As the national media spends its time watching Washington, D.C., one of the most powerful city parties in the country is self-immolating.
With another week comes another instance of corruption inside Democratic politics in the City of Brotherly Love. This time, it appears as if Rep. Bob Brady’s (D-PA) campaign paid off a primary challenger to make sure the congressman’s Philadelphia seat stayed in his hands.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported:
An aide to one of U.S. Rep. Bob Brady’s former political rivals has admitted to engaging in an alleged scheme that helped remove a challenger to the congressman’s 2012 re-election bid.
Carolyn Cavaness, 34, of Ardmore, told a federal judge that she helped funnel $90,000 from Brady’s campaign fund to the campaign coffers of his Democratic primary opponent, former Philadelphia Municipal Judge Jimmie Moore.
The payments, prosecutors said, were intended to cover Moore’s political debts in exchange for a promise that he would drop out of the race.
It’s important to note that Brady himself has not yet been accused of any wrongdoing, and said, “That’s five years ago. I don’t remember none of that.”
Widely regarded as the political boss of the Philadelphia Democratic Party, Brady is only the latest Philadelphia Democrat to get caught up in scandal. Here are the other political figures who are either under investigation, in prison, or just plain unethical:
Chaka Fattah: The Philadelphia congressman is currently serving a 10-year jail sentence for racketeering charges. Fattah illegally funneled government and non-profit money to pay off his campaign debts. His son, Chaka Fattah, Jr., was also convicted of related charges and is serving a five-year sentence.
Seth Williams: Williams, the former district attorney, pled guilty to federal bribery charges at the end of June. He faces a five-year prison term and significant fines for illegally accepting luxury bribes and cash, implicitly in return for legal favors.
John Dougherty: The FBI raided the offices of the head of IBEW 98, the politically-powerful electricians’ union, ‘Johnny Doc,’ back in 2016. According to The Inquirer, the FBI investigation has zeroed in on the union’s and Dougherty’s finances and their political spending. To make matters worse for Philadelphia Democrats, the investigation has reached into the office of current Mayor Jim Kenney. Dougherty has also faced allegations of union intimidation, like the time he attacked a non-union electrician in broad daylight.
Vince Fumo: The disgraced but formerly powerful state senator was convicted in 2009 of corruption charges. The former rival of John Dougherty was sentenced to 55 months in prison as well as millions of dollars in fines for his offenses.
Ed Rendell: Rendell, a former Philadelphia mayor and Pennsylvania governor, saw no issue this year with spending a $1 million of surplus from the Pennsylvania taxpayer-subsidized Democratic National Convention on bonuses for Democratic officials. Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) expressed disappointment at the decision and called for the Pennsylvania Auditor General to review the spending. That investigation also appears to reach the office of Mayor Kenney, whose girlfriend received a $13,000 bonus from the DNC. Kenney recommended her for the job.
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