Yet now we have the most contested election in the entire primary: who will win the Republican nomination for mayor of the City of Pittsburgh? Since nobody bothered to go to the effort of filing petitions you have an entirely write in campaign.. a campaign with the distinct possibility that it will be won by someone who isn't a Republican. Last time it took a pretty dedicated effort to get Mark Desantis to get enough votes to beat out LR for the Republican nomination. I have actually asked my lawyer friends if they knew what would happen if one of the candidates on the Democratic side lost but wound up with the most Republican votes.. Could they be on the ballot as a Republican? I have not gotten a clear answer. But ignore that for now.
Now both papers are reporting that there is a candidate seeing the Republican nomination in the primary on Tuesday. The original PG's version says that Mr. Wander Could not be reached for comment. I am pretty sure rule one for all potential politicians is that you really want to return phone calls from reporters. The Trib version has a sentence more of description saying he: "earned a master's degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh".
Not quite sure how they got that information since he isn't quoted directly. You would think you would get some sort of quote from the guy if you got a hold of him in person or via a spokesperson (ok, probably no spokesperson as yet). If the Trib's description is correct then the candidate to be has to be the same as the author of this blog:
http://joshwander.blogspot.com/ This was the blog big on pushing for the Desantis write in campaign if I recall which would be consistent.
But then it gets odd:
"Josh Wander is currently serving as the elected Pennsylvania State Constable for the Borough of White Oak, located in the south-western area of the state. My top priorities in office have been protecting the security of our country, defending the public, and ensuring equal justice for all. " (emphasis added, web site as of May 14, 2009)
White Oak is not part of the city of Pittsburgh to begin with. The White Oak web page currently lists Mr. Wander as the Constable. But hey, who updates web pages very often. It's unclear if there is a statutory requirement for a constable to reside in the jurisdiction to which they are elected.. and I am not a legal beagle, but there appears to be a common law requirement that you have to live in the community you serve.
Then it gets odder. While there isn't much paper trail on the whole 'community organizer' thing that he is described as in the news articles. No biggie, but he has certainly been in the news. Per the Trib he is the force behind a website that once once dedicated to sending the Statue of Liberty Back to France. No joke. Don't believe me? check out: Giveitback.orgThat site introduces itself with:
Well then. If I were this guy, I would start my campaign with a press conference in the French Nationality room in the Cathedral of Learning. He could propose it be converted into the Tajik room or something. Maybe lock himself to a desk or something for some earned media. Not sure he is going to be going on many European junkets or marketing trips if he were to become mayor.
Give the Statue of Liberty back to the French!
Located in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty was a gift of international friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is one of the most universal symbols of political freedom and democracy...
Now it is time to give it back!
They can have their damn Statue!
Then the oddest: He also seems to be a published fashion critic, if that is him as well. Probably not, but you never know.
I'm just thinking what the fall debates and forums will be like if this really becomes the Republican nominee. Which all leads to the ultimate question of why the local Republican party does not find someone to get petitions signed and get on the ballot in a normal way. Registration advantage or not, if they believed in their own party you would think they would want a legitimate candidate to shape the debate whether there was a chance of winning or not. The alternative is what is likely to happen again which is either a circus or a candidate who loses to a Democrat for the Republican nomination. That falls somewhere between embarrassing or pathetic.
Cynical as it is, the only explanation that makes sense is Potter's which be put in Slag Heap that the Republicans locally are actively pursuing a strategic retreat as it is called. The last thing they want is a contested race for mayor in the general election because it will only increase Democratic turnout and hurt their chances in the statewide judicial races. Read: Where have all the Republicans gone. It may sound like a pretty short sighted strategy, but makes more sense than anything else that fits the circumstances.
Other than that I am open to suggestions why they let things like this happen? It's not like this is the only cycle where they have fielded no candidate, or very marginal candidates at best. Since he has this military background there is a military saying that sums this all up: Whiskey.........