By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia city commissioners will continue to run local elections, despite the efforts of government watch dog groups who went to court to try to replace them.

Commonwealth Court has affirmed the commissioners’ authority.

Long-time election watchdogs, the Committee of 70, joined the upstart Philly 3.0 to challenge the Commissioners, based on a novel reading of the state constitution.

According to the plaintiffs, a provision that County Commissioners must step aside if there’s a question on the ballot would basically put the Commissioners out of business since there’s a question on just about every ballot.

But Common Pleas court noted, and Commonwealth Court has upheld, that Philadelphia has City Commissioners, a distinctly different entity in that they don’t put questions on the ballot. Philadelphia has a city council that does that.

Commissioner Lisa Deeley is pleased with the decision, and says she hopes the plaintiffs will now put their energy elsewhere.

Committee of 70 president David Thornburgh says they’re reviewing their options.

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