Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Today's Inquirer brings more evidence of the truth of the maxim, generally attributed to Michael Kinsley, that in so many cases the scandal is not that something illegal has occurred, but rather that what has occurred is, in fact, legal. So it is with mayoral candidate Bob Brady and this story about the various government and publicly funded jobs held by members of his family.

Brady has been the head of the City Democratic Party for years, so the revelation that he has relatives on the public payroll hardly qualifies as news. But the details about his wife's job -- now that is interesting.

Bob Brady is married to Debra Brady. Debra Brady, according to the Inquirer, "works as an office manager for Philadelphia Writ Service, which holds a no-bid contract to deliver notices of lawsuits for the city Law Department and other agencies." She is paid $100,000 as the office manager. Since 1999, the City has paid Philadelphia Writ Service about $9 million, all the while never bothering to seek competitive bids to see if it could get the job done less expensively. What do you think the chances are that someone who, say, didn't pay its office manager $100,000 per year might be able to submit an attractive bid?

But wait, as they say, there's more. Philadelphia Writ Service is owned by Mitchell Rubin. Rubin is also the chair of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (what, you think his day job doesn't leave time for public service?). Guess where Bob Brady's son has a job that pays $86,000? At least he is not the office manager.

And in a final business-as-usual touch, State Sen. Vincent Fumo has a cameo in this little drama. Rubin is married to Ruth Arneo, who has been a close aide to Fumo for a long time. So close, in fact, that she managed to get herself indicted a couple months ago right alongside her boss on federal charges of misusing public funds as well as money contributed to a Fumo-controlled non-profit.

Whew. Got all that?

It would be hard to describe any of the Democrats running for mayor as agents of real change. But a vote for Brady is a vote to change not a thing about the culture of Philadelphia politics. So if you like how business is done in this City, how public funds are spent, the quality of City services, and the number of City employees, Brady is your guy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Real Experience for Real Change" is the tag line on his website. You have to love that.

6:25 PM  

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