Monday, January 03, 2005

Ken's LTE gets a reply -- buzz about city conditions in poltical circles

Some noise is hitting the papers in recent weeks about candidates for mayor and the opportunities and fitness of the city's Republicans.
Letters to the editor, 01/03/2005RINO watch

After reading Ken Heiss' Dec. 28 letter, 'City Republicans,' I now more than ever understand the Democrat's death grip on the city of Pittsburgh over the last 70 years. Here we have a Republican chairman in District 2 who doesn't even believe in his own party. I always thought it was socialite Elsie Hillman who ran the Republican Party of Pittsburgh into the ground. But it seems the RINO (Republican In Name Only) forces are deeply entrenched throughout the city.

I live in Butler County where we actually stand up for our party and its platform. We know we offer a better choice of government and are not afraid to stand behind it.

I grew up in Allegheny County and I am ashamed of what Pittsburgh has become under Democratic leadership. Politicians chased me as well as many others north to escape the impending fall of the city. Now that it's happened, all the Republicans can do is act like their counterparts. If you can't govern, then get out of the way and let someone else who can.

TIM HABERMAN from Prospect

I don't want to PILE ON and heap more critical remarks to Mr. Heis or the City GOPers, but something must be written.

I have to say: I tried. I joined the Republicans. I joined the fight for the city with them. I know in my heart we need to do better than what we got now and what we've had in the past.

We can't give up. We, in this regard, stands to mean those who favor dissent. Churchill said, NEVER give up. Good advice for Pittsburgh too.

But, we can change our party registration. I did. I am now fighting under the party flag of LIBERTARIAN. I hope to make more friends with this more. I hope to keep old friends with this move. I hope to be even more friendly with Dems because of the move to Libertarian too.

We got a lot to do in the city. I'll not only help others, but hope to welcome your help in this campaign and battles yet to come.

Ken's article was published and the word I heard from some others was we (GOPers) are weak because of weaklings.

I'm not weak. I can't walk in that shaddow. Nor am I able to live under the shaddow of the Dems either.

Ken's letter found in the PG:

City Republicans

The Dec. 6 editorial "The Next Mayor: Is It Time for a Republican to Lead Pittsburgh?" is on target. However, the city Republican Party is weak. We have a severe case of city non-acceptance along with an environment of political apathy.

A Republican candidate would need more than a good platform. He would need an NFL pedigree or a magic wand to capture the hearts and attention of our voters in the city of Pittsburgh. He would have to have shoulders broad enough to accept the blame that would be heaped on him from the corner into which the city government painted itself.

The candidate would have to form a much stronger bond of trust with state government and he would have to have an acceptable, honest plan for the union rank-and-file that would constitute a fair solution their leadership could accept.

So far Act 47 and its oversight panel have been a way for Pennsylvania to drag its feet and punish our city in the name of political posturing because Pittsburgh (or any other city) can't support our one-party city along with our suburban neighbors on our property-tax driven safety budget. Perhaps if the mayor's next act in this administration were to drop the keys to our city on Gov. Ed Rendell's desk, state government might then see what a difficult task we have here.

We need a Republican candidate who likes Democrats as much as he likes Republicans -- maybe even more. I don't think the average Pittsburgh voter will accept that easily.

Good candidates do not grow on trees. Perhaps Lynn Swann will loan us one of his interior lineman as a city of Pittsburgh mayoral candidate.

KEN HEISS, Mount Washington

Editor's note: The writer is the city of Pittsburgh District 2 Republican chairman.

Ken hosted a half-dozen meetings about this very topic a year or so ago. I asked for a copy of the outcome documents. Notes, minutes, position papers are nice, IMHO. Well, I was told everything is in Ken's head.

I spoke at one meeting. My message to the 20 or so gathered had to deal with each getting five new GOPers each week for the next 60 weeks. That goal was about outreach. That mission would have generated 6,000 new party registrations for the city's GOP ranks. It was do-able, affordable, and significant.

I called for that as a course of action. I had in the past generated more than 100 new GOP re-registrations in the city in a course of a month. Been there, done that -- and know what's what in terms of work and investement.

Guess how much support my comments generated?

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