In Philly politics, the sharpest rhetorical attacks come from allies, not enemies.
Just ask Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, who last week proudly touted on Twitter the attention his “driving equality” legislation received from USA Today — only to have State Rep. Kevin Boyle tweet Sunday that he’s a “total fraud” who’s “playing the race card.”
The bill would ban police traffic stops for minor-vehicle violations, which disproportionally impact Black drivers. Those violations would prompt tickets or warnings by mail instead.
“Isaiah Thomas is probably the worst member of Philadelphia City Council,” Boyle tweeted. “In a city with a murder rate so out of control he’s literally championing efforts to further restrict policing. Furthermore he’s playing the race card. Total fraud!”
Thomas, an at-large Democrat, was perplexed by the attack, spokesperson Max Weisman said, since the two men have been friends and political allies for a decade.
Boyle, a Democrat who represents Northeast Philly, apparently deleted his tweet after about an hour Sunday night, leaving plenty of time for people to save screenshots — and share them with their outrage. He did not respond to a request for comment.
Weisman said Boyle never spoke to Thomas about his legislation. which he first introduced in October and modified with a new bill introduced in June. And Boyle did not respond when Thomas called to ask about the tweet, Weisman said.
Thomas, in a statement, called Boyle’s tweet “disappointing” and said he welcomes conversation “however uncomfortable at times, about our agenda to improve police-community relations.”
Kevin Boyle tweeted after the 2019 primary, which Thomas won, that Thomas “will be a great addition on City Council.”
Clout provides often irreverent news and analysis about people, power, and politics.