Monday, April 19, 2010
Spotting opportunity in state Sen. Jane Orie's legal troubles, local Democrats are trying to secure a spot on the November ballot with a write-in campaign.
And just in case Orie didn't feel quite persecuted enough ... their candidate once worked for the judge who supervised the grand jury that indicted her.
Just weeks ago, Orie's position in the 40th state Senate district -- which lies in the northern suburbs -- seemed so secure Dems didn't even bother fielding an opponent. But today, Democratic officials from Allegheny and Butler counties announced that in next month's primary, they would try to get 500 signatures needed to put attorney Dan DeMarco on the November ballot.
Ina press statement, DeMarco contended that "For too long, the citizens of Pennsylvania have been handed a state goernment mired in corruption and deceit." (Though the release made little mention of Orie's travails.)
DeMarco has previously been rumored as a likely challenger for Orie: A longtime Ross Township commissioner, he ran against Orie eight years ago. And interestingly, his professional biography reveals that he once worked as a law clerk for Judge John A. Zottola. That would be the same Judge Zottola who presided over the grand jury which furnished the basis for the charges against Orie.
It's a small world, and an even smaller legal community. No doubt it's just a coincidence ... and if anything, Zottola has made it harder for the DeMarco campaign to score talking points: The judge has sealed records in the case, over the objection of local media. But at the very least, we can always hope that this connection leads to another colorful press conference from the Orie family.
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