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City Election Official’s Partisan Message Not Appropriate, Says Watchdog Group

(Philadelphia city commissioner Stephanie Singer.  File photo by Steve Tawa)

(Philadelphia city commissioner Stephanie Singer. File photo by Steve Tawa)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of Philadelphia’s city commissioners, who will oversee next month’s election in the city, is taking heat for putting out an e-mail urging support for President Obama and other Democratic candidates.

Stephanie Singer is chairperson and one of two Democrats among the three-member board of city commissioners, which runs Philadelphia elections.

Today, Singer issued an e-mail through her campaign office urging support for Democratic candidates and saying that she is “horrified at the prospect of Republican control of government.”

Zack Stalberg, head of the election watchdog group Committee of 70, thinks Singer’s message was not appropriate.

stalberg zack med City Election Officials Partisan Message Not Appropriate, Says Watchdog Group

(Zack Stalberg, of the Committee of 70. File photo)

“This sends a really bad message to voters in Philadelphia, because it suggests that the person in charge of elections — the chairwoman — really has a very direct interest in the outcome,” Stalberg (right) said today.

In response, Singer promises bipartisan oversight of voting in the City of Philadelphia.

“It’s a combination of Democrats watching the process and Republicans watching the process,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  “That is what this country depends on to keep elections fair.”

Stalberg, though, calls Singer’s e-mail a “stunning case in point of why we need neutral officials running elections.”

The Committee of 70 has long said that elections officials should not be elected and that the commissioners’ office should be professionalized.

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