Young Republicans defend local GOP

Ross Wolfe criticized an article saying the Republican City Committee was not interested in winning elections.

Ross Wolfe, chairman of the Philadelphia Young Republicans, criticized Philadelphia 3.0 for publishing an online article contending the Republican City Committee was not interested in winning elections, instead settling for patronage jobs.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in Philadelphia by a ratio of about 7 to 1.

The article noted that party chairman Mike Meehan ousted vice chairman and ward leader Mike Cibik from the state committee after he criticized U.S. Rep. and Democratic City Committee chairman Bob Brady on social media for overseeing a “corrupt political machine.” Meehan added in an email to Cibik that he believes the city’s two daily newspapers have been unfair to Brady.

The Philadelphia 3.0 article included a picture of Brady with his hand over a boy’s face. The caption jokingly identified the boy as Meehan.

The Home Rule Charter reserves two at-large City Council seats for non-majority party candidates. Philadelphia 3.0 said at-large Republican Councilmen David Oh and Al Taubenberger haven’t shown an interest in offering an alternative platform to Democrats. The article suggested independents or minor-party candidates run for those seats in 2019.

“The Philadelphia Republican Party has put a candidate on the ballot for almost every citywide election and special election since I have been alive,” said Wolfe, 29. “I, along with many others in the party, have obtained signatures so these candidates could get on the ballot, donated money to them, and knocked on thousands of doors to promote their candidacy. We do not give our time and money to lose. We want to win. We want to be competitive.”

Wolfe said some candidates run to build the party for the future, to present alternatives to city voters and to discuss issues that incumbent Democrats won’t.

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In a recent court filing, Lt. Gov. Mike Stack urged Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court to proceed with a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s 2011 redistricting plan.

The League of Women Voters and constituents complaining they live in gerrymandered congressional districts filed the suit in June. Legislative Republican leaders have asked the court to delay consideration in lieu of a likely U.S. Supreme Court decision on Whitford v. Gill, a federal lawsuit filed in Wisconsin.

In a reply filed with the court, Stack’s lawyers told the court the federal case has no bearing on the state suit.

Stack, who was a senator representing the Northeast and river wards in 2011, said Democrats were cut out of the redistricting process while GOP leaders contorted the districts to retain partisan advantage.

“This lawsuit should expose the naked partisanship the Republican leadership displayed in 2011, and lead to much-needed reforms in the redistricting process,” he said. “Unfortunately, majority leadership is currently holding reform bills in committee, refusing even to allow public hearings so we can remove self-service from future redistricting efforts.”

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Congregations of Shaare Shamayim, 9768 Verree Road in Bustleton, has invited candidates in the general election to speak at a forum on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m.

Admission is free, and brunch will be served.

To RSVP, call 215–677–1600. ••