"Nothing was done for those individuals that wouldn't be done for someone who sent a random letter to our office," said Mr. Ravenstahl. He called reports suggesting that his campaign contributors get special treatment "unfortunate ... Every contributor that has ever given money to me has not been given preferential treatment." (P-G, Rich Lord, or watch it on WTAE, Bob Mayo)
It seems like it should go without saying, but here goes:
Should we believe The City's Number Two Official responds to every complaint received regarding B.B.I. cessation orders by personally arranging a "series of conversations" with the city's number one and number two attorneys -- culminating a handshake agreement, a total voiding of the cessation order, and absolutely no verification or follow-up?
I'm going to say no. I don't know who would believe such a thing.
For the record, I suspect this has less to do with a $2,000 contribution than it does with the Mt. Washington fundraiser -- specifically, the idea of continued fundraisers and events. In the wake of a dust-up involving his declared opposition to gay civil unions, Mayor Ravenstahl would be keenly aware of a need for political allies somewhere in the GLBTQ community.
Did Ravenstahl choose to nurture the right kind of gay leaders? I suppose we'll find out.
Did Ravenstahl's chief of staff run interference in order to do an exceptional favor for a political ally? That seems plainly to have occurred.
Would it be as big a deal if it weren't the world's longest pattern -- including Lamar and the billboard, Walnut Capital and the floating hotel, McTish and the parking lots, et cetera? No, it probably would not be quite as big a story, but there you have it.
It's an organizational compulsion.