Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Strong Medicine

Deep within the extended John Delano interview (here and here), candidate Bill Peduto reveals that The Number One Problem facing our city is UNFUNDED PENSION LIABILITY.

The Councilman is definitely aware of the challenge he would face getting this across. He is most likely aware of the pitfalls when, and if, voters actually do understand just what he's saying.

Now consider his claim that "My own city council district (Shadyside, Sq. Hill North, Point Breeze, Bloomfield, Friendship, S'Liberty, N & W Oakland) is the hub of the new economy of Western Pennsylvania."

What does this mean? Matt H had a point when he said Bill Peduto is Pittsburgh's answer to Al Gore.

To a certain extent. Unlike the Last Next President of the United States, getting Bill Peduto to forthrightly criticize his opponent is a bit like hauling a Buick out of a tar pit. But at length, Peduto confessed to three instances in which Mr. Luke Ravenstahl seems to have deeply frustrated and upset him:

1. Peduto voted YES on Act 47 Financial Recovery. Ravenstahl voted NO.

2. Peduto has been pushing city-county consolidation. Ravenstahl has been slower, or more cautious, at the very least.

3. Peduto backed Isle of Capri through the bitter end. Ravenstahl jumped ship prematurely, at least in Peduto's description.

The Comet senses that there may be a Unified Field Theory of a difference these indicate in terms of a contrast in governing philosphies, but this will take time.


  1. If you read the post, you'd see that Matt H is only concurring with the posts author on the Al Gore analogy.

  2. My apologies to Poplicola. I do now recall that "Al Gore on a fistful of Prolixin" line.

    Nonetheless, I feel Pops was referring mainly to Peduto's style, while Matt H's comment was broad enough to embrace substance, to which I was referring.

    By the way, I didn't think Peduto was *that* dull. But I think Delano can be supremely annoying: like Gene Shallit meets Rick Seback.

  3. Bill Peduto and Luke Ravenstahl are like two peas in the same pod. You can try to find the three insances where they part ways -- but you'll be splitting hairs.

    Likewise, Bob O'Connor and Tom Murphy were two peas in the same pod too.

    The new crop is a different generation.

    Bill Peduto can do a decent job and then bank money for 2009 or another campaign. This isn't a make or break cycle for Peduto. He can sit and wait for real screw ups to unfold and then run again in the future, not distant future, on those real issues of merit.

    Others, however, can emerge from a different pod -- yet alone crop. It isn't these two Dems.

  4. Luke is the "Milli Vinilli" of politics. While Bill Peduto is no Led Zeppelin, his voice, his thoughts, and his song are his own. You don't constantly find yourself looking behind him to see who's holding the puppet strings. The Luke we've seen is as good as it gets - I suspect the Luke Officer Hoehn saw is the real deal, and his schizophrenic reaction to inquiries about his various missteps a rice paper facade of what lies beneath. Luke is a dangerous option; Peduto offers hope.

  5. If Peduto gets beat soundly in this election there is no way he is going to be able to make a run at it in 2009.

    Atleast with O'Connor he got really really close (699 votes) and had a TON of support with him no matter what he did.

    Has Peduto built a base like O'Connor did to make a serious run in 2009? That's yet to be determined but if he doesn't make it a close loss then 2009 is more fiction than fact.

  6. Thanks for listening to that interview for the rest of us, Bram. That really is "taking one for the team". I think that Peduto is right on the money with the unfunded pension liability. I even did a post on the pension bomb that is ticking state-wide.

    But as you and others have said, it's not a great campaign strategy for the general public. Sure, *I'M* impressed all to hell with it. But let's face it, I'm a geeky psudeo-wonk who likes shit like that. Most people couldn't give a rat's ass.

    Even worse, most of those who would understand what he was talking about are public employees themselves, with their nose firmly in the public pension trough. And as we saw with Murphy's last primary victory, public employees are enough -- all by themselves -- to swing an election in this town.