Monday, May 20, 2013

Judge Bill Ward - Who needs facts?

I’m used to seeing ridiculous half-truths on campaign mail, but this is a first.

What the heck does “Number One Democrat” mean on this mail?

Mr. Ward is not the # 1 Democrat on the ballot.
Mr. Ward is not an endorsed Democratic candidate.
He isn’t even a Democrat!
He isn’t just a run of the mill registered Republican either. He served as Governor Tom Corbett’s Chief of Staff over the last 3 years. Mr. Ward was the head staff member pushing an extreme right-wing ideology throughout Governor Corbett’s first term.
The Post-Gazette should really re-think their endorsement of Mr. Ward after political pandering like this.

Jennifer Satler - Making the Democrats that supported her proud!

The Allegheny County Democratic Committee did an amazing job of picking one of their endorsed judicial candidates this spring. This is what happens when judges are elected to a position instead of appointed. You have judicial candidates that pander to the extreme positions of both parties to win an election.

The Allegheny County Democratic Party sent out this mailer asking for support of their endorsed candidates who “will provide competent leadership while recognizing the fundamental values that makes us Democrats.”


Then one of their endorsed candidates, Jennifer Satler sent out two mailings to Republicans with a picture of her and Republican Congressman Tim Murphy and talks about her ‘conservative values.


Is this the type of person we want on the bench? Someone who is willing to tell both sides what they want to hear? Would she tell a victim that the criminal is going to jail for 25 years and then tell the criminal that he only gets probation?
No wonder she was ranked ‘Not Qualified’ by the Allegheny County Bar Association.

Notch this up as another great decision by the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.

Patrick Connelly for Judge

Mail from Patrick Connelly for Judge.


Barbara Behrend Ernsberger - Pink/Purple mail

Here is some mail from Barbara Behrend Ernsberger for Judge. From the label, it appeared that this mail was sent only to women voters. It might also be the wordiest campaign mail of 2013. Wow.

Letter in support of Judge Paul Cozza and Judge Bill Ward

Judge Cozza is really pushing for the Republican vote. This letter comes from Elsie Hillman who was a member of the Republican National Committee for over 20 years. This letter was sent to Republicans in support of Governor Corbett's judicial appointments (Judge Bill Ward and Judge Paul Cozza) on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

I wonder if the Allegheny County Democratic Party is happy to have one of their endorsed candidates working together with Governor Corbett's former Chief of Staff?

Judge Paul Cozza - Republican Mail

Here is some mail sent to Republican voters for Judge Paul Cozza who is running for judge. Slightly surprising to see one of the Allegheny County Democratic Party's endorsed candidates talk about Judge Bill Ward and Governor Corbett in a positive way, but a good move in a mailing to Republican voters without selling out completely.

Mark Tranquilli for Judge - Republican Mail

Here is some mail from Mark Tranquilli for Judge. This was sent to Republican households. 

Elanor Bush for Judge - Mail

Mail sent by Eleanor Bush for Judge. Guessing form the mailing label, I think this mail was only sent to women in Allegheny County.

PJ Murry for Judge - Republican Mail

Mail sent to Republicans from P.J. Murray for Judge.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Social Media and the 2013 Primary

Will the campaigns with the most followers/likes win this spring?

With so many campaigns taking advantage of social media these days, I've often wondering how well it works for a campaign to get their message out. If followers/likes counted as votes here are the candidates that would win this spring:

Pittsburgh Mayor

Jack Wagner: 3,055 Likes
Bill Peduto: 939 Likes
Jake Wheatley: 93 Likes
No Page for AJ Richardson

Bill Peduto: 6,084 Followers
Jack Wagner: 750 Followers
Jake Wheatley: 698 Followers
No Twitter Account for AJ Richardson

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

Patrick Connelly: 701 Likes
Marc Daffner: 540 Likes
Mark Tranquilli: 367 Likes
Eleanor Bush: 240 Likes
Judge Bill Ward: 132 Likes
Joe Luvara: 76 Likes
PJ Murray: 65 Likes
Rosemary Crawford: 43 Likes
Marvin Leibowitz: 8 Likes
Marcia Cooper: (No Facebook Page Found)
Judge Paul Cozza: (No Facebook Page Found)
Jennifer Satler: (No Facebook Page Found)
Barbara Behrend-Ernsberger (No Facebook Page Found)

Patrick Connelly: 279 Followers
PJ Murray: 68 Followers
Mark Tranquilli: 51 Followers
Joe Luvara 37 Followers
Judge Paul Cozza: 36 Followers
Marc Daffner: 15 Followers
Marvin Leibowitz: 9 Followers
Eleanor Bush: (No Twitter Account Found)
Marcia Cooper: (No Twitter Account Found)
Jennifer Satler: (No Twitter Account Found)
Barbara Behrend-Ernsberger (No Twitter Account Found)
Judge Bill Ward: (No Twitter Account Found)
Rosemary Crawford: (No Twitter Account Found)

*Numbers were recorded on May 13, 2013*

Patrick Connelly for Judge Mail

Here is a piece of mail sent by Patrick Connelly who is running for Judge in Allegheny County. This was sent to me by a reader that lives in the City of Pittsburgh.
I have been told by a couple of politicos and lawyers that Mr. Connelly is a good lawyer and would make a great judge. According to my sources, he came in fifth at the Democratic Endorsement, just a few votes shy of being endorsed by the Democratic Party. He is currently on my list of 4 candidates that I plan on supporting in the 2013 Primary.  

Disturbing letter from Judge Bill Ward

Anyone that reads this blog shouldn't be surprised that I would not be a fan of Governor Corbett's former Chief of Staff. This is the guy that was pushing the extreme political agenda of Governor Corbett for the first 3 years of his Governorship.
I had a hard time even reading this first paragraph of this letter. While I get his point about the judgeship being an important position, it is almost too disturbing to read. Not to mention, he is going to handling divorce and custody hearings for the first few years if he wins a seat on the bench.
So will Democratic voters see through the union bug and tricky way making it sound like he is actually a Democrat and vote for him in the 2013 Democratic Primary?

Tranquilli for Judge Mail

Here is some mail that was sent to Republicans for Mark Tranquilli who is running for judge in Allegheny County. Mr. Tranquilli is one of the endorsed Democratic candidates.
If you like the law and order types for judge, he has a very impressive resume. He will still get sent to Family Court for a few years before he could ever get to handle criminal cases, but someday he would have a chance to be a criminal division judge. I have been told by multiple politicos that Mr. Tranquilli is a stand up guy and will make a great judge. As of right now he is on my list of 4 candidates that I plan on voting for.  


Mailing in support of the Endorsed Democratic Candidates for Judge

Here is the mailing that the Allegheny County Democratic Party (I was informed that the Allegheny County Democratic Party was not involved in this mailing and it was organized by the candidates themselves.) sent out in support of their four endorsed candidates for Judge.
I'm not very impressed with the mailer because it looks too corporate, and I'm also not very impressed with the candidates. I plan on supporting one of their candidates (Mark Tranquilli). Two of the candidates seem to be at least qualified (Phillip P.J. Murray and Judge Paul Cozza), but I haven't been extremely impressed by those two when I look at the entire field. One of the endorsed candidates (Jennifer Satler) is ridiculously unqualified and a former Republican. Her biggest selling point she made in an interview with the Tribune-Review is that she wants to be a judge for 30 years. I would rather elect a qualified judge for 10 years of service than an unqualified attorney that may never become a good judge.

Elanor Bush for Judge Mail

Here is a mailer that was sent out by Eleanor Bush for Judge. I have heard very good things about Ms. Bush and she appears qualified to take on the family division in Allegheny County. She is one of the 4 candidates that I plan on supporting in this month's Primary Election.

Primary 2013 - North Hills School District, Ross Township, and West View

The School Board in North Hills is a hot race with 10 candidates vying for 4 seats. The democratic nomination for tax collector is a 3 way race.

Ross Township

Commissioner, Ward 2
Republican -- Jeff Meyer
Democrat -- Stephen Korbel

Commissioner, Ward 4
Democrat -- Lana Mazur

Commissioner, Ward 6
Democrat -- David Mikec Sr.

Commissioner, Ward 8
Republican -- Jeremy Shaffer
Democrat -- Walter Salachup

Tax CollectorIncumbent Donna Carey stepped away from the work in June of 2011, deputizing Jordan Tax Service to handle tax collections for the township and the North Hills School District.

Republican  - Clifford Bright
Democrat - Jerry O'Brien, George Roderus, and Stephanie Conners-Maguire.

West View

Democrat -- J.R. Henry

Council (4)
Democrats -- William Aguglia. Bryan Kircher, John Koerts, Robert Schellhaas

North Hills School District (4)

Republican and Democrat -- Matthew Sean Edinger Sr., Thomas Kelly, Louis Krummert III, Joe Muha, Annette Giovengo Nolish, Jason Pirring, Kathy Reid, Sharon Schrim, Helen Spade, Michael Yeomans

Primary 2013 - Shaler Township & Shaler Area School District

A couple of Shaler Area School Board seats are contested this spring.

Shaler Township
Commissioner, Ward 2
Republican -- Lori Voegtly Mizgorski
Democrat -- Jim Tunstall

Council, Ward 4
Republican -- Leah Kurz
Democrat -- Thomas McElhone

Council, Ward 6
Democrat -- James Boyle

Shaler Area School District (4)

Region 1 (2)
Republican and Democrat -- April Kwiatkowki

Region 2 (1)
Republican and Democrat -- Suzanna Donahue, Domenic Donovan

Region 3 (1)
Republican and Democrat -- James Giel Jr., Steve Romac

Primary 2013 - Pine-Richland

No contested races in the Primary in Pine Township, Richland Township, or the Pine-Richland School District. There will be a race in November for one of the Richland Township Supervisor seats. I was told that the current School Board members were having a hard time getting four people to run for office.

Pine Township

Supervisor (2)
Republicans -- Michael Dennehy Jr., Edward Holdcroft
Richland Township

Supervisor, District 2 (1)
Republican -- John Marshall
Democrat -- Robert Pavlecic

Supervisor, District 4 (1)
Republican -- Barton Miller

Pine-Richland School Board (4)
Region 1 (1)
Republican and Democrat -- M. Katie Shogan
Republican -- Gregory DiTullio

Region 2, 4-year term (2)
Republican and Democrat -- Dennis Sundo

Region 2, 2-year term (1)
Republican -- Marc Casciani

2013 Primary - McCandless Township

No contested races in McCandless this spring.
Council, Ward 2 (1)
Republican -- Gerard Aufman Jr.

Council, Ward 4 (1)
Republican -- Robert Powers

Council, Ward 6 (1)
Republicans -- Ralph LeDonne

2013 Primary - Marshall Township

No contested races in Marshall Township for the May 21st Municipal Primary.

Supervisor, 6-year term (2)
Republicans -- Anthony Candek, Philip Troy

2013 Primary - Indiana Township

Only one local race in Indiana Township this year. Only one candidate on the ballot.
Supervisor, District 5 (1)
Republican -- Michael Schurko

Primary 2013 - Hampton Township

More of the same in Hampton Township. Three incumbents running for council and no opposition.
Council (3)
Republicans -- Cary Montgomery, Peter Russ, Victor Son

Primary 2013 - Franklin Park Borough

Nothing exciting going on in Franklin Park this spring.
Republican -- Dennis O'Keefe

Council, Ward 1 (1)
Republican -- Jim Hogg

Council, Ward 2 (1)
Republican -- Jane Ann Hopey

Council, Ward 3 (1)
Republican -- Amy Sable

Primary 2013 - Fox Chapel

No contested races in Fox Chapel Borough this spring and unless there is a write-in there won't be any contested races in November either.

Republican -- Walter Scott III

Council (4)
Republicans -- Andrew Bennett, Thomas Karet, Harrison Lauer, Kathleen Toole

Primary 2013 - Etna

There is only one contested council race in Etna this spring.

Democrat -- Thomas Rengers

Council, Ward 1 (1)
Democrat -- Rudy Milcic Jr.

Council, Ward 2 (2)
Republican -- Edward Burke Jr.
Democrat -- Peter Ramage

Council, Ward 3 (2)
Democrats -- Dave Becki, Dave Farmerie, William O'Dell, Joseph Pfeifer

Primary 2013 - Bradford Woods

It looks like a contested Republican Primary in Bradford Woods for Council. I'm surprised that there is a Democrat that is on the ballot. Seems like it would be a tough place for a Democrat to win.
Republican -- Robert Murray

Council (4)
Republicans -- David Baldonieri, Charles Coltharp, Barbara Ann Heintz, Victoria Laird-Pongrace, Patricia Mirth, Roy Wiegand
Democrat -- Alisha Hipwell

Primary 2013 - Ben Avon & Ben Avon Heights

No contested races in the Ben Avon or Ben Avon Heights Primaries. Heck, the Ben Avon Heights Council race is 2 short of candidates even willing to get their name on the ballot.

Ben Avon

Republican --Robert Barry Jones

Council (4)
Republicans -- Philip Brind'Amour, Brian Tokar, Michael Wrbas, Julian Wynnyckyj
Democrats -- Jennifer Heller Bett, David Holcomb, Richard White

Ben Avon Heights

Republican -- Scott Dismukes

Council (4)
Republicans -- Mark Davis, John Isherwood III

Sunday, May 12, 2013

2013 Primary - Bellevue

Local politics have been exciting in Bellevue the last few years with the Liberty in Bellevue Group and Marty Griffin paying way too much attention to a so called grilling ban.

There is a contested race in the Democratic Primary for Mayor in Bellevue:

Republican -- Joe Scioscia Jr.
Democrats -- Jane Braunlich, Paul Cusick

Our old friend Kathy Coder is running unopposed in the Republican Primary, but at least one of the Democratic candidates for council in Ward 1 is going to go home empty handed.

Council, Ward 1 (2)
Republicans -- Kathy Coder, Megan Swackhammer
Democrats -- Michael Braunlich, Henry Lenard, Michael Sendro

I don't think you see a husband and wife team on a local council too often, but it should make this 4 way race interesting:

Council, Ward 2 (2)
Democrats -- Vencent Walter Menosky, Matthew Senvisky, James Viscusi, Susan Viscusi

Council, Ward 3 (1)
Republican -- Grant Saylor
Democrat -- Lynn Tennant-Heffley

2013 Primary Election - Avalon

No contested races in Avalon in this year's Primary and doesn't look like their will be any races in the November Election either.
Democrat -- David Haslett

Council, Ward 1 (1)
Democrat -- Thomas Lloyd Jr.

Council, Ward 2 (2)
Republicans -- Lee Nelson, William Pascale

Council, Ward 3 (2)
Democrats -- Ryan Neal, John Vetterly Jr.

2013 Primary Election - Aspinwall

No contested races in Aspinwall in this year's local Primary.

Democrat -- Joseph Giuffre

Council (4)
Republicans -- Ann Marsico, Joseph David Noro, Ann Marie Pawlikowski
Democrats -- Jay Arnone, Mark Ellermeyer

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

This is Disappointing

I am not a fan of Shawn Flaherty trying to run for County Council after supporting Raja in 2011, but I also don't like the campaign tactic of trying to subvert the Democratic process.

From the Tribune-Review:

Challenge filed to Shawn Flaherty county council petition signatures

Four Allegheny County residents filed an objection Tuesday to the nominating petition of a Democratic candidate for county council.

Read more:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Former Republican Jennifer Satler for Judge

I mentioned in a previous post about how Republican lawyers that want to be judges in Allegheny County will switch their party registration to Democrat just so they have a chance at winning. There is already one former Republican running for judge in Allegheny County (Craig Stephens). Mr. Stephens switched his party registration in 2008.

However, there is at least one other candidate that is a former Republican and she was a little more blatant about switching just before the first time she ran for judge. Jennifer Satler switched her party registration from Republican to Democrat in January of 2009. She then started circulating petitions to run for judge in February of 2009. She ended up running without the Democratic endorsement.(The City Paper has a great piece about what the endorsement means or doesn't mean.)

I decided to go back and really read the letters (this and this) that Ms. Satler has been sending out to the Democratic Committee. Many of the candidates talk about how they have been involved in helping Democrats get elected or how they have been involved in causes that are more likely to be championed by Democrats. Ms. Satler never seems to mention anything than, 'as you can see, I have lots of support from Democrats.' It is almost as if she is avoiding talking about her political beliefs. Maybe that is because she has never helped Democrats get elected, since she can't even take the time to vote. Actually, maybe that is how she helps the Democrats. If she really is a Republican, then not showing up does help elect more Democrats.

I've also been told that she is one of 2 candidates running for judge that are 'not recommended' by the Allegheny County Bar Association. I can't seem to verify this information and was told that Bar Association does not list their ratings until just before the Primary Election. Although she was rated 'not recommended' in 2011 and 'unqualified' in 2009.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why would the Democrats support Shawn Flaherty

County Councilman Jim Burn does not appear to be running for re-election for his seat on Allegheny County Council.  

The district was changed a bit with redistricting this past year and it appears to be a little tougher of a win for a Democrat than before, but should still be held by the Democrats.

Two Democratic candidates have emerged to replace Jim Burn. One is named Mary Gibson a lawyer for Giant Eagle that appears to have a long list of Democratic Party activities. The other candidate is Shawn Flaherty. Mr. Flaherty is the son of former Pittsburgh mayor Pete Flaherty and also served as a State Representative for a few months back in 2006.

I liked Mr. Flaherty when he won a seat in the State legislator and was disappointed to see him lose to now State Senator Randy Vulakovich in November of 2006. However, Mr. Flaherty turned his back on the Democratic Party in the fall of 2011.

Shawn Flaherty was disappointed that his cousin, Mark Patrick Flaherty, lost to Rich Fitzgerald in the Democratic Primary for County Executive. This bitter lost led Shawn Flaherty to support Raja, the Republican candidate in the General Election:

So my question is why would the Democratic Committee want to support Shawn Flaherty for a post that if elected could make life pretty tough on the Democratic County Executive? I think the Democratic Committee and the Democrats in the 3rd County Council District should really think hard about who to support this spring.
On another note, the only Republican candidate for this council seat that I have heard about it Mike McMullen.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jennifer Satler for Judge and her poor voting record

Here is a letter and handout from Jennifer Satler who is running for Judge. She ran for judge without the endorsement in 2009 and 2011. It is surprising that someone that defied the Democratic endorsement twice would have so much support from Democratic Committee people and an elected row officer.
While running without the endorsement used to be something you were punished for by the Democratic Committee, it doesn't appear that matters anymore. However, I would encourage the Democratic Committee to consider Ms. Satler's voting record before they vote to endorse. One thing I expect candidates to have done in the past is participate in the democratic process. However, Ms. Satler has a very dismal voting record over the last few years. She actually didn't even vote in the General Election in years where she lost the Primary (2009 & 2011). The last year she could have voted for a judge in the General Election was 2005.

Take a look at her voting record since 2000:
          General        YES
          Primary        NO
          General        NO
          Primary        NO
          General        YES
          Primary        NO
          General        NO
          Primary        YES
          General        YES
          Primary        YES
          General        YES
          Primary        YES
          General        YES
          Primary        YES
          General        NO
          Primary        NO
          General        YES
          Primary        NO
          General        NO
          Primary        YES
          General        YES
          Primary        NO
          Special          NO
          General        NO
          Primary        YES


PJ Murray for Judge

Here is a post card and handouts from PJ Murray who is running for judge. It is a pretty intense handout and each folded side had to be scanned and then put back together by the committee member that sent it to me. It also has a hidden gem when really analyzed. One question that I've been told is often asked by Democratic Committee members is if the candidate would run without the endorsement. I've been told it is pretty entertaining to watch candidates try and duck and weave around the question. The Democratic Committee can just rip off a sticker on this handout to find out Mr. Murray's plans for the Primary if he doesn't win the endorsement. Take off the May 10th (endorsement day) sticker and you find a May 21st (Primary Election Day) sticker.


Eleanor Bush for Judge

Here are some handouts from Eleanor Bush who is running for judge. She ran without the endorsement of the Democratic Committee in 2011.

New handout that is being used that includes Ms. Bush's "Highly Recommended" rating by the Allegheny County Bar Association.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Patrick Connelly for Judge

Here are handouts and a letter from Patrick Connelly. Patrick Connelly is running for judge. Looks like he is going to play up the Irish heritage.