Monday, March 02, 2009

Actually getting something done ...

So on Thursday I complained that the Mayor (and the challenger Pat Dowd) had not updated their campaign websites in the last couple of years. Both have now done so (and I am confident that I had nothing to with that, I just spoke too soon, as I often do).

Well, both are in the process of doing so, both sites are under construction. Mayor Ravenstahl’s campaign site immediately adopts an informal tone when you type in the URL “Luke for Mayor”. By contrast, Pat Dowd’s uses the same phrase, but with his last name. Dowd’s has working widgets for joining the mailing list, becoming a volunteer or making a donation, and nothing else. Mayor Ravenstahl’s site has a widget for emailing the Ravenstahl campaign and a phone number, and nothing else. So the broke Pat Dowd is once again showing much more internet acumen than his competitor. But neither of them is offering us their assessment of where the City is, or where they think it should go. ‘cause voters wouldn’t be interested in that (a statement I make tongue in cheek, but in fact is probably all too accurate).

It still appears that Pat Dowd is not interested in going after Mayor Ravenstahl’s little mis-steps (Tiger Woods, the SUV, the Lemieux tournament, etc), although he does end up talking about trash cans and where the City is going (at least, that is what I took away from this post on the Pittsburgh Comet).

Meanwhile, the Mayor has a new campaign slogan “Getting it done”. I pointed out, on the Comet, how that made me think of Larry the Cable Guy’s line “Git’er done”. I like a Mayor who does not hold himself above the rest of us and all, but this Mayor seems to be actively pushing the idea that he doesn’t need to explain his plans or history to us, that it is enough that he says he has made accomplishments, compared to his predecessors. In fact, his democratic committee endrsement letter ( indicates that before he took over, the City was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Before he took over … during Bob O’Connor’s brief tenure?


Bram Reichbaum said...

Call me crazy, I hate Dowd's new placeholder website. It has widgets, okay. But that BLUE ... and that JOHN KERRY picture ... ?

I liked that old placeholder. It looked home-grown. It looked authentic. The new thing looks wannabe Obama.

Ravenstahl: My commenter was right, it looks like his shoe is untied.

EdHeath said...

I don't usually play website critic (Home and ISP TV?) but I would agree with you about Dowd's website. I suspect that Dowd would be pleased by your comparison of his site to Obama's, whose numbers in Pittsburgh Dowd would really like. Is there something greedy about putting up a donation widget before you put up an issues page?

It does look like Ravenstahl's shoes' untied (you made me look). It also looks like he may want to stop doing the arms akimbo thing, since it sets off his belly and love handles (for the record, I have the same problem, but also a few years on Mr. Ravenstahl).

Lady Elaine said...

I LOVE Carmen's site. I mean, she even has an embed image for bloggers and Twitter! TWITTER!!!

EdHeath said...

I'm afraid I don't twitter or tweet (whatever the correct phrase is) or even IM. But I will agree Carmen's site is much more complete than either Ravenstahl's or Dowd's. And I believe she has less money then either of them. I don't have a good sense of what she stands for, but the fact that she knows either how to build a website herself or how to employ someone who knows how to do a good job suggests she might know the importance of getting City information onto the internet, and addressing the digital divide. It will be interesting to see her in the debate(s).