In 2022, we saw a lot of politicos applying for jobs. Some got them. Some didn’t. And a bunch of them put their applications in really early.
Although it’s something I’ve had to do a lot in my time as a journalist, I hate job hunting.
In fact, I can’t think of anyone who actually likes it. Putting together a resume, producing work samples (that’s for those of us looking for journalism jobs) and trying to figure out what code words you need to make your application stand out online isn’t for the faint of heart.
But there are some jobs that require you to find people to give you money so your application stands out and a lot of folks were making those investments in 2022. From the Midterm elections to all of the folks applying to be the next mayor already, a lot of people were hit up for campaign cash in 2022.
We here at Philadelphia Hall Monitor have been around for much of this job hunting. Some folks did really well. Some folks were abysmally horrible. Then, you have one group of folks who are trying to take a job that he was given away from someone despite the fact that the people who hired this person don’t want him dismissed.
So, welcome to the Personnel Office that was the year 2022.
A New City Council
Philadelphia City Council got some new faces in 2022. Four new City Councilmembers — Quetcy Lozada, Anthony Phillips, Jimmy Harrity and Sharon Vaughn — won their special elections in November and were sworn in as new Councilmembers before Thanksgiving.
They were elected to fill the unexpired terms of Councilmembers Maria Quinones Sanchez, Cherelle Parker, Allan Domb and Derek Green, all of whom resigned to run for Mayor in 2023. Councilmember Helen Gym joined the group shortly after the swearing-in ceremonies for the new councilmembers and no special election has yet been scheduled for her seat.
Former Controller Rebecca Rhynhart, businessman Jeff Brown, former Judge James DeLeon, the Rev. Warren Bloom Sr., and State Rep. Amen Brown round out the field of 10 — count ‘em, 10 — people who are running to replace current Mayor (and former Councilperson) Jim Kenney.
Because this is one of those jobs that you have to raise money to apply for, fundraisers have been happening around the city.
Much of this money has probably gone toward elbow sharpeners. For example, on the day that Gym announced her candidacy, Green issued a statement saying she pushes a “socialist agenda”.
And then, there’s Amen Brown. I don’t know who’s doing his media relations, but they obviously don’t like him very much. I say this because setting your candidate up for his first interview with Fox-29’s Jeff Cole sends a message.
But Brown didn’t help himself with his performance. In fact, many of the people who put clips of the interview on Twitter kept referring to him as “Philadelphia’s Herschel Walker.”
If you followed the U.S. Senate race between Walker and Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia, you know that’s not a compliment.
The Midterm Exam
Speaking of the Midterms, they’re usually a bloodbath for the party who has the White House. They usually find themselves having to regroup because they do a lot of losing. Seats in Congress. Governor’s races. State Houses. Dog catcher. Everything.
But that’s most of the time.
Thanks to a combination of some of the worst political candidates ever put on a ballot and a general fatigue on the part of Gen Z of Republican overreach, the Democrats are celebrating instead of regrouping.
While they lost control of the House of Representatives, Democrats kept control of the Senate. And even losing the House might not be so bad because the Republicans won by a margin so small that they may not be able to elect a Speaker of the House that they can all agree on.
A good example of this is what happened locally. Attorney Gen. Josh Shapiro defeated State Sen. Doug Mastriano to become the Commonwealth’s next governor, replacing the term limited Tom Wolf. Now, it’s probably not a good idea to run a guy who is mentioned in the Jan. 6 insurrection report as a gubernatorial candidate, but the Republicans are doing things differently this year.
Unlike Wolf, who had to fight Republicans in the State Assembly for even the smallest things, Shapiro will have a House majority to work with, eventually.
The Democrats took the House by one seat, but because Davis is leaving to become Lieutenant Governor, State Rep. Summer Lee has won a seat in Congress and State Rep. Tony DeLuca died when it was too late to replace him on the ballot, special elections will have to be held.
The current Republican majority is suing to keep special elections from happening before March, which would allow them to make the early months of Shapiro’s term a living hell by being in charge of both houses. But the Department of State announced earlier this week that they’re going to schedule the elections for February.
Once this all gets figured out, State Rep. Joanna McClinton will become the first Black woman to serve as Speaker of the House.
Davis, the Commonwealth’s first Black Lieutenant Governor replaces John Fetterman, who went out and got a new job of his own. Fetterman is now Pennsylvania’s new junior Senator, replacing Pat Toomey, who’s probably really glad that he doesn’t have to deal with Tuesdays with Toomey protestors in his office lobby anymore.
Fetterman defeated one of the better candidates that the Republicans put up in doctor and television personality Mehmet Oz. Oz tried to make Fetterman’s stroke a campaign issue. Fetterman made Oz’s mansion in New Jersey a campaign issue.
I guess being from Jersey was worse.
You Want To Impeach Him…Why?
The day after Shapiro and Davis are sworn into office as Governor and Lieutenant Governor, impeachment hearings will begin against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.
In September, at the behest of the Select Committee On Restoring Law And Order, the House issued a contempt citation against the District Attorney for not honoring subpoena issued by that body. Nine Democrats joined the Republicans in passing that resolution.
Now depending on whom you ask, the committee either wants to impeach Krasner because they believe he’s opening up all of the jails here in Philly and letting the criminals run amok, or they want to do it because he’s holding police officers who do things like rape people, plant evidence, or shoot unarmed people accountable.
Either way, it’s a mess.
And in the end, all it’s going to do is make a city that already feels like the Commonwealth that uses it as it’s ATM, yet shows it no respect, even more angry because Philadelphians by and large see this impeachment as Harrisburg’s latest attempt to control Philadelphia without actually providing it with the resources it needs to solve problems.
Now, It’s a problem…
Usually, gun violence issues in Philadelphia don’t impact the city’s tourist areas.
But a shooting on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway during Wawa Welcome America showed that this isn’t the case anymore. During the 4th of July concert, two police officers were shot while patrolling the Parkway. While neither was seriously hurt, and the bullets, as it turns out, didn’t come from anyone at the show itself, it was enough to lead people to start throwing solutions at the proverbial wall…including some that have proven unpopular.
That’s why you ended up with City Council President Darrell Clarke talking about possibly reinstituting stop and frisk at a news conference despite the fact that voters approved a referendum outlawing the practice in the city.
In another shooting that reminded everyone just how much the rules of gun violence had changed, a group of Roxborough High School football players was shot on their way home from practice. Fourteen-year-old Nicolas Elizalde, a W.B. Saul High School student who played football for Roxborough High, was killed.
As I write this, Philadelphia has lost over 500 people to gun violence, which is 8% fewer than 2021. But that’s still a lot of people.
On a high note…
I didn’t want to end this look at 2022 on a down note, so I’ll end it with one of the things that made me, and a lot of Philadelphians happy this year.
Now, you didn’t think I was going to do a year-in-review without mentioning the Philadelphia Phillies, who actually gave us something to cheer about this year. Their run to the World Series gave everyone something to rally around.
And believe it or not, it also kept the violence down. In what has to be a total coincidence, no one was killed during the World Series.
Now if the Eagles can get into the Super Bowl…
Happy Holidays and see you next year!