Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fontana opponent quits Senate race

WRONG on the SECOND POINT -- and the P-G's Barnes didn't do a direct quote.
Fontana opponent quits Senate race: "Reached in Pittsburgh after the hearing, Mr. Fontana said his opponent 'obviously didn't want the judge to go through those signatures. He knew a lot of them were wrong, otherwise he would have gone through them.'

Mr. Fontana also said it appeared that a lot of the signatures on the petitions had been signed by the same person."
There is NO WAY that "a lot of the signatures on the petitions" had been signed by the same person." No way, no how, no sir.

A lot of the signers to the petition were "out of the district" because all the petition signers were offering their name up for a dual purpose -- and all of the signers were then (because of the dual purpose) were only requried to be of Allegheny County. The 42nd district is a sub-set of Allegheny County, as is the city of Pittsburgh.

For everyone's information, the 42nd disrict spans about one third of the city of Pittsburgh and about one-third of Allegheny County. The 42nd includes parts of South Side, Brentwood, but not Mt. Oliver, Brookline, but not Carrick, Baldwin Boro, but not Baldwin Township, the Bluff, but not The Hill, The Strip District, but not Lawrencevill nor Polish Hill, the lower west part of the North Side but not the east, Doormont, but not Mt. Lebo, and parts west to McKees Rocks, home to Catherine Baker Knoll and only Democracts and Montour School District, but not Moon's.

The top of all of "MY" nomination papers had "Russ Diamond" candidate for governor. This wasn't really about "Mark Rauterkus" as much as it was about putting up an alternative to Rendell and Swann -- as well as State Senate.

The intention was to cast a 'wide net' with the gathering of signatures. The signatures that were alleged to be 'wrong' were not wrong at all when you look at the complete purpose of the nomination papers for being an independent for a political body -- which I was.

This summer's petition exercise on my part made for a classic "double edge sword." With one signature, citizens were able to help me if and when they were proven to reside in the 42nd district. However, the other edge was also in play and the signature would have counted if and when the counting began for INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE for GOVERNOR.

My signatures, all of them, 85 pages, were turned into the Board of Elections, days in advance of the deadline of August 1.

My signatures were turned into the state days before RUSS DIAMOND ended his effort to get onto the ballot by raising 68,000 signatures. Meanwhile, the nearly 1,000 valid signatures I delivered to that cause were already delivered to the state and delivered by the citizens.

Parable with the excercise of a 'double edge sword' also has point. The point is most important and I told that to the reporter, Tom Barnes, of the Post-Gazette, after the hearing and before the hearing and to others at the P-G newsroom, Sunday, and Monday. Mr. O'Toole, where are you -- vacation???? ---- ????

Jon Delano, KDKA TV, is on vacation this week. He was interested in the 'point.'

Wayne Fontana, knocked me out of the race. However, his political career might have been mortally wounded -- like he fell on the point of the sword.

The fax number of the Senate office of the 42nd District -- and the description of the office title, much more than just the 717-fax number, were clearly visible on the top of the papers that were delivered to me by hand delivery from a constible (which was after the court ordered summons deadline on noon on Friday).

That needs some explanation.

The ballot challenge paperwork that came from an attorney in central PA on behalf of a petitioner, Daniel J. O'Shea of Allegheny County (Scott Township), Wayne's long-time friend and campaign Treasurer and member of the Dem Committee -- also seems to have passed through and been crafted by or in part my state senator's office.

This fax time stamp was at 3 pm on a MONDAY -- in business time.

This fax time stamp from the PA Senate 42nd District office comes on paperwork that makes a chain that ended with me and my removal from the ballot.

This was a political hit job. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, including the judge at the hearing, this type of work is not permitted to be done within the realm of the official state office. He showed interest in this fact but said it was for another day -- not for counting signatures.

So, he let me put MY copy of the ballot challenge into the official public record. My copy of the challenge was DIFFERNT and UNLIKE the one that they served to the court. Someone there screwed up.

What landed before me had evidence of their slime and political corruption -- much like what put Jeff Habay, former state rep, in a jail cell.

You NEVER EVER DO political work, and this is of the highest order political work, to squash democracy on official papers served to a citizen activist for tampering with an election, from within the OFFICE of the people.

I felt as if I was challenged by O'Shea (the petitioner), the attorney, and the office of the 42nd District --- and now in the P-G by the Senator himself.

No where and at no time was there even a hint that a lot of the signatures on the petitions had been signed by the same person.

And just to be totally honest, in one instance, one guy happened to sign the petition twice -- in different settings and days (if not weeks) apart.

Wayne Fontana is, as the P-G reports, virtually assured to be elected to a 4-year term after winning a rigged election on November 7 because I pulled off the ballot -- but Wayne Fontana is also virtually assured to come up before charges with the STATE ETHICS BOARD in these matters.

Keep talking Wayne -- the file gets thicker.

Yesterday, I asked the court to put Wayne Fontana's name on the official challenge as a co-petitioner along with his buddy O'Shea. Fontana was not in the courtroom in Harrisburg, nor was his buddy. They stood behind their hired attorney. They both had a 'failure to appear.'

By the way, I've been trying to reach Mr. Fontana for days. He hasn't called me back.

More soon.

(click comments to get the entire PG story)


Anonymous said...

Fontana opponent quits Senate race

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
By Tom Barnes, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG -- State Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Brookline, has a clear path to re-election Nov. 7 now that his only opponent, independent candidate Mark Rauterkus, has withdrawn from the 42nd District Senate race.

Just before challenges to his petition signatures were to begin in Commonwealth Court yesterday, Mr. Rauterkus told Judge Dan Pellegrini that he wanted to withdraw from the race.

The challenge to nearly 500 of the signatures was filed by Dan O'Shea, Mr. Fontana's campaign treasurer.

Mr. Fontana alleged that many petition signers didn't actually live in the 42nd District, a fatal flaw.

To remain on the ballot, Mr. Rauterkus, a South Side activist, needed 500 valid signatures of registered voters who lived in the district.

He blamed gerrymandering by the Legislature for many of his problems. He said Senate district lines were redrawn after the last census in a confusing fashion and some registered voters from the South Side and neighboring areas didn't realize they lived outside the 42nd District.

Judge Pellegrini, who was Pittsburgh city solicitor in the 1980s, said, "We're not here to talk about gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is above my pay grade."

Mr. Rauterkus said voters in the 42nd District "deserve a choice" in the election, which they won't have if there is only one candidate.

He asked the judge to give voters a choice, but Mr. Pellegrini said his only job was to go through the signatures "line by line if necessary" to see if each one was valid.

"I'm prepared to stay here until 11 p.m. to do that if necessary," the judge said, but it wasn't.

Reached in Pittsburgh after the hearing, Mr. Fontana said his opponent "obviously didn't want the judge to go through those signatures. He knew a lot of them were wrong, otherwise he would have gone through them."

Mr. Fontana also said it appeared that a lot of the signatures on the petitions had been signed by the same person.

Mr. Fontana, 56, a former real estate agent, took office in June 2005.

He has been filling out the term of former Sen. Jack Wagner of Beechview, who is now state auditor general.

If re-elected on Nov. 7, as now is virtually assured, Mr. Fontana will begin a full four-year term on Nov. 30.

(Bureau Chief Tom Barnes can be reached at or 1-717-787-4254. )

Anonymous said...

You think this mortally wounded Fontana? Let me tell you had zero chance of winning and no one cares that you are off the ballot.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Fontana cared greatly. His office cared too as his fax machine number was on the challenge.

The attorney fees might hit $10,000?

I think you are RIGHT in that FONTANA should NOT have cared. He should have gone ahead and won the election on Nov. 7.

But he didn't. And, they made a big time error that others do care about....

There are a few journalists in town that care. Most are on vacation this week.

And, the state ethics board is going to care greatly.

And, Fontana has other community opponents who care greatly. Any one of them could and can and perhaps will file an ethics complaint. I would not even need to know of it -- nor would Fontana know who filed the complaint. The service to me delivered evidence that is now with the courts and is part of the public record for others to obtain without my assistance.

Finally, people do care about the PA incumbent protection program. There are some who care about democracy still. There are some who don't want slime to go uncontested and unchecked.

Anonymous said...


Wayne doesn't care about a choice; he wants elected to a full four-year term with good election numbers.

Too bad you got bumped, but that's what those people do.

The best news is that Russ won't be stealing Lynn Swann votes. :-)


Anonymous said...

Wayne needs to explain why these documents were faxed from his office. This document has NOTHING to do with his elected position, NOTHING.

Why are my hard earned tax dollars being spend on faxes that do not pertain to his position?

Wonder what else is being faxed?

Or worse yet, spent.

This needs explained, soon.

Anonymous said...

Mark, its not about slime, its about tasty gravy.

BTW, Mark, some people care that you are not going to be on the ballot. Although the previous writer could be correct, we do deserve choice.

Its just that the gravy train that is in place is just so thick and tasty right now, no one wants to say anything different so as to not break ranks, and break the gravy train.

AND, I'm not voting for him, so you surely would have received my vote, not matter what.

And I'll still vote for you.

Anonymous said...

If this senate district is so important to you, you'd think that you'd know what municipalities are in it. Furthermore, after seeing what happened to Michael Diven you would take petition forgery and fraud more seriously.

Anonymous said...

While some of the comments are true...district boundaries and whatnot, and the media MUST question why the fax came from his Senate office...I believe that is a quite serious charge...we have too many "anonymous" folks taking shots.

Tom Leturgey, infrequent blogger who just doesn't want to log in.