Johnny Doc Doesn't Get ItLast week, Dave Davies wrote a column in the Daily News, talking about an odd conversation that he had with John Dougherty, the head of the electrician's union, the treasurer of the Philly Democratic Party, and general Philly mover and shaker. In the column, Davies said that Dougherty both threatened him, and said that Dougherty said that he had Councilman Jim Kenney's phone records. (He likely does not really have the phone records.)
The main point of the Davies column was that Dougherty, a likely candidate for mayor, was acting like a bully. Who says they have a rival politician's phone records, and use it to threaten one of the most respected local journalists we have?
In today's DN, Dougherty responds. And, fundamentally, it is a good example of why Dougherty is going to have a lot of trouble running for mayor.
He starts the letter by saying:
IN LAST week's column, Dave Davies got one thing right. Buried deep in his attack, he acknowledged my exemplary work ethic, passion for worthy causes, and the charity and community work conducted by IBEW Local 98. Let me first address the worthy causes:Dougherty then goes on listing his causes, and discussing his work ethic. And, hey, Dougherty does have his union do some very worthwhile things. They donated labor to Live 8, they were almost solely responsible for boathouse row being re-lit when it was. And, given how he has turned the local IBEW into a political force, I have no doubt he has a strong work ethic. But, and this is a big but, that was not that point.
Notice what Dougherty does not say in the letter? He does not say, for example, the conversation did not happen that way. He does not say, "I lost my temper, and I apologize." No, he just lists his accomplishments, and leaves it at that. But, that kind of attitude, where because you have used some of your considerable power for good, you can act like a bully, will not get you elected mayor. People are not going to vote for you because you demand they do, they are going to do it because they want to see you every day for four years, because they like you.
The considerable power of John Dougherty will undoubtedly make him a player in the mayoral race, and will get him the support of a lot of local politicians. But, unless he understands that people want to like their leader of their City, not fear him, he will not win in 2007.