Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Minor mayor candidates want to make point - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Minor mayor candidates want to make point - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Tony Oliva, Libertarian candidate for Pittsburgh mayor, didn't get to share the stage with the major-party candidates during a recent mayoral debate, but he snagged the crowd's attention at the end.
This was Tony's second joke from the podium. The first, about plenty of people having egg o their face after he won the election, was blogged about before. It is harder to put that joke into a news article and make it as 'funny.'

Good article Dave Brown (Tribune Review reporter)!

The rest of the news on the Libertarian follows.
"I see (Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, the Democrat, and Republican challenger Mark DeSantis) as a choice between painting a bare room," Oliva said when given three minutes to add his two cents. "You have the choice between painting it eggshell white or mother-of-pearl white. They even look like they have the same tailor."

When about 200 people, including DeSantis and Ravenstahl, stopped laughing, Oliva added, "Maybe a splash of color is just what this city needs."

Oliva and Socialist Workers Party candidate Ryan Scott -- who each had three minutes to speak after the debate on Thursday -- have no false hopes about winning the Nov. 6 election. Even so, they are scrambling to get their disparate messages out to anyone who will listen. Minor-party candidates appear frequently on ballots in Western Pennsylvania and across the nation, although their campaigns rarely succeed in a political system dominated by the two major parties.

So why bother running at all?

The candidates offer straightforward reasons often set in personal convictions: Generally, they hope to make a point.
Cut stuff about the Socialist Workers Party. Read that in the comments or at the Trib's site.
Oliva said he became a Libertarian because that party best fits his political philosophy.

"I tend to lean toward fiscal conservatism, with low taxes and financial freedom, but I'm also more socially liberal on personal freedoms and liberty," he said. "Neither the Republican nor the Democratic parties speaks to me as well as the Libertarian Party does."

A former Army paratrooper, Oliva, 28, of Oakland is a graduate student in economics at the University of Pittsburgh. He was born in New York and moved to Western Pennsylvania about 10 years ago. The first thing he pledges to do, if elected mayor, is cut his pay. It troubles him that city officials get full pay and benefits at a time when Pittsburgh is in financial distress.

Running for mayor is worthwhile, Oliva says, if only to show voters there are options. After hearing Ravenstahl and DeSantis debate, the Libertarian told the crowd it was just more "political rhetoric that Republicans and Democrats spew at each other."

"I think it's time we heard a new voice," he said.

Tony Oliva

Party: Libertarian

Age: 28
(blog note: Tony is one year older than the existing mayor)

Occupation: Crossing guard and graduate school work

Residence: Oakland

Education: Bachelor's degree, political science, University of Pittsburgh

Family: Single

Political experience: First race for public office
Do you think that the Trib could have made the photo in the online edition any smaller?


Anonymous said...

John K. says: No wonder the press does not give these third party candidates any print. This guy has the life experiences of a crossing guard?

Mark Rauterkus said...

The press gave these guys some print today.

And, he has the life experience of a veteran paratrooper plus political science graduate with econ in post-grad studies.

He has been a crossing guard. And, pedestrian life is important here. Heck, he even got hit by a car. That injury ended his playing days as a Pitt Footballer (recruited by Johnny Majors). And, he wasn't a placekicker, either.