Sunday, January 30, 2005

Diven's in GOP: "Who's Next"?

Michael Diven is now a member of the Republican Party. Finally, a crack for Pennsylvania Republicans to exhibit some sway in the city of Pittsburgh.

Diven, who has oftentimes voted along Conservative issues, wasn't a great city councilman. Not even a good one. Don't know how he's done in the state House. A few former constituents told me that he was unresponsive and lousy.

Let me defend Mike: maybe the Democrats in leadership let him down and didn't give him anything. But now that he's a member of the Majority party, I think it should be rather nice to be a state House constituent. Maybe some Walking Around Money will make a couple of projects "happen."

Don't know if he'll win the Republican nomination for state Senate. He's going against a decent suburban guy; not known outside of his own town...but a decent guy. Diven certainly has the "news cycles" and name recognition.

But the interesting question is: will anyone else have the guts to follow? State Representative Harry Readshaw (D-Carrick) perhaps? Readshaw is the classiest guy in local politics, the Republican party would increase its power in the region expedentially, and there isn't anyone in the 36th legislative district dumb enough to run against Harry.

If Ralph Kaiser was still in the game, you know he might have gone. GOP probably doesn't want a guy like Ken Ruffing; I've been at the West Mifflin borough council meetings as a reporter and watched Mr. Ruffin inject himself into municipal politics.

The Republicans, if they were smart, would even go after a guy like Bill Peduto...conservative fiscally...while he might be more liberal socially, who really cares.

State Senator Sean Logan from Monroeville would be another interesting suburbanite to look at.

Do you think Republicans in the state House and Senate would be smart enough to talk with County Executive Dan Onorato? Might not have to, as he ran as a stronger fiscal conservative than one-time GOP powerhouse Jim Roddey.

But the city is the big jewel. Diven has taken a big risk; even if he weren't to win the Senate seat vacated by Jack Wagner, hope he stays in the GOP as a member of the state House. With majority rule in Harrisburg, the 22nd legislative district looks like it could be a nice place to live.

It'll be interesting to see what (if anything) happens.


Mark Rauterkus said...

Harry's move -- of that of any other -- would be something to really cheer about.

A move to rather than a push from is different. And, a move over the divide within the same house is also to be respected more so than an attempt at a leap to a different house different party.

Thanks for the insights on David J. too.

Anonymous said...

I don't even know why Harry's name is being brought up??

He is a Dem and will not change.

benzado said...

Why would the Republicans overlook "socially liberal" for the sake of "fiscally conservative"? I'll admit I pay more attention to the federal budget than any local one, but I haven't known the Republican Party to be fiscally responsible in my entire lifetime.

Thomas Leturgey said...

Democrats in Pittsburgh has fiscally run the city into the ground for 60 years. Republicans haven't had a chance on any level, so accussing them of of financial mismanagement is completely and utterly without merit.

Harry Readshaw has been courted by the Republican party for most of the 10+ years he's been in the state legislature. If the Democratic machine doesn't respect Readshaw, don't be surprised to see him do something that some would think was unthinkable a year ago. Until then, get well, Harry. He's without question the classiest politician in western PA. Bar none.

Anonymous said...

Readshaw is a Democrat, purely for registration purposes in his district. If I recall, he does cross file during the primaries. He is a very classy guy, but he is not the YES man that the Democratic "leadership" is looking for.

The "leadership" did try to bounce him from the legislature during redistricting. The lopped his district and Kaiser's district together. It just worked out that Kaiser, who is equally as classy, took one for the honest people and didn't run again.

The "leadership" could have kept both of those democrats by just squeezing retiring Tom Michlovic's district out of existence and saving Kaiser and Readshaw. But they didn't want them because they are not YES men.

The problem in fixing our region for the longterm is to not jump ship to another party, but to get rid of the YES men that DeWeese and Veon can count on. Losing Diven is bad, because he cannot even vote against them when electing leadership.

What is needed is to rid the legislature of people that are YES men like Ruffing and Gergely and Levdansky. If they would drop from the legislature and be replaced in a primary, by a Democrat, with honest and independent views then DeWeese and Veon would no longer be considered Democratic Leaders.

It is so frustrating to see the Democratic Party be the party in power in this region, but also be the party that is just not smart enough to bring it all together and put our region on a forward footing. To see the Republican Party have such a "death grip" on control of both houses (while Kerry and Rendell can do so well in PA) and will seemingly never lose control with such an overwheling majority.

Democrats should wake up every moring, look in the mirror, and just puke all over themselves for allowing this "old gaurd" to run us into the ground.

Finally, Levdansky used to be independent and a forward thinker, but now has turned into the DeWeese/Veon Robot...Gergely never had a chance as he had to sell his soul from the get go just to get there and to stay there in a second term...and Ruffing, he is reportedly not even on the house floor for most votes and totally uninvolved in Harrisburg and his district, so the DeWeese/Veon have their perfect dummy to control, although he vowed to not be that person when he won his seat.

The bottom line is the Republican's will keep taking control of seats that should be Democrat and will eventually run Allegheny County for a long time, much like the Democrats have; hopefully they will have more success and not become the evil machine that the Democrats will be remembered for.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Jim Motznik, a former staffer with Michael D, and now city council member and a Dem -- won't be switching to the GOP. No way he said to me. But, he might be running for Diven's house seat should it become open.