Early Returns pokes Fitzgerald with its Golden Quill

… by publishing a January e-mail from the County Exec candidate to Marcellus Shale industry doyenne Katie Klaber. Excerpted:

It is critical for my viability in eyes of the politucal [sic] world to have money in the bank and have it early. City Councilman Doug Shield’s wife, Bridgit, is making calls to the energized moratoriom [sic] crowd for Mark Flaherty by telling them that Mark Flaherty will support a moratorium. The next Chief Executive of Allegheny County will either be me or Mark Flaherty. If you want the leader of this region to be someone who is clueless about natural gas and your industry, continue to sit on your hands that is exactly what will happen. (P-G Early Returns, Tim McNulty)

McNulty strikes again. What are we going to do with him? He’s like a little devil who fits perfectly on the shoulders of less widely-read, derivative bloggers.

For the record, Mark Patrick Flaherty’s proposed public-private partnership with the drilling industry sounds unnecessarily risky to the Comet all the same. In an ideal world, I’d prefer the County to go into the drilling business on its own land on its own terms all by itself, do all the hiring (locally), and keep all the profits. However I seem to recall something about public entities being barred from competing with private industry — at least in certain circumstances.

EDITORIAL: Bottom line, it’s starting to sound like Allegheny County might just as easily survive whether we elect Rich or Mark. With the former, you get some better adherence to traditional Democratic party values, especially in terms of social issues. (I do profess to disdain “single-issue voting”, but when push comes to shove I do tend to use reproductive choice as a litmus test on whether public officials trust and respect me.) On the other hand, Flaherty has employed more reasonable rhetoric on issues from property tax assessments to wariness of drilling, and generally has been the cooler cucumber, which I find reassuring. Finally there is the issue of whether having a Mayor of Pittsburgh and an Allegheny County Executive who are more naturally simpatico with one another will result in practical, ideologically neutral, day-to day benefits.

Tell you what — and this golden rule will serve for all Comet endorsements this year, so cut, paste, print and iron on your t-shirts for Election Day. We endorse all incumbents without exception, and in cases where there is no incumbent, we endorse the candidate with the tried-and-true legacy last name. If you reside in Magisterial District 05-2-35, you’d better write in Nathan Firestone for another term against his will, or else draft Brittany Caliguiri. Although we look forward to working with whomever wins, unless they are a Republican.

22 thoughts on “Early Returns pokes Fitzgerald with its Golden Quill

  1. MH

    There's a guy down the street from me with a McGough sign facing one way and a Shields sign the other.

  2. Anonymous

    Unfortunately, I think Nate Firestone has given up. This year he openly defied the Code of Judicial Conduct by donating money to Corey O'Connor's campaign. That's a big (and public) no-no for judges (and DJs).

  3. Anonymous

    Where do you see proof of the Nate Firestone donation? I cannot find it on his campaign finance report.

    Also, since almost all of the candidates cross-filed, I would not be so quick to dismiss a Republican candidate. It just might be the most qualified Democrat!

  4. Anonymous

    Firestone donated $100 to Corey. I think he should be fair by matching his contribution to Zurowsky and Wander!

  5. Anonymous

    Or maybe Firestone should give every resident of the District $100 for violating our giving up before he has officially retired.

    And Corey should return that money or donate it to charity.

    While he's at it, he should also return the money he received from the Anti-Choice group Family PAC.

  6. rich10e

    I'd like to see a split with the incumbents…not really care who just a 2-2…of course anyone other than the Rev winning would be anti-administration…

  7. Conservative Mountaineer

    “Although we look forward to working with whomever wins, unless they are a Republican.”

    Good. Another definition for “insanity” to be submitted to Funk & Wagnell's… to some of you, it's worked soooo well for the last 70+ years in Pittsburgh. /snort

  8. Anonymous

    I just go with the general rule of voting against whomever the ACDC endorses. I have gone to enough of those committee meetings to know that nothing good comes out of them.

  9. MH

    There are now two houses I have seen that have Shields and McGough signs in their yards. I'm guessing that lawyers like to cover their asses, but I didn't go and ask the people about their signs.

  10. Anonymous


    Just because I am voting against the ACDC slate doesn't mean that I'm necessarily siding with the labor slate; though I think they did an overall better job of choosing. For god's sakes, the PG endorsed Corbett because, in their words, that he “has an enlightened and progressive side.”

    With regards to the WSJ article, I didn't read it (and the link you pasted inexplicably didn't work), but I imagine that I've read similar articles. I imagine that it compares Arizona and Pennsylvania and finds that Arizona, with its fantastic right to work laws, is adding jobs while PA is losing jobs. The reason, it concludes, is because of the looser labor laws.

    Even if I were to agree that the looser labor laws were the primary reason for the added jobs, which I don't, there is a problem with this sort of race to the bottom argument. Pennsylvania could get rid of all sorts of important regulations to attract jobs–get rid of environmental regulations on energy companies, reduce regulations on insurance companies, or become more pro-corp than Delaware so that every credit card bill sent out comes from Scranton PA rather than Wilmington DE. In return we would gain a lot of jobs, but I don't think it's a good exchange. I think that federal labor law needs to be amended to stop states from passing deceptively named “right to work” laws.

  11. Anonymous


    CORRECTION: Disregard that sentence about the PG and Corbett. I was drawn away mid-way through writing the comment and accidentally conflated the PG and ACDC. Having sat through both committees, I sometimes confuse the two.


  12. Anonymous

    I saw a house with McGough and Shields signs too. I've found that many folks still don't realize that Doug is not running for council, although it is clear on the signs. It could also be that different people in the same household are supporting different candidates. Tough luck for Doug that Dan Butler is running such a vigorous campaign. A 3-way split of Squirrel Hill, with McGough running away with Shadyside and the nomination.

  13. MH

    I didn't know Butler was running for the same seat. I saw somebody holding his sign (probably Butler) on the corner in Schenley.

  14. rich10e

    the bigger the turnout in 14 the better for Butler;the worse for Shields! Can McGough pull enough out of Sq Hill with a solid 7th ward for a win….hmmmmm should be interesting


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