Monday, June 9, 2008


The ordinance before me today is fraught with problems. It provides an unfair competitive advantage for the wealthy and will have a chilling effect on the labor movement. It will inhibit the ability of challengers to mount successful campaigns against incumbents.

Also, Lamar Advertising and Liberty Pacific Media told me they didn't like it.

The title of this bill -- campaign finance reform -- is a common goal that we can work towards. We, however, must recognize that a title alone does not make good reform. I have judged this book not just by its cover, but by its contents and hereby reject it with this veto.

A piecemeal debunking of the Mayor's objections to reform should not be difficult to get across; certainly not while there are a bevy of brilliant examples of cronyism and special favoritism just waiting to be seized upon by resourceful opponents.

In fact, it might be profitable not to dwell as much on defending the bill's supposed drawbacks (and in so doing, waging the dialogue on Ravenstahl's terms), but rather to illustrate the historic nature of gains Pittsburgh could have made against public corruption, and the unprecedented extent of special-interest overreaching now being defended with this veto.

Now. If you egomaniacal chuckleheads can just get it together to settle on a respectable challenger, this will be over before most of us know it.


  1. Luke vetoed campaign finance reform today. It's dead without 6 votes.

  2. "...illustrate the historic nature of gains Pittsburgh could have made against public corruption..."

    Bram - take it a giant step further - as several state legislators indicated in the media, passage of this bill, coupled with Philadelphia's already enacted law, would've provided the impetus for reform on the state level.

    I spent weeks researching the impact of finance reform laws in other cities across the U.S. Without a single exception the results were what we should all desire: the number of candidates seeking elected office increased, wealthy individuals/PACs' influence was significantly curtailled, voters' belief & trust in the system rose, often resulting in higher voter turnout.

    What a disappointment.

  3. Not surprising, big checks from Jim Rohr, Dave Malone and their lackeys is his only shot at re-election.

  4. Anon,

    From all accounts the mayor already has $1 million in his campaign fund, plus this bill wouldn't go into effect til 2010, thus not affecting his re-election efforts.

  5. It would be hard to have fewer candidates running for public office than what we've already had to endure in recent years.