Molchany Declares Victory

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20 thoughts on “Molchany Declares Victory

  1. Anonymous

    good schmotzer's a bad seed. altmire turned his back on conservatives who supportered him last time. anyone but Obama

  2. Anonymous

    Should the Dem leadership get a message from how the Schmotzer-Molchaney match-up turned out? The over-70 crowd in my neighborhood all thought Schmotzer had it in the bag.

  3. Anonymous

    Not to mention the Kane-Murphy race, where all the local traditional Dem leadership got behind Murphy. I got a couple of robo calls from Fitzgerald stumping for Murphy, for example.

  4. Anonymous

    I'm amazed that schmotzer has spun a spell on the people of Baldwin Whitehall… this sleaze on the school board…Murphy tried to spin himself as a progressive prosecutor…kinda oxymoronic to me

  5. Anonymous

    Seriously, maybe I'm just not tied in, but how is Mulchany an upset? I think it is pretty well established that the committee doesn't matter so who cares about an endorsement. She ran against an embezzler for a seat that was previously held by a progressive female candidate. What am I missing? Mind you, she only got 52% of the vote. Again, what am I missing other than people trying to make more of it than it is for whatever reason I can't figure out.

  6. Anonymous

    Quite so on the Mulchaney fever observation. And she employed some very questionable campaign tactics against her opponents in the final days of the campaign. Outright, if not deliberate, lies, some might say. (But maybe she was just doing what Merriman-Preston told her to do, which seems to be OK in some quarters.) So perhaps being a youngish woman (Molchaney is 34 now, though still qualified for “40 under 40” so cue the Pgh. Mag. photo shoot) with some foundation-backed bona fides doesn't guarantee that a candidate will be a progressive, reform-minded change agent.

  7. Bram Reichbaum

    Progressive agenda =/= savory campaign tactics. We keep telling people. No one disagrees. But no one cares.

    Prediction: the first “issue” out of the gate in 2013 will be whose campaign is dirtier.

  8. Bram Reichbaum

    Anon 8:41: You wrote, “I think it is pretty well established that the committee doesn't matter so who cares about an endorsement.”

    When was the last time the Committee actually constituted itself, called in its banners, dug in and dug deep? I wouldn't be too quick to write it off if the right kind of race interested it.

  9. Anonymous

    One other thought, while it's unlikely that Molchaney will lose in November to the Republican (who I know nothing about, except that the PG endorsed him over Schmotzer), due to her campaign tactics she will probably have a tough time mending fences with the Schmotzer and Lunny camps, as well as with the committee. What might sink her, though, is if Dems not only decline to vote for her, but jump the fence to support her opponent and/or find a stronger candidate than Schmotzer two short years from now. Party faithful have long memories. Could be a case of winning the battle but losing the war.

  10. MH

    The Lunny camp is the one that can't count to 250 or doesn't have 250 supporters? Maybe nobody is quaking in their boots about that one.

    Anyway, somebody keeps mentioning Molchaney's tactics, but I never heard of anything but the signs. That didn't seem like any big deal to me. Candidates always get dinged on illegal signs and this was a confusing case with Lunny's name on the ballot. Was there anything but the signs?

  11. Bram Reichbaum

    There was the mistaken campaign finance accusation, there was the mere fact that she challenged and overturned Lunny's petitions, and there were the ill-advised signs regarding Lunny's name still appearing on the ballot. The first made her look foolish but it wasn't dirty. Challenging an opponent's petitions is never, ever, ever dirty. And the signs were overly aggressive and a bit poorly thought out, but not dirty. These are all functions of being overly aggressive. Which is a dangerous game, but probably more respectable than the opposite.

    When I wrote of “savory” I was actually thinking of something across town.

    I doubt Molchany's future opponents have enough to label her as slimy, but I'm sure they'll be watching her tenure in Harrisburg very closely to try and add items to the “mistake-prone” file.

  12. Anonymous

    Bram, your argument makes me think that progressives can't have it both ways. On the one hand, brilliant political strategist Merriman-Preston is orchestrating a progressive ascendancy vis a vis his work with Gainey and Molchaney, but on the other hand he's implementing “ill-advised”, “foolish” and “poorly thought out” campaign tactics. So is the guy all that or not? I tend to think he knew exactly what he was doing in taking dishonest shots at the opposition, just like we would expect any dyed in the wool conservative or party faithful political operative to do. In the end, such tactics do not reflect well on allegedly progressive candidates. Just ask Bill Peduto. Many years ago–going on two decades I believe–when he was in a similar position to Merriman Preston, he pulled an unsavory political stunt in a Congressional race that he is still paying for.

  13. MH

    That was a congressional race and negative ads, if I heard correctly. Completely different in terms of the number of people paying attention and the ill-will generated.

    That said, I don't understand why the signs are anything but a legal technicality. Basically, by trying to keep the sign from being displayed, Schmotzer was trying to make it easier for people to waste their vote. Reasonable tactic, but hardly immoral to go against it.

    (Full disclosure: I know none of these people so I'm willing to be convinced that one of them will kill puppies as soon as they have a chance, but I don't get the ire at such blah stuff.)

  14. Bram Reichbaum

    “Many years ago–going on two decades I believe–when he was in a similar position to Merriman Preston, he pulled an unsavory political stunt in a Congressional race that he is still paying for.”

    Do tell! Will save me the awkwardness of asking myself.

  15. MH

    His wikipedia page just say “negative advertising backfire and contributed to a landslide defeat” but the citation goes to a dead link. I tried to fine the source at a different link, but got bored.

  16. Anonymous

    While the 1996 negative campaign has been reported on widely in local media, like this PG article

    Here's an in-depth academic analysis of negative tactics orchestrated in part by Peduto in the 1996 Congressional race between Dan Cohen and Bill Coyne.–&T=TEXT%2FPLAIN;%20charset=US-ASCII

    Not saying that Merriman-Preston has sunk so low, but Peduto's experience and lessons learned are important cautionary tale for an up-and-coming progressive campaign manager.

  17. Bram Reichbaum

    Good. Our first catch of the day.

    Will give the 2nd link a good read later. Right now Prof. Patterson seems to emphasize the “Washington consultants”; Peduto figures into the narrative just with attempts at damage control / post-mortem spin.

    What it'd be really cool to see is the 16-year old video and mailers.


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