Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Here come the candidates:

The past few days have seen a lot of political candidate news. Here is a quick summary....

Jonathan Saidel announces run for Mayor.
I simply do not know enough about Saidel to have a strong opinion on him. I do know that he was being investigated by the feds for some shady dealings, which seemed to go away right at the same time as Mayor Street's investigation came to light. I certainly am not implying Saidel had anything to do with anything, but it was strange. But generally, can we please have a politician who has not been under investigation by the feds? Anyway, now he is running, and assembling a team for his run. I need to hear a lot more from him on what he stands for, because I have no idea.

Seth Williams announces for District Attorney
Saying that the system for prosecuting cases is "broken," former Assistant D.A Seth Williams announced that he is running for D.A. against his former boss, Lynn Abraham. Williams has an idea to decentralize the D.A. system so that a D.A. is responsible to certain neighborhoods, rather than the system now, where numerous D.A.'s handle different parts of the case. (I think it is a good idea.) More from the Inquirer:

In his announcement speech, timed for what would have been the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 76th birthday, Williams accused Abraham of "outdated thinking and failed leadership," saying he would decentralize the D.A.'s office to put prosecutors in police precincts.

Williams said it is wrong that Abraham has five prosecutors devoted to welfare-fraud cases and 18 chasing auto-insurance cheats but does not have a unit dedicated to gun trafficking - even though 80 percent of the homicides in the city last year involved guns.
He vowed to use a nine-year-old state law allowing prosecution of those who illegally sell guns used in a crime. "It won't take me 14 years and the prodding of the legislature," Williams said.

Moreover, more than 50 percent of felony arrests in the city are thrown out of court because prosecutors are not ready for trial, Williams said.
For more on Williams, check out this cover story from the Philadelphia Weekly, that ran a few months ago. Generally, any time a young, dynamic person makes a run at office, the City benefits.

Casey edging closer to run against Santorum
As people have been speculating for a while, Bob Casey, Jr. appears to be moving closer to a Senate bid. Check out the John Baer column on the whole thing. Apparently, an insider poll put Casey up by 14 points in a hypothetical matchup with Santorum. The Senate race deserves a whole post in of itself, and will get one soon. There is another candidate out there, invoking Paul Wellstone, which also deserves a closer examination.

More candidates tomorrow.


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