SMASHMOUTH POLITICS: On The Pavement Outside The Mayoral Debate, Constitution Center, 8:05 PM

During the hour-long encounter at the National Constitution Center, Chaka Fattah and Michael Nutter went at it bitterly over race, with Fattah stunning the crowd by accusing Nutter of having “to remind himself that he’s an African American.”

Fattah and Dwight Evans went at it over the wisdom of Fattah’s proposal to lease the airport as a way of funding a massive antipoverty initiative, with Evans calling the idea “half-baked.”

And Tom Knox and Bob Brady almost went at it quite literally.

What prompted the Knox-Brady explosion was a question to Knox about whether he ever expected anything in return for the $500,000 that he has donated to Democratic candidates over the years.

Knox, seated next to Brady, replied that his contributions were not part of the “pay-to-play” politics he has decried during his self-financed campaign, but were intended only “to elect good Democrats to office.”

Brady, who is the chairman of the city Democratic Committee, would have none of it.

“If you’re giving $500,000 in contributions, you’re looking for access,” Brady said.

“You’re looking for good government,” Knox replied, his voice rising. “. . .There you go. Whenever you get a buck, you expect to give them access. That’s the kind of guy you are.”

“You were deputy mayor making a dollar a year,” Brady shot back, “and grossly overpaid.”

Knox then talked about how Gov. Rendell, in whose mayoral administration he worked, last week described Knox as someone who wouldn’t be afraid to “kick some butt” to bring about needed changes.

“I can kick butt,” Knox told Brady, “and yours’ll probably be the first one.”

INQUIRER: I Am Not Afraid Of You And I WILL Beat Your Ass
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INQUIRER: “Democratic mayoral candidate Bob Brady received a cell-phone call threatening his life just before he took part in last night’s debate. The call came around 6 p.m., just as Brady was entering the National Constitution Center, said his campaign spokeswoman Kate Philips. Though the caller reportedly threatened to kill him, Brady thought it a hoax, she said.”
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