Share This Page

Wagner mulls gubernatorial race

| Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Former state Auditor General Jack Wagner appears to be mulling a run for governor next year.

Political insiders say the former Pittsburgh City Council president and onetime state senator is meeting with supporters and potential campaign donors. He expects to make a final decision in early September.

Wagner lost to Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto in the city's Democrat mayoral primary, but would be a formidable candidate for the Democrat gubernatorial nomination. When he was re-elected auditor general in 2008, he received 3.26 million votes — more votes than Barack Obama received in Pennsylvania in that year's presidential election.

‘SUPER PAC' DONATION FED ISSUE FOR RICK

Two organizations seek to get Rick Santorum in hot water with the Federal Election Commission.

Democracy 21, a nonprofit working to remove the influence of private money from politics, teamed up with the Campaign Legal Center to file a complaint against the former U.S. senator of Pennsylvania with the FEC. They allege that Santorum and staffers of his ill-fated 2012 presidential bid directed a donor, energy executive Bill Dore, to make a $1 million donation to a “super PAC” supporting his campaign.

That's a no-no under the McCain-Feingold law's provision banning candidates and their staffs from directing more than $5,000 to a super PAC. If Dore's admission in a published report that either Santorum or his aides instructed him to make the $1 million donation is accurate, we wonder if Team Santorum will 'fess up to a significant rounding error.

FELONIOUS DeWEESE PHYSICALLY FIT. You're probably wondering whether disgraced former state Rep. Bill DeWeese of Waynesburg is enjoying his time behind bars.

Surprisingly, the answer appears to be yes.

John Baer of the Philadelphia Daily News visited the onetime House speaker convicted of public corruption charges at Retreat state prison in Wilkes-Barre and found him upbeat. That's despite the fact that the earliest he can be paroled is next March and him finding the food in the pokey “deplorable.”

DeWeese spends 15 hours a day locked in a cell with his roomie, a 74-year-old child molester (not Jerry Sandusky). But DeWeese still finds time to take fitness classes three times a week, play on a prison softball team and lift weights.

The ex-Marine probably is in better shape now than he was when he was fleecing the public.

BIRTHDAY HOOPLA. Visitors to the second floor of the Fayette County Courthouse on Aug. 6 didn't have any trouble telling just who was celebrating a birthday.

The hallway outside Judge Steve Leskinen's courtroom was adorned with purple balloons and a placard wishing the veteran jurist a happy landmark birthday.

There was no doubt, either, about the judge's age, as the balloons touted that he'd hit the “BIG 60.”

TOO MUCH TECH? The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has announced the launch of its own YouTube channel in an effort to reach more older Pennsylvanians.

The department says the channel will provide an “easy-to-use archive for those wishing to learn about department programs.”

“We are pleased to be able to offer the public our beneficial videos in this user-friendly format,” Secretary of Aging Brian Duke said. “We hope our YouTube channel will provide helpful information, not only to older adults and elder care professionals, but to all Pennsylvanians.”

Some skeptics wonder whether the department's efforts could be better utilized to reach less-computer-savvy seniors or those who can't afford the hardware or Internet service.

The new YouTube channel — at youtube.com/PADepartmentofAging — includes videos such as an ombudsman testimonial, caregiver support “webinars” covering such issues as legal matters and community resources, and information on elder abuse awareness and protective services for older adults.

ROASTED. The pig wasn't the only thing reportedly roasted at a recent fundraiser for Westmoreland County Clerk of Courts Bryan Kline.

More than 100 supporters and politicians showed up for the Republican's event in Hempfield Park.

Greensburg attorney Brian Aston not only roasted the pig, but took some good-natured shots at the honoree. Among those attending were state Sen. Kim Ward; state Reps. Mike Reese and Tim Krieger; county Controller Jeff Balzer, Register of Wills Mike Ginsburg and Sheriff Jon Held; and township supervisors Doug Weimer, Jerry Faggert and John Silvis of Hempfield and Richard Gray of North Huntingdon.

— compiled by Trib Total Media staff

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.