Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How to proceed to have an influence on the new commissioner

Consider the facts:
  1. Many open slots remain on the republican committee
  2. Some committee people are appointed
  3. Many committee people ran unopposed
  4. Many like me won with just one write-in vote
Not really a mandate to tell the judges that you have to pick from a list we tell you to! If we want to have a true influence, the committee should come up with a list of names. Put those names on a petition asking the judges to choose only from this list of approved candidates and then circulate that petition in the community. The more signatures we get from real republican and (why not) democratic voters, the more the judges would be apt to look at the list. It would be the people's list and that is who elects the judges.

Besides, we knew this would be the result when we selected our sitting commissioner to run. We can't really cry foul now. If that minority seat was so important to us, we would have found another candidate.

Here is an update from what was in the Trib on 11/12/08
Party officials will immediately start to solicit resumes and, next Tuesday, a seven-member subcommittee that includes Dunbar and Hempfield Supervisor Doug Weimer will cull the list down to 10 people.

That group will be permitted to address the party's entire 318-member committee on Nov. 22, when the final four will be selected.

"We would like all candidates to come through our vetting process," Dunbar said. "We just thought it would be an overbearing thing to present 36 people to the judges."

Here is the question. Will the judges care? In reality, the actions of the executive committee got this whole problem started, why should the judges look to them to solve it? You really have to question the executive committee's judgement in the matter. It was them who said only Kim Ward could win that seat. Kim is great, but there were other republicans in Westmoreland County that could have won that seat with $2 million and Bompiani's record of property tax increases.

So, I stand by my original proposal that the Westmoreland Republican Committee needs to take their list of 4 to the voters for a grassroots petition to present to the judges and the media. We have 300+ members. If each member would get 10 to 50 signatures on a petition, the resulting 3000 to 15000 signatures would get the judges attention. This probably won't.


Anonymous said...

WOW. After criticizing Mike Reese so much for a negative campaign but sitting back and watching Kim Ward encourgage the Republican committee to spend $2mm to beat up Bompiani with half truths, I have to admit Perry, I wasn't sure you could ever be objective. But this post is one of the most objective posts I have read.

Good Job!

Perry Christopher said...

I was unhappy with the tone of the state senate race, but both sides were guilty. Looking back, the GOP was going to be able to win that senate race with a candidate other than the sitting commissioner, but hindsight is 20/20.

The races in Westmoreland County would have been much more challenging with Hillary Clinton as the nominee. Obama was a drag on the democratic slate in Westmoreland.

Anonymous said...


I agree. I think Regola would have won if they let him stay on the ballot. Tells you something about both sides at that level. They really don't care what the locals think.

Anonymous said...

I think Bob Regola should have never dropped out. He could have won. I love Kim to death but State Senator.....not too sure about that one

Anonymous said...

Regola would have won that race!

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the new senator, control freek kim ward, is already lining up committee votes for her hand picked candidates? If so that would be ashame. The judges will see through her attempt and more than likely not pick any of the committees candidates.

Perry Christopher said...

I haven't heard a thing. I would think she is too busy. Send me an e-mial with the "list" or post it here in the comments.

Anonymous said...

I am a committee member and was contacted by the new chief of staff for Ms Ward regarding her choices for the new commissioner. I think the selections are pretty solid from my understanding of the candidates. The judges have to pick one of these or we will picket the courthouse.

Perry Christopher said...

Picketing? I don't agree. We knew we were going to be in this situation when we chose the sitting commissioner. No one has contacted me. Quite inane I might say. I support one democrat who was a friend and pro-life and pro-gun and pro-business and some folks act like I supported Satan himself.

Anonymous said...

Look, the truth is, we need to have some friction at the courthouse if we hope to get two seats anytime in this millenium. I think Kim is smart to find someone that will run in 3 years, make the Toms look bad in the paper (shouldn't be hard), etc. If the judges don't take our selection, we need to make it difficult on them. WHo cares that we picked the sitting commissioner, this is all about positioning

Perry Christopher said...

The few people involved in partisan politics care about positioning, but the vast majority of Westmoreland County residents care about quality government. It can't all be about the game of politics.

Anonymous said...

Perry- It's very simple. You can't be a member, in fact the leader of a political party and work aganist
it's candidates. What if Gleason had supported Democart Morganelli openly. Don't you think he be should be removed ?.

Perry Christopher said...

Exactly, that is why I didn't run for another term.

Anonymous said...

If anyone thinks the judges are going to pick someone that will create friction at the courthouse your crazy. They will look for a middle of the road bland pick. Someone safe. Look at who wanted the job last time and they picked phil light.

Anonymous said...

If we sit back and let a middle of the road person, we are looking at 7 more years as the minority for sure. Why don't we just pick Ted Kopas (Bayla chief of staff), that should reduce the friction. I say throw in someone that will turn this county upside down, that's what we really need. Things need to change when our county commissioners play golf four days a week, leaving one to do the hiring at WCCC

Perry Christopher said...

Wait a minute, golf four days a week? Where do I sign up? I can get along with anyone.

Anonymous said...

How does one go about becoming a member of the Republican Committee. I would be interested

Perry Christopher said...

Call George Dunbar. www.westmorelandcountygop.com

Anonymous said...

I still find it funny to think that there are people in the republican committee that think that 9 democratic judges are going to pick a hell raiser to replace kim ward.

Anonymous said...

the judges dont want their names in the paper reducing their credibility for sandbagging a pick. I am sure that the tribune review would love to cover every action the judges did over the next year. Trust me, if the judges are smart they won't mess the party and pick another Michael Knight, I mean phil light.

Perry, you sign up for the golf on the first floor of the courthouse. All you need to do is contribute to the democratic candidates! Its a shame Obarto and Bompiani got tied in with those guys, because I known them both and they are good community guys----not like the commissioners

Perry Christopher said...

"Mess with the party"

Seriously, do you think the judges are thinking that? The party created this situation. I think the judges pick the best person to be commissioner. As a committee, we sort of gave up our ability to choose someone to shake things up and help the GOP take control of the courthouse when we chose Kim. I am to blame too. I gave my proxy to someone I knew would completely support Kim.

Anonymous said...

the judges dont want their names in the paper reducing their credibility for sandbagging a pick. I am sure that the tribune review would love to cover every action the judges did over the next year.

I love how some of the republicans think that everybody lives and dies by the opinion of the trib. If you don't do the the trib... If you don't do that the trib...

The trib covers the judges and I am sure they will pick who they feel is best and not worry about the trib or the republicans or the two tom's. The only difference will be when and if they don't pick someone that was put forward by the committee all the party leaders will cry foul and criticize their decision.

I think this thread of this blog has lost its way. It should now read "How to proceed to undermine having influence on the new commissioner"

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anonymous ever met either commissioner. Tony Bompiani thinks highly of them and Mike O'Barto beat up on them in his mailers. Both lost.

Anonymous said...

Ward's replacement list whittled to 10 finalists

A former county commissioner, a mayor, two lawyers and several businessmen are among 10 finalists seeking an endorsement from the Westmoreland County Republican committee to fill the remaining three years of the term of outgoing Commissioner Kim Ward.

A seven-member subcommittee of the local GOP met Tuesday night to trim a list of 20 candidates seeking the commissioners' post that will soon be vacated by Ward, who was elected earlier this month to the state Senate.

The Republicans' 330-member committee on Nov. 22 will recommend no more than four candidates to the county's 11 Common Pleas Court judges, who ultimately will decide on Ward's successor.

That person will join Democrats Tom Balya and Tom Ceraso on the board of commissioners.

"Hopefully the names that come out of the committee will give the judges something to consider. The role of a minority commissioner is to have checks and balances in place," said GOP Chairman George Dunbar.

The finalists named by the party include former county commissioner William Davis, who served one term on the board in the late 1970s as well as a 10-year stint as a board member for the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County.

Davis, 62, of Southwest Greensburg also served for six years, from 1979 to 1985, in the cabinet of then Gov. Richard Thornburgh.

The other finalists for the endorsement are:

• Scott Avolio, an attorney from Unity who serves as the solicitor for the county GOP committee.

• Ted Davi, a businessman from Greensburg.

• Rob Ferguson, East Huntingdon funeral director.

• Michael Ginsburg, Penn Township commissioner.

• Ben Kissel of Latrobe.

• Steven Kozar, former Derry Township supervisor and current PennDOT employee.

• Wayne McGrew, an attorney from Sewickley Township.

• Paula Mazurek of Youngwood, an office manager for the UPMC Cancer Center at Arnold Palmer Pavilion in Unity.

• Joyce Somers, Murrysville mayor.

Of that group, McGrew and Davis are the only finalists who previously have sought the commissioners' job. McGrew ran in last year's GOP primary and finished last in a four-person race. Davis was elected in 1975.

"The goal of our committee was to have a variety of candidates with different backgrounds. We're very pleased," Dunbar said.

Each finalist will have three minutes to address the GOP committee Saturday morning before four people are chosen to be recommended to county judges.

Judges can select only candidates who were registered Republicans at the time Ward was elected last year. The judges can consider any Republican who applies for the job and not just those recommended by the county's GOP.

Ward, who is scheduled to start on the state's payroll Dec. 1, has not resigned and has not indicated when she will leave the commissioner's post. She can continue to serve in her job at the courthouse indefinitely as long as she gives up her county paycheck.

Court Administrator Paul Kuntz has said the judges won't begin the process of filling Ward's seat until she officially tenders her resignation.

Rich Cholodofsky can be reached at rcholodofsky@tribweb.com or 724-830-6293.
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