Tragedy postpones mayoral debate A mayoral debate scheduled for tonight has been postponed.Of course, neither of the challengers can object to this request. So, I will.
City Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, City Councilman Patrick Dowd and attorney Carmen Robinson were scheduled to debate at 7 p.m.
However, Mr. Ravenstahl sent his challengers an e-mail yesterday asking that they reschedule.
'The tragic deaths of three Pittsburgh police officers on Saturday, April 4th, has shaken our city to its core,' he wrote. 'The impact of the ultimate sacrifice paid by Officers Eric Kelly, Paul J. Sciullo III and Stephen J. Mayhle continues to reverberate throughout our city, state and country. With that in mind, our scheduled debate should not take place this Monday so that our attention is not diverted from our obligation to comfort the family, friends and colleagues of these fallen heroes.'
The debate was scheduled to be aired live on PCNC, a cable news channel affiliate.
A new date has not yet been set.
Has Luke done his homework -- or not?
I'm sure he has been busy. But, he should be busy. That is expected.
Holding a debate could be a perfect time to just what he wishes to do. With a one hour TV presentation, salted for tonight, attention could given to obligations of comfort for the family, friends and colleagues of the police officers.
Rather than scratch the debate, this is a great time to hold an extra meeting / debate. Use the time slot with the candidates to get their views out for others to hear, as life marches on. Stretch the opening statement to five minutes, rather than the typical 90 seconds or so.
But, the problem for Luke Ravenstahl is the fact that one of the other candidates that he'd have to share the stage with is a former police officer. She walked miles in those shoes in the past. She might have known the one officer and his family.
I remember September 2001's political climate. In the 2001 primary, I had tossed my hat into the ring, so to speak, as an opposition candidate to what Tom Murphy was doing to Pittsburgh. I wasn't in the race in the fall of 2001 when 9-11 hit, but James Carmine, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, smooth talker, was.
We had been asking for debates in August.
Later that fall, I even staged one with others at the Carneigie Library Lecture Hall -- and Tom Murphy didn't show up.
After 9-11 there were no political debates -- but -- they election in November still happened, of course, as they should have.
What didn't happen in 2001 was voter education. Those in power love it when that occurs. Accountability evaporates. Watchdogs slumber.
The bottom line, or, at the end of the day, -- there was one debate in the fall of 2001 with the Democrat Mayor. One. That debate was on TV -- but it was held on Sunday night before the polls opened on Tuesday. Good grief.
Last week, Councilman Bruce Kraus was absent at the Wednesday meeting of council. He was in Erie meeting with the city council there seeking support for a a new law concerning lost-and-stolen guns. That discussion looms large in these times in terms of diminishing Second Amendment Rights.
City Council cancels meetings in wake of shootings: "Pittsburgh City Council has canceled all official business this week in light of the deadly shooting of three police officers Saturday."
No clue here as to how those meetings unfolded.