First, at a news conference downtown, Mark DeSantis challenged Mayor Luke Ravenstahl to at least 8 debates. He also signed the following campaign pledges:
- The candidates will not accept gratuities or gifts from parties or their representatives that have business currently before the City of Pittsburgh or that regularly have business with the City of Pittsburgh; (Lawful campaign donations are excluded.)
- The candidates will not misrepresent their past business or political experience and will not misrepresent the past business or political experience of their opponent;
- The candidates put forth a plan to prevent the City of Pittsburgh from entering bankruptcy. The plan will be submitted by both candidates on or before October 1, 2007;
- The candidates will run a campaign that treats City of Pittsburgh voters with respect; and
- The candidates will agree to debate the relevant issues facing the city on at least eight (8) occasions between August 1, 2007 and election day.
The Ravenstahl campaign issued the following response:
Mr. DeSantis believes that at least eight debates are necessary to provide Pittsburgh voters with an informed decision in this upcoming election. “A thoughtful discussion on the issues and challenges facing this city is the only method to provide voters with a clear choice in democratic leadership,” said DeSantis.
In a June 20, 2007 letter, Mr. Ravenstahl requested two debates with the caveat that his current position as the appointed mayor may prevent him from engaging in these debates. “ It is my first and foremost responsibility and its scheduling requirements are enormous”. (See Ravenstahl Letter dated June 20, 2007). Mr. DeSantis believes that engaging in thoughtful debate on the issues facing city residents is the responsibility of both candidates. “Two debates are simply not enough. City residents need to have as many opportunities as possible to accurately assess the qualities and abilities of each candidate”, said DeSantis.
Mr. DeSantis expects Mr. Ravenstahl to provide an answer to this challenge by July 23, 2007. The DeSantis campaign looks forward to working to secure the debates as soon as possible.
It is our hope and desire that this campaign can be about the issues, rather than just election year campaign tactics. The Mayor is very disheartened by what we’ve seen from our opponent thus far.A few thoughts. They really gotta get a better writer over there at Ravenstahl HQ. Take a look at the fifth paragraph - the one that starts "Mayor Ravenstahl has served for over ten months..."
If our opponent does not know, the City of Pittsburgh is required under Act 47 and Act 11, the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, to have a five year budget and recovery plan. We have that already. The major difference between our opponent and Mayor Ravenstahl is that the Mayor has already been a part of making that plan and bringing it into existence. Mayor Ravenstahl is the first Mayor in years to implement a structurally balanced budget. Mayor Ravenstahl has cooperated with the ICA, Act 47 and Pittsburgh City Council to put forth a plan to balance the City’s budget. Our opponent has not.
With regard to our opponent attempting to offer a policy that differs from the existing law relative to the City Ethics Code, Mayor Ravenstahl complies fully with the existing law and will continue to do so. No amount of election year antics will change that.
Mayor Ravenstahl has served for over ten months now. He has demonstrated that he always treats the voters and residents of the City with the highest degree of respect. In fact, he has stood election twice before and has always done so. Our opponent has not.
Our opponent exclaimed in his announcement that no candidates should misrepresent his own or his opponent’s past business or political experience. On this we can agree.
Finally, our opponent asks now, in the form of his pledges, to call on the candidates to agree to debate. Our opponent should be reminded that on June 20th, Mayor Ravenstahl was the first candidate to call for and offer specific debates. To date, our opponent has not responded to our offers. Now our opponent is using campaign tactics to rewrite history. Mayor Ravenstahl looks forward to debating his opponent vigorously.
If we start from the position that any given sentence is a more or less discrete idea, then there's some messy overlap of sentences there. The first sentence lays out the case that the mayor treats voters with respect. Fine, but then there's this sentence:
In fact, he has stood election twice before and has always done so.Huh? Always done what? Stood election twice? That makes absolutely no sense. I am guessing that that phrase belongs with the previous sentence. But with that word "always" in there ("...he always treats the voters...") simply cutting and pasting it over would be redundant.
And then what hasn't DeSantis done? Stood election twice? Or treated the voters with the highest respect? If it's the first one, so what? All the original coverage about DeSantis pointed out that he's never run for elected office. What does that have to do with treating the voters with respect? If it's the second, then where's the evidence from the campaign for this charge?
See what I mean? It's bad writing that does not serve the Mayor's campaign well at all.
And what's with the use of the royal we? As Mark Twain once (reportedly) said:
Only kings, editors, and people with tapeworm have the right to use the editorial "we."Safe to say that good old Sam Clemens is quite right about that.