Diven's chief of staff charged in name game - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review The chief of staff for state Rep. Michael Diven was charged Friday with providing false signatures of eight people -- at least five of whom are dead -- on nominating petitions for the Brookline Republican.Perhaps Mrs. Romaniello will be vindicated and perhaps this is the worst of the worst of a political hit job. I can see those statements of defense being true.
Debora Lynn Romaniello, 51, of Beechview (thanks JP), is accused by Allegheny County Police of verifying an election nominating petition containing the forged names of eight people, mostly from the Baldwin area, and submitting the papers to the county Elections Division in March.
Romaniello and her husband, Pittsburgh Public Schools board member Dan Romaniello, did not return calls yesterday.
Diven said the charges are politically motivated and that Romaniello made an honest mistake. Diven said he will keep Romaniello as his chief of staff.
However, here is the rub in a global sorta way. Diven is in the state house. Those in the state house can make laws that can change election laws. We've got some serious troubles with our election laws as they now stand. Diven has done little if nothing to change the election laws in his tenure.
Diven could be putting together a sheet of dead people's names onto a petition to get himself onto the ballot to prove a point that dead people can show up to the polls to vote! But, he didn't do that.
Diven could be putting dead people's names onto petitions himself -- to prove that it numbs ones mind to need to get hundres and hundres if not thousands and thousands of names on nomination papers to just get onto the ballot -- say to run against Rick Santorum or Bob Casey or Fast Ed Rendell or Lynn Swann.
Diven could be putting the names of the dead people onto a petition to make a stance about things that are NOT election specific -- as another sign of protest. How many died in Diven's district because they could not afford health care? How many died because they were elderly and could not face the stresses of moving out of an older home into a nursing home situation? How many died in PA because they got struck by a car because our streets are not safe and speeding limits are a joke and without enforcement?
Or to use a Brookline specific example, how many have died because they didn't have a warm community center / senior center to keep themselves social and healthy? There is a big senior center spat in Brookline as to where they should build and who's going to benefit.
Frankly, I think senior centers are going to be gone in a few years. They are throwback facilities that the next generation isn't going to use like the centers still around today. But, that's another story with another set of principles and visions that just doesn't flow from the likes of Diven.
I'm not saying that Diven should spin this news. He can't. He has nothing to spin as he has made little stances on strong issues that resonate with people, protests and principles. He has to quickly say that the opposition is throwing mud as that is all he has to fight back with himself.
Just as Diven is confident in Deb -- and the other guy did it who isn't yet named -- I'm confident that the system is broken and won't get fixed under Diven's watch.
Diven could have even gone around and picked up 100 signatures for the guys and gals in the next blog mention who are holding a press conference in Harrisburg on August 1. That could have been his contibution to make matters right again. And, he could stand up and say -- these petition requirements are a joke. And, this is the law that I've introduced to change it so the ones that come next year don't have these hurdles to navigate.