Friday, March 04, 2005

Pot begins personal attacks of Kettle

MAYOR STREET yesterday accused his favorite enemy, City Councilman James Kenney, of a major ethical lapse by lobbying city government on behalf of Vitetta, the architectural and engineering firm that employs the four-term South Philadelphia Democrat.

Kenney, who took the job three years ago with help from his patron, state Sen. Vince Fumo, flatly denied Street's assertion, adding that Street presides "over one of the most corrupt administrations that I can remember."


Street was trying to make a point that his ethics package would require Council members to give up almost all outside employment. But Street's bills are in legislative limbo, and he blamed Kenney in part for sabotaging his legislation.

Asserting he never took legal business involving the city while he served in Council, Street contended that Kenney "thinks it's all right to work for [Vitetta] and get a very hefty salary and has lobbied on their behalf with the government that he represents." He also accused Kenney of improperly lobbying the Philadelphia School District.
I like Kenney, and John Street really does not have a whole lot of room to be attacking someone's ethics. That said, I think barring outside employment for City Council members is not that unreasonable. They make enough as the highest paid council members in the Country. But, wow, the irony of the Reformer John Street coming out and attacking Kenney one day after his office said they had no need to change the way they do business is thick.

In a way, I sympathize with the Mayor, who is at least in part getting hammered for 'business-as-usual' in City Hall. But, again, if we could transport the 1980's John Street here today, I know he would be the first in line to call for a major cleanup of this City.

(Update- You really have to read the Tom Ferrick column today in the Inky. It deals with this same issue, and is hilarious.)


At 5:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Presumably you know Jim Kenney is a DINO.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger DanielUA said...

You say that, but, frankly, I do not see it. I am not saying he is the greatest politician ever, but I think he seems like someone who despite being heavily supported by Fumo is willing to go out on his own, take some unconventional stands, etc.

I do think he is wrong with the employment issue...


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