Thursday, April 19, 2012

Unfair and absurd negative mailer from Mark Purcell

Generally speaking, this is an okay piece. Put your positive comments on the front and the negative on the back. However, my opinion (Mr. Purcell is going to love this) is that this piece is absolute b.s. and absurd. To put a fuzzy still from a video of someone with their eyes closed as proof that they are sleeping is just ridiculous. If you have a video of Ravenstahl sleeping, that would be proof, but generally speaking people do blink sometimes.

So I thought I would have a little fun with Mr. Purcell's videos he has posted on his facebook profile. Here are some clips of Mark Purcell sleeping:

Mark Purcell's new campaign slogan should be: "I will never blink as your State Representative!"

This isn't the first time that Mark Purcell has made a questionable campaign mailer:

Another question comes up about copyrighted material. Both pictures appear not to have been taken by Mark Purcell. The first picture that he altered appears to be the same as Rep. Ravenstahl's official picture at his State House website. The second picture has to be a still from a PCN video. There is always a disclaimer during PCN broadcasts that you can't use their copyrighted material for political purposes. I doubt there is any reprimand for using these pictures illegally, but I'm sure Mark Purcell will plead no contest to those charges too:

Mr. Purcell has attacked me for being anonymous, accused me of being part of the conspiracy, a girlfriend of a candidate, Luke Ravenstahl, and working for the Ravenstahl campaign. I'm sure this post won't help.

Let the conspiracy continue!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Anti Critz Mailers

Negative piece against Mark Critz hitting him for his vote against Planned Parenthood:

Negative mail agasinst Mark Critz's vote against Wall Street reform:

New positive piece from Adam Ravenstahl

Great positive piece about reform. I think this will resonate with the voters:

I have heard from sources that Mark Purcell sent a negative piece out against Ravenstahl today.
Two of my sources have told me that the the latest Purcell negative is borderline slanderous with a untrue statement claiming that Ravenstahl was sleeping on the floor of the House with a picture of him either blinking or looking at the computer on his desk. I hope to have a copy to share soon.

Positive Mail from Congressman Mike Doyle

Positive mail from Congressman Mike Doyle. I think he will cruise to an easy victory in this race. Nice positive mail:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

New Anti-Critz mail pieces

More negatives mailers against Mark Critz. The first piece hits Critz on his vote against planned parenthood and the 2nd piece goes after Critz's vote against wall street reform.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pittsburgh Councilman Bruce Kraus Supports Molchany in House District 22

From the Erin Molchany campaign:

Bruce Kraus Supports Molchany
Councilman Endorses Erin Molchany in 22nd Legislative District

Pittsburgh-- City Councilman Bruce Kraus announced today his endorsement of Erin Molchany in the April 24th Democratic Primary for the 22nd Legislative district.

"Erin Molchany is incredibly committed to making her community and our entire region a better place to live," said Kraus. "She brings to office a record of accomplishment fighting to save public transportation and education. I'm proud to endorse her as the next Representative in the 22nd district."

Molchany has focused much of her campaign on transportation and education issues, and also has committed to bringing resources back to neighborhoods in the 22nd district to help spur economic growth on mainstreets again.

"I'm honored to have the support of Bruce Kraus," Molchany said. "We need to elect a representative who will work with City Council and State Senators and fellow representatives to make our communities stronger, safer, and more prosperous. I will work with anyone to make things better for my district."

Erin Molchany is running for the full two-year term as a Democrat in the April 24th Primary in Pennsylvania's 22nd State House District. Molchany is also endorsed by Ironworkers Local 3, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC, Equality PA, Progressive Pittsburgh PAC, Stonewall Democrats, Gertrude Stein Club of Greater Pittsburgh, and Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak.

# # #

Monday, April 9, 2012

Campaign Sign Thefts alleged in the PA12!

It seems like we here something like this every campaign season. I for one think yard signs in public right of ways are tacky and don't show support for a candidate.

I received an email that someone watched the campaign staff/volunteers that were putting up Mark Critz's yard signs on Route 22 in Murrysville didn't just place some Mark Critz signs on the side of the road. They allegedly took the Altmire signs out of the ground and threw them into the back of their vehicle.

Not much more to say, other than it is pretty desperate by your volunteers or staffers to be stealing your opponents signs.

Negative mail in the 20th District State House race

Here is a recently mailer that Mark Purcell sent.

Since the piece is only one color, it won't stick out. It doesn't stick out in a handful of business post cards. I also believe the picture to be a bit childish. I expect more from a 65 year old candidate, but after reading some of the tactics that Mr. Purcell has used in his numerous runs for office (State House as a Republican in 1982, County Recorder of Deeds in 1987, U.S. Congress in 2002, State House in 2006, State House in 2010) I don't expect him to do much that isn't negative.

I had a discussion with Mr. Purcell via email about his attack on Adam Ravenstahl for not talking on the floor of the house is going to resonate with the voters:

To: NorthPgh Progressive

Thanks for the thoughts, But he is very doable because the fact of the matter is that he has done virtually nothing the whole year and a half he has been there,…for example…he has never once taken the microphone and spoke one word on the house for, or in caucus…Never attends any community meetings..yet he promised to roll up his sleeves and fix the property tax assessment mess….not one word out of his mouth about it in any way shape of form…No proposed legislation of any kind, nothing…he is one of the worst legislators I have ever seen,…when I get done with him he will be running away from Harrisburg…He is way out of his league there. Keep I touch, I always like hearing differing opinions…keeps me in prospective.

From: NorthPgh Progressive
Date: Sat, Jan 7, 2012
To: Mark Purcell

How do you know so much about what goes in in caucus? I take it a House member doesn't like Ravenstahl and is feeding that info to you? Do you still work for the State House? I thought you worked for a representative last time you ran. I don't have that much time to watch PCN for what goes on in session! haha.

I have to disagree with you again, because I'm not someone that believes you have to be vocal to be a leader in a group of 203 cocky elected officials. Sometimes talking can be detrimental to the cause and I believe in elected officials that listen more than they talk sometimes. I guess I judge a freshman representative different than you. The ones that get up there and make a big stink usually burn out early because the guys that have been there forever control everything.

As for the tax assessment mess, what more could any of our State Reps do? Except for Randy Vulakovich, all of our Allegheny County reps voted for the moratorium. I am on the email blast list for the reps in the North Hills and I got an email from Ravenstahl that said how to appeal and what he has tried to do. I don't attend community meetings, but I get an email from him about every 2 weeks about what he is doing. If he isn't doing anything, he is at least doing a good job of sounding like he is up to good things in Harrisburg if you are a progressive Democrat and on our side about Marcellus Shale, School Choice, etc.

Sorry to be negative again, but the things you explained don't play well with the average voter in my opinion. Sadly, the average voter doesn't read blogs and barely pay attention to what State Representatives do. Even if you try to explain that in a mailer I think it would be tough to get across. I'm a political mail junkie. haha I just feel this would be extremely costly to make this race doable considering Ravenstahl won convincingly last time with 2 other candidates from the Northside in the race. I will guess that many of the Northside votes that went to Keller would jump to Ravenstahl. Like I said before, if the original map that the GOP drew up that didn't even have Ravenstahl's house in it, you would be sitting on higher ground. But with a city base and spread out to Coraopolis where I will assume the Reps that had those areas before will help Ravenstahl, it will be an uphill and costly battle for you.

After all that opinion, I will wish you good luck still. Keep me updated on your campaign and I will spread the info on my blog when I have time too. A question, are you going to file for the endorsement? I'm not a big believer in what the endorsement does for a candidate in the North Hills, but I'm not familiar enough with the city to see if the process does anything in those areas.

North Pgh Progressive

I have no problem with a elected official that doesn't get up to the microphone too often. I generally think that those that give speeches on the house floor are grandstanding. The members in the background on PCN generally look like they aren't paying attention. I often wonder when I turn on CSPAN or PCN if anyone is paying attention to the floor speeches by other members.

Also, I feel that there is way more to being a State legislator than giving speeches in Harrisburg. If Adam Ravenstahl wasn't saying anything all to his constituents, then I would have a problem. However, his state website looks like he is decently active in sending out press releases and newsletters. I know that I have signed up for emails from the legislators that serve the Northern part of the county and I have received quite a few from Adam Ravenstahl about what is going on in Harrisburg.

I really didn't think I would cover this campaign that much, but a few conversations (or should I say scoldings) from Mr. Purcell and it has become the 2nd most exciting race (after the Altmire/Critz race) for me. Mr. Purcell has attacked me for being anonymous, part of the conspiracy, a girlfriend of a candidate, and working for the Ravenstahl campaign. I'm sure this post won't help.

Let the conspiracy continue!

Smith Mailer Hits Rohrer on Pay Raise

Smith Mailer Hits Rohrer on Pay Raise via PoliticsPA.

As always, I am a political mail junkie.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Background Checks!

I've been reading a few articles recently about candidates that have criminal backgrounds. I can't believe that anyone that has been accused of theft of monies from the government would think they could ever run for public office. Maybe that is because the mindset of the people that would steal from the government find a way to justify it by blaming that they were caught on someone else.

Simply put, if you have a criminal background that involves theft of public dollars I don't expect the voters to be able to trust you with their tax dollars.

State House District 22:

Twelve years ago, Marty Schmotzer was charged with stealing $50,000 from county taxpayers while working as a deputy clerk of courts in the 1990s.

Eric Heyl's article in the Trib is a good read: Democrats' pick for House must fight temptation

The Pennsylvania Progressive wrote about Mr. Schmotzer's problems also: Another Black Eye For PA Dems

Past articles about Mr. Schmotzer's theft:
Auditors Track Down Funds
Row Office Clerk Pleads Guilty to Stealing $50,000.

State House District 20

In 1979 Mark Purcell was charged and plead 'no contest' to unemployment fraud while serving as a Ross Township Commissioner. He continues to plead his innocence and claim that he took poor legal advice. As expected, these charges have been brought up every time he has run for office. When I mentioned these charges to Mr. Purcell in an email the other day this was his response:
"Since I know for certain you are part of the conspiracy, let me have you pass on some information to your friends…I have done my homework on the Ravenstahls and their inner circle extensively…Dzamko, Klinger, Quigley, just to name a few of these sleaze bags…..You, them, Schiulenberg could not hold a candle to my integrity. They don’t want to go there with me, it’s a battle they cant win."

Going through some old newspaper clippings, this seems to be Mr. Purcell's style. If you say anything remotely negative about him, he attacks back and points out that he is better than you. He used this technique with his neighbors (page 31) when he was a Township Commissioner.

Some articles about Mr. Purcell's 'no contest' charge:
Jan. 17, 1980

State House 24

Joe Preston didn't get accused of stealing money from the government, but he does have some legal issues that have popped up in the past:

From the Tribune Review, Aug. 3, 2007: A state lawmaker accused of assaulting a former girlfriend was found guilty of a reduced charge by a district judge on Thursday. Rep. Joseph Preston, 60, had been charged with simple assault following an altercation in his district office Sunday, but District Justice Jim Hanley found him guilty of harassment. He was also fined $300.

Would you be willing to vote for any of these candidates?

The interesting mailings of State House candidate Mark Purcell

I received a copy of a letter that Mark Purcell sent to Democratic committee members when he was running for the endorsement for State House. Other than being long winded and negative they appear to be intentionally misleading and at least one 'fact' is pure speculation.

First off, this if just ridiculous if Mr. Purcell thought people might read this letter and think this is about Adam Ravensthal's campaign report. Luke's name was left off of every sentence and instead he was referred to as 'Ravenstahl' in hopes the committee members would think Adam Ravenstahl and Mike Turzai are in cahoots.

Secondly, you have to be kidding me that you think Luke Ravenstahl (cash on hand $342,000) and Mike Turzai (cash on hand $314,000) would risk their political careers for $1,000 donation to 'fix a legislative seat for Adam.' It is also crazy to think that Mike Turzai would fix any seat for a Democrat after the way the redistricting was handled. My sources tell me that any changes that were made to the 20th were between two Democrats (Adam Ravenstahl and Dom Costa) and that historically the majority party has allowed the minority party to swap parts of their districts between their own members.

Also, you might want to check some labor political action committees. They have given Republicans in the State Legislature thousands of dollars in the last few years including Republican Leader Mike Turzai.

There should be some accountability when someone makes a claim like this in a political mailer. Usually you see a footnote and a source.

Now let's talk about calling out everyone for being self-serving. Did Mr. Purcell really think that calling out Democratic chairs would win him the endorsement? (It didn't.) What happens if Mr. Purcell wins, does he think that Rep. Dom Costa and Democratic Leader Frank Dermody won't remember that they were called self-serving by the new freshman Representative? This sure won't be a conversation starter in Harrisburg as Mr. Purcell claims he will do on his website:

"The gridlock in Harrisburg and our national politics has a profound negative effect on all of us. We need to move away from partisan politics and move towards conversation and cooperation. I will work with both Democrats and Republicans for the good of Pennsylvania and its citizens."

This isn't the first time Mr. Purcell has printed misleading campaign literature. (Page 17)
Let the conspiracy continue!!

Altmire Mail! More on Critz's vote against Planned Parenthood funding

Sorry for the cutoff scans. The reader that sends me their political mail doesn't have a scanner big enough for this post card.

Altmire cares about of veterans

Very nice veterans mailing. One issue that always works for Democrats or Republicans is veterans' issues.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Critz's answer to attack ad ignores facts

This entire Critz meltdown because of the Altmire television ad is interesting.

In the ad, Altmire says that Critz voted present on the Tea Party budget. This is accurate. Critz voted present. Altmire voted no. Fast forward to last week's vote on the same piece of legislation,
Altmire and Critz vote no.

First off, Critz appears to being playing politics with his vote. Voted present in 2011, voted no in 2012.

In Critz's press conference to defend his present vote, he stated: it was “A decision by our leaders.” That’s nice, but what about the people that elected you? His loyalty should be with the people of the 12th Congressional District, not with his leaders. I have never bought into the concept that our legislators should only vote the way leadership tells them to vote. I have always believed that our representative should vote the way their districts wants them too.

Additionally, Critz ran to Steny Hoyer for his defense. (who ran against and defeated his old boss and predecessor, Jack Murtha) Hoyer defends the present vote. Why? Hoyer says: “House Democrats stood together and voted ‘present’ on the extreme Republican budget in order to expose its radical policies. Doing this showed the American people just how extreme House Republicans are and how devastating their policies would be for our nation, like ending the Medicare guarantee. This was a vote to protect Medicare and derail the Republican Budget,” said democratic Whip Steny Hoyer who organized the efforts on behalf of House Democrats.”

If the goal was it would pass, cuts would happen, and then the American people would blame the Republicans? Really? Is that how it’s supposed to work? I don't understand how a present vote would help the Democrats prove this about the Republican budget. They should of stood together and voted NAY.

I’m not sure why political reporters and bloggers have taken the side of Critz and are taking his statements at face value. Quite simply, he made a bad vote. Just like he made a bad vote to defund Planned Parenthood, not to repeal don't ask don't tell, and against the wall street reform bill.

That is why Critz is running on healthcare, because he can't defend some of his bad votes and hopes that people forget this ad that he ran in 2010:

Monday, April 2, 2012

20th District State House Handouts

I have been recently accused by Mark Purcell to be part of the 'conspiracy' because I questioned some of his opinions (or as he called them facts) about the 20th State House race in regards to the candidacy of Dave Schuilenburg.

I generally don't endorse candidates for office, but those that read my blog know that I do generally stick up for Democrats that are currently elected. I let Mr. Purcell know via email when he announced his interest to run again for State House that I thought it would be tough for anyone to beat Ravenstahl no matter what the map looked like. Simply put, Adam Ravenstahl has good name recognition and I believe that Ravensthal hasn't made any mis-steps as a State Representative.

So with hopes of not being accused of being part of the 'conspiracy' that is out to get Mr. Purcell here is some literature from Adam Ravenstahl and Mark Purcell.

I will of course be accused of my bias for Mr. Ravenstahl, but I have some real issues as a progressive Democrat (that supports public education) with a plan to eliminate property taxes. It may sound impressive on the campaign trail, but we have to make up that revenue somewhere. It sounds very Tea Party like.

The concept that the government can just clean up 'waste' to save money and it doesn't cost more is a misnomer that I have argued with conservatives about before. I believe that it would cost a lot of tax payer dollars to clean up welfare abuse. So I think it would be spending bad money for a net loss.

I agree that we need more moderate politicians on both sides to tackle the tough problems. However, that is a tough sell in Primary Election.

I find it ironic that someone that brags about their 20 years as a local elected official now wants to tell everyone that we need term limits and limit everyone's service to 8 years.

I agree with Mr. Ravenstahl about the size of the legislature, but also worry that it will make it harder for a grass-roots candidate to win a seat in the legislature.

Glad to see he voted against Marcellus Shale legislation and is making it part of his campaign.

Not that impressed by a legislator that shows up, that is their job.

Let the 'conspiracy' continue!

Altmire Mailer: He Listens to us

Another round of mailers from Congressman Jason Altmire. Sticking with the 'he listens to us theme: