By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The heated primary race for Philadelphia City Council in the city’s 2nd District is turning ugly.

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Challenger Ori Feibush is accusing supporters of the incumbent, Kenyatta Johnson, who is running for re-election, of vandalizing neighborhood property.

Feibush says the third vandalism incident in as many weeks is prompting him to go public with the problem.

“We made no stink about it the first time it happened, or the second time it happened,” he told KYW Newsradio this morning.  “This is a larger, more coordinated event, which is why I am now raising the alarm bells here.”

Feibush says the first incident came two weeks ago:

“Our Point Breeze headquarters was vandalized.  Every single window was graffitied.  Every inch of brick was graffitied.  Fortunately, the city came out and was able to remove almost all of the graffiti.”

Feibush says that last week his cars had their tires slashed.

(A vehicle advertising Ori Feibush's real estate business has flattened tires. Photo provided)

(A vehicle advertising Ori Feibush’s real estate business has flattened tires. Photo provided)


And this week, he says, homes in the neighborhood were hit with anti-Ori graffiti.


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(The wall of a neighborhood home is spray-painted "Don't Vote 4 Ori."    Photo provided)

(The wall of a neighborhood home is spray-painted “Don’t Vote 4 Ori.” Photo provided)


Feibush admits he has no proof linking the incidents to the “Johnson for Council” campaign, but he believes the councilman needs to step up and take a stand against it.

“While it’s clearly not the councilman out there graffiting these buildings,” Feibush says, “it is very obvious that it is supporters of his, and even possibly individuals in his camp.  And he should have a real conversation that this is not acceptable.”

Mark Nevins, spokesman for Johnson’s re-election campaign, denies any involvement by Johnson staffers.

“This is a ridiculous accusation that Ori is making.  And, by his own admission, he has no basis for it.  It’s reckless and it’s irresponsible,” Nevins said.

And Nevins says Feibush leveled the charges now to deflect attention from another matter:  an item appearing in today’s Philadelphia Daily News about statements Feibush made when he first announced his candidacy which were critical of Mayor Nutter.

“Frankly, Ori would be better served focusing on the issues and not playing in the gutter of reckless allegations and racial insults,” Nevins said.

The Second Councilmanic District encompasses much of South and Southwest Philadelphia.   The primary is little more than five weeks away, on May 19th.


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