Friday, December 14, 2012

Bill Peduto campaign themes & vision: Courage, Efficiency, Collaboration and Clean Up

Brooklyn Bridge Park

* - UPDATED below with VIDEO from Announcement

To me, those four seem to be major themes on Councilman Bill Peduto's own new mayoral campaign website.

Bill Peduto was the first elected official to call on the city to seek Act 47 status and was criticized for his stance at the time. Bill understood that the only way to balance the budget was a complete restructuring of city government. In 2003 Bill proposed a series of cost-saving measures to the city budget aimed at restructuring how the city spends money — although these measures were rejected by other city leaders at that time, these amendments eventually became part of the City’s Act 47 Recovery Plan. (Issues)

That includes courage and efficiency right there. It's a strong argument for leadership chops, if you happen to be enthused about a city on an upswing.

Bill Peduto has also been directly involved in over $2 billion in transformative redevelopment of the city’s East End. Through his 16 years of work representing and working in Council District #8, Bill Peduto has had more experience in transforming Pittsburgh’s economy into a Med/Ed New Economy than any other politician. (About)

This could be trickier. Get ready to see Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's forces raise concerns about gentrification. No, I'm not kidding. Don't click away.... expect the Ravenstahl team to find exceptions in and reservations about how Peduto applied a "growth" philosophy, maybe through strong surrogates and a fair number receptive to that argument in the community. If there's one thing that's always more controversial than development, it's redevelopment.

There is even more material in the "Blog" section: the post on the parking lease is particularly strong. It alleges a $2 billion projected leak in the lease deal bucket that frankly is news to me.

Okay, enough. Own words. Enjoy.

UPDATE: Announcement video:


  1. The wiz will hurt Councilman Ganja...especially among the elderly and the law abiding

  2. If only we had elderly who were law abiding.

  3. I thought Bill said the whole team was on board. Where was Doyle, Costa etc? Something is not right.

  4. " In 1996 Peduto was Cohen's campaign manager in a challenge to former U.S. Representative Bill Coyne in the Democratic primary. Peduto is reported to have urged Cohen to make an issue of Coyne's record.[1] The Cohen campaign's subsequent use of negative advertising backfired and contributed to a landslide defeat.[2]" I find it interesting that Fitzgerald quit the Cohen campaign for the
    " negative advertising" . If Peduto was elected mayor would he also be considered Fitzegrald's chief of staff!

  5. In 1996 they described me as "fast". I'm not pooh-poohing the reminder provided by 2:05, but does anyone really care about a campaign error Bill made 17 years ago? Doesn't Cohen bear ultimate responsibility anyway? Aren't the Coyne people by now amenable to chalking it up to overexuberant youth?

    Well, I hope we can make it through 2013 without any negative advertising. Just the thought gives me the vapors.

  6. How fast were you? And at what?

  7. I was the Rod Tidwell of ultimate frisbee. That reference was fresh back in 1996.

  8. I hadn't fully realized ultimate frisbee was different from frisbee golf until I googled to see how speed could matter in frisbee golf.

  9. Ultimate:

  10. There is a rumor that Matt H is coming back and is going to be working some of that Coghill magic on the Peduto campaign.

  11. Um, what's with the gray background? Harder to read for my elderly, often law-abiding eyes.

  12. And hey, so long as we're off-topic:

    Highmark Stadium on the South Side, the new one whose seats spell out RIVERHOUNDS which is a very nice and appropriate design feature. Where the IC Light Amphitheater used to be.

    It sounds as though Highmark Stadium replaces Dan Onorato's unsuccessful vision for a whole fields complex at Montour Junction, which included participation for other rec events such as ultimate. I know pro soccer takes primacy at Highmark but thought I had heard it would still be multi-functional at least for revenue generating purposes. Does anyone know the chances of any "signature" ultimate events one day soon being held there: League championships, Pitt vs. CMU exhibitions, perhaps High School Easterns and other even higher profile UPA Championship Series events?

  13. @Mr. Reichbaum

    Thanks for bringing back the white background. Talk about a quick response - now that's customer service!

  14. Riverfront soccer stadiums.... Dumb old Ravenstahl administration.... That's why they keep raising taxes....millionaire athletes...

  15. Nice video- Chris Christie is running for mayor? Or is that rare video footage of President William Howard Taft? Now THAT is what hard work looks like.

  16. @12:54

    Just so disappointing that we come in all shapes and sizes, huh? And that "hard work" describes such a range of activity - some people call hanging out at the country club hard work, too, but I don't think Mr. Peduto put on any pounds over thataway.

  17. Out of line 1254. no need for personal attacks. my issue is that bill goes around calling lukey old boys network and crony, but he is the one whose friend veon went to jail for public corruption. his former campaign manager is the one who plead guilty in bonusgate for corruption and other things. i like bill but he ahoulsnt say that stuff or he will look like he lives in a glass house and is throwing atonea

    1. I recall when Wall Street Willie had mike " prisoner 320976" Veon speak on WSW's behalf back at the shadow lounge.
      The cops were closing in on Veon even then and yet Bill P spoke highly and positively of Veon. Did he know Veon was dirty, I'm sure. did he care, apparently not.

  18. @6:17

    What, he would be throwing stones from glass houses because he himself did - what? Did he himself engage in the behavior he has criticized? Are you implying guilt by association? If you have any concrete information about Bill Peduto's own personal corruption, then those actions or misuses of his office are fair game for public criticism. I'd ask you to be explicit in laying out such evidence for such concerns.

  19. In on your side but am jut saying that if he does all that old boy network stuff like last time he could get accused of same but his people actuallu went to jail and pleaded guilty and I dont think lukeus people did. I dont think its right, but thats what people are saying

  20. It doesn't get more old school party politics than Fitzy and some of the unions that are helping Peduto. Issues are always up for legitimate debate, but to seriously think that Peduto represents the "breaking of shackles" is laughable. He is doing the opposite more than any other candidate in the race - seeking endorsements and support from party bosses and elected officials. Seriously, just watch some of the same money line up with Peduto and now Gilman that has lined up with the Mayor. Peduto's campaign will be more about returning the E. End power structure to office than anything that resembles an "un-shackling."

  21. @Anon 8:17 AM

    Doesn't matter whose side you are on - being on the side of a basically equitable democracy means trying to identify and root out patterns of corruption and misuse of power, whether by elected official or political machine, labor unions or corporate campaign contributors, the People or plutocrat. If Bill Peduto is pointing out real problems in the leadership and management of our city - and we're talking longstanding patterns, not isolated incidents - then more power to his platform. His campaign might do the city some good, even if he doesn't win, not least if those who have benefited from such largesse begin to think about the long term costs - perhaps especially those who have accepted short-term benefits out of often harsh and immediate need but have given up real participation in how their communities are affected by government power and policies that will have very long-term results.

    Anon 8:17 AM and Anon 8:51 AM

    "Going negative" is worthy of scorn when it entails personal attacks, as Anon 8:17AM, you yourself noted when you protested the slur on Peduto's body weight. But when you both suggest guilt by association, without any concrete evidence of wrongdoing, then you are participating in a whisper campaign which can have highly negative impact on the entire primary process. Such whispered rumors and implications of sin, yes, all too often end up being treated as fact. I'm asking you both not to simply imply wrongdoing or graft or corruption by Peduto or any of the other candidates, but to forthrightly present any evidence for such misuse of power, as worthy of our attention, no matter what side we're on.

  22. Quick add - Seeking endorsements is not corruption. Raising money is not corruption. Period full stop. Rewarding your endorsers and contributors from the public till, especially without public votes, discussions or processes, and bending rules to their benefit can be corruption. Not saying much of that has happened lately but its a distinction worth noting if we're talking about shackles, machines, and other steampunk hobgoblins.

  23. Funny how when people imply that Luke is corrupt nobody cares, but when people suggest that Bill is playing in the political sandbox the alleged progressives flip out. Talk about double standard. While we are at it, since Bram all but alleged that Luke rewarded endorses from public I would like a concrete example of doing so "without public process or votes." Lets be specific or go back and hide in your bubble. I'll give you one on the other side, how about Peduto taking the SEIU written prevailing wage bill and just submitting it after they gave him thousands of dollars. Literally, the SEIU wrote the bill, wrote a big check to Bill and then Bill introduced at council. Lets get real with our allegations here people.

  24. Anon 7:54 - Well, the administrative approval for a much-larger-than-legal electronic advertising display awarded through a no-bid contract on a public building leaps to mind as a clean example of what you're talking about. But there may be others. Google the whole "Rich Lord, Network" series. It is difficult to separate possible examples of "pay-to-play" from an innocent ideological preference for such things as trying to shield UPMC from increased payments into the general fund, or for not negotiating more aggressively with the Penguins and Steelers historically, or for not defending the letter of the law for a Walnut Capital parcel when it ran up against labor regulations.

    Peduto introduced a "prevailing wage" bill to be debated by Council, and it was exhaustively debated. In fact, it had to be debated, voted on and approved twice by a veto-proof majority. Perfectly legtimate to criticize him for carrying water for SEIU and progressive labor into Council I suppose -- but not for pulling any special strings.

  25. Oh I'm sorry Anon 7:54, you did specify rewarding "endorses". Well, Jim Ferlo on the URA, Ricky Burgess on the Housing Authority, Dan Onorato in the early days -- I'm not going to say "without public processes or votes" by any means, but it's clear their bread has butter on it. Not sure if the firefighters union fits in this paragraph.

  26. Speaking of sides, the billboard people just put up an anti-Darlene Harris ad in Squirrel Hill. They must either be using those as filler or be really mad.

  27. It's really disapointing but Bill has already admitted to violating the contribution limits bill that he wrote. County vendors are being shook down for money for him. he looks just as old school as the rest of them.

  28. Is being disappointed in Peduto a cottage industry, or just the monomania of one guy who can't spell that well?

  29. @Anon 8:55 AM

    You write:

    "Bill has already admitted to violating the contribution limits bill that he wrote. County vendors are being shook down for money for him."

    Would you please post a link or cite your sources for those Peduto confessions or for reports on those shakedowns?


  30. Background on the campaign finance law: HERE. Well, one tiny bit of background anyway.

  31. You are losing this round Bram. The transportation center billboard deal was cut by O'Connor. It just got built during Luke's term. Want to try again?

  32. I know the amended PDP including the GSTC display was approved in Dec. 2007 under Ravenstahl. If you're saying the "deal was cut" under O'Connor, you are indeed better informed than I. Link please?

  33. It's probably just some guy in India paid to comment. Kind of makes me miss Conservative Mountaineer. He had personality, of a sort.

  34. @Excuse me MH, but why do you so readily leap to the conclusion that it is "some guy" that has floated forward these cite-less assertions that we of little faith cannot move like mountains into the realm of verifiable fact?

    Reverse sexism, MH. I claim the privilege for my gender to be considered equal-opportuned for venality or banality or villainy - or misspellings. Or recklessly typing under the influence.

  35. I maintain that I was expressing plain sexism, unreversed.

  36. @MH

    HA! Yes. I stand corrected. Or reversed.

    @Bram and other Comet readers - just wanted to point out another really great article that Bill's site links to as especially important to consider now that private-public partnerships are being highlighted as stop-gap solutions to fix holes in city and state budgets, to us taxpayers' big-time long-term cost:

    America for Sale: An Exclusive Excerpt from Matt Taibbi’s New Book on the Economic Meltdown
    Our cash-strapped country is auctioning off its highways, ports and even parking meters, finding eager buyers in the Middle East

    Read more:

  37. Helen, every time I read that article I get nostalgically sympathetic for Ravenstahl's lease deal with JPMorgan. I'm not sure if it's the opportunistic appropriation of nationalism and anti-Arab sentiment, or the way it's written in a style acceptable exclusively for people who already dislike investors and investing, or the implication that one bad deal in Chicago means they're all bound to be as bad.

    Or the way it fails to apply here because Pittsburgh isn't broke because of soaring oil prices or investor-class speculation, it's broke because of depopulation and outstanding labor contracts. So say we don't sell or lease anything to rich people or Arabs. Who isn't paying their "fair share" that would supply several hundreds of millions of dollars into the pension funds within a handful of years? That's a lot of billboarders. Maybe if 100% of UPMC and all the rest were taxed at 100% of the corporate rate, we could swing it barely, but there's a clock ticking and these legal matters move slow at best even assuming the very best.

    Well. It's true possibly the Parking Authority isn't paying it's Fair Share. Hey, Rev: when are you going to assail the Parking Authority for not adequately supporting the city's Summer Youth Employment Program? Think of all the poor people we could help if the rates at garages were raised, as scheduled, and payments increased to the general fund as scheduled. Are you telling me cut rates at Downtown garages don't coddle rich suburbanites at the poor's expense just as much as meters? Where's the outrage?

  38. This article is probably the Matt Taibbi piece that gets that the main problem with finance (including JP Morgan) and city government. I don't know about that specific deal, but there was certainly systematic fraud.

  39. When did the pension bail out via parking rates last year include summer youth jobs? I commend Patrick Dowd for his comment to Rev. Ricky!

  40. Anon 8:33AM:

    The pension bailout didn't include parking.

    Rev. Burgess established the fact that a conservative estimate of the parking/fine revenue that Peduto is trying to have the City "forego" -- that is, "to give away", was an amount exactly equal to the shortfall in last year's Summer Youth Employment Program.

    And he is saying that IF we can afford to simply give this revenue away, we should consider using it to bolster the summer youth program.

    If you don't agree with Rev. Burgess' proposed use of the $1.2 million dollars, that's your opinion and you're entitled to it. But budgets are reflections of priorities. Those kids have been a priority of the Reverend's since 2008 when he first took office and first legislated an increase in the Summer Youth Employment Program and in his subsequent successful moves to increase the funding for the program.

    The dollar amounts in this case happen to be identical, a coincidence to be sure, but a fact nonetheless.

  41. Not saying it's not a worthy program, but I'm wondering how the Summer Youth Employment Program went from a $500,000 budget in FY09 to a "shortfall" of $1.2 million last year. Seems like a big jump in funding, given the belt tightening imposed on the city.

  42. Oh wait. I think I see. The federal economic stimulus bill funded SYEP the last few years, starting in FY09. That program is over now.

    If that's the $1.2 million shortfall that Burgess is referring to, then it's a somewhat disingenuous and misleading argument. You can't really expect the city to make up for or maintain funding levels resulting from a one-time windfall in federal support.

  43. MG Guy:

    It isn't disingenious to say that if we have extra money, which is what Peduto is saying, that Reverend Burgess thinks that those dollars should go to a worthy purpose.

    Now one can legitimately argue the definition and application of the word "worthy".

    Reverend Burgess thinks the kids are more worthy than people who plug parking meters. You may disagree. I'm sure many do, but he at least made his argument in clear, convincing terms.

    And that's what budgeting finite resources across the spectrum of infinite needs is about -- priorities and choices.

  44. I don't understand why Council should not have gone ahead and honored the results of the original political process on this decision and followed through on collecting night-time revenue on the meters. I think almost all the areas in which enforcement would have gone into overdue affect are generally well-served by public transit, although yes, fare hikes, schedule changes, and lack of easily accessed bus scheduling information for people without smart phones or computers may have made a significant difference.

    I wonder if potential losses to small businesses might be offset if some of that parking revenue was invested in funding better information at better quality bus shelters for easier use of the system by riders?

    Other reasoning or information I should be aware of, anyone?

  45. Shawn - It looks like my thinly veiled accusations of Burgess's hypocrisy are remaining unaddressed. Helen, the only reasons I can see for Peduto's push are 1) the machines can't be read at night 2) people might want to vote for folks who lower the cost for things 3) rates at garages have not been raised as in the not simply legislated, but EXPRESSED Council-Controller plan 4) money collected from meters isn't yet being handed over by the Parking Authority like the full Council-Controller plan.

    Whether that's a good enough reason to forgo $1.2 million next year is a matter of opinion. Sure, I can absolutely see being outraged that we could be spending that money on the needy. But I can't see how someone can unload a dirigible of moral outrage against it and not have a solitary thing to say about the multiple millions we're forgoing by not having the Parking Authority do all it can do. You pick up and wave a banner for poor children, you owe it to poor children to advocate for them consistently and in truth -- not to use them to assault only selected political opponents and then hang them out to dry when the folks across the hall, across the street, and across town are also found callously robbing them on behalf of rich people.

    Shawn, if you can think of a better word for that than hypocrisy, I'll entertain it.

  46. Bram --

    That is likely because it is easier to fling the accusation of hypocrisy (however thinly veiled) than it is to absorb the background information from the policy side.

    The more plausible question is, because it also remains unanswered, is, "Given that well-respected members of the business community were able to, in a well thought out, non-accusatory manner, lay out the case for changes to nighttime enforcement from the baseline of 2011, why didn't the bill's sponsor lay out THAT argument WHEN he introduced the legislation?"

    Why did the bill's sponsor NOT bother to even ATTEMPT to ascertain the dollar amount of potentially foregone revenue(s) this would create. I don't remember hearing the bill's sponsor say, like he has on multiple occasions on multiple bills in the past that the government agency/department he was seeking information refused to give him the information with matching paper trail?

    I can't give you an answer that differs from my boss' answer that this was a political maneuver, not a policy discussion.

    I've said it in previous responses, but the identical dollar amounts were more of a coincidence. The City set its' 2013 budget, revenues and expected expenditures, these dollars never came up in the discussion, least of all not from the bill's sponsor. Again, that could be because he never asked the Parking Authority or EVEN Council's Budget Office (who by the way gave us the EXACT same estimate within minutes of posing the question, which further bolsters the reality that the bill's sponsor never asked the question)

    Reverend Burgess has opted, in every year since he's been on Council, to increase that specific line item.

    In 2006 and 2007, the City budgeted $125,000 for PSYEP. In 2008, Mayor Ravenstahl and Reverend Burgess more than tripled that amount to $400,000, in 2009, 2010, the City budgeted $500,000, $600,000 in 2011 (2009, 2010, and 2011 were bolstered by almost $2million in ARRA (CDBG-Recovery) funds for each of those three years, which ran dry in 2012, when the City again budgeted $600,000 but received $245,000 from private foundations who were willing to help.

    All of this was done in consultation with the ICA (in fact, in 2008, the ICA kicked in some money for the program as well in addition to getting the Pittsburgh Foundation to kick in $150,000). So to say that Rev's call for more funds is some "out-of-the-blue" mugging of the current issue is not accurate, as he works to get more money for these kids every year he's been on Council.

    He also led the charge on Council to increase the City's contribution to the Hunger Trust Fund (which includes the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, Pittsburgh Community Services, Inc., Just Harvest and the Urban League) from a combined $250,000 in 2008 to $600,000 for each of the past three years.

    So Reverend's record when it comes to actually providing resources to low-to-moderate income causes, communities and residents is a consistent priority he has. Everywhere he has been able to find "extra" money he has consistently advocated for it to go either to the hungry or to poor kids in need of summer jobs.

    So hypocrisy is the last word I'd use. Consistency is the word I'd use, and although some may not like it, he has no intentions of stopping this advocacy.

  47. Shawn you write: "Everywhere he has been able to find "extra" money he has consistently advocated for it..." So how about parking garages?

  48. Bram,

    Per the terms of the City's Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement with the Parking Authority, the City has no direct legal authority to compel such payments from the Authority (or any authority).

    Reverend Burgess always tries to deal with these issues with resources that can be lawfully allocated through City Council's legislative process.

    So while Council has the authority to set the meter rates, enforcement schedules, and fine(s), the City lacks any direct authority to do the same via its' Authorities.

    So anyone suggesting to you that we should tap garage revenue or any source of funds controlled by the City's instrumentalities is being ridiculously disingenious because they likely already know all too painfully of City Council's limitations regarding said summary.

  49. Well, we can always try to be persuasive with the Parking Authority, can't we? Soft power? Shine a spotlight? Rally the negatively affected communities? Heck, the Parking Authority accepts public comments at each meeting.

  50. Bram --

    Not going to argue with the COntroller that we spend alot of money on firefighter overtime.

    As soon as we can get ICA approval (who after 2 commissioned studies over the past 7 years, recommends downsizing) to agree to hire more firefighters, I'm sure it will meet with unanimous approval of all concerned stakeholders.

    I do worry, as per the Controller's audit, about work comp/time-off injuries and the like, but we ask these guys to sit around and wait, sometimes for days at a time, for a call to run into a burning building and save lives. That is extremely dangerous work.

    I certainly don't want to be tasked to do it.

    I'm sure anyone who has had to be pulled out of a burning building would likely not argue the point, and since, when I was 18, the Bureau had to pull my 94 year old great-grandmother out of one when the vacant house next door caught ablaze, perhaps I'm partial to their issues.

    There are over 100,000 residential structures in the City. Certainly if we mandated that every single one of them be retrofitted with modern fire suppression systems, we would have fewer critical incidents. As soon as you find 5 Councilmembers who are willing to impose that cost on every single Pittsburgh homeowner, then maybe the overall cost of firefighting would be more in line with our population.

    Our topography is always an issue, and those damn waterbodies requireing the bridges and the mountains requiring the tunnels and the dense manner in which the City was laid out are all militators of our issues with firefighting.

    But you're not suggesting that we tap firefighter allocations for other purposes, are you?

  51. Sure am!

    Hasn't the ICA and independent expert studies also recommended repeatedly we close some fire stations (NOT lay off firefighters, close stations), our rivers and hills or notwithstanding?

    I'm sorry, I don't respond well to "hero" arguments a la carte... firefighters do dangerous and important work and deserve all the healthy compensation due to well-organized public safety workers, AND costs need to be controlled in line with best practices, so we have money for their own pensions and for things like summer youth employment. Hold both thoughts in head at same time and shake, not stir.

    Rejecting any argument that there is money to be saved at the Fire Department out of hand because of hero worship, memories of fire trauma, and "Not In My Backyard" affection for the fire station around the corner is just as bad as not wanting to raise parking meter rates because you're a business or a shopper in Shadyside.

  52. Well,

    Reverend Burgess isn't going to increase these line items on the backs of the Fire Bureau. That's a dead-end argument.

    Same goes for Police and EMS.

    It's not hero worship. It's the firm belief that we're better off having these guys sitting around and not need them than to need these guys and not have them.

    Reverend Burgess has been consistent in his desire to see nighttime enforcement extended. He voted to suspend it now for the third time because he is not unreasonable. He understands that some changes must be made, system-wide, and he is aware of that.

    He has also been consistent in his fight for the poor that we have a system that tilts in the direction of the not poor, to the detriment of the poor.

    Some may not like that, but as he is unlikely to change that and he has the record to prove it, you can expect more of the same, not less.

    So for those out there who seek out the lowest common denominator in an attempt to marginalize the Reverend's position on this or many other issues, I'd strongly advise that they dig deeper and stop merely accepting Peduto's 140-character tweets as gospel, writ large, with no suuporting evidence or documentation....

  53. Does anybody else hear that?

    Next time Rev is being consistent in his fight for the poor in any way which accidentally politically discomforts the Mayor which happens to sit at the head of this system that tilts in the direction of the not poor, be sure to send me a text.

    We will probably need to wait for Mayor Peduto for Rev to so spring into action, but on the other hand I'm sure the same arrangements can be forged between them after a short interlude.

  54. Somebody call Jim O'Toole ... Shawn Carter's thrown his hat in the ring!

    And here's a 135-character gospel tweet for ya:

    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  55. The Rev rules over his own Authority, housing. If he displeases Widdle Wukie he might lose his little kingdom.
    His shear hatred of the "rich" neighborhood is divisive and counter-productive to true dialog.

  56. @Bram

    As regards the Taibbi article, I was beginning to research private/public partnerships as they might affect state funding for the transportation bill to be put forward by Corbett in February, and this particular Taibbi article is indeed more relevant for that wider context than here in Pittsburgh, for many of the reasons you mentioned. The Taibbi article that MH linked to is definitely more usefully on-topic for your own article and for this thread.

    But I do think that there are useful passages to consider, such as:

    In Chicago, ...when the new ownership told Alderman Scott Waguespack that it wanted to change the meter schedule from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday to 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, the alderman balked and said he'd rather keep the old schedule, at least for 270 of his meters. Chicago Parking Meters then informed him that if he wanted to do that, he would have to pay the company $608,000 over three years...the city is now forced to cede control of their streets to a virtually unaccountable private and at least partially foreign-owned company. Written into the original deal were drastic price increases. In Hairston's and Colon's neighborhoods, meter rates went from 25¢ an hour to $1.00 an hour the first year, and to $1.20 an hour the year after that. And again, the city has no power to close streets, remove or move meters, or really do anything without asking the permission of Chicago Parking Meters LLC.

    Colon, whose neighborhood had an arts festival last year, will probably avoid festivals in the future that involve street closings.

    Read more:

    An enormous portion of that extra parking profit goes into those overseas Sovereign Wealth Funds, rather than into fulfilling Chicago taxpayer needs.

    I do think Taibbi's article provides several relevant cautionary tales that would be useful for us and our elected leaders to consider, on city, county, and state levels. As private-public partnerships are considered, we must all practice vigilant diligence on transparent, quality-based processes for project bidding, evaluation, and selection of who actually controls leasing and funding mechanisms. Contract negotiation should set up public interest limitations on how such multiple funders and leasing entities continue to exercise power over labor conditions and asset use decisions that affect project workers and taxpayers for many costly decades after the initial payment to fill stopgap funding holes. The entire process should be fully public, thorough and deliberate, directly inviting engagement by all stakeholders and affected communities.

  57. The fire studies that say the city can cut houses IF they build new houses in more centrally located areas.
    I'm more intrigued by Lamb going directly after minimum staffing than sticking with the safer, less contentious route of attacking the city's lack of hiring leading to vacancies needing filled by overtime.
    The mandatory minimum staffing only came about after the city cut as many stations and jobs it could going into Act 47. When you consider the size, age, terrain, and many special features(major highways through downtown, chemical & gas companies, bridges & tunnels, etc.) I have no interest in the hero argument, but inadequate manpower increases risks to firefighters and civilians.

  58. Nice to see Shawn Carter wasting time on a blog instead of doing real work for the District his boss represents. Take meetings with residents in the office before you mess around on here.

  59. Anon 8:28--

    Shhh! That's supposed to be a secret!

  60. @Shawn

    I often justify my commenting time on blogs as "participating in community discourse and online public education." Most of the time I buy that line.


  61. If it's permissible to talk to a reporter at the office or meet with anybody with concerns, it's just as permissible to "mess around on here." It's all community engagement. Now, Anon 8:28, if you're implying you've had problems contacting Burgess's office, well I guess that would be a different story.

    Thanks for the informed comment Anon 4:09.

  62. Of course, we all know that Rev. Ricky doesn't have a political bone in his whole body.

  63. Now, now, Anon 1:28--

    Too funny. Now that you mention it, I remember that Shadow Lounge event...

  64. Agent SkaJuly 12, 2008 11:09 AM
    I also think that maybe the term, "progressive" needs to go on holiday for a couple of months.

    Case in Point--this event listing from 2006 in an LOYV Email:

    Councilmember Bill Peduto Rally for State Rep Mike Veon!

    Sunday, October 15th,
    1:00 PM-2:30 PM

    Shadow Lounge, East Liberty

    This event is being sponsored, so food and drinks are on the house!

    Come join the next progressive
    leaders in Western PA.

    ....ah yes, Veon...the next progressive leader.


    Bram ReichbaumJuly 13, 2008 2:44 AM


    Agent SkaJuly 13, 2008 10:22 PM


    Bram ReichbaumJuly 14, 2008 11:18 AM
    Like, wow, you really dinged him.

    Between this and the former staffer ensnared by the prosecution, I'd recommend to Bill some kind of statement of reflections on the "culture of corruption" among regional politicians would be in order. We could all learn some things.


    Agent SkaJuly 14, 2008 4:38 PM
    Well it wasn't meant as an insult, it was just meant as a frank comment.

    Secondly, it's good that you've appointed yourself Bill's newest PR consultant.

  65. Anonymous 11:55AM:

    How I wish you had identified yourself with that commentary. That was much better than Anonymous 1:28AM's protestation... I'm hoping you two are not in fact the same person. If so, those two comments should have been combined into one.

    But some background on that event in October 2006 for the uninitiated:

    Pennsylvania Democrats were trying to regain the majority in the state House.

    That is the election cycle that saw Lisa Bennington, Chelsa Wagner and Matt Smith win elections to the state House. Matt Smith's victory over, Mark Harris, I believe, was especially sweet.

    Harris toppled Republican state Rep. Stevenson in the Republican primary before going to cede the seat to Smith and the Democrats.

    The Pennsylvania Democratic Party did go on to win enough seats in the state House to reclaim the majority, and Altmire beat Melissa Hart, in a wave electory of victories that gave Pennsylvania a Democratic house of Representatives to go along with its' Democratic governor, and gave America a Democratic Congress for GWB's last two years, one the Party increased in 2008 in eventually building the 60-vote majority in the US Senate to get Obamacare passed in early 2010.

    Having said all of that, for the unitiated, I think that Anonymous 1:28AM's point will remain unrevealed for just a little while longer...

    But I wait with anticipation...

    1. Shawn, one and the same...the true progressives not those who claim to be to enrich their
      Cachet , were up in arms with Bill P and he went out and cajoled them into believing that
      Veon was like them forward thinking progressive and not corrupt

  66. Rev. Ricky got a write up on for his appearance on Rachael Maddow's show. What a hoot! Shawn, you must be proud.

  67. Anonymous 3:16PM:

    I read that yesterday, and as a matter of fact, I am...

  68. I also am sad and shocked that the URA's solution is always more guns. :)

  69. That's what I keep saying.

  70. Anon Dec. 17th 9:17 PM - And even to the extent that the misleading and wasteful design of the (cough) "multimodal" Grant Street Transportation Center was initiated under a previous mayor, apparently it was set into motion by his present chief of staff!