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Clout: Meet Al Taubenberger's burger

Al Taubenberger gets his own burger; Bailey and Kenney fundraising amounts; David Oh has a typo; street vendors get the shaft.

The Dining Car created and launched the "Tauben-Burger," a limited specialty sandwich that honors Al Taubenberger's German-American roots.
The Dining Car created and launched the "Tauben-Burger," a limited specialty sandwich that honors Al Taubenberger's German-American roots.Read more

WE DON'T DO candidate endorsements here at Clout.

But let it hereby be known that if you are running for elected office, manage to get a cheeseburger named after you, then send one of those cheeseburgers to our offices at 801 Market St. free of charge and with a crisp dill pickle . . . well, that buys you some real estate on this page.

Meet Al Taubenberger, Republican candidate for City Council at-large. Stop by the Dining Car in Northeast Philly and order their new "Tauben-Burger," an $8.50 limited specialty sandwich to promote his candidacy and honor his German-American roots.

The Tauben-Burger is a beef patty nestled atop a German potato pancake with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, sauteed onions and spicy brown mustard on a kaiser roll. The burger was created by Dining Car owner Nancy Morozin and Lawrence "Chef Larry" Thum.

"I'm kind of honored to have a hamburger named after me," said Taubenberger, a former mayoral and City Council candidate whose parents were born in Germany. "You can't get any more German: The hamburger originated in Hamburg, Germany; then a potato pancake, which is very German as well, and with sauerkraut."

Now, the kaiser roll originally was named in honor of Emperor (or Kaiser) Franz Joseph I of Austria - not Germany. But we'll let that slide.

The Tauben-Burger arrived in the newsroom Wednesday in a Styrofoam box. We ate it and enjoyed it. But we removed the Swiss cheese because we're not John Kerry and don't believe in Swiss cheese.

Taubenberger campaign spokesman Frank Keel, like a modern-day Philly version of Don Draper, did his best to spin this into a legitimate news story. We put up little resistance between bites.

"Like Al, the Tauben-Burger is 100% pure, no fillers, and is deeply satisfying," Keel wrote in an email, presumably just before pouring three fingers of Canadian Club over ice and gazing out at the Philadelphia skyline.

Oh, never mind

Everyone - the Taubenberger-Keel duo included - seems to be gunning these days for Republican at-large Councilman David Oh, who is running for re-election in November.

Earlier in the week, Keel, who wears more hats than we can count, was blasting Oh for claiming to be endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 and Fire Fighters' & Paramedics Union Local 22 in the general election.

Keel, who also flacks for John Dougherty's IBEW Local 98, said he sent that press release on behalf of Local 22, not Taubenberger, who would love to take Oh's seat on Council, coincidentally. Philly politics is so confusing.

Then, the day after that story ran, we got an anonymous tip that Oh had accepted a $19,134 campaign contribution earlier this month, more than three times the single-donor limit. That would be particularly problematic for Oh, who got fined by the Ethics Board last month for violating the campaign-finance law.

Sure enough, Oh's report shows a Sept. 9 contribution of $19,134 from Ling Lin, who also lives in the 19134 ZIP code.

Oh. Now we get it. Typo.

"It's probably the ZIP code,"Oh campaign treasurer Ivan Soltero said. "We're going to fix that. It's obviously not $19,000. We'll get on that now."

In other fundraising news, Republican mayoral candidate Melissa Murray Bailey brought in $12,650 in the last cycle, while Democratic mayoral candidate Jim Kenney's haul was $641,661, or about 50 times more.

That sounds about right. We'll give you 50-to-1 odds that Bailey is elected mayor in November. Taking all bets. PayPal accepted.

Kenney and Bailey will meet in the first mayoral debate Tuesday. It's sponsored by the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. They'll be joined by independent candidates Jim Foster and Boris Kindij, and Socialist Workers Party candidate Osborne Hart - none of whom has a hamburger, as far as we know.

City to vendors: Get lost

Local vendors, you might've read, are getting screwed out of their share of the profits from Pope Francis' historic visit to Philadelphia this weekend.

Center City vendors got a letter last week from Licenses and Inspections informing them that they won't be able to vend inside the "traffic box" from today through Monday.

Which sucks, if you don't mind us saying so. That's messing with people's livelihoods.

When we asked Mayor Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald about this crappy policy, McDonald said that a lot of it is due to the traffic restrictions.

"Vendors would not be able to get in and out of that area and would not be able to replenish their stocks owing to vehicle restrictions," McDonald emailed, adding that the World Meeting of Families hired Aramark as its single "point of contact on vending."

Fair enough, but Councilman Mark Squilla, whose district includes a portion of the traffic box, said he would've liked to see the city and World Meeting find a way to include local street vendors in the profit sharing.

"I just think it's unfortunate that they weren't able to think of this ahead of time and have these people be a part of this," Squilla said. "That just seems like the fair way to go about it. It didn't work out that way."

Squilla said by the time he and local vendors learned of the restrictions, it was too late to take action. (T. Milton Street Sr. went on Facebook this week with an "appeal to the Pope," but that didn't work.)

"It's just hard to figure out why the info got passed along so late," Squilla said.

Then again, in our experience, communicating with others has never been a strongpoint of the Nutter administration.

- Staff writers William Bender and Wendy Ruderman and's Ryan Briggs contributed to this report.

On Twitter: @wbender99