Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ford is Job One (was that the catch phrase?) ...

So by now Pittsburgh should know that Pat Ford resigned. His letter was carried online on the Post-Gazette and Bob Mayo’s websites. It was apparently aimed at Yarone Zober, but to my way of thinking it is practically gibberish and simultaneously career suicide. He starts by complaining that he has received no support from the administration. He complains that although it has been two weeks since the state ethics board cleared him, the administration has not talked about reinstating him. But what ford fails to distinguish is that it was Ford’s lawyer who declared Ford cleared, and no one has heard from the ethics board directly.

From there it takes a right turn into looneyville. Ford complains that he does not “support the actions of what I believe to be a failed administration and no longer desire to return to a position where I will again be forced to serve as a scapegoat for the inappropriate affairs and activities of others.”. He further says that he “believed that by working together we could have a positive impact on this City, embracing all that it has to offer. But that vision never materialized, and as I have always said, "Where there is no vision, people perish." I have no desire to perish along with Luke Ravenstahl's Pittsburgh.” Then there is the whole culture of deception and corruption thing and people who support him being retaliated against. Those things could be true, but the thing is that Pat Ford was a very high ranking official in the Ravenstahl administration. He could have resigned, could have worked to influence the Mayor to remove the corruption, could have worked within the URA to make it a better place. In fact, when this deception and corruption was taking place, Pat Ford was in charge of the authority that he apparently charges was deceitful and corrupt. How does that square with this high minded tone he is taking. He actually dictates the terms of his resignation, telling the chair of the board of the URA that he is cleaning out his desk, but the URA will still continue to pay him through December 31st.

I think the city is well rid of Mr. Ford, but I don’t think his departure is going to do much for us. We have so many problems, and a lot of them start and end with our Mayor. Surely this will hurt Our Mayor’s chance for re-election, but there is only a slim chance that he will be replaced by anyone better.

By the way, I wrote this morning's post fairly hurriedly. Some of the numbers I rattled off are in fact inaccurate. For example, Obama’s tax increase (rollback of the Bush tax cuts plus a bit more) would hit tax returns (individual or family) of more than $250,000. If you look by quintile, the top quintile loses money, but in fact the tax increase doesn’t start until you get to the top five percent. But really, to understand the idea, you should read the article.

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