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In The News 

 

 

[New!] Republican Committee of Pittsburgh Establishes Internet Presence:
The Republican Committee is on the move. One of our first steps is creating an internet presence 
[New!]    
Republican Committee of Pittsburgh Unveils Banner:

 

 Look for the banner at all city Republican events

Click on the Link below to read about one of our local councilmen in action!

http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/team4/3291852/detail.html

To View

http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/3293780/detail.html

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Get ready for Shabbos with...  

            

 

www.jewishexperienceradio.com

Pittsburgh's exclusive radio program dedicated to your Jewish Community.

* Jewish music favorites

* Community announcements

* Lessons from Torah

* Stories that teach and inspire us

* Moments in Jewish history

and news you can use!

Join Hirsh Dlinn, Rabbi Meir Goldwasser, Moshe Pekkar, Dr. Michoel Schulman and Rabbi Yosef Eisen as they strive to give you a wonderful "Jewish Experience."

Each Friday at 3:00pm

Enjoy an hour filled with you in mind.

Tune in and turn on.

WEDO, 810 AM

 

                                                                                

                                                                                           


Press Releases:

            

Republican Committee of Allegheny County - 8th District

Position on Land Banks in the City of Pittsburgh

 

As citizens of the City of Pittsburgh, the 8th District of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County supports the concept for which Land Banks are intended; the conversion of vacant ground and blighted real estate now owned by the City of Pittsburgh into productive, tax contributing, and useful property.

 

Our Committee does not believe however, that the answer to the failure of government is to add more government.

 

The suggestion of the Land Bank acquiring additional property, especially through a Treasurer’s Sale, is not only unnecessary and undesirable, but should be considered an inappropriate and likely illegal collapse of due process.

 

The relatively new Pennsylvania enabling law attempts to permit a Land Bank, having taken the property possibly without due process at a Treasurer’s Sale, to eliminate mortgages and other outstanding liens and encumbrances.  Can anyone imagine any mortgage company or bank ever again making a loan available to a property owner in a city or community that voids their right to collect, without due process, a valid debt owed them?

 

From which property owners’ will the Land Bank choose to eliminate these loans and taxes?  Relatives and friends of the Board of Directors first, elected official’s friends next, or some other inappropriate resolution?

 

The City of Pittsburgh has a real estate department, an Urban Redevelopment Authority, a Housing Authority, numerous local community based organizations, and groups such as Action Housing, and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency already available to complete substantially the same task.  The State of Pennsylvania has over 30 agencies across the Commonwealth claiming to be the best source of success for these initiatives including the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania.

 

Although there do appear to be some successes, we know accomplishments are extremely limited when we read that various Pittsburgh agencies and elected officials claim anywhere from 11,000 to 27,000 properties currently owned by the City of Pittsburgh.  A Land Bank will not change these numbers; just allow City Council and the Mayor to blame others for their failure to convert property to become productive and useful.

 

Worse yet, the City is far and away the largest slum landlord in the County, and remains exempt from the laws private property owners are required to adhere to in the maintenance of their properties.  Land Banks will surely proceed along these same lines.

 

The solution likely lies in having the existing City Real Estate Department work in conjunction with real estate professionals throughout the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.  Many successful strategies already exist, including those of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Veterans Administration, the Federal Housing Administration; and local real estate experts throughout the region who are members of the West Penn Multiple Listing Service which covers some 17 counties throughout Western Pennsylvania.  The City does not have to reinvent the process, nor push their problems on to a Land Bank that will have the same results.

 

We believe the solution lies in working with these various organizations to eliminate the huge backlog of properties already owned by the City of Pittsburgh and not in assigning these problems to yet another government based organization.  No additional property should be taken by the City without full due process under the currently existing laws.

 

8th District of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County

 

 

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In Memorial

http://www.post-gazette.com/image/2014/01/29/Pittsburgh-K-9-Officer-Rocco.jpg

Pittsburgh Police K-9 Officer Rocco

January 30, 2014

He gave his life in the line of duty.

Our City was Honored to have had him protecting us, he will be sadly missed.

Our thoughts and our prayers go out to Pittsburgh Police Officer Phil Lerza and his Family.

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 City Budget Response of 2004

            President Reagan 

            149th Anniversary 

          Candidates Announce

          RCP receives Award from PA National Guard

          RCP Resolution to PA General Assembly

          Committee Secretary Receives RAMP Appointment

          RCP - Reinstatement of the Ethics Hearing Board

          Republican Committee of Pittsburgh Lauds Irvis

          Support of Isle of Capri

          Renewed request for Ethics Hearing Board

          Passing of Mayor Bob O'Connor

          Election of new City Council President

          Nomination Election for City Council District 1

                    Petition to reduce Pittsburgh City Council

Scoutmaster/ Committee Chairman gets Silver Beaver

                  

 


Recent Media Coverage of Republican Committee of Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh's crisis: Who will step forward?

GOP Promises Slate will revitalize City

To Squirrel Hill Citizens Patrol, less crime is good news, bad news

City Committee Solicitor at Black Tie and Tailpipes

The Passing of President Ford

GOP petition seeks to cut Pittsburgh City Council's size

The GOP petition: Move to reduce council puts local party to the test

Pittsburgh GOP pushes Council district reduction

Letter to the Editor-City Council's Size

GOP leader to pay costs

Macing count dropped against Allegheny County GOP chair  

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News Archives

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Real History of Pittsburgh

Lafayette Hall, which stood on Wood Street between Third and Fourth avenues, Downtown, in 1856 brought together political partisans whose common identity was little more than a disillusionment with the Whigs and the Democrats.
Library and Archives Division, Sen. John Heinz History Center 

GOP born at Wood Street convention in 1856

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By F.A. Krift
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, April 20, 2008

 

It might be hard to believe that Pittsburgh once was at the heart of the Republican Party, considering that, according to the Allegheny County Division of Election, 74 percent of city voters today are registered as Democrats.

Yet, Pittsburgh can argue it's the Grand Old Party's national home since Republicans held their first organizing convention during a February weekend in 1856 at the now-gone Lafayette Hall on Wood Street between Third and Fourth avenues, Downtown.

"I find it ironic that this is a birthplace of the Republican Party as a national institution," said local historian James Wudarczyk, 55, of Lawrenceville. "We're a Democrat stronghold."

Before meeting in Pittsburgh on Feb. 22 and 23, 1856, multiple parties identifying themselves as Republican met in places like Ripon, Wis., and Jackson, Mich. Wudarczyk said they identified more by name than by a consistent ideology, although they had a similar disillusionment with the Whigs and Democrats, the two national parties.

 


The ideology formed in Pittsburgh inside Lafayette Hall.

Between 1,000 and 2,000 delegates from eight southern states and 16 northern states showed up for the Pittsburgh convention, newspaper accounts estimated. While New York newspaper editor and political leader Horace Greeley attended, some notable party leaders did not: Ohio Gov. Salmon Chase, a future Supreme Court chief justice; U.S. Sen. William Henry Seward of New York; and Abraham Lincoln.

The delegates came here at the suggestion of Chase to unite with other third parties and splinter factions like the Anti-Nebraska Party and Know-Nothings. They hoped to create a legitimate threat against the Democrats for the White House and Congress in the 1856 election, Wudarczyk said.

"Everybody thinks these guys walked in one door at the Lafayette as Whigs and walked out the back door as Republicans, and that's not true," Wudarczyk said.

In fact, dissenting voices bickered until a committee in the final hours assembled a national platform, Wudarczyk said. The platform centered on blaming the federal administration for destroying the Union and demanding the repeal of laws that allowed slavery's extension into the West.

F.A. Krift can be reached at bkrift@tribweb.com or 412-380-5644.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Andy Dlinn (412)979-5770

* A First in Decades - Republicans in Memorial Day Parade *

5th Council District City Council candidate Josh Wander wondered why Republicans haven't participated in the 
Lawrenceville Memorial Day Parade as long as he can remember.  And he was born and raised here!

After gaining the support of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County and the Republican City Committee, Mr. Wander 
contacted other area Republican candidates and was able to elicit their participation as well.  
The result - for the first time in decades - a city of Pittsburgh parade hosting a full contingent of Republican candidates.

Participating in this year's parade will be the campaigns of elected County Councilperson-at-Large Heather Heidelbaugh, 
County Treasurer Candidate Ned Pheifer, County Controller Candidate Bob Howard and the organizer of this contingent, 
Pittsburgh 5th City Council Candidate Josh Wander.

The parade honors the soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  On Monday May 30, starting at 40th and Butler Streets 
at 10:15 am, the marchers will go down Butler St. to the entrance of the Allegheny Cemetery for a ceremony and wreath laying. 

The public is urged to line the streets and give proper honor and respect for the fallen soldiers who died so that we may 
continue to enjoy our liberty and freedom.

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Republican Committee of Pittsburgh

Response to the Mayor’s New Tax Proposal

 

 

At a time when the Community College of Allegheny County is offering classes to the unemployed and our elected officials say they are trying to keep our young people and attract new people. Our city administration comes up with this counter-productive new tax.

 

The mayor calls this tax “The Fair Share Tax”. He compares the tax to the fees that colleges charge their students, and believes that makes the tax acceptable to the students and their families. Many of the students and their families already find some of the fees they pay as “questionable”. It seems as we are back to the old idea, that two wrongs do make a right.

 

The administration says it doesn’t matter who is paying the students tuition, whether its being paid by the student, a parent, the government, or a scholarship. It’s also said that all post secondary education would be subject to the tax, from Trade Schools to Graduate Schools to non-credit night classes. Does this mean that the Building Trade’s (Unions) Apprenticeship classes would be taxed, and if so what do the Unions have to say?  The Mayor may find that he maybe taxing people that he didn’t think would come under this burden.

 

In the past, the city has made financial decisions based on politics, instead of long term solutions. It is time for financial reality to be the priority. Until the mayor can step up his efforts to join with more municipalities throughout the state, and persuade the General Assembly to tax these “Non-profits” (i.e. Hospitals and similar places) that enjoy yearly “surpluses” (instead of what they should be called, PROFITS), the city is going to have to learn that you can’t spend, it if you don’t have it.

 

By the way, wasn’t the Casino supposed to take care of the city’s financial troubles? I guess that’s another story for a later date.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

DATE; JULY 3, 2008

CONTACT: Bob Hillen 412-571-1126  / Email: bobhillengop@hotmail.com

WEB SITE:         http://www.pghgop.org/

 

The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh cast a vote of confidence in their leadership team by electing Bob Hillen, Chairman, Joe Weinroth, Vice-Chairman, Alan Perry, Treasurer.

 

The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh held its Re-Organization Meeting on June 16, 2008, and elected officers for a four-year term. In a contested election for Chairman Bob Hillen was re-elected to another four-year term. “I am proud to have earned the support of Grass Roots Republicans in the City of Pittsburgh. We are eager to build upon the accomplishments of the past four years.” Hillen said.

 

Our accomplishments include, the two most competitive Republican Mayoral Candidates in the last four decades; voting precincts and wards won by Republican mayoral candidates; and revitalization of the long dormant Ethics Hearing Board.

 

Despite these significant accomplishments, much more work needs to be done to strengthen our neighborhoods and to put Pittsburgh on a strong financial footing.

 

Bob Hillen is a father of five and a Grandfather of six (soon to be seven) and a Painting Contractor. Bob has run for City Council four times and School Board once. He has just started his fourth term as Chair of the 4th City Council District Republican Committee and his third term as Chair of the Republican Committee of Pittsburgh. Bob is also the 2nd Vice-President of the PARA pagopwing.com , the Treasurer of the Zone 3 Public Safety Council and Vice-President of the Beechview Merchants Association.

 

Joe Weinroth easily won re-election to his second term as Vice-Chair of the City Committee. Joe Weinroth was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and has been a lifelong resident of Squirrel Hill. A first generation American and the son of Holocaust Survivors. A graduate of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh (1976); University of Pittsburgh, BA in both Economics and Political Science, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Asher Isaacs Prize in Economics (1980); and University of Pittsburgh School of Law, JD (1983); Admitted to the Bar in Pennsylvania (1983); Practicing Attorney (1983-present); 2005 Republican Mayoral Candidate, and the first City GOP Candidate to win voting districts over a Democrat since 1969; Elected Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Pittsburgh (2004-present); Founder and Director of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition (2003-Present); Elected member of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania.

 

Alan Perry was elected to his first term as Treasurer of the City Committee. Alan has an extensive history of community involvement. He is a long-time volunteer with the Greater Pittsburgh Council of Boy Scouts of America. As a result of his dedication to scouting, he was awarded three of the highest awards given to a volunteer: the District Award of Merit in 2006, the Silver Beaver Award in 2007, and the Whitney Young Jr. Service Award for Urban Scouting in 2008. Alan is also an Elder in his Church.             He was a member of the Racial and Social Justice Team of the Pittsburgh Presbytery whose mission was to challenge all forms of discrimination. He is also an active member of Star of the West #62 Lodge of Prince Hall Masons. The owner of Perry Insurance Group and founder/owner of Perry’s Catering- both of which enable him a degree of scheduling flexibility, giving him time to devote to issues that he is passionate about. In the 2006 election, Alan competed, unsuccessfully for a position in the City Council District Six election. Alan’s election as the new Treasurer of the Republican Party of Pittsburgh will strengthen the leadership team.

  ~~~END~~~

 

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Young Conservatives Have Allies!

The Musical Group, The Right Brothers are here!

The Right Time, The Right Place

The Right Brothers are a conservative music group whose lyrics are devoted to addressing the issues at the forefront of the political arena. The music they make has been described as "a lethal weapon for conservatives", "a morale booster for the troops and their families" and "the perfect tool for converting liberals to the right".

Our Committee would like to thank The Right Brothers, for the donation of their song "Bush Was Right" for our use on the Home Page of this web site. We look forward to The Right Brothers visiting Pittsburgh someday (and we hope its soon). We need them here!

 

 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Allegheny County Briefs

  GOP leader to pay costs

    A judge has approved the settlement of a criminal case in which the chairman of the Allegheny County Republican Committee was charged with trying to force the city GOP committee chairman to donate to a mayoral campaign.

   In a private complaint, Robert A. Glancy was charged with forcing Robert C. Hillen Sr., chairman of the Pittsburgh Republican Committee, to donate $5,125 to Joe Weinroth’s mayoral campaign by threatening to remove him from his position.

   The district attorney charged Mr. Glancy with macing, a misdemeanor.

    A trail had been scheduled before Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel, but the parties worked out an agreement in which the district attorney agreed to dismiss the charge and Mr. Glancy must pay the cost of prosecution.

   Mr. Hillen retains his status.

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  Macing count dropped against Allegheny County GOP chair

By Karen Roebuck

  TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, March 29, 2007

An Allegheny County judge has dismissed a macing charge against Allegheny County Republican Chairman Robert Glancy after he and city GOP Chairman Robert Hillen reached a settlement restoring Hillen's position.

"The main thing is, I didn't want anything else happening to our party," Hillen said yesterday. "There is so much damage to the party because of this."

On Monday, Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel approved the settlement and dismissed the misdemeanor charge against Glancy.

In a private criminal complaint filed in February 2006, Hillen charged Glancy with "political assessments and contributions forbidden in certain cases" after he threatened to remove Hillen as head of the city's GOP and as a member of the county Republican Committee unless Hillen or the Republican Committee of Pittsburgh paid him $5,125, according to court records. Glancy could have faced up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine if he had been convicted.


Glancy made that and other demands in an Aug. 29, 2005, letter to Hillen, which said the money was to be used for then-Pittsburgh mayoral candidate Joseph Weinroth's campaign, according to court records.

As part of the settlement, Glancy must post a copy of the letter reinstating Hillen as city GOP chairman on the Republican Committee of Allegheny County's Web site -- www.rcac.net -- mail copies to all committee members and pay prosecution costs.

"(Former Allegheny County Sheriff) Pete DeFazio just got nailed real bad for the exact same charge. It wasn't a civil case like Glancy was trying to make it out to be," Hillen said.

DeFazio, 58, of Baldwin Borough, who pleaded guilty in November to a federal count of macing, was sentenced to six months of house arrest and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine for allowing county employees to be pressured into contributing to his campaign.

Glancy did not return a call seeking comment.

"It was a mutual agreement, and there's not much else to say," said his attorney, Jerry Johnson.

Karen Roebuck can be reached at kroebuck@tribweb.com or (412) 320-7939.

 

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Below you will find the Letter sent out to the members of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County and the Court Documents pertaining to the disposition of RCAC Chairman, Bob Glancy's Criminal trial.

 

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Congratulations Alan Perry!

 

CONGRATULATIONS to Chairman Allen Perry of the 6th City Council District Republican Committee.

We always encourage our committee people to become active in other community organizations. Allen is the Scoutmaster for a Boy Scout Troop in Manchester, in the Boy Scouts of America, Greater Pittsburgh Council, Seneca District.

Allen has been awarded the highest award by Greater Pittsburgh Council that can be awarded to a Boy Scout adult leader, that a local Council can give.

The SILVER BEAVER AWARD.

Only one of these awards is issued each year to only one member of each scouting district in a scouting council. This is truly a great accomplishment!

Congratulations Allen!

 

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Letters to the editor

Friday, January 05, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

City Council's size

I applaud the current effort to reduce the size of City Council ("GOP Petition Seeks to Cut Council's Size," Dec. 27). While the population in the city has decreased dramatically since 1975, and every other city department has endured reductions in its work force to compensate, City Council numbers remain. As a result, council members are beholden to, and represent, fewer and fewer constituents per year.

As their job is to represent and legislate for the residents of Pittsburgh, I would like to see representation directly tied to population, but I know that will never fly. Similar petitions have failed in the past with little to no explanation as to why they were halted.

Let's hope the GOP has the ability and courage to see this through where others have failed, given up or acquiesced in the recent past.

PETER B. BALFE
Brookline

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Pittsburgh GOP pushes council district reduction

By Christian Morrow | Published  01/4/2007 | Metro | Unrated

 

 

 

Christian Morrow

Courier Staff Writer
 

View all articles by Christian Morrow

Plan calls for reducing city council from nine to seven

Could a reduction in the number of Pittsburgh city council seats actually result in more African-American representation? Republican committee Chair Bob Hillen believes it is possible, but he said the same thing in 2004 and others remain skeptical.
   
As he did three years ago, Hillen is engaged in a petition drive to put a referendum on the May primary election ballot calling for the reduction of city council from nine to seven members, with five elected by district and two elected at-large.

 

 BOB HILLEN AND TIM STEVENS


    
Hillen said there is good opportunity for an African-American to grab one of the at-large seats, putting Black representatives in three of seven seats.
   
“If an African-American ran as a Republican, even though registration is 1/5 of what Democrats have in the city, it’s still more than the third party candidates. So, its likely the at-large candidates will be one Democrat and one Republican,” he said.
   
In March, Councilman Jim Motznik, asked his fellow council members to put the measure on the November ballot, but he was voted down. Motznik said he pushed the measure out of a concern for good governance and “public demand.” The measure is also supported by the Pittsburgh Firefighters Union Local 1.
   
“This measure would cut $300,000 from the budget, since each council member earns $50,000 and has an allowance of $77,000 for staff and another $33,000 for consultants,” Motznik he said.
   
Should it pass, council would form a committee to redraw districts based on the 2010 census. Changes would not occur until the 2012 council election.
   
Hillen said current council members would not dream of eliminating the African-American districts.
   
“It would be political suicide to eliminate council’s two African-American districts in the process,” he said. “They won’t eliminate Black districts—not if they want to walk the streets.”
 
Hillen needs around about 8,400 signatures before Feb. 13 to put the initiative on the ballot, but is shooting for 12,000 to dissuade legal challenges. In 2004, however, a similar drive failed to garner the required 8,400 signatures.
School board Director Mark Brentley Sr., who switched parties and ran as a Republican against state Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Hill District, said the measure deserved further scrutiny and that African-Americans should not be wary of the idea merely because it is a Republican initiative. Others say it is just a ruse to get a Republican on council, which hasn’t happened in 70 years.
   
Former council member Sala Udin told the Courier in March he could support the measure if the retention of two African-American council seats could be assured.  Former Councilwoman Valerie McDonald Roberts said securing representation by district was a hard-fought battle and should not easily be relinquished.
   
Black Political Empowerment Project President Tim Stevens said he supports any idea as long as it does not reduce the African-American presence in government, and he suspects reducing the number of council seats would do so.
   
“While representation by district does breed parochialism, it has also been shown to increase Black representation where ever it’s been done,” he said.
   
(Send comments to cmorrow@newpittsburghcourier.com.)

 

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Editorials

The GOP petition: Move to reduce council puts local party to the test

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It's been 70 years since Republicans had a voice in Pittsburgh city government, and one-party rule by the Democrats has been typical of one-party rule anywhere -- debilitating. Now local Republicans have a plan to do something about it.

That the local GOP is showing a spark of life is to be applauded. While the Post-Gazette has had problems with Republican policies at higher levels of government, the party's traditional commitment to fiscal responsibility and lower taxation could do municipal affairs in this city a world of good. For that reason, we have long urged local Republicans to pick good candidates, not just sacrificial lambs, for local races.

But what Pittsburgh's Republican Committee is doing is a variation on that theme -- and it has the potential to revitalize the local party if the grass-roots members are enlisted in the effort.

The party has launched a petition drive that seeks to put on the ballot a question proposing a reduction of Pittsburgh City Council's nine members in nine districts to seven -- five in districts and two at large. Much like Allegheny County Council, each party would put forward one nominee -- which in theory, and probably in practice, would give the Republicans representation on council.

City GOP Chairman Bob Hillen is casting the petition drive as nonpartisan. As much as it plays off the recent sentiment to reduce the size of the state Legislature, it may have a wider appeal than party members. But reducing the size of council has been tried before, with a proposal by Councilman Jim Motznik to reduce the size of council to seven easily defeated in October.

The Post-Gazette also opposed that effort, noting that the size of Pittsburgh council was not out of line with comparable cities. That said, this Republican proposal is better because of the two at-large seats. Whatever this would do for GOP representation, it would have the added benefit for voters of having two council members dedicated to the big picture and not the usual logrolling for individual districts.

We will hold our endorsement of the proposal until the party succeeds at getting enough signatures to put the question on the ballot by the Feb. 15 deadline (roughly 9,000 signatures are needed, but to ward off legal challenges 12,000 are being sought). If the effort succeeds, it will say that local Republicans are still relevant in the city.

 

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GOP petition seeks to cut Pittsburgh City Council's size

Would reduce number of City Council members from nine to seven

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

By Dennis B. Roddy, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh's Republican Committee yesterday launched a petition drive aimed at cutting the number of City Council members from nine to seven -- and increasing its own chances of getting its first member on that board in more than 70 years.

City GOP Chairman Robert Hillen said the drive is non-partisan -- he'll reach out to other groups for help circulating the petition -- and mirrors a failed attempt earlier this year to slash council positions.

The drive started at midnight yesterday.

"We already had about 15 signatures," Mr. Hillen said.

The group is aiming for 12,000, though roughly 9,000 signatures would be needed to place the change on the ballot.

Under the proposal, council would be cut to five members elected by district and two at-large members, with each party to choose one nominee for the general election in its primary. Such a system would tend to favor, though not guarantee, the election of one Republican.

The party -- outnumbered by Democrats 6-to-1 in registration -- issued a news release early yesterday explaining its goals.

"Over the years, the population of the city has decreased, but not the numbers of our elected officials, therefore causing a greater burden on the taxpayers of the city," the party declared.

The group has seven weeks to collect signatures before a Feb. 13 deadline.

At least one City Council member, President Doug Shields, scoffed at the proposal.

"If that's what you have to do to get somebody on the ballot and get elected, then you need to look at your politics and your platform," he said. "Sure there are less people in the city. But there are still as many problems."

Mr. Shields said the cost-reduction argument is a weak one.

"I don't know if it makes sense. We're less than four-tenths of 1 percent of the budget," he said.

Mr. Shields opposed an earlier effort to reduce council's size.

"Democracy is not about money. It's about representation. I don't know why people would vote for less representation," he said. "If that's the rationale, maybe we should eliminate one senator from every state."

Joe Weinroth, the Republican candidate for mayor in the 2005 election and an officer with the city party, said reducing the number of council members did not equate with a reduction in representation.

"We're really increasing representation for each city resident," he said, "because, in addition to their district council member, they can go to their at-large member."


(Dennis B. Roddy can be reached at droddy@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1965. )

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT: Bob Hillen 412-571-1126

SUBJECT: Petition to reduce Pittsburgh City Council

Date: December 26, 2006

 

 

The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh is going to circulate petitions starting on December 26, 2006 to put a Referendum Question on the May 2007 Primary Ballot, to reduce the size of Pittsburgh City Council.

 

We would like to reduce the size of City Council by two members, and four districts. We propose to have five members of council elected by district, and two members elected at-large. In the same way the at-large members of Allegheny County Council are elected.

 

We believe that this would be a cost savings for the City while increasing the representation of City Residents. Three members instead of only one would then represent residents of the City. This would also protect the minority representation on council. In reality there could be up to four minority members of City Council.

 

Over the years, the population of the city has decreased, but not the numbers of our elected officials. Therefore causing a greater burden on the taxpayers of the city. This is something that the people of the City can no longer afford to provide for our city elected officials. It has been said, that with a reduction in the number of council members, that a greater burden would be put on the remaining members, and their staffs. Now that the city has a new 3-1-1 telephone reporting system, that would resolve that concern.

 

It has been proven that the residents of the city would like to see this reduction, as per the effort of the Firefighter’s Union last year. It’s just a shame that all of the effort of so many people was set aside last year. This will not happen with this petition. We guarantee, that if enough signatures are collected, the petitions will be filed with the Allegheny County Division of Elections.

 

We have seven weeks in which to collect signatures. Our goal is to collect 12,000 signatures. Any registered voter residing within the City of Pittsburgh is eligible to sign this petition. Anyone wishing to sign a petition or circulate one may contact our committee at 412-571-1126,or through our web site at www.pghgop.org

 

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Statement By President Bush On The Passing Of President Ford

Laura and I are greatly saddened by the passing of former President Gerald R. Ford.

President Ford was a great American who gave many years of dedicated service to our country. On August 9, 1974, after a long career in the House of Representatives and service as Vice President, he assumed the Presidency in an hour of national turmoil and division. With his quiet integrity, common sense, and kind instincts, President Ford helped heal our land and restore public confidence in the Presidency.

The American people will always admire Gerald Ford's devotion to duty, his personal character, and the honorable conduct of his administration. We mourn the loss of such a leader, and our 38th President will always have a special place in our Nation's memory. On behalf of all Americans, Laura and I offer our deepest sympathies to Betty Ford and all of President Ford's family. Our thoughts and prayers will be with them in the hours and days ahead.  

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City Council District 1

Special Election Nomination Election

The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh will hold a Nomination Election Meeting on Saturday, September 23, 2006 at The Vault Coffee & Tea Bar, located at 3619 California Avenue at 1:00pm. To fill the vacancy in City Council District 1. In compliance with Articles 4 & 6 of the RCAC by-laws. Nominations from the floor will be accepted. City Committeeman Joe Lucas has expressed an interest in running in the Special Election. Any registered Republican of the 1st City Council District of the City of Pittsburgh may have their name placed in nomination.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Bob Hillen-Chairman-Republican Committee of Pittsburgh-412-571-1126
SUBJECT: Council President Election

DATE: September 5, 2006

We would like to Congratulate the new City Council President Doug Shields. Council President Shields has a vast amount of knowledge in the operation of City Council, and City Operations.

Council President Shields has always been very respectful of anyone that would approach him with a concern regardless of political party affiliation.

We look forward to working with our new Council President!

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 Passing of Mayor Bob O'Connor

 

We mourn the passing of Mayor Bob O'Connor. He was only our Mayor for a short time, but he accomplished a lot. He was a great Cheerleader for our City. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. O'Connor and her family. Bob was always very proud of his family, and saw them as a great means of support for his endeavors. Mayor O'Connor was a good family man, businessman, and neighbor. Bob would always offer you his respect when he would greet you. He worked very hard for eight years to become our Mayor. Bob O'Connor had nothing but great hopes and expectations for our City. He will be dearly missed!

 

We wish Acting Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, all the best. He has big shoes to fill. We hope Acting Mayor Ravenstahl will continue with the work that Bob O'Connor started. 

 

Mayor Bob O'Connor Photo

 

In Memoriam

Mayor Bob O'Connor

1944 - 2006  

************************

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 
CONTACT: Bob Hillen, Chairman-Republican Committee of Pittsburgh 412-571-1126
 
SUBJECT: Ethics Hearing Board, City of Pittsburgh
 
On January 16, 2006, The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh, requested Mayor Bob O'Connor, to reinstate the Ethics Hearing Board.
 
Our Committee sent the Mayor a letter stating our request, and to date we have never received a response either way.
 
Over the past two years there have been two notable instances of wrong doing from two different members of Pittsburgh City Council. One was Councilman Motznik's "oversight" of his fuel and City Motor pool Car. The last we hear from that was the Councilman still owes the City $450.00 reimbursement. The second and most recent are the two questionable expenditures from Councilwoman Tawanda Carlisle.
 
It is very apparent that City Government can not police itself. Recently Mayor O'Connor has been quoted as saying on a TV interview, "We want to double check how we're spending the public's money." Well Mr. Mayor, this could be your solution!
 
The City Code Article XI Section 197 requires that the Mayor and City Council appoint members the Ethics Hearing Board. During Mayor Tom Murphy's administration, vacancies on the Hearing Board were left unfilled. We can only speculate as to why. It's long past time for these positions to be filled! The Mayor constantly says that "...it's time to put the City back on the right track." Once again, Mr. Mayor, this could be your solution!
 
Council President Ravenstahl has stated that if Councilwoman Carlisle has committed an Ethical violation, that it will be handled internally. Our question to that is, HOW, without the Ethics Hearing Board in place?
 
The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh wants the City's Ethics Hearing Board in operation, with all five members working in a public, and nonpolitical approach, to police City Government.
 
Below you will find a copy of the letter that our Committee sent to Mayor O'Connor, back in January of this year
 
******************************************************************
 
January 16, 2006
 

Mayor Bob O’Connor

Room 512

City-County Building

414 Grant Street

Pittsburgh, PA  15219

 

Dear Mayor O’Connor,

 

     First let me say congratulations on your inauguration as our city's 58th Mayor.

 

   I am writing to you today on behalf of our committee. We would like to make a request of you, and your new administration. For many years now the city's Ethics Hearing Board has been defunct. Under the previous mayor, vacancies occurred, and were never filled. City Council also did not express much interest in this board, and the necessity of its existence. As a result we had problems take place within City Government such as which the previous mayor is under investigation at this time. Also problems with fuel expenses within Council. Both of which we think may have been avoided if the Ethics Hearing Board was in operation.

 

   We are requesting you to reinstate the Ethics Hearing Board as soon as possible. We hope that the five members that you would appoint to this board would be from several different backgrounds throughout the City. For example; Members representing different races of people, different political parties, different economic backgrounds, different sexes, and so on. We feel this would be the only way that the board would be an unbiased, and truly fair board. We are not interested in a board that would be wasting city resources with frivolous investigations guided by personal agendas.

 

   Our Committee would be happy to supply you with some names of qualified individuals to fill these five unpaid positions, if you like. We know that you have many important things on your plate right now, but we feel this is of great importance also. Pittsburgh residents need to feel that they can trust their elected officials again. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us anytime. We are here to work with you to help make our city great again. Thank you for your time with this matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bob Hillen

Chairman

 

~END~

 

*************************************************************************************************************

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

SUBJECT: The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh endorses the Isle of Capri Proposal.

CONTACT: Bob Hillen - Chairman 412-571-1126 / Joe Weinroth - Vice Chairman 412-251-5515

OVERBROOK - On Monday, May 1, 2006 at the General Meeting of the Republican Committee of Pittsburgh. The Committee voted UNANIMOUSLY to support the Isle of Capri proposal. We believe this proposal to be the best plan to benefit the taxpayers of the City of Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is very clear that a new Arena will be built along with the "Stand Alone Casino" in the City of Pittsburgh. So it is only common sense that it be built WITHOUT a penny of taxpayer's money, and the Isle of Capri is the only bidder making that proposal.

A copy of our Resolution will be conveyed to all members of the Gaming Board in Harrisburg.

A copy of the RCP Resolution authored by RCP Vice - Chairman, and PA State Committeeman Joe Weinroth follows:

******************************************************************************

RESOLUTION


WHEREAS, BY ACT OF THE LEGISLATURE AND GOVERNOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA A GAMING CONTROL BOARD HAS BEEN CREATED TO OVERSEE THE INTRODUCTION AND OPERATION OF SLOTS CASINOS WITHIN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; AND

WHEREAS, SAID GAMING CONTROL BOARD SHALL ISSUE A SINGLE LICENSE TO OPERATE A SLOTS CASINO WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF PITTSBURGH; AND

WHEREAS, THREE ENTITIES HAVE SUBMITTED FORMAL APPLICATIONS FOR SAID SOLE PITTSBURGH SLOTS LICENSE, NAMELY, PITG GAMING, FOREST CITY/HARRAH’S, AND THE ISLE OF CAPRI; AND

WHEREAS, EACH OF THESE APPLICANTS HAVE SUBMITTED TO THE GAMING CONTROL BOARD SPECIFIC PROPOSALS AND PLANS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF A SLOTS CASINO AND VARIOUS OTHER AMENITIES IN THREE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS WITHIN THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH; AND

WHEREAS, THE DECISION TO GRANT SAID SOLE SLOTS LICENSE TO ONE OF THESE APPLICANTS AND THE ULTIMATE LOCATION OF SAID SLOTS CASINO WILL HAVE AN ENORMOUS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT ON THE FUTURE OF OUR CITY; AND

WHEREAS, THE MEMBERS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH HAVE REVIEWED AND EVALUATED THE THREE PROPOSALS THAT ARE CURRENTLY UNDER CONSIDERATION BY THE GAMING CONTROL BOARD; AND

WHEREAS, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH WISHES TO EXPRESS ITS SUPPORT FOR THAT PROPOSAL WHICH WILL PRODUCE THE GREATEST POSITIVE IMPACT FOR THE FUTURE OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH AND THE CITIZENS OF PITTSBURGH;

NOW, THEREFORE, ON THIS THE FIRST DAY OF MAY, 2006, AFTER DISCUSSION AND A UNANIMOUS VOTE, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF THE CITY PITTSBURGH ADOPTS THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION:

RESOLVED, THAT THE PROPOSAL SUBMITTED TO THE GAMING CONTROL BOARD BY THE ISLE OF CAPRI IN COOPERATION WITH THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS CLEARLY PROVIDES THE GREATEST BENEFITS TO THE CITIZENS OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:


1. ISLE OF CAPRI HAS COMMITTED THE FULL PRIVATE FUNDING NECESSARY TO BUILD A NEW MULTI-PURPOSE ARENA TO REPLACE THE EXISTING MELLON ARENA WITH NO TAXPAYER PARTICIPATION BEING REQUIRED. THE ISLE OF CAPRI PROPOSAL DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY GOVERNMENTAL BORROWING OR PARTICIPATION IN THE FINANCING OF A NEW ARENA.


2. THE ISLE OF CAPRI PLAN IS THE ONLY PLAN UNDER CONSIDERATION WHICH WILL GUARANTEE THAT THE PITTSBURGH PENGUIN HOCKEY FRANCHISE REMAINS IN PITTSBURGH, WHICH IS A BENEFIT TO THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH AND THE ENTIRE REGION.

3. OF THE THREE PROPOSED CASINO SITES, THE AREA OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH MOST IN NEED OF A MAJOR INFUSION OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DOLLARS IS THE AREA IN AND AROUND THE EXISTING MELLON ARENA, THE LOWER HILL DISTRICT AND THE UPTOWN AREA OF THE CITY. THE ISLE OF CAPRI PROPOSAL WILL CONCENTRATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THIS AREA.

4. THE REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE OF PITTSBURGH WOULD LIKE TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THIS ENDORSEMENT OF THE ISLE OF CAPRI PROPOSAL IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT OF GAMING IN GENERAL AND ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THERE IS SIGNIFICANT OPPOSITION WITHIN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TO ANY TYPE OF GAMING IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA. HOWEVER, SINCE THE LAW IN ITS CURRENT FORM ALLOWS FOR ONE STAND ALONE SLOTS CASINO IN PITTSBURGH, WE WANT TO STRONGLY ENCOURAGE THE GAMING CONTROL BOARD TO LICENSE THAT ENTITY WHICH WILL PROVIDE THE GREATEST BENEFIT TO THE PEOPLE OF PITTSBURGH.

5. THE SO-CALLED “PLAN B” THAT HAS BEEN PROPOSED IN THE EVENT THAT THE ISLE OF CAPRI DOES NOT RECEIVE THE SOLE SLOTS LICENSE REQUIRES LONG-TERM BORROWING BY THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA WHICH WOULD SUPPOSEDLY BE REPAID USING TAX AND DEVELOPMENT REVENUES GENERATED BY THE GAMING INDUSTRY IN PENNSYLVANIA AS WELL AS CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS AND THE SLOTS OPERATOR. WE BELIEVE THAT THESE REVENUES CAN AND SHOULD BE PUT TO BETTER USE IN PROVIDING FOR THE BASIC GOVERNMENTAL NEEDS OF PENNSYLVANIANS IN GENERAL AND RESIDENTS OF THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH IN PARTICULAR.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE ABOVE-RECITED RESOLUTION IS HEREBY MADE AND UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED THIS FIRST DAY OF MAY, 2006 AT PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA.

********************************************************

Republican Committee of Pittsburgh Lauds Irvis

  The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh recognizes the considerable accomplishes and applauds the life of K. Leroy Irvis, the first African-American speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Mr. Irvis died last week at the age of 89.

Irvis, who led an exemplary life of self-improvement, empowerment and leadership—particularly in the civil rights movement and education—also expressed his considerable talents as a poet, writer and orator.

Mr. Irvis dedicated his life to helping others. When he was denied enrollment in World War II, Mr. Irvis recalled that his parents told him to judge people on their achievements and not by the color of their skin. It was a powerful message that he epitomized for the rest of his public life.

When he was chosen speaker of the House of Representatives in 1977 he joined Benjamin Franklin as the only representatives elected by acclamation. Irvis was a testament to self-motivation and success.

He serves 15 terms in the state House because of his incredible ability to get along with members of both sides of the political aisle.

The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh is honored to agree with other Republican leaders who have called Irvis “a giant” and "absolutely honest, intellectually and morally."

The Pittsburgh region has lost a great man. The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh expresses condolences to all of Mr. Irvis’ family and friends.  

************************************************************************************

City of Pittsburgh Hearing Ethics Board


The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh is requesting the new Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh to reinstate the City's Ethics Hearing Board.

During the last administration's terms, there were some very questionable acts that took place among some of our elected officials. We believe that maybe, these may not have happened if the Ethics Hearing Board was in place, or at least the acts would have been questioned or publicly investigated.

Residents of the City of Pittsburgh need to know that they can have trust in their elected officials. The Ethics Hearing Board can restore that trust.

Our Committee has offered Mayor O'Connor any help that we can provide with this task. We sincerely hope that Mayor O'Connor will share our concerns with this matter.

Below is the body of the letter that was sent to the Mayor.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
January 16, 2006

Mayor Bob O'Connor
Room 512
City-County Building
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA  15219

Dear Mayor O'Connor,

    First let me say congratulations on your inauguration as our city's 58th Mayor.

  I am writing to you today on behalf of our committee. We would like to make a request of you, and your new administration. For many years now the city's Ethics Hearing Board has been defunct. Under the previous mayor, vacancies occurred, and were never filled. City Council also did not express much interest in this board, and the necessity of its existence. As a result we had problems take place within City Government such as which the previous mayor is under investigation at this time. Also problems with fuel expenses within Council. Both of which we think may have been avoided if the Ethics Hearing Board was in operation.

  We are requesting you to reinstate the Ethics Hearing Board as soon as possible. We hope that the five members that you would appoint to this board would be from several different backgrounds throughout the City. For example; Members representing different races of people, different political parties, different economic backgrounds, different sexes, and so on. We feel this would be the only way that the board would be an unbiased, and truly fair board. We are not interested in a board that would be wasting city resources with frivolous investigations guided by personal agendas.

  Our Committee would be happy to supply you with some names of qualified individuals to fill these five unpaid positions, if you like. We know that you have many important things on your plate right now, but we feel this is of great importance also. Pittsburgh residents need to feel that they can trust their elected officials again. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us anytime. We are here to work with you to help make our city great again. Thank you for your time with this matter.

Sincerely,

Bob Hillen
Chairman

 

***********************************************************************************

Committee Secretary Receives RAMP Appointment

 

Pittsburgh--Thomas S. Leturgey, 38, has been appointed to the Professional Standards and Arbitration Committee for the Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh (RAMP).

 

Members of the committee shall be selected to serve on hearing panels as required to hear matters of alleged unethical conduct by RAMP members or to provide arbitration as requested.

 

Leturgey was nominated by the broker/owner of Century 21 Rise/McIlrath, Bruce McIlrath in December, 2005 and the appointment was confirmed by the Acting Executive Vice President of RAMP, Scott Waitlevertch.

 

The term runs for three years.

 

Leturgey has been a Realtor with Century 21 Rise/McIlrath since 2003 and earned "Silver" designation with RAMP in 2004 and "Ruby" with Century 21 corporate the same year.

 

Leturgey is a Little League baseball coach, former Carrick Community Council Secretary and board member, former Carrick Business Association President and former board member with the Duquesne-West Mifflin Chamber of Commerce and Brentwood-Baldwin-Whitehall Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves as Secretary of the Republican Committee of Pittsburgh.

 

He and his wife, Colleen, have one son. They live in the Carrick neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

********************************************************************  

 

********************************************************************************

RCP Resolution to Reduce the Size of the General Assembly and to Return the Pay Raise

OVERBROOK - Last night (8-25-05) at the General Meeting of the Republican Committee of Pittsburgh, a Resolution was unanimously adopted. Many of our committee people are upset over the recent passage on July 7th of the pay increases for the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Our Committee is also concerned about the size and ever growing cost of State Government. "The people of Pennsylvania have clearly spoken. It's time for our representatives in Harrisburg to be more concerned with the public interest, than self interest." said Weinroth.

It seems that Harrisburg has trouble finding money for projects throughout the Commonwealth, such as Mass Transit, Property Tax Relief, Sewage Systems, and Health Care, but no problem whatsoever in finding money for themselves. Our Candidate for Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, Joe Weinroth has taken the lead with our efforts to reverse this middle of the night pay raise. Mr Weinroth in his position as a PA State Republican Committeeman will be carrying Pittsburgh's GOP concerns to Harrisburg in September at the next Republican State Committee Meeting.

PA Taxpayer


Our Resolution is as follows:

 

RESOLUTION REGARDING

SALARIES AND BENEFITS FOR MEMBERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA'S GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

 

Adopted by the Republican Committee of Pittsburgh

  August 25, 2005

 

 

  1. Whereas the members of our State's Senate and House have recently and  unjustifiably voted themselves pay increases of 16% - 37%, and

 

  1. Whereas said members enjoy extensive  pension, health insurance and other benefits amounting to at least 50% of their salaries, and

 

  1. Whereas the ratio of legislators to population in Pennsylvania far exceeds that required to represent effectively the citizens of the Commonwealth, and

 

  1. Whereas the total cost to Commonwealth taxpayers of maintaining our  253 legislators and their staffs is $462 million a year,  therefore

 

  1. The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh calls for all citizens, particularly elected officials and members of the Republican State Committee, to demand:

 

*        Immediate repeal of the legislation (House Bill 1521) which authorized said salary increase, and

 

*        Passage by the Legislature of long-pending legislation to substantially reduce the size of the Senate and House, effective following the 2010 census.

 *******************************************************************

The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh receives an Award from the PA National Guard

Oakland - On Sunday July 17, 2005 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, the Pennsylvania Army National Guard 1/107th Field Artillery Bravo Battery honored the Republican Committee of Pittsburgh with the "Center Of Influence" award for our support of their soldiers that were deployed in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom II. During their Freedom Salute Ceremony.

Lt. Col. Grey D. Berrier II said, "Its a honor to give you with this award!"

Accepting the COI Award from left to right is: Joe Weinroth (Mayor Candidate, and RCP Vice-Chair), Bob Hillen (Chairman RCP and City Council Candidate Dist 4) Pam Noblit (RCP Treasurer). Presenting the Award far right is     Lt. Col. Grey D. Berrier II (Commander 1/107th FA).

Center Of Influence Award

Honorary Medal awarded in limited quantity to designated Civilians, specifically family members, Friends, Community Groups, and Employers, in recognition and appreciation of their role in supporting "their" individual Citizen-Soldier and the efforts of the Army National Guard as a whole.

**************************************************************************

Photo Credit: Aimee Obidzinski/For The Tribune-Review

Eric (RCP Solicitor) and Camille Lurie with Beth and Chris Sandvig.

By Jean Horne
FOR THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, July 11, 2005

The Fox Chapel Golf Club was up to its axles in rolling stock for Black Tie & Tailpipes, the four-wheel fete that launches the weeklong pageantry for the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix.

Saturday was prom night and, as "Marque of the Year," Ford Mustang was the class queen. The beauty at the club's entrance, a yellow-and-black 2005 Ford GT, was modeled after the fire-breathing engineering marvel that won at LeMans four times in the '60s. And don't expect much change from a $225,000 bill.

For most of these 240 swells, a really great car is not merely a mandatory mobility device, it's right up there on the life-essentials list with air, water and a high-limit Visa card. Thanks a bunch, good buddies, for supporting the Allegheny Valley School and Autism Society of Pittsburgh.

Cocktails were served al fresco at the entrance, the better to check out the internal combustion knockouts, and on the club's terrace overlooking the manicured golf course. Guests made pit stops at the silent auction before moving into the two-story atrium with its splashing fountain and pillared dining room to tuck into a yummy menu of spinach-and-strawberry salad, pan-seared filet of beef with Cajun scampi, tiny pastries or queuing up to dip fruit in a bubbling chocolate fountain. All the while Jimmy Sapienza's Five Guys Named Moe played on for dancing.

 

*******************************************************************

To Squirrel Hill citizens patrol, less crime is good news, bad news

Monday, June 20, 2005

By Wade Malcolm, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

By simply spitting a few digits of radio jargon from his thickly bearded mouth into a two-way radio, Andy Dlinn was ready to help protect his neighborhood the best way he knows how -- with his presence.

Lake Fong, Post-Gazette
Andy Dlinn, founder of Squirrel Hill Citizens Patrol, is on patrol on Phillips Avenue.

"Communications, this is Squirrel Hill one, I'm 10-8," he called into the dispatch center, signaling the start of another shift on the Squirrel Hill Citizens Patrol.

His car rolled slowly out of its parking space, down the street. At various checkpoints throughout the neighborhood, Dlinn called his location into the radio before continuing on his way.

But really, the next two hours on this Saturday before Memorial Day were similar to the way the night started: Dlinn, the watch group's founder, cruised through his neighborhood and made calls into the emergency dispatch center to report, well, nothing at all.

There wasn't much crime for the citizens patrol to report on that night in Squirrel Hill.

Nor is there on many nights these days during the group's two- to four-hour night shifts five days per week.

Volunteers have become accustomed to reporting fewer disturbances while traversing the expanse of the neighborhood. The group patrols every block between Schenley and Frick parks to the east and west, with Fifth Avenue and Browns Hill Road forming the northern and southern boundaries. Since the watch group started, crimes such as burglary, robbery and auto theft in Zone 4, which encompasses Squirrel Hill and several other neighborhoods, have dropped more than 40 percent, according to Pittsburgh police crime prevention analyst Ashley Thompson.

At once, this became a victory and a problem for Dlinn's group. Now the biggest challenge for the Squirrel Hill Citizens Patrol, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month, is no longer crime; it's recruitment.

"Years ago, there was a lot more action," Dlinn said. "The quieter it gets, the harder it is to get people out here."

It's a challenge any neighborhood crime prevention group would face. There's no tougher time to get people interested in a crime watch than when crime is decreasing. Dlinn's group has about 40 active members, down from a more robust 80 in the mid- to late 1990s.

"Too often, when the crime goes away, the neighborhood watch goes away," said Thompson, who has helped organize numerous block watches in his 11-year career as a Pittsburgh police officer.

On the other hand, neighborhoods with higher crime rates often have trouble starting and sustaining patrols. People there might face both the chance of angering the wrong people and the physical risk of patrolling the streets.

"They tend to only work in stable, settled communities where most of the citizens care deeply about quality of life," said Robert McCrie, professor and crime researcher at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "They don't tend to exist as often in higher crime areas with more transient residents."

The longevity of Dlinn's organization, for example, appears to be unique within Pittsburgh. Calls to each of the five Pittsburgh police zones located one other watch group as organized and extensive: Lawrenceville's United Public Safety Group, which has had mobile neighborhood patrol among other crime prevention groups since 2003.

Though other such groups existed, they have faded away, much like the nemesis car burglar or nuisance bar that triggered them to form in the first place. That was the case in nearby Point Breeze, Dlinn said.

In 1998, Just Jake's Bar on Penn Avenue had that neighborhood in an uproar, and dozens clamored to volunteer for watch duty. So Squirrel Hill annexed Point Breeze as part of its coverage area. They kept a close eye on Jake's, and it eventually closed. But the bulk of the Point Breeze watch group, with six active members remaining, appears to have gone the way of the bothersome tavern.

Dlinn doesn't want the same thing to happen to his watch, especially because starting a group as extensive as his is so difficult in the first place. The money has to come from somewhere when you're using two-way radios and your own dispatch center, as Squirrel Hill does, or paying several staff members, as does Lawrenceville. But government grants for these groups can be elusive. After an initial grant 10 years ago of $10,000 from the office of then-state Rep. Ivan Itkin, D-Squirrel Hill, Dlinn is hoping another grant, from the office of state Sen. Jay Costa Jr., D-Forest Hills, comes through soon so his organization can upgrade equipment.

Lawrenceville United Executive Director Tony Ceoffe said his group was on the verge of receiving state aid after searching for a grant since the watch started in 2003.

Ultimately, most tend to gauge a watch group's established place in the community by how effectively it appears to fight crime. But proving efficacy is another challenge for these groups

"It's not the kind of activity that can provide statistics for what they're doing," said McCrie, the John Jay College professor. "Making a connection between them and the relative crime in the area is difficult for researchers."

This is true of Dlinn's group. It does not make arrests, or remain on the scene after calling in an incident.

And it would be tough to fight crime in any literal sense, because volunteers are instructed to stay in their vehicles at all times. The group is mostly concerned with deterring potential criminals from delinquent behavior.

But how many are deterred on any given night is impossible to determine.

Cmdr. Paul Donaldson, of the Hill District station, believes that the paramount value of watch groups is the information they can provide simply because they are members of the neighborhood. He said tips from Lawrenceville's block watches have led police to clear 10 drug houses in the area since August.

"I've always said the best friend of a police officer is a nosy neighbor," Donaldson said. "A neighborhood watch can see things that a police car driving by on patrol can't see."

No matter how keen its vision, it would still be difficult to say the citizens patrol is the sole reason for crime receding in a place such as Squirrel Hill in the past 10 years. The entire city's crime rate has been dropping, after all.

But in an area where crime seems to be losing ground, it's only natural for the neighborhood watch to move to the bottom of the community checklist.

"In a way, I'd love to see some apathy in Lawrenceville," Ceoffe said with a laugh. "That would mean people feel safe. They're at that point in Squirrel Hill."

It was especially evident that Saturday before Memorial Day. Blurting a few more number sequences into the radio, Dlinn called the end of the watch shift an hour and a half early.

"Sorry we couldn't see any action tonight," he said. "It was slow, really slow tonight, but that's the way we like it.

"That means we're doing our job."


(Wade Malcolm can be reached at wmalcolm@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1652.)

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Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

GOP promises slate will revitalize city

By Violet Law
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, April 3, 2005

Pointing to a shuttered Downtown department store as a symbol of failure of the current Democratic administration, the city's Republican Party trumpeted its slate of candidates as agents of revitalization Saturday.

Real estate attorney Joe Weinroth, 46, was introduced as the party's man to replace Mayor Tom Murphy, who is not seeking re-election after his third term ends this year.

Speaking against the backdrop of the now-defunct Lazarus -- the Murphy administration's failed $40 million urban redevelopment initiative in the Fifth-Forbes corridor -- the candidate promised to sell all assets held by the city's Urban Redevelopment Authority and liquidate its development fund.

"When I say I'll make the change," said Weinroth, of Squirrel Hill, "you can count on it being done."

The candidate proposed cutting city spending, slashing the nine-member City Council to five and eliminating the city's parking and stadium authorities.

  In 2001, Weinroth lost the race for the District 8 City Council seat to Democrat William Peduto.

Peduto, Allegheny County Prothonotary Michael Lamb and former council president Bob O'Connor are the leaders among seven candidates seeking the Democratic nomination in the mayor's race.

Pittsburgh, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 5 to 1, hasn't produced a Republican mayor since the early 1930s.

The GOP is also fielding candidates for three City Council slots and a seat on the city's school board:

·  Sam Berninger, 28, an information technology professional from Sheraden, will run for the District 2 seat, vacated by Alan Hertzberg last month after he was confirmed by the state Senate to fill a seat on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

·  Bob Hillen, 47, of Beechview, chairman of the city's Republican committee, will run -- for the third time -- for the District 4 seat. This time, he will face Councilman Jim Motznik, an Overbrook Democrat seeking a second term.

·  If Councilman Sala Udin, the Hill District incumbent, survives a primary challenge from Tonya Payne of the Hill District and city school board member Mark Brentley Sr. of the North Side, he will face Republican Alan Perry, 59, of Manchester, founder and owner of an insurance company.

·  Tom Baker, of Squirrel Hill, a career counselor at Carnegie Mellon University, will seek to unseat Pittsburgh Public Schools board member Theresa Colaizzi.

Violet Law can be reached at vlaw@tribweb.com or (412) 320-7884.

***********************************************************************************

 The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh announces its Candidate Team for the 2005 Municipal Election.

     On Saturday, April 2, 2005 at 1:00pm in front of the Now Closed Downtown Lazarus store, The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh will introduce its Team of Candidates for the 2005 Municipal Elections.

     We will be using the backdrop of the Lazarus Store to show one of the many failed attempts by the existing elected officials to “Turn our City around”. The front running candidates have all had their chance, many times over, to “Turn our City around”. It’s time for a change!

   The career politicians have had 70+ years of running Pittsburgh. We can’t survive another 4 years of this type of government help! Pittsburgh needs new Leadership, and fiscally sound policies. Pittsburgh needs a Mayor that can work with the General Assembly, and a Mayor that will make the tough decisions, who puts Pittsburgh on a sound financial footing.

     Members of the City Republican Party, County Republican Party, and the Allegheny County Republican Delegation of the General Assembly, will be together on Saturday as a unified team, to support our message of change for the City of Pittsburgh.

 

New Leadership        New Direction

***************************************

 149th Anniversary of the first organizational meeting of the Republican Party

  On February 22, 1856, the first organizational convention for the Republican Party was held in the Lafayette Hall (on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Wood Street) in downtown Pittsburgh. In those days, groups of different political factions including the Whigs, Free-Soilers, and Abolitionists banded together for political strength. From that time, with a common cause and shared ideals, the Grand Old Party has grown and flourished since then.

  This is one of the many important historical events that have happened within our Great City.

  The Republican Committee of Pittsburgh is working to get a Historic Plaque installed to remind people of this important event in the history of the City of Pittsburgh.

******************************************************************

President Reagan Passes

 

The Great Communicator

 

We morn the loss of one of the Greatest Presidents of our Country.

We will miss this great leader of our Party and Nation.

His wit and witticisms will be greatly missed. 

God Bless Ronald Reagan

 

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Pittsburgh's crisis: Who will step forward?

A real two-party system is a long-term solution for the city's fiscal woes

Sunday, May 30, 2004

By James B. Burnham

The columnists and editorial page of the Post-Gazette have recently noted that this is the time that a functional two-party system should be operating in the city of Pittsburgh. The final grade on the report card for the Democratic Party's domination of the city's governance for over 50 years is clear -- bankruptcy, or the nearest legislative equivalent that can be devised.
 

 

 

James B. Burnham is Murrin Professor of Global Competitiveness at Duquesne University's Donahue Graduate School of Business (burnham@duq.edu). He is also chairman of the 8th District Republican Committee (Shadyside) in Pittsburgh.

 
 

 

As a civic-minded citizen and resident, I applaud the call for an effective two-party system in the city. But it should be openly and specifically addressed to two important but generally silent constituencies. First are the many "crypto-Republicans" who have decided they can be more influential running for public office or registering to vote as Democrats.

Second are the business and civic leaders who, with one noteworthy exception, have trained themselves to stay out of the messy business of running for elective office. They tend to define political activity as little more than writing checks, or persuading others to do the same. (The honorable exception, of course, is Jim Roddey, our first county chief executive.)

I believe that there are many concerned city and county residents who want to see a healthy, vibrant and financially sound Pittsburgh. This includes city employees (including many conscientious members of the uniformed public safety services) and numerous registered Democrats. But they have little reason to look for a leader among the most-mentioned professional politicians who are angling for the Democratic Party's mayoral nomination in the 2005 spring primary.

It is even possible that a multicandidate Democratic primary could see the incumbent, Mayor Tom Murphy, returned as that party's nominee. How else to explain why the mayor refused to present the city's fiscal overview board with a balanced budget, as required by state law? How else to explain the amount of energy he is currently devoting to neighborhood meetings where he lays all the city's ills at the feet of suburban legislators?

The city's problems are not intractable. But they cannot be resolved with the failed policies and personnel of the past. Above all, we need a mayor who understands that spending drives taxes. Tom Murphy has run away from this reality for 10 years, using every one-shot revenue arrow in his quiver -- selling tax liens, spinning off the water and sewer department, selling pension bonds. You name it, he's tried it.

Now he is reduced to pushing for a wage tax on commuters. He conveniently forgets that probably well over half of the $30 million in parking tax revenues comes from nonresidents and that the city benefits disproportionately from the Regional Asset District's $75 million in disbursements from county sales tax receipts.

The Allegheny Institute for Public Policy has convincingly marshaled data showing that Pittsburgh's spending is substantially greater than that of cities with similar characteristics. Depending on the sample of cities chosen, if the city could cut spending to the per-capita average of the other cities, the annual savings would range from $45 million to $100 million.

We need a mayor of Pittsburgh who is a match for the firefighters' union leader, Joe King. He has done such a good job for his constituents that our per capita fire bureau spending is 45 percent greater than our Rust Belt neighbors.

Finally, we need a mayor who understands that creating sustained job growth in the city means focussing marketing efforts on businesses and organizations that sell their products and services beyond county borders. Mellon Bank, the Rand Corp. and Seagate Technologies are good examples of such organizations. Lazarus, Giant Eagle and Lord & Taylor are not.

And rather than trying to pick "winners" with sweetheart loans and tax breaks, the city needs to create a level playing field for all comers.

This means a more evenhanded tax structure, faster decision-making and basic public services delivered with best-in-class efficiency.

Surely, this is time for at least one civic-minded, energetic man or woman, who realizes the underlying strengths of our region and city, to step forward and respond to the challenge of leading the city out of an era of third-rate governance. For some, this might mean changing party registration. But such a person could ask for -- and count on -- substantial support at all levels and from all sectors of the community, both in getting elected and while in office.

The fact is that the right Republican Party nominee for mayor can win -- and make a lasting contribution to our city, region and history.

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Budget Response

RE: City's GOP Response to Mayor Murphy's 2004 Operating Budget.

November 17, 2003

  Well, here he goes again! We've heard it year after year,"…with this budget we will have cut City operating expenses to the bone." I guess the Mayor thinks if we hear that enough times, we just may believe it.

In 1979, The City of Pittsburgh became a Home Rule City; this allows the City to stand on its own two feet and make decisions for itself. Along with this right comes responsibility. Along with this responsibility comes a mandate for our City Elected Officials to hold themselves accountable for their decisions and actions. Only irresponsible people sit around and blame their problems on others, instead of looking within and accepting responsibility for their deeds.

The Mayor is trying to make us believe that the fiscal disaster that our Elected City Officials have put us in, is the fault of the State's General Assembly, Suburbanites, and our Fire Bureau. The Mayor allowed and approved the Firefighter's Contract, and the Mayor has encouraged and promoted exemptions in the City’s Business Privilege Tax. In the Mayor's scheme of blaming people, he conveniently leaves out the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employee's Union (AFSCME, that also has a no lay-off clause in their contract). In other words, his Patronage Employees.

  The Mayor needs to look within the structure of City Government and eliminate his reckless spending habits. When asked by a reporter, back in the Spring about cutting the City's discretionary spending. The Mayor, broke from his speech of tears, and said, "We're not going in that direction", and then resumed his sobbing. In this we are referring to the spending of tax dollars from the Operating Budget. Not the CDBG money that Councilmen Udin and Motznik, claim this money to be. We all know that the Federal Grant money known as Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) cannot be used in many of the City's neighborhoods. We are talking about tax money from the Operating Budget, that our Elected Officials use for ball fields, and community groups to get their pictures in the newspapers, and buy votes with. And lets not forget, Allegheny County Democrat Chairman/City Controller Tom Flaherty. That insists that the City's problems are the complete fault of Republicans. Which would be a neat trick, since there has not been an elected republican in City Government since 1937.

  There are many ways that the City can bring its financial house in order, which they are refusing to explore. Contrary to the Tom Murphy's statement of last Monday, the City's financial house IS NOT in order. I refer to the following suggestions that we made last year.

    We proposed that the Mayor, the Deputy Mayors, the 5 Chiefs and 9 Department Directors salaries be reduced by $40,000.00 each. City Council salaries be reduced by $30,000.00 each The City Controller's salary by $35,000.00 and a 5% reduction in pay across the board on all remaining administrative staff Citywide. We would like to see the monthly car expense vouchers eliminated. Many volunteers travel their Council Districts and the entire City without any travel expenses, and receiving less of an income than our elected officials, and they do it willingly.

  The reduction of administrative use of the City's Motor Pool. Beginning with the two cars reserved for City Council Members. This could be replaced by their attendance at ALL of the Community Council Meetings within their Council District. In other words, go to the people, don't force them to come looking for you.

  The Mayor's budget cuts have been designed to shock, terrorize, and outrage the good people of this City. But it’s mainly to divert Pittsburgh's attention from the true and responsible way of managing the City's tax dollars.

  Declaring Act 47 IS NOT the answer for the City. Act 47 was created for small municipalities, not for a second-class city. For the State to enact this, they would have to pass special legislation to cover the funds that the City says it needs. The likelihood of this happening is slim and none. One thing our City leaders seem to be missing is, that whatever tax they want to impose on suburbanites, they first have to place on city residents. The Mayor should be supporting State Representative Harry Readshaw's bill, allowing each individual municipality to raise its own Occupational Tax itself. But that won't work because our City Officials are afraid if they raise taxes on city residents, they won’t be re-elected. What needs to be done, is for the City to cut its administrative spending before it goes after services, such as police, crossing guards, senior centers, and salt boxes. It looks like with the next round of layoffs, we will have more managers and directors than workers. I hope they don’t get their white shirts and ties dirty looking at the potholes in our streets.

  There are a lot of Community groups out there, willing to help and volunteer with the parks, recreation center, and senior centers. Volunteer Groups can maintain and work these services.

  The Mayor says the city needs new revenue sources. Then the city should sell off its tax delinquent properties. Even if the city sells them off for $1.00 each. This would benefit our city in two ways. First it would put these properties back on the tax rolls, and eliminate the cost to the city of maintaining them. Second, it would help young working families purchase their own home. By drawing these young families into the city, and giving them a chance to own their own home, they will be investing in our city. This will increase our tax base in many different ways. Granted, these are not the "upscale" people that Tom Murphy wants, but I would be happy to have them as my neighbors anytime.

  The City also needs to become a business friendly city. Its time for City Government to step up to the plate by not interfering with regulations, hampering the operations of legitimate companies. Lets bring jobs into this City, not drive them away.

  At this time, I am requesting 4 things from the General Assembly:

  1.     To pass the legislation in both chambers proposed by Jane Orie and Jack Wagner in the Senate, and Representatives Habay, Mustio, Stevenson, and Turzai, in the House.

2.     Pass legislation that the Republican Committee of Pittsburgh is proposing, to place a referendum question on the Spring of 2004 Primary Ballot to reduce the size of Pittsburgh City Council.

3.     To pass legislation to eliminate the straight party lever or other mechanism used to vote a straight party line on voting machines, absentee ballots, paper ballots, or computer screens across this commonwealth.

4.     Pass legislation eliminating the exemptions within the City's Business Privilege Tax, or eliminate the tax all together. We prefer the latter.

  Finally, if the House has any time left, and since Judge Kelly says that the State Constitution supersedes Pittsburgh's Home Rule Charter on removing Elected Officials from office. Maybe they could look into the impeachment of Tom Murphy with regards to proposing his 2004 unbalanced budget.

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In Memorial

 

Nancy Reagan

July 6, 1921 - March 6, 2016

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Music -"World Will Know" from the movie "Newies"

 

 

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