Sunday, October 23, 2005

PCNC Hosted Mayoral Debate

How do you think Bob O'Connor and Joe Weinroth did in the debate today. I think I would have loved to debate David Johnson. - News - PCNC To Host Mayoral Debate: "PITTSBURGH -- With the November election just a few weeks away, former City Council president Bob O'Connor and Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Weinroth will debate on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel Sunday, October 23.

Channel 11 News anchor David Johnson will moderate the live debate between the two major candidates.

The hour long debate will begin in the WPXI-TV studio at 11:30 am."

Weinroth gets extra points for mentions that he wants to get votes from Libertarians! That was part of his closing statement.

I've never seen a debate that allowed one extra question AFTER the closing statements. Clock managment in the last segment was weak on both candidate's part.

I don't like hearing Joe Weinroth speaking of himself in the third person. Joe said something like, "If you want the status quo, vote for Bob. If you want to change Pittsburgh, vote for Joe Weinroth." The examples that were distinctions were fine -- but Weinroth should have said 'vote for me.'

Bob said that this is a healthy debate -- and Joe replied that he wished that there were more of them. I'd say it wasn't healthy to leave candidate out. It could have been healthy to have more voices on the debate stage so as to have some real drama and new, diverse ideas.

Tom (a blog buddie) called the other candidates, the whack pack. Good name. But, I'm not sure they'll even have the footing to whack without injury to oneself. It could be a mighty push into thin air and splat. We'll see Tuesday, I hope.

Is it an asset or a liability to say, "I've lived all my life in Pittsburgh." ??? I think that presents a limited vision. They both said it.

Good to hear Joe Weinroth speak against Eminent Domain in the debate. It only got a super quick mention, but it was heard by the techie listeners (all six of us). The "I'm against it by the way" mention of eminent domain isn't going to present a package that is going to win any votes. Joe could spend two-minutes on eminent domain in the next debate, perhaps as an opening or closing statement. He needs to open that can of worms, put it on the podium, and let O'Connor shrink, if not melt. Bob won't have anything to say on the issue. Joe should lean upon his legal background, law school experience, understanding of courts and real estate.

Bob said, after I'm elected, you'll see big changes in the first 100 days. Joe should have said, after I'm elected, you'll see bigger changes in the first 100 minutes. And, these minutes will start to tick as the 11:00 News reports on our election night victory. We won't have to wait 100 days after January 3 to send a message of change -- like a new pea in the same pod. Not with me. Pittsburgh, we can dance in the streets on the night of November 8, 2005. My election day victory becomes a front-page headline in the USA Today and Wall Street Journal and Cleveland Plain Dealer. The whole world isn't going to be looking at us at the All-Star Game. They'll be packing up and moving in by then. We'll have a new-resident block parties in all 88 neighborhoods on All Star Weekend, if I'm elected. And I expect us to welcome -- and INSPECT -- 5,000 new Pittsburgh residents. This will make a mid-summer classic to remember.

The biggest opening in the second half of the debate was when Bob O'Connor talked about the wrong forumla for downtown's revitalization. He said that you have to have the customers first, and then retail will follow. Without the people, i.e., shoppers, the stores are going to not have the sales. Mayor Murphy was building retail thinking that would keep the people here. Bob O'Connor, who helped with most of Murphy's punishing actions, said he had a different forumla.

Yeah, right.

Bob is going to flip-flop the process from (Retail + Residents) to (Residents + Retail).

Joe Weinroth should have stepped in -- after Bob's set up -- and said something like this: "Bob's calculated formula of customers and retail is but a small element of the bigger solution to our city and region. A few new dorms might work to beach a thousand college students within downtown, but that tactic isn't going to bring back prosperity and opportunities to city residents. People vote with their feet. People choose freedom. People are not going to go anywhere if they feel unsafe and if justice is a hit-or-miss factor. Pittsburgh is not going to thrive again with retail, nor with housing -- until citizens have insurances concerning the most important factors, freedom and justice for all."

I think Pittsburgh needs mature, adult solutions and not some hipster coolaid, rebranding bunk. Bob's been a part of that lifestyle, funky approach that has sent us farther in a back-slide. I want no part of their approach. Their formulas are going to result in more failures.

The right track for Bob is a loft apartment and glorified dorm with a bike rack. Then you build the expresso bar and follow it with retail. All these people in Bob's vision are going to stay downtown and stay in our city -- IF they are wearing a ball and chain. If we continue to run a city that crushes people, day-in and day-out, as we've done for the past decades, nobody in their right mind is going to want to shop here, live here nor work here. We'll continue the downward spiral until we change our approaches to justice, freedoms and earn trust with saavy citizens, from here and afar.

We know what's going on. Now we have a chance to vote to end the same-old, same-old.

Toss in some examples... cars being towed, senseless killings in the streets, police brutality at protests, corporate welfare, etc., etc.

I feel that Bob painted himself into a corner with the consumer and retail formula. Joe should have exploited it with a hard-hitting big picture observation. Bob's formula would have been reduced to 1 (consumers / residents) + 1 (retail) = negative 300,000 in the past decades. Thanks Bob for being a big part of the reason the city is half of its former self.

As to this 'right track' stuff -- give us a break. Any road will take us there if you don't know where you want to go. We need to be realistic with where we are. We need to have stong vision of how to fix our systematic governmental implosion. And, most of all, we need ask those who have made the mess to leave the scene because the one's who make the mess are the least qualified at clean-up.

Then there is the O'Connor them of bringing people together and that mega cooperative ring-leader. We have been bending over and have been cooperative with the two oversight boards and with the governor. These new found helpers match the bailout from Harrisburg -- pittyful. People are not going to rush to Pittsburgh and fix our problems. The past two years, coupled with the past decade, have proven this. We're on our own. We're going to need to pull ourselves up with all our might -- from within. We know best. Those that want to run to saviors from afar are only going to foil the progress that we need to strive for first.

When city council goes to Harrisburg, they have no idea what to say, what to beg for, how to threaten, nor why they are fruitless. City council members have not been able to think it through. And, neither have you.

Finally, Pittsburgh did change the tax structure in serious ways in the year 2000. And, this was with a push from Bob and a quick nod from Tom. They worked to toss out our legacy of affordable housing in the city. They let the county muck up the assessment process back in the Sabre Systems day. And, we're still paying for the sins of the past -- big time. And, Bob is clueless as to the ramifications, his role in the decline, and how to resolve these issues.

The deed transfer tax is sky high. That should be the first tax to cut. How about a deed transfer tax holliday for the next three years? Joe Weinroth, the attorney who works in real estate, should have nailed Bob O'Connor on this issue.

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