Home » Elections » 2009 Primary Election, Politics, Volunteer Opportunities » Race for City Council District 4 Takes a Nasty Turn

Race for City Council District 4 Takes a Nasty Turn

When campaigns begin to sputter and hemorage support close to Election Day, this is the time when they often begin to engage in disgusting and illegal tactics.

Exhibit A:  At least one elderly woman was reportedly harassed at her door for telling a Coghill-canvasser that she was suppoorting Natalia Rudiak in the District 4 City Council race.  After telling the canvasser repeatedly that she would be supporting Natalia, the woman had to then ask the canvasser multiple times to leave her alone.

 No–she wouldn’t take her sign down, no–there was nothing that the person could do to make her vote for Coghill, no–she didn’t care who else was supporting Anthony and “needed” her to vote for him, and “how many times do I have to ask you to leave?”

Also–suspiciously–nearly all Rudiak for Council signs disappeared from one section of Beechview the same night that the Coghill signs appeared.

According to the Trib piece about the hundreds of signs in Coghill’s own yard, he is in violation of city zoning laws.

It’s unclear exactly how much support a campaign should expect to be able to pick up in a district through intimidation and theft, but you may remember that we have a history of seeing desperate, illegal campaign tactics punished at the polls on Election Day.

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  • PGH autonomy

    You sound like NBC. (blind to the truth) There have been many stories of home owners forced into putting out Natalia Rudiak’s signs. Many don’t even know who she is or what she stands for. Also many of her signs are on properties where no one lives. Not much truth in advertisement there. Maybe someone on her campaign works for the housing authority or is a real estate agent. The race has been nasty since the beginning but Coghill isn’t the problem. It’s too bad that this Beechview lady feels that way, if it’s true, but there is a very long list of people who have felt pressured by Rudiak’s small but forceful support group. Especially an older guy, tall, gray hair, belly and a real nasty attitude, he is the one complained about the most. Maybe the people who didn’t know who Rudiak is replaced their signs with someone they felt they could trust? That would explain the “suspiciously–nearly all Rudiak for Council signs disappeared from one section of Beechview the same night that the Coghill signs appeared.”comment.

    Are you on her campaign too? You sound like it.

  • emma

    Bwahaha! Rudiak’s army roaming the streets, pressuring people to put up yard signs? What a joke! I’d like to see one actual complaint about this rather than some anonymous blog-commenter who just takes the Coghill campaign tactics (signs on vacant property, hello?) and attributes them to his opponent.

  • PGH autonomy

    Emma it is apparent that you support Rudiak. Fine. In that, I could care less. What I like is the truth. I spoke with 4 people personally who said they were pressured into putting a Rudiak sign in their yard by some tall, gray haired guy with a nasty attitude. They honestly felt intimidated. They felt if they said no, he might hurt them. The original article was posted by someone called Political Spy. Sounds evil to me. But you did not question that this persons is an “anonymous blog-commenter”.

    I chose Autonomy because of the meaning of the word.
    Au• ton•o•my
    1. Political independence and self-government.
    2. Personal independence and the capacity to make moral decisions and act on them.
    From what I am hearing in the neighborhoods, I should protect my identity. It sounds like the Rudiak groupies are a nasty sort.
    And Emma, you have consistently bashed and attacked anyone on this site who doesn’t support your personal views. That does not sound very “Progress ive” to me.

    I want to learn about the candidates. In that, I have asked people in Beechview, Brookline, Bonair and Carrick what their opinions are about them.

    I hear positive things about Coghill from most all leaders in these communities and in the city. As well as from civil service workers and also people on the street. Many people like him. Most Dem leaders support him 100% in private, but can’t in public, because of some ACDC thing. (not familiar)
    Reilly has few followers, don’t know? Not much chatter about him except about a bad endorsement and being dropped like a hot potato by some heavy players. No one’s really talking about him.
    Rudiak on the other hand is very popular. There are some who are following her like Obama, (blindly) Scary!
    And the other half actually hate her, also scary. There is no middle ground. She has divided Carrick from what I have heard and that’s where she is from (according to her web site). Sounds like she has a lot of problems, and bringing people together is not her forte.

    My judgment is still out, but I could not in ernest let the post by Political Spy go unchallenged. It was mean and aggressive and out right unkind to the voters in district 4.

    You accuse me of making up stories. I have 4 examples, described to me personally, of aggressive pressuring and intimidation by the Rudiak campaign, the other post claims “Exhibit A: At least one elderly woman was reportedly harassed at her door”. This is not personal or real, it’s alleged.

    A pictures are worth a thousand words and if I really cared I would take some pictures of the Rudiak signs on the unoccupied home lawns. But quite frankly I care more about
    “2. Personal independence and the capacity to make moral decisions and act on them. ”
    Then wasting my energy on that.
    My post was a moral decision. There is more than one side to every story, and during elections people become heated and irrational in their efforts to be heard and believed. None of these candidates have knocked on my door, but in my personal search for truth:

    I hear Coghill seems to be an honest, hardworking man, championing for the communities at large.

    I hear Rudiak and Reilly are only self-serving.
    That could be a problem, in my humble opinion.
    Emma you have to do what you have to do, but your opinion is just that, an opinion, just as mine is.
    I am only going by what I have heard from others, and in a “majority rules” sort of way.

    Another thing I have noticed is that at all the web sites I have been to, to find out more about these candidates, each time a person opines a negative toward Natalia Rudiak they are instantly and violently attacked by other bloggers who are enamored with her. So perhaps the message is clear, that anyone level headed enough to make a rational choice and good decision, just wont post comments for the sake of self preservation.
    But I think all sides should always have a voice and the chance to be heard.
    Whoever you choose, Vote with your heart and your gut.
    Our governments are in chaos and we need leaders who are in it for “We the People”
    not “Me the candidate”.

  • Beechview Bob

    You hypocrites…what about the many yard signs that appear in Natalia Rudiaks front yard of her home on Brownsville Road?

    It’s funny how you Rudiak supporters now are resorting to making stuff up like sign stealing. Does it really look like Coghill needs to worry about a few Rudiak signs in Beechview? Rudiak will get how many votes in Beechview? 8? 15? You progressive folks are in for a serious eye opener on the 19th when Coghill wins this thing.

    Nice to see the illegally placed Rudiak signs removed from Broadway Avenue in the past few days.

  • Gloria

    I am a volunteer for Susan Banahasky’s campaign. We got permission from every home/business owner before putting up one of her Susan’s signs on their property.

    Yesterday we began noticing several of her signs missing from throughout the district, (Polish Hill & Lawrenceville). In my opinion this is thuggery, pure & simple. One of our volunteers found several of Susan’s signs in trashcans (he pulled them out & put them back up).

    We know how hard grassroots candidates work to raise every single dime, reach every single voter. The theft/vandalism of yard signs speaks volumes about the candidate’s opponents and their followers.

  • Don Bell

    I would like to comment, after reading the article in today’s Post Gazette. The PG has endorsed Rudiak but the part I found interesting is the claim that Anthony Coghill is active in the Beechview Merchants Association. Mr. Coghill has not attended a meeting of the the BMA for at least 2 years and was voted off of the board last year for failure to attend meeting, a violation of our bylaws. I’m not here to endorse anyone but I would like to go on record as wanting to set the record straight.
    Don Bell, president
    Beechview Merchants Association

  • “J”

    It’s about time we hear some people speaking out about the nasty tactics the Rudiak people use! She gets many endorsements because she will sell her sole to get you to give her what she wants. She could care less about anyone of you!!!!! It’s all about Natalia and her “Plan” She doesn’t really care about anyone but herself. It’s the worse kind of politics ever. So instead of caring for the people IN the communities she devotes her time getting endorsments. She shows up for what 5 / 10 minutes spouts and leaves. That is not what I want on city council. Minimal effort that should be her motto. I want a leader who cares about US! If it sounds too good to be true it is. Lots of air no substance.

    And as for Susan’s signs that’s wrong because you got permission. Rudiak is not that honest, big difference.

    Rudiak = “Wolf in sheep’s clothing”

  • anom

    PGH autonomy

    You have Rudiaks MO. She has her own area divided because that community involvment that the PG speaks of only started a year ago. The big rap is that she starts lots of things but never finishes them and others then neet to. She was running against Motznik on behalf of “the east end progressives” to shore up their council vote. The gray haired guy is her father

  • ronald

    I’ve been following this thread with interest, because I live in Carrick off of Brownsville Road–not far from Rudiak. I haven’t been following the race too closely until recently. When I read “Beechview Bob’s” accusation that Rudiak has lots of yard signs in her yard, I thought that I would drive by to check out who was lying. She has 1 sign in her yard.

  • anom

    ronald on May 7, 2009 @ 12:48 am

    Her house is on Brownsville, she has 2 of her signs and 1 ravenstahl, she also got the house next door to do the same and also add a judge candidate, i forget which one.

  • Beechview Bob

    Nice to see good ol Don Bell getting in on the action. More sour grapes here because Mr. Bell thought he was going to be the Beechview guy in the race…awww poor Mr. Bell.

  • Beechview Bob

    Those judicial signs are of Marmo.

    But she is in violation of the same “zoning code” that the author of this post claims that Coghill is in violation of.

    This blog is clearly run by people who go in and out of the Rudiak campaign office…I just wish they would admit it.

    Rudiak is in for a rude awakening on the 19th when the election results come in from the 19th WARD. Everyone is going to be looking around at each other asking “what happened?”

    What happened is that Rudiak can’t relate to voters in the 19th WARD. Everyone knows that this race is Coghills to lose. Anyone who thinks Rudiak has a chance might as well check themselves into the looney farm. I can’t wait for Rudiak to just fade away liek her campaign has been over the past month.

  • Beechview Bob

    what’s funny is that Rudiak has a Ravenstahl sign in her yard and Ravenstahl is working against her…how nuts!

  • ronald

    Bob, I think that you’re looking at the wrong house. I drove by Rudiak’s house today. She’s got one sign.

    Furthermore, even if she did have 3 signs, isn’t there a difference between 3 and 300?

    Lastly, you are really embarrassing yourself here. I’d suggest that you take a moment to breath and re-read your comments before you press that submit button.

  • emma

    Whoa, PGH Autonomy/Beechview Bob! That Coghill man-crush you’ve got going there sounds pretty familiar!

    I can’t blame you for being angry, though. I’d be pretty mad if my favorite candidate just lost the post-gazette endorsement too.

  • Beechview Bob

    No difference between 3 and 300 at all according to the law that the pro-Rudiak author referred to. Breaking the law is breaking the law no matter at what level.

    The idiot who authored this post should have found out if Rudiak was in the same violation.

    Who cares about how many yard signs someone has anyway? There are so many houses with multiple yard sings in it. I just found it absurd that someone actually thought to make a whole blog entry about it when Rudiak has violated the same law herself.

    Hey I’d be angry and wanting to write negative things too when I found out my favorite candidate didn’t have the support of Mayor Ravenstahl.

    I would also be mad if my favorite candidate didn’t get fun free front page press about a campaign HQ.

    Who cares about the PG endorsement anyway? Are they the end all endorsement? No way. Just like no one cares about some food workers endorsement or the Young Democrats. WHO CARES?

    WWhere are Rudiaks signs in thr 19th WARD anyway? Does she not know that you have to actually get votes there to win this seat?

  • Beechview Bob

    By the way…Coghill didn’t lose the PG endorsement. There wasnt one person who knows anything about politics that thought Rudiak didn’t get it. If anything it’s a win for Coghill since Reilly didn’t get it.

    Face the facts Jack…your candidate is 3rd place here.

  • “J”

    Emma you think the voters care who endorses her? They don’t know who she is, and the ones that do don’t like her. Except PUB.
    Who the heck is this Rudiak. Her site says she’s from here, but again, no one knows who she is, and the ones that do don’t like her. And it sounds like PGH autonomy has reports of pressure and intimidation from her staff. That’s not someone people are going to follow. I thing PGH Autonomy said it best, although wordy, Natalia blogger fans just attack. Maybe it’s what they teach at the headquarters.

  • Jay Prudence

    Pgh Autonomy, I think this is my favorite part of your first comment:

    “You accuse me of making up stories. I have 4 examples, described to me personally, of aggressive pressuring and intimidation by the Rudiak campaign, the other post claims “Exhibit A: At least one elderly woman was reportedly harassed at her door”. This is not personal or real, it’s alleged.”

    Which sounds to me like: “Your hearsay is just hearsay, but my hearsay is true.” From where you’re sitting, perhaps this makes sense, but then you’re not writing for yourself, are you? Based on my own experience of the campaigns, the candidates, and the other people in question, Political Spy’s account sounds far more plausible to me than your four unnamed sources.

    On a related note, I’m pretty sure comparing a candidate to the most popular candidate in at least a generation, at the time of his election and presently (check the numbers, unless objective evaluations don’t interest you), is not a terribly effective way to scare people off a candidate.

    And yes, I wholeheartedly support Rudiak’s candidacy. But then I’ve got a political crush on candidates who aren’t beholden to the machine. Opinions may vary.

  • thomas

    I am so glad that Coghill’s campaign minions are spending so much time on the P2PAC message boards rather than going out in the neighborhoods and talking to voters.

    Also, since when is it OK for a political campaign to attack a non-partisan community leader? Coghill’s campaign manager went ballistic on the Pretty Up Beechview blog when they endorsed Rudiak, and it looks like some of their campaign shills are doing the same thing here in the light of Don Bell’s comments about Coghill’s lack of involvement in the Beechview Merchants Association.

    If its true that “Coghill is Beechview,” why does he have such a hard time getting endorsements from Beechview community leaders and why is his campaign so hostile to criticism from people in his own backyard?

    As far as these comments about Rudiak, she was just elected VP of the Carrick Community Council after working hard on their board for the last several years (way more than one year). If she really was that much of a disruption, would they have voted her into a higher office?

    I am sure that I’m going to get flamed by a Coghill staffer for posting this, but I think they are legitimate questions that deserve an answer.

    • PGH autonomy

      Fyi you are no longer “non partisan” when you publicly endorse one specific Democratic candidate, therefore accept the fact that many people will not respect your foolish choice. The Carrick community did not want her as VP only one person did, and she was run uncontested. Even the president of the Carrick Community Council does not support her. Get your facts straight.

  • anom

    As far as Rudiak, she got the vp on CCC because no one else ran for it, as for “working hard” several years, it can’t be more than 2 which i guess is way more than 1

  • T. J.

    Natalia Rudiak can make a good first impression. She fooled me once, too! We used to be friends. I learned the hard way not to trust her. Natalia is for Natalia first, last, and always. Anyone who believes differently doesn’t know her well enough.

    • PGH autonomy

      Excellent! Great point!

  • PGH autonomy

    From what I can tell this blog is more about all the people who can’t stand Rudiak, then anything else. A tiny but vocal group like her. And they are nasty just like her politics. That’s how this passionate thread got started. Political spy, Obviously a Natalia Rudiak “minion” Bashed Coghill, because that’s just what they do. A few Coghill supporters came out to his defense, that was thoughtful, setting the record straight. But this has been a long chain on how we can’t stand Rudiak. Powerful. If you could just hear what’s being said, instead of being misled.

    • jlk

      If by “a few Coghill supporters”, you mean the one Coghill supporter who posted under several names, and doesn’t even live in the district, then you are correct.

  • thomas

    I thought it was funny that all of these nasty posts about Rudiak came in a bunch around 3-4 AM. I suppose its possible that Coghill has a committed group of nocturnal bloggers working for him…but I think its more likely that he has one who has no life.

  • Beechview Bob

    Whats the bigger joke here? The Rudiak camoaign or this blog?

    Anyone who knows anything about 19th ward politics and whats going on can see that this race is Coghills to lose at this point…he is too well liked in the 19th ward and that is what will propel him to victory.

    Rudiak will be a sad 3rd place in this…she is a fish out of water in this district.

    her door presence sucks as well as her dad who is pushing people around to get yard signs in places.

  • Beechview Bob

    Why does Rudiak have a sign for the Mayor when he is working against her? does that make sense?

    why does a “progressive” like rudiak support ravenstahl and not dowd? she knows it hurts her if a dowd sign is in her yard.

    • ronald

      She has one sign in her yard. Rudiak for Council. You either don’t know what you are talking about or you are lying.

  • Jay Prudence

    Maybe if you say it enough times it’ll come true, eh Pgh Autonomy? For others, however, it’s no more true on the fifth iteration than it is on the first. If you’ve got more than bald accusations, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s all ears. But until then you’re just mouthing off for mouthing off’s sake, sounding like a partisan with an axe to grind rather than an intellectually “autonomous” observer.

  • anom

    She had more signs in her yard until the calls from the Tavenstahl camp started for Coghill

    • brownsville rd

      Not sure what Tavenstahl camp is, but you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

      Making up stories about what signs Natalia had or didn’t have in her yard is about the lamest thing that I’ve seen in this campaign so far.

  • PGH autonomy

    Dear Jay, You have made your point clear.
    “And yes, I wholeheartedly support Rudiak’s candidacy… Opinions may vary.”

    It is also clear the progresspittsburgh site is driven by Rudiak supporters. Perhaps it’s because she is the candidate using the most technology. But will that make a difference May 19th.

    This blog was started by one such fan with a “nasty” “accusation” and no facts… What do you expect the responses to be? The tone was set from the beginning.

    • Jay Prudence

      So as long as you’re having a conversation with someone who disagrees with you, you no longer have any obligation to plead your case with something resembling rigor and coherence? Seeing as you apparently are hellbent on convincing people of something to which I do not subscribe, I hope this continues to be your strategy for persuasion. No, seriously — very convincing.

  • anom

    Ravenstahl camp. The t is next to the r, my error. She did at one time have a Ravenstahl sign in her yard.

  • thomas

    Anom, that is creepy as hell. How many hours do you spend hanging around outside of her house?

  • anom

    I use brownsville road on a daily basis, nothing “creepy”

  • Oh Come On

    So, there is an ordinance limiting campaign signs to 1 per yard? When was that ordinance ever enforced against anyone?

    Answer: NEVER.

    Why? Because to do so would be unconstitutional. You can’t limit someone’s political speech in their own yard, unless they put a sign somewhere that blocks the view from an intersection or something.

    This argument is about nothing.

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