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Green For Congress? Cohen? More Names Join PA-13 Conversation

Bill Green
Bill Green

Could Philadelphia City Councilman Bill Green take a pass on a mayoral campaign and run for Congress? His name has popped up as a potential replacement for Rep. Allyson Schwartz.

Philadelphia Magazine took a look at the possibility, including the fact that Green’s father and grandfather each served in Congress. His dad was mayor, too, and most believe he’ll run for that office in 2015.

He responded in a statement: “I would love to serve in Congress. Because my grandfather and father so distinguished themselves in that job people have always suspected that might be a goal of mine, but that’s not where I am headed now.”

Three Philadelphia political observers PoliticsPA spoke with said the move was highly unlikely, but the rumor mill is entertaining.

Green, 47, lives in Chestnut Hill – a few blocks outside the 13th district (the law doesn’t require candidates live in their congressional district).

PoliticsPA published a list of 12 Democrats who might be contenders for the seat in February. We took as our premise that Schwartz is going to run for Governor as she has given every indication of doing. Additionally, given the district demographics, we’re calling it a safe Democratic seat. It comprises parts of southern Montgomery County and northern Philadelphia.

Two other names have surfaced since our initial list, including one familiar to politicos: State Rep. Mark Cohen. The 63-year old Philadelphia Democrat has been floating his name according to a number of politicos, including several who attended last weekend’s Pa. Progressive Summit.

Cohen is among the most liberal members of the state House (and is its senior member). But it’s not clear how well he’d adapt to life as a legislator in DC given that members of Congress aren’t eligible for per diems.

Finally, we have Jared Solomon, a young former Sestak staffer and attorney. A few activists in SEPA have floated his name for the spot. Here’s a nice Daily News profile of him and his after-school basketball program.

7 Responses

  1. I don’t have a horse in this race, although i have a few attitudes…which aren’t relevant currently.

    So I would just want to tell Mark my reaction to his rationalization for his per-diem collections.

    First, he didn’t refute the assertions of excess [both in terms of days and book-purchases].

    Second, he would alter the legislative schedule to offset his collecitons, which he doesn’t specify, a strange non-sequitur.

    Judging from these mini-observations, he probably would not prove preferable to his D-colleagues to other potential candidates.

  2. Mark Cohen is a sloppy dope. If I was an uninformed voter and he showed up at my door I would assume he was begging for change or soliciting pizza menus.

    He can make all the excuses in the world for his per diems but it’s just legal thievery. If he honestly thinks he’s “entitled” to that much money he is the embodiment of every problem with PA legislators.

    Since the first list of potential candidates there has maybe been one or two viable names listed.

  3. For the record, I was elected Caucus Chairman in the PA House over the opposition in 1990 over the opposition of Rep. Evans and Rep. DeWeese, both of whom favored the candidacy of Allen Kukovich, who had a distinguished and productive legislative career before and after the caucus election.

    The disparaging remark about me quoted above was made by David L. Cohen (not Rendell) to Rendell biographer Buzz Bissinger at a time several months after Rendell took office when the Rendell Administration (of which Cohen was Chief of Staff) was fighting a losing battle to transfer the control of the Philadelphia Airport to a to a multicounty authority, over the objections of the leadership of the Philadelphia delegation, who worried about loss of jobs and loss of accountability.
    21 years later, Philadelphia still runs the Philadelphia airport: the multicounty authority idea is long dead.

    And Comcast’s PAC, now under the direction of David L. Cohen, contributed $1500 to my 2012 primary election campaign. Rendell endorsed me in that primary, and made a robocall to district voters on my behalf.

    Eric Epstein still maintains that I take too many per diems. But he and Dennis Owens have also attacked the majority legislative leadership for not having the legislature in session for enough days to accomplish more. Owens even got Governor Corbett to admit on tape that the legislature could get more done if it met for more days a year. Just one more session week per year would cost far more in per diems than I get from per diems in a year.

  4. This guy Bill Green sounds like an entitled BRAT. So what if his father and grandfather served in Congress. For him to even reference that shows he’s resting on his family name. Personally I don’t want to see anybody from Philly in this seat; especially a do-nothing Councilman using his grand-daddys and daddy name to get by and acquire power. Bill Green has no idea about the 13th because he’s been busy slumming in Philly politics. No Green. No Boyle. No Cohen. No Philly. Keep this seat in Montco!

  5. Why on Earth would Cohen want to run for Congress? In Congress, he wouldn’t be able to claim per diems for 300+ days a year or buy $20,000 in books at tax payer expense.

  6. Mark Cohen is a joke, a person you laugh AT rather than a person you laugh WITH. He has no chance of winning a seat in Congress. The only reason he was in PA House Democratic leadership was Dwight Evans wanted a weak person from Philadelphia who he could control and would not be a threat to his influence. Notice that Mark Cohen was crushed in his 2010 leadership election, the same time Dwight Evans lost influence and could no longer drag him across the finish line.

    Buzz Bissinger, quoting then-Mayor Ed Rendell in the book “A Prayer for the City,” gave the most accurate description of how those who matter think about Mark Cohen (even when he was PA House Democratic Caucus Chairman): “…doesn’t have any power and never will have any power, even if every other member of the legislature died.”

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