Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mmmmmmm .... Mayoral.

Transformative times require vision and leadership. Visionary times require leadership and transformation. Leaderesque times require transformiary zzzzzzzzz... (P-G, Lake Fong; see also Progress Pittsburgh)

Mr. Dowd said his first act as mayor would be to ban no-bid contracts "for any person that has contributed to the campaign of any official of the City of Pittsburgh." (P-G, Rich Lord)

Also, Luke Ravenstahl: apparently, Somebody's Boy. (Slag Heap)

Wooooaah, halfway there (as of this posting). (Thoughts on Schultz)

Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith thanks God once; thanks Pete Wagner three times. (P-G, Rich Lord; see also Rauterkus)


  1. The city should ban all no bid contracts -- period. Not just no bid contracts from those that give campaign contributions. Ban ALL NO BID contracts. We don't need them. We need open, accountable, transparent government that buys products and services in a process that allows for competition.

    So, he takes a big step in the right direction. But, he does NOT offer the exact solution that we should see.

  2. Pay attention, Bram. There will be a Pop (City) quiz later.

  3. "Councilman Dowd ensures that nobody will touch his danish while he announces his candidacy."

  4. Here are some keys to a Dowd victory in May:

    1. Switch as many registered R's to D's...
    2. Hope that Opie takes the Homeland SUV for a stroll again.
    3. Hope that Opie gets caught in a Snoop Dog party gone awry.
    4. Go negative early and often....
    5. Knock on doors, until knuckles bleed, then knock some more.
    6. Raise at least $500,000..
    7. Get Obama to endorse you.
    8. Broaden the Pittsburgh Pubic School's discussion beyond the Pittsburgh Promise.

  5. I am Doubtful with Dowd right now.

    Nobody's Boy? Does this mean he is "independant," a word politicians like to use, or does he mean he is going to continue to burn those reformist bridges he set out so earnestly to build in the first place?

    He has an awful late start, which puts into people's minds he might not be up for the 12 week battle. What took so long? It already makes him the weak candidate. He now needs to make himself strong.

    He doesn't seem to finish what he started . . . once Mayor, will he immediately move on to County Executive?

    I've heard complaints from some of his early supporters that he has become arrogant with his ideas and it is either his way or no way. No room for compromise. I hope this is not true.

    No-bid contracts? Isn't that Luke's "idea?" Back in October, Luke was supposed to start putting hundreds of contracts on-line and require a "justification form" that would be posted on the site explaing why a company was hired.

    Why not make these things the focus of your campaign--like Luke's campaign reform won't take effect until after the election? There were touches of it in his speech . . . maybe as the election goes on, he will be more challenging.

    Go after the Mayor if you think his policies are a fraud, like the public viewing of contracts.

    Nearly cried at closing down schools?

    I don't mean to be harsh, but seriously? Governor Rendell says quit whining (that's my phrase for today).

    I'm bored at such an anti-climatic speech. He really needs to define why he is different than Luke and why we want to "change horses." I.E., I am not going to do it Luke's corrupted way any more.

    As it stands, do voters believe things are going petty good in Pittsburgh, despite Luke going about it wrong?

  6. Elaine, all those comments are excellent. I will say that Dowd can at least say that he's not in the clique of or in any way beholden to any other politician, which is something unique for Pittsburgh and in my opinion a net positive. Or at least that gives him a lot of potential. Also, I don't know about "arrogance", but he does have his way of doing things. I like that he takes initiative; some may not like the hardball side of that, but I think there is much in the record that shows he is fully capable of, and sees the value in, compromise.

    I'll also add on the subject of the the sign permit appeal that some in the reform camp seem to be hung up on -- looking back in retrospect, it's hard to criticize his choice of actions. His tone on occasion was unnecessary, for sure, but his decisions are looking better and better. I do appreciate that he actually took action at the 11th hour when it looked for all the world like nothing was going to occur. That's got to count for something, doesn't it?

  7. One more thing Elaine - One could make the argument that in his short tenure on the school board, he basically picked it up with his bare hands and got it going in a defined direction, and what has proved to be a successful direction. You can certainly take issue with that direction (and I do in some cases) but I think it's a great indicator that that thing now has a defined agenda and is making progress along it.

  8. Re-registering as a Democrat is a fair bit of trouble. Also, I kind of enjoy walking into primaries and telling whoever is out there touting that I couldn't vote for whoever they want me to vote for even if I wanted to (and I probably don't want to).

    If Dowd looks close, I'll do it. If not, I may just go write in DeSantis again. Or go back to what I did before DeSantis and just write something libelous about Murphy.

  9. Dowd " . . . got it going in a defined direction, and what has proved to be a successful direction." You have got to be kidding.

  10. We lost students. He closed schools. We wanted public schools to get more appealing and competitive. He helped get specialty schools off the ground. Someone committed to the Pittsburgh Promise. He threw himself on that grenade when it looked like it was about to explode in UPMC shady deal tax-credit sadness.

    There was grumbling about the old Superintendent. He got us a new one -- and there is different grumbling -- but he drew up his contract. IMHO, we need to Save Schenley, and in the meanwhile we need to aspire towards schenleydom on at least a couple pilot projects throughout the city. Classically themed schools.

    By and large, the school district is chugging along okay. Nothing a little board-level politics can't fix.

  11. I am sure he will make those arguments, but will they be heard?

    I am sure excited as to what may come.

    As for voting for DeSantis MH . . . Why? Closet Republican?

  12. Republican, not closeted. Slightly disaffect with the Republicans lately, but not nearly as angry with them as I am with the Allegheny Democratic committee.

  13. "not in the clique of or in any way beholden to any other politician...."
    Didn't Jim Ferlo back him to win his seat against Bodack?

  14. Anon 2:09 - I get the feeling that very little happens in that neck of the woods without at least Jim Ferlo's benign assent. To the extent that we're looking for an endorsement, we could do worse than Ferlo, but to the extent that it makes any sense to think of Dowd as a creature of Jim Ferlo -- Yarone is still Ravenstahl's chief of staff. And Ferlo is on the URA board, whereas Patrick Dowd (ahem) is not. So they're pretty separate.

    Elaine - I wasn't even making the political argument. That could, and hopefully will, be engaging. I was just explaining my inclination to favor the candidate. I have the impression that Dowd can captain a ship, keep it from sinking, steer clear of the biggest rocks, and plot a course to somewhere we haven't been before. I lack that faith in the incumbent. I regard much of that wing of the establishment as basically a drunken zombie pirate crew.

  15. I'm confused about your last comment . . . I guess I read it as you pointing out some of the other sides to what his downfalls might be.

    I thought I understood. Wasn't making waves. At least not today.

  16. "....which puts into people's minds he might not be up for the 12 week battle."

    Not the case at all...if there is one thing that is for certain it is that Dowd will give 110% to campaigning, especially when it comes to knocking on doors and getting out into the neighborhoods to talk to folks. Dowd is a natural campaigner, better than anyone I have ever seen around these parts. He isn't afraid to go where most politicians won't go and to talk about the things most politicians avoid. Right after his speech on Polish Hill the other day he walked up to the Hill District to knock on doors. I heard he was in the South Hills neighborhoods the other night (I heard Carrick mentioned). He was knocking on doors on the South Side today and prior to that he met with about 30 volunteers to get them fired up. He is running to win. Can he pull it off? I am hopeful, but it is going to be an uphill battle. If he doesn't win it won't be due to a lack of effort on Dowd's part.

  17. Bram, you should not comment on schools for the next 6 months, if not six years.

    I don't think he is kidding, just clueless there.

    The clique of P.D. is Mark Roosevelt's too.

    The school district is NOT proven to be going in the right direction. Movement is there -- but proof is thin at best.

  18. "Bram, you should not comment on schools for the next 6 months, if not six years."

    What an odd way to say, "I disagree".