Editorial: Say No! to Tasco

Sadly, half of the quartet running for City Council in Northeast Philly’s contested district races have a problem with morals.

In refusing to rule out voting for Marian Tasco for Council president in January, Republicans Sandra Stewart and Brian O’Neill are thumbing their noses at all Philadelphians and maintaining the culture of greed that has permeated City Hall.

Ms. Tasco, a Democrat from Northwest Philadelphia, wants to become president when a new Council convenes early next year — right after she collects $478,000 in DROP retirement money, does not retire, and continues to accept her huge salary as a councilwoman.

By not expressly ruling out voting for Ms. Tasco, Ms. Stewart and Mr. O’Neill are sticking it to the city. But they and all Council candidates have options. Their choices for Council president in January, should they win their district and at-large contests on Nov. 8, are not limited to Ms. Tasco or Councilman Darrell Clarke. They can pick Jim Kenney, the quality-of-life councilman from South Philadelphia. They can pick any of the other Council winners. They can pick themselves. They can abstain from voting for president.

It’s not too late for Ms. Stewart, Mr. O’Neill and every other Council hopeful to do what is morally proper by rejecting Marian Tasco’s presidential ambitions.

But gentle voters of scandal-weary Philadelphia, nothing will change until you wise up, rise up and speak up. Let all City Council candidates — Republicans, Democrats, district and at-large — know at least this much: Come Election Day, you will not vote for any Council hopeful who has not ruled out voting for Marian Tasco for president. ••

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