Monday, March 23, 2009

A Voice from the Other Downtown

Today I encountered a Downtown merchant. He noticed the button on my shirt.

He asked, "Do you think he has a chance?"

I told him I sure hope so.

"Tough to beat an incumbent," he warned. And then he got started.

"We haven't had a good mayor since..." he began, and then paused to dig around the memory banks.

"Murphy sucked. Sophie sucked. O'Connor sucked. This guy sucks," he continued. "We haven't had a good mayor since ah, since Caliguiri. And Flaherty."

"Pete Flaherty." he emphasized with a sly grin. "He had the [redacted] to take on the unions."

Had a lot to say. Claims he's not alone.


  1. Clearly a delusional individual.

  2. Don't talk about my dad that way...

    Perhaps, insanity is in the genes?


  3. Matt H is the only one who is delusional enough to think Ravenstahl is a good mayor...

  4. Bring back Ebeneezer Denny!

  5. Anyone else realize what a bizarre statement it is to say the last 'good' mayors were Caliguiri and Flaherty? Since the two where sharp opponents in several races and some pretty clear opposites in policies and style. If that really is the person on the street sentiment.. it really highlights that policy differeces are not very important in local elections. Not a secret in that.

    and just in case anyone cares.. that wikipedia entry for Caliguiri has been incorrect for years. It still says Caliguiri ran and lost against Foerster in the primary in 1977 before winning in the general. That isn't correct. He was already acting as mayor after Flaherty had taken a job at the US Dept of Justice. It was not expected that he would run for mayor and did not run in the primary at all, but later changed his mind and beat Foerster in fall general. A bit more complicated than that, but that is the short version.

  6. I wonder how many people feel like the current guys sucks, but what'er yoo gonna do?

  7. If the current wikipedia page is wrong, and you knew it, for years, C. Briem, why in the world didn't you fix it?

    The news that you deliver is reflective upon YOU.

    You should fix it.

  8. No Chris, I don't see how that statement is bizarre, but perhaps you mean it is bizarre because those two mayors presided over periods of huge population decline and job losses here in Pittsburgh? Please explain.

  9. Caliguiri and Flaherty were considered opposites in style, policies and politics by most everyone contemporaneously... whether accurate or not although there was at least a decent amount of truth to it. So for someone (such as Bram's man on the street in this post) to perceive them to be together in a set of good mayors above all the others begs the question what their criteria is for saying that. Most folks at one time would have identified themselves in one camp or the other, certainly not both.. to group them together could be a bit neurotic if you think that judgement is based on their policies. Since most folks are not neurotic, you are left with the already obvious conclusion that local politics is not influenced much by such details and instead based on something else.


    I hate to say Mark that if I tried to correct the things I come across in Wikipedia that are wrong I would have a full time job several times over.. I know it's not rocket science but that wiki language is too much trouble to figure out.

  10. Life must be hard to know it all yet not have the technical / language skills to fix any of our bogus shared understandings.

    Tip to Chris: At, when you see something that is at odds with the truth, click the blue button at the top of the page called, "discussion." It is at the tab just to the right of the link labeled 'article.'

    Then click again on the button, also at the top, called "new section." Sometimes a "+" sign is there. Then insert with the wiki language of plain old text in English to what you feel should be changes / adjusted / altered / inserted. Just go freehand.

    Often two fields are presented, a title, like in a blog post. And a body field for longer chunks of text.

    No need for any HTML nor WIKI mark-up. Just type like a blog comment.

    Then after you are done, sign your nugget of insight by hitting the ~ (tide character) four times. That is way to the top left of the keyboard, often a CAP. It looks like this, ~~~~ .

    That trick, ~~~~ puts your name and time stamp onto the posting.

    Then leave the edits to others. Go about your merry way to other pages or whatever.

    When busy, drop of comment onto the discussion page and move on. Hopefully others will get to the matter in due time.

    I did this the other day at:

    Perhaps some day the Caliguri page will get fixed to everyone's satisfaction.