What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 30, 2007

Success: Rick Swartz will be on the ballot!

Challengers cry, "Uncle!"

As we mentioned here, Onorato's Boys challenged Rick's petitions. Here's the latest on this story from the Swartz Campaign:
About an hour before the court date, Rick Swartz's redoubtable lawyer, Chuck Pascal, got the news: he, and we, had disproved, countered, or otherwise de-fanged enough of their challenges. They threw in the towel.

Maybe it was the 92 year-old who wrote, "I have been living at this address since 1927."

Maybe it was the affidavit from Ben Woods (who is, indeed, a Democrat...).

Maybe it was the people we had ready to come in and testify.

Maybe they were just wasting our precious time from day 1.

We'll never know.

But, one way or another, Rick is on the ballot, and the campaign is moving forward.

Rick could definitely use a little bit of people's money (hint, hint...and yes, we're looking into ways to take web donations and stay within campaign finance rules...but don't let that stop you from mailing a small check, using the "issues coding" process).

And, Rick's website is up now (hot off the presses from yours truly):



Jonathan Potts said...

The ironic part is that I didn't even know Onorato had an opponent in the primary until Schwarz's petitions were challenged. Now there's a good chance I'll vote for him.

Not that he won't still get stomped.

Maria said...

You're not alone Jonathan. Others have told me the exact same thing.

That's what I find so astonishing about the original challenge -- it was the best PR they could have given Swartz. What were they thinking?

Smitty said...

The irony is that Rick is running when it's assumed by all that he will "get stomped." Yet Bill withdrew to not"get stomped."

Maria said...

It wasn't just that Peduto expected to get 'stomped.'

His own negatives were also going through the roof and there was the fear that any ideas (that Luke didn't 'borrow') or reform efforts would also suffer the same way.

There is no comparable onus for someone running against Onorato.

Smitty said...

I am a committee vote,and it did go to Bill Peduto.I've heard the spiel.I respectfully disagree with the decision.55 days were remaining in the campaign when Bill withdrew;That is a lifetime in politics.You use the word fear in your response to me.Its a two edged sword.It can cause you to retreat or act decisively.In regards to the mention of high negatives.I suggest a different definition for the word Fear.False Evidence Appearing Real.

Anonymous said...

I'm sympathetic to Bill's stated reasons for getting out, but I'm still feeling the "what if" factor. What if Bill had started campaigning when Luke did back in November? What if Bill had started campaigning, period? He seemed to simply accept his role as the red-headed step-sister, waiting for his turn to get noticed. We can all agree to disagree over whether it was wise for Bill to attack Luke's dishonesty, but it was as if Bill was working for Luke when he made comments like "Denny Regan has nothing to do with this campaign" and "New York is not relevant" - he told the voters these things weren't important, so the voters ignored them. It's one thing to refuse to go negative, it's another to actively extinguish the fire Luke has set. I'm not a spin doctor, but clearly, Bill had no spin doctors on staff. Bill wasn't going to turn the die-hard Luke fans, but there really were fence-sitters out there who were "give the kid a chance" people because Bill didn't give them a reason why they shouldn't give the kid a chance. It's 2007, people want information spoon-fed to them; they also expect a little back and forth between candidates, yes, on issues, but why wasn't Luke's poor personnel choices an issue? His failure to appoint a single woman to his cabinet, while promoting Denny Regan? Why wasn't his neglect of Hill District residents an issue? Why weren't his ethics violations an issue? I realize our rhetoric in the blog community is rather bombastic, and Bill didn't need to echo our language, but let's face it, Bill was running for Mayor, not pope! People expect that a few grenades should politely be thrown. Heinz Field, Hooters girls, drinking binges and questionable after-hours behavior = dangerous waters, but skipping out on official meetings to party with a billionaire, promoting and attempting to re-promote the dreg of city government, retaliating against whistleblowers, etc. all happened on Luke and Bill's watch, all concerned official City business and all were fair game. It's the campaign's job to make people care - if they couldn't do it during the campaign, the question (I'm sorry to ask) is: could they do it once they took office? Certainly, Bill is still the more qualified of the two candidates, but this is a question that has been haunting me for the past week.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Maria: There's that "Bill's negatives were through the roof" meme again! Why? What? Who? It wasn't in the CP article ...

As to Schwarz: My guess is that Onorato didn't want to campaign. To form the committees, the budgets, speechwriters, lawyers, IT support ... and then "knocking on doors." Oy, who needs it?

YinzerBoy said...

"who needs it?"

A guy who wants to run for Gubbnah in 2010 needs it, and that is the end game here. The fact that there's no real campaign is actually working against this aspiration in terms of his own motivation, fundraising, and name recognition outside of Allegheny county.

Non-blogging punditry and operatives claim that was one of the reasons for such a lopsided committe vote on other endorsements. The Pro-Onorato forces were lining up against the pro-Wagner interests. We saw who won, in the victories of various interests - Ravenstahl included.

Just to add fuel for the fodder, whaddayinz think about this?


Rick is complicit in this.

Maria said...


I have to say that I can see both sides of that argument.

Maria said...


It was in the interview with Honsberger (here).

Bram Reichbaum said...

Thanks, Maria.

I am left actually questioning methodology of whatever "internal polling" he was looking at.

My gut tells me that people "in the know" (e.g. committepeople) may have had their negatives up ... they're in an intense environment! ... but Joe Q. Public remained blissfully unaware of Bill Peduto.

Then all of a sudden Joe turned on Ravenstahl, and looked over Peduto, and saw a guy that seemed fundamentally okay. And not piling on Luke when he's down.

Then he quit.

Smitty said...

Bram..i agree..like I said false evidence appearing real

Maria said...

"Then all of a sudden Joe turned on Ravenstahl, and looked over Peduto, and saw a guy that seemed fundamentally okay. And not piling on Luke when he's down."

Where's your evidence of this??? Where's your evidence that the public has turned on Luke???

Char said...

No, the public has not turned on Luke. And they won’t unless he has a sports-related screw up. Like, you know, if the Pens had left or something. But lets also remember the number of people who vote without knowing what the issues are. Much less having an opinion on the issues. Much, much less caring whether or not Peduto published any position papers on the issues. No, only political junkies (no pun intended) care that much about the silly details.

A huge number of folks cast their votes for the most illogical of reasons. This time around that crazy reason is that Bob O’Connor wanted Luke to be mayor if anything happened to him. I am told this flat-out and straight-faced by people from all walks of life that I come into contact with daily. In their minds, a vote against Luke is disrespecting the last wishes of the late Bobby O. And absolutely nuthin is gonna make them think differently. This is what Peduto saw in his polls. Fighting pure emotion like that is simply hopeless.

As for Onorato, I agree with Bram. Onorato didn’t want to campaign. In fact, he told us that himself, remember? He’s the one who called elections “distractions”.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Elections are distractions to Dan Onorato. Humm...

Wonder what "Joe Six Pack" is going to say about Dan's trip to China while we have County enforcement goons blowing smoke up the wrong-end of bingo players.

Do you think out of country travel for an elected official is a 'distraction?'

Or, do you think it is going to reap rewards for the economy. Can it be rationalized or politicalized?

Bram Reichbaum said...

Maria, fair question.

My evidence of this is the tone of all the MSM outlets for that 36 hours, but more importantly, my source is Morton Reichbaum. Who was an archetypical "Give Luke a Chance" voter, but then totally flipped after watching Ravenstahl's performance in front of the press gaggle. And asked me to repeat that other guy's name.

Maria said...

Bram: So you take one anecdotal voter over a legitimate poll? But, if we're going with anecdotal stuff here's something: Right after the big NYC trip hit the news, someone doing door-knocking for Peduto asked folks what they thought about the story and the vast majority never even heard of it.

Char: You need to do a blog of your own! (But keep posting here too.)

Anonymous said...

So now "distraction" is going to be misrepresented as badly as "Al Gore invented the Internet?"

What he meant was there wasn't the distraction of having to run a campaign, which is a full-time job unto itself. But since we're upset with Onorato, we'll blow that into suggesting he's a banana republic dictator who hates democracy.

Maria said...

Oh, I understand.

Onorato wants to be elected without the fuss and bother of actually running. And to that end, he's willing to have his buds do a completely unwarranted, worthless challenge of his only opponent that they wuss out of at the last minute because they know that they were about to be called out on their crap by a judge.

Glad we cleared that up.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Science, schmience. The problem with "internal polling" is all that heizenberg uncertainty jive, not to mention uneven standards. We're both engaging in heresay and conjecture; I don't disbelieved Peduto *believed* his negatives were high; I just think he saw what he expected to see.

Maria said...

"Science, schmience."

Well, gee, that definitely convinces me.

Anonymous said...

Maria, do you ever get tired of overreacting to every-fucking-thing? You spend your day throwing dick darts at Luke and Onorato and it doesn't have one bit of effect. They're both guaranteed of winning.

Seriously, honey, I long for the day when you can get out of the house, see that there's life beyond the computer screen, and stop obsessing about the most minute details of crap that absolutely matters not one bit to anyone else.