WHAT IS Pasquale "Pat" Deon, a GOP bigwig from Bucks County, doing raising money for State Rep. Dwight Evans, a Philly Democrat looking to unseat indicted U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah in this year's congressional election?
A Clout tipster asks: Could it have anything to do with the fact that Evans sits on SEPTA's board of directors and has supported Deon as chairman?
"That's silly nonsense," said Evans campaign manager Michael Dineen.
Perfect. We specialize in silly nonsense. Let's proceed.
Deon, whose business interests include beer distribution, radio broadcasting, and construction, has sat on the SEPTA board for more than a decade. We're figuring he probably doesn't need Evans' help to hang on to the chairmanship.
Still, we are intrigued by this political relationship. A suburban Republican supporting a Philadelphia Democrat when a Republican is also in the race?
Dineen says we should not be intrigued, noting that Evans and Deon have a long-standing relationship.
"Dwight has known Pat Deon for 30 years, and believes Pat adds invaluable leadership on the SEPTA board as recognized by the American Public Transportation Association naming him the 2014 Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member," Dineen emails. "Just as Pat believes Dwight Evans is the congressman we need to help revitalize neighborhoods block by block."
We got Deon on the horn. Asked him what's up. He said that he simply "had a breakfast to introduce Dwight to my friends" and that "it wasn't a hard sell" to raise some cash, because everyone was impressed by Evans.
To be fair, the Republican candidate, James Jones, doesn't stand a chance - no, not even a slight one - in the Second Congressional District, one of the most Democratic districts in the country. It covers much of Philadelphia west of Broad Street, as well as part of Montgomery County.
Deon, who contributed $10,000 to Evans way back in 2005, laughed when we asked whether the fund-raising had any connection to Evans' support on the SEPTA board.
"This is just about Dwight being the right guy for the job. He will cross over the line, whatever it is - white, black, Democrat, Republican," Deon said. "The only thing a congressman can do for me is expedite my passport."
To hammer home the point, Deon said his other close political friend in the city is State Rep. Brian Sims, another Philadelphia Democrat.
Speaking of Sims . . . better watch what you say about Ben Waxman, a Democratic challenger in Sims' 182nd state House district.
Last month, Waxman was doing a little boasting on Facebook, saying that he had raised more money than any other candidate.
Gregg Kravitz, who ran unsuccessfully for the 182nd District seat in 2010 (when State Rep. Babette Josephs rather bizarrely accused him of faking his bisexuality), commented on Waxman's status:
"Getting a 5-figure loan from your in-laws and then portraying it as 'raising money' isn't exactly a widespread indicator of support," Kravitz wrote.
But before our microwave popcorn was even done popping, Waxman apparently deleted Kravitz's comment. Then he blocked Kravitz on Facebook. That seems a little extreme, no? Kravitz thought so.
"Unfortunately for Ben, the state House isn't like Facebook," Kravitz told Clout. "You can't just delete a comment or block someone when they disagree with you."
This race is going to get nasty. We can tell.
We got word Thursday that former Mayor Nutter has been accepted as a member of the National Press Club. Washington sources say that Nutter - now a CNN commentator, among other things - was admitted as a "communicator." That's a category for flacks and other people often quoted in the press.
Probably worth noting here that Nutter's press secretary treated many journalists with an unprecedented level of disdain. But we've moved on.
It's just weird, is all. We remember when Nutter started dropping in at the Pen & Pencil Club - white wine, party animal - when he was on Council. But now he really is . . . one of us. Gooble Gobble.
Is this the end of journalism as we know it? You be the judge.
Quick update from the GOP race for state attorney general.
Former state prosecutor Joe Peters thinks State Sen. John Rafferty Jr., who represents parts of Montgomery, Chester and Berks Counties, is cribbing his campaign material.
"Since Sen. Rafferty can't match Joe's resumé and his career in law enforcement, he's taken to copying Joe's speeches," Peters spokesman Christopher Nicholas wrote in an email Thursday. "On Feb. 24th, Joe appeared on Fox 43 news in York and declared he was 'ready to lead on Day 1.' Lo and behold, a week later Rafferty posted that same phrase, inside a glitzy graphic, on his FB page."
Could be plagiarism. Or it could be that every candidate who has ever run for anything is Ready to Lead on Day 1. From Hillary to Jeb to ... Leon Stavrinakis, who failed in his bid to become mayor of Charleston, S.C.
All of them, Ready to Lead on Day 1.
The phrase is so common among politicians that it might as well have been programmed into their genetic code. In utero, they were Ready to Lead on Day 1.
Clout's ruling on this matter: Not plagiarism.
Goodbye to dear departed Daily News reporter David Gambacorta, a Clout contributor and writer for the past year or so.
No, he's not dead. He just departed the newspaper. Dave took a job at Philadelphia Magazine. Now he's all Mr. Fancy McGlossy.
We had good times, Dave, finding new, innovative ways to skewer politicians. The year went by in a flash, probably because of those massive 20-ounce pints of beer at Las Vegas Lounge. (Try knocking back a few of those suckers over lunch, then writing 30 inches of copy. You know what you get? The Clout column.)
Anyway, Dave, you are now our sworn enemy. The next boldface will not be so kind.
As the great Congressman Frank Underwood once said: "For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy. There is but one rule: Hunt or be hunted."
- Staff writers William Bender, Jonathan Tamari, and Chris Brennan contributed to this article.
On Twitter: @wbender99