We're not sure why anyone would want to get into the middle of the donnybrook for Allegheny County Executive, but anti-fracking activist Dana Dolney is doing exactly that.
Dolney made a splash during the May Primary when she launched a write-in campaign on an anti-fracking platform just 24 hours before Fitzgerald tangled with Democratic challenger Mark Patrick Flaherty.
Dolney and other anti-drilling activists were worried that there were no real differences between the candidates when it came to Marcellus Shale drilling so they decided to mount the write-in campaign.
The campaign was run mainly on social media, and in less than a day Dolney managed to garner nearly 500 votes. And although she could do better with two weeks to campaign, Dolney say her candidacy is not about numbers.
"For us this is not about a number, this is about the message," Dolney told City Paper. "This is about the future and what type of candidates both parties will choose to endorse.
"The public will not be limited to an R and a D if neither candidate can stand for what is best for the people."
The campaign, she says belongs to the people and "will not have yard signs, mud-slinging commercials, or campaign contributions."
CP's coverage of the county executive race was one of the reasons Dolney decided to run, according to her campaign press release.
In that story GOP political consultant Bill Green said, "There are no issues in this campaign...They both want to drill [for natural gas] and while they differ on methods, both want to clean up the Port Authority ... what it comes down to is a battle of personalities."
"This is unacceptable for we, the people of Allegheny County," Dolney says. "Which is why I am asking for your vote.
"I will do better for the people of our county. You are my priority, not the gas drillers with their lavish campaign contributions."
Both Fitzgerald and Raja have said they intend to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale on county-owned land like parks and Pittsburgh International Airport.
"I pledge to work diligently to protect our county's parks from the destruction caused by shale gas drilling," Dolney said in her statement. "Together we will protect our air and water from the onslaught of carcinogens, toxins, and pollution with which this industry has already burdened other communities throughout our region."
Dolney says a campaign Facebook page will be up and running soon and the campaign will be sponsoring a voter's challenge. Residents will be asked to commit to voting in the upcoming election and get five additional people to make the same commitment.
"Right now, in this moment, we can pull together and stand for what is right, getting our message heard throughout Allegheny County," says Dolney. "Many young adults may sit this election out, which is a tragedy because their future is at stake."
I love Mel Packer!