... by publishing a January e-mail from the County Exec candidate to Marcellus Shale industry doyenne Katie Klaber. Excerpted:
It is critical for my viability in eyes of the politucal [sic] world to have money in the bank and have it early. City Councilman Doug Shield's wife, Bridgit, is making calls to the energized moratoriom [sic] crowd for Mark Flaherty by telling them that Mark Flaherty will support a moratorium. The next Chief Executive of Allegheny County will either be me or Mark Flaherty. If you want the leader of this region to be someone who is clueless about natural gas and your industry, continue to sit on your hands that is exactly what will happen. (P-G Early Returns, Tim McNulty)
McNulty strikes again. What are we going to do with him? He's like a little devil who fits perfectly on the shoulders of less widely-read, derivative bloggers.
For the record, Mark Patrick Flaherty's proposed public-private partnership with the drilling industry sounds unnecessarily risky to the Comet all the same. In an ideal world, I'd prefer the County to go into the drilling business on its own land on its own terms all by itself, do all the hiring (locally), and keep all the profits. However I seem to recall something about public entities being barred from competing with private industry -- at least in certain circumstances.
EDITORIAL: Bottom line, it's starting to sound like Allegheny County might just as easily survive whether we elect Rich or Mark. With the former, you get some better adherence to traditional Democratic party values, especially in terms of social issues. (I do profess to disdain "single-issue voting", but when push comes to shove I do tend to use reproductive choice as a litmus test on whether public officials trust and respect me.) On the other hand, Flaherty has employed more reasonable rhetoric on issues from property tax assessments to wariness of drilling, and generally has been the cooler cucumber, which I find reassuring. Finally there is the issue of whether having a Mayor of Pittsburgh and an Allegheny County Executive who are more naturally simpatico with one another will result in practical, ideologically neutral, day-to day benefits.
Tell you what -- and this golden rule will serve for all Comet endorsements this year, so cut, paste, print and iron on your t-shirts for Election Day. We endorse all incumbents without exception, and in cases where there is no incumbent, we endorse the candidate with the tried-and-true legacy last name. If you reside in Magisterial District 05-2-35, you'd better write in Nathan Firestone for another term against his will, or else draft Brittany Caliguiri. Although we look forward to working with whomever wins, unless they are a Republican.