Donation to Ravenstahl's campaign sparks self-exam by panel - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review The husband of city Ethics Hearing Board member Penny Zacharias gave $1,200 to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's election campaign before the mayor nominated her for the post.As I campaign, I don't want $1,200 donations. I don't want $1,200 headaches showing up on my door, unless the donor is Ben Franklin or Tom Paine or someone of similar values and principles.
The donation doesn't violate Pittsburgh's ethical code of conduct, but it has prompted members of the newly seated board to examine prohibiting such gifts to protect their credibility.
Rather than have Luke give back the $1,200, I have another suggestion. One can level the playing field and be "fair" a few different ways. One way is to use subtraction. So, Luke could give the money back. Or, another way to level the playing field -- and one I prefer -- is to use addition, not subtraction.
Why not ask the firm and Penny's pals for an extra $2,400 so as to make an investment into both the Republican and Libertarian opposition. Level the playing field by by addition.
This way the $1,200 that went to Luke's campaign will be 'de-valued' because the same amount goes to the opposition.
Sure, if the Greens and Socialists Parties get their act together and get into the mayor's race, they can seek $1,200 each as well.
Or, another way to make matters 'fair' is for Luke to give back the money but not to Penny and her lawyer buddies. Luke could take the $1,200 and send $500 to the city Republicans, $500 to the Libertarians, and $100 each to the Greens and Socialists.
To be 'fair' it is worthy to note that the city's Republicans had been hammering on the re-creation of the ethics hearing board for many months. They got Bob O'Connor to think again about its operation. For years, and even since I was in that party to lend more opposition to Tom Murphy's ways, Bob Hillen has been talking about the ethics hearing board. It isn't hard to be reminded of it as it is part of the city's charter.