In March, these pages editorialized that it would be wrong for right-of-center types to reflexively lump Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer in with his far-left counterpart Larry Krasner of Philadelphia — though both were elected due to the largesse of billionaire George Soros, and consider themselves “progressive” DAs.
We were once again proven right this week.
On Tuesday, Stollsteimer held an event to examine why the murder rate in Chester has fallen, while Philadelphia’s continues to soar.
While several members of the Philadelphia City Council drove down to take part, Krasner stayed home, uninvited.
In response to several questions by local media about why Krasner and some other high-profile officials hadn’t attended, Stollsteimer did not hold back.
“I’ve never heard from anybody in the Philadelphia district attorney’s office,” Stollsteimer began.
“I’ve never [had] a returned phone call from the district attorney on any issue I’ve tried to call him about…but if he wants to find out how this is working, I have a phone. I’m in my office almost every day. He could reach me back at the number I’ve left him.”
That is as close to an intramural scorching as you’ll get. There’s an unspoken honor code among elected officials within law enforcement, and part of that is to not criticize your counterparts in other jurisdictions, and they won’t criticize you.
But, it’s plain that this code has been thrown away in our region as elected officials tiptoe around blame for everything, from Philadelphia’s crime rate to who invited who to Tuesday’s meeting in Chester.
The day turned into a good ol’ Philly donnybrook.
Krasner huffed that he wasn’t invited. Frustrated, he then pointed a finger at Mayor Kenney, saying Kenny hadn’t spoken to him in almost two years—a fact that, if true, points to fundamental incompetence within city government.
Kenney fired back.
As reported by the Inquirer: “Kenney’s spokesperson, Deana Gamble, added a blistering assessment of Krasner’s office, saying: ‘The Mayor is disappointed, but not surprised, that DA Krasner continues his attempts to pass blame for his office’s inability to prosecute crimes onto his law enforcement partners instead of taking responsibility and accountability for the important role he must play in keeping Philadelphians safe.”
As the finger pointing escalated within Philly proper, the Delco DA was brought back into the fray, because Krasner insinuated Stollsteimer “had misrepresented his interactions with Krasner to bolster his political aspirations,” according to the Inquirer.
“He can say whatever he wants about integrity, but we all try to work together for the common good, and Larry doesn’t participate,” Stollsteimer replied.
Kudos to Stollsteimer for junking the good ol’ boys unspoken code of conduct, at least in this instance. He knows lives are on the line in Philadelphia.
We’re also heartened to see Kenney finally standing up for his city. If only he had spoken the truth about Krasner’s lack of accountability and incompetence before the Democratic primary in May, when it mattered.
Krasner still looks to be a shoe-in for re-election, but dissatisfaction with his lax law enforcement policies is obviously seeping into the political grassroots. We can only hope that Philadelphia’s experience under Krasner kills dangerous progressive dreams like “defunding the police” for good.
If only he had spoken the truth about Krasner’s lack of accountability and incompetence before the Democratic primary in May, when it mattered.
Krasner remains ambitious. His recent decision to sue Attorney General Josh Shapiro over a recent opioid settlement was the kind of planned, high-profile news rush that indicates his eye for higher office. With all of the national acclaim he’s received — including glossy magazine spreads and a documentary series — why wouldn’t he?
Faithful Broad + Liberty readers shouldn’t take this editorial as a de facto endorsement of Stollsteimer. We’re still wary about some of his policies. But other Democrats in the Delaware Valley have hidden when asked about Krasner. Without the same kind of prompting Kenney apparently needed, Stollsteimer dealt some much needed truth into the conversation, and that deserves recognition.
But this recent fiasco underscores that, even with PBS and the New York Times on his side, Krasner is vulnerable to the reality he has contributed to: a city that is about to blow past 500 homicides for the first time in recorded history. Members of his own party are taking their private disenchantment public. That’s saying something, given that he’s never had much party support to begin with.
Krasner may finally be facing real scrutiny for his “go it alone” strategy, which worked in elections — but not for victims of crime in Philadelphia.
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