"Candidate Participation: Persons running for office in a primary or general election will not be allowed to speak to "new issues" under Good and Welfare or Courtesy of the Floor. This prohibition will apply as soon as the candidate's nominating petition is filed and until after the General Election in that same year (unless a candidate is unsuccessful In the primary). The Presiding Officer will enforce this rule.
"1. Good and Welfare prohibition applies to members of City Council seeking election.
"2. Courtesy of the Floor prohibition applies to those, not on Council, seeking election. (26179 12/6/89)"
Sometimes, questions about the right of public participation can get a little murky. This is not one of those times. As mentioned yesterday, this incumbent protection rule is clearly inconsistent with both Allentown's Home Rule Charter as well as Pennsylvania's Sunshine Act.
This is where Carrie, aka Volvo Driving Soccer Mom, aka Pissed Off Naked Blogger, enters the fray. She's previously suggested that mayoral candidate Tony Phillips, an African American, should "have someone school him on elocution." Does Tony have a lisp? No. Stutter? No. But he does sound a little ... um ... black. Carrie denies her advice has anything to do with that.
At Queen City Daily, Carrie continues her line of personal attacks, but this time they're directed at me. First, no one should listen to a word I say because "[y]ou were disbarred. For you to give legal opinions on anything is a joke." Second, I'm doing this to get at Mayor Edwin because he "hurt your feelings."
It's certainly true I lost my ticket way back in 1985, but not for stupidity. To be perfectly honest, only a moron could conclude that the incumbent protection rule has any validity. It would never survive a challenge based either on the Home Rule Charter or Sunshine Act.
As far as bashing Hizzoner is concerned, King Edwin may even agree with me. Lord knows, he gets along with no one on City Council. My argument actually benefits all candidates for city office, from Lou Hershman to Mike Schlossberg to King Edwin himself. For all I know, he's designing a three minute power point presentation right now.
How does City Solicitor Frances Fruwirth feel about all this? She supposedly gave Prez D'Amore the green light, but was undoubtedly unaware at the time how this rule contradicts the plain language of both Home Rule Charter and state Sunshine Act. I tried speaking to her late yesterday but was told she is "unavailable." She may remain that way. If she is able to speak with me, I'll tell you what she has to say.