Mr. Ravenstahl's campaign reported having $480,475 on hand, versus $44,345 for city Councilman Patrick Dowd, as of May 4. The mayor rolled up that edge by adding $325,898 -- of which $150,000 was a loan from County Executive Dan Onorato's campaign -- to an already fat bank account.
The mayor's campaign reported spending $661,996 this year through May 4, topped by $85,000 spent on television ads. (P-G, Rich Lord)
I'll get to Dan Onorato eventually -- crikey, he thinks it would be that intolerable for Pittsburgh to lose Luke Ravenstahl? -- but I'm much more interested in what Null Space noticed: the discrepancy between only
Adding radio, direct mail, yard signs and local staff to the
UPDATE: The web version of the Post-Gazette article added a "Correction/Clarification" three days after publication: Ravenstahl's campaign now reportedly has spent $295K on television ads, the original $85K having been an "incomplete figure". This leaves not such a wide discrepancy but a discrepancy nonetheless -- and meanwhile, the Ravenstahl team has maintained its silence on the general topic of the post.
I must say it lends more credence to rumors that have been circulating that the Ravenstahl campaign has employed high-powered DC political strategists Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group -- specifically Frederick Yang, made famous as Advisor B in the criminal complaint against disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.
ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated, “I want to make money.” During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH, HARRIS, and Advisor B discussed the prospect of working a three-way deal for the open Senate seat. (US vs. Blagojevich & Harris)
Advisor B said that he liked the idea of the three-way deal. ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he is interested in making $250,000 to $300,000 and being on some organization boards. Advisor B said they should leverage the President-elect’s desire to have Senate Candidate 1 appointed to the Senate seat in order to get a head position with Change to Win and a salary. Advisor B agreed that the three-way deal would be a better plan than ROD BLAGOJEVICH appointing Senate Candidate 2 to the Senate seat and getting more done as Governor. (ibid)
On November 12, 2008, ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Advisor B. ROD BLAGOJEVICH discussed with Advisor B his idea for a 501(c)(4) organization. Advisor B stated that he likes the idea, but liked the Change to Win option better because, according to Advisor B, from the President-elect’s perspective, there would be fewer “fingerprints” on the President-elect’s involvement with Change to Win because Change to Win already has an existing stream of revenue and, therefore, “you won’t have stories in four years that they bought you off.” (ibid)
Frederick Yang, AKA Advisor B, is mentioned 14 times in the criminal complaint.
Is it inconceivable that our young squire of pay-to-play, whom we know also harbors pronounced penchants for celebrity and for high-rollers, insisted upon hiring only the creme de la creme when it comes to political practices that skirt along the edge of propriety?
Geoff Garin of Garin-Hart-Yang served as chief strategist for Hillary Clinton. Thanks to Ravenstahl's stalwart support for her presidential bid, Bill Clinton hosted a high-dollar fundraiser for Ravenstahl.
If Ravenstahl is indeed purchasing political advice from Mr. Yang, that would be incredibly relevant, newsworthy and entertaining all at the same time. The sheer persistence of evidence about Ravenstahl's pay-to-play practices and the degree to which this has been the central charge levelled against him in the mayoral race would make it so.
I've been e-mailing the Ravenstahl campaign on and off for a while now asking for a confirmation or a denial of these rumors, and I've received no response.
The next time any of you see the Mayor or his campaign manager, I definitely think you should ask them and report back on how it went. You never know their response.