Smith says poll contained false information

Pete Smith, the Republican candidate in the 6th Councilmanic District, said an attorney has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Dynata, a polling firm that he said had been spreading false information to voters.

Dynata was hired by Thirty Ninth Street Strategies, a campaign consultant to Democratic Councilman Bobby Henon.

Smith described the calls as an attempt by Henon to deflect from his upcoming trial on federal corruption charges.

While the calls have stopped, Smith said he continues to be harassed on social media and at events by Henon supporters.

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Republican City Council at-large candidate Matt Wolfe criticized the Kenney administration for the lack of funding and oversight management of the city’s animal shelter.

Philadelphia has only one open-intake animal shelter and contracts with Animal Care Control Team Philly, a nonprofit, to manage it. The mayor appoints its Board of Directors.

This year, ACCT Philly, 111 W. Hunting Park Ave., had to suspend dog adoptions and intakes due to infections and deaths of sick animals. Last month, the executive director abruptly resigned. The City Controller’s Office has released a report detailing serious waste and mismanagement of both the funds provided by the city as well as charitable grants.

“The state of the city’s treatment of animals is inhumane and needs to change,” Wolfe said. “Funding is one big issue, but not the full extent of the problem. There is bad management of both the finances and the treatment of the animals. In addition, the facility in which the shelter is housed is wholly inadequate. It was never meant to be an animal shelter.”

Wolfe noted that, compared with other cities, Philadelphia’s funding of its animal control problems falls short. One example presented by protesters at City Hall recently was Dallas, which takes in about as many animals as Philadelphia but whose budget is about double.

“The city must prevent additional suffering by these dogs, cats and other animals,” Wolfe said. “We cannot expect the state or federal governments to step in to handle this local problem and we cannot rely on charities. This is a municipal responsibility, and the Kenney administration and City Council are falling short.”

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The Philadelphia Young Republicans recently delivered 135 backpacks with supplies to elementary school students throughout Philadelphia.

This was the third year of the backpack drive.

“We were so thrilled to be able to help elementary school children in Philadelphia again this year. Over the past three years of our backpack drive, we have provided 665 backpacks with supplies to kids all over Philadelphia. We consider this to be one of our most important achievements as an organization. Thank you to everyone who contributed,” said Ross Wolfe, chairman of the Philadelphia Young Republicans.

The Philadelphia Young Republicans were joined by City Councilman Brian O’Neill and state Rep. Martina White at the William Loesche Elementary School, 595 Tomlinson Road.

From left: Ross Wolfe, Martina White, Loesche principal Sherin Kurian, Brian O’Neill, Morgan Mifflin, Matt Lamorgese.

“The YRs are having such a positive impact on our city and our party. Councilman Brian O’Neill and I were very impressed by their hard work and support of our students and faculty,” White said.

The Philadelphia Young Republicans donated the backpacks to five other schools, including Gilbert Spruance, 6401 Horrocks St.

The Philadelphia Young Republicans is an organization for registered Republicans, living or working in Philadelphia, ages 18 to 40.

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Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5’s 7C Lounge, 11630 Caroline Road, will host 1210 WPHT’s Democratic presidential debate watch party on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m.

The public is invited to meet Rich Zeoli, Dom Giordano and Dawn Stensland.

The evening will feature food and prizes.

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U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts running for president, announced on Monday her endorsement of Kendra Brooks, a Working Families Party candidate for City Council at large this November.

Brooks, along with Nicolas O’Rourke, is running on the Working Families Party ticket for one of the two minority-party seats in Council that have typically gone to Republicans.

In a statement, Warren said, “Kendra Brooks is a mother, a grandmother and a fighter. As an organizer, she’s been a leader in protecting our public schools and ensuring every kid gets a chance to get a good education, no matter where they live. Her passion, commitment and ideas is what will break the decades-long Republican stranglehold of minority seats and help make real change for Philadelphia’s working families.”

“I’m deeply grateful for the support of Sen. Elizabeth Warren,” Brooks said. “She has elevated the national conversation about the issues we’re fighting for in Philadelphia — affordable housing, access to health care, quality public schools and criminal justice reform — and is advocating on a national scale for the change I’m working for in our communities.”

Two weeks ago, Brooks was endorsed by Councilwoman Helen Gym, who joined state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler, Chris Rabb and Malcolm Kenyatta in backing her. Brooks has also been endorsed by an array of labor unions and progressive organizations.

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Pennsylvania is launching an option for voters to apply online for an absentee ballot starting with the November election.

In previous elections, voters’ only choice was to complete a paper absentee ballot application and mail or hand-deliver it to their county election office for processing.

The online application site, at votesPA.com/ApplyAbsentee, will go live on Monday, Sept. 16, the first day that registered voters may apply for absentee ballots for the Nov. 5 election.

When an applicant completes the online form, the information is forwarded directly to the appropriate county elections office for processing. Voters must still mail or hand-deliver their completed ballot to their county election office by the deadline, which is 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election, or Nov. 1 this year.

Initially, online absentee ballot applications will require a PennDOT driver’s license or ID number in order to be processed electronically. The department is planning an update by 2020 that will allow use by applicants who do not have a PennDOT number.

The Pennsylvania Election Code allows registered voters to apply for an absentee ballot up until one week before an election, which is just three days before the deadline to submit a voted absentee ballot. This year, the deadline to apply by paper or online is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29.

The system will be available to military and overseas voters by 2020.

Absentee ballots may be cast by individuals with illnesses or disabilities, individuals who will be away from their municipality on business on Election Day, and Pennsylvania students attending out-of-state colleges or universities, among others.

For more information on voting by absentee ballots, visit votespa.com.

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The Pennsylvania Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Commission last week released its ratings of two Superior Court and two Commonwealth Court judges who are standing for retention in the Nov. 5 general election.

Commonwealth Court Judges Kevin Brobson and Patricia McCullough and Supreme Court Judges Anne Lazarus and Judith Olson are recommended for retention. All four were elected in 2009.

The commission based its findings for each candidate on a two-part evaluation process.

Investigative panels conducted the first phase of the process, which included a review of the candidate’s completed questionnaire, an analysis of written opinions authored by the retention candidate within the last three to five years and interviews with judges and lawyers who have appeared in front of the retention candidate. The panels then submitted confidential written reports to the commission outlining the results of their investigations.

In the second phase, the commission members reviewed the questionnaires and written opinions as well as the investigative panel reports, and interviewed the panel chairs before rendering their own evaluation and recommendation.

The commission includes lawyer and non-lawyer members from across the state.

The candidates’ questionnaires can be found at www.pabar.org. ••