Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wednesday: Business as Usual

State Rep. Chelsa Wagner talks to KDKA's Marty Griffin about her opposition to new county taxes for funding mass transit.

She accuses Dan Onorato of shepherding the legislation only behind closed doors -- and his minions of suggesting that his $5,000 campaign check ought to have purchased her support.

The P-G Ed Board came out in favor of those drink and car-rental taxes for public transit, with some qualifications.

Meanwhile, the League of Young Voters -- which had championed the cause of transit funding all winter and spring -- seems to have moved past the issue. Where are our rascally rabble rousers when we really require them?


The Tribune-Review, in an article nobody dared to sign personally, examines the $2.2 million city lighting contract being awarded to CLT Technologies ...

... whose principal investor is Charles R. Zappala, a well-connected Democratic contributor and the uncle of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.

Rich Lord got us exercised about the bidding process underlying this contract some time ago: here and here.


More eerie language eminates from the City Planning Commission, in this P-G piece by Mark Belko about the casino. Board Chair Wrenna Watson:

"We're moving forward because that's what we're supposed to do."

We hope she means they are moving forward because it is the right thing to do. We were not aware the Planning Commission is supposed to do anything, that it does not itself judge to be wise and correct.


  1. interesting observation of no author - almost as bad as

    "Some City Council members and a spokeswoman for Ravenstahl said Zappala's connections were not a factor in awarding the contract."

    who are these city council members i wonder?

    both Rich Lord articles 3/28 and 3/29 have comments on a "lack of competition" - now in a neck and neck race with "lack of accountability" in city government

  2. This is what happens in this town. We don't have "staying power" when it comes to remembering BS and corruption and the politicians count on our bad memories. And also the "bad memory" of the press it would seem.

    Certainly the "lack of competition" comment should have been expanded to explain that the RFP went out during Christmas holiday with a 2-week deadline. Even so, a third company begged the city for an extension to the unreasonable deadline but was told "no" (by Guy Costa I think) because it wouldn't be fair to the other two companies who met the deadline. Translation: CLT was probably given a heads up long before the RFP was published so that there would be no other competition. How the 2nd company ever got in the bidding was probably a surprise to everyone.

  3. Char said:

    "CLT was probably given a heads up long before the RFP was published so that there would be no other competition."

    This strikes us as an extremely valid assumption.