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2 minutes (uncut) with GOP Activist Matthew Wolfe

2 minutes (uncut) with GOP Activist Matthew Wolfe

This article was published by Philadelphia Citypaper on November 11, 2011. Click here to read the article on the publisher’s website.

By Daniel Denvir
Published: 11/03/2011

Lawyer Matthew Wolfe is the Republican Leader of West Philadelphia’s 47th Ward and a lead activist in the campaign to overthrow Philadelphia Republican Party boss Michael Meehan,whose family has controlled the city’s party for three generations.

You are a Republican activist living right on Clark Park, West Philly’s verdant left-wing front lawn. How does that work?

We get a lot of people at the University of Pennsylvania. We have some of the most conservative Republicans in the city and some of the most liberal Republicans in the city. And we ran more candidates than the Democrats in the 27th Ward last year.

We need to get our numbers up. That’s a problem. But in the last [primary] election, we had the highest percentage in the city for [reform candidates] Al Schmidt and John Featherman.

The Democrats in University City are very much left of center, but there are Republicans there. We’re not one of the areas with the heaviest Republican populations, but we’re not one of the areas with the least Republicans.

Why are you supporting Karen Brown, a candidate supported by the Republican machine that you opposed in the primary, and who was until recently a Democrat?

Karen Brown was nominated by the Republican voters in the city. A big part of my job is to support Republican candidates. It’s not like I’m torn because Michael Nutter has been a terrific mayor. Michael Nutter has been a terrible mayor. Philadelphia’s problem is not that we don’t tax our people enough. The problem is that we spend too much. Want to lower the crime rate? Give people jobs. And you’re not going to give people jobs by raising people’s taxes. Nutter is just the most recent bad mayor.

So even though Brown was a Democrat?

Absolutely. She has described herself as conservative on fiscal issues and more liberal on social issues. The bottom line is for a municipal office, there’s not a Democratic or Republican way to fix a pothole.

What do you make of her debate performance?

Did you watch the debate? Mayor Nutter agreed to a debate, but it was a debate that coincided with a Phillies game.

She made a number of claims that she could not back up, including that the Police Department was manipulating murder statistics.

Well, she’s said that she’s had trouble getting information from the Nutter administration.

I understand the virtue of not being the party of the Bob Brady party machine, but will you get anywhere in Philly if you’re the party of Bachmann or Perry?

Yes, it is true that presidential politics have ramifications here. Arguably, Philadelphia’s Republican Party might be better off if Huntsman or Romney were the Republican nominee. And not all of our people would say that; some are a bit more conservative. Again, we have a market here in Philadelphia, and the market is the taxpayer getting screwed for many years. We’re going to have a hard time reaching people whose income is derived from the government, either because they are a government employee or receive government assistance. But there’s no reason that we can’t develop an approach that can appeal to taxpayers in the city, and become a force to be reckoned with in terms of city policy.

Who do you support for the Republican nomination?

Huntsman. I’m with Huntsman until he wins, loses or drops out. Romney would be my second choice. Any of them — Bachmann, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum — all are better than Obama. No hesitation.

Letters: Economics, Philadelphia Daily News style

This was published in the Philadelphia Daily News. Click here to read it on the publisher’s website.

FROM YOUR editorial “No Compromise” (July 27): “Government needs to continue to run deficits to create jobs, which will increase demand for goods and services and get the private sector growing again.”

Matt Wolfe Response: When I read this, I presumed that it was an attempt at sarcasm or humor. I reread it. And read it again. I slowly came to the realization that I was mistaken. They actually meant it. The Philadelphia Daily News School of Economics. Scholarships available for members of City Council.

Brownouts at Philly Fire Houses Unsafe By Matt Wolfe

Brownouts at Philly Fire Houses Unsafe By Matt Wolfe

This article was published by PATownHall.com. Click here to read the article on the publisher’s website.

BROWNOUTS, THE closing of some firehouses on a rotating basis, are stupid. Fires don’t decide when to start in any geographical pattern that can be predicted with the certainty to allow specific firehouses to be closed some of the time and open at others.

Public safety is a core responsibility of municipal government. Clearly the city is duty bound to make provisions for adequate fire safety.

What should the city do? Read More

Philadelphia Sales Tax Hike: Just Say No By Matt Wolfe

Philadelphia Sales Tax Hike: Just Say No By Matt Wolfe

This article was published by PATownHall.com. Click here to read the article on the publisher’s website.

Editor’s Note: J. Matthew Wolfe is a member of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, representing the 8th Senatorial District in Philadelphia and writes for The Loyal Opposition, a Republican policy group focused on issues facing the City of Philadelphia.

Greetings from Philadelphia. Weather is hot and humid. Business climate is oppressive.

Philadelphia’s Mayor and City Council want to raise Philadelphia’s sales tax to 8%, fully 33% more than most of Pennsylvania. Fortunately, they need State Legislative approval to perpetrate this lunacy.

This legislation will impact Pennsylvania’s budget and will have an even bigger effect on Philadelphia’s economic health. As a Philadelphian I am asking that you alert your legislators to your opposition to this scheme. Read More

A pair of dreadful ‘Philly specials’ By Matt Wolfe

A pair of dreadful ‘Philly specials’ By Matt Wolfe

This article was published by Philly.com. Click here to read the article on the publisher’s website.

Don’t do us any favors . . . Please.

Whenever the state Legislature, in its infinite wisdom, carves out an exception to a law to “help” this city, it somehow always ends up hurting Philadelphians.

Originally, only Philadelphia was allowed to assess a wage tax. That action, more than any other, has led to a huge loss of residents and jobs over the years.

When the state let Philadelphia assess a 1 percent sales tax on top of the 6 percent state tax, Philadelphia was the only municipality forcing its businesses to charge the higher rate. Read More

Reform, bunk By Matt Wolfe

Reform, bunk By Matt Wolfe

This article was published by The Philadelphia Daily News. Click here to read the article on the publisher’s website.

THE POLITICAL excesses of Harrisburg have come home to Philadelphia.

First, Democratic state Sen. Vince Fumo is accused of fraudulently directing millions in tax money and charitable contributions to himself and to further his political ambitions.

Next, a dozen Democrats, including a current and an ex-state rep, are arrested for using tax dollars to pay campaign operatives. Read More

City’s Foolhardy Move On Minimum Wage By Matt Wolfe

City’s Foolhardy Move On Minimum Wage By Matt Wolfe

This article was published by The Philadelphia Daily News. Click here to read the article on the publisher’s website.

THERE ARE 2,565 municipalities in Pennsylvania. Only one has a law that raises the minimum wage above that set by the federal and state governments.

Can you guess which municipality is the ONLY one with a local law that raises the minimum wage? Go ahead. Take a stab at it. If you guessed Philadelphia, you get a gold star.

Welcome to the recently enacted “Philadelphia 21st Century Minimum Wage Standard.” This impressive-sounding ordinance is another instance of City Council and Mayor Street putting politics over good government and pandering to special-interest groups.

It simply makes it more expensive to do business in Philadelphia. Read More

City Council’s slavery disclosure bill is likely to create rifts, not heal them By Matt Wolfe

City Council’s slavery disclosure bill is likely to create rifts, not heal them By Matt Wolfe

This article was published by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Click here to read the article on the publisher’s website.

Let me get one thing out of the way: I am against slavery. It seems like it was never a good idea. Of course, I have no experience with slavery since it has been outlawed since about a century before I was born.

Even though there is not any slavery here, Philadelphia City Council seems unnecessarily obsessed with it. They passed a bill that will require any business seeking a city contract to search their records and disclose whether their company ever profited from slavery.

Let’s see. City Council could not bring to a vote a bill to ban smoking in public places. City Council could not pass a new ethics bill at a time when the federal corruption trial brings embarrassing revelations every day that point out why we need a new ethics bill. Yet, City Council passed a slavery disclosure bill. Read More