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Clout: Kenney searches for...what?

Jim Kenney traces his roots online, Seth Williams’ has comic-book wisdom, and an unnecessary presser at Sabrina’s.

Jim Kenney speaks at the Broad Street Ministries lunch in Philadelphia on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. (STEPHANIE AARONSON/Staff Photographer)
Jim Kenney speaks at the Broad Street Ministries lunch in Philadelphia on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. (STEPHANIE AARONSON/Staff Photographer)Read more

WE COULDN'T help but notice, while combing through campaign finance reports, that Jim Kenney's mayoral campaign had expensed a subscription to

What legitimate reason would Kenney - the very-white-Irish-Catholic Democratic mayoral nominee - have for using campaign money to trace his family history?

Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt says it was a recurring monthly subscription that the campaign had used "to see if Jim's ancestry made him eligible for support from different civic and cultural groups."

They made the final payment of $189 in May. The subscription has since been canceled.

This, however, did not satisfy Clout's curiosity. What exactly was Kenney looking for in his bloodlines?

Royalty? Moorish roots? We are talking about the same Jim Kenney, right? The South Philly Mummer? That guy?

Hitt, while making a point to emphasize that the campaign signed up for before she came aboard, said "some civic or cultural organizations will only support you or allow you to be a member if your family is of a certain heritage.

"For example," she emailed, "in order to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, you have to be able to go back through your bloodlines to prove that your ancestors fought in the American Revolution. Make sense?"

Uh, not entirely.

We know Kenney managed to secure the support of African-American ward leaders in Northwest Philly - a major coup that really stung state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams - but we're pretty sure Kenney is still approximately 100 percent Pasty White Dude. Dressing as a Mexican in the Mummers parade, as he did back in 1991, doesn't change this fact.

So, we inquired further. Were the results of the search favorable to the candidate? Is Kenney, for instance, part Armenian and no one knew it?

Hitt apparently took this question to the top and responded with a direct quote from Kenney himself:

"Yes, I found out that Will Bender comes from a long line of jerk weeds," he said, referring to the Daily News reporter.

That much we can confirm. Bender is a real jerk weed. Also, is that a "Die Hard" reference? Well played, sir.

MARVELous tweets, Seth

You've probably noticed a running theme in Clout this summer - things are a bit slow around here, even with the looming November election.

So we get a kick out of the little things, like some of District Attorney Seth Williams' tweets.

We noticed earlier this week that he was going heavy on the inspirational tweets: a little Ralph Waldo Emerson here, some Robert F. Kennedy there and some Ben Parker in the middle for good measure.

Wait, Ben Parker? As in the uncle of Peter Parker, a/k/a Spider-Man?

We double-checked. Yup. Seth tweeted one of the most famous bits of comic-book wisdom: "With great power comes great responsibility."

Clout reached out to the D.A. to find out if this was just a random reference to see if anybody was paying attention, or if he's actually a big Marvel fan.

He didn't get back to us, so we don't have any answers for you. Maybe he was tied up in a meeting. Or maybe he was in a theater watching "Ant-Man." (Which was pretty funny, by the way.)

Dems back Dem

For reasons that aren't entirely clear to us - other than it's late July - there was a press conference yesterday outside Sabrina's Cafe on Callowhill Street, where the folks who lost to Kenney in May's Democratic primary endorsed him in the November election.

That would be Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams, Lynne Abraham, Nelson Diaz, Doug Oliver, and T. Milton Street backing Kenney over the long-shot Republican candidate Melissa Murray Bailey.

We had assumed this was already the case. But now it's official, apparently.

Still, Joe DeFelice, executive director of the Philadelphia Republican Party, flipped his lid, firing off an email about the "Old Boys network" and blasting Kenney for spending decades "fiddling on City Council while Philadelphia stalled."

"We are happy that a bunch of old friends could get together at lunchtime and pat themselves on the back, but frankly the people of Philadelphia deserve better," DeFelice said.

So DeFelice, the Republican, is backing the Republican candidate. And the Democrats are backing the Democratic candidate. Got it?

Honestly, we have no idea why we just wrote that.

- Daily News staff writers William Bender and David Gambacorta

and's Ryan Briggs

contributed to this report.

Phone: 215-854-5255