The problem is that John Featherman -- who actually has filed papers to run as a Republican candidate for mayor -- doesn't seem to offer much in the way of competition. Most of his solutions sound familiar: Cut business taxes! Really crack down on corruption! The only problem is, we hear those kinds of promises fairly often from our politicians -- Mayor Nutter said those things when he was a candidate. Why would Featherman or any other Republican be better-positioned to make those things happen?
Featherman gets intriguing, though, with this proposal:
MAKE REAL BUDGET CUTS! Government should stick to what it does best and consider outsourcing everything else. This means bidding out trash, call centers, prisons and administrative services, among others. This means cutting wasteful government jobs, with the mayor focusing exclusively on the needs of our 1.5 million residents. And having the political courage to negotiate the three unresolved municipal contracts and fight for fair concessions - in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie-like style.
This raises a couple of questions:
* What does municipal government "do best" according to Featherman? After all, his "everything else" seems to cover a pretty wide range of necessary services.
* What does Featherman actually propose to cut? He doesn't actually name a single program or job that needs to go.
Maybe these are questions for which Featherman actually has answers. It's not easy to lay out a detailed governing platform in an 800-word op-ed, after all. Here's the problem, though: John Featherman is running for mayor, and today's piece certainly signals that the campaign has opened. But he has no online presence for his campaign that I can find -- not even a Blogger blog. It's to believe that Republicans are ready to govern Philadelphia if they're not even ready to made the case.