Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is a local Republican using government for personal gain? Again?

Back in March, the North Hills Exposure blog pointed out that Ross Township Commissioner Grace Stanko could be in trouble for a violation of the Ethics Act. You can read more about this issue at the Tribune Review also.

A recent article was written at the North Hills Patch about a $142,500 federal grant that Ross Township received for the Perrysville business district. In the article Ross Township Commissioner Stanko is mentioned as lobbying for the grant. Why wouldn't she have asked for this grant? The printing business that her husband owns and prints for government materials for Ross Township will benefit from that federal grant.

The ironic thing about Commissioner Stanko is that she is a proud Republican. So that same grant that she is happy about came from many federal officials that she doesn't support. (Dems: Obama/Altmire/Casey - Republican Toomey can get credit for this too as a federal official for Ross Township)

Isn't the GOP strongly against programs like this when our government is in debt? The grant itself came from HUD. Most Republicans want to get rid of HUD! I guess government spending is only wasteful to Republicans if these programs are benefiting someone other than themselves.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jane Orie needs to resign

As the drama that is the Jane Orie case continues to be dragged out, we are left with a completely ineffective State Senator. She completely avoids all media and the only information we get from her is directly from her office with her spin added to it. I came across this petition a few weeks ago and thought I would share it with my readers. I thought it would gain some traction, but this is further proof as to how ineffective the Democratic Party is in most of the North Hills.

Sen. Orie, please do the right thing and resign from the State Senate.

This petition was created by the Richland Township Democratic Committee (
Facebook - Twitter) and only has 3 signatures after 3 weeks. No wonder the Democrats never have any good candidates in the North Hills if this is all they can muster.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Look Familiar?

The recent mailing that someone sent out against Luke Ravenstahl as seen at the Post Gazette Early Returns blog looks rather familiar to me. A negative post card with simple black print on a grey post card with no return address and using first class mail has been done before in Pittsburgh/Allegheny County. Just this past spring in the County Controller race a very similar mailing was sent out against George Matta. Do you think the same person was behind these two mailers?
On a side note, does anyone want to point out that Dan Onorato started his career on city council when he was younger than Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is now? Was Onorato a 'non-adult' in 1991? Also, is 31 not an adult?

From the Post Gazette - Orie wavies hearing

Orie waives hearing, new trial postponed until February

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The retrial for state Sen. Jane Orie, R-McCandless, has been postponed until Feb. 13 so that the defense can prepare to try new charges against her with the old.

Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning this morning agreed to join the two cases together, after having previously denied the same motion by the defense.

Judge Manning said he had denied the request because it was premature. Once Ms. Orie waived a preliminary hearing this morning on the new charges, which include forgery, perjury and tampering with evidence, the case was automatically bound over to Common Pleas Court and Judge Manning's jurisdiction.

Ms. Orie, charged along with her sister, Janine Orie, is accused of misusing her legislative staff and resources to help run campaigns for herself and another sister, Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin.

The original case against her and Janine went to trial in February but ended with a mistrial after the prosecution alleged that the senator's defense submitted fraudulent documents as exhibits.

Those documents -- and testimony by the senator -- led to the new charges against the senator, which were filed in August.

"We all feel very strongly there should be one more trial to address all the questions and allegations raised," said the senator's defense attorney, William Costopoulos.

Having two trials would be a "bit much for the senator, and it's a bit much for the commonwealth," he said.

Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Claus joined in the motion to try the cases together.

"This way, we're guaranteed ... all that evidence will come in and give the jury the proper perspective," Mr. Claus said.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Franklin Park Councilman doesn't care about the future

I have often heard Republicans say that liberal professors live in a fantasy world. I think right wing nuts live a fantasy world where roads never crumble, water pipes never break, and the cost of living never increases for the government. Why would you force a tax increase if something big happens to the local government by cutting the surplus/safety fund.

Franklin Park councilman proposes hefty tax cut
By Adam Brandolph
Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Franklin Park councilman on Wednesday night proposed cutting 2012
property taxes by 15 percent to drain overfunded surplus accounts and
give residents relief in the down economy.

Ash Marwah said trimming taxes from 1.283 mills to 1.1 mills next year
would save taxpayers $225,000.

Marwah said the borough has about $2.6 million in cash reserves and
unrestricted capital funds, and about $2 million in expected income and
$2.6 million in expenses for the rest of the year.

That would leave $2 million in the bank on Jan. 1. The borough's annual
budget is about $7 million.

Borough Manager Ambrose Rocca said the surplus likely won't last.

"This is the time of year when we have a large amount of cash," Rocca