Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Luke Ravenstahl: The One Day at a Time Mayor

The Burgher probably expects us to credit him for locating the KD/PG Ravenstahl interview, but we were actually tipped off by a PittGirl post moments earlier.

Are they the same person???

Part I - Ugh
Part II - Lord, make it stop

We wanted to transcribe some key portions, but lost our nerve upon typing this:

Schribman: One of the great challenges you face is having people your own age move here, or stay here. What kind of strides have you made there, and what needs to be done?

Ravenstahl: Well I think as I just mentioned today in my previous answer, we have to provide opportunity. Young people that graduate from CMU or the University of Pittsburgh are going to make decisions on where they live based on the opportunities that are provided to them, and that begins with a job.

[You may think Luke is running out the clock until the end of the interview, but he's actually running out the clock till November.]

And I know that myself and the county executive are working very closely to look at this city and this area as a region. I think that's the only way we're going to be successful in terms of dealing with these issues and tackling these issues to provide those opportunities right here in Western Pennsylvania -- not just in the City of Pittsburgh, not even in Allegheny County, but as a ten-county region.

So forget transcripts.


Here is a summary:

1) There is an economic boom Downtown and in the Hill District.

2) We know this, because we are optimistic that there will be an economic boom Downtown and in the Hill District.

3) Luke Ravenstahl deserves credit for the economic boom that hasn't happened yet.

4) We need to provide jobs, but we don't need to explain how we plan to make that happen, except to say we're thinking regionally.

5) The CMU wetlabs, and the Dick Corp moving to the South Side Works, are enough evidence that Ravenstahl is good at creating jobs.

6) We are going to pay off $800 million worth of debt by means of not issuing any new debt. (We will try this line of reasoning with some collections agencies, and get back to you).

7) There is "no magic wand you can wave" to take care of the debt -- ergo, it is pointless to offer any long-term strategy.

8) "It might not be sexy" -- this not having any ideas -- but there are no possible ideas. Being Mayor is about reacting to events one day at a time.

9) Choosing the less expensive health care plan was a "tough choice," and merits getting off his back already.

10) The Pittsburgh Promise is failing because it has been difficult for the Mayor and the Superintendent to coordinate schedules. (Yes, really.)

11) His proudest achievement as Mayor is that the government did not shut down, and city services have continued. (Yes, really!!)

12) Luke gets no benefit whatsoever from appearing on Letterman and in Esquire. However, Pittsburgh "absolutely" gains tangible benefits because it "raises awareness" of the city. You know, like cervical cancer!

13) The Ethics Board has fully resolved the matter of the Mario Lemieux Invitiational, and has cleared Luke of any wrongdoing whatsoever.

14) When the Ethics Board crafts new rules to prevent him from ever pulling a stunt like that again, he will welcome them -- and then ignore them.

15) Ken Rice is a hell of a guy.


  1. I'd say his interview answers had about as much substance as Miss South Carolina Teen's did (see YouTube).

  2. Ken Rice giving the Mayor the chance to say the right thing, twice. I think it was something like "you won't accept a gift like this again". Twice the Mayor refused to agree. You can feel the journalists trying to help the kid.

    Why didn't Shribman just use the Soviet Union as an example of one party rule? The Mayor could have repeated his line "I'll let the voters decide"

  3. Excellent summary. Nicely done Bram!