“Dread Lord” Zober Not Improving Relations With Harrisburg

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Um … Trib, Boren & Bumstead

UPDATE: From KDKA radio’s Pintek Tonight: Doug Shields in two parts and Zober defending himself. Tuesday’s Steelers jaunt is also discussed — Pintek says KDKA was told Ravenstahl would be in “meetings all day,” and later that his press office said regarding his whereabouts, “your guess is as good as mine.”

32 thoughts on ““Dread Lord” Zober Not Improving Relations With Harrisburg

  1. Mark Rauterkus

    Go Mr. Zober. Any who took voted for the pay raise and who took the pay raise should be out of office anyway. It is one thing to work with those in Harrisburg, it is another to see that the jerks are sent packing. The Mayor should set aside a few thousand and a couple of days to toss around to aid the ones that are running against that guy in the future. If there was follow-up, I'd be impressed.

    Reply
  2. MH

    'Caltagirone fired back at Zober for telling the Tribune-Review the veteran lawmaker is “used to soaking taxpayers to pay for his idea of government. That's what he did when he voted for his own pay raise and figured out how to pay himself before he paid state workers.”'

    Who knew I could ever feel a surge of respect for Zober?

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  3. Bram Reichbaum

    It does make me wonder whether the strategy here is, “The state pension takeover and the local tax increases to pay for it are looking inevitable, so let us be seen to oppose it like hell so we don't get blamed for it when it happens.”

    Rep. Caltagirone, D-Reading, wasn't the mastermind of the pay raise or of securing legislative paychecks, nor was he in any way unique in voting those ways. My guess is 4/5 of the legislature at least falls into that same boat, so Zober was calling out *everybody* at once. I guess you could call that 'speaking truth to power' but the timing couldn't have been worse. (I'm also kind of curious whether Zober lobbied Caltagirone personally on this and other things, because that would add context. I find it hard to believe he could have pulled “arrogant snit” out of a hat like that.)

    It all conjures images of Councilman Ravenstahl being PO'd at Mayor Murphy for his incompetence in dealing with Harrisburg to the point of calling on him to resign.

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  4. MH

    “Councilman Ravenstahl being PO'd at Mayor Murphy for his incompetence in dealing with Harrisburg to the point of calling on him to resign.”

    Who didn't call on Murphy to resign. Also, it is pretty clear that whatever help the state is going to give us, it isn't the kind of help that involves money. Screw 'em. The state is now just as bad as Pittsburgh at spending money it doesn't have.

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  5. TheTruth

    The state is now just as bad as Pittsburgh at spending money it doesn't have.

    Right Anon. And now they want to get their hands on the pension funds. Their “plan” will not solve anything AND make things much worse for city residents.

    Reply
  6. Mark Rauterkus

    Perhaps 4/5th of the State Reps were to blame — and many of them have been tossed from office already. We don't need “THEIR” help anyway.

    In the long run — Pittsburgh needs to get its own house in order. Pittsburgh has to be ready to deal with its own problems without begging and celebration with the arrival of OVERLORDS.

    Self-determination. Tough love.

    BTW, lots of people didn't call for ex-Mayor Murphy to resign. Some say that things would have been different for him and the city's long-term debt if they only had better merchandise displays at Lord & Taylor.

    Reply
  7. Bram Reichbaum

    Oh, the plan sucks. No doubt on that.

    This is just an issue of tactics for how to alter the plan. Because there will need to be a state plan of some kind, what with the City's debt service payments and pension obligations ramping up and consuming our capital budget at an ever-accelerating rate until at least 2017. Let's not loose sight of that. The parking lot gambit can only buy us X amount of time.

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  8. MH

    I know we need a plan, but the last time the state legislature did anything to pensions, they upped their own benefit by 50% and most state and school teachers by 25%. All without upping any contributions. I'm highly dubious they will try anything that could actually help and fairly certain that I enjoy seeing people insult the state legislature in the newspaper.

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  9. n'at

    Double Yoi. I'd stand behind Zober if it meant the buck stops here on all of our issues. Could he say that to Onorato, too?

    I think the best thing Zober et al. can do now is to go it alone, achieve some moderate success and broadcast that success to the rest of the state.

    The easiest way to reduce the size of government is to show what can be accomplished without it.

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  10. MH

    “I think the best thing Zober et al. can do now is to go it alone, achieve some moderate success and broadcast that success to the rest of the state.”

    I'm just as dubious about that happening as I am about the state legislature becoming some fiscally responsible.

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  11. Anonymous

    go zob

    yeah right

    the consumate political idiot.

    I am sure the state legislature is cowering in fear and will now do all that is required to get to a real solution.

    yeha right.

    This zob guy (without any political skills at all) is just a first class idiot.

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    as an aide i H'burg I cann assure you that Zober's comments went over like a lead ballon. The Dem caucus met the next day and well there was a lot of “who the hell does this MF”er think he is.”

    Zober then went on KDKA radio and said he was speaking for the Mayor.

    What a team those two make. Pittsurgh- you are now toast with your own party caucus in H'Burg.

    Reply
  13. Bram Reichbaum

    Matt – Fortunately, the Tribune-Review article was painstakingly well-researched, one of my favorite parts about it:

    +++

    Bringing up the politically disastrous pay raise probably won't work, either, said City Controller Michael Lamb, another Democrat who has studied pension reform.

    “When you're dealing with (the Legislature), and you're trying to develop human relationships, throwing out issues meant to incense them in the media or in the public is not productive.”

    +++

    “Ramping up an adversarial tone in this circumstance doesn't seem like a strong strategic approach, especially when there's a history,” said Christopher Borick, political science professor at Muhlenberg College in Allentown.

    “Bad-mouthing (Caltagirone) and being hypercritical to get their attention (in Harrisburg) runs counter to trying to get a deal,” Borick said.

    +++

    “Pennsylvania lawmakers make easy targets for criticism these days, but ridiculing them could further erode the rocky relationship between the Mayor's Office and the Legislature, said G. Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College.

    It may play well with the public, but it isn't going to play well with (lawmakers),” Madonna said.

    +++

    When you're working with 203 people (in the House), you need friends,” said Rep. Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont.

    Reply
  14. PiTTsurgh

    Anon 1:16 –

    The fact that you are “an aide i H'burg” speaks volumes about the waste of taxpayer money that occurs in that town.

    Reply
  15. Anonymous

    PiTTsurgh said…
    Anon 1:16 –

    The fact that you are “an aide i H'burg” speaks volumes about the waste of taxpayer money that occurs in that town.

    August 23, 2009 5:26 PM

    ***** who is the aide?

    Reply
  16. Conservative Mountaineer

    Ed.. There's more than enough money to say “the buck stops here”… Just CUT CUT CUT PENSION BENEFITS and start down the road to alleviating the HUUUUGE underfunding issue.. 'course, that'll never happen.. too many Union and other government employees sucking off the taxpayer teat..

    Reply
  17. Anonymous

    Doesn't anyone ever tell Luke he has no clothes?

    What a bunch of buffons.

    Zober said on Pintek he was “authorized by the Mayor” to attack a senior legislator. How much more is this going to cost the tax payers Luke is “soaking?”

    Man, that idiot Mayor and the DLZ will be burned at the stake in Harrisburg. Matt H will light the match. Buy a clue Matt.

    Reply
  18. EdHeath

    CM, while that suggestion might make sense economically (maybe), it would never fly politically. I mean, obviously the City either over promised on pensions to municipal unions, or caved to them, but either way I sound point out the city made a promise, under which workers agreed to be employed by the City. They could claim they would have chosen other employment had they known their total compensation package would be lower. Meanwhile, I would bet a bunch of them have retired right here, and there are lots of other union retirees and active workers living in the City limits, who would punish their City council person and the Mayor for voting for such a thing. The Mayor may be stupid, but he is not that stupid.

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  19. Anonymous

    How much more is this going to cost the tax payers Luke is “soaking?”

    Actually Anon 1:34, you have it backwards. If the lifetime politican from Philadelphia has his way (taking over management of our pension funds) -> The residents of Pittsburgh will see a significant increase in their taxes which will create a significant burden on seniors and low income families.

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    whythefuck does Pittsburgh and Pittsburghers allow Mayor Zober to stay in power, someone, please, vote him the hell outta office

    I'd rather than have Steelerstahl running the show, chasing down Tiger Woods and getting into fights at Steelers games than read stories about Mayor Zober being a complete douchebag to the idiots on the other side of the state who control all the money and influence

    here's a stern STFU to Mayor Zober

    Reply
  21. Anonymous

    Anon 10:34. Your comment sounds very similar to state Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Reading when Zober challenged his “plan” to drastically increase taxes on city residents.

    “He's an arrogant, arrogant snit,” state Rep. Tom Caltagirone, D-Reading, said about Yarone Zober, Ravenstahl's chief of staff. “He better put some manners on his mouth. Someone needs to take him to the woodshed.”

    Caltagirone's argument in support of his pension reform bill consisted of name calling and physical threats. Hardly convincing. The career politician was unable to refute Zober's claim that he:

    “is used to soaking taxpayers to pay for his idea of government. That's what he did when he voted for his own pay raise and figured out how to pay himself before he paid state workers.”

    How will Caltagirone's plan benefit the residents of Pittsburgh? Why should it be supported?

    Reply
  22. n'at

    I don't believe Pittsburgh has enough pull at the state level to balance the agenda between us, Philly and everywhere in between.

    Philly has had a pretty good record of receiving assistance from the state, as compared to pittsburgh.

    Going it alone on pension issues, is the quickest and fairest solution for pittsburgh. Council may have voted for deep cuts at the inception of act 47, but they have yet to cut to the bone – which is what is necessary, if we're to maintain our already meager operating budget.

    Plus, if this were to happen, then this could break local politics wide open. Either by record low voter turnouts, or more R's and I's at the polls.

    Reply

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