Subject: A Different Slant on the 42nd State Senate District Special Election
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Libertarian Party of Pittsburgh
contact: Harold Kyriazi
Pittsburgh, PA -- May 21, 2005
Increased Minor Party Votes May Signal Voter Dissatisfaction with Badly Broken Two-Party System
Libertarian and Green Party activists were mildly encouraged after this past Tuesday's election, when a Libertarian, whose campaign manager is a Green Party member, received a significant boost over typical results when running in the special election for State Senate in district 42.
While the 7.2% of the vote garnered by Mark Rauterkus is small relative to that received by the two major party candidates, it represents a notable increase for a minor party candidate in a hotly-contested and expensive three-way race.
It also indicates a continued growth in respectability for minor party candidates in a region where most voters traditionally pull the Democrat lever and smaller numbers vote Republican.
Says Timothy Crowley, Chair of the Libertarian Party (LP) of Pittsburgh, "You don't want to make too much out of a loss, but we are pleased to see more locals recognizing that voting for the usual big party candidates only brings about the same old policies that drive away businesses and citizens from this region." Added Crowley, "How many more times will voters let themselves be duped into believing in Democrat or Republican free lunches? It's time to make a change and send a message."
A different view was offered by longtime local LP activist Harold Kyriazi, who said that he is most encouraged that the LP of Pittsburgh has in the past year attracted two of the most serious campaigners it has ever had. "If Mark Rauterkus, on the South Side, and David Posipanka of Homestead, continue to run for office year in and year out as they have indicated they will, they may eventually convince voters that they can trust minor party candidates, and spark a significant realignment of voter sympathies and, eventually, voter registration."
Johannes Ernharth, who maintains the local LP website, commented that "the LP of Pittsburgh hopes more people catch on that voting the same old way for the same old party has nearly bankrupted this region. Voters must realize that sending those same wrongheaded policies to the state level is only going to make things worse for the entire state. Non-voters need to consider that, too."
The LP of Pittsburgh also cautions the region's citizens of a developing trend that is designed to shift the financial irresponsibility of some Pittsburgh politicians onto more fiscally responsible areas of the state. Says Henry Haller, a past candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, "Rather than getting their house in order here in the city, the city's goal is to have state taxpayers pick up the tab. Rural and suburban communities will be getting stuck with the bill, and it appears the Republican Party does not have the political will to say 'no' to the Governor on this. Libertarians would never tolerate such theft."
Added Ernharth, "We all know that outside of government, the real world understands the importance of fiscal responsibility. By shifting the cost, there is no incentive for the city to change its old ways and it will continue to decline."
The LP of Pittsburgh represents the approximately 2,800 registered Libertarians in Allegheny County. It maintains a website at www.lppgh.org, and may be contacted there, or by phone at 412-553-6464.