Friday, September 29, 2006

A Good Evening with the Washington County Association of Township Officials

Paul, Andy, and I were honored to be part of the Washington County Association of Township Officials Dinner last evening at the Holiday Inn in Meadowlands. Andy and I ate dinner with the township employees from Jefferson while Paul discussed issues with some members of the Chartiers Township delegation. The dinner was an excellent opportunity to spend a few hours with many dynamic leaders from Washington County who dedicate themselves to public service. Councilman Snatchko also attended the breakout session for elected leaders following dinner. It was a great start to a weekend full of campaigning.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Honoring Sam

Saturday evening, we were pleased to attend the annual awards dinner of the United Labor Committee of Washington County held at the Houston American Legion. This year's honoree was Sam Amorose of Canonsburg.

I've known Sam since my days as a staff writer at the Observer-Reporter in the late 1990s when Canonsburg was part of my beat. In addition to writing a front-page profile of Sam, I covered his advocacy work on behalf of the last residents of Western Center, and his organizing for one-time U.S. Senate candidate Tom Foley.

Sam was honored Saturday for 70 years of activism (beginning at age 15) , most notably for his service to the labor movement -- from the coal mines of Westmoreland County to the steel mills of Canonsburg. The dinner's organizing committee knew Sam already had more than enough plaques so they instead presented him with the imported Italian hat he's pictured in above.

An aside: Sam's granddaughter, April Starinsky, recently became a news producer at a television station in Orlando, Florida. An Avella-area native, April previously worked at the NBC television stations in Pittsburgh and Steubenville. I know April from our days in the O-R's Young Observers program when we were in high school.

Scenes from the Campaign Trail

Some recent photos taken on the campaign trail:

Yours truly with former Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker at a breakfast fundraiser held Friday morning to benefit Friends of Mike Turzai.

On Saturday, it was a pleasure to participate in McDonald's annual Emancipation Day Parade and Festival. I am pictured here prior to the parade with members of the youth group from Irons Memorial Presbyterian Church in McDonald. The young man to my right is my cousin, Jimmy Hainaut. That's the youth group's "Jonah & The Whale" float behind us.

Pictured above is Emily "Emmy" Brooks of McClain Farms Road in Chartiers Township. Emmy is doing some advertising for the campaign inside the petting zoo at the Cecil Township Fall Festival. Emmy is the granddaughter of Bonnie West, a resident of Georgetown Estates in Lawrence, a neighborhood of Cecil Township. Earlier this year, Bonnie became chairwoman of the Washington County Republican Party. THANK YOU to Bonnie and Emmy for their support!

Crime Watch

On Thursday evening of last week, I was pleased to have the opportunity to attend a public meeting held at the Burgettstown Kids Center about the possibility of Burgettstown residents forming a community crime watch program. A Pennsylvania State Police officer was the night's main speaker. He explained how participants in a community crime watch program work with the state police and local police departments to make their streets safer.

THANK YOU to Burgettstown resident Carla Rosenberger for organizing this meeting and for her future work in making this program a reality. If I am elected to the PA House on November 7, I would seek to be a supporter of local crime watch programs -- perhaps by providing some organizational leadership and by helping to secure grants if funding becomes necessary.

As a McDonald Borough Councilman, I have learned firsthand how challenging it can be for small towns to provide for public safety. In McDonald, approximately 50 percent of our annual budget (of about $600,000) is dedicated to the police department. If I am elected on November 7, I would be an advocate for state programs that help local communities improve their public safety operations and emergency services.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mark Your Calendars

THANK YOU to everyone who joined us this evening for our "Meet the Candidate" night at Shorty's Lunch in Canton Township -- we had a delicious dinner and a good turnout!

Please mark you calendars for these other upcoming campaign events:

-- The League of Women Voters of Washington County will hold its 46th District candidates forum the evening of Wednesday, October 4, in the auditorium of Burgettstown High School.

-- The 46th District Candidates Debate moderated by Jim Jefferson of WJPA Radio will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, October 12, at the Chartiers Township Building. (Craig Howell recently penned a follow-up article in the PA Focus on this debate.)

-- The Burgettstown Area Republican Committee (BARC) is hosting a "Meet the Candidates" Open House from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday, October 21, at George's Restaurant on Main Street in Burgettstown. All are invited to attend!

Meet the Candidate at Shorty's in Wolfdale

Our "Meet the Candidate" tour travels today to the Wolfdale neighborhood of Canton Township. From 7 to 9 p.m. this evening (Monday, September 25), we will be at Shorty's Lunch at 2301 Jefferson Avenue (a.k.a. Rt. 844) to meet with voters interested in learning more about our campaign for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Our event will be held in the community room at the "new" Shorty's. This location replaced the former Shorty's at the Washington Mall. I'm proud to patronize this well-known local franchise, which includes its flagship restaurant on Chestnut Street in Downtown Washington.

Shorty's famous hot dogs and fries with gravy will be on the menu! Please join us!

To RSVP, contact Snatchko Campaign Manager Tom Baker at (412) 608-8842 or

Steelers and Snatchko

Here is a good picture from our Monday Night Football Party held last week at Kramer's Tavern in Midway. Paul, Andy, and I are joined in the picture by the Likar Family of Chartiers Township, who have become a great part of our campaign family. Thanks to Kramer's for hosting our event and to the 35-plus Snatchko supporters who attended!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Words of Thanks

THANK YOU to everyone who joined us for our Monday Night Football Party at Kramer's Tavern in Midway! Even though the Steelers game didn't turn out as we would have liked, I think a good time was had by all.

A special thank-you to tavern owner Mike Kramer for his longtime support of my candidacy; and to Jason Dhans of Knuckleheads Pizza (located across Dickson Street from Kramer's) for his help in promoting the event and making the arrangements for all the food. Kudos to entrepreneurs like Mike and Jason who open vibrant small businesses in their hometowns.

A belated thank you to Ernie McCullough, Kathryn Zamboky, Lisa Maust, Eric Maust and Steve Cady for staffing our booth this past weekend at the Pennsylvania Bavarian Oktoberfest in Canonsburg! The weekend was a busy one for festivals and community events so I am extremely grateful to these volunteers for maintaining our presence at Oktoberfest as I crisscrossed the district.

The other major festival this past weekend was the 2006 Covered Bridge Festival, held at several locations throughout Washington and Greene counties. There were three sites in the 46th District: the Hanover McClurg Bridge near the Village of Florence in Hanover Township Park; the Pine Bank Bridge at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Museum of Rural Life in Jefferson Township near the Village of Avella (which is located Independence Township); and the Krepps Bridge in Mt. Pleasant Township near the Village of Cherry Valley (which is in Smith Township).

The festival at the Krepps Bridge was organized this year by the good people from the Hickory United Presbyterian Church (after some years absence). The funds raised there will be used to help pay the costs of the large new addition to the church on Route 50. Thank You to the members of the church for bringing back the festival at Krepps Bridge!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Cheering for the Black & Gold in Midway

THANK YOU very much to Dale, Marcy and Nigel Tudor for their hospitality yesterday evening at our "coffee" at Weatherbury Farm in Independence Township. Thanks, too, to all those who joined us! Weatherbury Farm's breakfast hall turned out to be the perfect place for a "Meet the Candidate" event on a rainy September evening.

Our next campaign event will be the "Snatchko for State House Monday Night Football Party" this coming Monday, September 18, at Kramer's Tavern at 219 Dickson Street in Midway. Everyone is invited to join us as we cheer on the Steelers as they play away at Jacksonville. The party starts at 8 p.m. in Kramer's side room. Pizza and hoagies to be served! Game time is 8:30 p.m.

If plan to join us to support the Black & Gold, please RSVP to Tom Baker at (412) 608-8842 or

And, mark you calendars: the following Monday evening, September 25, we'll be hosting a "Meet the Candidate" night at Shorty's Lunch on Jefferson Avenue (Rt. 844) in the Wolfdale neighborhood of Canton Township.

Working with The Chamber

This morning, I was pleased to attend a breakfast meeting of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce held at the Golf Club of Washington. Earlier this year, my campaign committee became a member of the Chamber. If elected on November 7, I would seek to be a partner with the Chamber in strengthening the county's business climate and stimulating job creation.

Today's breakfast speaker was from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. All of Western Pennsylvania falls into the Fed's 4th District, which is headquartered in Cleveland -- but they do have more than 300 people working out of an office in Pittsburgh. According to the speaker, all U.S. Savings Bonds nation-wide are now processed through the Pittsburgh office.

Cheers from Byron

Byron Smialek gave a heads up to my opponent and I in his column in yesterday's O-R. The quintessential newspaperman, Byron grew up in Cecil Township.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Good letter in the O-R today from a registered voter in the 46th

Charlotte McCreanor, a registered voter in the 46th District, wrote a brief but nice letter in the O-R today. Charlotte is a very nice woman who votes in Cross Creek Township’s 3rd Precinct.

More debates
Jesse White is totally wrong with his reasoning regarding the legislative debates with Paul Snatchko. They should be held at least three or four times because not everyone has cable television. I also suggest a live debate over the radio which makes a lot more common sense.
Charlotte McCreanor

WJPA on Debates

Listen today to WJPA Radio (95.3 FM) for some coverage on the upcoming debates in this State House race.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


John Richards has an update in today's O-R about the new housing to be built at Southpointe II in Cecil Township. From John's report:

Cecil Township supervisors still are tweaking an ordinance that would allow Horizon Properties to construct a different type of planned residential development within Southpointe II.

Supervisors granted Horizon Properties a 90-day extension on its master plan for a "traditional neighborhood design" residential development adjacent to one of the largest mixed-used business and residential parks in Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Dave Templeton has a report in today's Post-Gazette about the decision of the Robinson Township Supervisors to approve the permits for the waste-coal power plant that will be constructed near the McDonald/Midway exit of Route 22-30.

Caroline Shannon also has an article in today's Observer-Reporter about the vote.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Join Us at Weatherbury Farm - This Thursday

Everyone is invited to join us from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. this Thursday, September 14, for a "Meet the Candidate" night at Weatherbury Farm in Independence Township.

This is the latest of the "coffees" we are holding in the run up to Election Day on November 7. Coffees are informal gatherings where voters can hear from me about the campaign and ask questions. THANK YOU to Art & Peggy Martin for hosting a coffee last week at their home in Cecil Township.

Weatherbury Farm is a working beef cattle and sheep farm located at 1061 Sugar Run Road outside of Avella. It also serves as a bed-and-breakfast vacation spot. It's operated by Dale, Marcy and Nigel Tudor.

There's no cost to attend the event. The coffee will be held in the breakfast hall and patio of a barn behind the farmhouse. (It's a barn moved by the Tudors to Weatherbury Farm from its original location in Canton Township.)

Also, mark your calendars: the Snatchko for State House Monday Night Football Party will be held Monday, September 18, at Kramer's Tavern at 219 Dickson Street in Midway. The Steelers are playing at Jacksonville that night.

The following Monday evening, September 25, we'll be hosting a "Meet the Candidate" night at Shorty's Lunch on Jefferson Avenue (Rt. 844) in the Wolfdale neighborhood of Canton Township.

For more details or to RSVP for these events, please contact Tom Baker at (412) 608-8842 or

Gladly Participate

Janice Crompton has an article in the Sunday Washington section of today's Post-Gazette about the debate scheduled for October 12.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Setting A Date to Debate

Craig Howell has a front-page story in the latest edition of the PA Focus about our debate challenge. We're lucky to have a local weekly like the Focus that can devote significant attention to this historic open-seat race for the state legislature.

While we would have preferred my opponent accept my offer to participate in five debates held at locations throughout the sprawling 46th District, we are pleased he has agreed to at least one extra debate in addition to the traditional candidates forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Washington County.

In our letter to my opponent, we suggested that our two campaigns jointly seek community organizations to sponsor the forums. Instead, my opponent's campaign chose to select a date, time, location, format and moderator without prior consultation with my campaign manager.

However, we do accept these arrangements as satisfactory and I will be pleased to attend. The debate will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, October 12, at the Chartiers Township Building (located on Pike Street at Racetrack Road). Veteran newsman Jim Jefferson, pictured at right, of WJPA Radio will be the moderator. THANK YOU to Jim for taking on this role! (I've known Jim for many years -- we were often on the same beat when I was a staff writer for the Observer-Reporter.)

Stay tuned for an announcement from the League of Women Voters as to the date and location of their forum between the candidates running in the 46th District.

Master Plan

And, from the "Airport Area" at the northern end of the 46th District to the one at the southern end, the O-R's Barbara Miller also has an article in today's paper about an agreement to create a new master plan for the Washington County Airport in South Franklin Township.

Promoting Commerce

This morning, I attended the annual "Legislative Breakfast Forum" of the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce (PAACC). The speakers included elected representatives from the federal and state levels, as well as officials from Allegheny County and Washington County. Some of the topics raised included:

-- Reforms being considered by Congress that may make health insurance more affordable for small-business owners and those who are self-employed;

Marketing efforts of the PAACC, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission and the Tri-County Airport Partnership to promote the Pittsburgh region as a good place to locate major corporations and medium-sized and small businesses;

The designation of the Parkway West / Rt. 279 / Rt. 60 as Interstate 376;

Better working relationships and shared services between local municipalities; and

Ways for both non-profit agencies and for-profit businesses to work with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.

If I am elected to the State House on November 7, I would seek to be an active partner on these and other issues that would strengthen our economy. I recognize that, if elected, helping to make our region a good place for job creation must be one of my top priorities.

One of the new venues for job creation in the 46th District is the Starpointe commercial/industrial development outside of Burgettstown. If elected, I would push hard for speedy completion of the infrastructure (notably sewers) needed to make the development a permanent reality.

Barbara Miller has an article in today's O-R about the construction of a "flex building" at Starpointe.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Jaymie Stevens has an article in this week's PA Focus about a new initiative in McDonald to create a "skate park" at the western end of Heritage Park. It would be a specially-designed plaza on the existing hillside geared toward the needs of skateboard riders.

Jaymie's photo (above right; published in the PA Focus) was taken at the recent meeting held in the McDonald Council chambers where local residents, including many young people, came to give their input into the design and look of the skate park. I was pleased to have the opportunity to attend the meeting, which was sponsored by the borough's Parks & Recreation Board.

A subcommittee of the Parks & Recreation Board called the Skate McDonald Advisory Committee (SMAC) will lead the efforts to raise community involvement and grant funding for the project.

THANK YOU to Parks & Recreation Board Chairman Tom Rockwell and my fellow member of borough council, Patty Phillips, for getting this initiative off the ground!

Explaining Their Vote

Today's O-R has an article by Caroline Shannon from Tuesday evening's meeting of the Robinson Township Planning Commission where the group discussed the reasons why they voted unanimously to recommend the township supervisors deny permits for the proposed waste-coal power plant on Beach Hollow Road near the McDonald-Midway exit of Route 22-30.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Progress on the Millers Run Project

John Richards has an article in today's O-R about the Millers Run Sewerage Project in Cecil Township. Most of John's report focuses on news of the bonds to fund the project but he ends with this note on when work will begin:

Edward T. Sitarik Contracting and A. Merante Contracting are scheduled to begin on the sewer lines along Route 50 and interceptor by mid-September. Work on the pump station and treatment plant should begin by late September or early October, Bell said.


Linda Ritzer has a report in today's Observer-Reporter about my opponent's response to our debate challenge. From her article:

The Democratic candidate for the open 46th District legislative seat said he will debate his Republican opponent, but not five times.

Jesse White sent a letter Tuesday to the campaign manager of Republican Paul Snatchko, suggesting one "grand debate" in addition to a forum being organized by the League of Women Voters of Washington County. Snatchko last week challenged White to a series of five debates so that residents throughout the sprawling district could easily attend ...

Snatchko said Tuesday that he had not yet received the letter, which was faxed to a reporter, but that he thought the date would work. "I'm glad he's accepted this much," Snatchko said.

He said, however, that White's proposal for one debate and the LWV forum is "denying the ability of the people from the edges of the district to hear us talk about the issues at a location close to them."

... While political debates are often not well-attended, Snatchko said, "This year is different. This year I've actually had people ask me for this."

A new legislator will be elected for the first time in 26 years in the district after incumbent Democrat Victor Lescovitz decided to not seek re-election.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Honoring Labor

Yesterday, I was proud to participate in the annual Labor Day Parade that travels from the Hill District to the end of the Boulevard of the Allies in Downtown Pittsburgh. In addition to the celebration of labor, the parade also was a memorial to Mayor Bob O'Connor.

THANK YOU to the members of Local No. 66 of the International Union of Operating Engineers who extended me an invitation to march with them in the parade. Local No. 66 was supportive of my 2004 State House campaign and this year sent a foursome to my golf outing. I'm honored to have their consideration of my candidacy.

Growing up, I learned about unions and their important role in the workplace and our economy from my late grandfather, John Hoag, who was a union steelworker for some 37 years at the J&L (and later LTV) tin mill in Aliquippa.

When I was a senior in high school considering where to attend college, it was my grandparents, John and Dolores Hoag, who made it possible for me to make the more costly pick of New York University. If I am elected to serve the people of the 46th District on November 7, I won't forget how one man's union job helped me to achieve my goals in life.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Meet the Candidate in Cecil Township

You, your family members & friends
are cordially invited to join

State Senator John Pippy

& State Rep. Mike Turzai

at a

“Meet the Candidate” Night


Paul Snatchko

Candidate for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
46th Legislative District
Washington, Allegheny & Beaver Counties

Wednesday, September 6, 2006, 6 to 8 p.m.

at the home of

Art & Peggy Martin
179 Vista Drive, Canonsburg, PA 15317

(Vista Drive is the main street of Pristine Fields, a neighborhood in
Cecil Township off Route 980, west of Canonsburg.)

To RSVP, please contact Tom Baker at (412) 608-8842 or

Free Will Contributions Accepted. Contributions can be made on-line via PayPal by visiting the “Contribute” section of

Contributions also may be mailed to:
Paul Snatchko Campaign Committee
302 West Lincoln Ave., #4, McDonald, PA 15057

Other Upcoming Snatchko Campaign Events:

Thursday, September 14 – Meet the Candidate Night
at Weatherbury Farm, Independence Township, near Avella

Monday, September 18 – Monday Night Football Party
at Kramer’s Tavern, Midway

Monday, September 25 – Meet the Candidate Night
at Shorty’s Lunch, Route 844, Wolfdale, Canton Township

Paid for and authorized by the Paul Snatchko Campaign Committee.

As the race heats up...

Linda Guydon Taylor has an article in today's Post-Gazette about our debate challenge.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


It's not uncommon, while campaigning, to hear individuals express the opinion that all politicians are "crooks." In fact, that's sometimes the more charitable term you hear used to describe elected officials. Perhaps the bad reputation is deserved -- we do have some people in public positions who over time care more about being elected and re-elected than they do about serving their constituents.

But we also have many good people in public life.

It's been reassuring in the last few days to hear positive things said about Mayor Bob O'Connor, who Friday night died of cancer -- after less than nine months of holding the position he sought in three elections. It's reassuring to hear citizens praise a man who was certainly a "politician" -- a term I doubt Mayor O'Connor was afraid to embrace.

While some have given the word "politician" a negative connotation, there should be no shame in being active in politics and seeking elective office. This is, after all, what makes our democratic republic work -- tireless candidates in contested elections in which the issues of the day are brought forward.

It's especially good, I think, to hear people speak of Mayor O'Connor's genuinely friendly nature and his willingness to shake any hand. If this sense of optimism, kindness and camaraderie can lead anyone to be described as the "Quintessential Pittsburgher," perhaps it is the late mayor.

In the days ahead, I suspect we will hear many "the day I met Bob O'Connor" stories. Here's mine:

I had the opportunity to meet Bob O'Connor twice in the past year -- at the 2006 Mel Blount Youth Home Dinner when he was seated at the table next to ours; and in a random encounter last October in Squirrel Hill.

In October 2005, I was working on the campaign of Roger Wise for Allegheny County Judge. That particular day, I was either dropping off or picking up some promotional items at the headquarters of Bob O'Connor's GOP opponent for Pittsburgh mayor, Joe Weinroth. Returning to my car parked down the street the Weinroth HQ, I saw a casually-dressed Bob O'Connor walking down the street with some others. I greeted him and handed him one of Roger's bright yellow "Wise for Judge" jar openers (just a plastic gripper, really). He greeted me with a smile and accepted the jar opener, agreeing with the appeal of the items to voters.

"People love these," he said, wishing me good luck and continuing on his way.