Last week, opponents of a congressional bill to penalize so-called “sanctuary cities” rallied at Love Park.
The U.S. House of Representatives, with almost all votes coming from Republicans, passed legislation that would deny federal funds to sanctuary cities. The bill would withhold certain federal law enforcement grants to cities that have policies designed to shelter illegal immigrants from deportation.
The issue came to the forefront in the wake of Kathryn Steinle’s death on July 1 in San Francisco. Authorities charged Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who is in the U.S. illegally, has a history of felony convictions and has been deported five times.
Reps. Bob Brady and Brendan Boyle did not vote on the bill. Brady’s spokeswoman said he was ill and at home at the time of the vote. Boyle’s office has not said why he skipped the vote.
At the rally, opponents labeled the legislation the “Donald Trump bill.” Trump, who is running for president, wants to deport illegal immigrants. He has said many of the illegal immigrants from Mexico are rapists and drug dealers, with some good people.
Democratic mayoral nominee Jim Kenney authored an op-ed in defense of Philadelphia’s non-cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on non-violent detainer requests. The op-ed was published in Al Día.
Kenney wrote, “As a Philadelphia City Councilman, I joined my colleagues in calling for an end to our city’s compliance with ICE detainer requests in February of 2014. At the time, the federal government could request that the City detain an individual for up to 48 hours without any proof of their illegal immigration status. Today, Philadelphia no longer holds undocumented offenders who have not committed first or second degree felonies, unless ICE obtains a judicial warrant. If I am elected mayor in November, that policy will continue.”
Kenney described non-cooperation with ICE as “simply good governing.”
Melissa Murray Bailey, the Republican candidate for mayor, said. “My strong stance against Philadelphia being a sanctuary city has nothing to do with a person’s country of origin, race or ethnicity. Jim Kenney would like you to believe it has to do with fear, but in reality my stance is just based on common sense and safety.”
Philadelphia Republican Party executive director Joe DeFelice and Ross Feinberg, the party’s candidate for register of wills, commented on the indictment of Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah on corruption charges.
“I think it’s time for Chaka Fattah to call for his own resignation,” Feinberg said.
“Congressman Fattah is just another in just the last year to be indicted for putting himself before the people he represents,” DeFelice said. “Fattah, along with fellow Philadelphia Democrats, state Sen. Leanna Washington, Judge Thomasine Tynes and state Reps. JP Miranda, Harold James, Vanessa Brown, Michelle Brownlee, Ron Waters and Louise Bishop, just to name a few, have decided that lining their own pockets and not upholding the rule of the law are more important than adequately representing their constituents.”
Brown and Bishop have pleaded not guilty and are expected to go to trial.
DeFelice is criticizing City Council for emailing a note to community groups urging them to lobby the state legislature to pass Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget.
“Is it not enough that City Council cannot rely on the roughly 30 Democrats from Philadelphia in the General Assembly to do their bidding? Is it not enough that City Council had to hire a lobbyist to talk to the Harrisburg legislators for them? Is it not enough that both City Council and Gov. Wolf want to raise our taxes?” DeFelice asked. “In short, the answer to each of those questions is yes. Today, City Council proved that it was not enough; they felt it necessary to use more government resources to lobby the citizens of Philadelphia to do their work for them.”
Jim Kenney, the Democratic candidate for mayor, was endorsed last week by Josh Shapiro, the chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
“As a councilman and a candidate, Jim Kenney has maintained a strong commitment to ethical and fiscal stewardship,” Shapiro said. “His plan to institute zero-based budgeting will benefit the people of Philadelphia and our entire region by making city government more effective and focusing on the investments that make a difference in people’s lives.”
Chris Sawyer, the Republican candidate for sheriff, described as “feckless” the federal defamation lawsuit filed by six police officers against District Attorney Seth Williams, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Mayor Michael Nutter.
Five of the six officers were narcotics officers who were acquitted of corruption charges. Their former supervisor joins them in the lawsuit.
“The fact that a burden of proof failed to convince a criminal jury to convict is not sufficient grounds for a defamation suit. If that were the case, then every man and woman who has ever been acquitted in a criminal trial has grounds in a civil defamation tort against every prosecutor and local government in the land. It is absurd to believe this, and the courts reject it,” Sawyer said.
Veteran political consultant Frank Keel has signed on to the campaign team of Republican City Council At-Large nominee Al Taubenberger.
Keel’s many political clients include former Philadelphia Mayor John Street, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, Councilman Bobby Henon and former Councilman Jack Kelly.
“I have admired Frank’s work for many years,” Taubenberger said. “He’s a tough, respected political adviser and communications professional, and we’re thrilled to have him on our team.”
Former congressman Joe Sestak, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, discussed the recent nuclear arms agreement with Iran during a campaign stop in Delaware County.
“We must verify before we trust, and the military option remains on the table if they try to cheat, but our nation is more secure with a verifiable agreement,” Sestak said.
Last Friday, he delivered a speech about the agreement at a Center City law firm. He backs the agreement over sanctions and air strikes.
“I am supportive of the nuclear agreement with Iran if for no other reason than Iran could have bomb-grade material for a nuclear weapon within 30 days of today,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sestak discussed the education chapter of his book at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University.
Sestak explained, as a result of being saddled with such a high cost for an education, today’s college graduates take longer to purchase homes, are less likely to buy a car, contribute less to overall consumer spending, are less likely to form a small business, and more likely to live with parents.
Sestak said that 18-year-olds should not be saddled with decades of debt caused by the inefficiencies and inflexibility of colleges.
“When I was a professor at colleges and universities across Pennsylvania, I was concerned that the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University placed one and two on the nationwide list for highest in-state tuition for four-year public universities,” Joe said. “Too many colleges and universities are terrible at managing costs and accustomed to simply passing the expenses along to students in the form of higher tuition and fees.”
Gov. Tom Wolf has been named the most liberal governor in America by research website FindTheBest, with research from OnTheIssues.
“Governor Tom Wolf’s extreme liberal agenda is now turning heads on a national level,” said Republican Party of Pennsylvania communications director Megan Sweeney. “Since being sworn into office, Governor Tom Wolf’s answer to almost every issue in government is higher taxes, bigger government and more spending.” ••