(There's updated blog content later in this entry. )
It's been buzzing-about in the burghosphere for the past 48 hours, here, here, and here, for example. Some people are raising questions about what appears to be cross-pollination between the content of "Luke For Mayor" website and the official city website and photo gallery. Now the examples are quickly being removed.
The PG's Early Returns appears to be be the first of us in the mainstream media to publicly note it, albeit online. (Update 1: I stand corrected: The Trib has it here, and in the print edition. ) I've been tracking this, but the arena news of the past two days had taken precedence. My screenshot below is one example.
Quotes from Mayor Luke Ravenstahl:
• "I shared those concerns, and made sure when I was made aware of it that that wasn't the case. And any questionable photos--from what I understand--that were on the campaign web site have been removed."
Q: Did he or the city provide the photos to the campaign?
• "No, absolutely not. And I'm not sure if they were the identical photos. Once again, we and I have stressed again this morning that (there should be) absolutely no interaction between government office and campaign-- made sure that that didn't happen, and it hasn't happened, and it will not happen in the future."
• "(I) made sure that it was handled right away. Certainly it's not something that I will condone, and (it's )something that unfortunately happened, and we dealt with it and moved on."
Quotes from Councilman Bill Peduto:
• "There are rules that you have to play by, and certainly there's a lot of powers in the incumbency, without really reaching into the wallets of taxpayers in order to fund your campaign."
• "...it seems to be a little bit of an abuse of power."
Q: Does the list of his "priorities for a new Pittsburgh" on his city council website amount to political content at taxpayer expense? He answers that the list dates back to early 2006, long before the current political campaign.
• "No, it's a message of here's 'why you elected me, here's what i'm going to fight for, here's what you hold me accountable for'."
• One of the sequence of photos on the city government home page shows the mayor marching in a parade in front of a banner with a blue-and-white logo that reads " Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor". (You can see it at the top of this blog post.) The same distinctive blue-and-white logo appears on signs posted in his campaign headquarters' window.