#HD182: Margo Davidson CM Shannon Marietta Moonlighting on Babette Josephs Campaign

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The story just writes itself:

“Well of course it’ll distract him,” Josephs told me. “I’m delighted that [Cohen and Davidson] have their own reasons for supporting me, because that means they’re going to continue to do it… Margo Davidson will not now begrudge the time her campaign manager spends on my campaign.” (Davidson’s campaign manager Shannon Marietta, Josephs says, will serve her campaign on a volunteer basis.)

I don’t know how you run as the more liberal candidate in a hot safe seat primary like this when you’re joined at the hip, through a campaign manager staffers, with a representative who votes for TRAP laws and supports school vouchers.

But of course it makes perfect sense when you see that Josephs is relying on the conservative wing of the labor movement for support – the whole Brady Bunch/Johnny Doc crew like Brendan and Kevin Boyle, Margo Davidson, and Ed Harkins of the Boilermakers – and they all love school privatization. So if you love Students First and the cyber charter scammers, you’re gonna love Babette 2.0.

(Via Simon van Zuylen-Wood)

Update: I’ve been hearing on background that Shannon will double as the CM for both campaigns, so I initially took this as confirmation of that, but I’m going to walk this back until that’s actually announced.

Also I don’t want to imply that Mark Cohen supports school privatization, just that he is throwing in his lot with the conservative wing of the labor movement and less-than-progressive elements like the Boyles and Margo Davidson to get reelected. I took his name out of the Brady Bunch laundry list for clarity.

This entry was posted in State House.

36 Responses to #HD182: Margo Davidson CM Shannon Marietta Moonlighting on Babette Josephs Campaign

  1. UDblue says:

    Um.. can you read? A volunteer and campaign manager are… not the same thing. Keep writing whatever you want though! Facts aren’t important when you have an agenda I guess.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      I already heard Shannon would be running both campaigns. But this is the first time I’d seen it confirmed on the record.

      • UDblue says:

        Lol. So you think that a volunteer and campaign manager are the same thing?

        • Jon Geeting says:

          Nope, I think that Shannon is doubling as the CM for both campaigns. I notice that you’re not actually denying this Matt.

          • UDblue says:

            Lol. “I notice you aren’t denying this Matt.”

            #1 – If you say something that’s not true, not denying it does not make it true…

            #2 – I am not Matt.

            Keep the hits rolling though.

      • UDblue says:

        And maybe you should consider doing your own reporting and citing your sources. The whole sensationalizing someone else’s actual reporting doesn’t look like it’s working out.

        Whatever drives traffic though, right?

  2. For the record, neither myself nor former Representative Babette Josephs is in favor school privatization. Both of us favor full equal rights for members of the GLBT community and have been leaders in pushing that agenda in Harrisburg.

    It is not clear what the conservative wing of the labor movement is, or who is a member of it: almost the entire labor movement now recognizes the folly of pursuing right-wing politics by members of either party.

    Both John Dougherty and Ed Harkins, referred to above, are strong supporters of House Bill 300, seeking to ban discrimination against the GLBT community. So are Brendan and Kevin Boyle. Bob Brady has long supported full GLBT rights in Washington, D.C. It’s time to focus more on facts, and less on propaganda.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      The conservative wing of the labor movement, the Phila, Building Trades Council. supports Republican candidates for state and federal office regularly and they have not been a friend to affordable housing advocacy efforts here in the city. I’ve heard cheap talk from Ed Harkins about NIMBYs being the real problem standing in the way of more total housing construction, but there are exactly zero political dollars committed to fighting that.

    • Colleen Kennedy says:

      For the record, Representative Cohen, your desire to seek a 21st term in the state legislature has caused many, many problems for my community. For the record, LGBT rights aren’t the only rights real progressives care about. Your defense of the Boyle brothers and your support of Davidson to only try to improve your political situation is craven and wrong.

      Representatives Boyle and Boyle, along with Senator Williams and a few others, have funded some truly horrible candidates to victory, all so they can promote their horrible agenda of privatizing our schools. Representative Davidson has taken their lead on that and lied about it over and over again, but she goes one step further, even voting to limit abortion rights and almost voting to restrict LGBT rights, had it not been for the pressure of myself and others. Care about LGBT rights? Well, I’ve been advocating for safer schools and the elimination of bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity in my old schools, but when there aren’t enough resources to keep the general population safe from day to day, thanks to an $18 million annual deficit due to a lack of funding formula (which none of the people listed in your comment, including yourself have done anything about) and $10.6 million in additional charter school costs are funneled out to charter schools not even located in our township, LGBT youth safety tends to go by the wayside.

      With all due respect, Representative, you can write long comments and call everything propaganda and feign the victim when your colleagues speak out of turn but generally are speaking the truth, but it doesn’t fool anyone! Anyone paying attention sees the company you are keeping and the reasons you are calling these people your friends, and I think it will have a significant impact at the ballot box.

      • I have repeatedly supported adequate to excellent funding formulas for Pennsylvania public schools, beginning in the 1975-1976 legislative session. I always supported the most generous funding formula that had a chance to pass. The Pennsylvania State Education Association has long recognized my commitment to the public schools of this Commonwealth, and year after year, decade after decade have been one of the top contributors to my campaign. In 2012, only the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers contributed more money to my campaign for re-election than did the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

        I initiated the idea that the state ought to fund the excess costs of charter schools, which really caught on during the Rendell Administration. The most deadly way that Governor Corbett defunded the public schools was to eliminate the annual appropriation to offset the extra costs of charter schools for school districts.

        The truth about my record is that those who closely follow what goes on in Harrisburg, and who work steadily for more funding for education, transportation, and the general provision of state services are strongly in support of my campaign for re-election. It is easy to say that someone can do better than I do. Those who have worked with many hundreds of legislators over the years tend to dispute that notion.

        • Colleen Kennedy says:

          You may have but the people you are supporting to protect yourself politically have done nothing to push that along, even supporting policies that cancel out any real benefit that would come from that.

          • Anyone who wants to oppose any incumbent has a right to do so. But no incumbent state legislator has cancelled out the impact of my support for greater educational funding: it was Governor Corbett’s decision to cut educational funding, not the decision of any Democratic legislator. No vouchers plan has ever become law, so any vote that anyone cast for a vouchers plan has had no effect.

            For 40 years, I have been a leading voice and vote for public education spending. Those who oppose my candidacy and profess to favor greater educational spending are shooting themselves in the foot. I am a graduate of public schools, married to an activist special education teacher. My opponent has never attended a public school in his life: if you really believe that he will be a stronger advocate for public education than I, then, as the saying goes, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell you.

    • Colleen Kennedy says:

      Representative, it wouldn’t let me reply to your comment further down the thread, so I’m sorry if that makes it confusing..

      I’d like to push back a little on what you just said, respectfully. This entire time that Governor Corbett has been office, there has been no real progress to create a fair funding formula. What are you actually going to do with two more years that warrants the support of your constituents? What relationships are you going to foster and strengthen? Who are you going to work with across the aisle to make sure that one day 1, after we get a new governor, that a funding formula is implemented? I honestly want to know, because I don’t know the answer to that, and maybe there’s information I’m not seeing.

      I do know this. I work in your district, and I work every day with residents of your community. Most have no clue who you are, and the problems that they are facing are the same problems they have had to face. Bad economic policies, crumbling schools, violent crime, and you can throw out there that your opponent went to private schools, and I guess that’s a relevant part of the discussion, but what have you actually done? I do know that your opponent is a community organizer like me, who has actually made some great strides in your district to help people, despite the lack of change coming from Harrisburg.

      I also know that you’re now linked to a woman running for office by anyone’s objective perspective to be out for revenge based on her nonsensical speech she made the other night, and a woman who has voted to eliminate a woman’s reproductive choices for no clear policy reason, had to be lobbied into supporting LGBT rights against discrimination, and who would sell out her beliefs on public education for whoever would give her more money.

      Citing Representatives Boyle and Boyle as the sorts of people we need in Harrisburg makes a clear indication to everyone that you do NOT have a reality-based perspective when it comes to public education policy.

      I guess as long as people write super-progressive posts on Facebook, they can align with whoever they want and still be considered progressive by some folks. I won’t be fooled.

      • Colleen Kennedy says:

        Rep Cohen, what Republicans do you have working relationships with, and how many votes have you been in attendance for during this past term?

        And my recent “relentless criticism”? You are seriously giving your relevance a little too much credit. Seriously.

        • I have working relationships with the entire Republican Caucus: my bill requiring state purchase of American products when they are of similar price, value, and usefulness of foreign-made products passed the House unanimously, as did six resolutions that I introduced in this legislative session. The strong opposition of myself and Rep. Babette Josephs to radical right resolutions in 2011-2012 legislative session helped open up the resolutions process so that more mainstream concerns of Democrats could be approved.

          I was a decisive vote, and leader of Northeast Philadelphia Democrats, for the law allowing taverns to sell games of chance, which should easily generate at least $3 to $5 million a year for the City of Philadelphia, and at least $100 million for the state budget, without any tax increase.

          I was a very early, very active, and very strong vote, voice and influence for the Pennsylvania transportation funding bill, a rare example of key legislation passed with bipartisan support and both the Democratic and Republican leaders voting no in the early votes.

          My bipartisan leadership of the Democrats on the House State Government Committee has helped enact state land transfers benefitting Democratic districts, and slow down or totally defeat legislation we consider harmful or extreme.

  3. genuinelysortofyourneighbor,andconcernedaboutthat says:

    What’s really rather galling about your writing’s that the constant bitching about “the conservative wing of the labor movement” isn’t at all matched by any kind of attention to what remains of the labor left [*]. The building trades have money and members and connections, which is why they’re so valuable to rest of the labor movement. Perhaps if young liberals like yourself stopped – just for a second, nothing permanent, you can get to it in a moment – going on about the vital importance of keeping gas meters hidden from view, and actually put a bit of effort into, you know, making it easier for labor to organize new workers and new industries, the bits of the movement you purport to like might have more to do with shaping the direction of the movement as a whole.

    It’s a lot to ask, I know, those meters won’t conceal themselves, but it’s worth remembering that for every George Meany there’s a Walter Reuther, for every hippie puncher there’s an icon of the civil rights movement. There are labor leaders – even in Philadelphia, ye gods! – who represent everything that liberals like yourself claim to respect about the movement. If you actually spent any time talking about them instead of just bashing the building trades, those of us who still work in movement and would _like_ to consider your sort an ally, might actually feel a bit safer doing so [**].

    [* ...well, that and your conviction that decent wages "artificially inflate costs" when they're going into carpenters' pockets, or amount to "rent-seeking" by the UFCW. Presumably like most contemporary liberals, there's some fantasy situation out there somewhere in which you'd get behind the idea of decent, collectively bargained wages, just like how libertarians are totally all about the abstract idea of civil rights until they're applied in practice.]

    [** ...and might be a bit less concerned about your potentially getting a seat on the City Committee. Yes, even in Ward 2, there are _some_ labor-loving-leftists still hanging around.]

    • Jon Geeting says:

      I would love to support a powerful Building Trades group as part of a coalition of developers, and smart growthers. What we really need in this city is a Build Philadelphia Party that’s for scrapping the 38 foot height limit, the minimum lot size regulations, and minimum parking requirements, and upzoning the wider streets and arterials to CMX3 thru CMX5.

      That’s an agenda for lots more work for construction workers, and an agenda that would grow union membership. My aim in city politics is to help build that coalition, and I’m hopeful that some of the Building Trades Council’s protectionist bad habits would get sanded down a bit if they had to focus on areas of agreement with developers and smart growth environmentalists – namely more total by-right construction.

      I’m not anti-union by any means, just anti-protectionism, and I think that everyone’s interests can be channeled in a more positive direction that doesn’t contribute to unaffordable housing pressures. And when I get a committee seat, I want to work on helping push the city party in this direction.

      • julia says:

        The agenda for the labor movement, Jon, is to provide a higher quality of life for workers. That’s it. Maybe you should talk to a worker or union member sometime. Your talking points about labor are the same as the right with pretty “urbanist” language added in. Working people need decent wages and protection from abusive employers. That’s what the labor movement provides for its workers.

        • Jon Geeting says:

          I support unions in many different instances. I support SEIU’s side in the fight with UPMC in Pittsburgh, and am a big fan of union organizing in health care, in supermarkets, and in food service chains. I support alt-labor organizations like the Freelancers Union, and Restaurant Opportunities Center. Where there’s a big pot of producer surplus money or rents, I want to see working people bargain as much away from shareholders and management as they can get.

          But in areas where there is not a big producer surplus, like real estate, where high labor costs will just get passed through to people like apartment renters and small business tenants, then I’m not a fan of protectionist activities like the building trades guild engages in. The progressive position there is supporting anything and everything that will lower rents for working people. More people are renters than are construction workers. I think you also can’t ignore the long history, continued right up through today, of the Philly building trades basically locking out women and people of color from the construction industry, and endorsing lots of Republican candidates for office who vote against working people, and vote for John Boehner for Speaker.

          That’s why I call them the conservative wing of the labor movement. They’re “racial conservatives”, and they frequently support Republican candidates for office.

          • genuinelysortofyourneighbor,andconcernedaboutthat says:

            “I…am a big fan of union organizing in health care… Where there’s a big pot of producer surplus money or rents, I want to see working people bargain as much away from shareholders and management as they can get. But in areas where there is not a big producer surplus…”

            >>> The rents in healthcare aren’t generally floating around in the same places as the organizing campaigns, for what it’s worth. But the rest of this calls to mind Phil Ochs’ characterization of the American liberal: “ten degrees to the left of center in good times, ten degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally.” At any rate the only actually-existing labor dispute you’ve taken the labor side on is still just the one; the rest of your list just exists in the abstract, and the original point still stands: there are plenty of local labor leaders whose work you could praise, but all the attention labor seems to get here is you damning the building trades. That is what it is, but it’s certainly not helping you make a case that you’re pro-labor in any meaningful way.

            “The progressive position there is supporting anything and everything that will lower rents for working people.”

            >>> Or, that’ll boost the wages of working people, so they can afford to make their rent. There’s often more than one way to achieve the same goal in a progressive fashion (if “progressive” is meant to be at all synonymous with “left-ish”), but this blog seems pretty consistently to embrace the market-efficiency approach to the exclusion of most others. Which is a good reason for people who agree with you on a lot of points (good urbanism and whatnot), but for whom labor issues are more important, to be less than comfortable with the idea that you’re getting involved in Ward politics. I’m pretty much OK with what your positions are alleged to be, but not at all on board with your revealed preferences, unless those preferences are mislead (thus, my suggestion that you balance the jeering-at-the-building-trades stuff with some actually pro-labor coverage, and maybe actually try to win some allies in the bits of the labor movement you claim to be OK with).

          • Jon Geeting says:

            To be perfectly honest I mainly just don’t follow labor politics that closely because my main issues are in the housing, transportation and land use area of city politics. And where labor politics touches on the thing I care most about – getting combined median housing and transportation costs down to around 30-40% of area median income – I see the Building Trades’ current political program as an obstacle. I’ve seen it work otherwise in NYC where some of my friends at 32BJ and some big developers worked together to push through upzonings.

            Anyway this is the only part of Philly politics I follow closely so if you want better labor coverage I’m going to need some help getting started because I actually know nothing about any of the other labor leaders here. Who should I be covering?

          • genuinelysortofyourneighbor,andconcernedaboutthat says:

            It’s not a question of starting from 0 and all of a sudden being well-versed in local labor politics, and anyway productive labor-management relations (unfortunately) don’t tend to make the news. But there’s certainly a lot of overlap between Philadelphia labor issues and your areas of interest at moment, and plenty of room for you to take a not-reflexively-pro-labor stance on this stuff and _still_ have a much more productive contribution to make than just jokes-about-disliking-some-of-the-building-trades’-current-positions.

            > Transport’s a bit issue for you; well, there’s a big round of SEPTA contract negotiations coming up, and Philadelphia Magazine (for one) has already staked out the “TWU is going to destroy public transit in Southeast PA” position, so there’s plenty of room for a more nuanced take. Last time there was a SEPTA contract dispute (or maybe the time before that, or maybe both times, I don’t really recall precisely), it was your pal Bob Brady who played a big role keeping negotiations going until a settlement was reached. Say you and whatever coalition you’re trying to put together succeed in remaking the City Committee in your image: who’s the local power broker who’s actually trusted _enough_ by both parties to mediate public sector labor disputes like that? What destroys public transit systems isn’t unions making maximalist demands or prepping their members for a potential strike (that _always_ happens because it needs to, you can’t spring a strike on workers the night before – it involves them making a lot of sacrifices and taking a lot of risks, and you need to spend time preparing even if you don’t ever wind up walking out), it’s the inability of labor and management to communicate with each other. Ask Boris Johnson and Bob Crow how well TfL’s negotiations with its unions have gone the last five or six years. How does Philadelphia’s new “progressive” Democratic Party propose to deal with this type of situation, just wash their hands of it? Side with the reactionaries? Or if it’s still supposed to play a mediating role, who’s supposed to be building the relationships that it’ll take to do that?

            > Public education’s actually part of the platform you’re running on; well, there’s a pretty long-simmering labor dispute there, in which the PFT and 32BJ are clearly in the right (the SDP certainly _is_ trying to balance the budget on its workers’ backs), but in which the SDP’s options are so constrained that it’s probably not possible for Hite &co to do the right thing (whatever it is, they can’t afford it). No matter who’s elected governor, there’s not going to be a magic money pot showing up in Superintendent Hite’s office the day of the inauguration. So what’s the SDP to do with whatever funding it does wind up with? How does it restore its workers morale, and stop them leaving the District, and start rebuilding its workforce in a sensible way?

            > You could say a lot of the same things about the City’s negotiations with DC33 (or lack thereof) that you can say about the school district. Labor costs are obviously a huge component of any municipal budget, so it’s not as if this settlement won’t impact your other priorities somehow – and if there’s not a settlement before the next election, it’ll certainly play a big role in the Democratic primary.

            > If you’re going to keep banging on about housing and development costs, why not just cut down on the jeering a _little_ bit and actually touch on how the building trades can be part of the solution, rather than just how important it is to break their power and end their political clout? As you’ve acknowledged, there are the beginnings of some answers to be found in other cities and plenty to be written here.

            …it’s not hard to find really reactionary coverage of Philadelphia’s labor politics, or to find really uninformative coverage. It’s also not difficult to find young progressives like yourself who don’t really give much thought to these issues, who profess a pro-labor stance but who can’t seem to find a case _affecting them personally_ in which to put it on display. I respect the idea of trying to build a better Democratic Party in Philadelphia from the bottom up, but I certainly can’t say that I wish you well or that I’d be willing to support the project in our Ward given what’s been on display for everyone so far. A few nuanced looks at really important issues involving labor politics, in which you at least began to demonstrate _some_ understanding of what trade unionism is for, might address some peoples’ concerns.

          • Jon Geeting says:

            Some good points in here that I’ll think about for future coverage of these issues.

            I can tell you that my big SEPTA issue in the medium term is upgrading the regional rail lines to rapid transit standards and automating ticketing and driving, and I know that those haven’t been popular positions with the TWU. But I think it’s possible to work with them to relocate those workers to other jobs in the agency, which seems to be the only way these types of efficiencies ever get implemented.

            Ultimately my goal is better service provision, and while I do care about decent wages and working conditions for our public employees, I’m not going to tell you that is my *primary* concern. For me it’s ultimately about the services. I see treating our workers well as an important part of that, but I don’t see public services as primarily a jobs program the way some labor liberals do. I’d like to keep the conversation going about these issues, but I’ll be honest that if very generous contracts and work rules are your top priority in city politics, then you probably shouldn’t vote for me.

          • genuinelysortofyourneighbor,andconcernedaboutthat says:

            The strange notion that a municipality can deliver services efficiently and effectively while its labor relations are in complete disarray has always fascinated me. How’s that supposed to work, exactly?

            There need to be people around who can mediate these issues, who recognize that labor and management both (esp. w/r/t public sector contract disputes) have valid complaints/concerns/etc, and who care enough to try and restore some semblance of trust and goodwill.I don’t think it requires a very charitable reading of my suggestions above to conclude that the point was “public sector labor negotiations are really complicated and really important to get right,” not “municipalities should always and everywhere capitulate to every demand a union negotiator makes.” Unless part of your plan to break and remake our Democratic machine involves either shuttling labor out of the Democratic coalition or muddling through with labor relations a constant distraction, some thought needs to be paid to this stuff. Or I suppose you can just barge ahead recklessly, though it doesn’t look terribly likely that you’ll get much of anywhere.

            “I’d like to keep the conversation going about these issues, but I’ll be honest that if very generous contracts and work rules are your top priority in city politics, then you probably shouldn’t vote for me.”

            Actually, top priorities are anti-poverty programs; the youth/adult education and workforce development systems; regional economic development; and (who’d'a thought?!) high-quality public service provision. I’d have thought that somebody with those priorities would share enough common ground with you and whatever you perceive your coalition to be, that perhaps it would’ve been worth some effort trying not to sound quite so smug and prickish so quickly, but then I suppose that’s a political strategy in its own right, these days. Best of luck with it.

          • Jon Geeting says:

            It sounds from the priorities you listed like we do share plenty of common ground, enough to be in the same political coalition in Democratic politics I think, but because I’ve chosen to focus this blog’s attention on taking the major Philly Democratic power players down a peg, rather than lifting up elements of the labor movement that are potential allies, you are inclined to read my priorities in the most uncharitable way.

          • julia says:

            As a woman, the one thing that has always improved my quality of life has been higher wages, not lower rents. You seem to believe that you must tear down one group of working people in order to cater to the low wages of another. Typical race to the bottom thinking.

            What we should be doing is maintaining good wages in the construction sector while fighting like hell to improve the wages of those in the service sector drastically. Everyone deserves to have a good wage, not just cheap slums to live in.

          • Jon Geeting says:

            Not cheap slums – Berlin has cheap apartments (like $400-500 a month for a one bedroom) and their city is great. Why can’t the median rent in Philly for a one bedroom be $500? We need to think bigger.

            Higher wages and lower rents are the same thing. If your rent goes down, it’s just like you got a raise at work.

          • genuinelysortofyourneighbor,andconcernedaboutthat says:

            I keep meaning to let this drop, but: Berlin’s an interesting choice; construction is one of the German industries with a Tarifausschuss (national, collectively-bargained wage floor), and certainly Germany’s not known for its low labor costs by any means [*].

            Apparently it’s quite possible, then, to manage the delicate balancing act of high wages AND reasonable rents. Why not, then, “think bigger” (as you put it) and try to do just that?

            [* ...though labor costs in Berlin actually look a lot more like East Germany than West Germany; understandable given its actual physical location, but I still would've thought that it's relative importance would've bumped them up a bit. That being said, actually, I don't know what Berlin's relative importance to the Germany economy is, and wages are reallllllllly high in Frankfurt and Hamburg, so I was probably under-weighting their contribution. "How does Germany keep housing costs so low, given its high labor costs?" would actually be a very interesting post, for what it's worth, and would probably be a great venue for examining roles labor _could_ play in your grand urbanist schemes.]

            …as for your reply to my own last comment, I’m still really not sure why you’re not bothered about growing your coalition to include other potential partners, but OK. Give it a try later on I guess, but you still probably want to avoid convincing potential future allies that you don’t really care about their priorities.

          • Jon Geeting says:

            I’ve seen construction workers and developers team up to do exactly what I’m saying I want in NYC, and as I said in a previous comment, I definitely see the building trades as part of the coalition – building trades, developers, realtors, smart growth-minded environmentalists, and active transportation advocates. A Build More Philadelphia Party of sorts. The Building Trades have a first order economic interest in more total by-right construction because it’ll mean more total work for their members. The biggest input cost problem in my view is the zoning costs (time wasted doing politics between proposal and construction phases, lawsuits from NIMBYs) and of course land rents. If we could fix those problems, I don’t think we would have a construction costs problem. Here is a previous attempt from me to articulate an agenda for bringing down housing input costs without going after wages. That’s my first preference, and I definitely don’t think pro-growth or market efficiency policies are inherently in tension with pro-labor values. I do see some tensions with the current political program of the GPBTC, which tends toward protectionism, but I think that their agenda can ultimately be brought into harmony with other groups’ interests. Politically speaking, I think that some of these other groups are going to have to win some more power in the short to medium term before the building trades will be willing to view themselves as equal partners in a coalition, rather than the most important political force in the city.

          • genuinelysortofyourneighbor,andconcernedaboutthat says:

            Fair enough, and the Axis Philly piece _is_ very well articulated, and reads as both more progressive and more reality-based than a lot of what’s been posted here lately.

            I guess that’s the problem we started with: what’s appeared here recently has often been imbued more with a “high wages are a really unfortunate constraint” tone than a “we can make this system work better without pushing wages down, though it’ll require a lot of the players to interact differently,” and with [admittedly not always unjustified] taunting; this is what gets to be grating. You could stand to bury the sense of same-side-but-presently-working-at-cross-purposes-on-a-lot-fronts significantly less than you do, which I think is more or less the point I began on, and which you’ve received with an odd but interesting mix of graciousness and occasionally-a-good-deal-less-than-graciousness over a couple of days since then, and which I’ve reciprocated with lots of hyphens and scattered rudeness. If you can manage to strike the Axis Philly tone [*] a bit more regularly and tone down the taunting a little, I can probably keep the boring and passive-aggressive commenting in check as well.

            [* ...the tone of your Axis Philly piece, not the overall tone over the there, which is worse than you on a bad day with unfortunate frequency.]

          • Jon Geeting says:

            I think what may have happened is that 1. this is primary season and I’m in a more belligerent us vs. them mood than usual, and 2. Ed Harkins successfully trolled hard enough to lure me into the construction wages conversation, and if you ever feel like looking back through the blog archives, I’ve tried pretty hard to avoid that. Not because I’m trying to conceal any positions, but because it’s just not a productive track. My typical response is usually to try to focus on areas of agreement and direct conversations back toward the AxisPhilly piece’s “yes construction wages are weirdly high, but let’s do all this other stuff so we don’t have to address that” position. In terms of practical politics, that’s my first order preference, and it’s what I’ll be working to achieve in the committeeperson position. I’m sorry for being so cranky the past few days. This is probably the best and most challenging criticism I’ve gotten in the comments in a while, and I needed to hear this, so thank you.

  4. julia says:

    Re. Shannon Marrietta. She might very well be managing 2 campaigns at once, many political operatives do that. That’s not a smoking gun, its the business.

  5. UDblue says:

    “Update: Basically I made a bunch of stuff up and wrote it on my blog but people pointed out that I made it up so I had to take it down.”

    And who’s Matt? Matt Silva I presume? I am not Matt Silva. But I like him so thanks for the compliment! I think your attempt to “out” me and make this an ad hominem attack only goes to show that you can’t defend the nonsense you produce.

    • Colleen Kennedy says:

      I’m sorry, but there was a video and numerous on and off the record witnesses of the endorsement ceremony, who asked me to document the incident. If you have a different perception of what happened, that’s absolutely your right, but I documented what happened. If you’d like to write your own version of what happened, with your real name, I’d be more than happy to publish it without comment, as part of my allotted space on the site.

      • Colleen Kennedy says:

        But again, you’re an anonymous commenter on a political reporting site, so your point of view isn’t that credible as it stands.