Sunday, November 01, 2009

Big Apple peers in

Maybe the NYT knows where I am reading from, but this is coming up as the main story right now on

Pittsburgh Mayor Faces Tough Tests Far Beyond Re-election

It speaks for itself... but am surprised Verbanac gets referenced directly in that.  At this point I wonder if this whole episode hurts John or gives him greater stature than he had before. 

Might be interesting to see what the New York Times has said about Pittsburgh mayoral elections in the past.  From Pete Flaherty's election 40 years ago:
The mayoralty election Tuesday will mark the end of an era for Pittsburgh, where an entrenched Democratic organization has dominated politics for 36 years.
We can debate this after the election, but I'd argue that statement is actually correct for the most part... certainly compared to what the situation was like before Flaherty's election. 

Misc pre-election notes:  Well, not really election related, but anyone see Guy Costa getting on the local news for his fitness routine? Curious.  And I note the minor flailing over Matt H's 'endorsement' of Acklin.  I dunno what it means, though it may represent the most public endorsement of KA by a Democrat in the city. Does KA put out a PR highlighting it?  Not to imply that it has anything to do with Matt's logic it brings to mind something I had wondered about.   The perceived mutual support beteeen LR and DO has collateral impacts since Wagner is still being talked about as being another potential gubernatorial candidate.  It also ties in with O'Toole's editorial overview of the election in the Sunday PG where he also focuses a bit on the Wagner influence in the southern neighborhoods. 

I thought that the impact of the governor's race could provide blowback against LR,  but I thought that in the spring and it didn't amount to much.  The areas which ought to constistute core Wagner support in the city came in for LR by some of their largest margins in the city.  Maybe with the governor's race being closer it might play out a bit differently? 

One last curious thing.   O'Toole only mentions the race in his last paragraph, but potentially the only contested race on Tuesday is for County Council District 1 which has incumbent Drozd facing Democrat Michalow.  The thing is that 4 years ago the race where Drozd was first elected was a minor upset.  He was elected in what was an extremely close race beating Mark Purcell in a race 50.1 to 49.9%.  22 people switching their votes in that race and the result would have been different.  So if you live across the Allegheny River Valley your vote may really count on Tuesday.  I wonder how many know that?

With all the talk of city county consolidation or all the things going on at the county level, you would think there would be greater attention paid to the machinations of county council, but I don't see it.  City council could be debating the color of paint to be used on the 5th floor and it could make news or comment fodder all around. Yet county council debates some bigger things routinely without much notice.  Have not quite figured that out as yet.

Less than 48 hours and done.....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reporters are lazy. City council debates endlessly on public access TV. County council meets at night, and are not on TV. That and the fact that city council members get full time staff with time to spin. County council barely has staff to analyze the legislation they vote upon, let alone aggrandize their bosses.

Monday, November 02, 2009 9:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Champ said...

Oh cripes. Can't even trust the Times. They note a number of times that Luke's been in office for two years, just (allegedly) growing into the job, then they say this:

"By most measures he has been fairly successful as mayor. He cut the city’s work force by 2 percent, streamlined snow removal and received increased economic development aid from state officials in Harrisburg. The result has been budget surpluses for the last four years.

Moreover, the city has done fairly well in replacing its steel industry with jobs in education, health care and a variety of “green” businesses."

Clearly, that last measurement has nothing to do with Luke. By and large, the same goes for four years of budget surpluses (maybe this past year he had at least some impact, maybe). So, he fired some city workers and didn't screw up snow removal last winter.

And that's what the Times calls "fairly successful"?

Monday, November 02, 2009 9:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"John McCarthy, an assistant professor of history at Robert Morris University in Moon Township, a Pittsburgh suburb, said most residents have been surprised by the mayor’s ability to grow into the position, and they are underwhelmed by the other candidates."

Excuse me, but, is Prof. McCarthy some sort of local politics expert? Or is he just angling for a job in the Ravenstahl administration?

Monday, November 02, 2009 11:10:00 AM  
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