Billy Lanzilotti, a man without a political party, threw one anyway Monday evening.
Lanzilotti, the former South Philly Republican leader of Ward 39A expelled from that position by his party last month for his role in diverting mail ballots to a P.O. box he controlled, helped organize a pair of Ward reorganization meetings Monday evening
His intent: have his father take over in Ward 39A. William Lanzilotti was already leading the 1st Ward in South Philly, a role he inherited from his son.
Billy Lanzilotti, speaking briefly to Clout in a private club where the two ward elections were held, said his father did the work to notify committee members to show up to vote.
Messages reviewed by Clout made clear the son, who we found waiting at the club’s bar before the back-to-back meetings began, had been urging people to attend.
State Rep. Martina White, chair of the Republican City Committee, did not respond to Clout’s hails on the matter. Lanzilotti the elder and younger did not respond when asked Tuesday how the vote went.
Billy Lanzilotti refused to testify under subpoena from the City Commissioners last month, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The Inquirer found that dozens of Republican mail ballots for the May 17 primary were diverted to the P.O. box. Lanzilotti at the time said he helped voters fill out their ballot applications, inserting his P.O. box on the form where voters would typically write their home addresses. What he called a “service to the voters” raised questions about whether it was really an illegal “ballot harvesting” scheme.
Lanzilotti was angling to also take over the 26th Ward in South Philly when the mail ballot move came to light.
The District Attorney’s Office has said it is aware of Lanzilotti’s mail ballot effort but declined to say Tuesday if an investigation is underway.
Clout provides often irreverent news and analysis about people, power, and politics.