Today’s bombshell about Congressman Chaka Fattah needs some ‘splainin. Of course, you can get lost in the pages of detail in the plea deal describing how an illegal $1MM loan was laundered through Fattah non-profits and two companies to get “Person D” repaid. I don’t want to burden you with that, so here’s the TL;DR version of what Fattah is alleged to have done:
We are very interested in who Person D is, as this loan was repaid with stolen tax money.
Bob Brady is my congressman and also the head of the Philadelphia Democratic City Committee, or DCC. As such, he’s the defacto leader of the city’s political machine. Next to him is the business manager for the electrician’s union, Johnny Doc, who plays kingmaker with many lower-level City elected offices. Most of City Council owes him something.
But the other pillar of our city’s political machine is Congressman Chakka Fattah. Many politicians who hail from Northwest and West Philly were nursed early-on in their careers by Fattah, either working for him as a staffer before they went on their own or benefitted directly from his largesse when they needed assistance in booting-up their campaigns.
If you remember, Fattah’s son, Chip Jr., is facing an indictment for squandering public funds to cover up for personal debts and lying on tax returns. Now it appears through information the Feds got after flipping an ex-staffer of Chakka Fattah, that Papa Fattah was breaking Philadelphia’s campaign finance laws when he ran for mayor back in 2007.
Yes…. both father and son could both be facing charges at the same time.
Beyond that, with a bold assertion and documented evidence that Fattah likely reached beyond the City’s own laws, it’s no surprise here that District Attorney Seth Williams never bothered to investigate Fattah while the FBI and IRS have been doing just that. (At least, the irony isn’t lost on me.) The Federal public corruption probe into Fattah has been underway for several years. Why would the DA’s office give two shits about a political patriarch brushing aside City law so he can keep manufacturing new mini-mees?
If Fattah winds-up being prosecuted, this could put the brakes on Fattah’s showering largesse as his access to public dispensation will likely end, plus all his personal money would vanish to law firms handling his complex defense.
This is likely to be one major blow to the city’s political machine. It could also create a void that Johnny Doc would be itching to fill with proxy men if Fattah leaves his congressional seat. The in-fighting and DCC backstabbing that would be going on over an empty congressional seat in Philly would be glorious.
Douglys and Cassandra, a young couple in a semi-committal relationship, recently moved to Port Richmond with their dog, Mr. Barkensfyrthe. “We fell in love with the house the moment we saw it!” remarked Cassandra as she sipped honey tea from a mason jar. Douglys decided to move to the area after finding a storefront where he could move his bicycle repair business out of a garage in Pennsport, where the couple used to live before it became too mainstream.*
Tenants who skip out on their PGW gas bills eventually cause the debt to be slapped on to the property itself in the form of a gas lien. It’s the Philadelphia Gas Works’ favorite tool to recover what is basically stolen gas. It’s also the most effective way to get collections done.
Many landlords in Philly allow these liens to pile up only to discover on the day they decide to sell their investment property a majority of buyers will walk because they cannot obtain title insurance with PGW holding claims against the property.