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Inquirer Doles Out Five Endorsements for City Council

Philly-City-Hall1The message of The Philadelphia Inquirer is clear: City Council needs change.

In an editorial titled “In with the new,” the Inquirer endorsed five candidates in the city’s Council-At-Large race, only one of those an incumbent councilman. Four-term Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. picked up the newspaper’s endorsement, along with newcomers Helen Gym, Paul Steinke, Tom Wyatt and Isaiah Thomas.

“Council needs an upheaval to return to its mission of representing the public,” the Inquirer wrote, criticizing the Council for being “overpopulated by members who reflexively follow Council President Darrell Clarke.” For each of the four candidates it endorsed, the Inquirer emphasized not only their experience but also their ability to be independent voices in the Council.

Gym, for example, the newspaper praised for being “appropriately impatient with the status quo and, provided she maintains some daylight between herself and her union supporters, capable of being an independent Council member in the tradition of David Cohen, Michael Nutter and John Street.”

The newspaper commended Goode in the same vein, highlighting some of the work he has championed in his four terms — including a measure requiring subcontractors to pay a living wage and a bill to encourage companies to create jobs in the city by offering tax credits as reward.

Goode “rises above his fellow incumbents thanks to his steady advocacy for low-income Philadelphians,” the Inquirer wrote.

Wyatt emphasized his independent voice, as well, telling the Inquirer Editorial Board that he wouldn’t be a “representative of City Council, but a representative in City Council.” Thomas the newspaper calls a “thoughtful and energetic proponent of community causes such as making neighborhoods safer and addressing abusive police tactics.”

As for Steinke, a trained economist, the Inquirer highlights his knowledge as an asset that could “inform legislation on budgets, taxes and development.” The newspaper adds that as “an advocate of shifting the tax burden away from business and wage taxes and toward real estate, Steinke understand the effect of government policies on growth and communities.”

The Inquirer’s endorsement may not be the only one Steinke receives over the next few days. According to a press release, Steinke will be joined today by former Philadelphia Mayor and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell in front of Reading Terminal Market, which Steinke once managed, for a “major campaign announcement.”

That certainly sounds like another endorsement.

April 20th, 2015 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Local races, Top Stories | No Comments