Monthly Archives: June 2014

Summertime Mood Light: Party evolution, Budget consensus, and Fuel for the Fire

What have we learned after state Democratic party “infighting”?

The blowing-off of steam and debris subsequent to the nomination of Tom Wolf was as brief as it was beneficial. Let us review what we have learned from this jostling for a spiky chair:

Back when the competition was on, the Comet asked the reigning tyrant, State Party Chair and past Allegheny County Party Chair Jim Burn Continue reading



Buses are Bridges gooses along the IZ discussion.

Sue Kerr of PghLesCor continues to make things happen.

Even Nullspace is like, “Come at me, Sciortino Varischetti et al”

PittPunk says well what comes naturally to everyone, even though we know it’s wrong.

The Allegheny Institute agrees with Geeting at Keystone Politics. (Best.) That ought to tell you some things.

Aaaand the rest of the cards are ours…

h/t Office of the City Controller

Alleged Riot at Pride sparks perceptions of Excessive Force

The news, as it began circulating this morning.

The news, as it has developed. (and more)

The Office of Municipal Investigations has been directed to investigate the incident. The officer involved is being reassigned off the streets at least temporarily. The Mayor intends about a one-month time frame for getting to the bottom of it. (MORE)

The next CPRB meeting is Tuesday the 24th.

Seems too early to determine the order of events in this donnybrook, but there had to have been security cameras and eyewitnesses aplenty.

Loading: Aerosmith edition

Open thread! Celebrate whatever this is. Here’s to the future. Happy Flag Day. Revel in some sporting political exercise. Keep mulling the big questions. Look forward to splendid, strategic efficiencies along with everything else. Don’t believe everything you read. Go go, Elwin Green. Take pride. Look alive.

Tuesday: Courageous, Public-Spirited Blogging

City Hall continues to rummage through couch cushions, hoping to find a $60 million bill buried somewhere.

And unless Doug Shields figures out a way to move dead peasant insurance, they’re probably not going to find it.

Councilman Dan Gilman described the Act 47 team’s recommendations as a “menu of options” rather than imperatives.

“They are far from certainties,” he said. “The last place I would ever look for revenue is from the hardworking taxpayers of Pittsburgh.” (P-G, Robert Zullo, 6/03)

A stately appropriate sentiment, from the Councilor representing the district with the highest property values. But it overlooks Continue reading

Election Day Protests spark Reflection

Election Day! It feels so much like a holiday, it should probably be one.

Obviously we treat it like one anyway.

This spring, I crossed two rivers to PFT headquarters on the South Side, to lend a hand to one Democratic State Representative pitted against another. The Legislative redistricting racket did a number the ‘Burgh in that one. If the system we use now is based on partisanship and seniority, structurally assisting establishment legislators, does it not therefore structurally disadvantage politically forward-leaning ones, which are more frequently the young bloods? Getting elected is not enough, there is nowadays a second threshold of paying dues to caucus leadership.

I phoned likely voters for an hour (“We’re just reminding you that it’s Election Day! Have you made it down to vote yet?”) and spent another hour kibitzing about the land bank over cold coffee before wheedling an outdoor assignment. The weather was sunny, and it is easier on the conscience to distribute palm cards at voting places than to ring peoples’ telephones. As luck would have it, a volunteer in Carrick required relief.

Carrick. The Scranton of Pittsburgh. A ‘Hood of Coal and Glass. Yestercentury’s upper middle-class splendor settled into today’s affable “affordability”.

The trouble started Continue reading

Act 47, Act 3 FAQ: The City’s Financial Salvation

Act I of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s “Financial Distress” adventure was a tale of rough-hewn, hard-won partial triumphs of conscience stemming from foresight, courage and cooperation amongst local leadership.

Act II began a tale of heads-down persistence and stagnant complacency. The pensions can was kicked down the road. Folks stewed over resentments:
the unanticipated nature of dual oversight, the closure of the asphalt plant, patterns suggesting ill-faith often later termed “poor communication”. Eventually a pensions stress-test threatened us with forfeiture of our own control and drove us toward trailblazing privatization, before Council withstood it otherwise by cashing out a City debt reserve and making an expensive handshake with concerned state stakeholders, recognizing the need for more.

Now in Act III spanning 2014-2019, Continue reading