While the debate between incumbent Democrat Lil Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and independents Franco Dok Harris and Kevin Acklin (moderated by Ken Rice and Jon Delano) won't air on KDKA until Noon today, you can watch it online now at:
Here's my thoughts on the debate:
Lukey claims he's taking this campaign seriously, but I notice that his campaign web site appears not to have been updated since May. Acklin and Ravenstahl both seem to be far more up the butts of the police while Harris raises concerns about their actions during the G-20. Acklin mentions that he was for the expansion of an "anti-discrimination bill" up before County Council and how that cost him among Republicans but he somehow leaves out that the expansion was all about teh gays. Is he having it both ways with the teevee audience who will likely not look this up or is this a genuine oversight? On explaining why he's running as an independent rather than as a Republican (which he's run as before), Ackin says "I woke up one day and found myself on the other side" but fails to mention that that day was right before he started his mayoral campaign... (Lukey is the only one on the Republican ticket.) The debate got a bit testy when questions arose about Harris' qualifications for mayor. He is qualified because he has lived in the city for the required number of years but was still registered to vote in Sewickley until earlier this year. Drinking Game: Take a shot every time Acklin says "door knocking." Check out the look on Lil Mayor Luke's face when Acklin mentions that he's met with current members of Lukey's administration. Harris is amused. Rice mentions Pat Ford. Lukey says that he's "growing increasingly comfortable with staff we have." Well, I hope so, it's been three years, no? Harris mentions that he's spoken with Judy O'Connor. (I wish the camera had been on Luke for that.) The candidates are allowed to ask each other questions and Acklin asks Lukey, "Who are John Verbanac and Ed Grattan and what role do they play in your administration?" Lukey answers with "John Verbanac and Ed Grattan are friends of mine and they have no formal role in my administration." (Verbanac Wikipedia page here. More on both of them in the comments section at the The Pittsburgh Comet here and here.) Harris makes a play for women, minorities and labor. After watching the debate, I still like Harris best and will be voting for him.
UPDATE: Notice that in the above URLs Harris and Acklin are both for the city and Lukey is for...himself!