Candidate for Register of Wills will eliminate office

Speaking his mind: Republican candidate Ross Feinberg, a Rhawnhurst resident, said the Register of Wills office is unnecessary and could be handled more efficiently.

Ross Feinberg, the Republican candidate for Register of Wills, is calling for the abolishment of the office.

Feinberg cited studies by the Committee of Seventy and the Philadelphia Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority that both concluded that the office was unnecessary and could be handled more efficiently. Other counties have successfully eliminated their separate offices to handle the duties of the Register of Wills.

ldquo;The Register of Wills simply presides over a bureaucracy,” Feinberg said. “They make administrative decisions, not political ones. Contrast that with the decisions made by the mayor and City Council. Those offices make decisions that affect policy. The Register of Wills does not. Since it should not be doing political work, it should not be elected through the political process.”

Democrat Ron Donatucci has held the office for more than 35 years.

Feinberg said he will hire on merit, not patronage.

The next Register of Wills, he said, should be appointed by the judges in Orphans Court.

Most of the duties of the office could be taken over by the courts, he said, much as they did after the office of the Clerk of Quarter Sessions was eliminated.

ull;•

Melissa Murray Bailey, the Republican candidate for mayor, issued a statement after it was discovered that a city employee tried to solicit campaign donations for Democratic candidate Jim Kenney.

“Actions like this explain exactly why Mr. Kenney scuttled a prime time TV debate,” she said. “He knows that debate would clearly illustrate to the people of Philadelphia that Mr. Kenney represents the business-as-usual political machine, and I represent a new approach to city government that addresses the root causes of our problems and puts citizens first.”

Bailey said her first order as mayor will be to make permanent the positions of inspector general and chief integrity officer with jurisdiction over all offices and departments of the city.

ull;•

Boris Kindij has entered the race for mayor as an independent.

Kindij describes Philadelphia as one of the poorest, corrupt, mismanaged, crime-infested, most rundown and in-debt cities in the country.

ldquo;As Bernie Sanders fights for justice and fairness throughout the nation, I will fight to unite the City of Brotherly Love by eliminating poverty,” he said. “As mayor of Philadelphia, I will create an Income Inequality Advisory Committee (comprised of representatives from labor, business, and nonprofits), and with City Council’s cooperation increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour.”

Kindij, of South Philadelphia, would also expand the 10-year tax abatement to 20 years for all properties under $250,000. He’d end police “stop-and-frisk” practices.

All new city employees in a Kindij administration will have to join a 401(k)-style pension plan.

“I will not allow Philadelphia to become another Detroit,” he said.

ull;•

The Friends of Seth Williams campaign spokesman Mike Barley released a statement regarding last week’s article in the Philadelphia Inquirer that said Williams is being investigated by a federal grand jury for campaign spending.

Barley suggested that state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a bitter Williams rival, might have been a source for the story. He wrote that Kane once wrote an email saying she wants “to make Seth pay.”

“District Attorney Williams denies these allegations. His campaign finance records are a matter of public record, and he will cooperate with any authorities who may wish to review them,” Barley said.

ull;•

Republicans are criticizing Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty for what they see as her silence on issues facing the state, country and world.

“If Ms. McGinty wants to run for U.S. Senate, she needs to let voters know where she stands on critical issues,” said Pennsylvania GOP communications director Megan Sweeney. “Joe Sestak is 100 percent behind President Obama’s disastrous deal with Iran. Ms. McGinty says she doesn’t know where she stands. That’s not going to cut it. Is Katie McGinty for or against the Iran deal? Pennsylvanians deserve to know.”

Sweeney also asked for McGinty to weigh in on the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to regulate the coal industry and whether she supports reforms to Obamacare.

Meanwhile, National Republican Senatorial Committee spokeswoman Andrea Bozek is outlining similar criticisms on McGinty’s take on the Iran deal.

“If Katie McGinty wants to be taken seriously as a candidate, she owes Pennsylvanians an answer on this critical issue of national security,” Bozek said. “Does McGinty have the courage to join other Democrats in standing up to the White House to oppose this dangerous deal? It’s time for McGinty to stop dodging and give voters the answer they deserve.”

ull;•

The campaign of Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is pleased that New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez is opposing the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran.

In a speech at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Menendez stated that the deal fails to meet the objective of negotiations with Iran, which was to end the country’s quest for a nuclear weapon.

Menendez also detailed the long history Iran has in breaking international agreements. He believes the agreement is based on hope and nothing more.

Earlier, New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer announced his opposition to the deal.

At least 10 Democratic House members oppose the pact.

“The former Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Sen. Bob Menendez) and the presumed next Senate Democratic leader (Sen. Chuck Schumer) have now taken the same position as Sen. Pat Toomey in opposition to the disastrous and dangerous Iran deal,” said Toomey’s campaign spokesman, Steve Kelly. “Unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s two Democratic U.S. Senate candidates refuse to join the growing bipartisan consensus. You have liberal Joe Sestak who fully supports this dangerous pro-Iran deal, and you have Katie McGinty who can’t make up her mind and refuses to answer any questions on the subject.

ldquo;Pennsylvanians deserve a candidate who understands that giving hundreds of billions of dollars to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism is a bad idea.”

ull;•

The Toomey campaign contends that Sestak misled viewers during a Sunday morning appearance on NBC 10 @ Issue.

Specifically, the campaign challenged Sestak’s claim to be independent, noting that he voted with Nancy Pelosi 98 percent of the time during his two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In addition, the campaign said it is not true that Toomey has voted against every Department of Veterans Affairs budget, arguing that he co-sponsored legislation for VA reforms and greater flexibility for veterans in their healthcare options.

ldquo;Pennsylvanians will not be fooled by Congressman Joe Sestak’s attempts to distort Sen. Pat Toomey’s voting record and to hide the fact that he is a liberal, left-wing Democrat whose beliefs fall in line with Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid,” said Toomey spokesman Steve Kelly. “There is no doubt that Warren, Pelosi and Reid are too extreme for Pennsylvania, and so is Joe Sestak.” ••