IN PHILADELPHIA politics, the Tartaglione family has serious longevity. But is time running out on that tough-talking Northeast Philly brood?
State Sen. Tina Tartaglione, seeking a sixth four-year term next year, may face her toughest challenge in 20 years.
Former City Councilman Dan Savage told the Northeast Times this week that Tartaglione has held office too long, hasn't accomplished much and has a poor record on constituent service.
Tartaglione's diverse 2nd Senatorial District stretches from Kensington north to Bustleton.
Savage is planing a political fundraiser in Wildwood on Sunday, taking advantage of all the Shoregoers attending U.S. Rep. Bob Brady's annual North Wildwood political soiree tomorrow.
Savage, who works for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission when he isn't seeking elected office, didn't respond yesterday to our requests for comment.
Tartaglione said Savage's knock on her record shows "he really doesn't understand how Harrisburg works," while noting she has been in the political minority for her entire career. Still, she's proud of leading an effort in 2007 to boost the minimum wage for workers in Pennsylvania.
She acknowledges that this will be her toughest race since her family defied local political powers to get her elected in 1994.
Not that life has been easy.
Tartaglione was critically injured in a boating accident in 2003 and has used a wheelchair since. She is slowly making gains through physical therapy and can now climb some steps with the use of a brace.
Savage will likely have the support of John Dougherty and Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Dougherty helped oust Tartaglione's mother as City Commission chairwoman in 2011. Marge Tartaglione was seeking a 10th four-year term in that post but crossed Dougherty by endorsing another candidate instead of the union's political director, Bobby Henon, who went on to win the election for a City Council seat.
Tina Tartaglione also did not endorse Henon.
Savage, Democratic leader of the 23rd Ward, won a special election for City Council's 7th District seat in 2006 with support from his fellow ward leaders. But Maria Quinones-Sanchez beat him in the primary a year later and again in the 2011 primary.
Tartaglione's sister, Renee Tartaglione-Matos, was their mother's chief aide at the City Commission until she was forced to resign in November 2010 after the Philadelphia Board of Ethics accused her of violating a City Charter ban on political activity.
That included running the 19th Ward while her husband, Carlos Matos, was in federal prison on bribery convictions.
Asked about rumors that she would run for her mother's former post on the City Commission in 2015, Tartaglione-Matos said: "Let's take one election at a time."
She then noted that her husband, who was forced to step down as ward leader while on supervised release from prison, is hoping to regain his post in a ward election Wednesday.
Pa. Dems troll Pa. GOP
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party successfully trolled state Republican Party executive director Bob Bozzuto yesterday.
As bait, the Dems sent an email to several conservative groups, headlined "Join the PAGOP in Supporting Gay Marriage."
The email cited as proof a PoliticsPA.com story Tuesday, in which Bozzuto slammed state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, for refusing to defend in court a state law banning same-sex marriage. Bozzuto, in the story, ducked a question on whether his party supports or opposes repealing that law.
"Pennsylvania law is clear as is the GOP platform," Bozzuto replied in an email to the Democratic Party and the conservative groups. "Not clear if Kathleen Kane has read the Constitution. We can send one over."
The Dems trolled once more, noting to everyone on the email exchange that Bozzuto had still not openly stated a position on the issue of gay marriage.
Bozzuto again replied, saying his party "supports traditional marriage" and accused the Democrats of using the exercise to avoid discussing "Kane's inability to find a Constitution with two hands and a flashlight."
"Thank you for pointing it out. We will take it down ASAP."
- A campaign spokesman for Danny Alvarez, the Republican nominee for district attorney, after we pointed out that he had posted on his Facebook page a photo of the candidate speaking to a potential voter with the zipper of the voter's shorts clearly open.
On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN