Friday, February 17, 2006

Republicans consider Pittsburgh -

I blogged about this elsewhere a day or two ago, so I'll repost my thoughts here.

Short answer: Pass.

We don't need the Republican Convention here in Pittsburgh for many reasons. The biggest reason is we don't have the right spaces. If we had a new arena along with the old, existing, Civic Arena, then we'd be with a different discussion. We need to have a net gain in terms of assets. Let's build a new arena and keep the old arena. And, let's make all of these facilities owned and operated by the private, not the public, sector.
Republicans consider Pittsburgh - "Before the Democrats settled on Boston, Pittsburgh had a real shot to host the Democrats' 2004 convention, said David Morehouse, a Beechview native who served as Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's traveling chief of staff. Morehouse now works as senior consultant for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the hockey team's attempt to build a new arena.


Anonymous said...

Why pass on such a huge event like that? Would only bring tax $$ into the city and get people coming here.

What's the matter with you? Passing on a national event like that? Something that would spotlight Pittsburgh and put us on the spotlight would only be great for the city.

This is why people don't vote for you.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Because we don't have the facilities. You can't put 100-pounds of crap into a 80-pound bag.

If we had the hotel space, that would be a plus too. If we had the new convention center that worked -- that would be another plus. We build the existing convention center in a way that it might be okay for an expo or a party with the convention -- but it can't fit the convention.

And, if we had the existing arena as a sound-stage -- for the weeks around the event -- then we'd be okay. But, we don't have the flexibility among the various sites. We're a site too thin to hold it.

Furthermore, are you aware of the security costs that a convention would bring? Our Pittsburgh police could NOT even protect Three Rivers Stadium before the implosion -- and cover the streets of Pittsburgh at the same time.

We don't have the human capital and infrastructure to do such an event. We are overtime on all most all departments in the city. That's sorta short term (seasons) not decades. But, we don't have the money to say, put a crossing guard on the city streets where one is needed, or protect our lifeguards at a public swim pool -- or even open the pools.

To hold an event -- and make a failure for the people who live here -- and for the visitors who go home and say what a troublesome place we have -- is worse.

Pittsburgh isn't an ideal tourist town. To make it one is a sure pathway to failure -- on top of the folly that is already our recent history.

The tax $ is brings is nothing next to the cost it would make to service.

People who are are suckers and buy the PR hook-line-and-sinker -- might not vote for me. Put your spotlight onto the costs of the event and then see how we'll blow an entire police budget in one week -- rather than 52-weeks. Those were the numbers from NYC's convention. The scale is not understood.

Anonymous said...

Mark's right. National GOPs can't waltz into a town when city and county GOP bosses can NOT speak to each other without MACE.

= = T-R:

REPUBLICAN RIFT. Suffice to say Allegheny County Republican Committee Chairman Bob Glancy and ousted Pittsburgh GOP Committee Chairman Bob Hillen won't be bridge partners any time soon.

Hillen last week e-mailed county committee members urging them not to approve a new set of bylaws that will be voted on next week at the Green Tree Holiday Inn. The bylaws would greatly expand the committee chairman's power.

The e-mail came just days after Hillen filed a private criminal complaint against Glancy accusing him of macing.

According to the complaint, Glancy demanded a political donation of $5,125 from Hillen to keep his post as city GOP committee chairman.

The donation was to be Hillen's penalty after the city committee last year endorsed four Democrat Common Pleas Court judicial candidates who cross-filed. Hillen refused to fork over the money and was removed as chairman, though his e-mail claimed to be coming from the city GOP committee executive committee.