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Rancor Builds in Philadelphia Mayoral Race

October 22, 2003|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Two weeks after an FBI listening device was found in the mayor's office, Republican mayoral candidate Sam Katz condemned the administration of incumbent John Street as corrupt and said it's "time to end" what he called a pay-for-play system.

"All that has gone on in the last couple of weeks puts an exclamation point on basically 100 years of Philadelphia being a city corrupt and contented," Katz said Tuesday night during a live television debate.

Street continued to maintain that he had done nothing wrong and attacked Katz, a financial consultant, for being less than forthcoming about his business dealings.

After 25 years in public service, Street said, "it's not until the last couple of weeks that anybody ... raised any question at all about my integrity."

Street and his supporters have suggested that the FBI bug was planted as part of a Republican scheme to disrupt the election and harass a prominent black official. Reps. Robert A. Brady, Chaka Fattah and Joseph M. Hoeffel, all Philadelphia Democrats who support Street, have demanded a meeting with U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft today to discuss the investigation.

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