Brown: Mayor, c’mon to the meeting!

A mayoral town-hall meeting will take place at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at Ironworkers Local 401’s Bridgemen’s Hall, 11600 Norcom Road.

Republican Karen Brown will attend and would love for Mayor Michael Nutter to join her.

However, Sheila Simmons, Nutter’s director of communications, said the mayor will not attend.

“My schedule is just as tight,” said Brown, who’ll be late for her own 6 p.m. fund-raiser at Finnigan’s Wake. “He’s the mayor, and he should be available to people.”

The candidates were scheduled to debate on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at Fox 29 studios. The debate will air this Friday at 10:30 p.m. on Fox 29.

Brown, though, has tried unsuccessfully to persuade Nutter to appear with her at town-hall meetings. So she scheduled one for the Far Northeast catering hall and another for Saturday at a Southwest Philadelphia park.

Brown said she would also welcome independent Wali Rahman aka Diop Olugbala. The public is invited to ask questions of the candidates.

“Anybody and everybody is more than welcome. The more the merrier. Joe Doc’s place is enormous,” she said of Bridgemen’s Hall and Local 401 business manager Joseph J. Dougherty.

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The Pennsylvania Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Commission released its ratings on statewide judges who are standing for retention in the November election.

The commission is recommending all six judges: Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin, the Superior Court’s John T. Bender and Mary Jane Bowes and Commonwealth Court’s Renee Cohn Jubelirer, Mary Hannah Leavitt and Robert E. Simpson Jr.

The decisions were based on questionnaires, an analysis of written opinions, and interviews with lawyers who have appeared in front of the judges.

The commission’s findings and the questionnaires are available at

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Next Tuesday, Oct. 11, is the deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 8 election.

Voter registration applications are available at post offices, state liquor stores, free library branches, PennDOT photo license centers, armed forces recruitment centers and the County Board of Elections office at 520 N. Delaware Ave., fifth floor.

Forms can also be downloaded at the Committee of Seventy’s Web site,

• •

Dan McCaffery, a Holmesburg resident, last week entered the 2012 Democratic primary for state attorney general.

McCaffery ran for district attorney in 2009, finishing second among five candidates in the Democratic primary to Seth Williams. His brother Seamus is a justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The former assistant district attorney has more than 20 years of courtroom experience.

“Over the last five years, we’ve witnessed a financial meltdown as a result of fraud and greed by Wall Street,” he said in a news release announcing his candidacy. “Millions of families have lost their life savings. These are good, hard-working men and women, Pennsylvania families, American families who have lost their life savings, retirements, pensions and their homes. No one is standing up for them.

“As attorney general, I will create the most aggressive law enforcement agency in the nation, hold these offenders accountable and bring them to justice. This is about protecting Pennsylvania families from financial crimes and rooting out fraud against taxpayers. Political corruption is rampant, and white-collar crime goes unpunished.”

McCaffery will face former congressman Patrick Murphy and former Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Kane in the primary.

Likely Republican candidates are state Sen. John Rafferty and Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed.

Republicans have won every race for attorney general since it became an elected position in 1980.

• •

The Republican polling firm National Research Inc., on behalf of U.S. Senate candidate John Vernon, last week issued a memorandum showing that GOP and independent voters favor Vernon when biographical descriptions are provided.

The telephone survey of 500 likely voters was taken Sept. 19–20. The survey included the following candidates and descriptions:

• Laureen Cummings is a nurse and small-business owner who helped form the Scranton Tea Party.

• Tom Smith is a coal industry executive and the outgoing chairman of the Indiana-Armstrong Patriots, a Tea Party organization.

• David Christian is a businessman and Vietnam veteran who served in government and unsuccessfully ran for Congress in the 1980s.

• Marc Scaringi is an attorney who previously served as a legislative aide to Rick Santorum on Capitol Hill.

• Steven Welch is a successful businessman and former congressional candidate who will focus on job creation, and was previously a Democrat.

• John Vernon is a retired U.S. Army colonel who served his country for more than 32 years, taking part in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and as a Department of Defense inspector general. He is a conservative Republican.

Vernon’s profile prevailed with 29 percent, followed by Welch with 15 percent, Cummings with 13 percent, Smith and Christian with 6 percent each, and Scaringi with 5 percent. The rest were undecided.

The Republicans hope to challenge freshman U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr.

• •

Quinnipiac University released a poll showing a close race in Pennsylvania for the Republican presidential nomination.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney received 18 percent, followed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (16), former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (12), former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (8), Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (6), Texas Rep. Ron Paul and businessman/political commentator Herman Cain (5), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (4) and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (2). The rest favored someone else, were undecided or did not plan to vote.

In a survey of 1,370 registered Pennsylvania Republicans, Democrats and independents, President Barack Obama held a 45 percent to 43 percent lead over Romney. The president also topped Perry (46–40) and Santorum (45–42).

The same survey showed Casey defeating an unnamed Republican, 50 percent to 31 percent. ••

Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215–354–3034 or