Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This Week in "Perceived" Impropriety

I've heard of Pay to Play, but this is ridiculous.

"It's a private club, just like the Duquesne Club," he said. (P-G, Lord and Sherman)

To my knowledge, no 31 year-olds have ever been wheeled out of the Duquesne Club in a sack.

[Peter Karlovich] said it only got scrutiny because he and [Steven] Herforth are prominent. "Because people don't like us -- we have a big house, we're successful in the community, we donate money to charity -- they feel like they have to knock us down."

They sure are sounding exactly like your typical pay-to-play playahs so far.

After getting the order from the Bureau of Building Inspections, Mr. Karlovich and Mr. Herforth met with Mr. Shields at a Strip District restaurant. In 2007, they had contributed $500 and hosted a fundraising event for his losing bid for city controller.

"I read the law to them," Mr. Shields said. He said the sale of items probably wasn't a big problem, but "the go-go boys are a big no-no here ... And then they said they'd go to Yarone."

Yikes -- someone said the magic word. Now we know it's serious.

"If I'm contacted by a constituent or a business directly, whether it's on my office phone, or cell phone, or by e-mail, I try to make sure that any issues that are brought to our attention are resolved to the satisfaction of all parties," [Ravenstahl chief of staff Yarone Zober] said.

Is that why the Bureau of Building Inspection has such singular track record of achievement? How about letting them do their job once in a while?

Pittsburgh's Lesbian Correspondent has some thoughts:

Ironically, this article demonstrates that the gay community has reached some level of equality. The police raided the Stonewall Inn. The Bureau of Building Inspection sent a letter to Club Pittsburgh. Stonewall patrons and owners fought back using direct action. Club Pittsburgh fought back by placing a call to the Mayor's Office and changing their website.

They did exactly what any other heterosexual owned business would do when facing a threat to their business. They made a few calls and there was no need to take the streets to get BBI to back off.

By that logic, then, we can all proceed as though there's nothing unusual. Club Pittsburgh is more like Lamar Advertising than the Duquesne Club as far as we're concerned.

As to its fate: the owners are obviously being fantastically coy about what they are operating, and are playing what one might call the sexual orientation card [RETRACTED 1/08]. If North Huntington officials can shut down a straight sex club masquerading as a church, Pittsburgh officials can shut down a gay sex club masquerading as a health spa.

Shouldn't have messed up.


A West Coast businessman at the crux of a pay-to-play investigation in New Mexico has political ties to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and a contract with the state.

David Rubin, head of CDR Financial Products Inc. of California, contributed $40,000 to Mr. Rendell's political coffers between 2001 and 2005, campaign finance reports show. His company also has had $599,000 worth of no-bid contracts with the state since 2003, including a current one for $45,000, according to records released yesterday. (P-G, Tracie Mauriello)

Those financial advisory firms, man. Especially the ones that deal with bond deals. Gotta watch them.

House Republicans used the CDR connection as an opportunity to press for an end to no-bid contracts.

"This governor has made a sport of playing around with the rules regarding procurements ... and he's been able to get away with this stuff," said state Rep. Doug Reichley, R-Lehigh, who is leading an effort to pass a package of bills that would change the way contracts are awarded.

That's good. Cede the issue to Republicans.


  1. I'm going to start deleting comments that harass people for no relevant reason. That is, if you have a problem with someone's statements or politics and would like to discuss those, that's fair game, but if you're just logging on to write something like, "Matt's gay, huh huh, huh huh", it's out.

    Think of it less as censorship and more like getting kicked out of a party.

  2. Good job Bram. 1-3 people are just trying to ruin it for everyone.

    I won't allow it on my blog so I guess they are trying to get their zingers out in other venues.

  3. "It's a private club, just like the Duquesne Club."

    It's true.

    One can liberally see Santorum in both places.

    Also, this is a bellwether for the local MSM. This isn't just a billboard. The City turned a blind eye because Yarone was getting campaign cash for the Mayor. NOW SOMEONE IS DEAD.

    Grow some balls and follow up, MSM.

  4. Wait a minute, Pittsburgh's legitimate MSM--the PG, for better or worse--just did a bang-up (pardon the partial pun) job breaking the story in-depth. Count on Rich to pursue it. So no problems there.

    And obviously, if the person died of, say, a heart attack, then there's no connection between the political contributions and the unfortunate death.

  5. Can we get some juicy details here about what the parties are like at the Karlovich/Hereforth Mt. Washington manse? I was invited once but couldn't attend. Have heard that they're a blast--house music, floor-to-ceiling views of the city, much partying, etc.

  6. How about this comment from the article...

    "Mr. Watling said he told city attorneys that the only items on sale are things "that you can get at a CVS," like lubricant."

    I think I'll see if my health club (Extreme Fitness) sells lubricant when I go in tomorrow.

    Also, I'd say LMAO, but... you know..

  7. "Relax, work out and play," by the way we sell lubricant, and we rent private rooms. We are a health and fitness center damnit! Haters! you are just jealous.....(now things are heating up, but the "go, go boys are a big no-no here") tsk, tsk, tsk....
    Wonder how the Duquesne Club is enjoying the comparison?

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.