Democracy Has Prevailed.

May 18, 2009

A Loaded Deck

Man, I really didn't want to go back here again, but the painfully punny "Payneful Mistake" blog has left me no choice:

Really, Payneful Mistake? The number one problem you have with Councilwoman Tonya Payne is that she supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic PRIMARY despite her district's preference for Barack Obama?

Let's set aside that elected officials often come out for a candidate far earlier in the process than regular voters. Let's set aside that the whole reason for Super Delegates is to have a group of voters who don't necessarily represent the popular vote (not that I even like that system). Let's set aside that Payne has been a longtime supporter of the Clintons and a real fan of Hillary. Let's set aside that Clinton's candidacy was historic as well. Let's even set aside that President Obama has gotten over the primary and appointed Hillary to Secretary of State.

Let's just follow the logic of this blog where it takes us.

If Payne's judgment is so poor for having supported Hillary Clinton, if it's the number one mistake she's made and doesn't deserve reelection because of it, and if she's one of the "haters" for voting for Hillary, then so is this woman:

Well not just that woman, all of these women:

Those would be the nine out of twelve female members of the Congressional Black Caucus in 2008 who supported Clinton over Obama. All, I will add, in districts which supported Obama over Clinton. (It is true that Waters and Cheeks Kilpatrick switched their support to Obama, but only at the last possible moment -- the day of the last state primary and after they had cast their votes for Clinton in their own state primaries -- when it no longer really mattered.)

So, I ask the Payneful Mistake blog if all of the above women have poor judgement, don't deserve reelection and are haters?

[OK, now I can sleep tonight.]


Bram Reichbaum said...

Well, it's campaign literature. The rank of the issues are based on what's going to move the most votes, not on what are the biggest problems.

85% is a huge number.

And congresspeople have to pledge their support well before ordinary people ... and are subject to greater pressures to do so. So the fact that African-American females in the Congressional Black Caucus supported Hillary does not indicate that she was a sound choice.


Maria said...

1) If it is campaign lit, it's lit with no acknowledgement-- no "paid for by." That's a problem too.

2) 92% is a huger number. That's the percentage who went for Obama in Christensen's district.

3) They don't have to pledge support sooner -- many do.

4) Doesn't mean that they are "haters" either.

Unknown said...

To me, there are far more reasons not to support Tonya Payne for reelection than her support of Hillary Clinton. Really, in the grand scheme of things, do you think it really matters who she supported? Tonya Payne is insignificant. What is important to me is having proper representation on city council and it's my contention that Payne is self-serving and frankly ineffective. There is no comparison between Tonta Payne and Daniel Lavelle, who is seeking to unseat her. Payne is a terrible representative and communicator and frankly isn't very smart. I cannot think of any important legislation proposed by Payne in her entire term -- none. She is an embarrassment to the city of Pittsburgh and the residents of district 6 deserve much better. Daniel Lavelle seems to be bright, thoughtful and dedicated and I think he deserves a chance to represent the folks of district 6. I have been involved in political-watching in this city for many years and in parts of council district six in particular for many years. Tonya Payne is much better at being self-serving than she is at representing her district, that's for sure. She has been know to be self-serving since before taking control of the Uptown Community Action Group, which was at one time (pre-Payne) a dedicated and active community group. When the community group became too time-consuming for the capable and dedicated volunteer founders, that is when Ms. Payne stepped in. It didn’t take long for the residents and those who nurtured the Uptown Community Action Group to recognize that Tonya’s motives were self-serving and that she was not representing the neighborhood. A deal was in the works for a couple of years before Tonya’s appearance on the UCAG scene with Mercy hospital of Pittsburgh to donate Mercy-owned land on Locust Street for the development of new townhomes. When the project finally came to pass, Ms. Payne somehow found a way to obtain one of the handful of homes for herself and her family, despite there being interest from others. Hmmmm — how did that happen? With Tonya at the UCAG helm, the position she assumed suddenly became a paid position. The UCAG leadership were volunteer positions from the time the group was founded in 1990 or 1991 until Payne became the group’s leader. Where the Uptown Community Action Group, it’s activities and finances were open before, after Payne took over, all that was open was now suddenly closed and secretive. A thorough audit of the UCAG finances should be conducted. After UCAG began buying property cheap and selling for much more, lots of cash passed through the group’s coffers. To this day, the whereabouts of proceeds from the sale of property, as well as donations (some very significant) are unknown. Some questions I would like answered: What is the current official status of UCAG? Where are the group’s assets? Even though it appears the group is defunct, UCAG still owns parcels of property and homes and renovated homes were sold by UCAG recently. Where did the money from the sales go? These questions are simple and reasonable. Ms. Payne refuses to broach the subject. The Uptown Community has been wondering for years what happened to the Uptown Community Action Group after Payne assumed the leadership role of the group (only because the founders of the group and others who wree active decided to move on, by the way). The UCAG group has absolutely no affiliation with the Uptown Partners group, which is now active in the community. At a few Uptown Partners meetings, I recall residents being vocal about what their options were to find out what happened to the Uptown Community Action Group finances after Tonya took over and especially after selling properties for hefty sums and accepting large donations. An audit definitely s in order here. Hopeful someone can take a serious look into this. I hope Lavelle does very well in his attempt to unseat Tonya Payne. She is only for herself — definitely self-serving like the previous comment says — and is an embarrassment to the City and District 6. She’s done nothing … and takes, takes, takes. District six is sick of it and is very ready for a positive change. Lavelle represents that change.

Unknown said...

Really quick, Maria ;-).

The word "haters" was used for the reasons listed below, I'm sure *not* to drive divisions.

Perhaps you are unaware that during the primary when Obama did this, it, in many ways, ignited the younger/hip hop generation because of a popular song that was out by Jay-Z (Beyonce's husband). The whole concept behind the song is to brush the dirt and haters off your shoulder and keep moving.

"Haters" is a common term in hip-hop vernacular used to describe anyone or anything that is trying to keep you from meeting your goals. Ironically, it is not loaded with hate. Quite the contrary, it's a casual recognition that you're the best, and that you will not let bad will, envy or jealously stop you. It's one of the reasons why young people really love Obama, because he is cool with his confidence. Anyway, I'm sure this may not help and I certainly don't want to get into a generational or culture clash, but I really think it is important for you to understand that your anger about the word "haters" is rooted in what seems to be a misinterpretation of its usage.

Watch the reaction of the hip-hop "aware" African American male behind Obama when he brushed his shoulder off:
(By the way, this video (with the song) hit so many email boxes during the Primary, you wouldn't believe.)

This is way too deep to go into on a blog because there are many layers, but I do hope that the word "haters" wasn't one of the things that kept you from sleeping, per your sign off “[OK, now I can sleep tonight.]”

Oh yes, and one last thing, no, all of these African American women (not sure why you divided his supporters into race and gender here) are not “haters”. But, yes, some of them were. “Haters” generally function with some level of bitterness, resentment and attitude. In other words, it’s rather personal for them, ie Tonya Payne. I want to be with a “winner” – that was a personal affront to Obama. Don’t you think? Such comments and dispositions are how one becomes classified as a “hater”.

Thanks for reading.

Maria said...

Equally quick, Pgh ;-)

A political blogger worth their salt would need to be more than generationally and culturally challenged to not know the "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" reference by now, they'd also have to be TV/print media/internet challenged since it was discussed endlessly during the primary. And, thanks for the explanation that Jay-Z is Beyoncé's husband (like he isn't someone who could be found in the pages of People Magazine or the covers of GQ and Rolling Stone...or in my own music collection). [...wanders off into a geriatric rant about how I was listening to rap before you were born, you crazy whippersnappers with your crazy iPods and crazy intertoobz...]But back to the point, "haters" is certainly a dismissive term and it is a negative one by your own admission ("bad will" "envy" "jealously" "bitterness" "resentment" "attitude"). Which also brings gender into the discussion with generational and cultural considerations as there were more than a few women who found the gesture as being dismissive and disrespectful to another historic candidate even with the explanation. I mean would it be equally OK to label Obama supporters as having "attitude" for not supporting Hillary? What a loaded term.

That said, again, my main point was that making this the NUMBER ONE mistake diminished much just criticisms to be found on the site and instead went with the many-layered dig. Why I choose African American female politicians is pretty simple: I wanted to compare apples to apples. It was certainly easiest to find voter stats for districts for members of Congress as a population than to try to find them on, say, city councilors as a population. If you'd like, we can ask if the Payneful Mistake blog wants to condemn Senators Kennedy and Kerry for not going along with the choice of the voters in their state...

RE: "winner." I don't think that labeling Hillary Clinton a "winner" is particularly personal. -- it's standard campaign rhetoric. People who endorsed Obama also used the "winner" word during the primary. Was that personal?

Lastly, I congratulate Lavelle on his win and wish him the best of luck. He has very real problems to solve ahead of him and I truly hope he turns out to be an excellent representative for his district and for all Pittsburghers. And, I do thank you for reading and commenting on this blog.

Unknown said...

Since you have JayZ in your record, I mean CD collection, of course you know that perhaps by now, you're sounding a little like a hater yourself.

I do not care to get into an argument about why this was the #1 mistake of Tonya Payne's 10,000+ mistakes. I think the voters made that choice -- besides I doubt it was meant to be taken so literally. IMHO trying to rank Tonya Payne's mistakes would be an utter waste of time. She's just so wrong so often. And yes, she has poor judgment. Sheesh, if someone can dedicate an entire blog to a person's ***OBVIOUS*** mistakes, irrespective of whether you think it is "puny", I'd say there is a good chance that this person has demonstrated an ongoing pattern of poor judgment. I think District 6 must agree.

In any case at the risk of this going down a dark alley of division, I'll end it here. You seem to be carrying quite a bit of resentment and hostility about the whole Clinton/Obama issue. And frankly, like you said, Obama is over it, why shouldn't we?

I really did just want to explain the whole "haters" comment because you seemed so bothered by its usage. But since I now know you're a hip-hop head, I'll chalk it up to my misread of your now even more disintegrated posting.

And I'll save my political analysis of Tonya Payne's random acts poor leadership for another time. Perhaps when hell freezes over. I'll leave that to the bloggers who are worth their salaries.

Maria said...

First of all I didn't call the Payneful Mistake blog "puny." I called it "punny" as in "pun" as in "painful" vs. "payneful." Get it? I found the site to be anything but "puny." It looked far more professional than your average blog.

"In any case at the risk of this going down a dark alley of division, I'll end it here. You seem to be carrying quite a bit of resentment and hostility about the whole Clinton/Obama issue."ZOMG! I am momentarily speechless.

[OK, I'm over it.]

I didn't bring it up! The Payneful Mistake blog brought it up! And made it their #1 issue. Them, not me. I am responding to their "resentment." And, the issue is mentioned not once but twice at that blog. And, the other mention says, "Now we don't have a problem with voters and leaders who supported another candidate, EXCEPT in cases where they voted AGAINST the will of their district." [emphasis added] Which if taken literally means that they have a problem with anyone in District 6 who voted for someone other than Obama in the primary. Excuse me? Really? Democracy much? I have to assume that line was just poorly worded.

"And frankly, like you said, Obama is over it, why shouldn't we?"Well, again, the Payneful Mistake blog brought it up so apparently they aren't over it. But equally apparently I'm not supposed to respond to that and I'm "sounding a little like a hater" if I do. That's exactly what my "now I can sleep tonight" comment was about. I hesitated (for days) to write this post because I knew it would devolve into this kind of comment thread. But it did bug me and so I did write it. And I don't write these things anonymously, unlike yourself.

"And I'll save my political analysis of Tonya Payne's random acts poor leadership for another time. Perhaps when hell freezes over. I'll leave that to the bloggers who are worth their salaries."You mean anonymous ones? Is that an admission that Payneful Mistake was written by paid blogger/s? If so, who paid them?

P.S. "Disintegrated' would be saying that calling a person a "winner" is being a "hater" while calling someone a "hater" is no big deal.

Unknown said...

Now, I do agree with that, it is punny. My misread. Thanks for clearing that up.

A little more "pun" would be a spin on your said "any blogger worth their salt..." The phrase "worth one's salt" was a phrase used to describe Roman soldiers whose "salary"(latin orgin) was strictly for the use of purchasing salt.

So, in essence, you were saying that you're paid, since you're worth your salt. Honestly, I have no idea and do not care whether you're paid. You clearly put a lot of time and energy into this blog and you're allowed to earn a living on it if you choose. Likewise, if you just do it because you are incredibly passionate, that's cool too -- and very respectable. Seriously.

Ok, it really wasn't this deep for me, I only wanted to explain the whole "haters" thing, which I still think you are over reacting to. As I explained in my first posting, it is a term that is used very casually to summarize a collection of actions demonstrated by someone. Generally, one does not become a hater over one act.

As for Payneful Mistake bringing "it" up, I think it was probably done, well because it was time to review Tonya Payne's record, and regardless of how you feel, it is relevant. Again, whether it is number # 1...I explained how I feel about that in my previous posting.


Thank you.

Maria said...

For the record (and for those new to this blog):2 Political Junkies has Google ads which generate income and is part of Newstex which generates income. The income from both of those sources is literally pennies per day. And, those pennies need to be split by both David and myself. And, we've only had the Google and Newstex affiliations in the last couple years of this blog which started in 2004.

There is also an ad on the blog for NewRetro T's which is my Cafe Press store. I haven't updated any designs there since around 2005, so I haven't received any income from that in a couple of years.

I also earned $300 from LA Weekly for their use of my Absolut Corruption parody (which originated on this blog and went viral) as a political cartoon (though I had to recreate it from scratch to meet print production standards), and as some may remember, was rewarded with a cease-and-desist email from the makers of Absolut Vodka (though that was settled amicably).

Nor do gigs like substitute hosting for Lynn Cullen or John McIntire on offQ pay anything. If anything, the blog probably costs us money as the amount of time put into it could be used toward real money-making ventures (e.g., I could be making graphics for my store instead of for this blog). Also, both David and I have at times used PTO to participate in media interviews.

So, this blog is certainly more a labor of love than anything else.

I also frequently issue disclaimers about any conflicts of interest such as letting readers of 2pj know that I was paid to create Georgia Blotzer's campaign web site when I blogged about the District 2 race.

At one time I did blog under the pseudonym of "Liz Adobe" at the Honsberger is a Liar blog. But Fred has long known that David was "Mike" and I was "Liz."

I got tired of having Fred set the agenda for what I wrote about -- as that blog was largely a response to his commentary -- and that was the genesis for starting 2pj where I have always blogged as myself.