Saturday, May 31, 2008

You sure you don't wanna run?

(From Gloria on the Run, Baby, Run Listserve).

NOMINATION PAPERS are filed by candidates running as independents, who
want to be on the General election ballot.

Nomination papers can be signed by registered voters of ANY PARTY who
live in the district.

The number of signatures required is based on a kooky formula in the
Election Code. The candidate needs signatures equal to 2% of the
largest vote cast for any candidate elected, who ran for ANY office,
in that district, in the most recent election.

Plus there's something in there about being able to stand on one foot,
while patting your head and rubbing your stomach in a circular motion...

People, you're on your own with the math on this. For more info. check
out PA's Dept. of State site, call & bug them with your questions.

Collecting Nomination Papers signatures always starts on the 10th
Weds. before the primary, (this year that date was Feb. 13, 2008). The
filing deadline is on August 1, 2008.

{Perhaps we're more familiar with Nomination Petitions round these
parts. These are circulated by candidates seeking to get on the
primary ballot. Because almost all of our electeds are Democrats, many
consider the primary the 'real election'.}


  1. Nice to meet you, great blog!
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  2. A FYI for spring of '09 city council district 2 seat will be up for election. I think Melissa Rossiter will be running for that seat? She's a strong candidate and she did receive the PG endorsement last time.

  3. Re Council District 2 - the rumors are flying. To date I've heard of about 4 potential candidates and they include one woman, (not Rossiter).

    I won't name names til these people confirm that they're running...

    By the way this will be a Special Election, for Councilman Deasy's office. Deasy won the Primary Election for State Rep. this year, as far as I know he has no challenger for the General.

    The Special Election will be held in early 2009, but, since Deasy was up for re-election in 2009, the candidates will have to run again in both next year's Primary & General Elections.

  4. A correction -- the above information is wrong. Special elections and a primary are two different processes in city council elections. The special election must be held 120 days after the vacated seat. More often than not this election is held the same day as the regularly scheduled primary. The candidate is determined by the democratic committee in District 2. The committee people and the ward chairs vote for a candidate and that candidate is the nominee for the expired term. Then one democrat and one republican go against each other in the special election. That winner serves the remaining term. In this particular case that would be until January 2010.

    The 2009 primary will be the race for the four term it could possibly be the same candidate that wins the special election and it could very well not be. A great example is district five a few years ago - Doug Shields and Tucker Scuilli. Mr. Scuilli won the committee vote for the special election and Mr. Shields won the four year term. Scuilli was a lame duck in council because he only served 8 months and then Shields took over for the full term.

    Read the Pittsburgh Home Rule Charter. People in the city of Pittsburgh do not have a voice in special elections the democratic committee does and the democratic committee is self serving and has yet to choose a candidate that is passionate about changing his/her district or the city as a whole. How sad that 80 some committee people can hold district two hostage.

  5. Anon.,

    I understand that Special Elections are dif. than Primary Elections & that usually, (but not always), are held on the same day.

    Sorry for any confusion re not specifying that Spec. Elections are to select who will fill the remainder of the departing elected's term.

    I think that more than just the endorsed candidate can run in the Spec. Election, I seem to recall quite a few D candidates running in 2003 in District 7. My memory fades, but I think the Special & Primary were held on separate days. This is a big waste of money - I think Specials should be held at the same time as another regularly scheduled election.

    Don't know if indies, greens, etc. could also give it a shot in a Special E?

    I agree that the Dem. Cmte's endorsement process is stultifying at best and not just in the case of Special Es. How much better it would be for them to scrap the endorsement process and, instead, put the limited resources into supporting the winner of the Primary against other parties' challengers... Don't get me started.

    I'd even be happy if my committee members would do what they're supposed to do - represent me - by asking me & my neighbors who we think the best candidate for the job would be & follow our wishes, by endorsing that candidate. But noooo.

    It's hard to believe I haven't read the Home Rule Charter yet (she says with a grin).

    thanks for the info.

  6. Ah we are on the same page! The committee should be abolished as it operates in an ineffectual and stymied obnoxious way. The original intent and methodology behind the committees were to rally and work for who the voters chose. The system is backwards, self serving, and detrimental to the vibrancy of any campaign as well as the end result of a governing person. What needs to happen is a great contingency of folks who will not just talk, blog and throw around ideas but to put into action a collation to abolish the committees – republican and of course the insidious self serving democratic party in Allegheny County.

    As far as the special election – independents and other parties can run however only the nominated democrat can run -- all other democrats are barred as pursuant to the home rule charter. Read the city home rule charter you will be dismayed and disgusted. All that you have to do is bake cakes, have breakfasts, and events at the Lemont for committee people and you will have their endorsement. So, whoever out feeds committee members will be the next “endorsed” candidate – however backhanded and back door the process is! The election in District 7 – I assure you had the identical outcome. All other democrats were barred from running because of the language in the home rule charter.

    Term limits, spending limits, finance reform can be introduced and passed but until the home rule charter is changed/amended or a new charter is drafted all the residents of this great city will be shafted in each and EVERY election. Now it should be no wonder why the same politicians keep their positions!

  7. Anon,

    "The committee should be abolished ..."

    I don't agree, it should be returned to its "... original intent rally and work for who the voters chose."

    Agree: "What needs to happen is a great contingency of folks who will not just talk, blog and throw around ideas..." I was one of many in District 7 who ran for D Cmte, we all lost.

    Yes food is an important element in gaining the final seal of approval from most D Cmte. members, but it isn't the primary, nor most important element. I believe that the majority of D Cmte members are cajoled, pressured, etc. into voting for the candidate that leadership wants them to vote for.

    There is work to be done to improve the way the Cmte functions & the value it lends to the process. More of us can run again, more of us can lobby ACDC leadership to eliminate the endorsement process.

    By the way, there are some outstanding D Cmte members who take their duty to represent their constituents seriously, who approach their selection thoughtfully, who are not swayed by leadership.

    Anon. you are a font of great information, thank you. If you're inclined please email me: gtforouzan (at), I'd love to discuss the local political set up with you.

  8. Let me clarify – the democratic committee should be abolished as it currently operates. I believe each district throughout this county should be stripped of the current committee members and open honest elections should be held in each district. A bold strategy as such would propagate and influence more participation by people who may feel disenfranchised by the back door policies of the committee. There is more apathy across the spectrum than people are aware!

    I am a strong proponent of an open primary for all voters to exercise his/her individual civic duty – collectively – and absent of undue pressure from machine politics, hence choosing the strongest candidate for the given party which in turn would be the goal of the party committee members to rally for and disseminate the candidates message to all voters for the general election process.
    The voters are to choose the party nominee not a select few who have strangled, raped, and who have taken advantage of the voters, the city, and the process. Yes, there are good committee members who actually work for their respective neighborhoods and who actually think out of the box. However, the majority of the committee members in this city and county are self serving. There are not enough fair minded individuals in the committee and those who have run in the past didn’t make it.

  9. "The committee should be abolished as it operates in an ineffectual and stymied obnoxious way."

    Blah blah blah