Monthly Archives: May 2007

Ravenstahl Wins

With several precincts reporting, acting mayor Luke Ravenstahl is the projected winner in his own right of the race for Mayor of Pittsburgh.

CORRECTION 10/06: This was clearly false. Ravenstahl merely won the Democratic nomination for Mayor of Pittsburgh on this date.

Moving Koch Forward

The gang at Early Returns says they’re going to be liveblogging tonight. Perhaps we’ll run in to them. Here’s a taste:

Speaking of the Redd Up Crew, their manager, Kevin Quigley, was seen around 4 p.m. hurrying away from Quentin Roosevelt Elementary School in Carrick, wearing a Koch T-shirt and entering a pick-up truck with Koch signs in the rear window. He wouldn’t talk with Early Returns.

Mr. Quigley’s presence is a sure sign that Mayor Luke Ravenstahl views Mr. Koch’s race as a key contest, since the Redder-Up-in-Chief is the mayor’s close confidant.

The Comet telephoned and e-mailed the mayor’s office yesterday, to see if he they had any response to the “desperate call for election protection” in District 3 due to reports of vandalism, harassment, and other shenanigans. They failed to return our inquiries as of press time.

We’ve always wanted to write that.

Spin, Spin, Spin, The Holidays Begin

This from a high-level Kraus staffer:

Turnout is higher than expected in the flats, which is Bruce (Kraus’s) base … in Arlington, where Jeff (Koch) lives, turnout is very low …

The reason there was so much excitement in Carrick is that turnout was very high … the first time we saw the results of Bruce’s door-knocking in Carrick, we had to throw the numbers out, because they just looked too good … but then we followed up with phone calls and it turned out he was right.

This from Camp Burgess:

Turnout is much better than I thought, and almost what I’d hoped for in the 13th … and in the 12th, they had 800 votes as of two hours ago, which is just a little less than I’d slated for them all day.

The Dowd camp is crunching some major numbers, and we should be hearing from them shortly. Any staffer from any warring faction is more than welcome to tip me at the above address. Call those laggards!

How’s it Going?

Early reports of electioneering drama seem to have subsided.

Batting off of the bench, the P-G’s Jim McKinnon reports:

At least two court orders have been issued to keep poll watchers and campaigners in line.

“We haven’t had a lot problems. We’ve gotten some calls, but mostly minor stuff,” said John Bacharach, a Sheriff’s Department solicitor working election day court.

An elected constable “electioneering” in Dormont, and a poll watcher allegedly intimidating workers in Lawrenceville were reported.

There were also reports of “fighting,” and “arguing,” inside and outside the polling place at the fire hall at the corner of Hamilton and Braddock avenues in Homewood.

Two sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the scene to keep the peace.

If you’re out and about, the big news of the day is that Jerry Falwell died. (AP-Trib)

Ladies and Gentlemen … Start Your Engines!!

Vaya Con Dios, El Almirante

Farewell address: HERE

Welcome aboard the Burr Reporr: HERE

The Comet’s landmark linkage to a notable set of posts on the People’s Republic: HERE

We at the Comet fancied ourselves an eccentric diarist screaming down a well, until the Admiral opened our eyes wider and set the bar higher.

The Admiral just keyed in a thunderous endorsement of the Mark DeSantis write-in campaign over at teh Burr Reporr.

More coverage of the “serious run” by Mark DeSantis from the P-G’s Rich Lord, which just got a little more serious.

Predictions and Ruminations

District 3 — The whole Redd Up / brick throwing imbroglio may not sway the undecideds, but it has certainly whipped up the Kraus base; not a bad thing in the home stretch. It may also have caused some grumbling within the Koch camp, and isolated him from some natural allies. Considering Koch’s thin margin over Kraus in a multi-candidate field last time around, you’d have to say Ad – Kraus.

District 7 — Ironically, the neighborhood really did change under Bodack’s stewardship. Dowd has made significant inroads into Lawrenceville, which is Bodack’s home base. Dowd has been door knocking like a fiend. There’s a reason “pretty boys” are so widely resented — they tend to get the girls. Ad – Dowd.

District 9 — The CW once held that the many challengers would split the anti-incumbent vote, leading Carlisle to sail to victory with maybe a third of the vote. Since then, evidence suggests that Carlisle and her challengers have joined in common cause against Burgess — perhaps enough to shift that favorable dynamic, considering the Burgess camp has managed to maintain its positivity and focus. Ad – Burgess.

Controller — Squirrel Hill is looking awful black and gold, and not with Steelers paraphernalia. Pokora still enjoys significant support, as does Dawida. But Lamb has the money edge, and the party endorsement, so we see no reason not to say Ad – Lamb.

Sheriff — We guess Mullen?

These dynamics can all be countervailed by the vagaries of Election Day, and conditions on the ground. The weather should be party cloudy and warmer, with no precipitation — expect very high turnout. Look alive.

D-9 Voter Guide

Comet report of 4/12 Candidates Forum

Comet interview with Ricky Burgess

Comet interview with Leah Kirkland

Twanda Carlisle did not return our request for an interview. The Comet would like to apologize to all of the other candidates, to whom we did not reach out.

New YouTubage: The Park Place Blog has posted extensive video from a more recent candidates forum, featuring Judith K. Ginyard, Leah Kirkland, Ricky Burgess, and ACDC committeeman Furman Johnson speaking on behalf of Twanda Carlisle.

MSM Coverage:

Courier, Morrow 3/29: ACDC-endorsed Rachel Cooper removed from ballot

Courier, Todd 4/05: The ACDC endorses Ricky Burgess

P-G, Lord and Trib, Kerlik & Boren 4/11: Twanda Carlisle arraigned on charges of theft and conspiracy

Trib, Boren 4/19: Ricky Burgess responds to anonymous e-mails

P-G OpEd 5/01: Post-Gazette endorsement of Ricky Burgess

P-G Lord 5/08: Wide-ranging coverage of D9 contest

Trib OpEd 5/09: Tribune-Review endorsement of Randall Taylor

The Week in Comments

the allegheny democrat was a bad idea. that’s why it was taken down. no more responses.. no more bad blood.
Amber, on The Comet, on her short-lived turn at blogging.

Keep Wolfe & Amber out of city hall!
la la, on The Burgh Report, reacting to the breaking Redd Up story

Krause, Ricciardi, & Jason Phillips…the three stooges of South Side politcs…buy one get all three….

Krauskrapsout, on The Burgh Report, also responding to the Redd Up controversy

With regard to the comment about a candidate getting “his ass kicked” let me just say I don’t think that is appropriate. First and foremost, it should be a reasonable debate about issues. Despite some tactics applied against me, and despite my opponent’s unwillingness to meet in public and discuss issues, I do not and will not see this as a fight. It is an election. There is a huge difference.
Patrick Dowd, on The Burgh Report, responding to a comment by “vote them out”

My first instinct was to describe it as anti-democratic, but I’m not sure that’s quite fair. Rather, the editorial seemed to embrace the kind of paternalism that in my opinion is one of the worst qualities of our politics here.

Jonathan Potts, on 2PJS, on the P-G’s endorsement of Dan Onorato.

In some ways, the situation is a little like Iraq.

Ed Heath, on The Comet, on the surge of violence in Homewood.

OK, so I work for King Kong and I’m WAY confused here. For months we’ve been hearing about how budgets are tight, there’s no money to spend, we’re not on target to make projections, positions need to be cut, blah, blah, blah. I swear on my Big Ben bobblehead, I even heard someone very high up say, and I quote, “We’re not making enough money right now to work on that type of initiative.” Really? $450 million isn’t enough? Good grief. I’m asking for a raise pronto.
Huh?, from The Burgh Blog, on UPMC record-breaking profits

I care very much about how I treat the people I interview, and I assure you I’m not thoughtless–or worse–, as your post would suggest.

Bob Mayo, on The Burgh Blog, responding to PittGirl (full response at The Busman’s Holiday)

Dude, Get over yourself already.
You call a wardrobe policy violation “corruption”, and refer to it as “disgusting” on other sites?
Patrick, on The Comet, responding to our opinion of the Koch campaign.

Both of you make great points.
Matt H, on The Comet, regarding Patrick and ourselves.

That Was Fast

The Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board met for just under half an hour today. Acting city solicitor George Specter was on hand to assist this first meeting of all five members.

(UPDATE: See also the Trib’s Mike Wereschagin: “They came. They met. They set another meeting date.”)

The first order of business was electing a chairperson. Sister Patrice Hughes was nominated, and quickly won unanimous approval. She quipped that her unopposed election was “in the tradition of Mayor Ravenstahl and Onorato,” ha-ha-ha.

Kathleen Buechel was elected vice-chair.

The board discussed whether or not they should employ a stenographer, which led to some inquiries to Specter about the board’s budget, including a broader budget for the investigatory requirement in the handbook. His careful answers seemed to satisfy them.

The board then decided to meet on the second Friday of each month, so the next meeting is planned for Friday June 8th.

Chairwoman Hughes brought up the issue of the city Redd Up crew, acknowledging her awareness through media reports that the mayor intended for the Board to address this during the present meeting. Hughes asked if anyone knew of the mayor’s office providing some direction, outside of what was heard through the media. Nobody answered.

A board member said that they were under the impression that Specter would take the lead on that issue today. Specter indicated that was not the case.

Moving forward, the board talked more about process: how to launch investigations on their own initiative, and how to select independent parties to handle them. They were curious to discover the “best practices” of other government ethics boards. Someone suggested that an “ethics cheat-sheet” be put together, which is an oxymoron, ha-ha-ha.

The meeting adjourned, and Rich Lord ambled over to Specter and the rest of the gang for comments.