Tracey Gordon is still lying low after scoring a primary election upset three weeks ago, unseating 10-term incumbent Register of Wills Ron Donatucci by promising to bring order to what she called “tangled titles” for Philadelphia properties.
But the former deputy city commissioner, who was forced from that appointed post in 2014 after her second dustup with the Philadelphia Board of Ethics, had serious trouble filing timely campaign finance reports on the small amount of money she raised.
Clout had questions. Gordon was elusive.
First, Gordon was too busy to talk about her victory. Then she was too tired. Then she was out of town. Then she agreed to an interview but failed to show up or respond to messages. Then she was too tired again. Then she was on vacation.
We kept at it. And now there is a new explanation for why Tracey Gordon cannot tell her story. Philly, it turns out, is too small for the Tracey Gordon story.
That proclamation came from Gordon’s camp, delivered by attorney Vivienne Crawford, who declared this “a national story.”
Clout has more questions. The answers remain even more elusive.
“Clearly we are not speaking the same language,” Crawford sniffed in a text when pressed for further explanation.
Gordon has an interesting story to tell, if some national media type can meet her exacting standards. She won with 44 percent of the vote in the three-way primary. There is no Republican candidate in the general election.
Gordon raised just $2,476, lending herself $1,551, according to the campaign finance reports she belatedly filed. She reported spending just $450, on field work and a videographer. Her Instagram account shows buttons, signs, and leaflets (at least one of which failed to note who created or paid for it).
Crawford certainly seems to think there is a story here, even as she prevents it from being told.
“Perhaps you should examine the treatment of Tracey in a broader context. Is this a national message to women of color? Think bigger. Is that why Trump won? You want a reaction — think bigger,” she texted us. “Perhaps the scope of the issue is simply too big for local news. Again, no surprise.”
David Oh targeted by charter school group over old Green Beret flap
City Councilman David Oh is still hot about being targeted in the closing days of the primary election by the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools. The nonprofit resurrected Clout reporting from 2011 about Oh, a Republican, embellishing his military service.
The short version: Oh ran for Council in 2003, 2007, and 2011, identifying himself as a former Army Green Beret. The truth: Oh tried out for the Green Berets in 1991, and finished a three-week Special Forces course, but was not selected to continue to a second qualification course.
Oh objected to that reporting in 2011 but then ran two full-page ads in the Daily News apologizing “for any confusion or misimpression” his campaigns created. He won a seat on Council that year and is seeking a third term.
What does any of that have to do with charter schools? Good question.
Andrew Carl, interim executive director of the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools, said the anti-Oh campaign literature sent by email was prompted by his response to a candidate survey from The Inquirer saying he opposes charter schools.
Oh later said he doesn’t oppose charters but thinks the city should focus on traditional public schools.
He finished in a distant fifth place out of eight Republicans in the primary. The top five move on to the Nov. 5 general election, where the top two Republicans can secure two at-large seats set aside in the City Charter for members who do not belong to the majority political party.
Keystone Alliance, a 501(c)(6), is allowed to engage in political activity if it is “germane” to the group’s purpose, according to the IRS. The nonprofit’s 2014 articles of incorporation said it would serve as a “forum for ideas” about charters, advocate for their growth, and create relationships among the schools.
Carl said the group is “redefining what we’re doing" and predicted more political activity.
“It was an opening salvo,” he said of the email, sent to more than 152,000 registered votes in Philadelphia.
Fetterman loses his head: A Clout Photo Bonus!
Clout readers know we often detail how politicians lose their heads. But we’ve never seen a case as serious as Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s.
Fetterman tells us it started 18 months ago when his wife, Gisele Barreto Fetterman, posed for a photograph with him while wearing a pair of new shoes that matched her outfit. She really liked the shoes. But she could not fit them in the same frame as her 6-foot-8 husband. So she lopped off his head, photographically.
“It became this urban legend,” said Fetterman, who is not as well known to haberdashery as his wife is to fashion. “It’s just a running joke that my head comes off."
A scan of the second lady’s Instagram feed shows that to be true. But how far has the gag spread? Well, consider the official portraits at the state Department of Education. Yes, a state office hung an picture of the lieutenant governor, absent his head. And then tweeted a picture of it.