What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 9, 2011

Jeff Koch's Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire Flyers

Here's a flyer that went out this weekend in the South Side of Pittsburgh's 3rd City Council District:

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

There's so much misinformation, misdirection and outright lies in the above flyer, that I'm going to need to go line-by-line and graphic-by-graphic. Let's start with the back.
BRUCE is taking money out of your pocket to pay for:

- Increasing his own salary - THREE times in FOUR Years!
This is true, however, what the flyer doesn't tell you is that those were COLA increases which went to all city employees -- including JEFF KOCH -- is Jeff going to give the money back?
- Lavishly redecorating his office in City Hall.
Via Bruce Kraus' campaign manager, Justin Wassler, when Councilor Kraus took office, "He replaced some furniture -- standard with incoming elected officials." The carpet was also replaced "as part of an asbestos abatement issue on the fifth floor." Any other repairs/replacements came out of Kraus' own pockets.
- A $100,000 study aimed at funding new ways to TAX residents.
Yes, Kraus was able to secure funding for The Responsible Hospitality Initiative. This has nothing to do with taxes. What it does is find best practices for dealing with hospitality districts like the South Side -- to create harmony between visitors to the businesses in this area and those who live here. It's actually a comprehensive plan to deal with the ills of the neighborhood. In fact, it's one of the reasons why the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed him ("he obtained funding and commissioned a report on how to keep Carson Street nightlife strong while respecting the rights of neighbors and enforcing the law").
Now he has the nerve to propose his new "N.I.D." TAX which will TAX residents twice for basic city services and TAX our family business.

Call Bruce's office and ask:
1. Why does BRUCE want to TAX residents twice for services like street clean-up that BRUCE already fails to deliver?
First, NID stands for Neighborhood Improvement District. There is no such thing as a '"N.I.D." TAX.' Let's let the South Side Chamber of Commerce weigh in on what an NID is: "A Neighborhood Improvement District is a model of community development that puts the power into your hands. Property owners in a NID agree to self-impose an annual fee. That fee is pooled and the property owners in the district decide which services they want in the district. Your money stays in your community and you decide how to spend it. NIDs are not a tax and cannot be formed without your support. NIDs are governed by, you, the property owner and not by elected officials."

So, that would be:

A. Not a tax
B. Self-imposed
C. Supported by an actual business group on the South Side!
2. Why does BRUCE want to TAX businesses while many - like Schwartz's Market - are already closing?
Again, there is no new tax proposed. Additionally, much was written about the closing of Schwartz's Market (see here, here and here). The closing had nothing to do with taxes, and everything to do with markets of this kind being "Last Of Dying Breed." Maybe Jeff Koch would like to read what Schwartz's Market has to say about Bruce Kraus.

You'll notice that above the photo of Schwartz's there's a photo of The South Side Market House. It has a big, red "CLOSED" stamped on it as if this has something to do with Kraus and taxes as well rather than the fact that it was ordered closed "due to safety issues. Unforeseen but urgent emergency repairs are needed...the sub base of the floor of the multi-purpose recreation center has deteriorated significantly over the past 100 years and is deemed unsafe for further usage." Boy, that Bruce has been one busy guy to have been destroying the sub base of the flooring over 100 years time!

Now, I've mentioned Jeff Koch in relation to this flyer several times. You can be excused for not knowing why I bring in Koch's name into the discussion of this flyer as the legal, obligatory who-paid-for-this-lit notice is in such tiny type that you may have missed it. It's about a third of the way down the backside of the flyer on the left. The capitol letters are about 1/16 inch high and the lower case letters are 1/32 inch high. In case you don't have a magnifying glass handy, it says: "Paid for by the Committee to Elect Jeff Koch."

I've left the front of the flyer for last. Again, there's a false reference to Kraus wanting to raise taxes -- as if he could (the same way the flyer closes on the back). There's also a photo of a woman pointing at the headline and looking disgruntled. It's not a stock photo, nor is it a random South Sider. The woman is Mary Lou Collinger. She's the Allegheny County Democratic Committee Female Member for PITTSBURGH WARD 16 DIST 2 -- my precinct. That polling place has been notably pro Koch. When Kraus and Koch first faced off in a special election for this Council seat in 2006, I was a poll-watcher for Bruce*. They tried to throw me and the Green Party poll-watcher out of the polling place after the polls had closed. We both were credentialed. They didn't succeed. Ms. Collinger's credentials were not challenged. Of course, Collinger has every right to campaign for Koch -- as he's endorsed by ACDC, it's really part of her job description. That said, when Kraus wins the primary vote, it will also be her job to help him win -- I wonder how hard she'll work at that?

* Note: I ran and lost against Collinger a couple of months later.


As I was about to post this, it's come to my attention that another version of the above flyer was sent to non South Side voters in District 3. I'm sorry that I have no scan of it. The front features a milk carton with Bruce Kraus' face on it and a large headline which reads "MISSING." The flip side includes the raise and office decoration issues and:

- Accuses Kraus of spending $200,000 on a "dog park that only services the South Side." The amount was actually $68,000 and the park is for all in the South of Pittsburgh to use as there's none on this side of the river.

- Asks why Kraus fails to provide road paving. Umm, isn't that Koch's current job job?

- Accuses Kraus of only investing in the South Side. Wait,"invest"? Doesn't that contradict the other flyer which claims Kraus wastes money in the South Side? Invest...waste...I guess it doesn't matter when you're trying to divide and conquer.


Lastly, here's the response to these flyers by the Kraus campaign:
Statement by Bruce Kraus: Enough is Enough

“It’s unfortunate, but not unexpected, that with just days left until Election Day Jeff Koch has turned to a strategy of lying to voters with deceptive attacks. He's done it before and he's doing it again. These attacks are false. They are distortions meant to confuse voters about the real issues of this election.

This election is about the direction of our neighborhoods. It is about a record of accomplishment and a vision for the future. Jeff Koch has demonstrated he has neither the record nor the vision.

Elections are not charades or circuses. Jeff Koch's side-show is meant to distract and deceive.

So, while my opponent hides behind the fine print in the shadows of misleading attack, I will continue to knock on the doors in my district talking to voters face to face.

The people of my district know me, they trust me, and have a history with me. They know what's going on."



illyrias said...

Ha! I got the non-South Side version of that postcard which has very different bullet points! I can scan it if you're interested! Thanks for publicizing how much Koch's campaign is playing both sides of the coin! I'm NOT impressed with this nastiness.

Chad said...

This is wonderful work, Maria.

Such a great and blistering abundance of -- what are those things called again? oh, yes -- facts.

Maria said...


If it's not too much trouble, I would gladly add the scans to this post.

Maria said...