Monday, January 4, 2010

On Your Results: Quick Gushing Analysis

They say in politics, the right things never happen for the right reasons. And I can see already that some scribes are coming forth with tales of woe: DIVISION! ACRIMONY! DEAL MAKING! HORSETRADING! SHOCK! SURPRISE! WEIRDNESS!

But I tell you what. Although all nine members did not sit down to figure out a "compromise", Darlene Harris represents a true, fundamental compromise and middle ground. Democracy did the thing that it does when it actually works good.

Sure, one "side" of the aisle decided to execute the compromise unilaterally because their backs were up against a wall, confronting an outcome they perceived to be intolerable. But did the other "side" wind up with one of the outcomes they would find truly intolerable? No, because that could not be achieved. Bruised feelings aside, each of the warring factions in Pittsburgh has reason not to grind their teeth tonight in their sleep.

Can any of you identify which "side" Darlene Harris better represents, the progressives or the imperialists? No. And that might actually mean she's not on one of them at all, and she's been quiet about it -- not conspicuously playing both sides of the fence. Perhaps last week, you would have said she falls at least a titch on the Mayor's "side", but that has been balanced by her principled pick of Peduto as finance chair as someone she says "has been doing a good job at that." Which in turn was balanced again by selecting Theresa Smith to be President Pro-Tem, to serve as President in her absence.

After having been built up, built up, Buttercup, just to be let down, does Councilwoman Smith have reason to feel a little wounded? Of course. But as she attested frequently this was an entirely unexpected opportunity for her. As a front-running and much-discussed candidate for the past week, her stature is far higher than it was even after that Student Tax meeting.

Yes there were fireworks, yes there will be political analysis, and yes it ended in a 5-4 vote. But in the end, compromise happened, and Pittsburghers who do not live and breathe these politics are the winners. Now, had Crown Prince Peduto carried the day instead, I would have been far, far more excited -- done a little touchdown dance and everything. But I don't think I can imagine being any more serenely happy with the results. I am uplifted.

One more thing -- because we must be consistent -- although we should be comforted that Council President Harris has six years worth of legislative experience plus several on the School Board, does she pass the all-important "Would You Trust Her To Be Mayor" test?

Well. Tell you what. I trust her maturity level. I trust her heart is in the right place. I don't not trust her to be Mayor. Count it!


  1. I am sorry that Bill did not win it but I believe that Darlene will do a good job.

    It's ashamed that Council is so decisive but I guess that's how it is going to be.

  2. Well as long as the President is a women...T. Smith.

    Would she have said the same if Peduto was elected?

  3. Just thank GOD that Burgess didn't get it

  4. Women are better than blacks?

    What Pittsburgh needs is an unemployed elderly gay black represent us!

  5. T. Smith voted with her vigina. Credentials be damed.

  6. Smith voted against Harris.

  7. Bram..

    I know those on the left have abandoned the term Liberal and embraced the term Progressive.. What does Imperialist mean?

  8. I hate to be a dick, but...January 4, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    as long as this thread is deteriorating,

    - "It's a shame that Council is so divisive..."

    - "...vagina. Credentials be damned."

    - And, once and for all, one lady is a "woman"; many are "women." Just like with boys.

    Is it a sign of a new era that monk is the only commenter to use proper grammar/spelling here?

  9. CM: Change the name Liberal or Progressive...what it means is that anyone in disagreement is an un-educated and ill-informed redneck. Me.

    I ain't never used proper anything let alone gamerr or speling..

  10. When she runs for mayor her campaign slogan can be, "The Other Harris", or perhaps, "Not That Harris".

  11. But the typos/grammatical errors were pretty funny ...

    Council is "ashamed" that it was so "decisive"?!

    And saying that Smith voted for a woman just because she's a woman, followed by the charge that she believes that credentials should be "damed"? You couldn't make up this stuff!

  12. Just for the record:

    I hate to be a dick, but... said...

    "- And, once and for all, one lady is a "woman"; many are "women." Just like with boys."

    Not boys, but MEN!

  13. Wow, the freaks come out on days like these!

    Mountaineer- Sorry, that was awful unclear. "Imperialists" just meant "the Mayor and his faction", but I don't know what to call them. Honestly. We have the "Progressives", and even if we're not always positive what that means to a fault we know roughly. I almost wrote the "Traditionalists", but some of our progressives are also very traditional in other ways. I also almost wrote "Conservatives", but figured folks like you would take umbrage. Almost wrote "Machinists" but that seems kind of 2007. Anyone have any ideas? Serious replies only.

    Monk 4:29- There you go projecting and internalizing again. You guys have Patrick and the Rev, believe me no one's faulting you for lack of book learning.

  14. Bram:

    I know you love me regardless :)


    Best Boog in Town

  15. Funny, if the deal making was on the side of the Mayor, we would have heard all about the unfairness of the deals. If progressives make a deal, all is right with the world. It just makes them more of a liar than the others, at least they are honest about what they do. Progressives, make deals and lie...great job! Harris told Smith if she did not want her to pursue the support of the others, she would not, I am sure, that too was a lie! great day for Pittsburgh, hope the progressives can explain this to the rest of the City who are calling talk shows and bashing the hell out of the ...DEAlS! All the Mayor asked for was someone he TOO can work with and that seems to trouble folks. I need to ask, do you really care about the city or this all for your own gratification? The City be damned.

  16. Whatever happended to Dowd's support on this Bogg?

  17. Would you have felt different if Luke pushed Harris (Northside)?

  18. Monk 5:36 - I don't think that could have happened. Not "reliable" enough. Might as well ask what if Luke pushed Shields.

    Monk 5:25 - Believe it or not, it's still there. It's possible to roast someone for one reason and still appreciate them for others. You should appreciate that more than anyone else.

    Anon 5:12 - The easy thing to do would be to quip, "Want some whine with your cheese?" and leave it at that. However, there are obviously differences in "deals" out there. #1: I doubt Peduto purchased Harris's undying loyalties to his agenda. #2: There were no plum board appointments offered, no tangled webs of support woven for allies and sponsors, no development bucks. Just, "Hey, would you like to be President? We'd prefer you to the alternative." If you're saying progressives should feel guilty for making *that* kind of deal ... well, I suppose you'd like them to stay fuzzy little bunnies forever and just let you steamroll them constantly. Understandable.

    But c'mon man, you're harshing my buzz! Compromise! You have half a glass, we have half a glass! Let's toast and make peace this year!

  19. That is it, put the spin on anything progressives do. It is what they do best, lie. A deal is a deal and a lie is a lie, no matter how you spin it! I'll have the wine, you keep drinking the Kool-Aid. The Pedeto is our leader Kool-aid!

  20. @Bram..

    Thanks for your clarification re: Imperialists. The Boy Mayor is clearly no Conservative. Prgressives are still Liberals.


    At least I write coherent sentences. And, I'd rather be a redneck than an ignorant Democrat liberal yinzer. BTW, I'd stack my education, expereince and business ownership against yoy or anyone else here.. I left WV more than 30 years ago, but I'm still a Mountaineer at heart.. West Virginians are true, honest and proud of their ability to stand on their own.. unlike certain parasites in cities like Pittsburgh who look to the governemnt for help.

  21. Winners and Losers ;)


    I nominate Dowd as a loser.

    Runner up? - Danny Lavelle really lays a big turd in his pants first day on the job. Yo, Jake!!!! Got some toilet paper?

  22. How come the so called "progressives" can only win the two wealthiest wards in the City? I thought they were looking out for the common man? I guess the common man (or women) are just too dumb to realize that the progressives know what is best for them.

  23. The real snake is Peduto. He screwed Payne to BUY Lavelle's vote and realized the white man did not own Lavelle (only Natalia...young...impressionable and believing she is using her own brain and not giving into politics as usual...too young to realize she seems more controlled than she may realize...maybe BP will date her too since he only seems to date young women
    ...what adult women would date him? He went to the lowest level and put in the most unprogressive member of Council as president. The idiot did not realize, the Mayor is really thrilled she is in! As long as he has folks he can work with, that care about the city and not their own interest.
    He once again put himself before all things...hail BP!!!
    Progressives can only win where there are students because any one with a brian can realize Peduto brain washes young folks with his "fellowship" BS and only kids buy his BS.
    Adults who have been voting for a while, know the games and can see right through him. They can actually think for themselves, no need to bow down before the cult leader of Peduto. By the way, hows that Obamba working for you?
    You must all be proud, I am certain you will continue to justify his behavior, you must do what you are told!!!

  24. While Bill is strong on policy, he has weak interpersonal skills. He gets very difficult to take when you are around him for a time. He has an extremely inflated view of his own importance and ability. He is much more motivated by his own political ambitions than in doing the right thing and he will live to regret putting this incompetent boob in a positon of authority. Council will look even worse under Darlene than it did under Shields. We have an idiot in the Mayor's office and council still finds a way to look even dumber. Thanks Bill!

  25. Anon 10:15,

    Where have you been? You say Peduto is a snake because he screwed over Payne? Payne's very first vote on Council was to vote for Lukey over Peduto for Council president -- and we all know how that turned out.

    Perhaps you also missed the time when Payne held up legislation by Peduto and pronounced it "CRAP."

    Peduto of all people did not owe Payne anything.

    The only one who screwed over Payne was Lil Lukey himself.

    Your logic is completely flawed.

  26. It's time to put this story to bed. Now, in other news ...

  27. I'll nominate the role of 'getting into bed with these folks' to Ms. Monongahela.


    Please blog about THAT (and who got screwed) behind a firewall as well.

  28. Peduto owed Payne his loyalty as a fellow member of Couuncil. There is an unspoken trust amongst elected people not to run a race against the person sitting next to you, just be honest enough to address the issue in private. If he could not build a relationship with Tonya Payne, how could he be trusted to build relationships on Council to unite and at the very least, work together. Most people that know Payne, find once you talk to her, she is mostly understanding, The funniest part of all, she said all BP had to do was ask for her vote and she would have gave it to him just because he was there so long!!!! She has the last laugh. Shields, Peduto and Kraus look like the Three Stooges more and more everyday! Is there a forth stooge...oh, thats right, they elected her yesterday to prove a point about their power and will spin it to be they were helping the city or progressives in some way! Two have races next year and it will not go well, my prediction. Peduto must hate Dowd cause he sees the writing on the wall. If folks do not believe Peduto's lies about Dowd, Dowd, can be viewed as the next Progressive leader or worst yet in PB mind...mayor. So Peduto will stab his own mother in the back to get what he wants and Dowd should look out! Progress do not want to ask Dowd the truth or even care about the truth and what PB has been doing to him. They just want to follow there leader, even if it is against the most true independent on council, we are making the progressives look REALLY bad in Pittsburgh and we want to get a governor will never happen...especially now and BP, Shields, Rudiak and Kraus should have thought about the ramifications over their need for revenge! Peduto wants to he says until he runs for mayor again. If he teaches, hope he gets his child abuse clearences!
    Bram, you have not posted several comments I sent in....too close to BP for honest comments.

  29. Honest comments have legs when not from Anonymous. So, I don't think Bram has any idea who's saying what and what's NOT getting posted. Sign in, even with a handle. Then see if things change.

  30. @Bram 6:02

    In talking about the council president race, You said "there were no plum board appointments offered, no tangled webs of support woven for allies and sponsors." I don't fully understand this sentiment. Peduto gave money directly to the campaign of Natalia Rudiak, and may support Doug Shields in his next campaign, be it for council or magistrate. Additionally, with the exception of president pro tem, Harris gave all of the best committee chairs to the people who voted for her, including the top post to the person who orchestrated her victory. It seems to me to be an obvious quid pro quo. Now personally, i don't think there is anything wrong with cutting deals to gain power politically; I think its just part of the game. But beside the inability of a council member to influence appoints to authorities, I don't think there is anything functionally different about the manner in which Luke and Peduto where making deals, save that Luke has more resources. Again, one can perhaps argue that Peduto's purpose (gaining power by creating a council that is independent from/opposed to the mayor) is better than Luke's (gaining power by creating a council that is supportive of him), but both men where playing the same game

    @ Bram 4:50 I do think that this dynamic is interesting. First off, it is instructional that on a council where 1/3 of the members have graduate degrees, and another is pursuing graduate studies, the two leading candidates for council prez didn't have a college education.
    Furthermore, depending on how you count Darlene, the academic pedigree of the "progressives" just doesn't compare to that of the imperialists. Often educational competency has been a rally of progressive activist, but again that seems to be flipped on its head.

    I really would like to here more comments about this idea of one side being progressive vs. the other.

    I think that one could fairly say peduto is probably the most progressive member on council, save perhaps the newbies. Also I think the "imperialist" side is probably more socially conservative than the "progressive side (largely due to the impact of Burgess). But in other policy areas, particularly around economic equity and racial justice, I'm not sure that either side, as a coaltion, has shown itself to be more "progressive" than the other. If you argue that Peduto's coaltion has bought into his agenda fully, then I would retract that, but Bram, at least you explicitly stated that you don't think that's the case.

    Would the "imperialist 4" if pair with Peduto be more "progressive" than the current coalition? Is progressive really just another name for friends of Peduto? I think defining these terms is fairly important.

  31. Personally I think the best term for Our Mayor would be conservative Democrat, as opposed to imperialist. Our Mayor does want to be a strong Mayor, so I can see some justification for that imperialist label, but "imperialist" does not reflect the pro-development and pro-life aspects of the Mayor's stands.

    Just my two cents.

  32. "Bram, you have not posted several comments I sent in....too close to BP for honest comments."

    Nope, haven't received them.

  33. I just got a "Season's Greetings" card in the mail today from Natalia Rudiak. Nice gesture, but I find it a tad bit inappropriate that the message inside the card is titled, "Prayer of St. Francis"--a two stanza prayer that has nothing to do with Christmas or holidays, per se. It closes with a printed "Amen" and Natalia's signature. Curiously, the cover image is a non-denominational illustration of the city skyline. Still, isn't there some kind of separation of church and state drivel in the Constitution or City Charter? Then again, the card's paid for by "Friends of Natalia Rudiak". So maybe all's fine. But does anyone know her stand on choice, especially since it seems to be an issue on this board where Luke is concerned?

    BTW, Rudiak friends, the word "Divine" is mispelled in the prayer.

  34. Still, isn't there some kind of separation of church and state drivel in the Constitution or City Charter?

    Rev. Ricky Burgess - Councilman/Pastor or Pastor/Councilman

    Never wanted a pastor to be a councilman or a councilman to be a pastor

  35. Natalia needs to build relationships of her own to identify herself as a true independent and not a Peduto puppet. She is young and might learn.

    Bram, are you really trying to spin this into Harris a a true independent? Are you kidding me?
    She can't even vote without consultation from someone...anyone...everyone! Please do not spin this and forget being true to your own beliefs. She is not independent, it was a mistake and now, all of those offices will be busy trying to make her look successful. This woman will speak for us and represent us on too many levels. Peduto made a huge blunder, I would have taken the lose and maintained my stature. Now he is exposed for the true fake he is. Not progressive, simply self serving. I am glad to see there is some discussion regarding his true intentions. How about the others, do not let them skate by on this, you need to hold them accountable when you talk so much about accountability. Why didn't they run Kraus, Smith would have voted for him, she loves him. Right? Dowd may have voted for him. Did they ask? Before putting us down the tubes, we need to hear more about what rreally occured and by multiple views. You cannot trust one source....ever!

  36. collegegraduatel:
    I believe Harris has some certification and Smith has some college and is completing her degree like bill did while on council. She has other certifications and trainings, as well. She did not feel comfortable in that role and many have said she tried vigorously to seek another candidate up to the last minute. She wanted Dowd or even Kraus. I do not know if she ever considered Peduto! He seemed to not have asked many members for their votes. He just used people to pressure members for their votes and did not respect them enough to ask. This could be why he cannot muster the votes. He pretends he is sincere. His comments about giving up the crown to save the throne...are you kidding me. Does he think we are that dumb to belive that. He used his own revenge and the hell with the city and now he wants us all to believe he did it for the right reasons. BP = BS!!! Selfish...very selfish! This showed he has no leadership skills. He wants to boss, bully and whine and does not know how to sincerely humble himself.

  37. "Payne's very first vote on Council was to vote for Lukey over Peduto for Council president -- and we all know how that turned out."

    Just as a point of fact I don't think that is right.  You can read yourself this PG version at the time. But BP was clearly not a candidate for the presidency at that time and Twanda was seriously talked about as becoming the next council president.  Behind the scenes maybe talk like that but LR was originally elected city council president before Payne took office and it was unanimous when they revoted a month later.

  38. Yes, I'm talking behind the scenes where the real outcome is decided. Payne was certainly lobbied by many progressives to vote for Peduto or even abstain from voting. When it became obvious that that was not going to happen, then -- and only then -- did the vote become unanimous (a done deal).

  39. Bram,
    I honestly believe that mistakes were made by all Council members during the entire process to elect a president, my mistake being the most evident. When we knew there were issues and concerns regarding the presidency, we should have talked, met three or four members at a time and worked to find a compromise candidate we could have all supported. Having said that, I feel it is imperative that we move forward in supporting Councilwoman Harris in her new role. If she fails, we fail. I believe she will meet with all members to build a workable Council and pull from each of our strengths. She can prove her effort to unite members is sincere when she appoints the members that did not vote for her election- to committees and appointments. I am confident she will appoint folks based on their desires to serve on such committees. We need to move on and discuss how we can begin forming a Council that challenges, questions and sometimes supports legislation by a majority vote. Council President Harris has many qualities that have not been stated, she has a way of bringing humor to serious issues and many times that has caused us to pause and regroup to work through issues. Her loyalty to both Council and the Mayor is strong and she will work with both sides of the hall to focus on resolving issues. I appreciate the idea of a retreat; however, I feel more strongly that what is needed is an issues and conflict resolution training held in a public facility. We could meet in the Council Conference Room and begin training sessions. Although most of us have those skills, a refresher course could serve us well. There is much that could be acknowledged about how we reached this decision; I feel it will serve us well to progress in supporting our newly elected Council President instead of revisiting the decisions and mistakes over-and –over again. In my opinion, it is time to advance and Council President Harris is eager to serve.
    I wish her well and much success. She is a good choice that will provide Council with the much needed middle of the road representation and she has a great support staff. Let's move on.

  40. Hey Theresa. We finally can mark down something you have done. Congratulations you piece of crap.

  41. I would say that anonymous name-callers are pieces of crap. Thanks for visiting, Councilwoman.

  42. Thank you Bram and good luck in your new endeavors!

  43. Bram: why not just delete that put down on Theresa at 9:35PM. If that nameless person lived in the district then he/she would know that Theresa does a lot for this district as does her staff.

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. "then he/she would know that Theresa does a lot for this district as does her staff."

    That's an opinion and not a fact. Don't be a whiny little turd and tell us all what Theresa, the great savior of the West End has done.

    Of course on your highly censored blog we would hear none of this. We would only hear your little cheering squad.

    I would consider her untrustworthy just based on the fact that she associates with you. I know this based on your visit to the crappy park in your hood.

    Of course, it's still a crappy playlot because S M I T H dooooont doo crap. Let us know in 2016 when that changes.

  46. Ray M.:
    No need to trash her because you did not get what you want from her. You ans that organization we hate are done.

  47. Still no answer.

  48. Still speechless....

    Nothing to see here...

    Just like in Smith's office...

  49. Speechless. Even the spineless wimp Matt h can't touch this.

  50. If you were actually involved in the area, you would know and has been amazing! I will not name things for you to attack, the people who are involved know and we are spreading the word. Lou, maybe she is giving you a hard time because you are giving us a hard time. Our community wants heard when it comes to development and she is no longer allowing you to run over the community. We all know how you tried to intimidate her and it did not work, she is no Deasy, Hertzberg or other reps. that ignored our wishes for years and allowed this situation to become what it has. Remember, when you attack her, you attack one of us, she works along side us and has for as long as I can remember, not simply because she was running or elected.By the way, she came out over the weekend with the PW director and put the park on the spring list for total renovation. Matt might have forgotten to add that info. and she participates in my cleanups days.

  51. it is not lou. it is either bs or gb.