Well, who should I vote for?

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jonawebb
Participant
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Is Bike Pittsburgh going to figure out which Democratic candidate for governor is better for biking and transit? Because I’d really like to know, and vote accordingly, other things being equal, more or less.


Benzo
Participant
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I do hope they send out some surveys, like they did for the mayoral race. However, it might be more difficult to get a response as they have more requests due to a larger political base.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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A few of us are Republicans. It would also be useful to know who on that ticket is likely to do the least damage.


Ahlir
Participant
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Too early to tell.

Wolf seems to be getting a lot of support. Allyson Schwartz is second, but kind of far behind at this point. Peduto is supporting Wolf, but I’m not sure what that’s about as yet. I would suggest checking out their campaign websites.

Again, November is a long way off…

As for BikePgh, these situations are kind of difficult. If you support the losing candidate and the other guy wins you will have a lot of trouble getting anything from their administration. Heck hey might even decree that bikes lanes shall be tarred over. (More to the point, a biker political group needs to be separate from the main advocacy organization; that gives it the freedom to politick.)


jonawebb
Participant
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The primary is next month. So it’s about time to decide on the Democratic nominee. Who is almost certainly going to be governor next year.


Benzo
Participant
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Well, Bike-PGH is not really allowed to support a particular candidate, at least not have a public endorsement. Something about their organizational structure or by-laws.

However, they can ask questions and post responses. Which is how they handled the last democratic mayoral primary in Pittsburgh.


jonawebb
Participant
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Benzo wrote:However, they can ask questions and post responses.

Which is all I’m asking for — along with comments from other politically-oriented folks here.


Marko82
Participant
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I havent watched it yet, but here’s a link to the March 28th debate between the four candidates.
http://pcntv.com/2014/03/28/friday-at-700-pm-pa-college-democrats-gubernatorial-debate/


scott
Keymaster
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BikePGH is not the statewide org. We volunteered to help PA Walks & Bikes with this project, but we are not the best organization to ask the questions or deliver a platform.


jonawebb
Participant
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OK, nobody’s helping me, so I did some research myself.
All of the Democrats discuss the need to invest more in our crappy infrastructure.
Tom Wolf’s transportation position is very auto-centric, though he does mention high speed rail:
http://wolfforpa.com/sections/page/building-a-21st-century-infrastructure
Allyson Schwartz mentions mass transit and PAT’s problems:
http://allysonschwartz.com/issues/transportation/
Rob McCord also mentions mass transit, though not in the same detail as Schwartz:
http://www.robmccord.com/issues/
Katie McGinty has a very brief discussion of the issues, including mass transit:
http://www.katiemcginty.com/issues/transportation-infrastructure

I don’t think there’s much difference between them — though Tom Wolf does stand out as the only candidate not to mention local mass transit at all, and Allyson Schwartz is the most pro-mass transit, I’d say.


edmonds59
Participant
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The more Wolf leans on his experience with his cabinet business, the less excited I am about his potential as governor. What else you got, Tom?
I like McCords positions a lot, but if he doesn’t have a realistic shot, oh well.
I think Schwartz is just fine.

OT; Anybody seen Corbetts TV counter ad to Wolf with the lifted monster pickup truck? F’king idiotic bullshit. I thought I couldn’t dislike the guy any more than I did. But I was wrong.


Italianblend
Participant
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Vote according to your soul. Not for who will give you the most bike lanes.


jonawebb
Participant
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@italianblend, my soul’s not telling me much other than not to vote for Corbett. So I’m having to make up my mind based on what the candidates say on their websites about issues I care about.


Marko82
Participant
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After listening to two debates I don’t think there is much difference in policy between the democratic contenders. So assuming you want someone other than Corbet in office next year, I’d vote for the person you think could beat him in the general election. But just winning wont change much considering the legislature will most likely be controlled by Republicans. So you need a Democrat that you think will be able to work with the other party, and there are definitely wide differences in personalities among the candidates.


pistat
Participant
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jonawebb
Participant
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@pstat, thanks, that’s helpful.


Italianblend
Participant
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Haven’t we made a lot of progress in the last couple of years?


jonawebb
Participant
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At the local level, yes. At the state level, not so much, I’d say. Very car-centric, and when there are opportunities where small modifications to plans to make roads more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists would make a huge difference, PennDOT is indifferent. That is why the race for governor is important.


erok
Keymaster
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we plan to publish some questionnaires that we collaborated on with the statewide org.

stay tuned


Ahlir
Participant
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we plan to publish some questionnaires
That would be much appreciated.

The article pointer from @pistat was pretty informative.
The main theme is improving transport infrastructure to facilitate movement of goods and people, with an accent on trains. The word “cars” comes up twice: you having to pay for pothole damage to your car, and how cheap public transit is compared to cars (you supposedly save $9k/yr!!). No “bicycle”.

I wouldn’t mind settling for an ~up-to-global-standards transit system, and for less potholes.

Allyson Schwartz is a credible candidate; I feel more in tune with her platform. She also emphasizes Corbett’s (and Republicans) failure to address the crisis of our crumbling infrastructure. I did not find a reference to bicycles on her infrastructure/ transportation page.

Anyway, let’s wait and see what the PR flacks have to tell us about their candidates. (Not a slight: a good flack will have absorbed their candidate’s outlook ans successfully translated it into specific responses; ideally the candidate vets the text.)

Anyway, the only important thing this year is to replace Corbett and to reduce the size of the Republican delegation (yes, I’m looking at you Cranberry). Otherwise Pennsylvania will continue to sink to the level of Mississippi and like backwaters. And cyclists, among others, will continue to suffer.
[sorry for the partisan tone; but please, note that no bad words were used in the composition of this post.]


erok
Keymaster
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here’s Katie McGinty’s answers.

Gubernatorial Candidate Katie McGinty’s Answers on Bicycling

for some reason, our state partners want to release these one at a time until monday.


J Z
Participant
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Thank you, this will help.


Benzo
Participant
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Awesome, Look forward to all the candidates responses.

Would be interested in a questionnaire like this being prepared and sent to all candidates running for state senate / representative positions, at least those races in / around Pittsburgh.


jonawebb
Participant
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Thanks very much for doing this.


Marko82
Participant
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May 12th Democratic Governor Candidate’s Forum @ Drexel University
http://pcntv.com/2014/05/12/may-12-democratic-governor-candidates-forum/

Sixty minutes of debate and once again, zero transportation related questions or comments.


rgrasmus
Member
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jonawebb
Participant
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That’s the only information I’ve seen on the candidates views on bikes. Thanks for doing this, PA Walks and Bikes and Bike Pittsburgh.
Too bad your online membership form gives a 404 error, PA Walks and Bikes.


J Z
Participant
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Huh. Interesting that Wolf’s campaign has yet to respond. Silence can be deafening.


Pierce
Participant
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http://www.katiemcginty.com/issues/transportation-infrastructure

http://www.wolfforpa.com/sections/page/building-a-21st-century-infrastructure

Neither transportation page mentions bicycles. At least Wolff’s is somewhat fleshed out. I mean come on, you’re running for governor. Can you spare the time to add more than three lines about a pretty big fucking deal? I mean, we spend millions of dollars in this state on that sector right? And you can’t write more than three sentences about it? Wolff also mentions high speed rail, and although doesn’t mention across the state, compared the absence of McGinty saying anything, I don’t know

Also, just because she responded to that groups easily lobbed questions doesn’t mean shit. I mean at Obama. Consider all the things he said he would do to what’s actually happened. And he was at least a two term? Senator at the time. From McGinty’s bio, she doesn’t even have political leadership experience, let alone specific PA experience.

I’m not interested in what people say they’re going to do really. I’m interested in what they’ve already done. Have either of them promoted cycling or pedestrian friendly infrastructure before this point? I mean, McGinty’s entire bio is a bunch of vague environmental crap. Over her career, did she ever consider promoting alternatives to driving as a method of environmental protection? Unless she didn’t think it relevant to include that information or her bio or these questions, it doesn’t look like it


Pierce
Participant
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If websites are any indication, Wolff is going to blow McGinty out of the water.

Who do you want to vote for?

Somebody who lists the RIO summit as an accomplishment (an environmental summit 20 years ago, which 20 years later, has basically amounted to nothing, which is why we’re facing a climate crisis) and who has spent her life in a bunch of bureaucracy/advisory positions for government and corporations

OR

Somebody who has dedicated his life to furthering his family business and ensuring job security for Pennsylvanians and has been a successful CEO of a (I’m assuming mid-sized?) family business. The dude also looks like he’d easily be a recumbent bicycle rider


Pierce
Participant
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Ugh, the more compare the differences, the more McGinty sucks. She’s a former DEP head right? Her website’s environmental section doesn’t even MENTION climate change. The dude who’s primarily a business owner and doesn’t really have any environmental credentials has an entire Climate Change section! I mean granted, it’s full of kind of vague crap too, but McGinty’s not even using the word!


jonawebb
Participant
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I think Allyson Schwartz is the obvious choice, on this issue, at least.


Pierce
Participant
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Wow, she seems pretty cool too. She has the word “intermodal” in her infrastructure section. She also has an LGBT and gun control section, which is pretty gutsy. She uses the phrase climate change too.


Ahlir
Participant
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Schwartz has concrete accomplishments in supporting biking, according to her statement. This is good.
Wolf is already being attacked viciously by the Republicans. Recent flyers in our mail: He once had a job collecting taxes! He supports Obamacare!
So, the odds are pretty good that Wolf gets the nomination (the last poll I saw had him at ~50% and Schwartz in the 20s).

Schwartz is a good candidate, but if you’re thinking strategically you’ll have to decide which candidate seems more likely to win. Schwartz’s “liberal” label might work against her in the non-urbanized parts of the state. Remember, getting Corbett out of power is key: he has been cynically working against the best interests of the citizens of PA and cannot be allowed to continue to hold our state back.

Finally (and don’t you hate these posts that run on and on…): tomorrow is primary day. Be sure you get out and vote! Also, bike to the polling station.

A poll watcher will ask you “can I see your ID?”. The correct answer is “The courts have established that the ID requirement is unconstitutional. Under what authority are you asking me for an ID?”


salty
Participant
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I think this link works for donating to PA Walks and Bikes: https://bicyclecoalition.secure.nonprofitsoapbox.com/pawb

They don’t have any full-time staff, so their web sites and operations in general are kind of lacking. I told them their link was broken back in Dec but didn’t hear back, and I also once sent them a check that never got cashed. I still send them some money hoping the actual advocacy is more effective.


Marko82
Participant
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A poll watcher will ask you “can I see your ID?

Mrs. Becker would never do that. But she will ask me which party I’m registered with since I’m usually non-affiliated (independent) and only register with a D or an R to vote in whomever’s primary is interesting at the time.

The real voter fraud is in absentee voting, well that and all that money.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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A poll watcher has no authority to ask a voter anything, let alone challenge for ID. They are there to watch poll workers and the voting process.


Ahlir
Participant
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Apologies. That should have been poll “worker”, the people who mind the process. a poll watcher is someone appointed by a party to watch for irregularities.

Poll workers have been instructed by the current administration to ask everyone for an ID, even though this has been ruled illegal as a prerequisite for voting. So just remind them of that (politely).


Benzo
Participant
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BTW, there is a lt governer race as well (and a few other state rep races).

I did not know this till I started researching today as none of the campaigns have sent me any info.. Michael Stack is one of the candidates who propsed a bill to allow speed cameras to be used in philly. I’m bummed that there is so little coverage of these ancillary races…

Do a bit of research before you head to the polls:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_lieutenant_gubernatorial_election,_2014

I got a personalized ballot with all the applicable races at http://www.vote411.org/


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I didn’t realize the R ballot had a second choice for Governor.

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