What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 11, 2007

Sounds about right for Pittsburgh

As I've mentioned here before, I designed the website for Rick Swartz, challenger to Dan Onorato in the primary race for Allegheny County Chief Executive, so it should come as no surprise that I disagree with the Post-Gazette's endorsement yesterday of Onorato.

I was already unhappy with Onorato as both a DINO and as someone who seems to have a real talent for arrogance (see here and here for the most recent examples), so I was happy to have someone else jump into the race if only to bring more attention to issues like public transit.

Additionally, Onorato also seems to be holding the strings to his puppet, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. Ravenstahl has referred to Onorato as "The Boss" in a now infamous video. Ravenstahl of course has said he was joking, but many think that their relationship is not that funny and are uncomfortable with the vast amount of power that the County Chief Executive has as compared to the Mayor. (Then again, considering exactly who is our Mayor, he probably does need more minders than even the city budget has.)

At any rate, the last paragraph in the P-G's endorsement did give me real pause:
Rick Swartz has noble principles and a desire to engage more people in local decision-making. But Allegheny County is a metro hub with 1.2 million people, not a Vermont hamlet. He might make a responsive city councilman one day, but for county chief executive Democrats should stick with the name they know -- and nominate Dan Onorato.
Hmmm . . . Swartz "might make a responsive city councilman one day..."?!?


"one day"?

As compared to whom?

Perhaps he only needs a few years inspecting roads or driving trucks in the Public Works Department to truly be qualified for a position on our City Council (see Motznik, Deasy, Koch). Of course, Rick's B.A and graduate-level study at Pitt’s School of Public and International Affairs and School of Social Work would be a real drawback.

Yeah, that sounds about right . . . for Pittsburgh.


Jonathan Potts said...

The patronizing tone of that editorial really annoyed me.

Maria said...

I was afraid maybe it was just me.

Thanks for confirming my thoughts.

Jonathan Potts said...

My first instinct was to describe it as anti-democratic, but I'm not sure that's quite fair. Rather, the editorial seemed to embrace the kind of paternalism that in my opinion is one of the worst qualities of our politics here.

Anonymous said...

It also bothered me. The PG could've said, 'The issues raised by Swartz are very important and Onoroto has not adequately faced them'. The PG effectively said, change is good, but not right now.

I think it's important for Dan to know that if he wants to be governor, he will have to will the City and Philadelphia, not just Upper St. Clair.

Also, I'd like to see a poll gaging the competence and approval rating of PGH city council. I'll bet they get 12%. if you're in the mood to laugh (or cry), watch the council meetings on TV. That these hooligans are representing us is a pure and utter disgrace.

Mark Rauterkus said...

So, let me get this straight. Rick Swartz might make a good person for city council. But, Dan Onorato was on city council and wasn't good in that post. Dan Onorato was on city council right as he and his cronies drove the city right down the drain.

Then Dan went to be controller and was able to issue audits -- right as PAT and the other authorities were driven right down the drain.

Then Dan became county executive where he could real do something -- and let PAT spiral downward much farther than before.

Dan's campaign promise to get him into office had a lot to do about fixing the assessment situation and he only turned back the clock to a time before he even ran for that office.

Dan's main claim to fame -- the building of a couple, dinky warehouses in the vicinity of the airport.

The P-G is also in a long downward spiral. No wonder the editors there like Onorato so.