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tv   Inside Story  ABC  March 5, 2017 11:30am-12:00pm EST

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>> philadelphia mayor jim kenney is our newsmaker. let's get the inside story. ♪ good morning, and welcome to "inside story." i'm tamala edwards. and mayor jim kenney is my guest. good morning. >> good morning. >> thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> you had a big week this week talking about your budget. >> yep. >> and there were some protesters in the hall who don't like the soda tax, which is a key part of a lot of what you're trying to do. you raised a lot of money. you were looking for $2.3 million. you got $5.7 million. >> right. >> but when you talk to people -- pepsico's saying they're gonna cut 80 to 100 jobs, or shopkeepers when they say they're unhappy, or people walk up to you in the street and say, "jim, my soda costs so much." what do you say to them? >> well, first of all, pepsico is -- they've sunk to kind of a new low. if you think about that company as a whole, it's $35 billion in gross receipts last year,
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$6 billion in profits. the ceo makes $25 million as a base salary. they spent $11 million fighting the tax on tv. they've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars every month on lobbyists and lawyers. and they take it out on the guy in the bottling plant? i mean, to me, they're using their employees as pawns to create anger and mistrust and -- to try to get the tax away. but the tax has been passed. it's not going away unless a court kills it. and from the retailer side, guys like jeff brown and others at shoprite, i mean, he just opened a store yesterday inside the city limits. he's talking on one hand about cutting employee hours. on the other hand, he's opening a new store. i had a young man come up to me last week, and he said to me, "i really like you, but you cost me a dollar for every 16-ounce soda i buy." i said, "nope. the tax is a quarter. the 75 cents extra is going in the retailer's pocket. they've been taxing this product
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before the tax even went into effect, and they've been stockpiling the product in inventory from june, when we passed the tax. so a lot of what's being taxed now is not even taxable product. so it's a lot of fearmongering and a lot of misdirection. but in the end, what's important is that our 3- and 4-year-old babies in the city get the opportunity for pre-k so they can have a fulfilled life. >> pre-k rebuild. a lot of things depend on this soda tax. you mentioned the legal challenge -- commonwealth court in april. the suspicion is that if they lose there, they'll go to state supreme court. >> right. >> what happens if you lose? would you have a contingency plan? >> we'll do less pre-k, less community schools, and less rebuild. and that would be sad for the city. you know, when we passed the liquor-by-the-drink tax, there was never gonna be another restaurant or bar opened in the city. we have five times the number of restaurants and bars in the city. they passed the cigarette tax, everybody's gonna go outside and buy their cigarettes outdoors. did for a while, but then people came back and started buying them here. but there are companies like
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wawa and cvs and others who are actually acting like adults and charging the tax, but not making a big deal out of it or putting my picture or my name on the shelves and stuff. i mean, i went into my grocery store yesterday in old city, and the 16-ounce said it was $1.30. it's not that big a deal. >> so it sounds like you're not backing down on this one. >> no, no. >> let's talk about something else you've been pretty strong on, and that is the idea of philadelphia as a sanctuary city. let's talk the money. donald trump signs an executive order. it could be $340 million. harrisburg making moves to hold funds. talking about maybe another $640 million, almost a billion dollars, for a poor city. what will happen if we lose that money? do you have a contingency plan? >> well, first of all, we don't know -- first of all, the presidential executive order is a mishmash of -- like most of what he does, a mishmash of information. there's no real specific target of where they're taking the money from. and there needs to be a nexus between what they want to defund and what they're saying we're not doing.
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so that's mostly law enforcement. so if congress wants to vote to take law-enforcement money away from police in philadelphia and 19 other jurisdictions around pennsylvania. we're not the only island in the sea here. i mean there are other -- montgomery county -- other places. there are sanctuary counties and sanctuary cities. >> will council stick with you? it sounds like they're starting to get nervous on this idea, saying, "let's look at what michael nutter did. let's look at some other things." >> bullies makes you nervous, and bullies need to be fought. and i am not going to expose our vulnerable citizens to the whims of a very angry federal government or a very angry state government. you have to remember -- if we get a warrant, we turn the person over. the fourth amendment of the united states constitution requires a warrant to be held -- for someone to be personally held. and we will turn that person over if they give us a warrant. we're not holding people for 48, 72 hours on a whim. >> the crime numbers have been coming down, but one number's been going up. we had -- we've had 51 murders as of today. last year this time, we had 37. so that's a 38% hike in the
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murder rate. is that on your radar screen? is that something you're concerned about? >> one homicide's one homicide too many. the problem is is that we can't get any relief from state or federal government on the second amendment, which is gun control. i mean, when you allow the proliferation of weapons into our communities, you're gonna have shootings, you're gonna have homicides. you have to look at the homicide rate over a 10-year period. we're at the lowest crime rate in philadelphia in 30 years. and to argue -- i'll go back to sanctuary cities -- to argue that somehow cities who are sanctuary cities are locations of mayhem and crime is not true here. and, for the most part, our documented and undocumented immigrants are not the cause of crime. >> two quick questions. we're down to the last minute. have you thought about asking for a meeting with president trump? it's harder to demonize somebody you don't know. >> i did that once on twitter, and my staff went crazy. but, you know, if the president of the united states wanted to meet with me, i would be happy to do that. however, he's got a lot of things on his plate. he's more worried about what's going on with russia and jeff sessions. i mean, it seems within two
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months, there's more controversy than any president in history, so i'll let him deal with his problems. >> all right, you're a year in. you've gotten good reviews. re-election? are you thinking about it? are you gonna do it? >> yeah, most likely do it, but i mean, i don't think about it every day. i mean, i'm only in my second year. so i want to just get this first term right. >> when do you think you're gonna announce, let us know? >> oh, it'll be year three. >> all right, and finally, everybody likes the idea of this park on penn's landing. >> it's not a park. it's a cap. it's a highway cap. >> whatever you call it. >> you can't say park. >> you just got $100 million, it looks like, from penndot to do it. so it looks like it's gonna happen. >> yeah, i think that's wonderful. you have to understand that people in our city can't afford to go to the jersey shore. their shore is the delaware river. and if we can have a nice, wonderful place to create jobs and to have people recreate, it's a great thing. >> all right, mr. mayor. thank you for joining us. we look forward to having you back soon. >> thank you. we'll be back with the panel on "inside story." >> "inside story" is presented by temple university. remarkable change isn't easy, but for those who take charge, it comes naturally. explore temple's impact.
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♪ >> welcome back to "inside story." i'm tamala edwards. let's introduce you to the panel. first up, nonprofit exec sharmain matlock-turner. >> hi, tamala. good morning. >> documentarian sam katz. >> good morning. >> journalist larry platt. >> good morning. >> and communications executive jeff jubelirer. >> morning, tam. >> well, we just listened to the mayor, and let's talk about the budget. first of all, after such a big budget, a big thing that he asked for the first year,
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was very modest. were you surprised that he was smart enough, many would say, to come out and not ask for that much this time? >> i think it was smart to say, "look, i put my priorities out in my first budget. i really sort of let the city know what i thought was important, and now i've spent the last year really listening to city council and others to make sure that we are making additional changes, but changes that i think we can afford and changes that i think are not going to talk about another big tax increase. >> in the budget, of course, we talked about how much of it is pinned on the soda tax and keeping the money. he was very dismissive of pepsico or shopkeepers or people. but i will tell you, our favorite pizza shop for my kids up in chestnut hill, the owner says people come in and yell at him because they can't get free refills anymore, that they're saying they're seeing an effect on customers. they're seeing an effect on sales. is there a public-perception problem he needs to worry about? he's saying it's not that big a deal. it'll go away. is he right on that? or is there true rancor out there over it?
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>> well, there is rancor, and there are people who are threatening to cut back on payroll and salary, and there are a lot of issues. but the truth is, who could predict the future? and he might be right. it may well be that people just get used to it. the city has consistently gone to taxes as their default mechanism. and over time, that has continued to undermine the growth of the economy of philadelphia. i'm not saying the soda tax is a growth engine or a growth inhibitor, but it is just part and parcel of what's going on for a long time in philadelphia. and while the uses of the proceeds made the tax passable, 'cause that was a really brilliant political strategy, it's just one more thing that puts a patina around philadelphia's image as a good place to do business. >> jeff, you've got a law degree. two big turns of the wheel -- >> i don't, but thank you for escalating my scholarship. >> i've now given you a law degree. two big turns of the wheel on this next one -- >> that has never prevented him from practicing law. >> i play one on tv. >> next month, this all goes to commonwealth court, and then it
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could end up -- it's predicted that it will go to the state supreme court. he doesn't sound as though he really has a contingency plan, other than, "boy, it's gonna be bad around here if this money goes away." is there a chance -- a good chance that he could lose this money that he's banking on? >> well, i don't have a law degree, but i do know this -- he could -- he could lose. and there's a real argument tod. direction, i believe, of budget director dubow, talking about these things but not in a public way. what will happen? what are contingencies? i think they're meeting with council members and council staff. and council staff, i've learned, has said, "we're gonna support it regardless," in terms of the rec centers, the libraries, the school, the pre-k. so they're meeting. don't get us wrong. but publicly, he's saying, "i won't comment on anything hypothetical." >> i think it's really dangerous to dismiss -- for a mayor, for the chief executive of a city, to dismiss the loss of jobs. and pepsico is laying off people as a result of this soda tax, they say. and to claim that that's
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political is really dangerous. and i talked to jeff brown, who owns six shoprites and does a great job in cities, and he's down 15%. the soda tax, he's down 2% or 4% on. but what happens is people don't just go over across city lines to buy their soda. they cross city lines to buy all their groceries. and that is not sustainable. and for the mayor to just say that's political is really dangerous. >> but is he right that people will fall back? they're not gonna keep wanting to drive to delaware county or montgomery county. eventually, they'll say, "i just want to go around the corner." >> well, they're going there anyway to shop, to shopping centers and things of that nature. but on the legal issue, the courts are gonna have two issues. they're gonna have the public policy issue. that is, public policy here isn't just the tax. it's pre-k. it's culture. it's parks. it's libraries. so in overturning this tax, it isn't just a matter of the sterling act, which is one of the conditions that they're
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arguing, it's also one of the implications for public policy. and i think the public-policy argument is on the city's side. >> let's talk a little bit about sanctuary cities. he didn't back down from that at all. but you get the feeling that city council, that darrell clarke is very nervous. if this goes through, if they do start to stick it to the city, ds.t's a lot of money that the is the mayor correct tt he can hold fast on this until somebody comes to him with a legal argument -- you have to change or michael nutter, middle path this moment to maybe get the attention off of philadelphia? >> well, i think he's made a commitment to sanctuary cities, for this issue and beone, the only mayor in the country who's doing this.lot of people e sayi, right thing for cities. if you ask law ement t take on the role of marginalizing another group of peop tbe
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to really tell us what's really going on. this is absolutely the wrong way to go." i mean, as the mayor said, we're already obligated, if someone commits a crime, to turn that person over. the question is, are we just checking people's credentials and then saying, "okay, we're going to turn you over to someone else"? so i think that the city has a good case to make. i think it will ultimately end up in court, if congress and the president continue to insist on this. i think it's the wrong way for cities to go. >> it may be wrong, but politically, i'm not sure where philadelphia, or the mayor, have to go. saying that your peers in los angeles or san francisco or chicago or other large urban cities are going to be there in a fight with you. their elected leaders are all in the minority. they're all democrats. pat toomey's not gonna be there for you. maybe you have bob casey for sure, but he's not in power. and so the problem is they may be right, perception or otherwise, but when money's not
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coming to philadelphia for important needs, then it's gonna hit the fan. >> and there's another political risk, which is that the felonies that are protected from being shared with ice detainer requests get to the extreme. in other words, drunk driving, drug dealers, aggravated assault. why are we protecting people who commit those crimes? we don't get into this definition much about what violent felonies are. and i think that's a dangerous political prospect. if someone who commits aggravated assault turns out was not turned over in accordance with an ice detainer request. >> and i think if the federal government said that that we are not capturing people who are extremely violent who are here and we need to look at
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that question, that certainly is something that i think any reasonable person would say that we're looking at. but that's not ultimately what they're saying. they're saying, "we want to make sure that local communities cannot have relationships with people who are undocumented." and i think that that's wrong. >> let's go back and talk about something the mayor didn't bring up, which is rebuild, which is a huge part of what he wants to do. he and council have ironed it out. council members will be able to say -- have some say-so on sites, on project managers. there's a fight over the money. does it stay outside, or is it gonna be forced to go through city council? what would you guess, in the end, is where they end up on this one? it goes into city council or he manages to keep the money out? >> city council. >> well, i think the very significant issue that is at play here is the extent to which privately led contracts are subject to the same diversity provisions that are in place with publicly led contracts. and i think the city has a way, contractually, with these nonprofits. and i don't think just having two nonprofits -- the
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free library association and the fairmount park conservancy -- is necessarily the prudent way to go. but engaging the nonprofit world, which also has a way of inducing more money into this program, i think is a prudent strategy, and hopefully they can work it out. and i just want to say -- you know, mayors get to do things that are oftentimes not significant in the long run because crime goes up and goes down. but the plan to cover i-95 and to put a park on it and to finally open access to penn's landing. and he had a quiet campaign for the fundraising. we didn't find out about this project until it was already funded. kudos to jim kenney. the only thing about that plan that i'm concerned about is if you look at the artist's rendering, in the corner of the rendering, there are six glass high-rise buildings. please, do not block the view that that park will have of the benjamin franklin bridge. please do not do that.
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there's plenty of places to develop. >> we expect you to show up at the planning meeting, sam, and raise that. >> since 1976, when philadelphia created the penn's landing corporation, that project has been a flop. this commitment of resources and that vision, which i commend him for, changes -- that's a legacy project that'll last a century. >> you know, sam must be getting much smarter 'cause i agree with you. [ laughter ] and i've been critical of the mayor for not thinking big enough, in terms of economic growth and economic development. and this is really bold. >> let's turn and talk about something else that was in -- i'm sorry, sharmain -- that was in the news. >> we're boring you? >> no, no, no, no. for people who, you know, are looking for something beyond philadelphia, we have to talk to them, too. josh shapiro, the attorney general of the state of pennsylvania, was in d.c. meeting with president trump, and they brought up what we saw here over the past week, some of the desecration of the jewish cemeteries, the bomb attacks. the president, he said in a call with reporters, said, "this is reprehensible", but brought up
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the idea that "the reverse can be true to make others look bad," which shapiro just said, "it was a curious comment. those of us in the room looked at each other," but he rushed to tell reporters. how should people look at that comment in a city where people are really charged about what they see going on at these day schools and at this cemetery? >> i talked to attorney general shapiro the day after, and he was still sort of reeling and mystified. and he said -- like, i tried to say, like, "so what do you think he meant?" and he said, "i got to tell you. i've been over it time -- i don't know." my reading of it is that it eerily mimics a tweet from david duke, which is... >> exactly. it's outrageous. >> ...which is to say, to suggest and to stoke fears that this desecration was done by either jews or democrats to make him look bad. that's my reading of it. josh wouldn't go there, but it is indecent to suggest that.
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>> yeah, i just think it's absolutely outrageous. i mean, for someone to say that without any proof, tweeted by someone else who you know already has a propensity to come out with these kinds of outrageous things, and actually repeat that to people who are coming into your office -- >> but we don't for sure that that's who the president was repeating. >> but i don't understand how there's another way to interpret that. i don't see it as like saying, okay, there are rallies for people who are really upset about the affordable care act, but all of those people are being paid by someone in order to come in and say that they're upset. the idea that every time there's a criticism it must be someone who is doing something underhanded against him and his ideas. >> i just want to put a little relativity to it, and i'm not defending it, 'cause i have no idea, is -- you're not seeing a lot of this comment. it had a short news cycle. i mean, maybe that's because
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later that evening, his first line of his address to congress was denouncing the acts as reprehensible. and i'm not here to say trump is all right, but i will say that -- and you did see administration sources saying that it had to do more with the protestors. again, i don't agree with it. i don't like it. we don't know what he truly meant. but i don't think we can say for sure that it had to do with "oh, the jews did it." >> two other local issues. we're down to the last few minutes. villanova wants to build a pedestrian bridge across lancaster avenue with big crosses. it is a catholic university. there's some outcry, with locals saying, "well, you're using some state funding across a state road. it should be no religious symbols." who's right in this? it would seem a catholic university -- i'm not shocked that they want to put crosses on the bridge. >> i'm not shocked, and i looked at the picture. it's two crosses at the end of the bridge. it looks architecturally lovely. i had a chance to read our own christine flowers' comments that she wrote, which i thought... >> she had no opinion. >> ...was very, very good. i don't understand -- you know,
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i could understand a couple people -- there are always people who don't like something that's going on in their neighborhood, but i don't understand it being that the whole neighborhood is against it. and the entire commission voted in favor of the bridge. >> well, that's a commission that's got a lot of democrats. >> villanova is a catholic university. it's augustinian. most of the kids who park on the other side of lancaster avenue and will cross on that bridge, i dare say, will be catholic or christians, and they're going to enter a catholic university where catholicism and the values of catholics are taught. what are we worried about here? >> it was 6-0, the vote. >> we got 30 seconds. in south jersey, they wanted to use e-zpass, but they want to boost what you'll be pay by a dollar. you pay $1.50 now. you'll be paying $2.50 each time you cross one of five bridges. that could be a $10 trip if you're going from ocean city down to wildwood. is this a good idea? >> if they put a soda tax in place down there, i think it'll be a great idea. >> off-season, it's 50 cents off, though. >> right, it is. >> so it's really gonna -- i like the fact that they're, you know -- >> it's cheaper to go to
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cape may than new york city. >> hey, it helps bridges. bridges in pennsylvania and new jersey need funding. that's going to go help to restore bridges. >> all right, cape may, they're giving you a boost to this idea of the tax. all right, we'll be back with our insiders and their inside stories. ♪
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>> "inside story is presented by temple university. remarkable change isn't easy, but for those who take charge, it comes naturally. explore temple's impact. visit >> welcome back here to "inside story." we've got our insiders' inside stories of the week. sharmain, we'll start with you. >> well, tam, i really want to give kudos to you and channel 6 for really celebrating black history month last week and to say congratulations to the honorees, to vanesse sgambati who's done a great job with literacy, to joe tucker who's put together a great philadelphia law firm, and to dr. beverly richards who's done wonderful work saying what you probably know -- saving films from the african-american community from the 1920s up
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until 1960. >> the colored players association of philadelphia. this week, the mayor came out with his budget. the really big problem in the budget is pensions. we have a pension crisis. it's $5.7 billion of unfunded liability. we're still assuming that we're gonna earn 7.7%, and we are retreating to believe that because all the other pension crises in the country are assuming 7.7%, we're gonna be all right. big trouble coming. >> all right. larry. >> i mentioned jeff brown and his shoprite stores. even with all the soda tax stuff going on, he opened a fresh grocer in wynnefield heights that is amazing. it is the most diverse grocery store i've been in. there's a performance space. it's really a great experience. and it's my new shopping outlet. >> it's your new hangout? all right. jeff. >> here's an oxymoron -- are liberals helping trump? there was a very interesting piece in the new york times last sunday, which suggested that the more moral superiority, the more
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folks go on facebook, a lot of moderate republicans who were reluctant to vote for trump and could be swayable to be for hillary or for the democrats, they said, in the first public-opinion poll by pew, that 70% approve of the job performance of trump not because they like trump, because they dislike how the liberals... >> how people are reacting. >> protesting. all that. >> all right. we've got to go. >> i'm alicia vitarelli in for gray hall and nydia han him coming up next on "action news," parts of the pennsylvania turnpike is shut down after a crash and fuel spill. the latest on that breaking news. plus, the white house demanding action from congress, why the trump administration wants an investigation into the obama administration. a philadelphia police officer is honored two years after being killed in a shootout. those stories and the exclusive accuweather seven-day forecast next on "action news."
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