Friday, November 02, 2007

I'm Mayor Of Pittsburgh, And I Have No Responsibilities

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl makes me happy.

He makes me happy for two reasons.

He makes me happy that I am a Republican.

And he makes me happy that I don't live in the city.

If he is representative of what Pittsburgh looks for in leadership, then Pittsburgh doesn't care much about having a leader. And why should it? The Mayor of Pittsburgh is irrelevant. From Democrat Ravenstahl's most recent debate with Republican challenger Mark DeSantis:

Mr. DeSantis, 48, describing himself as "a moderate, John Heinz Republican," asked voters to "take a risk" in electing the first Republican mayor in Pittsburgh in generations. He also said he expected to have Democrats working in his administration "because, after all, most of the city residents are Democrats."

"The key is, I'm going to find the most talented people I possibly can," he said. "I'm going to bring forward ideas that work. I'm not going to worry about what philosophy they derive from or whether they're Republican or Democratic solutions. I'm going to worry about whether these solutions work."

Mr. Ravenstahl, 27, echoing points his campaign has made in recent mailings, countered that Mr. DeSantis, as a Republican, has supported candidates and administrations that have hurt Pittsburgh.

"The policies of Rick Santorum and George Bush aren't in line with the Democratic voters of Pittsburgh," Mr. Ravenstahl said. "We see where the federal government has left urban America."

"Here we are talking about George Bush again," Mr. DeSantis said. "You continue to talk about President Bush when you don't have anything to say. ... We should focus on [Pittsburgh] and not worry about what is happening in Washington."

"I'm very concerned about what's happening in Washington," Mr. Ravenstahl responded. "And I think my opponent should, too."

"Then you should go work there," Mr. DeSantis shot back. "I'm concerned about what's happening in Pittsburgh."

If I were a betting man, I would lay odds that Ravenstahl has a clear path to victory just because of Pittsburgh's political makeup. That's not good enough for him. He sounds desperate for someone who should be taking it easy. He sounds like he's trying to tell us that 27 is the new "terrible twos". He's not making any sense.

Luke Ravenstahl essentially admitted that he is running against George Bush and Rick Santorum. Mark DeSantis is embracing reality and making concessions to the status quo. Ravenstahl is shedding any facade of responsibility and pointing fingers at anyone but himself.

Leadership? Responsibility? Is my city a mess? It's all Bush's fault. Now stop bugging me, I have to use some of George Bush's money to take my pals to see Toby Keith!

As Ravenstahl has laid down the gauntlet of guilt-by-association, consider this: Toby Keith hangs out with Ted Nugent. Ted ain't no "progressive". Does this mean that Luke Ravenstahl isn't in line with the Democratic voters of Pittsburgh? The question must be asked.


Stephen R. Maloney said...

Hopefully, Ravenstahl will soon be the EX-Mayor of Pittsburgh.

Would you please pass the following along to your e-mail list and blog visitors -- Thanks.

As someone who dislikes John Murtha, you'll be very interested in the campaign of William Trower Russell against Murtha in PA's 12th Congressional District. William is a retired Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army and a veteran of Desert Storm, the Balkans, and Iraqi Freedom. Please visit his site at: and encourage his efforts.

It would help William's campaign if you'd bring his effort to the attention of people on your blog and e-mail list. Please include his URL. Thanks for your assistance.

Steve Maloney
Ambridge, PA

P.S. I've written several recent columns about William's race and how he intends to win it ( This will be one of the most important races in the nation.

Sean G said...

Greetings, fellow Pennsylvanian Blogger! I too am glad I'm not living in the 'burg. With mayors like that, who needs--well lost my train of thought, insert your own ending.

What do you know of Jeff Harris for state legislature? Pros/Cons would be helpful--this is an honest question, not a plug for him.


Nicko McDave said...

That's a good question, Sean. I don't keep up with politics in Beaver County, but I do know a little about Jeff Harris. He ran for the right reason in 2006: to bring fiscal accountability to the legislature. The pay raise brought out quite a number of aspiring citizen legislators, and that was something that I liked about candidates like Jeff Harris.

Politically, voters are reluctant to support someone with no experience. I, on the other hand, am an advocate of the Citizen Legislator. People who run in the interest of self-promotion and/or who become entrenched are damaging to the system -- as we saw in the case of the PA pay raise.

I can't really say anything more about Jeff Harris. Is he planning to run against Jim Marshall in the primary?