Saturday, January 27, 2001

Heyl's comment

Sat, 27 Jan 2001 10:35:49 EST

Mr. Heyl,

A quote from your article:

"Now in 2001, it's Mark Rauterkus of the South Side, an unemployed swimming coach and political neophyte."

As a fellow stay-at-home-dad I take offense at Mr. Rauterkus being described as "unemployed." Staying home to raise your children is a noble and courageous decision and should not be derided in the press. I hope you will apologize to Mr. Rauterkus and issue a correction.

Timothy Larsen
Minnetonka MN

Tim is from the great state of Minnesota and is a conservative Republican that in no way voted for any of the following: Jesse Ventura, Paul Wellstone, or newly elected Mark Dayton.

WTAE - TV Poll -- media cheaters look like this

WTAE TV ran a poll for one week -- and then never reported upon the results.
The results were not to their favor. I won! They were looking to prime the pump for campaign spending and wanted to show how it would be a Bob vs Tom race, each spending $1M. 

Meanwhile, I was ahead.

So, they took down the poll and didn't report on the results.


Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Candidate Mark Rauterkus presents to campus group at Pitt -- speaker notes

To the Pitt Libertarians 


 Platform Handout from Mark Rauterkus to the Pitt Ls on Jan 16, 2001 

1. Racism exists in Pittsburgh. Let's talk about it. 

 2. I'm going to sand up to corporate welfare. NBA's Hornets need to arrive in Pittsburgh --> sustainable deals. 

3. For those of you who are going to purchase a home -- I want to eliminate the real estate transfer tax. (1.5%) A $90K house turns into a $50k home. Meanwhile, corporation called 600 Ross Street. 

4. Other taxes to eliminate: Merchantile tax. Hurts competitiveness in city. RAD Tax needs serious study and review. 

5. Land-Value Tax vs. Building Value Tax Debate. The problem has been 20-years in the making. 

6. Hiring Freeze swim coaches open-source programmers 

7. Infrastructure, Bridge, sidewalks

8. Parking -- Eliminate the Parking Authority. 

9. Water and Sewer Authority -- not accountable -- pull it back into control by the elected officials. 

10. The Urban Redevelopment Authority -- taken apart brick by brick Second Ave -- looks suburban South Side -- looks suburban 5,000 new employess -- not one day-care center. The things that are missing make those developments less than ideal. 

11. Schools -- Charter Schools -- 

12. Hazelwood. 

13. Nine-Mile Run -- can be made into a very low priority 

14. Maglev 

15. Public transportation. Trains around the region. Train trip as a fund raiser Light Rail from Station Square to SS Hospital to hotmetal bridge, Hazelwood, Pather Hollow, to East Busway. No tunnel under the Allegheny River for $400M extra - nor to stadiums 

16. Aquatics 

17. Competitive 

18. Concept Maps 

19. Creativity 

20. Bridging the Digital Divide 

21. War on Drugs 

22. Death Penalty 

23. Ebooks 

24. Parks, Field of Dreams Roberto Clement Park Park District

25. Citizens Review Board needs some attention 

26. Applications matter. The state may have blown $16M in tobacco settlement money. Pittsburgh hoped for a tax-free zone and Federal Enterprize Zones. 

27. Weed, Seed, -- how about flourishing! 

 28. Fifth & Forbes, Plan C 

29. St. Nicks Church (Penn Dot) Glass Cathedral, Northside

30. Liberty Machine. Copyleft, Digital Theater -- such as the Earth Theater

Friday, January 12, 2001

KDKA Poll and Shouting "FOUL"

Media Alert and Quotes

News Source: Mark Rauterkus
Participant, Mayor's Race, City of Pittsburgh, 2001, Republican

Campaign Headquarters: 108 South 12th Street,
Pittsburgh, (South Side) PA, 15203-1226 USA

Messages: 412-481-2497

Local Poll about the Mayor's Race by KDKA-TV News and Political Nightmares

Date: Jan. 12, 2001

With the primary election four month away and the heavyweight candidates still unannounced as official contenders in the race, Pittsburgh's media elite is releasing polling data.

Republican challenger, stay-at-home dad, Mark Rauterkus, is calling foul and ringing alarms.

The poll asked voters about two candidates. Neither are on the campaign trails yet. The real candidates who have been making appearances got ignored.

The poll only asked about Democrats. The legacy of the city should not spoil the opportunities for new candidates in elections months in advance.

Today's faulty polls present only one slant could provide reasons for debate exclusion in the future.

Poll result listings that are devoid of challengers make it nearly impossible for political newcomers to raise campaign funds.

The voters should not be asked to choose among the options before the candidates are introduced. Putting the cart before the horse isn't prudent.

The success of democracy depends upon the reaction of the people to the opportunities presented. The advance poll is a ploy to squash viable opposition candidates. The well of democracy and our civic interactions are tarnished by this advance poll.

Celebrity or Politics
Polls centered only upon celebrities are not political polls. A popular poll isn't fair to the process of citizen engagement in the election process.

Job Approval Ratings
Perhaps KDKA TV News should have done a job-approval poll of the existing mayor. Those polls would have been valuable throughout the course of the mayor's career.

Republicans and Democrats
A poll conducted on only one of the political parties is without balance. Republican questions needs to be included in future polling. More than one race is happening.

KDKA News Desk 2: 412-575-2245
KDKA's Main Switchboard: 412-575-2200

Wednesday, January 10, 2001


In Pittsburgh reports:
01.10.01 - 01.17.01

There are several things that differentiate mayoral candidate Josh Pollock from his two likely opponents in the May Democratic primary. He's 18, much younger than Mayor Tom Murphy and Council President Bob O'Connor -- in fact, Pollock is still in high school -- he plays in a band and he is an active member of the effort to free Mumia Abu-Jamal. "Also, I'm probably the only guy in the mayor's race who rides a PAT bus because he doesn't have a driver's license," Pollock muses.

"It's been strange," he adds, since word broke that the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts senior was going to take a run at Grant Street. "People walk up to me on the streets because they recognize me from the news and offer me money for the campaign. And then I walk into school and someone is giving me a message to call [WTAE-TV] Channel 4 because they want to interview me."

Pollock, who says he is more than a little displeased by the way Murphy has conducted himself as mayor, is very serious about his campaign. He doesn't have a platform, but his ideas include creating youth centers throughout the city and starting a task force to study alleged racial bias and profiling by the city police department. Pollock didn't expect this much attention.

Republican candidate Mark Rauterkus has been in the race since August and only got his first sniff of mainstream press last week -- as an afterthought in a story about Pollock. "Maybe this will also help Mark's campaign get noticed," Pollock says. In fact, he adds, nothing would make him happier than a November run-off with Rauterkus.

Pollock will gather signatures to get his name on the primary ballot -- even though it is questionable whether an 18-year-old can legally hold the job. A Post-Gazette story last week cited a state law that requires the mayor to be at least 25. Pollock contends that because Allegheny County's home rule charter doesn't carry an age limit, he can run, and is investigating a possible legal challenge to the state law.

He's hoping the other candidates in the race show "good will" and don't challenge his candidacy: "Let the voters decide if I am old enough," he adds.

Regardless of whether he wins, Pollock's candidacy begs the question: Which makes an 18-year-old guy more attractive to women, being in a band or running for mayor? "Sadly, neither," Pollock replies. "The opposite sex used to see me as that loser in the band. Now, I'm that loser running for mayor."



The Buzz Continues

The writers at In Pittsburgh (now defunct) did not fall into the same trap as the elite, daily newspapers. Mentions of the candidates were not inserted into the news coverage.

A Rauterkus vs. Pollock run-off in November would have been wonderful.

Josh was promised that I won't challenge his right to be on the ballot.

Saturday, January 06, 2001

Civic Arena hosts sell off of 3RS seats and urinals

The auction was packed. I was there to shake hands with 300 or so. Got to watch some of the mob. The prices and pace was brisk, but fun. I didn't have a handout, sadly. But, this was more of a place to be seen and mingle.

I didn't buy anything.

I wonder what it will be like when the Civic Arena closes. They recently put in new seats in the Civic Arena. There was a bit of a scandal too. Why didn't they sell the old seats?

Any new arena deal should also have a seat license income stream. That fetches good money as well.

Friday, January 05, 2001

Introduction from 2001

Understanding begins with a true awareness:

I'm Mark Rauterkus, son of a retired teacher from the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Leo M. Rauterkus. But, be assured from the get-go, this campaign is not about me. Sure, we need to post a candidate's bio. A face-lift to the site is past due, and it is on the way. But there is more, much more to share. The bulk of what follows isn't centered upon me. Being a South Side, internet advocate, with a German sir-name (the first letter of my name matches my party's ticket) matters little.

In the future Pittsburgh, in my more ideal Pittsburgh, we'll better concentrate upon what is being said and less upon who that person is when it is said. But now, sadly, a time for an introduction and some personal grounding is in order.

I'm a citizen. I'm a Pittsburgher. I'm with time on my hands, a chip on my shoulder, and thick skin. I've got two sons and a great, brilliant wife. I'm white, 41, and a big-brother to four sisters. A cousin party in our clan can hit 100 people, average age is 5 -- but my math and spelling skills are suspect.

I'm entering this Mayor's Race because I'm not happy with what we got nor with the options unfolding in the future. Our potential is so much better than our existing execution allows.

Many other Pittsburghers can fill these shoes. The Mayor Candidate role isn't intimidating and many others can do just as well, if not way better. We all need to shoulder the load and take the roles that need to be filled. If you want this spot, please step forward.

I'm not here to fight for you. I'm here to fight for ourselves. This is our town. This is our battle. This is our future. We want certain things and expect certain behaviors, and frankly, they are not happening to our satisfaction. Let's work to make ourselves and our outlooks and our spaces much better.

A call to this endeavor exists to a smaller degree than the call to community. I'm fortunate at this juncture to be one of the few who are more insulated than most. I'm a stay-at-home dad. I've got no assets to protect. I'm not a business owner with a payroll to cover. Ours, now, is a mission to grow equity, not protect equity. I can enter the fray in the Mayor's race, expecting some attacks. Vengefull attacks will come in vain, unless they are targeted at ideas, the platform, and things such as the budget proposals we'll be making Then, we all win when those public-policy attacks are considered and delivered.

Teacher's kid, professor's spouse, boys' father, and former swim coach are roles that now blend with candidate.

think again

Coach's Lesson:

Sports are games of space, time and relationship.

I think like a coach. I've been a coach most of my life. Coaching and sports make a connection to who I am and to others in the community. Pittsburgh calls itself a sports town. To understand my nature and roots, witness my thoughts about sports.

I hope to govern like I coach. I consider myself a great coach. Inspring perhaps. I can manage people. I'll take folks out of their comfort zones, and we'll improve greatly.

After athletes understand the true meaning of sports, and all the details of the four components of the definition, then great focus and inner strengths can be found and mastered. The purpose blooms. Efforts are justified.

Yes, Leroy Hodge, I am not in this to "win." I told him that the other day and that just could not be understood. I'm in this campaign to do the best I can do. I'm going to try my best, and then hold my head up. It isn't if you win or not -- rather it is how you play the game. I say sportsmanship matters. Leroy says he is a coach and he is in this campaign to win.

Yep, I'm a little soft on the "fire-in-the-bellie" routine. However, I'm quite hot when you look at my soul. The fire isn't in my bellie -- it is in my soul.

Candidate's Lesson:is about space, time and relationship.

Life and sport are similar, except life is not a game. The elements of space, time and relationship matter.

Politics is part of life. Politcs has its own flow with its own space, time and sets of relationships. The talk of politics and sports is often similar. For example, the USA Swimming Core Objectives are:

  • Build the Base
  • Promote the Sport
  • Achieve Competitive Success
A political party would do well to hold the same values dear. The promotion goes to the public policy ideals.

Holistic outlooks, global views, big-picture ponderings and just plain-old "getting it" is to be expected from our politicians and our civic leaders.


Life isn't fair. However, there is one place where we need to insist upon fairness, justness, freedom and due process -- and that is with the actions of our government. We need moment to moment justice in Pittsburgh. That is where my campaign is going to focus for the next few weeks. Watch for the next chapters in the book, Compelling Sense.


Is it really possible to live our lives, moment to moment, as if life were a work of art? In sport, it is not only possible, we are called to it.

A calling to politics tugs now.

Standing in relationship to a task in space and time we must be present, radically aware and in the flow. Standing in relationship to others we must be prepared to give fully of ourselves with gratitude, respect and appreciation. Standing in relationship to ourselves we must be willing to know, accept and express ourselves in all of our varied capacities. And, in doing so, we stand in relation to the Divine, at an intersection of two flows, and become capable of creating art and cultivating soul in everything we do.

The dance continues. The process evolves.


Kevin DeForrest, coach, athlete and author of The Treasure Within, provided some of the above quotes. In prior years, various insights and skills were developed by publishing titles (such as the swimmers' logbook by DeForrest), crafting ideas, and managing the content and its delivery. A spectrum of education and interactions with diverse people is understood, respected and perhaps, even mastered, with our team at We'll be able to craft and deliver our message. Our vision and platform will take shape and get out. The people of Pittsburgh and throughout the region are going to come to understand and consider the issues and the personalities associated with our political landscape and the Mayor's Race, 2001.

My political legacy has not been established, yet, to the degree of tenure of others. Existing bureaucrats and incumbants are sure to have an edge in experience in terms of red-tape wranglings. Life experiences are another matter.

The entry into our public policy realm needs to be open. This race is made possibile by rights afforded to all citizens. Furthermore, the scope and depth of the issues at hand for our community are welcomed discussions in this campaign. Standing steadfast as a clear communicator and an artful, principled, empowering leader is our nature and duty.

Around Town

We hope to see you around town. More so, we need to get together on-line and at some political gatherings in the very near future. Find out what's happening by bookmarking our web page. Jump in and contribute. There is a place for everyone here, guaranteed.

Wednesday, January 03, 2001

The Man Who Would Be Mayor (InPgh news article)

Article by Charlie Deitch, ran on January 3, 2001, in the now defunct InPGH , a weekly newspaper.
Unless, he says, there's anyone else better qualified. It's fascinating to watch mark Rauterkus watch the political process. As he sits in a council meeting or in a public hearing, this stay-at-home dad and inactive swimming coach is constantly observing what is going on around him while taking care of his children -- who may have a better attendance record than some current council members. Rauterkus assists his oldest son, Erik, who is coloring a picture he just drew, while helping his youngest son, Grant, build a car out of Legos. All the while, Rauterkus listens to citizens' concerns like a man with the power to help them. But he's not that man -- at least, not yet. Republican Mark Rauterkus wants to become mayor of the city of Pittsburgh so the next time he hears someone complaining to city council about a problem, he can do something about it. Mark "That's all I've been doing since August," says the 41-year-old between bites of a tuna sandwich at Mario's on the South Side. "I've been listening to as many people who will take a moment and talk to me." It was, in fact, the current administation's inability to listen that prompted Rauterkus, a political rookie unknown to the Grant Street contigent, to enter the upcoming mayoral race. "This city needs a new mayor, whether it's me or somone else," he says. "They need a myor who will listen to their concerns and then actually do something about them." Rauterkus was upset at Myor Tom Murphy's refusal to listen to anyone concerning Fifth and Forbes development, but something more personal prompted his decision to run: the city's refusal to allow him to serve on a new task force designed to study how best to use the city's 32 swimming pools. He says he was rebuffed despite his knowlege and ideas. In fact, Rauterkus announced his mayor candidacy at the very August city council meeting at which we was turned down for the pools committee. And since that one public forum, his candidacy has been ignored. The mainstream press, along with political watchers and insiders, has only been touting the upcoming primary clash between Murpy and Council President Bob O'Connor, the guy who fell short in the primary four years ago. "The Post-Gazette may as well just sponsor Tom Murphy's campaign," Rauterkus muses. "And the Trib?" Shortly after Rauterkus announce his candidacy, a Tribune-Review reporter intervied Rauterkus and a Trib photographer took pictures of him at home. But don't search through the paper's archives looking for the peice, because it has never run. "I don't know when or if it will ever appear, but it's been done for months," Rauterkus says. "When I asked the editors about it, all they did was offer to sell me ads. It is hard to run a campaign when the city's two major newspapers refuse to give you any coverage." But that doesn't mean he plans to stop. His campaign homepage -- -- is up and running and full of his views on city happenings. The site is so comrehensive that it linked to this article weeks before it existed. In the meantime, Rauterkus is still in the listening stage. There are many problems facing the city, he opines: if elected, he says, he will have a lot of ideas on how to make things better. Bu for now he is spending time in the streets, time talking to people and of course time in council chambers, addressing its members. When he does speak before the panel, he's not just sonding off, he's proposing solutions so that others can listen -- unlike, say, the recently decessed half-billion dollar Downtown plan Pittsburghers found themseves shut out of. "Nothing ever seems to be organized or planned out," he explains. "There is no political will in this city to do the best thing. We find the worst option and then do one step above that." That's why Rauterkus says it's important to pose solutions, not just to harp on problems. At a council meeting last month, for example, Rauterkus noticed tension building among several residents who had to come to address council members. Several emotional speakers were upset over what they called harassment by officers assigned to the meeetings and by a perception that council members, who constantly start meetings late, didn't respect them or care about their problems. Rauterkus took to the podium in their defense. While it may have seemed trivial to political insiders used to grandstanding, it seemed genuinely important to Rauterkus. He suggested a resolution be passed that the cable access cameras be turned on at the regularly scheduled 10 a.m. meeting time. Whether the meeting had officially started or not, to 'let the people speak for a while. I guarantee after one meeting you guys will start getting here on time." Would his idea redevelop Downtown or fix the city's multi-million dollar structural deficts? No. But by actually reacting to the will of the people, Rauterkus has shown the characteristic most lacking in many current city leaders. He is no readying his campiagn headquarters on the ground floor of his home -- an old South Side shoemaker's shop on South 12th Street. Hi snext step is deciding how he wants to run the campaign. A former Democrat, Rauterkus is trying to decide wheter to make a run under the GOP banner or to go under the flag of one of the third parties. None of these options is the ideal way to take a stab at unseating the city's Democratic machine and a two-term mayor in prosperous times. Ideally, Rauterkus says, O'Connor would defeat Murphy and become complacent about a November showdown with the Republicans, who usually aren't worth fearing in a citywide election. That's where he says he will need public support and every bit of the $100,000 he hopes to raise. O'Connor would be better than Murphy, Rauterkus says, but having any consummate politician ack in the driver's seat would just lead to more of the same in city politics. And change is what Rauterkus' campaign is all about. "I've said all along. I don't have to run for mayor," Rauterkus says. "If someone else came along who was better qualified and wanted to make a serious run, I would step aside in a minute and work diligently for them. "We need a new mayor a whole lot more than I need to be mayor."
Photo showed me holding Grant, my son, in our home/office. Caption: Mark Rauterkus' only political experience has been dealing with the lobbying of his kids, like three-year-old Grant, above. Apparently Rauterkus can handle the pressure.

scan from the web site

Monday, January 01, 2001

Profile on Mark Rauterkus by freelance writer

Exact date, not certain.

This is our business -- city council actions

This Is Our Business

For sure and shore!
The preceived roles of the URA Board, of City Council, of the School Board of Pittsburgh Public Schools, and of the County play a large element into the outcomes of this process.

Should City Council spend its valuable time to "micro-manage" the URA on land sales and developments?

Should any of the three governmental agencies try to halt local happenings by going against the wishes of the other agencies? Stopping the TIF would slow down development that has been given the fast-track go-ahead by the Mayor's office and by the good people at the URA.

Yes! City Council should get involved and should shoulder effort in these decisions and discussions as both the outcomes and the process are highly suspect. It is the duty of City Council to show the diligence. City Council provides a true check-and-balance within this process for the people within the city.

To have City Council get its hands dirty with this decision at this time would do much long-term good. This can be a water-shed decision to deny the sale to UPMC. And this can be a way to re-direct control and set a new course for this outcome and for better policies, philosophies and long-term endeavors yet to happen.

Some of the problems need to be illuminated. But this position paper goes the next couple of steps by putting forth some additional principles of understanding. And, finally, when it comes to the specifics of the UPMC Sports compound on the LTV site, some better solutions are uncovered that make for a better fit for all parties for a much brighter future.

This Goes Beyond Micro Management

In the largest view, this position paper asks City Council to stop the sale of URA owned land to UPMC. To stop the sale is a bold move by City Council that would go counter to the administraion and it would assert City Council's authority into a contract-like issue. Here the contract is the bill of sale of land for specific payments and compensation.

We ask City Council to say: No Sale Yet!

For many reasons we ask City Council to look at the sale, the process, the policies and the philosophies. Let's make a re-evaluation and re-examination because of global sticking points and not a micro-management ones. But in any condition, the sale of land to UPMC is a bad decision.

We ask the School Board to say: No TIF on the South Side, Yet! The URA might come to the realization that the borders of the TIF zone should not include any Steelers practice facilities. The URA might re-draw the TIF and delete the 20-acres of the UPMC site. Just say no TIF unless and until the URA comes to the realization that the School District needs some financial assistance in the South Side, and one need not look any further than South High School. More discussion elsewhere.