Author Archives: Bram Reichbaum

Lamb to Lead: Wisdom, Independence, and Humility Set Him Apart

Dave Fawcett is too suburban and conservative to manage all the dynamism of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. John Weinstein is just too hollow and unwholesome. Sara Innamorato still has unlimited potential, but her significant inexperience has revealed alarming vulnerabilities in her readiness for executive responsibility.

Michael Lamb is the total package except in how he straddles rifts between the center and the left, which is rude because that suggests neither is always entirely righteous and correct, and that’s boring — he’s boring, when he’s not occasionally saving pension funds (2010) or helping take down corrupt administrations (2013, 2021.) It’d be impossible politics without an excellent reputation cultivated over 20 years calling out waste, fraud and abuse, getting results through 3 mayoral administrations with favor towards none. A “good reputation” was not enough to earn him million-dollar backing from one of the two political-labor complexes with a stranglehold on our politics and who demand utter servitude, but it’s been enough to earn the respect of both and, as it turns out, to compete with them.

Lamb acquired a far better reputation than the one Weinstein’s accumulated over the same time, which is why Weinstein’s campaign cratered. As if what’s widely reported and beheld now isn’t putting off most voters already, the civil racketeering suit against his intimate friend has illuminated her strange claims of income and support, outstanding debts owed for school tuition, and even suggestions the Treasurer attempted to influence the sale to the public of one of her properties despite specific reservations. The whole campaign was likely being kept afloat through intimidation, but it hasn’t held up as credibly backed. Those who fear a far-left Innamorato administration past the point of reason are reckoning with that stench and are arriving at a sensible alternative for them, even if they also have to hold their noses a little from Lamb’s own progressive agenda.

Lamb is a progressive. He wants campaign finance limits and wants to bar contributions from interested parties to directors of authorities with whom they work, the whole business model of politics, and none in government wield a broom harder to tend that mess. He’s offering free community college. He wants to fund the food action plan based around community gardens and groceries. He describes the status quo as “pay to pollute” and wants to raise fines and remediate at the source. He was a vocal proponent of same-sex marriage in early 2005, three years earlier than I was, and is fluent with intersectional analysis like a genuinely interested adherent. What Lamb is not is a “leftist:” he won’t promise to outright ban fracking when state law can preempt it and precedent dictates it can only be regulated in time, place and manner; and he won’t promise to start spending UPMC money to launch eighty utopian projects it easily could take ten years and at least as much money in legal fees to ever wrest from the nonprofit.

Lamb and Innamorato were both pressed to provide short answers whether they’d commit to a countywide property reassessment. Lamb said no, he couldn’t do that until longtime owner-occupants could be protected. Innamorato said yes, and she would protect longtime owner-occupants — something only the state can do. It sounded like admirable confidence until she as easily said she’d leverage her relationship with state leaders to pass comprehensive gun legislation for the whole commonwealth, making it sound more like the 4-year state rep has never been held accountable for any promises before.

Nor have all Innamorato’s ideas been reality checked:  she didn’t quite make clear she’d do away with detaining children accused of adult crimes altogether, though how she’d provide for their own and their community’s safety is unclear. And she’s promised to address serious problems at the adult jail by “reimagining” it without any more specificity. Plus she’s promising to creatively exert the powers of the county’s Heath Dept. to police disparities in outcomes at local hospitals, though attributing socially mediated disparities to end-point service providers can be questionable science (just ask the teachers offered merit pay) and though tightening the screws on UPMC is conspicuously convenient for her political backers’ clumsy attempts to extort them without regard to costs, missed opportunity, or how that might look in court.

It’s as though the prior thoughtful Sara of yesteryear has during this campaign been assimilated by a imperiously fatuous hive mind amalgam comprised also of Summer, Ed, Silas Russell and whoever from that quadrant is so excellent at parrying critique with bluster but unbothered by governing.

Most progressives see Innamorato is asking us to store infinite faith in absolute aspirations without a shred of regard for obstacles, complications, serious plans, the risks in so much quixotic crusading, or the stifling effects of too much lockstep “political alignment”. Because it makes us feel good to cheer every validating decree, and more secure in not being called out for insufficient caring. Committed “leftists” will never care about overdosing on idealism — to them “rocking the boat” by setting impossible goals and blaming scapegoats for not achieving them is both always necessary and wholly abstract in consequence; the more aggravating stalemate the better for one day discrediting and dismantling “the system” or “the status quo”. Nor should they, for if it weren’t for some leftist resistance, progress would never be viable. But to the mass of progressives touching grass, whenever infrastructure, social service delivery or pension funds are imperiled by strife, that’s mainly a bad day.

The alternative to an imperfect left-winger is often a conservative or corrupt dinosaur, but fortunately in this election nobody has to determine for all time whether the Left is actually good or bad. Lamb is not only creditably progressive, he has what it takes to make the Pittsburgh Left more effective. Populists don’t need monopoly power, they need respect, representation, partnership and the occasional check. So do “moderates” from radicals. If the polls are right, 2/3 of Allegheny County Democrats are actually “fairly” progressive. Let’s just govern that way, synthesize all our best attributes and inclinations: dreams the way we planned them, if we work in tandem. Let’s run with the most qualified candidate who’s most widely admired, and return our prodigal young firebrand to her important post a little wiser. Let’s capitalize on the miracle of a nice “boring” pubic servant who has constructively studied, critiqued, reformed and occasionally saved our City for the last 20 years, not let two big money political complexes box him out in his prime, nor intimidate or shame us from heeding our common sense. Let’s work smart as we work passionately. Democrats, let’s give ourselves the best chance to work together.


Even Lamb, who has fought for several progressive causes over the years, appears to have conceded the progressive mantle to Innamorato in the race.

“The progressive movement has chosen their champion and unfortunately that isn’t us,” said Lamb campaign manager Jindale Suh.

Trib, Ryan Deto

No, Lamb campaign, you don’t get to decide that. There are oceans of Shy You voters out here. This thing isn’t over until we say it is.

Pittsburgh, We Can’t Be Wise Asses Constantly

It feels clever to be cynical, when talking about democratic government: to suggest that fixes are in, elected leaders are dominated by special interests wielding political machines, and their priority will always be delivering those backers’ core objectives and obligations on their terms, while deflecting from their resultant unsuitability to do much else. As a cynic, one never has to feel disappointed.

Pittsburgh in particular has had to contend with historically cynical examples of coercion and indifference. Local government never disappointed US Steel after the National Guard occupied Homestead on the company’s behalf; rather US Steel and other titans infested local governments and mega-philanthropies. The steel workers were dissuaded — often violently — from organizing until the run-up to World War 2, when the company brought John Lewis of the mine workers in to direct organizing efforts toward negotiating pay but little in the way of workplace power or democracy. The civil rights movement rocked Pittsburgh but didn’t rock Mayor David Lawrence’s generations-long ironclad grip nor his opera house where the Black people used to be, other than his creating our Commission on Human Relations where concerned community leaders can officiously pursue grievances toward more hopeful ends. Lawrence’s police’s relationships with illicit betting parlor operators rocked him only slightly more, especially as a friend of the sports and gaming-magnate Rooneys, but not enough to change anything.

Cynical paths were viable ones as long as enough money was pouring in from war, steel and the New Deal. That all ended around 1979, but there’s still a healthy trickle for a few, many more carry generational memories, and there are always new vultures looking for well-groomed suckers.

We deserve more from our obscure leaders than doling out important jobs and contracts with shameless opportunism of well-timed, state-financed commercials and roadshows for dog licensure.

We deserve more from our progressive leaders than trading away meaningful votes with blind eyes and bending backwards to prop up such dated regressive coalitions, in exchange mainly for symbolic or marginal victories.

And we deserve more from our historic leaders than their foremost political backer acting as their brain, right hand and mouth all at once, ensuring a tax dispute morphs into a gridlock of conflicted civic interests that could take a decade to unravel, while most everything outside its special interests drags along.

We don’t need to keep passing on the inheritance of Pittsburgh’s desensitization to crass power politics with its negligent costs and potentials for abuse. There are other stars even voters can follow; duties, disciplines, standards, which the pit of Pittsburgh pathologically rejects either as either naive, or some sort of trap. Yes, a trap: that “good government” is merely what “meritocrats” talk about to get good ol’ boys to ease off, as though they’re just a different sort of privileged. And to be sure, the last couple times “professionalism” was given room to grow around here, PPS Superintendent Roosevelt was given license to smash too much he didn’t understand, and Mayor Peduto wound up mesmerized by the 4th Industrial Revolution. It’s a real conversation, how to manage for independence. But just because fire burned us twice, we needn’t outlaw it. To grow, Pittsburgh needs to snap out of its incredulity over trying to do things right, and raise the bar just a little.

It makes sense to scrutinize who we hire to do public work and how, to erect guardrails for undue influence. It makes sense to address public matters on their own merits, rather than trade oversight or influence for political advantage. It makes sense for leaders to value and empower enough pubic service experience, that one’s politics don’t grow to suffocate themselves and everything else. And we need to do more that makes sense, because these old governments aren’t just enough to make you cynical, they’re expensive and difficult and we’re running out of lifelines.

MOSTLY TRUE: Gainey’s Reliance on Union Making Messes

A big service workers’ union helped elect a mayor to better support its own interests and those of its allies — instead of building trades unions, the “nonprofits” or private enterprise. Nice.

All the same, that service union is now defensively blundering through the whole Mayor’s administration inflicting real costs attempting regulatory capture.

City voters have made pretty clear they want their Mayor to challenge the “nonprofits” property tax exemptions as best appropriate. Meanwhile that Mayor also needs to negotiate developments, philanthropic initiatives, and investments that might be considered payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) in the event those taxing challenges are successful.

Dramatically preconditioning effective cooperation on unionization invites blurred objectives and missed opportunities. Delivering that precondition at the outset of negotiations with new leadership on both sides can seem like a shakedown. Seeing the whole spoonfeeding process from the interested political benefactor exposed must be embarrassing. And nominating that SEIU Heathcare’s VP / mayoral transition chair / negotiating czar to the City Planning Commission might raise enough red flags for City Council to pocket it pending a hard think.

When it comes to cozy deals on the building trades side, the harms of a Weinstein are as difficult to quantify: less competitive contracting here, less flexible management there, more neglect in the blind spots of the special interest, until we wind up with 10 years dithering and missed opportunity at ALCOSAN.

When it came to the public schools, we saw the pattern reflected with the teachers and administrators under Superintendent Hamlet, the flying over-promiser under-deliverer whp resigned under cloud of an ethics report.

Soon we may see it when UPMC countersues the City for impartiality either to retain its tax exemptions or grow its footprint on its own wholly legal terms or both — or else simply in terms of a “cold war” of spite more costly than it needs to be.

But even now we see it in an administration that moves slowly, haltingly and secretively on its commitments from public safety to bridges to shepherding development: one outfitted to guard ambitious but narrow interests, loath to fully empower other experts and overextended. The other, former SEIU VP is in charge of 10 City departments and all but formally outranks the chief of staff, but without prior government experience and little oversight. They’re emulating Alexander the Great in a quest to roll up an empire while the weather, luck and supply lines hold out, but they’re getting stretched thin.

MORE: Lamb says we’ve got to engage with our largest employer, even/especially as they’re our largest pain. He also calls the $8 million a year “left on the table” a “big number” though I’m not sure if that was a fungible $8 million or all tied up with strings.

MEANWHILE: The latest from Rick Earle on the incoming police chief with more on the process from Kail-Smith, who’s in accord with the Director of the Citizen’s Police Review board on this, which is wild.

Monday: Close Calls, Dead Heats, Unknowns and Preparation

Target 11’s Rick Earle has never steered me wrong, and KDKA’s Andy Sheehan doesn’t waste time reporting alarmed concerns over things that aren’t happening.

Yet the newspaper of record on Saturday reported Mayor Gainey merely has narrowed down his selection for Chief of Police to 3 finalists. Maybe he floated Ryan Lee’s name to gauge the reaction, had second thoughts, and is now turning to the audience for advice like on The Price is Right.

Meanwhile complaints against police seem meaningfully down in Gainey’s first year. So maybe he can still pull this out of the fire.

Weinstein is at 28, Lamb at 24, and Innamorato at 17 with 26% of Democrats undecided in the race for County Executive, according to a precious poll we hope is already being replicated for tracking. Adjust Weinstein downward a shade for the hits he’s taken on ethics issues since surveys were conducted, and increase Innamorato a shade since she has the means to make up the name recognition gap, and we’re in “anything can happen” country.

Weinstein is the only major candidate who said he doesn’t want to increase fines on pollution violations to actually disincentivize violations, and recently reaffirmed how he doesn’t want to limit campaign donations but doesn’t want to say so either. Lamb sounds on board alongside Innamorato in supporting funding the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council’s plan leaving an impression of little daylight between them, aside from Innamorato’s confidence in the County’s regulatory authority to bring other enterprises efficiently to heel.

Pittsburgh Public Schools is suing all the social media companies for knowingly addicting children to something which harms their mental health. Depending on who becomes County Executive, the Health Department might throw its weight behind that lawsuit next year — in hopes of earning more revenue to pay more social workers.

It’s hard to regulate some things though, even governments. Officials at the Allegheny County Jail sound irritated by the Jail Oversight Board and the voters of Allegheny County but not particularly obligated to them, and they may be in the right. After all, cops typically defend themselves from accusations of abuse with reference to their Constitutional rights, not local laws: “Your government hired me to perform this difficult task, and higher laws than your village regulations protect me in getting it done and the whole institution of getting it done.” Feels like the Jail’s waiting on the Oversight Board to test its authority more efficiently than it has been, without giving anything away.

As reformers take power, it could be they first have to grope around dark mazes of mistrusts and unknowns. How much that’s worth it depends how much is necessary.

Faith Should Rise Resurrected, Not Witch Trials (38 Days Out, Easter Sunday)

Jesus had every opportunity not to suffer and die on that cross. Instead he chose not to forsake his faith. That’s part of what made his “sacrifice” so redemptive and inspirational.

This post is brought to you by a shameless reactionary activist judge in Amarillo, TX who’s now trying to ban abortions, and a Supreme Court which wouldn’t mind.

Some Christian and likewise traditional moralizers want to drag anyone who has become pregnant (typically women) through the passion of childbirth or stillbirth in order to provide health care to another “person” inside them, only quite without regard to their own health and against their will and beliefs.

It’s too easy to blame that absurd cruelty on cultural resentments and economic competition, or right wing political agitators stoking them.

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G-d-on-Man Action, Tender Oaths and a Plan: Weekly Torah, Passover E3 (39 Days Out)

The scholars break down weekly Torah reading portions minutely over the Passover holiday. Day 3 aka Saturday this year brings the “intermediate” portion Exodus 33:12-34:26. A ton has just happened, and this is the first break our heroes are getting. They take advantage!

PREVIOUSLY ON THE BIBLE: Not two days ago the Jews were still enslaved by Egypt’s pharaohs. G-d tells Moses, “Remember to tell the story of what’s happening. Make a holiday out of it. I’m dropping my 10th and final plague: death of the firstborn. Meet me at Mt. Sinai.” So the Jews break out during the chaos and are like “Yeah!” and Moses goes up the mountain to rendezvous with G-d and bring down the first two tablets with the main laws of how to live… and comes back to see his Jews worshipping a golden calf, which is just completely contrary and ridiculous. Moses smashes G-d’s tablets in dumb rage.

TODAY’S EPISODE: After a crazy day, Moses wends his way back up the mountain ashamed and frustrated. He tells G-d “You singled me out to lead these people, but realistically you’d better come with and help because they’re ‘stiff-necked’ and need a lot of help.”

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Gainey Squares Away the Police, Provides Reassurance (40 Days Out)

Reported incoming Pittsburgh chief of police Ryan Lee spent most of his career in Portlandia developing a reputation for prudent crowd control, protest management and community policing. But given a chance to run a department in Boise he allegedly broke an officer’s neck during training (allegedly mocking them for their trouble) and later resigned amid a string of officer complaints about disrespectful management.

The hefty raises in Pittsburgh’s new police contract should help mollify apprehension of their new boss. And though the contract for the first time includes discipline for certain bad behaviors, officers can still appeal that discipline to state arbitrators, rendering the teeth of reform as yet untested. At only 3 years the contract could be considered “mercifully” short — almost a pilot project to see how the accountability mechanisms hold up — though renegotiating labor agreements so frequently can increase expense and uncertainty, and heaven knows what scheduling renegotiations for just after the next mayoral primary might bring.

“Defund the Police” must be truly dead if Gainey was able to shepherd such a hefty police contract to fruition with nary a mad tweet from the whole public. Left-wing activists either trust the Gainey team to fitfully haul them towards the promised land as best anyone can, or else power and opportunity turned out to be a little closer to their mark of desire than revolution and abolition.

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On Underground Princes, Corrupting Arrangements and Exposed Sewers

– Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein’s garish suits, lavish long idleness, aversion to ethics, networks of patronage and generational pedigree should have long ago tipped us to how he is a vampire. We thank the US Department of Justice for making sure our local leaders understand Washington isn’t keen to trust an apex parasite with billions in infrastructure money.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald let Weinstein stay on the sewer authority board for a decade, including three years as its chair. Weinstein’s been elected to his countywide row office for 5 terms with little or no opposition. He’s “brokered” majorities on County Council. He’d just been lurking in the shadows, obfuscated!

– Once the feds motivated Fitz to dump Weinstein from the sewer board, Weinstein decided to run for term-limited Fitzgerald’s office. The Steamfitters and Laborers came aboard as though plumbing is their life’s work and the rest of the “building” trades followed, but Weinstein was also exposed to sunlight for the first time.

– When it comes to the racketeering complaint in particular, my fanfic is not only that Weinstein is the alleged “legal framer” of the Snyders’ alleged fake lien enterprise, but that he also tipped Attorney General Shapiro to the Biroses so that the Snyders could take over the whole illicit video poker ring by themselves, and now the Biroses are taking the Snyders down with them. Let me know if that’s even plausible!

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WINNING THE ALLEGHENY RUMBLE: Reversing Two Centuries Perfidious Neglect in 11 Weeks

Pittsburgh’s bridges crumble owing to decades of deferring maintenance year-by-year in favor of more exciting or profitable projects. Its ancient housing stock molders from our ambivalence towards forgoing tax debts or transferring dilapidated property to anyone with the means of improving them. Scandal and court order have finally kickstarted the upgrade of old water and sewer systems, but now the scope of work will take decades and billions. We sacrifice air quality for jobs, even though further economic growth suffers for it. Our public schools are crippled by poverty and political paralysis, our jail is better at wrecking lives than rehabilitating them along with the rest of our criminal justice system, and even the span separating these has failed.

When we do summon the unity and gumption to confront such common challenges, the “non-profits” which dominate our regional economy ensure local governments have little to bring to bear, and the wealthiest private property holders cling to the rest at the expense of everyone else. Meanwhile state and federal Republicans hardly even recognize these as problems (at least when they’re in cities) so keep an austere lock over our share from the top. And if these political hurdles were ever surmounted, autocratic bullies across the world would keep us focusing on defense.

It takes a lot of naivete or hubris to believe we’re just a few clever ideas, call-outs and moral pep talks away from resolving these contradictions. In what is objectively the best system humankind has ever devised for these tasks, candidates for office summon all five, form into cliques like reality show contestants, and plunge into an orgy of confidence- and endorsement-seeking from voters and organizations at best mildly ignorant of complexities and basing their judgements upon vibes, or at worst content to trade support for jobs, contracts, direct funding and other special interest, or simply for feelings of status, access or vindication over contenders who previously struggled and failed. They are armed with information from a professional news media relentlessly defunded by the Internet (even as now the most robust news source in town is a cancelled pariah) and an Internet discredited as a sea of lies, noise and ego. In 2016 its antisocial algorithms ripped the fig leaves from our very self-perceptions and pitted pragmatism against idealism like gladiators from Mad Max: “Two thoughts enter, one thought leaves” from which both emerge debilitated and unable to stand against cynicism.

That is the dim, world-weary view of course. In reality we’re usually just a collective emotional gear-shift away from recalling life itself is struggle but our differences are not as great as our mercenary Overton-window hauling politics suggest, and that if we apply a little humility, humor and good will, we can at least slow everything from getting worse and allow space for improvement. What follows is just one blogger’s framework for applying that measured optimism to make the most of our upcoming local primary election. Use it or lose it…

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Wednesday: One Fortnight to Fortify

screen-shot-2021-05-04-at-12-57-41-amTwo weeks left until the primary election, at least four mayoral debates are on the record, and there are a thousand judges to learn about. Let’s hear some chatter out there!

In epochal news, US Steel is partially shutting down the Clairton Coke Works, rather than investing in environmental upgrades and expansion it had promised two years ago. This is even better news for our lungs, but for the region’s economy, it is a shock that portends worse and worse, with no “just transitions” on the horizon. If you thought the era of industrial abandonment was over in Pittsburgh, wake up.

In hopeful news, Mayor Bill Peduto announced a public-charitable partnership that will receive from our tax-exempt “Eds and Meds” industrialists, collectively four times as much annually as they ever donated to the City itself. The arrangement is a load-bearing and long-awaited part of his OnePgh vision, which has its roots in a series of local foundation-led “P4” workshops as well as Bloomberg philanthropy “resiliency” grants.

The new arrangement sacrifices City authority over the use such money, and accords the funders essential veto power. City Controller Michael Lamb notes it doesn’t do anything for the City’s operating budget, which has to operate a city whose mills have turned to nonprofit laboratories. And it can’t do anything for Clairton, the Mon Valley or anyplace outside Pittsburgh or for their school districts — in contrast to less collusive strategies.

In political news, mayoral challenger and State Rep. Ed Gainey thinks we should just tax those nonprofits which seem not to qualify as “purely public charities” — taking what the City learned in its previous faulty challenge of their nonprofit status and applying it to new ones, no matter the sheer number or luster of attorneys available to a UPMC, AGHN, or something with “Carnegie” or “Mellon” in the title. Plus he says he got tired of Peduto studying things to death, and would rather get on with pursuing equity despite some tradeoffs and risks.

But Gainey just got a lesson in how much homework and yard work has to be managed, to tackle that kind of executive responsibility. An independent political action committee with ties to him filed finance reports with discrepancies in the six-figures, and the County Elections Department sped the matter along for County Police to investigate, rather than customarily request an amended filing.

Usually I worry about the money coming into a PAC: who might be buying off the candidate? It’s mollifying how most of that discrepancy is accounted for on corresponding donors’ reports by the Western PA Laborers union, who seem cool enough for a Democratic primary, and from Ed Gainey’s own campaign fund, and it’s nice to invest in oneself. So maybe it really is a matter of gross negligence, at an operation from which Gainey is legally forbidden to coordinate. It would be better if that PAC declared the remainder of its inflows, though.

As to the money going out, we learned when Mayor Ravenstahl treated himself to Super Bowl tickets with campaign funds and nothing at all happened to him, that just about anything is justifiable. Clothing, food and beverage, I might imagine rental assistance — it’s not taxpayer money, it’s donations to your political efforts. Transparency here would also be ideal, if only for the sake of the donors. But one of the reasons for keeping what’s widely known as “street money” obfuscated is because its recipients fear the “Powers That Be” taking note and seeking retribution. It would be unusual to see a rash of shakedowns to verify amended declarations of a PAC’s spending without suspicion of any particular injury. And if he happened to win the nomination meanwhile, the party would rally around him.

For all we know, Peduto might have tipped the reporter after his own inside sleuthing. It turns out Peduto is tied to the founding of that PAC, as a vehicle for his 2013 election and as spoils for Gainey afterword. I’m not accustomed to thinking of William as much of a puppet-master, but this may be his bread and butter.

Peduto hasn’t yet attacked Gainey over African Americans for Good Government featuring the Western Pa Laborers union. The county police might yet clear the case with amended disclosures. But whisper campaigns bespeaking dire unstoppable consequence to Gainey himself are underway. And one must note with a trigger warning Peduto’s campaign ad, ED GAINEY: He’s All About Gaining For Himself.  Using Ed’s vote in July for a bill that passed 163-38 granting tax credits for petrochemical developers (Peduto might have forgotten he only came out against petrochemical expansion nine months prior) as its pretext, Gainey is framed for all the world like the Notorious B.I.G. in some bootleg material.

Why is Fuzzy Badfeet Mayor Peduto going so hard after this particular challenger? He has another to his Trumpist right, one in outer space, and Pittsburgh mayors are legendarily hard to oust when they reapply. It must be because so many of his frequent past supporters are making him feel under-appreciated. After 16 years running for mayor, taking office before either Black Lives Matter or  Sen. Sanders’ campaigns, and after all the sensationally overhyped expectations (Smart Cities Challenge! Amazon!) and mixed bags of returns (a bookstore will be coming to the historic Strip mall, joining the flower shop) it’s tough to be seen as a vehicle for progress that scales.

We’ve seen incumbent mayors boasting strong narratives before. Yet public, private and political sentiments all showed up with different plans. There’s no stopping evolution, you can only hope to obtain it. All that’s clear two weeks out is most Pittsburghers still have nobody but “Bill Prosciutto” on the brain: because if you’re a threat to the old money or UPMC, Mayor Bill will slice you up like prosciutto.