I got polled yesterday. Poor, uh, souls. It was a DeSantis poll, no less. Where’d he get money? Is the local republican party stepping up to the plate? Gee, I wish I could see the results of the poll.
Got the call around 8:00 last night. A blocked call according to the caller ID, but my mom’s phone comes across that way on our caller ID, so my wife handed me the phone. A political survey call. They wanted to ask a few questions, leading off with (as I remember) what are the biggest issues facing the city? I said our big per capita debt, with no increase in the tax base. The researcher pressed for more (isn’t that enough) I fumbled a bit and then said I was fine with that. Then it was a do you recognize any of these names, and do you know anything about them? Mark Desantis. Yep. Luke Ravenstahl, yep. Dan Onorato. Yep. What do you know about DeSantis? Well, republican candidate for mayor, businessman, wants to merge city and county (at some point I tried to editorialize a bit about that). If election were held today, who would I vote for? (probably DeSantis). Then she gave me some DeSantis statements, which really were fairly amusing. First was the city county merger, then putting all city financial information on the web, improving schools by reducing bureaucracy and something something, the bit about 60,000 population loss (I really wanted to editorialize then) and one or two others. Then a repeat of the election question, who would I vote for? (same answer, probably DeSantis). Then some demographic questions.
I mean, come on, the Mayor has nothing to do with schools, can’t force the county to do anything, much less merge with the city, and DeSantis is over-stating how hard it is to get information. That said, Ravenstahl is worse. Even if DeSantis is distorting some thing’s to play to a lower common denominator, it’s better to talk about things than to ignore them. I don’t know that a city county merger is the only answer or even the right answer, but it has no chance unless the Mayor is onboard. So even to talk about it would seem to require DeSantis in office.
The demographic questions were interesting. After finding out my party affiliation, I think the last question was whether I would *ever* vote for a republican for Mayor (sure, why not). With a question like that in the survey, it makes we wonder whether this survey is just trying to show DeSantis why he has no chance. I wonder if UCSUR is doing the survey? Was this a "push poll"?
I don't want to talk about April 23 except to say someone somewhere must have tipped Ravenstahl off that Tiger Woods was coming since it was supposed to be a surprise to the cardholders attending (or so I have been lead to believe). Also, since it was valued at $900, I am assuming the Mayor is declaring the value of the event somewhere. Well, I will say this more, this Mayor has clearly based a part of his administration activities on his own celebrity. Will it benefit Pittsburgh? Perhaps (Golf Channel commercials?). But its not unusual to have celebrity Mayors (see Rudy Giuliani), and I don't particularly begrudge him that. In fact, I can see where he needed to go to Oakmont on April 23rd, to seize the opportunity for him to be seen with a celebrity. It's hard work maintaining celebrity status, and let's face it, Pittsburgh doesn't give Mayor's too many opportunities for it. But I also think the Mayor needs to take the gift rules seriously, to remove any serious questions about his ethics.