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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Philadelphia

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April 30, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Pennsylvania parallels with Washington State politics obvious to PA Governor

When UW Election Eye was invited to the residence of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, we discovered a remarkable number of similarities between Pennsylvania’s political climate and that of Washington State.

HARRISBURG, Penn. — Gov. Tom Corbett was glued to his son’s big-screen TV on Sunday, April 22, settling in to his rec room’s easy chair for a Stanley Cup playoff game between his two largest constituent cities: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. That’s just about the time our UW Election Eye team got waved past the plain-clothed state patrolman on the mansion’s front steps and greeted by the Commonwealth’s First Lady, Susan Corbett.

UWEE's Corbett interview site

Mellon Parlor is around the corner from the site of our exclusive interview with Gov. Corbett on April 22, 2012. It was completed in December 1968. (Photo by Derek Walker/UW Election Eye)

“Call me Sue,” she said, reaching for our jackets and hanging them up in the closet of the Grand Hall entrance. The tone was set for our afternoon.

Minutes later, Gov. Corbett strolled across the wooden floor into a spacious, brightly lit Erie Room — wearing a light blue shirt and holding a soft drink in his left hand. If he is losing sleep over his current 39% approval rating, he sure doesn’t look like it. Even Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s approval rating is higher than Corbett’s, despite Walker facing a rare recall election in early June.

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0 Comments | More in National | Topics: attorney general, Mellon Parlor, Pennsylvania governor

April 29, 2012 at 6:30 AM

A Philadelphia docent builds memories at historic Carpenters’ Hall

Historic Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia on April 15, 2012.

Historic Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia on April 15, 2012. (Photo by Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

Historic Carpenters’ Hall docent reflects on 9/11 and why he does what he does. 

PHILADELPHIA –  Al Evans was working his morning shift at a Philadelphia branch of PNC Bank on September 11, 2001, when two commercial jetliners flew into New York City’s World Trade Center 100 miles to the northeast. Car traffic was permanently shut down close to any number of Philadelphia’s historical sites around the Liberty Bell, and Evans was hesitant to go in for his four-hour shift as a volunteer tour guide at nearby Carpenters’ Hall on September 23, 2001.

“Independence Hall was all roped off and there was this incredible eerie feeling in here,” Evans said of the meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774. “A lot of folks were afraid to go anywhere, but I was determined to be here for people who want to learn more about what this country is all about.”

At age 72, Evans is in his 11th year at Carpenters’ Hall. He points to his Volunteer of the Year award from the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce eight years ago as the turning point for his post-9/11 fears. His warm sense of humor often disarms those who don’t see it coming.

“Somebody who’s never been here will tell me how the oldest building in their town was built in 1875, and I’ll say ‘Hey, I can top that.’”

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0 Comments | More in National | Topics: 9/11, Carpenters' Hall, docent

April 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Philadelphia’s Mayfair Diner is the place for Sunday breakfast and presidential visits

Philadelphia's Mayfair Diner on Frankfurt Avenue, taken April 15, 2012. (Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

Philadelphia's Mayfair Diner on Frankfurt Avenue on April 15, 2012. (Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

It’s Sunday at the Mayfair Diner in Philadelphia and it’s game day: The Philadelphia Phillies have a 1:35 p.m. start at Citizens Bank Park against the New York Mets, so half of the tables are decked out in red Phillies swag. It has the feel of a relaxed pre-party with pancakes.

PHILADELPHIA — If you visit this city’s iconic Mayfair Diner on a Sunday, entering through well-worn stainless steel doors, there is a good chance that hostess Nancy Cienskowski will greet you and escort you to an open booth, menus in hand.

Cienskowski has worked at the Mayfair since the Nixon administration — also known as the early 1970s. She’s seen her share of U.S. presidents dig in to a plate of eggs and hashbrowns: Bill Clinton visited the Mayfair on election day 1992 and Barack Obama stopped by in 2008.

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0 Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Bill Clinton

April 16, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Philadelphia's Mayfair Diner is the place for Sunday breakfast and presidential visits

Philadelphia's Mayfair Diner on Frankfurt Avenue, taken April 15, 2012. (Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

Philadelphia's Mayfair Diner on Frankfurt Avenue on April 15, 2012. (Elizabeth Wiley/UW Election Eye)

It’s Sunday at the Mayfair Diner in Philadelphia and it’s game day: The Philadelphia Phillies have a 1:35 p.m. start at Citizens Bank Park against the New York Mets, so half of the tables are decked out in red Phillies swag. It has the feel of a relaxed pre-party with pancakes.

PHILADELPHIA — If you visit this city’s iconic Mayfair Diner on a Sunday, entering through well-worn stainless steel doors, there is a good chance that hostess Nancy Cienskowski will greet you and escort you to an open booth, menus in hand.

Cienskowski has worked at the Mayfair since the Nixon administration — also known as the early 1970s. She’s seen her share of U.S. presidents dig in to a plate of eggs and hashbrowns: Bill Clinton visited the Mayfair on election day 1992 and Barack Obama stopped by in 2008.

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0 Comments | More in National | Topics: Barack Obama, Barak Obama, Bill Clinton

April 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Seattle might learn from Philadelphia on sports stadiums

Citizens Bank Park

View from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA (Photo by David Domke/UW Election Eye).

PHILADELPHIA – Sports stadiums are a big deal for cities.

They cost a lot of money to build, their teams inspire passion among fans and loathing among rivals, they spur significant revenue among restaurants and other businesses in the vicinity, and they draw traffic like honey draws bees. We know all this well in Seattle.

In Philadelphia on Sunday, I saw the upsides.

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0 Comments | More in National | Topics: Citizens Bank Park, Cultural sights, Philadelphia