Kathryn Ott Lovell among golf course supporters who donated to Curtis Jones’s campaign


Annual campaign finance reports for 2022 dropped last week, and Curtis Jones’s campaign has again benefited from contributions from people and businesses connected with the Cobbs Creek golf course development.

In 2022 Grid reported on donations made to the Friends of Curtis Jones Jr., the campaign fundraising body for Councilmember Curtis Jones Jr., from people and organizations connected with the Cobbs Creek Foundation. Jones’s district includes the Cobbs Creek golf courses, giving him the power over development decisions at the course under Philadelphia’s informal but inviolable rule of councilmanic prerogative, in which district councilmembers have veto power over development decisions within their districts. These donations included one from the foundation itself, which was illegal based on the foundation’s IRS designation as a charitable, 501(c)(3) organization. (The foundation’s representative claimed it was a mistake and that they were working with Jones’s campaign to get the donation returned.)

These donations mostly hit Jones’s campaign towards the end of 2021 as the City was reviewing permits for the foundation to begin clearing 100 acres of trees on the course, permits over which Jones had considerable sway as the district councilmember. The money from people connected with the golf course development continued to flow in 2022.

The law firm Stradley, Ronon, Stevens, and Young, LLP, the law firm representing the Cobbs Creek Foundation, donated twice for a total of $2,000.

Ed Hazzouri, whose firm handles government affairs for the foundation, donated twice for a total of $3,000.

Blane Stoddart and CE Stoddart (who shares the same address as Blane Stoddart) donated three times for a total of $1,200. Blane Stoddart, whose business provides construction management services, has been an outspoken supporter of the foundation and its renovation of the golf course.

John Burnes, the foundation’s board secretary, donated twice for a total of $500.

Kathryn Ott Lovell, the director of Philadelphia’s Department of Parks & Recreation, donated $250.

Additional donors have more-indirect connections to people connected to the foundation. For example, two members of the foundation’s board, William Sasso and Judith Seldeneck, are also board members for the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. The chamber donated $3,500 to Jones’s campaign.

In some cases the connection to the foundation seems obvious. John Burnes, for example, has made four donations that show up in Philadelphia’s campaign finance tracking system, and they have all been to Jones’s campaign.

In other cases the donors are in the habit of donating to politicians more generally, likely connected to their business. For example, Hazzouri’s 19 donations in 2022 went to several politicians, including (besides Jones) Councilmembers Jamie Gauthier, Isaiah Thomas, and Kenyatta Johnson.

Whatever the case, it is clear that the foundation has stocked its board and has signed contracts with well-connected people and firms, the sorts who are in the habit of gaining general access to politicians by making donations.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell at the Meadows at FDR Park. Photo by Rachael Warriner.


  1. Jeff Warmann who is CEO of Monroe Energy, which owns the fossil fuel pipeline that crosses Cobbs Creek and the golf course, donated money to ChamberPHL PAC in 2020 and 2022. His two donations to ChamberPHL are the only time his name appears in Philadelphia campaign finance record although Monroe Energy via their PAC did donated to election denying Republican Martina White in 2021

  2. And considering he has no opponent, what are they paying for ??? (Besides the $1000 he spent on parking tickets… )

  3. Has Kathryn Ott Lovell explained her donating?
    Is there any organized effort in protest to the whole thing?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Timber! Cobbs Creek Developer Granted Zoning Exemption

Next Story

EV Adoption Helps Residents Breathe Easier

Latest from Environment