ONE: A long article by Rich Lord suggests, among many other things, that Luke Ravenstahl's City of Pittsburgh is becoming the political wing of UPMC International.
"I have discussions with all major stakeholders and business owners and businesses in the city of Pittsburgh, and UPMC is no different in that regard," Mr. Ravenstahl said. "It just so happens that our discussions took place on a golf course, rather than my office."
So he was arranging city business with the lobbyists who furnished the $27,000 outing, and who gave him the chance to play 18 holes with Sidney Crosby. That appears to be an uncontested fact.
TWO: The lead editorial, which calls Ravenstahl a "slow learner," closes like so:
Last week he decided to hire as his director of public affairs not some experienced hand in political or government communications, but his former high-school athletic trainer. It's true, however, that David White, the man who will fill the new $88,859 position, did have a community relations job.
With UPMC Health Plan.
None of this sounds very good.
THREE: Columnist Tony Norman, perhaps too trusting that Pittsburghers pick up on sarcasm (his headline reads Go easy on the mayor: He's young but learning fast), dubs Luke a "Cheney Democrat."
Initially, the mayor's office claimed he was in Harrisburg on the day of the hearing. When doubts were raised about that version of the story, Mayor Luke's office took a page from Vice President Dick Cheney's "separation of powers" playbook and refused to say where he was. Since when do the people who pay the mayor's salary have a right to know where he is?
And this is the nice, friendly newspaper!!