There were a few underlying themes on Saturday as state Rep. Tony Payton kicked off his re-election bid. First, his supporters agreed that former Rep. Bill Rieger did a lousy job representing the 179th Legislative District for 40 years. Second, they praised Payton’s work in his 14 months on the job. And third, they were incredulous that local Democratic ward leaders would endorse a challenger to the 27-year-old incumbent in the April 22 primary.
The 179th District has long been a political hot spot. It's only getting hotter.
by Doron Taussig
Published: Feb 6, 2008
Under most circumstances, the candidate interviews held last week in the basement of the Seaport Inn, on Rising Sun Avenue, would have been a formality, a coronation for the incumbent. But these were not most circumstances.
Payton faces primary fight
Caucus endorses new challenger in 179th
By William Rice; Staff Writer
When state Rep. Tony Payton (D-179) first ran for office two years ago, he faced a strong, concerted effort to defeat his campaign by the local Democratic Party. And it looks like Payton's struggles with local party leaders are far from over.Over the weekend, the Democratic Caucus-made up of leaders from the 23rd, 35th, 42nd, 43rd, 49th, and 62nd wards-voted to endorse a new candidate, Guy D. Lewis, in the upcoming election over the incumbent Payton.
Long after the Christmas decorations come down, drivers on Roosevelt Boulevard will still need to heed its many red lights.
Yesterday, the state House voted to extend funding for the cameras that identify drivers running red lights at the boulevard's most dangerous intersections. The Senate previously approved the extension, which Gov. Rendell is expected to sign.
The program, which has been credited with sharp reductions in injuries and fatalities since its introduction nearly two years ago, would continue at least through 2011 under the bill. It would have ended next year.
The cameras first went up Feb. 23, 2005, at Grant Avenue, followed by the Red Lion Road and Cottman Avenue intersections. By the next year the number of drivers running red lights was down 93 percent at Grant, 72 percent at Red Lion, and 52 percent at Cottman.
As a result, the program has been expanded to the boulevard intersections at Levick, Mascher and Rhawn Streets, and at Southampton and Welsh Roads.
John Baer | Political red light for Blvd. cameras
Philadelphia Daily News
AND IN THE all-too-familiar category of They-Can't-Seem-to-Get-Anything-Right, here's how your state Legislature threatens to screw up something that actually seems to work in Philadelphia.
At issue is reauthorizing the city's red-light-camera safety program on the killer highway that is Roosevelt Boulevard, that multi-lane monster in the Great Northeast.
AS CONGRESS begins to debate the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, our children are left waiting for the nation's leaders to stand up and provide a sound vision for their educational endeavors.
While standardized testing, teacher accountability and partisan rancor dominate the discussion, the actual reforms that need to take place continue to be muted by the unwillingness and ineptitude of our leaders to change the direction of the conversation and provide innovative solutions to our current educational crisis.
The time has come for the federal government to stop its irresponsible propensity of enacting unfunded mandates. In 2006, President Bush called for $22.8 billion in new initiatives, yet asked the U.S. Congress to fund only $13.3 billion of them, leaving the state governments to pick up the bill for close to $10 billion.
Searching for ways to reduce the tide of gun violence in Philadelphia, a panel of state lawmakers heard testimony from a array of civic leaders at City Hall yesterday.
Led by State Reps. Babette Josephs and Dwight Evans, members of the House Judiciary and Appropriations Committees held a forum that featured officials of city government, the public schools and public health.
Officials said the forum was the last of 11 statewide committee meetings on violence, handguns, crime and drugs.
Five months after the May primary, we finally have an official winner. In a 5-2 decision Wed., Oct. 25, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that Tony Payton Jr. is the Democratic candidate in November’s election for state representative in the 179th Legislative District, which runs across Roosevelt Boulevard from North Philadelphia into the far Northeast.
Payton, 25, a housing counselor and college student, went up against party pick and write-in candidate Emilio Vazquez, who was kicked off the ballot for failing to properly list his employer, the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
The election hinged on 52 write-in votes for Vazquez in the 23rd Ward, 19th Division—for committee person, not state representative.
Two weeks after the primary the board of elections nixed the 52 flawed write-in votes, and certified the election: Payton, 962; Vazquez, 943.
Up in Frankford-a blue-collar neighborhood of vacant factories and storefronts, some parts renewed by encroaching gentrification, other parts, those located on the wrong side of the El tracks, still drowning in crime, drugs and neglect-Tony Payton Jr. is known as the last man standing.
In the race for the open seat in the 179th District, Payton, unlike his three Democratic challengers, has survived petition challenges and political snubs from a machine fueled by whom you know and how much money you have.