Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Bad Mayoral Critics, Bad

So this is going to be an example of the total lack of research I do for these posts.

I guess the Mayor has been in office for a bit over a year. This seems like a good time for a bit of reflection. Something Matt H said in a recent comment about the original Mcintire post about the Mayor’s '05 Halloween Steeler/police experience got me to thinking. Actually it was the only thing Matt said; that Macintire’s post was not correct (he didn’t elaborate). We know that prior to the January ‘07 Mcintire post, the Mayor had denied anything had happened that night. We know that in fact the Mayor had been handcuffed and detained briefly, and then was released without further legal process. The Mayor viewed that as a sort of non-incident, and so had denied that anything had happened that night, when asked about it. The Mcintire post had spurred the media, some witnesses were found, and the Mayor had to add some further detail to his account of that night (all right, I did have to go back and find an article for that one, so much for no research).

Over the following months, there have several such stories, where details about what the Mayor did on a particular day have been disputed and then been resolved as he adds further details. Some bloggers might have said that the Mayor has lied about this or that, but the Mayor’s supporters (and the Mayor himself I believe) have disagreed that there is lying. I have to say I think I agree with the Mayor and his supporters. The Mayor hasn’t lie, he has omitted details, something quite different. In fact, in the past I noted a PG story that stated the Mayor omitted details about his mortgage and home loan, when filling out a declaration of his outstanding obligations on an ethics form for City Council. The Mayor apparently said that there are disclosure instructions allow him to omit that information, and apparently some other council members may do that as well. The reporter on the story was able find out the information anyway. The same story also notes the Mayor does not keep a tally of the total value of city sporting events tickets he accepts, offered to him by “someone”(s). No detail in the story about who “someone” might be, a thing that is now of more interest than it was six months ago. Not keeping a tally is that sort of omission thing, isn’t it? (By the way, I still want to know if anyone is looking into that).

The Mayor has said recently he is just trying to keep his private and personal life private and personal, but the media and other politicians keep prying. Now, some may say that anytime the Mayor’s bodyguards are on duty the Mayor can be assumed to be performing some official function, worthy of scrutiny. But that argument can be reversed: if the Mayor is conducting meetings at an ostensibly recreational function, it could be asserted that the parties the Mayor is meeting with might have an expectation of privacy, if they are to give the Mayor their full and honest opinions (UPMC officials want to keep their rumored innovative “Quo pro quid” program a secret from their competitors)(OK, I just started that rumor; remember, no research).

The Mayor knows that Pittsburghers have a considerable amount of stress, what with the installment plan for living in the “Most livable city” running maybe five grand a person, due any minute. The last thing ‘burghers need to worry about are the details of the Mayor’s activities. As long as we know the Mayor has a five year plan, that should be enough. The last thing we want is to know specifically how what revenues and expenditures are planned, so the Mayor has wisely omitted the five year plan from the city website.

It’s clear that the Mayor has our best interests at heart. If he was simply just another political type, I’m sure he would lie to us in a heartbeat. But because he wants progress and to move the city forward, he carefully omits extraneous details that we just don’t need.

In other news, Mark DeSantis proposed today using casino revenues and increased non-profit contributions as dedicated funding towards the city’s pension debt. Now, of course the city has been paying debt service every year, so this could be an additional amount of debt service or it could replace some funds (which could flow back into general operations). I would have to look at the city budget and look back at the Trib stories about the DeSantis proposal (the PG apparently was caught flat-footed) to have any kind of analysis, but that didn’t stop the Mayor from complaining that he had had plans for that money. As of five o'clock there was no new text on the DeSantis website, but it appeared someone might have been preparing to make changes (as it froze with just a top menu for a minute or two).

2 comments:

D.P. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt H said...

All I know is that Dennis Regan did not step in and do anything for Luke like Johnny Mac said he did.