Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I've Tried...

... and I couldn't have said it any better myself:

P-G, Rob Rogers

A link to last night's live televised WTAE debate is here.

The Post-Gazette endorses Natalia Rudiak for being "a smart and effective hard worker", "not afraid to confront the status quo". Go figure.

Cheese it, the fuzz!

33 comments:

  1. This entire "swift boat" thing is in of itself a "swift boat" hit on Wagner. Bill in fact voted against the senior high rise. That is a fact. It isn't a "swift boat." Swift boating is trying to grossly twist facts - like trying to tie Jack to Luke's ad. In reality, Jack is not tied to a factually correct ad. Please tell me how there is anything wrong with that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many Homewood residents came to City Council that day with grievances over that development. Bill wanted a one-week pause to listen to and understand that unusual opposition. That one-week hold was denied, rush rush rush, we can't wait, over-the-top grandstanding by Burgess that cows most legislators. Bill voted against the project because of no time to listen to constituents.

      The project sailed through anyway, so one might even call it (although I've never heard him suggest this) a protest vote. And a signal to those residents and anyone watching that he prefers to do business quite a bit differently, deliberately.

      It's not Benghazi. Talk about a for-real issue.

      Delete
    2. Anon, you are right that these were not in fact Swift Boat-type ads, and really in terms of substance all this is pretty well within the range of the normal back-and-forth over the records of elected officials. Of course they were made by the same agency who did the Swift Boat ads, but that is a different sort of point than the one suggested in this comic.

      On the other hand, it also is not a Swift Boat-type attack to press Wagner on the nature of his response to this ad campaign, and in fact holding candidates responsible for support they tacitly accept is also well within the range of normal campaign dynamics.

      Delete
  2. Snake in the grass Burgess!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wrong Bram, but nice try. Bill voted against it. He could have said, "i wish we had more time, but this is a good project so I am voting in favor." He didn't do that. He voted against it. That is what the add said. How is that in error? Under your logic pretty much any vote on any issue can be explained away. It isn't like this is without history. Bill likes to hold up lots of things and vote against lots of projects and bills that his enemies support. He is totally inconsistent on his viewpoints and changes them depending on who is on the other side. That my friend is the purest example of just playing politics rather than standing for any sort of principle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't mean to suggest it was in error, I meant to suggest it was misleading and stupid.

      "Likes to hold up lots of things and vote against things" etc. Now you're intriguing people. What things exactly? Don't count parking leases and billboards.

      Delete
    2. Why can't you count the parking lease? Probably not good politics to do so since it was successfully demagogued, but of course Council's hand-picked financial analyst came back and told them it was actually a good deal, and yet they decided to kill the deal anyway. That's pretty powerful circumstantial evidence that Council's position was being driven by something else besides policy.

      Delete
    3. Don't get me started on the Parking Lease deal, which was one of the finest actions by a City Council acting fairly well in unison (okay, more like a choir singing counterpoint and basso profundo), which was taken against a harebrained scheme to sell out to Wall Street just as Wall Street itself was crashing around itself.

      Delete
    4. Like I said, the parking lease issue was successfully demagogued.

      For the record, LAZ Parking, the actual entity that sought the lease, is based in Hartford, CT, and is a parking company. They were in that position because they outbid a bunch of other parking companies (in what Council's financial advisor ultimately confirmed was a well-structured bidding process).

      If flybylight is referring to the involvement of JP Morgan in putting together LAZ Parking's bid, they were playing the same role investment banks play in, say, every bond issue by the City, and yet I don't see people claiming all of those are "harebrained schemes to sell out to Wall Street."

      Of course this is all water under the bridge at this point, but it certainly counts as a very good example of decisions being made by Council largely because of the names of the players involved, and thus the political hay that could be made out of those names, and not the actual merits of the issue. And flybylight's comment only helps confirm that analysis.

      Delete
  4. "rush rush rush, we can't wait, over-the-top grandstanding by Burgess"
    Ah yes, Burgess' modus operandi, much like last week's belligerent, hurried push on the Domestic Violence legislation - but whoops! By accident a little wayward piece had slipped in. Council member Peduto correctly pointed out that errant bit. At first Burgess self righteously stated that he and he alone had written that leg., later he took the cowardly way out & blamed it on his staff member.
    Finally, after a week of a little too much light shining on his shenanigans, he admitted that it was, in fact, his error. But not before we had to endure yet another pompous round of his ragging Peduto to apologize.
    Google Burgess sometime & note how many apologies he's sanctimoniously called for in the past few years.
    Funny, the one person he didn't personally apologize to today is Peduto. We're watching Mr. Burgess. We're waiting Mr. Burgess.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mysterious Greenfield GuyMay 9, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    In fact, Ravenstahl's anti-Peduto commercial IS a swiftboat-type ad. Like the attack on John Kerry's military service, the anti-Peduto ad picks one of Bill's most distinctive and positive qualities--his broad, citywide perspective, as illustrated in his 100 policy proposals and deep record on city council--and dismisses it out of hand, focusing on two votes, the outcomes of which had no impact on his home district. The swiftboat aspect carries further in that Wagner is actually the down-home, Beechview Boy, neighborhood-centric candidate, much as George Bush was the guy who actually dishonored his country by ducking military service.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You argue against yourself. You say Bill has "Broad, citywide perspective" but voted no on two votes because "the outcomes of which had no impact on his home district."

      So which is it, does he care more about the citywide perspective or does he just care about his home district.

      Delete
    2. If your definition of a "swiftboat-type ad" is any ad which cherry-picks from an elected officials' record to (arguably) create a misleading impression of that officials' actual record taken as a whole, then that is going to include a huge percentage of political ads.

      Note I am not saying Peduto and his supporters have no grounds for refuting the ad, or even attacking it as unfair and misleading. But if you try to say every single such ad is an example of swiftboating, that term will lose any sort of specific meaning.

      In fact I would suggest as a starting point that as long as the ad in question is actually about the intersection of legitimate policy issues and the relevant candidate's record in office, then as a matter of definition it shouldn't be considered swiftboating, even if it is grossly inaccurate. In other words, swiftboating should really be reserved for cases where the ad is going after the relevant candidate for personal matters that have no real direct relevance to the issues in the campaign (except for the generic "bad personal character makes for a bad official" argument).

      Delete
    3. Well, one reason that some feel we have the all-clear to call the Luke ads "swiftboating" is because not only the similarities MGG pointed out, but because he actually used the Swift Boat Specialists. And if Jack cribbed the very same attacks the swift boaters made (and does not effectively distance himself from the group), he inherits the label.

      Delete
    4. Again, those are really two separate points (the substance of the ad versus who made it), and only one of them has any real merit.

      Of course in the heat of the battle you may think it doesn't matter what sorts of arguments you are throwing out, but I think the risk to such an indiscriminate approach, as was well demonstrated in this thread in fact, is that by overstating the case on this one particular point you give Wagner and his supporters something easy to refute while ignoring the more serious points.

      Delete
    5. Noted, BriantTH, I promise you. But for the record I have no issue with the argument I'm "throwing out".that it's a swift boat ad. Perhaps you should look at whether your response to that argument is colored by "the heat of battle."

      Delete
    6. Incidentally it has seemed to me "the heat of battle" has markedly depreciated since roughly Tuesday.

      Delete
    7. Obviously you can obscure the issue by calling it "a swift boat ad" while being vague about what exactly that is supposed to mean, but how is that more effective than the more specific and true point (that this ad was made by the same firm that made the Swift Boat ads)? Concrete details usually make a point like that more effective.

      Incidentally, I think for me all this is a pretty "cool" issue overall--I'm not a City resident but I am a City stakeholder, and I have a mild preference for Peduto winning based on what I know. Accordingly I would like to see people making strong and effective arguments in his favor, not weak and counter-productive arguments, but I am not going to lose any sleep over it if Peduto's supporters don't take heed.

      Delete
    8. Ha. Okay. But that's part of the problem with a good swift-boating... they jam-pack a bunch of misleading and nuggets and a bunch of hearsay (who's to say Darlene's side of the story is the truth?) into an alarming, urgently-disqualifying narrative, and then they keep talking and talking and talking and talking and it gets reported and reported until you have to respond. And then they niggle over your responses, and talk and talk about that. The only way to win is not to play. I think Rob's cartoon summed up the moment and that's it.

      I have a meaty post about the last two major debates coming up that won't even get into the ad war nonsense, but we are having inclement weather for blogging in recent days.

      Delete
  6. Yesterday's Council meeting should be required watching - it repeats on Sunday at 10:00A and 7:00P on Comcast City Channel 13, and will be posted on line in about a week.

    Bill Peduto brought the successful compromise proposal to the Council table.

    There had been all kinds of contention and confusion, and Peduto's set of amendments served make things okay, and enable a vote on the legislation that would help implement a new program to assist police with dealing with domestic violence calls, and at the same time serve to preserve an important ordinance passed in 2007 concerning officers who commit domestic violence that was at risk under the bills on the table.

    Councilman Burgess accepted Councilman Peduto's verbiage as a "friendly amendment." It passed 8-0. Council actually worked together.

    If that isn't an ability to build consensus, I don't know what is.

    Meanwhile, prior in the same meeting, Natalia Rudiak expressed what dozens of citizens in the Council Chamber and watching from elsewhere were feeling about that legislation. Without fear of reprisal, she expressed everything in an effort to clear the air and get all of Council on the same page. Without her summing up of the situation, Council might not have been so open to Peduto's amendments, and the citizens would have felt much less heard.

    Let's hope they continue to work together toward final passage of the appropriate bills on Tuesday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Rev. Ricky Burgess really did run game at the legislative table last week to try and trap Peduto, that's far worse that swift boating. If he used legislative resources to set a political trap during a campaign, he might have to sign some apology glamor shots.

      Delete
  7. In a similar vein as your 2:49 post Bram, my wife said this week, referring to recent comments online on PG letters and articles, that she's sick of people saying, "Yeah, but tell me what Peduto has done", in response to criticism of Wagner and his record. What are we, Brian TH (and others), your personal Peduto fact checkers? It's all out there--Peduto's website, umpteen newspaper articles, Bill's lengthy legislative record. All it takes is a couple of minutes of Googling and reading if you're sincerely interested in what Bill stands for and how he plans to improve the city. Much like the swiftboating, after a while, it's just not worth playing the game. Bill's got the vision and the plan for Pittsburgh's future; the other guy don't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dirty secret: Nobody's voting for Wagner except people heavily invested in these guys and people who are on his Chistmas Card list. That will be impressive when it scratches 30%, but all hope is lost.

      Delete
  8. Well today I heard that Bill has cut the deal to turn city parks over to the county. That is not good. I know he is close with Fitzgerald but the last thing we need to do id let the county run our parks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What don't you like about consolidating services and efficiency? How much do you know about Peduto's plan? Clinging to who gets to dole out the dollars while we all pay far more is typical hidebound thinking.

      Delete
    2. The oversight boards have been after us to consolidate management of the RAD parks for years. All the parks are rad, in the City and the county. We can save tremendous monies. It's better even than what Wagner did with the Zoo and the Aviary on Council, not sure why he's against this. Let's do it.

      Delete
    3. I think the city's parks are in pretty bad shape--no sure how the county parks are doing--so I'm sincerely curious about why having the county involved in their maintenance would be a bad thing.

      Delete
  9. Burgess got caught holding the bag at council and then said it wasn't his! Pride goeth before the fall Reverend.
    It had to kill him to be caught red handed with less that perfect legislation because of course he does everything for the poor and that needs no further explanation. But it seems it was an assistance fault! And it seems he never read it.
    P.S. It was so nice to see Doug speak at Council on Tuesday. I sure do miss his "give em hell" charm.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks to Bill Peduto, Rev. Burgess, Natalia Rudiak, Bruce Kraus, Audrey Glickman, Shawn Carter, Jeanne Clarke, and the other community leaders, councilpersons, staff, and women's advocacy groups that worked to adapt and pass this legislation on Wednesday, May 8th.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/pittsburgh-city-council-debating-domestic-violence-bill-686760/

    Still more work to do - let's not lose our focus on the men, women and children that will benefit by honest debate combined with constructive cooperation.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The original suggestion that folks look at the WTAE candidate forum was excellent. WQED also posted their on line.

    In fact, folks can watch literally years worth of Bill Peduto in Council on line. It's even searchable by subject matter.

    The billboard companies and the frackers are supporting Wagner, too. And readers are worried about joining the caring for our parks with the County?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fracking is the saving grace to many communities that have no jobs no sources of revenues, yet you turn your nose up to vast natural resources. If you and your Luddites were around in the late 1880-90's there would never had been a steel industry in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. Even the Fed EPA has no records of contaminated water, spikets that shoot flames. You are so anti job anti energy. But then so is your idol, Barack Obama, the job killer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm. Money quote in regards only to groundwater: "One reason for a seeming lack of documentation is the current practice of sealing the documents after a court case."

      One man's saving grace is another man's deal with the devil. There's room to argue over the appropriate state policy towards fracking, but a potential mayor of a dense urban area attracting and soliciting interest from gas drillers is awfully alarming.

      Delete
  13. @Anonymous 12:27 PM

    Obama Pushes Natural-Gas Fracking to Create 600,000 U.S. Jobs

    President Barack Obama pushed drilling for gas in shale rock and support for cleaner energy sources to boost the economy in his final State of the Union address before facing U.S. voters in November.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-25/obama-backs-fracking-to-create-600-000-jobs-vows-safe-drilling.html

    Natural Gas Seen Gaining With Obama’s Fracking-Friendly Nominees

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-05/natural-gas-seen-gaining-with-obama-s-fracking-friendly-nominees.html

    President Obama Gets It: Fracking Is Awesome

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/02/12/president-obama-gets-it-fracking-is-awesome/

    Obama's support for fracking a "painful moment for communities

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/03/1061469/-Obama-s-support-for-fracking-a-painful-moment-for-communities#

    O’s message to Andrew

    In his State of the Union Address last week, President Obama sent a sharp memo to Gov. Cuomo: Quit the dithering and start moving ahead with natural-gas exploration.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/message_to_andrew_PKwjUZcGNoG0oJSyHv0lAN

    I post these links with bitter regret that you are so wrong about Obama's position on fracking. And about the health harms related to fracking clearly documented here in PA in a wide range of media.

    List of the Harmed
    http://pennsylvaniaallianceforcleanwaterandair.wordpress.com/the-list/

    h/t to Bram, who I believe first posted this last link here at the Comet a few months ago.

    ReplyDelete