What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 23, 2007

Mayor Luke's Pledge

Both city papers (The Trib and the P-G) have the story about Mayor Luke's pre-emptive pledge to run a clean campaign. The P-G:
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl pledged yesterday to conduct "a cleanly contested and meaningful mayoral campaign" in a letter to the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh.
And The Trib:

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today vowed to run a mayoral campaign that's free of dirty politics.

Ravenstahl, 26, of Summer Hill, said he has signed a clean campaign pledge from the Pittsburgh chapter of the League of Women Voters.

"My spoken words and campaign materials will reflect truth. I will not engage in fraud or deception, or falsely portray the background or record of an opponent," Ravenstahl wrote in the one-page pledge.

This, of course, was a complete coincidence coming as it did the day his main rival, Councilman Bill Peduto, announced his campaign to run for Mayor. From The P-G:
League President Suzanne Broughton said, though, that such a letter was premature, noting that the nonpartisan group waits to issue its annual clean campaign code until all candidates have filed to run, which occurs in March.
Pure coincidence, of course.

Anyway, one part of Mayor Luke's pledge caught my eye:
My spoken words and campaign materials will reflect truth. I will not engage in fraud or deception, or falsely portray the background or record of an opponent...
Since it runs head on into something already on the mayor's official city website:
Ravenstahl also led the charge to move forward the City’s downtown Wi-Fi plan, improving the quality of life for every Pittsburgher by allowing for improved internet access.
One day after the pledge and already a mislead from the Mayor's office. We've previously blogged on this (here and here) but it might be a good idea to revisit the facts.

One just needs to take a look at this 11-page report from April of 2005 to see where Mayor Luke's got it wrong. The report starts this way:
At the request of City Councilman, William Peduto, a working group was formed in July 2004 to evaluate the current information and communications technologies (“ICT”) environmentin Pittsburgh and make recommendations on ways the City can improve the ICT environment. The ICT Working Group is composed of ICT users, service providers and members of theacademic and government communities.

And this from page 4:

Information and communication technologies involve a broad range of services, from
high speed internet access to basic telephone service. The economic viability as well as quality of life of a region is dependent on a vibrant ICT environment.

With this in mind, City Councilman, William Peduto requested a working group be
formed as a subcommittee of the Pittsburgh Cable Communication Advisory Committee to assess the current ICT environment in the City of Pittsburgh. The ICT Working Group was formed in July 2004 and has met on a monthly basis to discuss and assess the ICT environmentin Pittsburgh and make recommendations as to how Pittsburgh can improve this environment.

And finally this from page 7:

The Working Group also discussed several other issues such as a City owned Wi Fi network and the use of ICT services to facilitate the democratic process. In particular, the deployment of the Wi Fi network in Philadelphia was discussed, however these discussions didnot result in any consensus on the part of the Working Group.

So, what can we gather from these paragraphs? That a working group formed by Peduto in July of 2004 to discussed setting up the Wi Fi network. Oh, and Mayor Ravenstahl is not mentioned in the document at all.

By the way, he only began his tenure at City Council 7 months before.

Do you see my confusion? The Mayor's city website states that he "led the charge to move forward" for the city's Wi Fi network. Yesterday he said he's pledged not to engage in fraud or deception in this campaign and yet...


Mark Rauterkus said...

Neither should hang their hats upon wi-fi, pittsburgh style.

The wi-fi effort in the city are a joke.

We still need wi-fi in the neighborhoods, not ONLY downtown at street level with unsecure 2-hours free.

Anonymous said...

The Pittsburgh wi-fi is just par for the course for our city -- backwards and behind other areas which are actually advancing and growing.

Jesus is a liberal said...

The success or failure of Wi-Fi is not the issue here. Luke said he would be honest in his campaign and then turned around and took credit for Bill Peduto's work.
So what days of the week will the young mayor not cross his fingers while speaking?
Can you say pathological liar? I thought you could!

The Comet said...

I honestly don't see how you get fraud and deception from this.

An executive culls ideas from the representatives of his legislative body. When he takes to an idea, stumps for it, and makes room for it in the budget, can that not credibly be called "leading the charge?"

If Wi-Fi was a central plank in the Ravenstahl campaign, okay possibly. But this blurb on a website as "fraud" and "deception?" Your proximity to Team Peduto is clouding your judgement.

Anonymous said...

Denny Regan should kick your ass.

Anonymous said...

The Comet wrote:An executive culls ideas from the representatives of his legislative body. When he takes to an idea, stumps for it, and makes room for it in the budget, can that not credibly be called "leading the charge?"

Not when his main opponent is the one who did all the heavy lifting.

Maria said...

Comet, yes, a good exec is always looking for good ideas, but Luke did not one thing, nada, nothing,zilch, including even attending a single meeting.

He happened to be there the day it was turned on. O'Connor could have taken some credit for it, but there's simply no way that Luke lifted a finger other to be there when the cameras showed up.
That can in no way be said to have "led the charge."

Anonymous said...

When challenged on his pledge to be honest, Fred Honsberger will argue the point that "well, you didn't ask him if anything he said before was dishonest", so his lies before he signed the pledge don't count.

I can't remember a mayoral candidate being a more patently habitual liar? The others drew criticism for their policies or stupid comments, but not their habit of intentionally broadcasting lies over our airwaves.

Howard K. Jones said...

The primary isn't even close and your pro-Peduto, anti-Ravenstahl agenda is already tiresome. Is it your intention to nitpick everything to death?

Matt H said...

It's all they can do so why won't they?

They want to make a difference and a say in this in the worst way. But it's not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Yea, far be it for a citizen to HAVE A SAY in an election!

Matt H said...

It's not that---it's the posting of lies and fabrications of the truth on this blog that bother people.

This blog is trying to make a name for itself by posting crap.

Anonymous said...

Trying to make a name for itself...yeah, I think that already happened while you were in diapers matt...and when I think "posting crap"...funny...the name "matt h" comes to mind...

Agent Ska said...

Anonymous said...

Denny Regan should kick your ass.

He probably would, if he could. That's the entire problem, genius.

To Maria- Ooooh, Snap!

Anonymous said...

What "fabrications"??

Show me.


Matt H said...

I'm sure this blog believes the McIntire lie that a phone call was placed to Dennis Regan after Mayor Ravenstahl was placed into handcuffs. That part of the story was a total lie by McIntire.

I really don't see much of a difference between this blog and McIntire's. Both are a total joke.

Anonymous said...

The phone call rumor has been floating around this city for months and months. Everyone in the media knew it, everyone in government heard it, everyone even slightly politically inclined heard it. And the rumors are that there is so much more. Maybe they are groundless, but the rumors are there and have been there and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets so much uglier.

And I really don't think I see any nit picking going on here. As a citizen I am just so insulted by what this administration has done already. The lies, the spin, the absolute arrogance, the cronyism, the stealing other politicians ideas when expediant (see the Redd up campaign) and blaming all the bad on someone else (see the claim that it was O'Connor and his administration is to blame for anything negative)--all of this reminds me of the arrogance of the Bush administration. It will be the devastating to this city if Luke is elected mayor. I don't care who is running against him, I will work the campaign tirelessly just to clean this city up of the rotten smell on Grant Street. Matt H. I have to assume you work for the city or the county and your bread is totally buttered by this administration. I can't see how anyone but a good ol boy, a crony or a cog in the machine would argue the things you do.