"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

-Abraham Lincoln


On May 20, 2003 the residents of West View Borough and Ross Township were not fooled!



Kim Steele, the hand-picked candidate of the establishment, was defeated in both parties by Richard Opiela, an attorney, using the campaign slogan,



A campaign letter(reproduced below) was sent out to the voters and signed by the Solicitors for the communities involved, as well as the Solicitor for the school district. It did not achieve the desired results.

  • Were they diminishing the value of a legal education?
  • Were they supporting the idea of lay-persons in judicial postions?
  • Were they just following the orders of their political boss, Daniel M. Daugherty?
  • The co-chair of her campaign was Mr. Daniel Daugherty, who also is the West View Democratic Committee Chairman, West View Council President, and paid Executive Director of the West View Water Authority.
  • Fred E. Baxter and Michael J. Witherel have direct ties to Daniel Daugherty and the West View Water Authority. Fred Baxter is the Attorney. Michael Witherel's father is on the Board of Directors. QUITE COZY!
  • It is not by coincidence that 98% of the employees of the Water Authority are registered Democrats.
  • Daniel Daugherty runs the Borough council with little or no dissent.
  • His involvement is highly partisan and politically driven. (The District Justice position is intended to be non-partisan)
  • Coincidently, not one position in any part of the West View Borough government has the benefit or representation of a second political party!
  • Dan Daugherty's influence between the West View Water Authority and West View Borough is evident throughout the various committees of the West View Government. Control over the District Magistrate's office would have elevated his "iron hand" rule to a new level. TOO BAD!
  • The financial campaign reports should prove to be quite interesting!

It would seem that collectively these attorneys would appear before this magistrate much more than other attorneys---were they putting themselves in position to receive favorable decisions, or merely in a position to be able to gain the upper hand over a new district justice who was not a practising attorney?


Dear Fellow Residents:

..........As practicing attorneys in the North Hills area for many years, we are asking you to vote for Kim
Steele for District Justice in the Tuesday, May 20, 2003 primary election.
Our legal practices include
many cases before the district justices in this area, and our familiarity with Kim's background, training,
and experience leads us to conclude that she is the most qualified candidate in this election.

.......... A district justice must adjudicate civil and criminal law on a local level and also be proactive in
addressing community issues and concerns. A good district justice is one who helps members of the
community resolve their problems, whether it be young people running adrift of the law, or a neighborhood
dispute that needs to be resolved. A good district justice is an integral part of the community, and the
effort required necessitates a full-time commitment.

.......... Some individuals see the job of district justice as a side income to supplement the fulltime
income they receive from their employment or profession. The job of district justice pays $60,000 per
year plus benefits. The question gets down to whether or not you think this money should be used to fund
a full-time district justice or someone's sideline job. Kim is committed to making the job of district
justice her only employment
and she has the full blessing, encouragement, and support of her
current employer.

.......... It should be noted that the great majority of district justices are not lawyers, nor do they need to
be. In Allegheny County only 13 of 54 district justices have law degrees! Mark Devlin, the current
district justice, does not have a law degree. The Pennsylvania General Assembly allows non-lawyers
who study and pass a rigorous examination to serve as district justice if elected.

.......... Kim Steele brings a unique combination of legislative and community service to the table. As
the mother of four grown children, and a life-long resident of the community, she knows the
community and understands the need to balance firm rulings with common-sense compassion. She
will be an excellent district justice.

.......... What we need is for you to join us in voting for Kim Steele for District Justice on May 20,
2003, on either the Republican or Democratic ballot. Thank you for your consideration.


Click here to see
some financial contributors
to this
ill-fated campaign.

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"A dark cloud hovers over wEST vIEW,as long as this autocratic regime is in power"