Monday, March 23, 2009

Newsvalanche: Money, Politics, Wow.**

A swiftly executed change of leadership:
The Allegheny Conference on Community Development announced today that Chief Executive Officer F. Michael Langley has resigned immediately and will be replaced by Dennis Yablonsky, former state secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development. (P-G, Tom Barnes)

In re Dennis, I've heard he is a good sort, but I don't really know.

In re the Allegheny Conference, I'll relay that Pat Dowd made a crack recently that it is "great, but the business world has changed since ... since 1940." He said basically we should be bringing others in, expanding it, maybe like NATO.

"[Yablonsky] is a great choice and will do a great job for the conference," Mr. Rendell said. (P-G, ibid)



Gov. Ed Rendell today removed Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Chairman Mitchell Rubin from the five-member panel. (P-G, Tom Barnes)


Mr. Fumo was found guilty of giving Mr. Rubin a "ghost job" that paid $30,000 a year for five years. (P-G, ibid)

Ew! Did he lounge around in a deck chair with a sun mirror on his chest, like on television?

He is married to Ruth Arnao, a former Fumo aide who also was convicted last week on corruption charges. (P-G, ibid)

Power couples, man. Gotta be careful.


Issuing what he termed "a wake-up call for Pittsburgh" and passing out cups of coffee on the sidewalk below the mayor's office, Pittsburgh Councilman Patrick Dowd turned up the heat on his electoral challenge to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today, charging that his "administration is for sale" to government contractors for campaign contributions. (P-G, Rich Lord)

We know. Hey, does anyone find this whole "City for Sale" concept awfully familiar?

Mr. Ravenstahl has argued that he is already implementing solutions to any perceived problems with contracting and campaign finance. His legislation, he said last week, "will put a cap on, and perhaps deal with perceptions that exist right now around campaign contributions.

"It will also give challengers, for example, perhaps a better opportunity" by limiting the big checks incumbents can get, he said. "In some ways, it would put me at a disadvantage." (P-G, ibid)

Mm. We can expect him to be refunding most of this mess, then.

*-UPDATE: The Busman has another Ravenstahl response in press statement form. It also sounds somewhat familiar.

** - UPDATE: Twitter response to that statement:


[Dowd] also blasted the administration's purchases of trash cans and firehouse ventilation systems from a state joint purchasing system, rather than through competitive bids at the city level, saying both resulted in higher-than-necessary costs. (P-G, ibid)

So the state has a trash can racket and a ventilation racket to go along with its asphalt racket? How about if more of these were more like Allegheny County rackets? At least that they would be our rackets, in our hands, to our benefit. Not to the benefit of, let's say convicted state Sen. Vincent Fumo and the such.

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