Ah, the proud debut of my project from the last couple of weeks:
It's intended to be a primer on local politics (where "local" means Eastern PA) by way of the big names, current and historical. I can tell you that I learned a ton by doing the research for this -- read lots of speculation, waded into controversies where I couldn't sort out who was on which side, got some impressions about the connections between the players -- but also that it's just a start, and I hope to add more big dogs as they emerge and/or I become better attuned. Apologies for the Philly-centrism, but I can only see through the news outlets and lenses that I have, and thus the disproportionate visibility of a few recurring names. I intend to expand my awareness outward from the city and inward from the nation and pick up a bit more of Pennsylvania along the way.
Meantime, perhaps I can educate a few of you on some of the names and history you might have missed. Feel free to suggest any players that I might have looked. It's possible that I'll add a zone at some point for the issues that come up over and over again, but for now, the players are the landmarks.
Also, my thanks to the Philadephia Independent, for this wry summary
of the local scene:
In Philadelphia, to be somebody in the Democratic Party you've got to first meet every Democrat in the 400 houses surrounding yours and unseat your committeeman, throw at least a grand into each of the oft-dueling spheres of influence commanded by Mayor John Street, State Senator Vince Fumo and Congressman Bob Brady, and show up to every fifty-dollar-a-plate fundraiser the insipid John Dougherty of the Electricians' Union hosts. Not only is this an incredible investment of effort and money, it involves spending hours upon hours with union leaders, with their knockoff Timberlands and their shamelessly studied use of terms like "youse," and their misinformed disdain of any BYOB that opened after the Rizzo era, the preposterous Vatican-like secrecy with which they shroud all events leading up to the filming of the Real World, and the general conspiratorial tones they adopt when discussing things as pathetically insignificant as whether Frank DiCicco will win back his ward leader position, and their terrible jukebox selections.
Yes, hints of more players to be added later, as well as the feel of the whole thing... tee hee