Monday, March 05, 2007

ACDC: You Shook Me All Night Long

After spending seven and a half hours in the holding cell of the IBEW* for trying to break into the Allegheny County Democratic Committee nominating meeting disguised as a six foot five, 230 lb. Sophie Masloff, I come to find out that the incumbent Mayor bested his nearest (and only) competitior 602 to 163 votes. A couple thoughts sprung to mind:

First, never try to break into the ACDC meetings dressed as a 90 year old Jewish woman, especially if you try to cast a provisional ballot for "Heywood Jablome."

Second, this little tidbit over at Pittsburgh Guy about Councilman Otis:

For such a smart, experienced and savvy politician why, days before the endorsement, would [Bill Peduto] go out of his way to alienate Party leadership? Also isn't a bit insulting to think you have to tell elected committee people that they can make their own minds up. Instead of insulting, why didn't he take the high road, explain why he thinks he is the better candidate and ask for their votes.
And then there's this bit over at 2 Political Junkies:
Yes, the Old School won, and by "old" we mean that the Allegheny County Democratic Committee members decided to vote for that nice young man who reminds them of their favorite grandson. (And, don't cha know it's considered bad form to run against a current ACDC member even if they have one foot in the grave...)
Personally, I consider the "I Like Luke" slogan to be a deliberate nod to Eisenhower, which was, coincidentally the first vote cast by the average ACDC member.

However, taken together, the two quotes show a real strain between the "progressive" and "conservative" wings of the ACDC. Let's take the margin of loss by Peduto: 439 votes. That's a pretty good spanking. Let's also take the quote from Pittsburgh Guy. That's a pretty heavy indictment of Peduto's feelings about the ACDC.

[Still, let us neither discount nor over emphasize the roll of the party in the race. The party endorsement isn't the be all and end all and people have won without it, but it does save a ton of money in printing and volunteer costs. It will get you a leg up, but it doesn't guarantee a victory.]

Which finally brings me to my point: if the average age of a typical conservative ACDC member is... well... dead, why hasn't the progressive wing done more to try to oust the old guard? Wouldn't it be prudent to try to slide in a more liberal leaning committee from the ward level, rather than trying to run a candidate so contrary to the naturally conservative bent of the existing members?

Or perhaps they have, and it hasn't worked? The answer may be found in 2PJ's swipe at everyone's favorite Grandson, which isn't too far off the mark: Rachel Cooper (endorsed candidate for the 9th Council District) is the daughter of Judge Kevin Cooper. Is blood merely thicker than politics? Can our politicians even get any thicker?

Perhaps a breeding program is in order

* Who knew that the IBEW had a holding cell. I figured they they would have gone straight to the electric chair.


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