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Laurels & Lances

| Friday, May 20, 2011

On the "Watch List":

• Rich Fitzgerald. The Democrats' newly minted nominee for Allegheny County chief executive offers the familiar yada-yada-yada that he wants to bring everybody together for the good of all. If he really means that, he'll stop kowtowing to organized labor and stop thumbing his nose at the Pennsylvania Constitution and the courts over the property reassessment.

• D. Raja. The Republicans' newly minted nominee for ACE offers more familiar yada-yada-yada. He says we can't "rely on the old political habits that have brought us to where we are today." Yet he, too, embraces the very old and very bad political habit of thumbing his nose at the court-ordered property reassessment. If Mr. Raja's candidacy truly is "about getting Allegheny County moving in the right direction," he needs to change his reassessment tune.

• Messrs. Fitzgerald & Raja: As they prepare for the fall campaign, they should remain keenly aware that about 80 percent of the registered electorate did not vote for them. The turnout in Tuesday's primary was about 20 percent. That's about as cold a reception as election day was wet. And either one who claims he has his party's "mandate" should feign no surprise when the laughter is uproarious.

• Our hillsides. Western Pennsylvania has been saturated with rain. And the long-term weather forecasts suggest things will get wetter before they get drier. And that means more rockslides like the massive one that's closed State Route 88 in Washington County and myriad other slides around the region. Drivers, consider yourselves warned. And be careful out there.

Laurel: To traveling history. Iconic images of Pittsburgh's rich black tapestry are going on a national tour. The photographs of Charles "Teenie" Harris will be on exhibit in Birmingham, Ala., in 2012 and in Atlanta in 2013. Mr. Harris' work was best known for capturing everyday life in the Hill District. Now, everybody will get to enjoy this late photo master's work.

Best wishes: To Gov. Tom Corbett. He appears to have come through back surgery at Allegheny General Hospital with flying colors. Here's to a speedy recovery at his Shaler home. And to those he visits, it might be a nice touch just to keep a chair handy as the governor returns to full speed over the next several weeks.

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