Wednesday, April 14, 2010

earned media is earned media

Someone sent me a link to the supposed Tom Murphy facebook page some time ago and I had thought about mentioning it in a post.  Yet somehow my inner BS monitor saved me and I dithered until I forgot about it.  For some reason I don't think I used it (did I?).   Good thing

I've never quite believed the adage in politics that all news coverage is good, but that post by Potter is about as much coverage as the former mayor has had in the last year or more.  So I will piggyback on that or just use it as a cheap trick to generate consternation and comments.  For Mr. Google I will spell it out clearer than in some previous posts:

Name the Hot Metal Bike/Ped Bridge for Tom Murphy.

The argument is pretty simple.  I don't think there is any debate that the bike trail system that now exists in the city is his doing.  I really doubt a mile of it would be there if not for him.  Nobody was making much progress on any of it before he pushed for the trails to be completed.   Politics aside.  History aside. Emotion, or if you wish logic, aside. There really would be a certain authenticity to it all if nothing else. Think names are sacrosanct?  The actual bridge is not really the Hot Metal Bridge.  Technically its the Mon Con.

Yeah, I adopt stray cats as well.  Everyone needs a friend.

BP meds are in the cabinet Infi. Try and at least let someone else be the first to comment. 


Blogger Chris Potter said...

I'll bite. I opposed most of Murphy's signature initiatives back in the day, but I agree the dude deserves credit for bike trails.

The guy deserves SOME recognition, at any rate. I remember being at the unofficial opening day for Heinz Field (the first PRE-season game, so it didn't really count). He was announced down on the field, and half the people in my section started BOOING him. Even I felt that was extreme.

Anyway, you look at some of the folks who ALREADY hold "naming rights" around town, and many of them were far more disreputable and/or inept. Tom Murphy was at least as competent as, say, Major James Grant.

Besides, the time for your effort may be at hand. Pop City has apparently hired Dr. Pangloss as a freelancer, and Murphy is a real beneficiary of the kids-glove treatment. Thanks to him, it seems, we truly live in the best of all possible cities.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

Major James Grant

Grant Street isn't named after President Grant?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Potter said...


Wednesday, April 14, 2010 12:36:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Based on the condition of the pavement, I should have known it was older than the civil war.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok. But beyond the Burghosphere, somebody has to actually make a public move to rename the bridge. Like, Joseph Schmoe, of Upper Duck Hollow, has collected 1,000 signatures and presented them to council, etc. Maybe it should be the Bike Pgh. guy or somebody else in the biking community, like from the Allegheny Trail Alliance. And there needs to be a time element. According to this piece on the Bike Pgh website

The first plan for the trail was unveiled in December 1990.

And not to muddy the waters, but another bridge renaming possibility might be the Herrs Island Bridge, which has the added attractions of touching down on the Murphy-inspired Washington's Landing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 3:00:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

and the 1990 reference only reinforces the point that it all goes back to Murphy doesn't it?

and before anyone gets upset. No doubt there are lots of other folks involved as there has to be in almost anything of significance. But I still am left with one question. Without Murphy, as state rep or as mayor, would there be bike trail system in the city today?

and Potter man.. don't pick on John D. While I suspect there may be some minimal hope of getting the name changed on the books. I figure you would still have to get Elsie to pay for the plaque. Can't quite imagine the city paying for that.

as for petitions.. I suppose.. but at the end of the day city council needs to pass something and that is where this all becomes just too much of a hot potato to be easy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 3:21:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

and grant st. is still brick isn't it.. might explain MH's rough ride. We could go back to Belgian blocks I suppose.

Would be funny if we could blame Murphy for the bricks.. but I think they go back to Caliguiri years, but that is form memory. That and there was long a controvery that the ACCD had promised ongoing payments to maintain them, but city never had that codified in a contract or anything.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 3:22:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I was just making a joke. I have no specific reason to suspect Grant Street is especially potholed or crumbly by local standards. I rarely go downtown. Somebody should put some stores there or something to give me a reason to go.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 4:14:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Somebody should put some stores there or something to give me a reason to go.

Well, that's a funnier joke at least in context.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 4:16:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Potter said...

"and Potter man.. don't pick on John D. While I suspect there may be some minimal hope of getting the name changed on the books. I figure you would still have to get Elsie to pay for the plaque."

>>> Coalition building has never been one of my strengths.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 4:53:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

A coalition of the most willing (or at least not completely opposed).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 5:05:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Ah. Supposed to be 'mostly willing'.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 5:25:00 PM  
Anonymous johnnyg said...

I'm with Harry Truman. Never name anything for anyone until they're dead. Then you never need to remove the name should be person get caught up in scandal.

And, yes, I realize that Pittsburgh observes Give 'Em Hell Harry's rule only in the breach.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 5:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

Given how much enmity Murphy engendered, I don't think there's any dirt on the guy that people will uncover that hasn't been uncovered already. I too opposed much of what he did, and I still believe much of it was wrong, but he didn't break any laws, wasn't impeached, etc., so there's no reason not to give him credit for the good he did accomplish.

Thursday, April 15, 2010 4:33:00 PM  
Anonymous PensfaninLAexile said...

Admitted to stealing an election, bankrupted the city, almost sunk "Plan B" with his obnoxious comments -- how about naming the Alcosan Plant in Woods Run after him?

Thursday, April 15, 2010 4:47:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

beyond the election comment the other points are the most fascinating anti-murphy comments. Someone mad that he almost 'sunk' plan B (for the stadia I presume) when most people I hear are most livid that he supported the building of the stadia in the first place. Absent Fifth and Forbes talk, that really seems to be what sticks in most folks craw. On stadia I think he, or most any politician for that matter, was faced with a no win situation.

as for bankrupting the city. The city was very technically bankrupt the day he took office. Not just metaphorically... but literally pennies above cash zero.. and the zero was approaching very very quickly. If the lawyers let him go bankrupt at the time a lot of history would be very very different. Not saying it would be better for him, but the last decade would have a very path.

Thursday, April 15, 2010 5:22:00 PM  
Anonymous PensfaninLAexile said...

There is a serious point behind the humor -- where is the line drawn? If a politician builds something useful, but engages in particularly venal activity, should the venality be ignored? Murphy copped a plea with Buchanan with respect to the primary with O'Connor and his promise of a sweetheart deal with the firefighters. That is a crime. How can this be excused?

With respect to Plan B. The facts are thus: Plan B fails in the legislature, Murphy tells the press that the vote is and always was moot, the Governor could just appropriate the money anyway. The legislature is furious. Ridge announces that there will be no back-door appropriation. Murphy is told to stay away while Ridge, the Rooneys and other interested parties salvage the situation. Ask Chuck Kolling -- that's what happened. In other words, not a rant against stadia funding, just a bit of reality.

Else the Murphy promotion, your blog is quite interesting.

Thursday, April 15, 2010 9:33:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I think I know all those details and then some.

Most know I shudder to poke into areas that involve criminal law. Thus I neither condone nor parse the whole deal with MBB. The worst part of which to me is that I don't think all the details of that deal have ever been made public.. not just by Murphy, but more importantly from MBB's office nor from any others involved. How to characterize the end result I will leave for the lawyers to parse, but there were no charges even filed at all correct? So maybe coping a deal might be a fair characterization, but not a plea. His only sanction was to agree to 'push for reform' which is an awfully odd and mild rebuke as these things go. Given an enegetic federal prosecutor, let alone the example of what Cyril went through you can't ignore the context.

So given that, you are exaggerating.. again with what is known in the public record. I wonder about what we don't know I will admit, but I have to believe that if MBB had anything concrete she would have pushed for a different conclusion to all of that. If that is the standard to banish folks from history completely as you are implicitly arguing then we better get to work since it's a long long list of folks that need to be written out of the history books.

and still the point on the stadium is still there. Are you mad at Murphy for aiding or impeding the stadia funding deal? A deeper question was whether you think he was speaking the truth or not on that point. Seem again you are mad about him not going along with the 'deal' if what he alleged is true... which is likely was. Yet would that be the more or less morally objectionable path?

Thursday, April 15, 2010 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Which does get me wondering a bit.. did MBB follow up with Murphy on that pledge to push for reform? If yes, what was the further outcome.. and if not then what was the point of making him sign such a agreement in the first place.

Thursday, April 15, 2010 11:27:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I'm not a fan of Murphy and I've always assumed that there was nothing criminal there once she dropped it that easily.

Friday, April 16, 2010 9:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Why Are People So Grudgeful? said...

PensfaninLAexile hates Murphy so much he/she moved to LA. Oh well. The West Coast's gain is the Trib's loss, and that's one less invitation I'll have to send to the Tom Murphy Bike/Pedestrian Bridge dedication.

Friday, April 16, 2010 9:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Stacklin said...

Are you still in LA Keough? I though Kolling was Copeland's big inside connection.

Friday, April 16, 2010 9:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just came across this Politics of Place book by Greg Crowley.

What do you think of it Chris?

Friday, April 16, 2010 9:31:00 AM  
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