Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday: Everybody In The Pool!

Look who's coming over for governor. (KDKA, Jon Delano)

"A candidate needs three things -- name recognition, organization and money. Cyril Wecht starts already with a great deal of name recognition," said Allegheny County Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burn. "In a field with six people, that's could mean a lot." (Trib, Carl Prine)

Burn's GOP counterpart Jim Roddey seems to be coyly suggesting that Wecht could be in this to spoil things for Dan Onorato. That seems like a lot of trouble -- I'm a little closer to where Burn is on this. Not only does Wecht have name recognition and a lot of well-placed friends, but charisma and unconventionality go a long way in a crowded field, especially when there's a change movement afoot. I don't any reason why this couldn't happen.

I do wonder now whether the suddenly resurrected notion that it was D.A. Zappala who initiated and instigated the case against him was intended a pointed political warning shot.

After a federal grand jury indicted Wecht in January 2006 for alleged abuse of his political office, Roddey began to believe that the case was politically motivated. (ibid)

Okay, but let's all be clear. What was supposedly going on?

The federal government's case against Dr. Cyril H. Wecht began with the politically driven agenda of the Allegheny County district attorney and was built using illegally obtained evidence, defense attorneys said today. [snip]

During a court hearing this morning and in documents filed today, Wecht's lawyers attack search warrants used to gather evidence as well as the credibility of the lead FBI agent in the case and District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. [snip]

Defense lawyers claim Zappala's request for an investigation was designed to stop a public debate over the district attorney's "failure to prosecute select police officers in the face of Dr. Wecht's opinion that the citizen deaths at their hands were homicides." (Trib, April 7, 2006)

Wait, I thought it was supposed to be ... oh, never mind. It doesn't matter anymore. Water under the bridge!


Considering the way things have been trending for 50 years, color me just a bit leery of any tentative contract with a public sector union which union leaders feel comfortable in the first public go-round describing as "good". (P-G, Rich Lord)

Color me a bit impressed that Mayor Ravenstahl is daring to take a hard line with workers in other areas. (P-G, Lord and Ove)

Color me thrilled by Wayne Fontana. Call your state senator and get them on board, too. (P-G, Rich Lord)

Bruce Kraus is taking a second swipe at this Carson Street thing (Trib, Adam Brandolph). Color Illyrias as less than enthusiastic (PGH is a City).

It's only a matter of time before the Braddockians find a way to fix UPMC's wagon. They'll never stop. I have faith. (Trib, Walter F. Roche, Jr.)

So Natalia Rudiak will get to enter the hermetically-sealed, barometric-pressure controlled soundproof chamber to evaluate the Parking Authority garage and meter lease proposal. And just generally rifle through Parking Authority file cabinets. This ought to be illuminating one way or the other. (Slag Heap)


  1. Since the current governor is allowed to do an Eagles post-game tv analysis show, I think that Gov. Wecht would still be allowed to go on tv shows and speculate about celebrity causes of death.

    Therefore I see no reason why he shouldn't be governor.

  2. Since I've only lived in Pittsburgh for four years, I have to ask: Do you really think any Western PA candidate has a chance at governor? Are there enough votes here?

  3. Carpet - I do honestly hope we're not structurally disqualified from ever fielding a viable candidate. My instinct is to say it's defitinitely possible -- but it'd take a real five-star political animal. I don't think the data is in yet to say if we have one.

    Another thing that occurred to me -- did you notce how Jim Roddey was like, "This could open the door for a Tom Knox! Tom Knox! Tom Knox!" I wonder if that can be taken as an acknowledgement that Joe Hoeffel, in a general election, would rack up all those Philly suburb votes that seem to be out there.

  4. To Moon Shadow: Re. Pension Difficulties...

    I posted following comment on previous thread.

    Municipal Pensions and Harrisburg options...go Cyril go.

    Jack Wagner took out former Elected Employee Representative on The City's Municipal Pensions Board of Directors...Ray Wolfgang, funny thing was, his brother Pete got promotion...

    Jack did so, as Council President. Onarato severed on Council with Jack. He changed vote when Ferlo had votes to bump Jack from Presidency…thinking Dan would like to have that vote back.

    Constructive dialogue concerning pensions died that day...

    To Moon Shadow: PASTE

    Moon cool is that, Moon Shadow, Moon Shadow..(cat Stevens, monk)

    You are correct Murphy and I served on Pension Board together..

    The real problem, the costs that are breaking the bank lie within Public Safely Unions. Poor smucks plowing streets and under paid clerical workers (women) are scapegoats.

    When Murph borrowed money to fund unfunded pension liabilities...the local newspapers sung his praise.

    The Pension problem has been around since 1984...again, you are correct.

    I always advocated a hybrid as solution...released report in 1999.

    Stand firmly behind it 10 years later...


  5. monk, where will you wander after Bram says good-bye?

  6. Bram is major dork... a brother, we will find one another, when need compells...

    Thinking, ...

    He is such a pain in the ass...can't help,

    Figure I will order off Dollar Menu, next we meet...

    Total turd.. I hate him!



  7. I will miss the varied opinions. Will miss Bram's view point on things. Monk? once in awhile his post is interesting, mostly rambling, won't miss that.

    Don't be misled Bram, Being genuine is not the Mayors strong point, recent employee issues? Agenda, agenda.

    Apply rules straight across the board and there would no longer be an issue. If police,fire, ems,and Bureau of Bldg Inspection (all public safety entities) had to take the same drug & alcohol tests? Now that would truly be fair. Seems reasonable.

    The police just finished up with a police contract, does that contract include drug testing? What? The police don't have these issues you say? No police officer ever raided the evidence room? Me thinks there is a stench here, coming from the office of public safety.

    Maybe you can't control the cavalry when you come from a one horse town.

  8. Wecht wouldn't have a chance, it's too far into the game at this point too.

  9. Monk:

    I don't know that you can blame the public safety unions. They did not make the decision to ignore the growing pension deficit year after year. That decision was made by our elected leaders, who despite a shrinking tax base, decided to ignore the issue.

    Then along came Murphy with his "friends and advisors." They came up with a scheme to double down and borrow more - hoping to put a dent in the deficit. This failed, not because of the city workers or public safety unions, but because of poor execution of a flawed strategy developed by Murphy's "friends and advisors." These guys made their money and the city came out on the losing end.

    Now our Mayor is working with his own group of "friends and advisors". Their scheme, developed by Chicago politicians, involves leasing our parking assets for a fraction of what they are worth to an "independent third party."

    Once again, the mayor's "friends and advisors" will be rewarded with short term gains. The city workers, on the other hand, will be left pointing fingers at each other when the city loses another key asset and the scheme fails miserably.

    When a guy like Luke Ravenstahl claims to have a quick fix solution to a complex financial problem you should think long and hard about it before pulling the trigger. Who does a deal like this really benefit?

    If still sounds like our best shot then take some time and consider how well it worked out in Chicago.

  10. right on, Moon Shadow! nothing like a trip down Memory Lane!Perhaps us voters can insist, at the very least, for the Chi. Reader to be delivered to Grant STreet and environs.

    Monk, rendering his own Thick Description of Our Fair City's Pension Issue, has some pretty interesting front-row history. @monk: like that pervasive extra one sees in every QuinnMartin/Aaron Spelling/Dick Wolf production I know I'll see you around. Maybe driving a Bug Van, but you'll show. Methinks you cannot help yourself. Rock On, Dude!

    @Natalia: Make sure to pull the filing drawer ALL the way out (be mindful of the weight of the extended drawer you hold) and double check BEHIND the actual drawer for documents that just might've been stuffed in on top and subsequently fallen into the cabinet carcass / void.

  11. Could be the lack of population in Allegheny County might HELP some such as Dan Onorato's chances of being elected PA governor.

  12. The Governor calls me “Gov”January 14, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    @Rauterkus: I tend to agree with you on that one.

    That said, PA politics is such a sad circus at this stage, if given the option I'd honestly cast my vote for Wecht in anticipation of the sheer entertainment value. All else is lost.

    I'm serious about that.

  13. The Governor calls me "Gov"January 14, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    Also, Bruce Kraus? I bought an overpriced house in the South Side primarily because I like all the restaurants I can walk to. And since I've moved there, at least three new ones have opened that I really enjoy. And you want to take that away from me? Next time I see you on the sidewalk photographing the businesses you think are violating your desires, I'll probably push you in a puddle. Possibly one that's been pissed in.

  14. Kraus wants Mayberry not SS.