For Lynne’s opponent, Jim Kenney, to falsely and deliberately misrepresent what Lynne Abraham said at a televised, audio and video-recorded debate on February 19, 2015, shows Kenney’ desperation and fear of Lynne‘s popularity. Lynne stood behind Mayor Michael Nutter’s statements that any attempt to award pension bonuses to everyone receiving a city pension, at a time when our pension fund is underwater by about five billion dollars, threatens the entire pension house of cards. Any money going to pensioners, just because the stock pickers did a better job in one year than in previous years, threatens not only those receiving pensions now, but also city employees who hope and expect their bargained for pensions to be there for them in the future.
Outside of their families, no one knows more about the deaths and injuries of police officers and firefighters than Lynne Abraham. For the better part of nineteen years as District Attorney, Lynne investigated every death and injury of these brave public servants and prosecuted the guilty parties. Her investigations included the deaths of Captain John Redmond and Firefighter Vencent Acey, as well as the deaths of Captain John Taylor and Firefighter Rey Rubio.
Kenney’s attack is ironic.
Jim Kenney not only qualifies for a pension from the city, he was also getting a salary from Vitetta, a company he worked for while he was collecting his $165 thousand a year city council salary and accruing pension benefits. Not only is that double-dipping, it may qualify for triple- dip status. While during that same time, Vitetta also gained lucrative City contracts. His yearly salaries further included a paid board position with Independence Blue Cross, which also has contracts with the City.
Rather than taking the time to tackle difficult problems, Kenney only makes them worse by spending his time pandering for votes. Far from making the city safer for retirees, he makes things worse by seeking to add to our serious pension deficits. Lynne supports pension benefits bargained for at the collective bargaining table and respects all bargained-for pension rights.
Kenney has made an appalling mistake with this feeble attempt to tarnish Lynne Abraham’s credibility with police and firefighters. They know better. Philadelphia knows better. Already this is being seen as the obvious trick that is it. Kenney must fear Lynne’s strength in these two municipal communities to pull this futile, ill-advised scheme.