato stopped in at City Council on Thursday, plying members with hot turkey and roast-beef sandwiches as he made his pitch in Council's caucus room.

Onorato, the Allegheny County executive and a former Pittsburgh councilman, asked the local politicians to regard him not as a Western Pennsylvania candidate, but as one who shares their experience as an urban legislator and knows the challenges cities face.

He also argued that it will take a Western Pennsylvania Democrat to push meaningful gun control - such as requiring the reporting of lost and stolen handguns - because it is Democrats from his area who have consistently killed such legislation.

- Jeff Shields