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.


Judge Paul Cozza for Judge

Here is a letter from Judge Paul Cozza. Judge Cozza was appointed to the bench this past summer by Governor Tom Corbett.

Mark Tranquilli for Judge

Here are some mail and handouts from Mark Tranquilli. Mr. Tranquilli is running for judge and according to some he is a front runner for the Democratic Endorsement. He appears to have a pretty good record of public service. Although he did take a little heat for jumping the gun on creating a facebook page about his candidacy last year.

Monday, February 25, 2013

William Caye for Judge

Here are some handouts and mail from William Caye who is running for judge.

The baseball card handout is really strange if you aren't a former professional baseball player. When Dwayne Woodruff ran for judge it makes sense to make sure everyone knows he used to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but this seems unnecessary.

Instert that was included in the letter:


Marvin Leibowitz for Judge

Here are some handouts from Marvin Leibowitz who is running for judge.

I was told by a member of the Democratic Committee that Mr. Lebowitz is a nice guy and involved in the Democratic Party, but isn't very electable.

Marc Daffner for Judge

Some handouts and mail from Marc Daffner. Mr. Daffner ran for judge in 2011 and did not win the endorsement. He then dropped out of the race. He also attempted to run in 2003 and 2005 and dropped out after not receiving the endorsement. Many years ago, this was the ultimate sign of respect to the Democratic Committee and usually resulted in the endorsement the next time you ran. In recent years, this hasn't been the case or else Mr. Daffner would have been endorsed in 2005 & 2011.

Here are some mail and handouts from Mr. Daffner. Not sure how well the martial arts picture plays, but again to each their own:

Joe Luvara for Judge

Here are some handouts and mail from Joe Luvara. I've never been impressed by sports schedules, but to each their own.

Former Republican Craig Stephens for Judge

This should be the first in a series of posts about the judge candidates. I have been sent a bunch of handouts and mail that the judge candidates have been sending out to the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.

I was told once by a Republican that changed parties just to run for judge that 'you can't be elected a judge in Allegheny County if you aren't a Democrat.' As far as I can remember, this is a pretty true statement unless a Republican judge candidate can spend a boatload of money or participate in some some dirty politics.

So the Allegheny County Democratic Committee should be wary of candidates that ask for their endorsement that might just have switched over from the Republican party just to win. I have heard that at least 2 of the candidates going for the Democratic Endorsement this year are former Republicans. I am working on verification of one of them, but Craig Stephens is a former Republican for sure. He wasn't just a average Republican though. Mr. Stephens ran for Congress against Congressman Mike Doyle in 1998 (He lost the GOP Primary) and 2000.

I know it has been a few years and some people can truly change politically and even get involved with the Democratic Committee as Mr. Stephens has. According to the Allegheny County Division of Elections, Mr. Stephens changed his party registration in 2008. However, I think the Democratic Committee should at least think twice before supporting a someone that has openly been against abortion rights and further gun-control legislation just a few years ago.

Here is some mail and handouts from Mr. Stephens:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ross Township Democrat Running for Allegheny County Council

Glad to see someone is going to take on the extremely Republican/Tea Partier Matt Drozd.

From the North Hills Patch:

Daniel A. McClain Jr. has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the District 1 seat on Allegheny County Council.

District 1 is currently represented by Republican Matt Drozd. The district is comprised of Aleppo, Ben Avon, Coraopolis, Emsworth, Findlay, Glen Osborne, Glenfield, Haysville, Kilbuck, Moon, North Fayette, Ross, and West View.

"To be a great county means safe neighborhoods, affordable and quality housing, reliable public transit options, sustainable infrastructure funding, and economic development that provide quality jobs at living wages," said McClain. In a statement, he indicated that his campaign would seek to inspire a public conversation on critical issues and viable solutions that "especially reflect the views and wishes of residents in County Council District 1."

McClain, 34, grew up in the North Hills and was a 1996 graduate of Avonworth High School. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics from Penn State University in 2000 and his M.B.A. degree from Robert Morris University in 2006. He currently serves his community as the Treasurer of Girty’s Run Joint Sewer Authority Board and the Vice Chair of the Ross Township Democratic Committee.

McClain was hired by U. S. Steel Corporation in 1999 as a management associate and advanced through a series of increasingly responsible roles before relocating to the Republic of Serbia in 2008 to serve as Director - Transaction Processing Center where he was responsible for accounts payable, account receivable, and payroll transactions at U. S. Steel’s Serbia facility. He returned to Pittsburgh when he assumed his most recent position, Manager - Internal Audit in 2009.

"My private sector experiences, along with my firm grounding in our community have taught me that we have so much to be proud of in District 1 and throughout Allegheny County," he said. "I intend for my campaign to focus on solutions to our problems and a serious and informed dialogue about the challenge of working together to ensure future economic development and job creation so that all of our residents and communities share in our revitalization."