Incorporating the The Germantown Chronicle & The Northwest Independent

6661 Germantown Ave • Philadelphia, PA 19119 • 215-438-5171 •



You can’t make this stuff up.  On the eve of the National Democratic Party convention for President, the generally back channel union leader in the most corrupt urban culture in the United States, (Chicago notwithstanding) decides it’s time to teach a black non-union electrician a lesson “street style.”

Long term IBEW union leader and just elected Chairman of the Building Trades Council of Philadelphia,  Johnny Dougherty the long serving kingpin of its city’s generally racist trade unions, confronts a single black man who reportedly may have been associated with non-union work near his secure and generally guarded personal home base in South Philly.  He brought three “associates” to the street confrontation.

Usually not seen in such situations, he is more likely to be formally dressed, possibly dining with the likes of David L. Cohen, Ed Rendell and other power brokers, and running just about every arm of the Philadelphia Democratic Party with his close associates from across the river.

Just a few months back it looks very much like he arranged the outcome of the Mayoral election with massive outside dollars that were conveniently not reported until just after his long term  associate Jim Kenney was sworn in with a turnout kept intentionally low.  Most of the city still does not quite understand how this long term South Philly political powerhouse bought the endorsement of black Northwest Philadelphia senior leadership in an alliance that seemed to defy logic.  Of course the very recent naming of one of that NW group, Dwight Evans, as the replacement for the now disgraced and indicted Congressman Fattah may provide the answer that this deal was “twofer”.   Dougherty’s now even greater power with union money du jour (although mostly from white union members outside the city) could very well insure the election of what has been called “a guaranteed black Congressional seat” mostly inside the city.

But Dougherty must have had a senior moment and decided to teach a lesson in broad daylight personally.   Film footage of at least part of the confrontation shows the non-union African-American being pulled back by someone who saw where this was going.  What we have seen shows a strident Dougherty in a pose somewhat reminiscent of a scene from “On the Waterfront” leading his pack toward the man who reportedly wound up with a broken nose and other injuries.

The “perfect political storm” only gets more intense as the District Attorney Seth Williams takes a pass on the complaint and sends it to an already compromised Attorney General Kathleen Kane claiming conflict of interest from their political relationship.  Kane does the same and now we learn it may have become a federal case. 

Well, they say the feds can “indict a ham sandwich” and maybe what we have here is a ham gangster (with mayo) who made a very bad decision to show the victim and his “boys” how it’s done on the street in South Philly.  Now, old school city street guys have a name for Dougherty’s organization and they call it the “Mayonnaise Mafia”.  If you are only a little bit savvy about this city and its history you should get the drift.

In the meantime it will take a good bit of power playing to shut down the runoff on this one.  Even the largely controlled local press and media should be covering how this ultra powerful Democratic Ward Leader, who controls the outcome of how so much public money is spent and at the same time keeps the racial opportunity imbalance in this city possibly the worst in the nation, goes “street” on a single African American non-union worker to set an example.

The example that should be set for all those in the national press corps who are on hand for the upcoming convention is that these kinds of 19th Century tactics are everyday occurrences one way or another in a city where elections have been replaced by endorsements that are in effect “enforcements” through ward leaders with the trade unions, bought and paid for politicians, selling out their own under the orders from the Dougherty Machine.

Just last week one of those trade unions, the one with the largest amount of cash on hand and biggest pension fund, was shut down with no notice and no explanation one morning by its national organization.

Now that and the Johnny Doc story are ones for the New York Times.

Jim Foster

The Independent Voice