Elections | BLOGH: City Paper's Blog |
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Oct 23, 2018 at 3:11 PM

Thirty three voting precincts have changed locations in Allegheny County since the May primary. Allegheny County sent letters to voters in affected districts notifying them of the changes. However, those letters had incorrect information.

Voters in Baldwin, Carnegie, McCandless, Mount Lebanon, Penn Hills, Pittsburgh, Plum, Shaler, Stowe, Upper St. Clair, and Wilkinsburg are affected by the letters, and a full list follows.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2018 at 4:25 PM

Anyone who knows Braddock Mayor and current lieutenant-governor nominee John Fetterman knows that he’s no fan of President Donald Trump. During the 2016 campaign, Fetterman had many pointed criticisms of Trump and regularly used a beloved Western Pennsylvania word to describe Trump: jagoff. In fact, Fetterman even made t-shirts calling Trump a “jagoff.”

For those who don’t know, "jagoff" is a regional term used to describe “a stupid, irritating, or contemptible person,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Pittsburgh Dad says it. It’s basically a tame way to call someone a jerk.

But apparently the Pennsylvania Republican Party thinks it’s too profane to print. A May 16 tweet from the official Pennsylvania Republican Party account shows a picture of Fetterman next to a shirt that reads “Trump is a [censored space]." The text above the picture reads “The Pennsylvania Primary Election determined John Fetterman as the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor; Fetterman is endorsed by Bernie Sanders and his rise included selling t-shirts with profanity-laced attacks on President Trump!”

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2018 at 12:26 PM

click to enlarge State Rep. Dom Costa, campaigning as ‘progressive’ Democrat, also wants to get on the Republican ballot
Image courtesy of Pittsburgh Democratic Socialists of America
Dom Costa mailer sent to Republican voters
Sometime last week, state Rep. Dom Costa (D-Stanton Heights) sent out a mailer to some Democratic voters asking for their support. In the mailer, Costa is described as “a Democrat who has the courage to stand up for our progressive Pittsburgh values.” The mailer then details Costa’s support for guaranteed health insurance for children, protecting funding for public schools and fighting for safer working conditions. (It fails to mention, however, Costa’s not-so-progressive support of anti-immigrant bills, pro-gun legislation and pro-life stances.)

But Costa isn’t just trying to convince progressive voters in Pennsylvania state House District 21 to vote for him, he is also courting Republican voters. A copy of a mailer obtained by the Pittsburgh’s Democratic Socialists of America, and shared with City Paper, shows that Costa is asking Republican voters to write in his name on the ballot. If Costa were to receive 300 Republican write-in votes, his name would appear on the November general election ballot, even if he lost the primary election vote to Democratic challenger Sara Innamorato.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2018 at 5:06 PM

click to enlarge State Rep. candidate Aerion Abney says weak political will is hindering affordable housing at former Civic Arena site
Photo courtesy of Aerion Abney
Aerion Abney
On May 1, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported how the Pittsburgh Penguins failed to acquire robust affordable-housing tax credits to help create ambitious affordable-housing plans for the proposed redevelopment of the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill District.

The development has long been proposed and community groups have wanted the large-scale development to follow the master plan created by the Hill District Consensus Group. This plan asked that the development set aside 30 percent of its units to be affordable for people at and below 50 percent of the area median income. A deal brokered in November 2017 didn’t meet those guidelines, but the Penguins did agree to have 20 percent of the units be affordable for people at or below 60 percent of the area median income.

However, with the failure in acquiring the tax credits, the Penguins are now indicating the November 2017 affordable-housing requirements may be in jeopardy. The P-G reports the Penguins organization and its developer, McCormack Baron, “are looking to revert back to the deal originally negotiated with Hill leaders — 20 percent of the units affordable to households earning 60 to 80 percent.” The Penguins failed to received the 9 percent tax credits, but can still apply for 4 percent tax credits.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2018 at 5:52 PM

State Rep. candidate Sara Innamorato says state Rep. Dom Costa is 'hiding' in failing to attend candidate forum
CP Photo by Aaron Warnick
Sara Innamorato speaks at City Paper's candidate forum on April 12
On May 2, the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh canceled its planned candidate forum for the the race for the Pennsylvania House District 21 between Democratic challenger Sara Innamorato of Lawrenceville and state Rep. Dom Costa (D-Stanton Heights).

There were five proposed dates for the forum and Innamorato was wiling to alllow Costa to choose based on his schedule. But, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Costa said he couldn’t make it to any of the five proposed times.

And with the announced cancellation, the Innamorato campaign is calling out Costa and says he is “hiding" from voters.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 3:04 PM

click to enlarge Pittsburgh-area political candidates stump for votes during April 12 City Paper candidates' forum
CP photo by Aaron Warnick
Only a City Paper function would have political candidates play trivia games and giant Jenga while still providing in-depth discussions on subjects ranging from the fight for $15 minimum wage to natural-gas drilling to campaign-finance reform.

On April 12, more than 50 people attended the political forum at Spirit Lounge in Lawrenceville, sponsored by City Paper and Women for the Future of Pittsburgh (a.k.a. WTF PGH). The forum primarily hosted candidates for contested seats in the Pennsylvania state legislature. The participants were provided opportunities to talk about their campaigns, as well as show off their knowledge of their districts while playing trivia games curated by CP Editor Charlie Deitch. Ray Linsenmayer, a candidate in the 17th Congressional District who was set to take on Conor Lamb in the primary, attended; however, he withdrew from the race over the weekend.

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 2:35 PM

Following politics these days is a whirlwind. With the chaos of the Trump administration, it's hard to stay focused on local political races that will more directly affect constituents. Heck, even controversy surrounding local politicians like former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy can distract constituents from other state or municipal political stories.

But City Paper wants to help. On April 12, CP is teaming up with Women for the Future of Pittsburgh (WTF PGH) to host a political forum and game night with political candidates for Pennsylvania General Assembly seats and U.S. congressional seats before the May 15 Primary Election. The event will run from 6-9 p.m. at Spirit in Lawrenceville, and will include plenty of time for candidates to stump their platforms and meet voters. But the event will also include games for the candidates to play as a way to entertain and inform constituents. There will also be a cash bar available.

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 2:54 PM

click to enlarge Lieutenant governor candidate Nina Ahmad visits Pittsburgh; talks importance of an inclusive Pennsylvania
Photo courtesy of campaign
Nina Ahmad
Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Nina Ahmad said Pittsburgh’s economic rebound is an example of how to spread more prosperity across the entire state of Pennsylvania. Ahmad was campaigning in Pittsburgh on March 25 and sat down with  City Paper.

Ahmad, a former aide to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, commended Pittsburgh on its economic resilience and noted that Philadelphia has achieved similar results. She said the openness and inclusive mindsets of each city has helped Pittsburgh and Philadelphia bounce back.

“We need to get what Pittsburgh has done and what Philly has done, and get those accomplishments to the center of the state,” said Ahmad. “You need this diversity to have a sustainable economy.”

Ahmad also said she believes having a lieutenant governor that embodies diversity is important to showcase Pennsylvania as open to the new ideas that drive an innovative economy. Ahmad emigrated from Bangladesh when she was 21 years old and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She also served as the former head of Philadelphia's branch of the National Organization for Women.

If elected, she would be the first woman of color to serve a non-judiciary Pennsylvania statewide office. “It’s critical for the statewide offices to have a women of color represented,” she said. “They have been the saving grace for the Democratic Party.” According to 2016 exit polls, 99 percent of black women and 82 percent of Latinas in Pennsylvania voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 5:49 PM

click to enlarge Two traditionally Republican suburbs in the South Hills were key for Conor Lamb’s special election victory
Photo courtesy of Sebastian Foltz
Conor Lamb
U.S. congressional candidate Conor Lamb (D-Mount Lebanon) apparently secured a narrow victory in the March 13 special election for Pennsylvania’s 18th U.S. Congressional District by outperforming former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton just about everywhere. In fact, Lamb won 172 district precincts in PA-18 that voted for President Donald Trump in 2016. With all votes in, except for a few hundred provisional ballots, Lamb holds a 647 vote lead over Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth). The New York Times has called the election for Lamb, but an official declaration has not been made.

According to campaign insiders and strategists, two of the most important towns for Lamb’s victory were Bethel Park and Upper St. Clair. These towns traditionally support Republicans. Trump won Bethel Park by a 8.4-point margin and won Upper St. Clair by a 3.4-point margin in 2016. Lamb won Bethel Park by 9.9-point margin and won Upper St. Clair by a 10.2-point margin.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Mar 13, 2018 at 1:49 PM

click to enlarge People who live outside of Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District are trying to vote in special election
CP photo by Ryan Deto
A sign for Rick Saccone at a home in Sewickely, which is outside of PA-18
The special election happening today on March 13 has garnered so much attention and excitement that people from across the region are champing at the bit to cast votes for Conor Lamb (D-Mount Lebanon) or Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth).

Problem is, only people that live and are registered in Pennsylvania’s 18th U.S. Congressional District can actually vote in the special election. But that isn’t stopping people from heading to their polling places anyway.

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