Sooooo, continuing … and ending … my short lived tradition of posting after a debate … I looked around the Burghospree just a bit and saw some comments and at least one post, FWIW.
I think you might be able to say that DeSantis carried this one. He finally hit a stride, and got comfortable enough in his own skin. He lost the catholic vote, of course, except maybe not. He said he was pro-choice and not opposed to gay unions (I think they said) and why not. How many catholic’s are in fact more tolerant than their church, because they have to live in the real world? These things happen anyway, and for the Mayor to oppose them is to make women and gays fear persecution. Which, interestingly, was Mark DeSantis’ gaff, talking about the broken windows policy of policing, he happened to say something about going after small crimes and persecuting them, when he meant prosecuting them. I felt a little like I was in a Dostoevsky novel, with D chasing down R.
Anyway, I think DeSantis really hit his stride early, talking about what he would do to encourage minority business ownership. It got his brain there and there he stayed, talking about the need for Pittsburgh to have new businesses and thus new jobs. Practically every answer he gave revolved around the business theme in some way, to the point where he stopped himself at one point and said something like look, government doesn’t start businesses, but then indicated how government can remove obstacles. My mom called right after the debate and pronounced DeSantis the winner, and I am inclined to agree.
Of course, what is interesting is what is not said. I still don’t believe the Mayor can give a waiver for residency to city employees, I still believe it is a state thing. But both candidates believe it is in their interest’s to act as though the do have some power over the residency requirement. Nothing was said about ethics, that I heard anyway. The question Bob Mayo asked first, in the first debate (http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/politics/14462281/detail.html), about the deficits in year’s four and five of the Mayor’s five year plan, almost totally ducked by the Mayor and never asked again, damnit. Ethics did not come up at all tonight, which must have been a relief to the Mayor, and maybe DeSantis as well.
There was one question tonight, and I not sure which, in which Ravenstahl did not answer the question at all, and Stacy Smith looked a little startled. I think it started when the Mayor was talking about how DeSantis says he wants to be able to hire from outside the city as we as from inside, and how that was a slap in the face to city resident potential employees. DeSantis countered by commenting on how the Mayor said he conducted a “national” search when he asked his directors to resign. I think that was when Stacy Smith asked “What about it, Mr. Ravenstahl?” and Luke did a big non-sequitor. I’ll have to look again when QED fulfills its promise and has the debate on their website.
So, please, think hard about your vote on Tuesday.