You can still listen to the KDKA interview here.
"Peduto Refuses to Play Dirty Politics" KDKA Radio, 2/22/07
FH: I remember having you on the show and asking you if McIntire was doing you any favors and you said, 'No.'
BP: People were saying that I was behind the NY thing.
Everything that I did just by being in this race raised my negatives. Just by being in this race, I raised my negatives.
If I were to go out and hold a press conference and say I found a plan to hire 100 more cops to be out in the neighborhoods to make them safer, people wouldn't like the plan just because it was me.
And, I've never had negatives. My negatives testing for internal polling were never higher than 12 -- they are triple that now and it's not because of anything that I've done, it's because I'm running against Luke.
His popularity is through the roof and it''s all based on image.
There's no issues that you can go back to and point to and say, "OK, so you like him over Peduto because of them other than 'give him a chance.'"
FH: Not to rub salt in the wound, but the last line of the Post-Gazette editorial says, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" and now that you're out questions are being raised over NY. Now that he has no opponent, he can say I'm not going to discuss that anymore.
BP: Yeah, but I'm not a pawn and that's what I think that the Post-Gazette is trying to say. Saying that Peduto has to go out there and be the sacrificial lamb for us. And you know what? The public wants Luke which they do and -- they got him -- and for me to go out there and destroy my own political career in order to make this a competitive fight by trying to destroy Luke; how is that beneficial to trying to reform Pittsburgh? I don't get that.
And, the Post-Gazette's written two articles that are substance on the issues and close to 50 to 100 other things that the Ravenstahl PR machine has put out. They've been able to...they had their opportunity to bring up the issues.
I heard there's a second editorial that said, "No more free pass." Well, guys, guess what? Too late. You got the guy that you helped to create and to blame it on me at this point is not only unfair, it's just plain wrong.
FH: A run as an independent -- too soon? Maybe wait 2009 to have something to run against...and it doesn't have to be about image hopefully.
BP: Exactly and maybe the Post-Gazette will ask some second questions. You've got a free college program but how are you gonna pay for it? To give 20 neighborhoods no taxes for property is that going to make the homeowners in this city whole or how are we going to be on hook pay for it?
You can't just put out press releases and expect them to be policy papers and unfortunately that's what the media has done. They've given Luke a free pass and no wonder. And, I'm not blaming the public. The public believes that good or bad or whatever in the mainstream media and that's what...where this campaign is now.
FH: This "gotcha journalism" which is pervasive nationally as well as locally. And, they really love doing it. Look we got it, look what we've done now. It really lacks substance and it's really shock value but it backfired this time, didn't it?
BP: And you know what? Shame on the Post-Gazette for choosing the charged words that they did with me because when this city's back was against the wall and the Post-Gazette was every single time, Luke took the other way, begging City Council to do the right thing. Every time, every single time, I did. And, almost every single time Luke took the other way. And, they know that, and the editorial board knows that, and maybe they're hurt and maybe they thought there's really an opportunity to get the issues presented that are important.
But I'll tell you what Fred, there's no traction at all with those issues. Those are the issues that I care about. The issues to reform this city and a May 15th primary not only would have destroyed me, but may have destroyed the reform movement in this city and I wasn't going to take that chance to take both of us down with that.
FH: Is Luke Ravenstahl the Sanjaya of the mayoral primary race?
FH: If you know Sanjaya from "American Idol" -- looks good but...
BP: I've never watched the show.
FH: Is this the fight against the machine? Is the machine really running the whole thing here?
BP: Yes, but it's not the David L. Lawrence machine. It's not the machine of the 1950s, or the Democratic Committee. The folks on the Committee are handed the crumbs. It's the folks that do the bond issue work without any competitive bidding or the contracts that go out for professional services -- the highway contracts and everything else. And, everyone knows it and they finance the campaigns and then they hold this region back. And, it's the developer that look for zoning variances over the counter and everything else.
This city needs to be completely clean. It needs to be started over and that's not what the public wants right now. The public wants is to "give this guy a chance."
FH: I hear what you're saying. You know, I admire you and I admire any politician that says going negative is not the way to win races.
BP: You know going negative can be not only a way to win a race, but to point out important differences. And, you'll see that in congressional races about Medicare and social security and...but, when it's about a person and issues like handcuffs, and airline flights, and whatever, it destroys the person who's putting it out there too.
FH: Councilman, I hope to hear form you. I know you're not going away.
BP: I'm not going away. November's still on the table. Obviously next year's still on the table...or 2009. And, building out a reform movement and bringing others on board is still ongoing. My staff is still on I'm in my campaign headquarters right now.
FH: Councilman, thank you. Councilman Bill Peduto.