I try to steer clear of conventional politics here at Philly Bricks, but when our civil servants control what happens to our bricks, it's hard not to go down that road. A new monthly post, Barely Human, will shine a spotlight on our most institutionally corrupt elected and appointed officials. I'm not just talking about your average pay to play politicians or career council members, but the real sleaze that have become so out of touch with the reality of their job, that they honestly believe their behavior is not only ethical, but the professional norm.
Sadly, Philadelphia employs enough cretins to warrant a daily rant, but that would just get depressing.
I'm going to start with a feisty piece of shit that has been in office since Philadelphia's heyday of self destruction. Marge Tartaglione is our 78 year old City Commissioner seeking a tenth re-election. When interviewed by Philadelphia Weekly regarding her absence, she repeatedly fired back, "No comment," "No comment," with a "none of your business" thrown in to make sure everyone realizes what belligerent trash she really is.
As if that's not obvious. She just cashed a $288,000 check from the controversial DROP program, a perk she received for her "retirement" which lasted for a day in 2008. Recovering from open heart surgery, the great-grandmother in charge of city elections makes John McCain look like a spring chicken.
Age isn't the only reason Tartaglione deserves to be flushed with the rest of the bureaucratic cronies using our tax dollars to wipe their ass, she doesn't breed well either. Her daughter, Renee, was forced to resign from her mother's staff by the Board of Ethics. Renee's husband, Carlos Matos, another Philadelphia gem, is a former ward leader now in prison for bribery.
Her record speaks classic Philadelphia corruption too. In 1994, after two decades of experience, a judge ruled that she didn't follow the proper absentee ballot protocol. The same shenanigans may have been responsible for David Oh's loss of the 2007 City Council election to career Councilman Jack Kelly.
Philly.com put together a timetable of Tartaglione's outbursts throughout her career. In 1980, five years after she began, she got into a fistfight with Councilwoman Joan Krajewski. In 1988 she knocked a cigar from ward leader Norman Loudenslager's mouth, accusing him of writing a nasty note about her. In 1999 she charged at Carol Ann Campell like a bull in Pamplona. The next day she hit aide Ken Boggi in the face after allegedly sending one of her goons after him. And just last December she threatened a Philadelphia Weekly reporter after being questioned about her daughter's resignation. She's obviously aging. Her staff got quiet during the last altercation when the Philadelphia Weekly's reporter responded to her threat, essentially telling her to bring it.
Marge Tartaglione is not only out of touch with her voters and what the city wants. She's unpredictable, unprofessional, and unstable, and it's apparent that she will make your career disappear if you don't dance with her. It's how business was done when she started, and in her mind, perhaps it is still 1975. She continues to employ her immoral, antiquated actions under the delusion that she is doing nothing unethical. And that, Marge Tartaglione, is what makes you Barely Human.
Marge Tartaglione can be contacted at the City Commissioner's Office:
City Hall, Room 130