Saturday, September 08, 2007

Open Letter to Bill Peduto, as a result of radio conversation

Dear Councilman Peduto,

On a local radio show hosted by Ron Morris, The American Entrepreneur, we talked about Pittsburgh's political landscape.

Ron Morris asked me, on the air, if I knew who was behind (supporting) Mark DeSantis?

I said, "Mr. Roddey."

He said, "Bill Peduto."

Humm... "If Bill Peduto is behind or supporting Mark DeSantis in the race for mayor in November 6, 2007, then it must be below the radar."

Bill, what's up?

The entire conversation is saved and available for review. LINK will be posted here after the show get uploaded to Play audio of the entire show. Navigate.

For the sake of the bloggers reading this post, let's review a few important predictions from the past. Early in 2007, as you, Councilman Peduto, toyed with the idea of running for mayor in this year's primary against the appointed, Luke Ravenstahl, I said that you'd not run a campaign that "rocked the boat." Well, no race happened in the Dem primary as the feeling of "give Luke a chance" was too much to counter.

Back then I posted that there was no way that lifelong politician and loyal Democrat, Bill Peduto, would dare to rock the boat in the 2007 campaign because, in part, the term up for grabs was only for two year. We'll have another election for mayor in 2009. Well, you bailed back then. You lived to fight another day.

Now it is time to renew a challenge to you, Councilman Peduto.

The best opportunity that knocks for Bill Peduto to get into the mayor's office in January 2010 comes about as follows:

1. Bill, you need to become an INDEPENDENT voter (urgently). Renounce your Democratic Party allegiance from now until December 2007.

Sure, you can rejoin the ranks of the Ds or Rs to vote in the 2008 presidential primary, if you like. By the way, political leaders don't sit on the fence when elections unfold. Take sides in the 2008 race for the White House. As an Indie, you'll be able to plug both Ds and Rs in the national race -- for good and bad. Put skin in the game with the various races now. The races are on.

2. Bill, support, with vigor and volunteers, Mark DeSantis for mayor in the 2007 general election. Don't support DeSantis behind the scenes. Be bold. Be honest. Be open. Break ranks when you must. Don't be beholden and expect to lead the city later. We need leadership now.

3. Bill, ramp up all your efforts for the 2009 general election race for Mayor.

4. As you step out as a real supporter for DeSantis until early November and then for yourself after that, you should 'cool your jets' on the Reform Pittsburgh Now site. (link) It is a mockery. It isn't going to be the 'revolutionary site' you boasted about. It can't go far while your intentions are cloaked. You don't really want to reform Pittsburgh now. You really want to get elected later. If you wanted to reform Pittsburgh now, you'd be doing all you can to help DeSantis today.

Do blog and be active on the net henceforth. But, "NOW" isn't really "NOW." You need to win elections in the future to make real reforms, so says conventional wisdom.

5. Bill, skip the primary in 2009 as a ballot candidate. However, work like crazy to get thousands of signatures to get onto the general election ballot before the primary is held. On election day in May 2009, get you poll workers out there and get another couple thousand signatures too.

6. Bill, work hard to get as many write-in votes as possible in both the D and R primary in the spring of 2009. Strive to win one or both of the old-party primary elections in 2009 -- as a write in.

Notice Dan Onorato. Onorato heads into the fall 2007 election with a victory in the D primary (beat D, Rich Swartz), and Onorato was also a write-in victor in the R primary too. Onorato is on the November 06 ballot twice. Bill, you should aim to do one better than what Onorato has done this year. Imagine Peduto on the ballot three times: Get on the ballot as an Indie. Plus, win both the D and R primary races. That's a mandate!

7. Push the concept that the general election in Pittsburgh is an important and critical step for our revival. Pittsburgh can't flourish again if it only thinks with half of its brain. The city will continue to bleed resident. If the primary is the end all and be all -- then the city will stay in its rut. Those who want more from our politicians and political landscape are sure to continue to vote with their feet, as they have done for the past decades.

We need meaningful general elections. We need to break the status quo. We need flexibility. We need freedom. And, we need a leader such as yourself who is free to chart his own course. Otherwise, there is oppression. Otherwise, citizens can't be free -- except to depart.

8. All good plans have an exit strategy. Bill, your exit strategy, should the mayor's race of 2009 not bring you that office then, is to be hired as a city council's aid by the new city councilman in your district, Dan Gilman. That's an easy downside. Finish out the rest of your term and then you and Dan switch jobs.

Update: See the comments to read the quick reply from Bill.


Mark Rauterkus said...

Bill Peduto replied in an email to me, about 1 hour after this was posted. I asked him to put the email on this blog as a thread.

Anonymous said...

I (MR/blogmaster) got the okay via email to post this from Bill Peduto.

Good post. Interesting concept. I am not endorsing any candidate in the mayors race. I met Mark DeSantis once.

RPN is a way for me to get back to what I care about - Pittsburgh and issues. The people of Pittsburgh will decide who they believe is best able to lead their local government - not me. I'm OK with that - it took some time, but I realize I can push things from Council and work to get the votes and then compel the administration to act.

Certainly, I believe - just like you - that a strong, independent Mayor could change this city in a couple of years and make it a shining, progressive example of good government. Until then, I will do my job (and Mark, I know you will continue doing yours) and I will push for the city I know we can be in an honorable way that I can be proud of.


PS - RPN is already working - Pokey has caused the administration to change its position and support a Paving Management System for the city. A great journey starts with a single step.

Mark Rauterkus said...

RPN is fine, if not very good. But, would be more direct
and between the eyes.

Anonymous said...

Mark, thanks for setting the record straight. It should not be said that Peduto is supporting DeSantis when it isn't TRUE. Good to get clarification.

Thomas Leturgey said...

Of course Bill Peduto is not supporting Mark DeSantis.

Bill Peduto is a proud Democrat...a Democrat that isn't of the lefty/socialist persuasion...but of the roots that John F. Kennedy and the like would be proud of. In many ways, Peduto is a fiscal conservative, and that's good enough in Pittsburgh.

Both of you are also correct in that an Independent (especially a fiscally conservative Independent) would be good for Pittsburgh. A candidate who is not married to the minority of Pittsburgh voters known as unions.

The union's stranglehold on the city scares most people into NOT voting. That's an issue that any successful "outside" candidate must somehow get around. For approximately 75 years, city politicians have been crippled by union members who will easily and illegally wear political tee-shirts while on the job, which almost nary a repercussion.

Bill Peduto needs to find a way to energize the electorate. Unfortunately, he hasn't and I'm not sure what the answer is, either.

This Saturday afternoon, Mark DeSantis was to be door knocking in some of the eastern neighborhoods. He'll be needing to some of that every single day until the election, to make any kind of impact whatsoever. Good luck to him.

Jim Roddey does not matter one iota in this race. Roddey's political career as the county's first Chief Executive Officer is considered, in city Republican circles, to be a complete and total failure. City Democrats never thought much about him.

Reform Pittsburgh Now is NOT a lost cause. The fact of the matter is, no sitting council member cares enough about the city to do ANYTHING outside of Grant Street. Not one. Most are just happy employing friends, family members and having their own streets paved.

Perhaps Mark R. should join the ranks of Reform Pittsburgh Now. Peduto would probably welcome Mark's passion, even though they differ on some political issues. Mark R. has shown beyond the shadow of a doubt that he has passion for the future of this city, as does Bill Peduto. Mark R. would not be intimidated like the Dems who don't want to step on too many toes, as those actions would assuredly build glass ceilings on their own political careers.

At least we have some political debate. I will be voting for Mark DeSantis because of principal for change.

Anonymous said...

Reform Pittsburgh Now: "Mark, I am not supporting ANY candidate in the Mayor’s race. The people of Pittsburgh should choose the candidate they believe is best candidate. I will work on Council and through this PAC to create an alternative agenda and a vision for our city."