Tuesday, April 22, 2008

PA-21st Legislative District: WHOA, NELLY!

Meanwhile, closer to home, the three candidates for Lisa Bennington's seat in the state-house are neck n' neck n' neck:

Dominic Costa: 34.84%
Leonard Bodack: 32.76%
Brenda Frazier: 32.20%

This with 99% reporting. It's close, but it seems done.

ALSO: Steve O'Donnell is up by five percentage points over Beth Hafer, thus far, and Jake Wheatley is walloping Deidre Washington.

More Breakdown: The 9:00 Hour

So Hillary is the projected winner with 5% of the vote in, right now by 53-47%. According to people, "people like Mike Doyle of Pittsburgh" are on their phones right now with donors and superdelegates, trying to patch the wheels back on the wagon.

Keep refreshing, in case anything else interesting happens.

Pat Buchanan is high on meth, yelling at the rest of the panel and accusing them of utilizing "Marxist dialectic" for not agreeing that Barack Obama is sunk. Until we get a good idea of the margin of victory, no one should be allowed to talk.

With 21% reporting, it's still 53-47. Clare McCaskill: "We knew all along that Hillary Clinton was going to win; for most of the campaign we've been talking about double digits." Thank you. Everybody breathe.

Clare McCaskill: Getting grilled by Chris Matthews for Obama not having a "sharp" enough message -- to which she responds that Obama is going to be who he is, maintain his authenticity, and not start thinking about who he needs to become to win any given race.

Bill Bennett says something smart: "The Clintons know where the center is in American politics, and they go there. I used to think Barack Obama knew where the center was, until this last month, now I'm not so sure."

Now it's Time for the Breakdown!

The Media Overlords are telling us that even money stands at Hillary by 7 points; that is, if she exceeds that margin, it is a "big win", whereas if Obama comes within 5, it's a "moral victory."

Of course, they are basing this upon the latest polls. Why should the last-minute difference between the latest polls and the actual results dictate who exceeded "expectations"?

You'll have to ask that of the Media Overlords.

Keep refreshing, in the event that any of the talking heads say something particularly amusing.

Bill Bennett: Obama is "twitchy" because he doesn't have anybody to fight alongside him. (This is why he should name a running mate right now, and nuts to tradition).

Everyone: Sen. Obama's problem: "Where all de white women at?"

Anecdotally: HUGE turnout in Pennsylvania today!! On our way in to the polling place, somebody else was coming in at the same time. On our way out after voting, two more people were entering. TREMENDOUS numbers for East-East Allegheny!

Wolf Blitzer: Exit polls say the race was "competitive". Giggity?

ANDREA MITCHELL @ CLINTON HQ: "Clinton Insiders" who have the polling data are already aware they're not going to get "the big win" they were looking for!! "They are going to have to figure out another rationale for going forward."

Pittsburgh "Area": Obama is projected to have scored only 38%. In the "Rest of State" (not including Pittsburgh area, Philly or the Philly suburbs), Obama scored 42%. OBAMA DID WORSE IN PITTSBURGH THAN IN "REST OF STATE?" Are we teaching you people NOTHING???

CNN: 53% of Protestants voted for Obama. This is the first demographic they have flashed yet that voted in favor of Obama. (Except African Americans. Last number we saw: 92%)

CNN: Clinton leads among 65+ y.o.'s 60-39%. Their talking heads say, "This is not not so good for Hillary Clinton", considering all of the kids voting for Obama with their rock n' roll music and their roller skates in their sneakers.

NBC: Just gave Clinton the checkmark. Of course, that's the raw win, not the "expectations" win, but so much for the fantasy. Can't be that close if they're calling it with 3% reporting.

Also, money is important. Apparently, Hillary is broke, and needs a big win to make any more of it. To be continued.....

Two Places to Get Election Results

1. The Pittsburgh Comet

2. The Lamar Advertising LED display on south-bound Route 65, just before the North Shore exit (true story).

Of course, if you want meaningful results, you might have to wait a few days:

Unlike most states, Pennsylvania has a large number of counties split into multiple congressional districts. That could delay results by a day or more as election officials work to assign votes to the appropriate districts. (MSNBC)

And wouldn't this be fun:

The distribution of delegates among congressional districts raises the possibility that one candidate could win the statewide vote and the other could win more delegates, but the statewide vote would have to be very close.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The Comet will be leaving for a post-primary jaunt to Las Vegas, Nevada on the morning of Thursday, April 24, and will not be returning to Pittsburgh until Wednesday, April 30. All outstanding city business must be completed and turned in by the time the dailies go to press tomorrow night.

CORRECTION: 2 Out Of These 3 Want You to Vote for Hillary Clinton

We're just saying. (Photo credit Jim Burn)

BestFriendsgate: Yes, This Also Qualifies

One summer day in 2006, Al Wikowski Jr. looked behind his Lawrenceville row house and saw decks extending from the building behind his to within a foot of his back windows.

The decks, he later learned, were built without a permit, and subsequent efforts by city of Pittsburgh agencies to force their removal got nowhere. Even as the Bureau of Building Inspection was trying unsuccessfully to get the deck work behind the building stopped, the city's Urban Redevelopment Authority was signing off on a $30,000 aid package for work on the facade. (P-G, Rich Lord)

It could be worse. It might have been an electronic billboard in his window.

Private criminal complaints filed by building inspectors against Mr. Edelstein and an associate in January 2007 have languished. He doesn't want to move, and in fact refused to sell to Wylie even after they threatened to sue him if he didn't. He's been to hearings and meetings, and the decks remain.

Isn't Bureau of Building Inspections Director Ron Graziano the one department head that Mayor Ravenstahl ultimately found intolerable and had to let go? You don't suppose Our Mayor could have been aware of this situation, and other situations, involving BBI regulations conflicting with the interests of 'best friends' of the URA?

Attorney Lawrence Fisher, who represents Mr. Ford in relation to a State Ethics Commission investigation into his receipt of gifts from a Lamar Advertising executive, said the Streetface program "was administered appropriately and according to law ... Any such grants that Pat signed off on were reviewed and recommended" by other URA officials and the agency's general counsel.

Only following orders, you see. Only carrying out the mission. He's probably got a point.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday: We're Not Making This Up.

"There were a number or promises made by all three casino developers, and I need an opportunity to sit down with Mr. Barden so that I have a better feel about his amendment," Ravenstahl said Saturday. (Trib, Rick Stouffer)

You know, he's not wrong. Except.

Our Mayor would have more of a leg to stand on if the entirety of regional government was not so adamant about not giving one red cent to some nebulous group of people -- or if he personally had applied some pressure on the SEA and the Penguins to share a bit of those development rights.

"Who received the gaming license and where the casino will be built was decided by the state, so we're basically dealing with the hand the state dealt us," Ravenstahl said. "Our goal in all of this is to ensure that the casino has a positive impact on the city."

There are those who cling to Isle of Capri like guns and religion.


"As we use more resources to take down more condemned buildings, the land that remains cannot be an eyesore that hinders neighborhood development," said Mr. Ravenstahl. "Land is an asset, and should be used to improve the quality of life for our citizens." (P-G, Rich Lord)

Attn Democratic committee people: He never promised you a rose garden. (We hope!)

This is not a call for higher taxes, but rather the sanity to recognize that any source that delivers more than a third of a county's revenues can't remain capped interminably while costs are rising. (P-G, Edit Board)

We are genuinely casting about for a rationale behind Dan Onorato for Governor. Any help out there? Anyone?

Our house is a solid, century-old factory with thick brick walls, but the blast, or whatever it might be, was so powerful that the whole building shook. (P-G, Ruth Ann Daily)

THANK YOU! People were looking at us like we were crazy!

You may have heard we are involved in a disagreement. Any Comet readers who possess the skills of a forensic computer scientist should e-mail us A.S.A.P.


"Each year a pencil-pusher in Washington still has to send treaty cloth to Onondaga," Mr. Galban said. (P-G, Len Barcousky)

You're kidding.

"It's going to be bright. It's going to be shiny. It's going to be new," Bureau of State Parks Director John Norbeck said. "It's going to be an attraction more so than it's ever been." (Trib, F.A. Krift)

, Nothing like a bright, shiny war memorial.


Tuesday can put a stop to it. If Mrs. Clinton loses, she loses the last justification for keeping her candidacy alive. (P-G, Edit Board)

They feel so strongly about this, they endorsed him twice.

For Pennsylvania Democrats, the smart choice Tuesday is Mrs. Clinton. (Trib, Edit Board)