What Fresh Hell Is This?

October 17, 2009

Today's Pittsburgh Mayoral Debate Available Online Now

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.

  • http://www.harrisforpittsburgh.com/



    UPDATE: Notice that in the above URLs Harris and Acklin are both for the city and Lukey is for...himself!


    Mark Rauterkus said...

    All 3 were very cozy with the men and women in blue.

    Acklin's question of the mayor was telling. Why not ask about Pat Ford and Dennis Regan and Luke's Homecoming date his junior year of North Catholic?

    And why didn't Acklin drop Andy Gastmeyer's name as to a possible press secretary N@?

    Purpose matters.

    JenEngland said...

    Because I expect someone to bring it up....

    Dok's shoes. We thought they would be at a table and the shoes wouldn't be visible. They are orthopedic shoes because he is having knee and ankle problems from the fifty kajillion doors he has knocked on. I mean 20 Kajillion. Or was it 70? Any way, he hasn't had to go to the cobbler, but he has had to switch to orthopedic shoes. Because he wasn't a big enough Nerd already.

    Bram Reichbaum said...

    It thought it was weird how Ken Rice literally just mentioned Pat Ford at the tail end of a vague question. "How's it going with personnel issues? I remember Pat Ford was like a thing or something." As though Ken was inviting Luke to address it if he so chose. "Here is a hammer, so if you want you can fasten it to your nose and twist it round and round in circles, or you could just set it down. Your call."

    Acklin's bland to the extreme menion of Verbanac and Grattan was every bit as weird, unless he was building toward something.

    FYI, the anti-discrimination ordinance was markedly in no way "all about teh gays", but obviously we have different inclinations on how generously to interpret words from KevAck. I thought Harris did great, and I thought Acklin did just about as well. Except you've got to admit -- it IS a little weird to have to defend yourself against "voter fraud" by splitting hairs as to "intent" -- especially if you've stated that your "intent" was to unseat a certain politician in an area where you know you don't live. I suppose he could plead ignorance as to the propriety or legality of that, but again it's just going to come down to, "If you favor Dok you're going to call it a non-issue, if you don't favor Dok you're going to acknowledge, 'Yeah, that was a little vote fraud there'."

    Clyde Wynant said...

    How the hell has Verbanac managed to keep a job over all this time? He's the perfect combination of dimwitted and mean. Or have I answered my own question, particularly when it comes to politics?

    Grace said...

    Why does Ravenstahl think it's perfectly ok to use terrible grammar and speak like a yinzer rather than a mayor? His supposed 'regular' family - Dad was not a football player - I'm just a regular Pittsburgher shtick was laughable.
    Shouldn't the Steeler Nation come out against someone who speaks unkindly about Franco Harris and professional sports players? Steelerstahl indeed - what a fraud!

    Mark Rauterkus said...

    The line from Luke about his dad being 'cut' from the 8th grade football team was very, very weird.

    Perhaps he wasn't cut but was offered a place on the team -- but his equipment issue included a helment without a facemask? Gosh, I wish Beno Cook had saved all of those media guides.

    Royalty -- such a slippery slope. BTW, perhaps that is real reason for Dok's shoes, which I hadn't noticed, BTW.