Saturday, May 19, 2007

Comet Interlude

City Council can indeed be thought of as a 3-3-3 playing field, and the Hon. Rufus Peckham* is right to name Ricky Burgess as a key player.

For our money, we bet the Reverend will swing over to the progressives with some frequency, although any given issue will be governed by its particulars. National faith movements vary. Jim Ferlo is just Jim Ferlo.

Speculation as to council prez is not interesting (although at this moment we are rooting for Doug Shields).

Forget about the scientologists, already.

The points we really want to make are: 1) people are not giving Luke enough credit, and 2) if it was really the "perfect" storm ... it won't end, will it?

Tune in on Monday morning. For the season premier. Of the Pittsburgh Comet.

* He is also the funniest man on earth.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

City Council = A Progressive Majority?

Controller = LAMB / District 5 = SHIELDS

Early Returns says Michael Lamb "appears to have defeated" his opponents, which is good enough for us. Ergo, Doug Shields will remain on city council, and ergo, Cory O'Connor will be pursuing his Masters in Education.

District 9 = BURGESS

We are blogging live from the Burgess campaign party at the Homewood Colosseum -- an ACDC affair! Jim Ferlo is in attendance. So are some very happy Ricky Burgess staffers.

Burgess won Garfield, they won the 12th ward, they believe they pulled 51% in the 14th ward, and all that remains is the tale of the tape in 13 - Kirkland country. Burgess staffers look an awful lot like the Kraus staffers did a couple hours ago ... when they knew they were up big, but were afraid to jinx themselves.

We're not. It's Ricky.

Bill Peduto = How Do You Like Me Now?

If those results hold up, you've got to consider it a pretty big night for Bill Peduto.

It's no big secret that much of the talent and energy that left the Peduto campaign found engaging work in these two races. Now, many of them will have also found gainful employment, and Bill finds himself with two progressives with whom to roll around on Grant Street.

District 7 = DOWD

The Dowd party is cracking, after a brief dip in morale after stronger than expected Bodack numbers in the 10th ward. We really shouldn't call this, but ... if FOX News can do it ... the Dowd campaign is saying they're up by 110 or so, and we'll go with them. Larryville is Dowd Country.

District 3 = KRAUS

The gang at Kraus HQ has just gathered around to give themselves a hand. Their informal vote count gives them a pretty big victory; like ten points.

Ravenstahl Wins

With several precincts reporting, acting mayor Luke Ravenstahl is the projected winner in his own right of the race for Mayor of Pittsburgh.

CORRECTION 10/06: This was clearly false. Ravenstahl merely won the Democratic nomination for Mayor of Pittsburgh on this date.

Moving Koch Forward

The gang at Early Returns says they're going to be liveblogging tonight. Perhaps we'll run in to them. Here's a taste:

Speaking of the Redd Up Crew, their manager, Kevin Quigley, was seen around 4 p.m. hurrying away from Quentin Roosevelt Elementary School in Carrick, wearing a Koch T-shirt and entering a pick-up truck with Koch signs in the rear window. He wouldn't talk with Early Returns.

Mr. Quigley's presence is a sure sign that Mayor Luke Ravenstahl views Mr. Koch's race as a key contest, since the Redder-Up-in-Chief is the mayor's close confidant.

The Comet telephoned and e-mailed the mayor's office yesterday, to see if he they had any response to the "desperate call for election protection" in District 3 due to reports of vandalism, harassment, and other shenanigans. They failed to return our inquiries as of press time.

We've always wanted to write that.

Spin, Spin, Spin, The Holidays Begin

This from a high-level Kraus staffer:

Turnout is higher than expected in the flats, which is Bruce (Kraus's) base ... in Arlington, where Jeff (Koch) lives, turnout is very low ...

The reason there was so much excitement in Carrick is that turnout was very high ... the first time we saw the results of Bruce's door-knocking in Carrick, we had to throw the numbers out, because they just looked too good ... but then we followed up with phone calls and it turned out he was right.

This from Camp Burgess:

Turnout is much better than I thought, and almost what I'd hoped for in the 13th ... and in the 12th, they had 800 votes as of two hours ago, which is just a little less than I'd slated for them all day.

The Dowd camp is crunching some major numbers, and we should be hearing from them shortly. Any staffer from any warring faction is more than welcome to tip me at the above address. Call those laggards!

How's it Going?

Early reports of electioneering drama seem to have subsided.

Batting off of the bench, the P-G's Jim McKinnon reports:

At least two court orders have been issued to keep poll watchers and campaigners in line.

"We haven't had a lot problems. We've gotten some calls, but mostly minor stuff," said John Bacharach, a Sheriff's Department solicitor working election day court.

An elected constable "electioneering" in Dormont, and a poll watcher allegedly intimidating workers in Lawrenceville were reported.

There were also reports of "fighting," and "arguing," inside and outside the polling place at the fire hall at the corner of Hamilton and Braddock avenues in Homewood.

Two sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the scene to keep the peace.

If you're out and about, the big news of the day is that Jerry Falwell died. (AP-Trib)

Ladies and Gentlemen ... Start Your Engines!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Vaya Con Dios, El Almirante

Farewell address: HERE

Welcome aboard the Burr Reporr: HERE

The Comet's landmark linkage to a notable set of posts on the People's Republic: HERE

We at the Comet fancied ourselves an eccentric diarist screaming down a well, until the Admiral opened our eyes wider and set the bar higher.

The Admiral just keyed in a thunderous endorsement of the Mark DeSantis write-in campaign over at teh Burr Reporr.

More coverage of the "serious run" by Mark DeSantis from the P-G's Rich Lord, which just got a little more serious.

Predictions and Ruminations

District 3 -- The whole Redd Up / brick throwing imbroglio may not sway the undecideds, but it has certainly whipped up the Kraus base; not a bad thing in the home stretch. It may also have caused some grumbling within the Koch camp, and isolated him from some natural allies. Considering Koch's thin margin over Kraus in a multi-candidate field last time around, you'd have to say Ad - Kraus.

District 7 -- Ironically, the neighborhood really did change under Bodack's stewardship. Dowd has made significant inroads into Lawrenceville, which is Bodack's home base. Dowd has been door knocking like a fiend. There's a reason "pretty boys" are so widely resented -- they tend to get the girls. Ad - Dowd.

District 9
-- The CW once held that the many challengers would split the anti-incumbent vote, leading Carlisle to sail to victory with maybe a third of the vote. Since then, evidence suggests that Carlisle and her challengers have joined in common cause against Burgess -- perhaps enough to shift that favorable dynamic, considering the Burgess camp has managed to maintain its positivity and focus. Ad - Burgess.

Controller -- Squirrel Hill is looking awful black and gold, and not with Steelers paraphernalia. Pokora still enjoys significant support, as does Dawida. But Lamb has the money edge, and the party endorsement, so we see no reason not to say Ad - Lamb.

-- We guess Mullen?

These dynamics can all be countervailed by the vagaries of Election Day, and conditions on the ground. The weather should be party cloudy and warmer, with no precipitation -- expect very high turnout. Look alive.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

D-9 Voter Guide

Comet report of 4/12 Candidates Forum

Comet interview with Ricky Burgess

Comet interview with Leah Kirkland

Twanda Carlisle did not return our request for an interview. The Comet would like to apologize to all of the other candidates, to whom we did not reach out.

New YouTubage: The Park Place Blog has posted extensive video from a more recent candidates forum, featuring Judith K. Ginyard, Leah Kirkland, Ricky Burgess, and ACDC committeeman Furman Johnson speaking on behalf of Twanda Carlisle.

MSM Coverage:

Courier, Morrow 3/29: ACDC-endorsed Rachel Cooper removed from ballot

Courier, Todd 4/05: The ACDC endorses Ricky Burgess

P-G, Lord and Trib, Kerlik & Boren 4/11: Twanda Carlisle arraigned on charges of theft and conspiracy

Trib, Boren 4/19: Ricky Burgess responds to anonymous e-mails

P-G OpEd 5/01: Post-Gazette endorsement of Ricky Burgess

P-G Lord 5/08: Wide-ranging coverage of D9 contest

Trib OpEd 5/09: Tribune-Review endorsement of Randall Taylor

The Week in Comments

the allegheny democrat was a bad idea. that's why it was taken down. no more responses.. no more bad blood.
Amber, on The Comet, on her short-lived turn at blogging.

Keep Wolfe & Amber out of city hall!
la la, on The Burgh Report, reacting to the breaking Redd Up story

Krause, Ricciardi, & Jason Phillips...the three stooges of South Side one get all three....

Krauskrapsout, on The Burgh Report, also responding to the Redd Up controversy

With regard to the comment about a candidate getting "his ass kicked" let me just say I don't think that is appropriate. First and foremost, it should be a reasonable debate about issues. Despite some tactics applied against me, and despite my opponent's unwillingness to meet in public and discuss issues, I do not and will not see this as a fight. It is an election. There is a huge difference.
Patrick Dowd, on The Burgh Report, responding to a comment by "vote them out"

My first instinct was to describe it as anti-democratic, but I'm not sure that's quite fair. Rather, the editorial seemed to embrace the kind of paternalism that in my opinion is one of the worst qualities of our politics here.

Jonathan Potts, on 2PJS, on the P-G's endorsement of Dan Onorato.

In some ways, the situation is a little like Iraq.

Ed Heath, on The Comet, on the surge of violence in Homewood.

OK, so I work for King Kong and I’m WAY confused here. For months we’ve been hearing about how budgets are tight, there’s no money to spend, we’re not on target to make projections, positions need to be cut, blah, blah, blah. I swear on my Big Ben bobblehead, I even heard someone very high up say, and I quote, “We’re not making enough money right now to work on that type of initiative.” Really? $450 million isn’t enough? Good grief. I’m asking for a raise pronto.
Huh?, from The Burgh Blog, on UPMC record-breaking profits

I care very much about how I treat the people I interview, and I assure you I’m not thoughtless–or worse–, as your post would suggest.

Bob Mayo, on The Burgh Blog, responding to PittGirl (full response at The Busman's Holiday)

Dude, Get over yourself already.
You call a wardrobe policy violation "corruption", and refer to it as "disgusting" on other sites?
Patrick, on The Comet, responding to our opinion of the Koch campaign.

Both of you make great points.
Matt H, on The Comet, regarding Patrick and ourselves.