Friday, January 22, 2010

Interviews: A Thing I Have Enjoyed

I'd better make with the retrospectives. I've always been honored to have been granted the opportunity to interview local officeholders, candidates, and other persons of interest on the political scene. I've found they're quite easy to do but a pain to produce something from, yet at the same time unbeatable in terms of truly grasping what is going on around us. Why don't we take a trip down memory lane?

Ricky Burgess I
Leah Kirkland
Tony Pokora
DaMon Macklin
Michael Lamb I
Bill Peduto
Mark DeSantis
Khari Mosely
Jim Motznik I
Patrick Ford, part 1
Patrick Ford, part 2
Marimba Milliones
Bruce Kraus
Chelsa Wagner
Ricky Burgess II
Jim Motznik II
Henry Sciortino (after a fashion)
Theresa Smith, Georgia Blotzer & Brendan Schubert
Natalia Rudiak
Michael Lamb II
Darlene Harris (briefly)
Carmen Robinson
Matt Merriman-Preston
Yarone Zober (close enough)
Dok Harris, part 1
Dok Harris, part 2
Falun Gong @ the G20
Kevin Acklin (guess I was really lazy by this point)
Tom Michalow

The Comet has held among its guiding principles, "Apologize for nothing, and admit no mistakes," but among three apologies we feel we must make, one is to former Councilwoman Tonya Payne. I had a delightful, informative conversation with her in the midst of my Hill District investigations, and I never wrote up a summary. Partially it was out of being distracted at the time, partially out of having a hard time piecing together facets of the story. We'd like to say again we're truly sorry if it bespoke of any disrespect, as it was not intended that way: it was a good interview, and it did help with my further reporting.

If it's any consolation, I did the same thing with Doug Shields once.

Speaking of which (maybe?) as a special treat, the Comet has been holding onto audio from an interview the Pist-Gazette and it together had conducted with Councilman Patrick Dowd in -- well, it must have been around May 22 or 23 of 2008. We were discussing the vicissitudes of his position on the Grant Street Transportation Center zoning controversy, the appeals and lawsuits, and the legislation to pay other councillors' legal fees. I think it dovetails nicely with concerns many have raised more recently about Dowd's preferences in terms of Council leadership. We present it now in five excruciating parts:

Part I:

video

Part II:

video

Part III:

video

Part IV:

video

Part V:

video

8 comments:

  1. Quite an impressive body of work Bram. I don't think there is another blogger in Pittsburgh who does these kinds of interviews.

    It is difficult to believe Dowd when he says he doesn't read blogs. I think a majority of those who work @414 read your blog. For some reason, they are just not willing to admit it.

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  2. see ya later kiddo, will probably bump into you somewhere at some time someday.

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  3. It was the Leah Kirkland interview story that did it for me. You know, brought me back to hoping you continue what you have been doing on this blog in some other arena. I got to the comment area and saw no comments and it just underscored the need for more Leahs and Brams.

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  4. Did you forget Coghill?

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  5. Matt offered me an early interview with Coghill, then changed his mind!

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  6. TheTruth and others - FYI, Lady Elaine at The View from Burgh Chair and Paz at Politics + Place having been making with the primary interview research.

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  7. Was Wandering...as you soon will be.

    On the way to Rivers Casino we had need to purchase tobacco. It was same store that I used to redeem empty pop bottles. Penny candy and two cents for returnables....do the math. Was very effective in a very green way...

    40 years ago a Jewish gentleman ran it: he was already old and did not want to sort discarded vessels..

    Mr. Testes was his name...and, he accommodated kids...

    New owner, by way of red hair bares no resemblance to prior owner...and, by way of hospitality one can be assured that kinder-ed spirit is 'still' at work.

    Flea market furniture adorns entrance, and if lucky wet nosed, overweight, Golden Retriever...will greet.

    Starbucks gets no bucks, from me...
    My money...has found a home.

    Young...think young.



    godspeed, brat,

    er' I mean...Bram

    monk




    monk

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  8. Pat Dowd was right when he refused to pay the legal bills of the rogue councilors during the Lamar dispute. There was a vote taken at council and they lost the vote. They then chose to sue the City and incurred legal fees. It was a political question (which they lost) turned legal. It is completely improper and perhaps unethical to lose a battle in the legislative forum, then sue and seek reimbursement for the taxpayers. Just think if every time a councilperson didn't like the outcome of a vote they sued the City? It was inappropriate and Dowd should be commended for, once again, being the only truly independent voice on council.

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