The Philadelphia Board of Ethics is challenging a recent court decision that dismissed its lawsuit against the super PAC supporting Jeff Brown’s mayoral campaign. In April, the board made waves by suing For A Better Philadelphia, the political action committee that generously backed Brown’s unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination. While super PACs can amass substantial funds without city contribution limits, they’re prohibited from coordinating with candidates.
The board alleged illegal coordination because Brown raised money for the PAC before officially launching his campaign in November 2022. However, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Joshua Roberts ruled in September that this action was not prohibited as Brown hadn’t yet initiated his campaign.
On October 10, the board appealed the decision to the state Commonwealth Court. Brown, though not directly involved in the litigation, viewed the ruling as a validation of his campaign conduct.
Ultimately, Brown, a grocery store operator and political newcomer, finished fifth in the May primary, with Cherelle Parker emerging as the Democratic victor. Parker is a strong favorite in the November general election to succeed Mayor Jim Kenney, who cannot run for a third consecutive term.