There's a saying that company is like fish - after 3 days it stinks. Well, applying that to the integrity of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee and you have - after 3 scandals, something stinks.
Of all the good things Howard Dean, Chair of the Democratic National Committee, had to say about what the Democrats are doing and how it is essential to "get involved with the people whose votes you're looking for" (thanks for the report Dayvoe!), he may be uninformed about the struggling integrity of the ACDC. Remember the hoopla about DPW's Democratic committee members caught up in 'campaigning on the city's dime' and 'politicizing street paving' scandals? (If not, check here). From the PG and much discussion in the burgosphere that:
- The manager of the Redd Up crew wearing "Re-elect" Jeff Koch t-shirts was Kevin Quigley, Democratic Committee member from Brighton Heights.
- Quigley's sup (cool nickname for supervisor) was Robert Kaczorowski, a ward chairman from Crafton Heights.
- Three of DPW's six streets maintenance supervisors were committee members, as were the department's deputy director, operation manager and one assistant director. The result was that 46 members of the Democratic Committee were slated to get fresh asphalt on the roads in front of or right next to their homes, and three of nine council members have parts of their streets, or streets very close to their homes, on the paving list.
Paul J. Grguras, 47, of Brighton Heights, was arrested July 23 after police identified him as a suspect in the theft of state inspection stickers from Sullivan Chevrolet in Etna. Mr. Grguras is also a Democratic committee member from the 26th Ward, Brighton Heights.
Among the 43 firearms seized by police were vintage machine guns, various styles of rifles and shotguns. Some bore no serial numbers. Police also found ammunition for all of the guns.Police checked his criminal record and learned that he had been convicted in 1980 in two separate felony cases, and convicted in a third felony case in 1983. State law prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms.So dude had 43 guns, some bearing no serial numbers, and ammo for all of them. And we've got a problem with AK47's on the North Side and guns in the hands of idiot thugs killing people around town? And now a Democratic Committee member from Brighton Heights (now that's Mayor Ravenstahl's part of town - a quiet, friendly, and family-oriented neighborhood, right?), a DPW heavy-equipment operator who used to work with City Council Member Jeff Koch, is busted for a pile of unregistered guns he isn't legally allowed to possess because he's a convicted felon and is a suspect of a robbery of a car dealership in Etna?
Whereas convicted felons, as a shameful legacy of the 'Old South', lose their voting rights for the rest of their lives in some states, in Pennsylvania, one only loses his right to vote while incarcerated or completing sentencing (through probation, halfway house, etc). In Allegheny County, however, convicted felons 3 times over are functional mechanisms within the Democratic machine. While the ACDC did not grow up with the mob history that the Chicago political machine did, there is growing evidence that local committee members are stinking up its image and integrity. At minimum, there seems to be a cabal in Brighton Heights. I suggest Jim Burn re-evaluate the merits of current Democratic Committee members and think longterm about what the ACDC represents both locally and nationally.