Monday, October 11, 2004

Who controls the city? Asking and telling in next breath

Trib ANALYSIS "But that's not really the issue. Pittsburgh voters will be answering a much more fundamental question: Do they want to break the grip unionized employees have had on the city's government for decades?

I love Jake Haulk's perspectives and work, most of the time. He is strongly against corporate welfare. He was timid a bit on the parking situations when I would instead move to remove the entire authority over time. But on this matter of democracy and the November referendum, he seems to be flat out wrong.

Some want us to think that the The Nov. 2 ballot question is about getting a fire truck to the flames in four minutes. Others think it is about Pittsburgh's future.
"We are speaking for the 88 communities" in Pittsburgh, King said. "If you're concerned about fire safety, about your children, about your home, about your property, this is the way to voice your opinion."

Exactly. Democracy is what is really at stake here. This is rather simple. Politics is complicated and full of weirdness. However, democracy is rather straight. Some people think that they know what's best for all the other people. Other people think that the general population, in America, gets to have a right to decide important issues for themselves at the polls.

I hate to see the Tom Murphy's administration take a legal ballot question to the judge to get it ruled invalid. Tom Murphy does not want real democracy. Tom Murphy is scared of the people's collective choice.

I hate to see other people twist democracy into something that it isn't. This isn't a complicated question about some control of the city. That's smoke of the highest order. Fear, uncertainty, doubt works for the analysis pushers.

David Miller's quote about people voting based on who they think their friends are is lame. The vote in a ballot question avoids a personality as it is a question, not a candidate.

This weekend I talked to a gentleman on the street who said he loves our city council president and wished he had him as a son-in-law. But, he also said that this politician was terrible and had to go. He is wrecking the city. There is no way that guy is ever going to vote for this councilman again. But, he'd call him a friend.

David Miller, perhaps the newspaper got the quote wrong. Otherwise, I'm red-faced for you.
Moreover, the firefighters union does not have an organized adversary, said Joseph Sabino Mistick, a Duquesne University law professor who worked in the administrations of mayors Richard Caliguiri and Sophie Masloff.

Wrong! The organized adversary is Tom Murphy and his administration. Other organized opponents might be the Act 47 coordinators, the I.C.A. (oversight board) and analysis writers such as the Trib's Andrew Conte, PG editors and Jake Haulk. That sounds like a potent team of loyal opponents. They buy ink by the barrel and control the purse strings.
"We know the firefighters are in a position to wage an effective public relations campaign," Mistick said. "Will the forces that support these cuts be in a position to do the same? Where do they get their money? They don't have any real constituency."

Joe. I know that the mayor doesn't have any real constituency left, but, he does have those oversight pals and Gov. Ed Rendell. And, he'll be calling up KDKA TV and others to get his message out as he so desires. Presently he is doing his best to hide in a hole with the "no comment comment." But, that will pass.


Anonymous said...

Didn't I just read that Pittsburgh now has 91 communities? Do the other three not enjoy protection of the Pittsburgh firefighters?

Mark Rauterkus said...

There is some question as to the number of communities or neighborhoods. It was blogged about at in the article about 91 flavors too.

I dare say that the firefighters cover them all. They might say that in rush hours as traffic is intense, milage may vary.