Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Matt H lays out, for your consideration, several pieces of information about Franco “Dok” Harris Junior. The implication, to my mind, is that Mr. Harris is a drinker, opposed to publicly funded AIDs organizations, and in general is not a serious person. Now, I certainly would say that Mr. Harris has never held political office, and therefore is absolutely inexperienced in politics. But he has two graduate degrees, including an MBA from the highly regarded Tepper school. And his undergraduate work was done at Princeton, where he was active, apparently, in student government.

Now, Matt admits, in comments to this Pittsburgh Comet post to having biases. Fair enough, I certainly do too. In fact, I have worked on this, on and most off, for a little while. This is a list of the issues the Mayor has been involved in. It was supposed to be one page (like resumes are), but the addition of links pushed it further. This is what I have so far, maybe all I will ever have:

Halloween 2005: Steelers game: Council President Ravenstahl is cuffed but then released; influence used? (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_489262.html)

“Late” 2006: Dinner meeting between Pat Ford and Liberty Pacific media executives to agree to violate billboards zoning rules, Ravenstahl stops by, later receives 25,000 in campaign contributions from these executives. (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08108/874136-53.stm)

March 2007: Trip to NYC on Penguins owner Ron Burkle’s jet instead of attending scheduled community meeting. (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_498601.html)

April 2007: Oakmont: Gate crashed private American Express event with Tiger Woods even though he was told not to, approached Tiger Woods even though he was told not to. (http://kdka.com/topstories/Luke.Ravenstahl.Tiger.2.379852.html)

May: 2007: Approved promotion of four police officers, three of whom have had domestic violence related issues. (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07181/798369-53.stm)

June 2007: Instead of attending Council hearing on domestic violence issues in the police force, plays golf for two days paid for by Pittsburgh Penguins and UPMC (to the tune of $27,000 for a package for three), claims he received nothing of value and was conducting City business. (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_515982.html)

August 2007: Uses Homeland Security bought police SUV to go to Toby Keith concert, spills barbecue sauce in SUV. (http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/14260422/detail.html)

August 2007: Appearance before Ethics board. (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_523359.html)

December 2007 – January 2008: Energy two-bid contract. (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07087/772999-53.stm)

December 2007: Supports UPMC attempt to exempt itself proactively from taxes. (http://thebusmansholiday.blogspot.com/2007/12/upmc-side-agreement-on-pittsburgh.html)

January-March 2008: Lamar downtown LED billboard. (http://thebusmansholiday.blogspot.com/2008/04/billboard-back-story-brewing.html)

June 2008: Vetoes Council proposed campaign finance reform. (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_571986.html)

?-August 2008: Pat Ford scandal, accepting gifts, resignation with vague allegations. (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08240/907303-100.stm)

January 2009: Club Pittsburgh issue unfolds. (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09015/941926-53.stm)

January 2009: Proposes (with Onorato) campaign finance reform.(http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_606786.html)

February 2009: Trip to Super bowl paid with campaign cash (and parts of trip to Europe) and the parade. (http://thebusmansholiday.blogspot.com/2009/02/snoop-dogg-mayor-luke-power-of.html), (http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A59195)

February 2009 $1000 trash cans, with Ravenstahl’s name on them (free campaigning?).


Schultz said...

FYI - abstained <> opposed

EdHeath said...

Yeah, I have never met Matt, but I have a certain admiration for his persistence, given all the shit he has taken in the Burghosphere. That said, some commenter on the Comet suggested Matt's post might actually be the work of Zober. I kind of hope so, because while his post was very thorough, it is really hard to respect.

Yes, I agree, abstained is not (necessarily) the same as opposed. I was repeating Matt's words more or less, letting them stand on their own in what is maybe the more informed blogosphere. We do not really have enough information to evaluate Mr. Harris's position, and Matt's own admitted bias makes what information we have suspect.

Matt H Exposed said...


I like the list with the links.

EdHeath said...

Thanks, MHE. Maybe I should have hyperlinked them as well, although I think copying and pasting is almost as easy. But the intention, with the printed links, is that the page as a whole could be printed, or each little item and link could be copied into a PowerPoint slide.

Bram Reichbaum said...