The Push For Ethics Reform

New News...

Philadelphia City Council To Consider Public Funding of Campaigns

The public will pay for political campaigns in one way or another -- we will either pay on the front end and publicly fund the campaigns and limit the corrosive role of money in the local political process, or we will continue to pay on the back end as politicians waste scarce public dollars with sweetheart deals and contracts to major political donors. State Representative Dwight Evans has introduced legislation at the state level to allow Philadelphia to create a system of public finance for local campaigns and City Council is prepared to open the idea for public debate. Stay tuned as this reform effort will have major implications for politics and government in Philadelphia. In the meantime, City Controller Alan Butkovitz has posted recent Campaign Finance Reports online so citizens can have easy access to reports detailing who gets what from

Old News...




On November 8, 2005, Philadelphians voted overwhelmingly to change the City Charter to help end the pay-to-play system by prohibiting major campaign contributors from receiving no-bid city contracts.

After a campaign led by Philadelphia Forward and the organizations and individuals of the Reformers' Roundtable, an energized electorate responded with a historic vote...

    Nearly 9 of 10 Philadelphia voters (87%) voted "YES" on the Ethics Reform Ballot Initiative -- a greater "YES" victory than that for any ballot initiative of the past 20 years.
    Almost two-thirds of those voting participated in the ballot question -- the highest participation on a ballot question in at least 20 years.
    Before our efforts, experts predicted turnout for this election would be 10 percent. We moved it to 14 percent, a 40 percent increase!
    The initiative passed by a wide margin (ranging from 79 percent to 95 percent) in all neighborhoods of the city, with the highest margins in those areas targeted by our advertising and leafleting efforts.
City Council will now consider additional reforms including implementing a Board of Ethics with the power to enforce ethics rules and further limits on how contributors can benefit from government action. Philadelphia Forward and our Philadelphians for Ethics Reform partners will continue our efforts to promote measures to ensure that the city government works for the general public and not just for the special interests.

To advocate for passage of the ethics-reform question on the November 8th ballot, Philadelphia Forward and its partners:

· Raised more than $30,000 to fund a campaign urging Philadelphians to Vote Yes On Ethics.

· Secured endorsements of the ethics-reform question from the following groups and individuals:

  • @dvocacy, Inc.
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
  • Andrew Chirls, Chancellor, Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Andrew Wigglesworth, Delaware Valley Healthcare Council
  • Andy Toy, Chairman, Phila. Chinatown Development Corporation
  • Beverly A. Harper, President Portfolio Associates, Inc.
  • Brandywine Realty Trust
  • Brett Mandel, Philadelphia Forward
  • Buzz Communications
  • Center City Residents Association
  • CEO Council for Growth
  • Charles Thomson, Thomson Communications
  • Chris Binder, Citizen's Bank
  • Citizens Bank
  • Dan Bosin, the American Institute of Architects, Philadelphia
  • Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business
  • Global Indian Chamber
  • Greater Bustleton Civic League
  • Green Party of Philadelphia
  • Hallwatch
  • Happy Craven Fernandez, Moore College of Art and Design
  • John F. Smith III, Reed Smith, LLP, and Board Member, PEL
  • John K. Ball, Shoemaker Construction Co.
  • John McDonald
  • Judith E. Tschirgi, Chief Information Officer, SEI Investments
  • Kimberly Hall and Rob Powelson, Chester County Chamber
  • Liz Dow, LEADERSHIP Philadelphia
  • Mark J. Foley, esq.
  • Mark S. Schweiker, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
  • Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhodes, LLP
  • Nancy Lanham
  • National Assn for the Advancement of Colored People, Phila.
  • Neighborhood Networks
  • One Philadelphia
  • Paul R. Levy, Central Philadelphia Development Corporation
  • Peggy Amsterdam, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
  • Pennsylvania Economy League
  • Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts
  • Philadelphia Federation of Young Republicans
  • Philadelphia NOW
  • Philadelphia Parks Alliance
  • Philadelphia University City District
  • Philadelphians United to Restore Ethics
  • Philip A. Peterson, Aon Consulting, Inc.
  • Right Now! Philadelphia
  • Saul Ewing, LLP
  • Society Created to Reduce Urban Blight
  • SPEAR (Students for Progressive Ethics Amendments and Reforms)
  • Terry Gillen, Coalition for Fair Taxes
  • The Committee of Seventy
  • The Design Advocacy Group
  • The League of Women Voters of Philadelphia
  • The Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Tim Cost, Executive Vice President, ARAMARK Corporation
  • Tom Muldoon, GPCC’s Young Professionals Network
  • Tom Muldoon, Philadelphia Convention Visitors Bureau
  • Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen, LLP
  • Young Involved Philadelphia

· Established information about the campaign on the following websites:




· Created a blogswarm with information posted on the following blogs:










· Sponsored ads in the following local publications (reaching more than 3 million readers):

o Metro (November 7, 2005)

o Philadelphia Weekly (November 2, 2005)

o City Paper (November 3, 2005)

o South Philadelphia/Southwest Philadelphia Review (November 3, 2005)

o Northeast Times (November 3, 2005)

o Chestnut Hill Local (November 3, 2005)

o West Side Weekly (November 4, 2005)

o Philadelphia Tribune (November 6, 2005)

o Al Dia (November 4, 2005)

o Philadelphia Sun (November 6, 2005)

· Helped inspire letters to the editor, editorials, columns, and content about the push for ethics reform in Philadelphia media:

o Philadelphia Inquirer “Charter Change To Get Mailing By Candidate” (10/13/05)

o Philadelphia Daily News “Number of Government Reformers Growing” (10/14/05)

o Philadelphia Daily News League of Women Voters Letter (10/12/05)

o Philadelphia Inquirer League of Women Voters Letter (10/12/05)

o Philadelphia Daily News Philadelphia Forward/Brett Mandel Letter (10/21/05)

o Philadelphia Daily News “Vote For Ethics” Ms. Demeanor Column (10/21/05)

o Philadelphia Inquirer “Enough Already! Yes On Ethics Reform” Editorial (10/25/05)

o Philadelphia Inquirer “The Mariano Indictment: Case Is Made Stronger For Change At City Hall” Editorial (10/26/05)

o Philadelphia Inquirer “Mad As Hell? Then Start A Revolution” Chris Satullo Opinion (10/26/05)

o Philadelphia Inquirer “Why to vote” Kathleen Fitzpatrick Letter (10/26/05)

o Philadelphia Daily News “A Roundtable With An Edge For Nov. 8 Vote” Committee of 70/Anne Mahlum Opinion (10/26/05)

o Philadelphia Daily News “Mariano: Another pol who seems fit for jail” Jill Porter Column (10/26/05)

o Philadelphia Inquirer “Voters can have a say in ending city’s ‘pay-to-play’” Mark S. Schweiker Opinion (10/28/05)

o WURD “Dialogues” (10/28/05)

o Philadelphia Inquirer “Good journalism” Zachary Stalberg Letter (10/31/05)

o Philadelphia Inquirer “No, he has not left the building” Editorial (10/31/05)

o The Fallser “Reform Philly” Philadelphia Forward/Brett Mandel Letter (11/1/05)

o Southwest Globe Times “Reform Philly” Philadelphia Forward/Brett Mandel Letter (11/2/05)

o Philadelphia Daily News “VOTE FOR CLEAN” Editorial (11/2/05)

o Citypaper “Charter reform coming up (11/3/05)

o Philadelphia Inquirer “New ethics measures under review” Story (11/4/05)

o Philadelphia Inquirer “Ethics Zero to $26,350 in 3 three” Heard in the Hall Item (11/4/05)

o Philadelphia Daily News “Nutter submits 2 bills related to ethics reform” Story (11/4/05)

o Philadelphia Daily News “VOTE ‘YES’ ON ETHICS REFORM” Philadelphia Board of Ethics Opinion (11/4/05)

o Philadelphia Daily News “Strike a chord: Vote!” Jill Porter Column (11/4/05)

o KYW 1060 David Thornburgh business Commentary (11/5/05)

o WHAT “Thera Martin-Connelly” (11/5/05)

o Philadelphia Inquirer “Election Recap: Pennsylvania Endorsements” Editorial (11/6/05)

o New York Times “Philadelphia Voters to Consider a Measure on Political Ethics” Story (11/6/05)

o Philadelphia Daily News “Our Picks” Editorial (11/6/05)

o Philadelphia Business Journal “Ethics ballot item deserves full support” (11/4/05)

· Coordinated email outreach and reminders to tens of thousands of Philadelphians on the lists of endorsing organizations.

· Sponsored robocall phone calls to more than 40,000 Philadelphia frequent voters to inform them about the ethics-reform question on the November 8th ballot.

· Hosted an endorsement event attended by reformers, which generated media attention in print and on television and radio.

· Printed 20,000 brochures and hundreds of t-shirts to educate about and increase awareness of the ethics-reform question on the November 8th ballot.

· Coordinated canvassing activities in support of the ethics-reform question on the November 8th ballot at transit stops on Election Eve, which generated media attention in print and on television and radio.

· Placed volunteers at polling places across Philadelphia to greet voters with a message in support of the ethics-reform question on the November 8th ballot.

· Hosted an Election Night party at a neighborhood restaurant in celebration of our efforts, which generated media attention in print and on television and radio.