Friday, January 27, 2006

Another candidate forum - in Allentown - part 1

We had another candiate forum, this was in Allentown. One of the other candidates didn't show. Perhaps he has pulled out of the race. He is a D and might not want to give up the $250 to the party.

I've got a lot of notes. But, here is just a bit to get started.

All in all, the night was filled with a small audience and typical remarks from the others in the race. They seemed to avoid the big show stoppers. For example, none had the wild idea to close the Pitsburgh Zone 3 Police Station and move it to Mt. Oliver. However, the Mayor of Mt. Oliver was in the audience. Candidate Bruce Kraus had that gosh darn dosie of an idea at our previous meeting.

One of the other candidates told me, and another on the street since then said much of the same thing, the meeting on Wednesday night, open only to Democrats, was a yawn without the presence of both the Green kid and myself. We are already on the ballot and it seems, we bring more spunk to the meetings too.

In my closing remarks, I did pick upon three statements from other candidates that didn't fit well with me.

The distinctions that I bring to the office, over the others start with a real reform agenda that has been thought about and published with the I've got a willingness to tackle the bg problems with the massive over-spending on hair-brained projects, such as the tunnel under the river to extend light-rail to the stadiums. The school district's right-sized plan is something I'm aware of and it is a major issue for the overall health of the community. Put me on the front lines of those types of battles, where the others are unaware or choose to be absent.

Besides an eagernes to tackle the big problems, I want to be the one to tackle the smallest problems too. I want to worry about the babies. I have been a stay-at-home dad and know that having a child is often a great life-changing experience. My children should be able to grow and thrive in Pittsburgh, and I run for office to help them and their buddies. I want to be the memeber of city council who is able to chair the committee devoted to Youth Policy and Citiparks.

Now, to the distinctions in what we say and how we think.

Pat Sweeney, D, said Pittsburgh needs a better deal from Harrisburg. He is driven by envy. Philly got something that Pittsburgh didn't. He wants to go lobby Harrisburg. That's not my driving motivation. I want to be self-reliant.

Bruce Kraus said that we have such diversity in the district that one size does not fit all in terms of getting or giving help from a councilmember. He claims to have traveled around this district, 1/9th the size of the city. He says he listens to the needs of everyone.

I say, "Nuts to that mentality." I say, "One size does fit all." Kraus has missed the boat in terms of any assessment of what the community needs. We have something called the Constitution. I think it fits EVERYONE quite well. We have a cloak of freedom that should be able to wash and wear from old to young and tall to stout. Jefferson, Franklin and the founding fathers had this "American way" concept understood -- and it should fit us with idealistic simplicity. You don't NEED to know all the micro needs of each demographic group if you have a rooted framework of the constitution and real freedom.

I agree with Sweeney, who I just ripped above, in that we should NOT have a legal system that is one way for the poor and another way for the rich. So, that's one size fits all. Right on Sweeney. Wrong way Kraus. Kraus doesn't want one-size fits all as he wants everyone to put their needs on his plate.

I don't want Kraus to touch my needs. Kraus wants to be a hands-on, people person -- and that's the last thing Pittsburgh needs now. Enough is enough.

Kraus might have made a decent candidate before this financial crisis hit Pittsburgh. Perhaps he would have been good as people were out of work after the mills closed in the mid 80s. People like Krause who are more worried about cake and ice cream for seniors have killed this city. They are not able to fix it with more handouts. The needs exceed the system's capacity to keep on giving. Krause will be full of empty promises and has no clue on how to fix the mess they've created here.

Then Bruce Krane comes to say he wants to have a bigger view on the job and realize that Pittsburgh is a hub of the wheel. Then he cries about the extra burden of the nonprofits. He whines that we've not gotten our fair share of taxes. He wants to talk about the big problem -- but he doesn't really talk about anything big. Its like the big problem is this big wheel and this big hub and we've got these spokes of big envy and big miss-management that can all be fixed by watching a little more cable access TV.

Come and join us on Monday night at 7 pm at City Theater for the next go-around. After that event, I'll host the RUNNING MATES for tea at the office for a de-brief. A podcast might be in our future too.

By Monday night we'll have a better handle on who is going to stay in the race and who is going to call it quits too. Krane said he'll stay in for the duration even after he doesn't get the endorsement from the Ds. So, if he can bring his big wheel to the race, he might try to keep-on-rolling Proud Mary keep on rolling for the next 6 to 8 weeks.

I do want to tackle the big issues of our time and our place.

(This rant is editied slightly since last night's blog posting.)

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