Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday: Autumn's In the Air

Our County Solicitor opines that FACT's drink tax referendum question is "legally insufficient", whereas the one proposed by Dems on county council is totally kosher.

"Theoretically, I expect [the certification of the drink tax referenda] could go all the way to the Commonwealth or state Supreme Court," said Mr. Wojcik. (P-G, Karamagi Rujumba; see also Trib, Justin Vellucci)


All three members of the elections board -- Mr. Onorato and at-large County Council members John DeFazio, D-Shaler, and Chuck McCullough, R-Upper St. Clair -- have taken public positions in the drink tax debate and, as a result, have removed themselves from handling the referenda issue.

Common Pleas President Judge Joseph M. James named Common Pleas Judges Christine Ward, Jill E. Rangos and Dwayne Woodruff as temporary members.

That will be big fun on Tuesday.


"The slanderous allegations that are being made by Mr. Ford, in an attempt to clear his name, I think are unfortunate," Ravenstahl told KQV Radio in a phone interview from the Democratic National Convention in Denver. (Trib, Jeremy Boren)

How long until the Mayor accuses Pat Ford of conspiring politically with Doug Shields?

"Mr. Ford doesn't want to do anything which would in any way upset or interfere with such investigations. As you know, the proceedings regarding federal grand juries are secret." (WTAE, Bob Mayo)

Federal grand what now?

Patrick Dowd responds to Comet inquiries about the Ford / Ravenstahl situation and accountability:

Hiring ford was clearly a mistake. He has a history of unacceptable behavior. If, as he claims, he knew corruption was taking place he should have been a "good soldier" for the citizens and stand up to corruption.

The city does need a URA board and executive director who will carry out the mayor's vision. I believe the administration must make its vision clear and make serious changes at the URA.

Bill Peduto, in response to the same inquiries:

I believe this is part of a bigger problem, Pittsburgh is not a city that is open for business, Pittsburgh is a city for sale.


The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership plans to begin devising another plan. (P-G, Mark Belko)

It too bad Carnegie Library couldn't wait and reestablish their library on Wylie Avenue (once the old arena is demolished and the street grid is restored) but this sounds okay also. (P-G, Diana Nelson Jones)

This sounds pretty fantastic, though we're expecting to get hit up for subsidies any day now. (P-G, Elwin Green)

The P-G wants the SEA to find "another funding stream" for the convention center besides the RAD tax. Maybe we can use the unexpected overage of the drink tax? (P-G, Edit Board)

Wonk Wars: Nullspace vs. No Commuter Left Behind. We promise to join in the discussion as soon as we're done with Pat Ford! Culture of Corruption! Shiny Shiny!

FINALLY: Check out Jon Delano's Bloggeriffic Webcast and Chatfest this evening at 7:00 on KDKA.COM: this episode Maria Luppinacci from 2 Political Junkies, Sue Kerr from Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, and John McIntire the MacYapper. This strikes us as an outrageously entertaining panel to have assembled for discussing such things as Hillary voters.

Tuesday's show was a barrel of fun, but too few people joined us for the inaugural live webchat. Let's do it up this time. You too can provoke Jon into using dirty words!

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