Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Peduto questions mayor on knowledge of PEAS in POD

From texture - foods

I came back from California to Pittsburgh and seem to have entered, T h e T w i l i g h t Z o n e. Two peas in a pod. What kinda the time warp or worm hole did we just enter? Yesterday I pointed out that LUKE and BILL are two PEASs in the same pod. (scroll down) Now we've got a third pea identified, thanks to Bill, Jim.
Peduto questions mayor on knowledge of blog attack: "'Luke Ravenstahl and Jim Motznik are two peas in a pod,' Mr. Peduto said."
Something smells fishy.
From texture - foods

So sorry if you happen to be reading this blog on an empty stomach. I'm just about to upgrade this Running Mates blog to version 2.01, the one with scratch and sniff features turned 'on.'

Now to the semi-serious content of Peduto's recent sound bite:
Peduto questions mayor on knowledge of blog attack: "He asked what the public would be saying 'if Tom Murphy was arrested and put in handcuffs.
Yes. What about that? Why wasn't Tom Murphy put in handcuffs when he was mayor? Tom Murphy should have been arrested. But, Bill Peduto and Luke Ravenstahl and the third pea in the pod, Jim Motznik, were all too busy kissing up to Tom Murphy to have him arrested. By law, Tom Murphy needed to submit a balanced budget. He was known to fudge the numbers and even make phantom budgets that BILL PEDUTO SIGNED.

I would have been sure to have Tom Murphy arrested for making a TV campaign commercial for Ed Rendell for Governor right in the Mayor's office.

Next question: Bob Mayo's report and the web page from WTAE are not exactly the same. Did Luke ask Jim to not blog. Or, did he ask Jim to not blog any more about the handcuffs incident?
City Councilman Attacks Peer With New Blog - News Ravenstahl told WTAE Channel 4 Action News that he has asked Motznik to refrain from blogging any further on the issue.

Update with another MSM pointer to the peas in pod mention:
Pittsburgh blogs foment controversy - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 'I think most folks understand that Jim Motznik and Luke Ravenstahl are two peas in a pod,' said Peduto, who denied spreading rumors about Ravenstahl's run-in with police. 'There are no truths to what Jim Motznik is saying. It's probably (being done) to protect his best friend, Luke Ravenstahl.'


Anonymous said...

Peduto questions mayor on knowledge of blog attack

Tuesday, January 30, 2007
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Councilman William Peduto, a candidate for mayor, today questioned Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's claim that he knew nothing of a Web blog launched by City Councilman Jim Motznik that makes a variety of allegations.

"Luke Ravenstahl and Jim Motznik are two peas in a pod," Mr. Peduto said. "Luke Ravenstahl and Jim Motznik are very close friends. It would surprise me that Jim would do something this substantial without Luke's blessing."

Yesterday Mr. Motznik inaugurated his Web blog with posts claiming that Mr. Peduto's campaign was responsible for some rumors related to Mr. Ravenstahl's Oct. 31, 2005, handcuffing at Heinz Field. Mr. Peduto has denied having any role in spreading the rumors, which were rampant since October and developed into news stories Jan. 18.

"Everyone knew that Luke Ravenstahl had been arrested," Mr. Peduto said. "That didn't come from me. I wasn't there."

He asked what the public would be saying "if Tom Murphy was arrested and put in handcuffs. . . . The question that still isn't answered is, why wasn't there a report" written up by police on the handcuffing.

Mr. Ravenstahl's spokesman said yesterday that the mayor knew nothing of Mr. Motznik's blog.

Mr. Motznik's blog also draws a contrast between Mr. Peduto's "vow to run a clean campaign" and his alliance with Brighton Heights Democratic Committee ward chairman Ben Woods, convicted on corruption charges in 1989.

Mr. Woods had no comment today, other than to confirm that he is backing Mr. Peduto.

Anonymous said...

Pittsburgh blogs foment controversy

By Jeremy Boren
Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Pittsburgh's corner of the blogosphere is fast becoming a political Thunderdome for this year's mayoral race.

"The whole blogosphere is intruding, whether we like it or not," said Damon Andrews, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's campaign manager. "We're in an age where anybody with a computer can say whatever they want.

"That's maybe the best thing about America, but it's hard to hold people accountable."

The modern-day equivalent of coffee-shop kibitzing, blogs -- or Web logs -- are online journals that contain the unedited thoughts of the authors and the unfiltered responses of readers.

The growing roster of local bloggers will not likely decide the outcome of an election, said Matt Merriman-Preston, campaign manager for mayoral candidate and city Councilman Bill Peduto.

"Is it going to be a difference maker? Probably not," Merriman-Preston said. "What it does do is allow for a continued dialogue for voters."

But campaign controversies are springing from what bloggers are calling the "Burghosphere" faster than politicians can issue denials.

In a blog titled "Motznik Speaks Out," Councilman Jim Motznik this week accused Peduto of spreading lies about Ravenstahl's October 2005 encounter with police before a Steelers game at Heinz Field. Ravenstahl, then a city councilman, was handcuffed, detained and then let go without being charged.

Peduto, who is challenging Ravenstahl for the Democratic nomination in the May 15 primary, fired back Tuesday, accusing Ravenstahl of encouraging Motznik to write a blog to dispel rumors that the mayor lied about parts of the incident with police.

"I think most folks understand that Jim Motznik and Luke Ravenstahl are two peas in a pod," said Peduto, who denied spreading rumors about Ravenstahl's run-in with police. "There are no truths to what Jim Motznik is saying. It's probably (being done) to protect his best friend, Luke Ravenstahl."

Ravenstahl said he did not tell Motznik to defend him.

"I did not put him up to it," Ravenstahl said. "I respectfully suggested to him that he should refrain from this activity."

Motznik said he would comply with the mayor's wishes.

"We have issues to explore," Ravenstahl said. "The blogosphere is not, in my opinion, the place to do that."

But Ravenstahl said he's willing to consider at least one issue raised Jan. 16 in "The Burgh Report," a blog that dissected the city charter to reveal a rule that prohibits acting city directors from serving longer than 90 days without City Council's confirmation.

Acting City Solicitor George Specter has been in place without council's approval since late July, under the late Mayor Bob O'Connor, and since September under Ravenstahl -- well over the limit.

"I didn't realize that was the case," Ravenstahl said. "We'll have to take a look at that and discuss it with (Specter)."

Specter did not respond to a request for comment.

The ability to motivate government change aside, blogs don't have the power to grab many votes, but they can illuminate issues that otherwise might go unnoticed, said University of Pittsburgh professor Stuart Shulman, editor of the Journal of Information Technology & Politics.

"I don't think we can point to any blogs yet that have had an impact on a huge number of voters," Shulman said. "But a lot of people have looked at blogs as bringing a new level of democratic activity."

To paralegal David DeAngelo, 43, of Shadyside, blogging is tantamount to a civic duty.

"When it comes to blogging on the mayoral candidates, I try to fill in the blanks in other people's reporting," said DeAngelo, who co-authors "2 Political Junkies," a blog focused on Pittsburgh politics. "It's in the nation's best interest to have a well-informed electorate. If a blog can start people to find out for themselves what a candidate's stand is on a particular issue, then that's great."

Merriman-Preston said his staff would pour resources into Peduto's campaign Web site, which will have its own blog so readers can pose questions to the candidate.

The increased dialogue between voters and candidates is valuable, said Khari Mosley, state director of the League of Young Voters.

"Young people expect a level of interaction and real-time delivery of news and information, and blogs provide that more successfully than mainstream media outlets," Mosley said.

"So blogs, message boards and online communities of all kinds become like virtual coffee shops where you can find out what your neighbors are talking about and join the conversation," he said.

Jeremy Boren can be reached at jboren@tribweb.com or (412) 765-2312.