Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Koch wins City Council seat, P-G coverage

Well, here are a few other thoughtful (I hope) tidbits on the coverage of the race and reactions. The P-G's article the morning after said, in part, "FEW IDEALOGICAL CONTRASTS." It is not that I object to that statement, but rather that I hope that I injected some of those contrasts into the race. I saw some contrasts -- and I tried to pull them into focus. And, if anything, I hope that I pulled some of the other candidates into my realm of understanding as to what should be done in HOW we fix various problems.
Koch wins City Council seat After an election that produced few ideological contrasts among the candidates, his victory is not expected to have any dramatic effect on the political dynamics of council, a body whose power, particularly on budget issues, has been somewhat marginalized by the state's fiscal oversight of the city.

Mr. Kraus, running as an independent, had the support of City Councilman William Peduto. According to the latest campaign contribution reports available before the balloting, Mr. Kraus also was the spending leader in a relatively low-budget race.

The balloting followed the pattern of low turnouts for city special elections. Overall, just under 14 percent of the district's registered voters cast a ballot.

Luke Ravenstahl, the City Council president, had rescheduled the vote to yesterday instead of March 7, to accommodate college students who would have been on spring break on the earlier date. But anyone who hoped that the college vote would have a significant impact on the outcome would have to be disappointed. The two 4th Ward polling places on the University of Pittsburgh campus, the 8th district and the 14th district, produced a total of just 139 votes.
Yes, this was a LOW BUDGET race.

Some of the folks in Oakland were HAPPY with the results of just 139 votes. A tidal wave of other folks, outside of Oakland's college student population, were VERY HAPPY with the disappointment in the turnout among the students. The connect among the campus life and the city life -- in a real community -- is wide, yet.

The turnout prediction of 20-percent by the head of the election department was too high. At 13-percent -- OUCH. And, the word on the stret was that a lot of folks are worried about the electronic machines.

All along I have said, "our democracy is frail." I think that the frail statement holds true -- if it isn't counted as sheer hype to call it just frail.

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