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Tuesday takes

Desperate Raja: Gloom, despair and agony surely have set in among the campaign staff of D. Raja, the Republican nominee for Allegheny County chief executive. It selectively quoted from the Trib's Friday lance to Mr. Raja and his Democrat opponent, Rich Fitzgerald, in a campaign e-mail. Raja's staffers mention only Mr. Fitzgerald's part of the lance. "Politics"• No, bush-league dishonesty.

Exposing Raja: A Raja phone bank caller got more than he bargained for Sunday afternoon when the callee refused to accept the campaign's bosh at face value. So flustered was the former at the ferocity of the latter's pushback over Raja's proposed illegal, court-defying property reassessment moratorium that even he essentially was forced to stipulate that Raja could not legally take the oath of office if elected. Give that phone bank volunteer a cigar.

Behind Raja: The mess that is the Raja candidacy should force all political candidates to question the campaign consultants running his show. Not only have they repeatedly eschewed the advice of more experienced GOP hands, they established policy proposals based on polling, not on what was right. That's not leadership; that's political opportunism. And it should make everyone wonder if the Raja campaign is promoting good government or political hacksterism.

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