CITY COMMISSIONERS Chairman Anthony Clark must have compromising photos of ward leaders or something. Oh yeah, this guy knows where the bodies are buried all right.
How else do you explain how the Democratic City Committee endorsed him for re-election in last month's primary?
Clark, who heads the three-person panel in charge of Philadelphia elections, was the top vote-getter in the commissioners' race - despite the fact that he hadn't bothered to vote in five consecutive elections until the City Paper called him out last fall.
A city elections chief not voting? That's like Roger Federer not playing tennis. Neither scenario is acceptable.
The Committee of Seventy promptly urged Clark not to seek re-election. He blew them off. Fine.
But now, a freshly re-elected Clark is suing the Philadelphia Board of Ethics to block the board from slapping him with conflict of interest violations for allegedly getting his brother a sketchy pay raise, then threatening another city employee if she cooperated in the subsequent investigation, the Inquirer's Chris Brennan reported this week.
"If the allegations are true, they are very troubling," Al Schmidt, a Republican city commissioner, told us yesterday.
But Clark - who earns $134,149! - claims the Ethics Board doesn't have the authority to prosecute the case. How convenient.
There's more: Clark's bio on the City Commissioners website states: "In 2008 and 2012, City Commissioner Anthony Clark voted for and certified the election for the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama."
Except he didn't vote in 2012 - in the primary or general election - according to Jim Saksa, the freelance writer and attorney who broke the news about Clark's (non) voting streak in the City Paper last year.
We tried reaching Clark yesterday to talk this out, but had no luck.
"He's not in the office at this moment," a woman in Clark's office said.
Ah, yes. We forgot. In between suing his own city and not voting, Clark tends to keep a full schedule of not returning anyone's phone calls. He's notoriously unresponsive.
"Dude just gives everyone the middle finger every day," said a City Hall source, whom we presume was speaking metaphorically.
When Daily News reporter Jenny DeHuff managed to track down the elusive commissioner in person last year, he dismissed his not-voting as a "private choice." Which, of course, is entirely wrong, since his voting record is public.
The Committee of Seventy and some city politicians - including Mayor Nutter - have previously floated the idea of amending the city charter to abolish the city commissioners and replace them with an appointed director of elections.
Time for someone to revive that idea. Call it the Clark Amendment.
The mayoral primary's a distant memory, and the city's about to lose a third of its population to the annual Jersey Shore migration.
So it's a perfect time for the political world to fill up with rumors, whether they're bits of legitimate intrigue or just your standard bald-faced lies.
Exhibit A: Political insiders have been telling Clout that former Mayor Bill Green is making calls to cobble together a Super PAC for his son, former City Councilman Bill Green, who's toying with the idea of mounting a mayoral run in the fall as an independent.
We could just leave it at that. But again, there's not much going on right now, so we called the former mayor.
"That's false. I have not done a thing in that connection," Green said yesterday. "If I knew he was running, I would do anything I could to help him. I think he'd be a terrific mayor. He was a terrific councilman."
Political analyst Larry Ceisler said he thinks the younger Green "makes a good case for why he should [run], but not necessarily that he could win."
It's not clear what his base would consist of, since Jim Kenney has locked down the labor unions and large chunks of the city's minority and LGBT communities.
But given the palpable dislike Green and Kenney have for each other - think Jimmy Johnson and Buddy Ryan - there would likely be plenty of fireworks if the two faced off against each other and Republican candidate Melissa Murray Bailey in the fall.
"I don't think it would be a bad thing if [Green] ran," Ceisler said. "Competition is always good."
The elder Green (we'll just refer to him as Famous Bill Green to avoid confusion, and his late father, the former Democratic City Committee chairman, as Old Famous Bill Green) said he needs to sit down with his son to find out whether he truly intends to throw his hat in the ring.
"I think everybody could say with certainty that an effort like this would be difficult to put together, because all the forces would be aligned against you," he said. "But he's made a career out of standing up to special interests."
Last week, we asked readers to name the as-yet-untitled documentary about the Kenyatta Johnson-Ori Feibush Council race being directed by Judah-Lev Dickstein.
The winner: "Gentrifical Forces," submitted by former ward leader Andrew Ross. Congratulations. You are entitled to one free Old Fashioned at the Palm.
- Daily News staff writers
William Bender and David
contributed to this report.