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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Book those contributions, Dan-O

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 10:54 AM

A dispatch from Dan Onorato's campaign just came wafting into my e-mail inbox. Penned by campaign manager Kevin Kinross, the letter notes that our county executive "continues to prepare Southwest Pennsylvania to host this fall’s G-20 economic summit and lay the groundwork to run for Governor."

Hard to say which of those causes is more important, isn't it?

The big news is that Onorato "picked up a major boost in the Philadelphia suburbs when Senators Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) and Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) said that Dan Onorato should be Pennsylvania’s next Governor."

And you know what they say ... as Andy Dinniman goes, so goes West Vincent Township. 

But I kid Andy Dinniman. The conventional wisdom really IS that the Philly-area suburbs determine statewide races. The Daylin Leach endorsement, meanwhile, is also interesting for another reason, hinted at when the e-mail boasts about Onorato

Taking a Strong Stand Against Discrimination

Last week in Allegheny County, Dan signed the region’s strongest anti-discrimination ban into law -- sending a clear message that discrimination against anybody is wrong, always.

The new law bans discrimination on the basis of gender, race, mental or physical disability, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, educational status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

Actually, as most Allegheny County residents know, Onorato was a follower on this issue. The ban was driven at the county council level, by Amanda Green. And Onorato was very slow to take any position on it at all: As noted here previously, Green introduced this bill in 2008, but it wasn't until this spring that Onorato made his support clear. 

But hey, I'm a congenital optimist on the trend towards tolerance and equal rights ... so I'm glad to see Onorato exaggerating his support for the cause. Sure, he might not have supported the bill at all if he weren't running for governor. But even if he just blows with the wind, it's nice to see the direction the wind is blowing.

Anyway, Leach is, of course, is a hero to the LGBT community and its backers because: a) he introduced a same-sex marriage bill in the state Senate, and b) made John Eichelberger look like an even bigger idiot, which is no easy feat. Combined with the fact that Onorato eventually did get around to supporting the anti-discrimination bill, Leach's support may well help firm up Onorato's backing among socially liberal voters in the East.

Sure, those of us who've seen him up close might be a bit warier, but what the hell. Philadelphia foisted Rendell off on us -- this time, maybe, it's our turn. 

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