Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Mayor lucks out (again)?

I’m not sure if Mayor Ravenstahl should be relieved or insulted. After all, when the owners of Club Pittsburgh needed a political favor, they did not go to Ravenstahl. They went, first, to Doug Shields and then later to Yarone Zober. Shields, according to Shields but largely backed up by the owners of Club Pittsburgh, sent them away saying there was nothing he could do. But Zober put them in contact with George Specter, who wrote a letter cancelling the BBI letter (and order) that had been issued saying that Club Pittsburgh had to stop the activities like Live Nude Male Go-Go Dancers.

So on the one hand, the owners of Club Pittsburgh did not involve the Mayor directly in this pretty clearly illegal activity of rewarding a powerful donor with the ability to continue improperly zoned activities (which the Mayor has declared not illegal, apparently ending any investigation). The Mayor’s hands are currently clean, although he is pretty clearly on the wrong side of this issue (the right side would be to publicly reprimand Zober and Specter, and order the club closed immediately until it is either rezoned or in compliance with its current zoning). On the other hand, the owners of Club Pittsburgh did not go to Ravenstahl, perhaps because he gives off a strong anti-gay vibe. I can just about see the Mayor being upset about that. For us, maybe we can take some solace (a quantum of solace, perhaps) that our Mayor may be, currently, slightly smarter than Rod Blagojevitch. Or maybe not, since Illinois is on the way to getting rid of Governor Rod.

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