Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Redd shirts

So the Koch t-shirt scandal has got me thinking. First, I don’t even know if the Dowd or Bodack campaign’s even have t-shirts. I never get aht. The blue and lime green colour scheme of the Dowd campaign…well, I’ve worn worse running. The red colour scheme for the Bodack campaign … red shirts … man, those guys never survive when they beam down to the planet.

I commented on the t-shirt issue over at the Bur(gh) repor(t). Four guys got suspended for five days for wearing the Koch t-shirts while working for the city; (I assume) one of the four guys was Ray Sansone, apparently Jeff Koch’s campaign treasurer. The other three were Sansone’s co-workers and who knows what to the Koch campaign. Maybe the other three knew something like this blow up could happen (presumably Sansone should have known), but if I were Bruce Kraus, I’d kick maybe a grand each to these guys from his campaign fund, to compensate these Redd shirts for being the Mayor’s sacrifices to his new found religion of ethics.

Could Jeff Koch be telling the truth when he says he knew nothing about it? Sure could, it could have be a spur of the moment thing his campaign treasurer did with three co-workers that morning (”let’s wear these shirts”). Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if it hadn’t gone on for days, and only got noticed yesterday. Mr. Kraus clearly wants Mr. Koch to admit wrong doing here, like Dr. Dowd wants Mr. Bodack to admit wrong doing about his finances. Neither one seems real likely.

Meanwhile, the Mayor complained in strong terms about these guys behavior ("unethical, inexcusable and unacceptable."), and wants the ethics board to look at their behavior. Anything else that might be worth looking into, Mr. Ravenstahl? Photo’s used by the city and your campaign, a gift to your campaign (and apparently the city, and in what order?), including the canonical Redd Up image, arms akimbo. Any more Redd Herrings for the ethics board? If the Mayor sets the agenda for the ethics board, any pretense of independency is out the window.

Please, someone talk to this boy mayor before he … breathes again. He’s quoted as saying he is “now more focusing on the government aspect of my job and the neighborhood aspect of rebuilding communities” and then in the next paragraph he is going to a cocktail party and a pirates games where I guess he is supposed to be doing these things ( He needs help with his press exposure or at some point, he may well get himself in trouble, where the best he can hope for is to end up as popular as Tom Murphy.


Bram Reichbaum said...

I applaud the sentiment behind reimbursing the city workers -- but alas, that would look a lot like Bruce was buying votes. Besides, wrongdoing needs to be punished, and my sense is five days without pay is right. Maybe they can do public service instead ... cleaning up litter, fixing up neighborhoods.

As to what Mayor Ravenstahl has been up to lately ... I think at least we'd have to consider the goings-on in Homewoood.

EdHeath said...

Well, Bram, it’s only vote buying if they live in the district.

Ahem. (I hadn’t considered the vote buying angle)

Well, I don't agree the punishment fits the crime (cue the Mikado), unless we find out all four are seasoned campaigners for Mr. Koch (and should of known better). A week's pay could be a significant fraction of a city laborer's monthly salary, and make the difference between making the rent/mortgage or not. Although it’s certainly possible workers on the Redd Up squad may be more highly paid.

Your suggestion for public service is in fact excellent but possibly beyond what the city can mandate for its employees, based on labor laws. I am assuming the Mayor is implementing internal discipline, not serving as judge, jury and suspender for campaign law violations. But the ethics board could overturn the Mayor’s decision and suggest public service.

The Mayor (interim)’s connection to the goings on in Homewood is sort of indirect. I think he should have implemented the surge a while ago, but his suggestion to bring together the religious leaders and train their militias to provide local security means that Pittsburgh can probably pull out of Homewood sometime around 2009, and let it become its own sovereign city at that point (hopefully they will still sell us their oil).

Well, I never met an analogy I didn’t like to torture, er, subject to enhanced methods of interrogation.