What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 4, 2007

No, really. Why?

We've been having quite the spirited discussion in the Comments Section to a recent post; "Ravenstahl, Birth Control, & the 7th Ward Democratic Committee Meeting." One commenter, Patrick, and I have been going back and forth and my answer to his latest comment grew so long that I thought that it deserved a post of its own. (You can read all the comments here.)

Here's Patrick's latest comment:

At 5:44 PM, Patrick said...
Look, this is REALLY getting old...
but the posts I've read which claim to quote Luke on the bubble law are referencing questions from committee people on the subject of birth control; those QUESTIONS then went on to tie in his opposition to the bubble law as a way to sound him out on the right to privacy (seems to me like the questioners were trying to ask about his views on abortion, without actually asking about his views on abortion).

Thus, Luke's responses to those multi-subject questions would naturally mention privacy - the questioners asked him about it themselves. I have yet to see references in these blogs of a question directed at Luke that specifically asked about why he voted no on the bubble law.

[Now, one can believe in a right to privacy and still be of the opinion that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, but that's another set of blog posts...]

And another thing: why do the residents of Peduto-stan seem so desperate to believe that Luke is against birth control and abortion? Does that somehow give their support of Peduto some extra-value? Maybe it's more motivation to be against someone rather than be for your own candidate, but the Peduto-istas seem to WANT Luke to be against everything they believe in, perhaps so it feels better backing Peduto.
NOTE: In a previous comment, Patrick had asserted the following: "Opposing this bubble law is in no way an attempt to repeal these existing laws; rather it is a solid, pro-American, pro-1st Amendment stand that Luke should be commended for taking."

Here's my reply:


Your denial is what's getting OLD.

You ascribe positions and opinions to Ravenstahl with absolutely no backup -- without one shred of evidence.

I, on the other hand, believe Ravenstahl when he tells people that he's against birth control and when he tells the Post-Gazette that he's "socially conservative."

It's really quite simple, Patrick. If he voted against the Bubble Zone based on the First Amendment, why doesn't he just say that?

He had all the time in the world to give his justifications during the vote, yet he CHOSE to be the only council member to remain silent about why he voted as he did.

When someone asks him a question like "Mayor Ravenstahl, I'm concerned about your position on contraceptives/abortion/privacy rights because of your 'no' vote on the Bubble Zone. Can you help me out on that?" He could just say something like:

"My vote reflected my First Amendment concerns."

Damn, that was pretty friggin' simple, no? Only seven words.

Yet, time after time, he doesn't say anything like that. This has to lead one to believe that either: 1) he didn't vote based on that or; 2) For some reason he wants people to think it may have been based on his religious views/moral concerns but he's being cagey about it or; 3) what -- he just can't even think that much on his feet?

I mean come on, it's not that hard to say what you mean, is it?

But, I have no doubt that if this issue breaks into the MSM, and he starts taking some heat on it, he will have no trouble FLIP-FLOPPING. After all, that's been his MO. As the P-G's Brian O'Neill has pointed out:
"A couple of years ago, Councilman Ravenstahl wanted to stop devoting bus shelter advertising revenue to shade trees. This month, Mayor Ravensthal is pledging to slash carbon dioxide pollution and has signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.

Last fall, Mayor Ravenstahl lobbied to keep a $52 lump sum tax on all workers inside the city limits. Last month, he changed his mind, advocating the same $1-a-week system Peduto has pushed.

Last October, Mayor Ravenstahl nominated the politically toxic Dennis Regan to be public safety director. After that choice went over like a Browns jersey at a Steelers tailgate party, the mayor nominated Fire Chief Mike Huss as director of public safety, the same guy Councilman Peduto suggested in October."
However, O'Neill loses me when he says, " Who can argue that learning from early mistakes is a bad trait in a politician?" because what I've also seen from Ravenstahl is lots and lots of plain old BAD JUDGMENT and some folks just never outgrow that (Bush is prime example of that).

Ravenstahl has shown plenty of incredibly poor judgment. He demonstrated that trait when he raised the "politically toxic" Dennis Regan to be his Director of Operations. It got even worse when he named him as Pittsburgh's Public Safety Director. Even a 26 year-old should know that that position demanded experience -- hell, even an 18 year-old should have known that.

His declaration that Cathy McNeilly wasn't a whistle-blower and the demotion that followed will cost the city big time. His killing off of the Police Off-Duty Recovery Program will, and has, cost the city even more.

There was also his failure to really reform City Council spending when he, instead, opted to keep the walking around monies

And, for someone who's running against Bill Peduto, he sure has no problem "borrowing" idea after idea from him, or, just outright claiming credit for work he never did. And, I don't think he even bothers do the borrowing on his own. I hear it's Yarone Zober's job to grab into the bag of "Things Peduto Has Said During Council Meetings" to come up with ideas for Ravenstahl to parrot.

And, when he isn't busy pirating from Peduto, he's stumped for answers on something as big as the Mon-Fayette project or he, the MAYOR of Pittsburgh, is conceding his authority to his "boss." Boss? Why do we need to keep asking who's in charge with this guy?

Then there's his problem with being more inclined to truthiness than truth -- yeah, I have a problem with people who weasel or lie. I also have a problem with blatant use of taxpayer dollars for one's own politcal gain.

And after all this, I'm supposed to support Luke . . . Why?

No, really. WHY?

I mean even he wasn't able to come up with an answer on that his own self for David Letterman.

As to your assertion that:

"Maybe it's more motivation to be against someone rather than be for your own candidate, but the Peduto-istas seem to WANT Luke to be against everything they believe in, perhaps so it feels better backing Peduto."
I don't need any help in feeling good about backing Bill Peduto for Mayor, thank you very much.

I backed him in his first run in 2005 and I support him now for the same reasons that I supported him then.

I'm supporting Bill Peduto for Mayor because I find him to be smart, knowledgeable, experienced, and creative. I believe that he possesses the good judgment necessary to more than handle this important position. I also happen to agree with his stance on many issues.

Moreover, I know that I don't have to worry that he's beholden to the same old, same old, tired crew of the worst of the party hacks.

When Peduto speaks as Mayor, he won't need to look around to others for an answer as to his opinions on the important issues of the day, and we won't have to ask who's the boss.

That's why I'm for Bill.


Heather Sage said...

Bra-freakin'-o, Maria!

Patrick said...

Twice now I get my own posts - I should be flattered, I guess...

Anyway, you still don't get it. If Luke doesn't say why he voted no on the bubble law, and you are still wondering if it is about free speech, look at the text of the ordinance and see what he is voting against: protesters on a public sidewalk within a certain number of feet of the entrance to an abortion clinic are subject to criminal penalty if they try to talk to people in that zone. [Assault, harrassment, terroristic threats, etc. are illegal everywhere in PA, so no special zone is necessary].

Thus, it's a question of whether protesting non-violently outside of an abortion clinic should be subject to criminal penalty. Luke voted no.

There is only one possible interpretation: Luke doesn't feel the power of the government should be used to punish this speech.

Considering the conduct is taking place on a PUBLIC STREET, I don't think either the protester, or the protestees, have any expectation of privacy. Thus, someone who votes against this law would no doubt be of the opinion that it does not impact anyone's privacy - they're in public!

Of course, the whole point of my post was that the questions he was asked at the 7th and 14th Wards were about birth control, not the bubble law. Something along the lines of:
"I hear from an un-named source you're against birth control...you also voted against the bubble law...these things make me think you might be against a right to privacy...do you support a right to privacy?".
Naturally, what the questioner was really asking was if he is pro-life, because she doesn't vote for pro-lifers.

The questions were about privacy and birth control, and only tangentially mentioned the bubble law. Thus, his answers reflected the questions.

Bram Reichbaum said...


You're not the new development czar, are you? Just askin'. That "Peduto-stan" meme sounds awfully professional. I'm not trying to be one of those conspiracy theorists who attacks every pro-ravenstahl commenter with "NICE TRY, YARON!"

Would you agree, Patrick, that it is time for the Mayor to declare where he stands on abortion & contraception, regardless of who asks what exact question? For many voters, like it or not, this is a character issue. For others, they'd at least like to know for sure where he stands.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Oh, and you still didn't touch on Maria's larger question: aside from this crap, why Luke Ravenstahl? What's he stand for? What won't he tolerate?

It's just so nice, for impartial blog authors like myself, to encounter another pro-Ravenstahl web presence!

Maria said...


"There is only one possible interpretation: Luke doesn't feel the power of the government should be used to punish this speech."

There you go again.


If that's the ONLY possible interpretation, then why did the other council members who voted against it phrase there opposition in terms of abortion and saving lives?

Then Council President, Gene Ricciardi, said that the buffer zone ordinance would "seriously damage the free choice to save a life" and Councilman Len Bodak's remarks echoed this mindset when he claimed that protesters were just trying to "get people to think about what they're doing" (because, you know, we girls just can't think on our own without the help of some Ohio college kids or direction from The State in the form of a 24 hour waiting period).

Ricciardi's remarks were fraught with religious language, not Constitutional language as when he said that "counselors" must be able to look the women entering the clinics in the eye to see into their "heart and soul" in order to conduct their "ministry."

Then of course there were those in the public comments section of the Council meeting who condemned not only Councilmembers voting 'yes' on the bill, but all of Pittsburgh, to Hell.

And, Patrick, it wasn't Constitutional Hell that they were talking about.

Once again, I base my statements on the FACTS of what people actually said and, once again, you don't.

Anonymous said...

I was at the 7th Ward Democratic Committee meeting when Ravenstahl had to answer the question regarding the bubble zones that was posed by one of the committee members-- his exact response was "I get harassed everyday" he did elaborate further as he was pressed on the issue but that is exactly what he said.