Prosecute the torture.

January 31, 2007

Congrats to The Burgh Report!

Local Blog Makes A Difference

As The Burgh Report tells it in a post this morning:
In all seriousness, that’s what blogs can do. Folks may focus on the potential for rumor slinging, but fact checking and “sunlight-shining” really are the most productive uses for the Burghosphere.
The Burgh Report was commenting on this Trib story by Jeremy Boren. In it, we learn that Interim Mayor Luke Ravenstahl claimed to be unaware that Pittsburgh's city charter prohibits acting city directors from serving longer than 90 days without confirmation by City Council.

Boren acknowledges that it was this January 16th post on The Burgh Report which raised the issue that George Specter has been serving as Acting Solicitor for about twice the allowed number of days without confirmation.

That fact came to light originally in the comments section of The Burgh Report by someone posting under the name of "Dean."

As I said in a post yesterday, blogs can be a force for good which informs the public of events and views that they might not otherwise come across. Moreover, blogs with comment sections facilitate the free exchange of ideas and information. Additionally, they allow for the broadcasting of this information to a wider audience than one would, say, have discussing a news story around a water cooler at work.

And, just sometimes, this discussion makes its way into the MSM itself.

Again, congrats to The Burgh Report. You did the City of Pittsburgh a public service.

33 comments:

the comet said...

I'm as happy to bask in the reflect glory that is The Burgh Report as anyone, but its a bit early to say it Made A Difference.

Dollars to Doughnuts, Lukey will get back to us and say, "That statute says Council *has the power to* force the mayor to appoint a permanent solicitor after that time, but with an election around the corner, we're all just electing to let it slide."

Anonymous said...

Not to dilute the "Luke attack", but you know, guys, this isn't the first time an acting director served in that role past a ninety day period. In the grand scheme of things, what's the difference? How does it affect your lives? I'd venture to guess that Dave, Maria or anyone else who seems to live for the "Luke attack" cannot name the last three city solicitors. (Not that they should be able to, as it really matters not to your personal existence.) Sure, the mayor should firm up his administration and name permanents, but really, who cares?
If this is all you have, the "Luke attack" is nearing an end, don'tcha think?
On another note, theburgher does deserve accolades for his excellent research.

Anonymous said...

Malie, Morrow, Conturo, Pelligrini...there's 4

Anonymous said...

Good Job!

Anonymous said...

"Dollars to Doughnuts, Lukey will get back to us and say, 'That statute says Council *has the power to* force the mayor to appoint a permanent solicitor after that time, but with an election around the corner, we're all just electing to let it slide.'"

Um, the statute says that ... nowhere. You have to also read sec. 111.02.

The statutes read together clearly set a 90-day window for acting appointments. After that there must be an appointment.

After 90 days a nomination of appointment must go before council.

See below ...

Sec. 111 (f)
No person shall be designated to serve as an acting director of a department or acting chief of a bureau of public safety for more than ninety (90) days without being subject to confirmation by Council as provided for in § 209 of the Home Rule Charter.

Sect. 111.02:
In case of death, resignation, sickness ... the Mayor or the head of the affected department shall designate in writing, filed with the City Clerk and Controller, a deputy to act for the department head, and to exercise the powers and discharge all duties of the department head during the absence or disability or until a new director is appointed , except the powers of appointment and dismissal of employees.

Anonymous said...

Also it says "as provided in Sec. 209."

Section 209 states:
§ 209.
The mayor shall appoint the heads of all major administrative units subject to approval of council.

An appointment -- or formal nomination to council -- precedes any council ratification.

They're pretty cut and dry wrong on this.

EdHeath said...

You know, this is just one more thing that this administration has done that really reflects how unpolished, unprofessional and inexperienced they really are. Not that I would do any better, but at least I recognize it.

I think George should sue the city to force them to take action. Then he can act as defense for the city in his role as acting solicitor. It would only be a bit more silly than some of the stuff that as gone on recently…

Anonymous said...

The folly of this is the same 100 people are obsessing about the same minor stuff and thinking it will matter to the electorate.

BTW, since gutless McIntire shut down the comments on his own blog, someone pass him the first rule of politics: He who seeks to ratfuck can count on getting the same treatment.

Maria said...

Yeah, I mean why should we care who's running the city or if the guy who appoints them knows the rules for picking them?

Anonymous said...

I see a pattern emerging from the Luke administration - each time they mess up, they cry "who cares" or "we're going to win anyway" or "it's no big deal". That's what happens when you have such a lack of quality and integrity among the highest ranks of government. What an embarassment to the office of the mayor.

Anonymous said...

At 5:59 AM, Maria said...

"Yeah, I mean why should we care who's running the city or if the guy who appoints them knows the rules for picking them?"

I've not seen you open your trap before about mayoral appointments and specifically acting directors until after Luke became mayor. There have been many over the years. Where were you then?

When exactly did you become a junkie? I've been actively involved in politics, mostly democratic politics, in Allegheny County for thirty years and I've never heard of you before I stumbled across this blog. Trust me, you're insignificant to politics in this county and to both mayoral campaigns. Luke and Peduto can both win or lose the election - it matters not what kinds of bullshit you spew.

Medication Time said...

Anonymous (directly above) - Walgreens called, your meds are ready for pick-up.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Jim Motznik called. He said he wants his barely-literate holier-than-thou writing style back, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming you're referring to the post two above yours. What is illiterate about that post? I am curious.

Anonymous said...

Luke called too - he asked that you please stop blogging on his behalf, he has enough trouble explaining his own childish behavior...

Anonymous said...

If you're referring to me, I am not blogging on Luke's or anyone else's behalf. Just as an interested citizen with a stake in the region. I don't think the moderators of this blog can honestly say that they're equally as independent. Or that they really care about the future of this city. If they had, do ya really think supporting Tonya Payne for anything is healthy for the growth of Pittsburgh? I call 'em as I see 'em.

Anonymous said...

Do you think that a mayor who lies is good for the region? Do you think failure to call a single meeting of the Ethics Board in the last 5 months is good for the region? How about bending over for every union leader who walks through the front door of the city-county building? Or using taxpayer money to distribute campaign literature? And one who promotes and defends Denny Regan? One who probably cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars for what he did to a legitimate whistleblower? How about a mayor who has no ability to speak outside the script you've given him? And this is just the beginning of fair criticism of the temporary mayor - did you happen to notice that 90% of the blogs in this town echo the sentiment of this blog? With advisors like you, no wonder the kid's in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Skrinjar,

It's time to stop posting on this blog - you need to get back to speech writing for the interim Mayor.

Hmmm, now let's see, are there at least 10 spots in the speech you're working on where you can insert the phrase "moving the city forward"?

Whatever you do, don't let the words 'handcuffed', 'integrity', 'Regan', 'ethics', or 'Motznik', slip into his speeches, we wouldn't want to drag all that back up.

Wait a minute, what am I talking about? There's no way integrity and ethics could ever appear in a speech featuring Regan & Motznik, unless it was to decry their lack of both.

Matt H said...

Dick Skrinjar has bigger and better things to worry about than this silly site that has zero cred.

Peduto 1 - Luke 0 said...

"The folly of this is the same 100 people are obsessing about the same minor stuff and thinking it will matter to the electorate."

The folly of your statement is that all you and your boss care about is votes, and some of us actually care about substance - if this is so trivial to you and Luke, just stop reading. Of course, had you been reading, you would've gotten some pretty good advice on how to handle a variety of matters - advice you'll never get from buffoons like Regan, Skrinjar, Yoder and Cassidy.

Anonymous said...

Try again, numbnuts, I'm not in politics.

malificent said...

"Try again, numbnuts, I'm not in politics."

O.K., Yarone, so you just play one on tv?

Anonymous said...

Hey, "Matt H" is back!

Is this the same "Matt H" that was outed by the Pittsburgh Comet?

I'm just asking, Mr Hogue.

John V. said...

I never said you were in politics - you're a wannabe hanger-on-ers - just like your boys Yarone, Denny, Marlene & Dick.

b/t/w Is the Mrs. Hogue who had a free smoke detector installed by the Pgh. Fire Bureau in her West End home any relation to recently outed Matt Hogue?

Anonymous said...

One more time, numbnuts: I am not in politics, I'm not a wanna-be, I have no connection to any candidate or office-holder, I don't even live in the City of Pittsburgh, I don't even live in Allegheny County.

Believe it.

My point is the "blogosphere" gets so hung up on its own importance that it fails to realize matters of urgency to bloggers mean little in the real world. It's a completely warped perspective.

And you've really been proving my point.

numbnutz said...

Actually, I'll disagree (and I can do so without resorting to a name the bitter and frustrated old man down the street used to call the neighborhood boys...) with you on your point about the disinterest of people in the so-called "real world" in issues discussed by bloggers. First, you appear quite perplexed over just a single issue discussed in a single blog. Take a look around, dozens of issues are raised, some minor, some not so minor. Some are of international concern, some only concern the citizens of a particular municipality. I think the blog is a wonderful forum for people who care enough to hold their govt. officials accountable, especially now in the city of Pittsburgh, where our (not your) fair city is being run by a 3rd-rate circus act. I also think that there are certain things that the average person would care more about if they had the info. - "need the info." -and with each passing election, and with greater access to the info. via blogs such as this one, people have the info. and the intersection of the real world with the blog world becomes greater. Also, while one issue may seem like nothing on its own, when placed in the vat of other issues which cause us to question the competency of the young mayor, little issue + little issue + little issue = big issue. Just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Never said the blog wasn't a "wonderful forum." My point was, and is, that the kind of detail endlessly dissected in some blogs doesn't matter to the world at large. People are getting carried away with their own importance in a very small universe and thinking this stuff is a big issue outside the blogs. It isn't. Tom Murphy sold out the city to get a union endorsement and still won re-election. Had blogs been prevalent then, I'm sure they would have considered that a watershed moment in his demise. Far more people will vote for that "nice young man" than will be concerned about the dust-up outside Heinz Field and its attendant issues.

Anonymous said...

That's probably true, but I think it's an indictment of the ill-informed masses, not the blogging community. Regardless, I think the point of this particular article was that blogging sometimes does make a difference, of whatever magnitude. Some people are obsessed over whether this is the issue that puts Luke down (usually those who support Luke, because from what I've gleaned from these blogs, Luke supporters could care less about details - they ONLY talk about how things will effect the outcome of the election, not about substance), while others are concerned about the issue at stake, however, minor. My point is, you don't refrain from blogging on a subject just because it's not a knock-out punch.

Pilsner 2 said...

If you've ever had any credibility, you lost it. Tonya Payne???!!!

Independent Voice said...

I'm not aware of whether 2PJ's is endorsing Tanya Payne or anyone else for that matter, and we can certainly develop a list of "don't's" in discussing Tanya, but I will say that Tanya appears to be the only city councilperson other than Bill Peduto that's shown any degree of independence and is at least trying to do her job. The rest of them appear to be robots programmed by the seedy Luke machine. Oh, and then there's BFF Motznik...

Maria said...

I''m not certain that 2pj has ever officially endorsed anyone as a blog. I believe it's been more myself or David endorsing someone in a post, though I could be wrong about that. We do usually agree on most candidates (I think) and if we run any free ads for a candidate on the sidebar, both of us must agree to that.

As regards Tonya Payne (it's tOnya, not tAnya), I've known her for about four years. I met her when she showed up at a Dean Meetup at the Beehive that I happened to be hosting that time. She was one of the small hardy band from this area who actually went to Iowa for Dean (wish I could have done that). I also knew her from the Kerry Campaign (PA Victory 04) and from everything I heard, those guys thought she was great as an organizer in her district.

After the Dean Campaign went bust, Tonya continued on in the group that came out of that campaign (Democracy for America, locally: Democracy for Pittsburgh [DfP]). She was eventually endorsed by DfP along with a lot of other progressive groups (Steel City Stonewall Democrats, Planned Parenthood Western Pennsylvania Action Fund, Pennsylvania NOW Political Action Committee, Democracy for America DfA List)
because they all liked what she had to say.

I like Tonya. And, come on now, does anyone out there really think that Sala Udin (who she ran against) was some kind of prize?? I thought he needed to go and I still think that Tonya is a better representative for her district than he was.

My support of her campaign included creating and maintaining her campaign website (among other things).

From what I've seen, she's been working hard from day one (and doing well) to help get new low/middle class income housing in her district and trying to finally bring a supermarket to The Hill. She's also been very involved in public safety issues in her district.

When she's done something that I don't like -- calling the Peduto/Shields Amendment for reforming Council spending "crap" for example -- I've called her on it on this very blog. The same way that I will call Peduto on something if he does something I disagree with -- but, hey guys, I just don't have an example of that yet. LOL

If this changes the way that someone views what I write on other subjects, so be it. But, I certainly do not apologize for helping her in any way to win against Sala.

It will be a while before she's up for election again. I will be paying attention. I will, as always, support whomever I think is the best candidate come election time...be that Tonya Payne or someone else. She'll have to earn any future endorsements as much as I like her personally and I believe that she knows this.

PittsburghJack said...

It was DEFINITELY time (long overdue, actually) for Sala Udin to go.

Anonymous said...

You guys talk about the outing of Matt H like he is gay or something.