Wednesday, August 10, 2005

'Open government' referendum for Pittsburgh fails to get on November ballot

The PG gave a good amount of ink to a proposition that didn't get onto the ballot. Sadly, the effort didn't get enough signatures. The bar is high in terms of the total numbers needed to get onto the ballot. But, such is life.

So, the amendment is off -- but -- David T is on. Things would have been much better to get both onto the ballot. There is a bit of zip when there are multiple areas of concern rather than a lone-wolf effort.

However, getting the 4,000 signatures will help with voters when it comes to pulling a lever on election day. It gave a bit of a kick-start to the outreach of the campaign.

'Open government' referendum for Pittsburgh fails to get on November ballot: "Open government' referendum for Pittsburgh fails to get on November ballot

Pittsburghers won't have a chance to vote for an 'open government' referendum on Nov. 8, but they will be able to vote for the referendum's creator -- longtime activist and Squirrel Hill resident David Tessitor.

Tessitor, former head of Pittsburghers for Open Government, is running for mayor as an independent candidate.

He met a deadline yesterday to file more than 1,000 signatures with the Allegheny County Elections Division, and he joins two third-party mayoral hopefuls, Titus North of the Green Party and Jay Ressler of the Socialist Workers Party.

Joe Weinroth is the Republican nominee for mayor and Bob O'Connor is the Democratic nominee.

The referendum needed 8,493 signatures to get on the November ballot, and a group of 100 volunteers managed to collect about half that number over the last seven weeks, Tessitor said.

If approved by voters, the referendum would have amended the city charter to require that all public documents and video of public meetings be made available on the city's Web site.

It also would have created a citizen advisory panel, open to any city resident, property owner, taxpayer or business owner. The panel would give residents more opportunities to voice their concerns to the mayor and City Council.

'It's designed to open government communication in two directions,' Tessitor said.

He said Pittsburghers for Open Government will conduct a new signature campaign either during the winter or next summer.

Now the pressure is on Weinroth to not finish the election in third, fourth or fifth place.

If the Green Party and Socialist Party candidates are any good at all, and if they would choose to work together by showing up at the same events and on the same blocks to door-knock -- then they might be able to beat the Republican candidate. But, that would be asking a lot.

The Socialist Party has a history of running candidates for Mayor as a party awakening effort. They buzz about themselves and have more meaningful meetings.

The Green Party in the area has a long, long way to go to get on its feet so as to have some strength in issues as well as candidates. I am hopeful that they will now have something to brag about and build up the organization. The Greens in other parts of the country are much stronger than what we have in Pittsburgh. But, Pittsburgh should be a hot-bed for Green-party activity. People often put a high value on being "sustainable" and on being "friendly to the environment." But, the transition to Green Party Politics is not generally made in the minds of many locals.


Thomas Leturgey said...

Talk about the dog days of summer. David Tessitor announces an independent candicacy, and not one outlet picks it up!

Ballot organizers try to get an important question with signature collections in high 80 and mid 90 degree heat during vacation season!

Who's running these campaigns, Larry, Moe and Curly? No wonder there weren't enough signatures. Absolutely the DREGGS of organization and activism.

Unless Mr. Tessitor, who would have gathered an iota of steam if he had announced his candidacy the week after the primary...he could have made a news cycle. Here he gets nothing but steam raising from our balmy sidewalks in July and August. If he's who I think he is, Mr. Tessitor would have received some attention...isn't he a close, personal friend of one Bill Clinton?

Unless he comes up with some serious cash, Mr. Tessitor will come in third, certainly after Joe Weinroth. By the way, Joe has done NOTHING this summer politically.

Michael P. O'Connor said...

I know who Dave Tessitor is, and no I don't think he is friends (or even knows) Bill Clinton. Dave is a good person. I do agree with Daves views on everything, but Dave does at lest deserves some respect. I did not know Dave was running I wonder why he dis not let me know before. I saw him recently. I wonder what would happen if he did win, But still I don't think it is possable for a democrate (bob this time around) to loss.

But I will have to wish dave good luck next time I see him.

Michael P. O'Connor said...

the do in my last post should be don't sorry my bad there.

Thomas Leturgey said...

Boy, was I wrong! David Tessitor isn't who I think he is (after a quick Google search).

That said, Joe Weinroth has absolutely no worry whatsoever about coming in less than second.

Friends don't even know Tessitor's running? Glory be! The layman voter surely doesn't. Don't expect too many debates with more than O'Connor and Weinroth.

Mark Rauterkus said...

David T was working on the OPEN GOV petition. It didn't make it. It was a mouthful. It is needed. Execution of the petitions was lacking.

The Open Gov ballot question could have been a good opening punch and then the second would have been the candidate for the mayor's office. That 1-2 combination was the vision for David T's efforts. That vision had some merits.

The media has nothing to fear with David T. Nor does O'Connor. So, how does that wash out in the real world. Does that mean everyone puts the cards on the table and there is serious discussion and sustained coverage and conversation. Or not?

I think Weinroth needs to work hard to make respect in the campaign and in the outcome. He and the GOP can loose plenty and gain nothing or little. Time will tell.

The Socialist, Green and David T on the ballot makes for an interesting race for 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Or, it could be a total yawn. ???

Michael P. O'Connor said...

Thomas Leturgey why bother with debates at all, we all know who will win. It is to the point that I am thinking of staying home in Nov, the election is decided in the primary, which is a same a the few that are registered as Republicans are not alowed to vote for the major, that just how it is in Pittsburgh, when you know who won the Democrates primary you know who won the majors race.

Thomas Leturgey said...

Why bother with debates at all? Because there is a race with two candidates representing the only two parties that matter (especially in this race) politically in 2005.

I've long supported third-party candidates, but in my experience have only found most of them to be personally agenda-driven. My friend, Mark Rauterkus, is one of the few exceptions. Most are in it to get their names in the newspaper, or want to push a hard-to-accept idea, i.e. Mr. Tessitor.
While his idea is admirable, the execution has been a total disaster.

I've also strongly suggested that Mr. Weinroth should run an ambitious candidacy. There is a strong anti-Bob O'Connor sentiment, but Mr. Weinroth has done next to nothing politically.

But to be fair, it is the dog days of summer and there is very little, other than the vaguest Bob Casey, Rick Santorum, Ed Rendell and Lynn Swann talk.

"The Socialist, Green and David T on the ballot makes for an interesting race for 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Or, it could be a total yawn. ???" --Fact of the matter is, Mark, there isn't any interest who will run third in this race. Let alone 4th or 5th. Why should there be? We're not talking about future movers-and-shakers who come in 4th in the Pittsburgh Mayoral General Election.

1. O'Connor
2. Weinroth (there's still time for Joe to make some headway)
3. David Tessitor (unless I decide to run as an Independent. Or Mark's political campaign manager, Katrina. Now that would be a campaign!)
4. Green Party candidate (unless the guy with the sandwich board comes back to life)
5. Socialist (unless ANYONE else gets into the race)

Michael P. O'Connor said...

So why don't you though your hat in? Maybe I am wrong but I just have become cynical about polotics in Pittsburgh, and I just don't really think things in Pittsburgh will change in the near future, we have had a democrate as mayor since 1933.

One think I do find funny if you search for the term "O'Connor Pittsburgh" (as of Friday August 12 2005) I out rank Bob O'Connor on google.

But I do hope Dave does well in his campain.

Mark Rauterkus said...

The ballot for the Nov 2005 Mayor's race has been set. No additional candidates can get into the race nor toss one's hat in.

The landscape for the Mayor's race isn't right and wasn't right for me at this time. No thanks.

As for why bother with debates at all -- well -- there are a few reasons to hold debates. First off, it is within the scope of the charter for QED to do so. That is part of the charter for Public TV. They'll fail and fumble. QED should be known as the cancer it is. (prove me wrong by hosting debates) So, that isn't a "bother" at all for them as it is QED's duty.

And, O'Connor does NOT have a monopoly on good ideas. That's one of the biggest understatements I'll ever make in my lifetime. Debates have proven that to be true in the past with Bob. He was toasted by Murphy in the past.

Michael P. O'Connor said...

Mark, agreed that Bob does not have a monopoly on good ideas, in fact I think he does not have any or few at best. But I don't think a debate will change the outcome of the election in Nov. Please, please let me be wrong, but I don't think I am wrong, Bob will win by a landslide. I would love to see any fresh blood/ideas in the mayor office.

Thomas Leturgey said...

My reference to jumping into the race was more of a reference to ANY "D-List" names entering the race would end up at least third in this race.

Bob O'Connor doesn't have any groundbreaking, entergetic "new" ideas.

The top priorities for city life are as follows: quality of life (police and snow plow presence), reasonable taxes and job growth. Period. Things like the Police Review Board aren't even on the radar screen.

Hopefully someone like Mr. Weinroth can hit on these issues...and make things interesting in November.