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Maher Signs Finally Removed From Road Three Months After The Election, No Thanks to Him

Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smth Gets Action to Remove Maher Campaign Litter: Bravo!

A responsible leader that has launched a bid for election or re-election ensures that his or her campaign signs are promptly removed from our roads and highways upon the conclusion of Election Day. State Representative John Maher does not meet this definition of responsibility as evidenced by the three signs posted on Banksville Road by the twenty-four-hour-a-day Rite Aid Phramacy, which remained there months after the November 2012 election.  I am sure that this was not the only location at which Maher signs were posted long after the election, but it is the one that I would see every day.

After a call to Maher's office brought no response, I contacted the Allegheny County Bureau of Elections.  I was referred to the City of Pittsburgh Solicitor's Office.  The individual that answered the phone seemed mystified by my request, but told me that someone would return my call with information; no one did.  

The individual that rode the rescue turned out to be Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, who represents the Banksville area, and of whom I am obviously not a constituent.  She promptly responded to an e-mail message about this afer normal business hours, asking a Public Works Supervisor to remove the signs and to look into the issuance of a citation against Representative Maher.  Within three days, the signs were removed.  I hope that they were dropped at the front door of Maher's Upper Saint Clair Summerfield Commons Office. Councilwoman Kail-Smith told me that as the head of Council's anti-litter effort, she does not like to see the landscape spoiled by political material, and does not even like to see her own signs on our roads.

Representative Maher ignored a prominent plank in the State Constitution which guarantees the people the right to clean air when he, a smoker, voted against legislation which finally eliminated smoking from most public places in the Commonwealth.  He was on the wrong side of history with this regrettable litmus test vote. He also does not care about polluting our roads.

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Duke February 18, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Oren - It appears that you really have it in for John Maher. Not only in this post have you chastised him but also in the first paragraph of your letter to the editor in the Suday, 2/16/2013, edition of the Observer-Reporter! I believe he is one of the finest Representatives this Commowealth has and he is spending his time wisely represeting his constituents rather than worrying about some signs.
Rep. John Maher February 19, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Campaigning across Pennsylvania entails thousands of volunteers and tens of thousands of signs. The expressed hope is that each volunteer will post signs responsibly and collect each and every sign quickly after election day. For the most part, volunteers do a wonderful job but not everyone is perfect. If you do spot a stray sign, I would thank you for calling me at 412-407-7879 so that I can take care of it. Please do not do as Mr. Spiegler did! After years of shocking headlines about state workers improperly engaging in campaign-related efforts during the workday, I am amazed that state-employee Spiegler is not embarrassed by his claim of calling city, county and state government offices repeatedly until he accomplished his goal of having government workers dispatched to waste tax dollars on a campaign-related mission. Thanks again to all of my neighbors in Upper St. Clair, Peters Township and Bethel Park for the privilege to represent our communities in the House of Representatives – and for the enormous support across party lines last November! John
Oren Spiegler February 19, 2013 at 09:26 PM
I am honored and grateful that I have evoked a comment from Representative Maher in a media outlet, something which is rare. In the interest of brevity, I will only engage his illogical arguments to note the following: I wish Representative Maher had been as concerned about the cost of government when he voted for a whopping 50% boost in legislative pensions and for the middle of the night 2005 (encouragement of lifelong service) legislative pay grab, the latter of which brought such a magnitude of citizen ire to the fore that it was promptly repealed. The pension enhancement was the first step in bringing us to the calamity of a $41 billion pension fund shortfall today. I wish he had been concerned about government expenditures as he was reportedly racking up per diem reimbursements which made him number 6 out of 203 Representatives in 2011, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: link to follow. This flies in the face of assertions he has made to me that he runs a tight ship and that his spending is frugal. I was certain that he would respond to correct the article in the Trib if it was inaccurate or could be explained, but he remained mum. http://triblive.com/news/2176052-74/county-per-diems-lawmakers-costa-rep-committee-epstein-harrisburg-pay#axzz2L5WUr0Gr
Shelly February 21, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Oren, I don't know what the root of your vendetta against Rep. Maher stems from, but he is an honorable man that has sacrificed a great deal to serve us. Every encounter I have had with him personally or his office has been pleasant and responsive. I wish we had more elected officials with Rep. Maher's integrity and dedication.
Oren Spiegler February 21, 2013 at 10:00 PM
I am pleased that you consider yourself to have received exemplary constituent service, “Shelly”. My primary concern is the issues. If you consider it a “vendetta” to bring to light Representative Maher’s errors in judgment and the manner in which he attempts to turn the tables when confronted about his actions, you are welcome to see it that way. I noted much of this in my prior post. Here it is again: Representative Maher voted FOR the 2001 50% legislative pension boost for him and his colleagues (the first step in the process of accumulating a $41 billion shortfall that exists today); FOR the 2005 middle of the night pay grab (something which Pennsylvanians had been assured would never happen again after automatic cost of living increases were enacted in the 1990’s) (the 2005 pay grab was promptly repealed after citizen revolt); AGAINST the smoking ordinance which banned tobacco from most public places (Maher is a smoker); was listed by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review as the 6th highest of 203 members in claims for per diem reimbursement in 2011, a perk which requires no receipts to be presented; and he endorsed the slimy, anti-immigrant campaign for the State Senate waged by his colleague Mark Mustio. Which of these actions do you support and why, and do you consider them to be characteristic of someone with “integrity”? I have reported the facts; the people shall decide which of us has made the more compelling case.

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