I wrote a profile of Dan Onorato in 2003, during his first run for county exec, that noted he was a pretty conservative guy for a Democrat -- he favored Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court and moves to prohibit burning the American flag, both of which were rejected. It also said he was anti-abortion. There was some other stuff in there about him accusing then-councilman Jim Ferlo of being a "race-baiter" back in 1996.
On Monday Sue Kerr of Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents picked up another (un-bylined) thing I wrote back in 1999 on the city's extenstion of health-care benefits to same-sex partners of nonunion employees. (City unions had bargained for the right in contracts, and back then Pitt was in the middle of a very public multiyear court battle on the same issue.)
Then city councilman Dan Onorato was one of two votes against the successful measure (current county judge Alan Hertzberg was the other). Why does it matter now? Here's Sue:
He voted against domestic partner benefits in 1999 as a City Councilman and then spent six years not taking action on them as the County Chief Executive. When he runs for Governor, as I reported earlier, he forms a commission the week before both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia's Stonewall clubs hold their endorsement votes.
That's a pretty brazen maneuver. I was trying to be open-minded and pleased for County employees until I realized that I was played or just lazy.
Maria from 2 Political Junkies notes that Pittsburgh's Stonewall club has its endorsement vote Sunday on the North Side. Kerr, a Joe Hoeffel supporter, has written about Onorato and these issues before.
Onorato's March 16 questionnaire for Philly's Liberty City club is here.