Monday, October 22, 2007

UPDATE: Your Reactions To The Mayoral Debate?

(UPDATE: Miss what everyone's talking about? Now you can watch the entire Ravenstahl-DeSantis debate online. Click here for the video on The Pittsburgh Channel.)

First, a thank you. In my last post, I'd asked for your suggestions about what issues you'd like to hear the candidates address in tonight's mayoral debate on WTAE-TV. The question--and resulting responses--about which I've gotten the most feedback was submitted by The Burgher, of The Burgh Report blog.

It was his/her suggestion that I ask Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Mark DeSantis about the most difficult moment they've faced in their lives outside of politics. Observers of the debate told me they felt The Burgher's question did draw the candidates into a spending a moment apart from their prepared talking points. So, thanks and credit to The Burgher for that.

Thanks also to others who e-mailed suggestions; I tried to weave them in with the issues I wanted to cover during my turns at questioning. We never get to fit in everything we prepare. I do think there was some interesting give-and-take between the candidates.

I'm curious to hear your take on the debate.

Feel free to post comments addressing the issues and the candidates' remarks.

I'm told the most dramatic moment of the evening was when Marie Osmond fainted... but that was on "Dancing With The Stars", ten minutes after the debate ended.



EdHeath said...

I would like it if someone would draw attention to two facts. First, the Mayor refused to answer (directly) your question about the projected deficit four years out in his proposed five year plan. The closest he cam to addressing it was to say that the ICA approved his plan. Second, the Mayor stated quitely plainly that the solution for the pension issue lies at the state level. What is the motivation for the state to help us? Jane Orie would not even meet with the Mayor last week, that does not speak to a good relationship with the city.

Maria said...

Marie fainted on another show? So you're saying Luke didn't dance the rumba last night?

Bram Reichbaum said...

I do wish there was a mechanism by which the moderators / questioners could demand that the candidates answer the question.

I also believe I enjoy debates more if there is an audience to grumble / applaud / react in some way. It seems eerily incomplete when the candidates get to speak in a vaccum, and I believe actually leaves them feeling (if not actually being) less accountable for their responses.

Anonymous said...

I found Mr. DeSantis to be very focused and honest with his answers. Mayor Ravenstahl kept beating around the bush on his answers.

EdHeath said...

One more thing that is now becoming common knowledge around the Burgh-o-spree (Burghosphere), the Residency Requirement is something that is changed at the state level, in our friendly legislature. So talk about Sound and Fury, the papers all covered the "sold the city down the river" remark and ignored Luke's non answer to you first question (about the five year plan). It was trap that I have to say DeSantis fell into.

Anonymous said...

I just hope that enough Pittsburgers watched the young Luke "dance" to make a difference on Nomvember 6th. Luke was unable (perhaps, not even capable) of responding to direct questions; his answer to the deficit in the five year plan made absolutely no sense at all; and he is still trying to justify his inability to make good judgements.

I respect Mark's statement that he would like to be the "last mayor." This City does need to be run like a business. As a small business owner, I see on a regular basis the need for efficiency between City & County Governements. It is time for a change and let it begin with DeSantis.

I have now firmly "planted" my DeSantis sign in my front yard.

Anonymous said...

I tuned into the debates and found Mr. Desantis to be a wash. In fact, he reminded me with his FOP endorsement of all the failed mayors of Pittsburgh's past. What most citizens don't realize is Mayor Ravenstahl will be the first elected mayor who will not owe "the powers that be" anything. That's why he is the best person to turn this city around. And what do I mean by around. A city that is inclusive not exclusive as it has been in the past. A city that celebrates youth both college and high school and a city that welcomes the participation of all, both African Americans and women.This is something all the mayors before him have failed to do. If you visit any successful city comparable in size to Pittsburgh they will tell you inclusiveness is the key . Get all your citizens involved. Pay close attention to the odd alliances that are being formed to oppose this young mayor. All of them have a vested interest in Pittsburgh remaining one of the poorest cities in America. The $300,000 plus raised by Mr. Desantis shows that there are many who are worried about their gravy train coming to a end. And with Mr. Barton coming to town maybe this city will start to make some noise. Already Mr. Ravenstahl has rattled some doors many don't want disturb. Mr. DeSantis is nothing but a hired gun to try to stop what I think has been a long time coming. It took a young mayor to turn Baltimore around and Luke is just what the doctor has ordered for Pittsburgh.

Bram Reichbaum said...

That was VERY, VERY good, Anonymous of 12:57.

I don't worry that Luke owes the powers that be very much (okay, I do a little); my worry is that he is intimidated by them. I don't see that he stood up to the F.O.P.; I see that they are a bit scared for the city under his leadership.

I applaud your sentiments about inclusivity, and I hope you are correct about Luke. It may be a greater statement about the times, though. Witness the state's awarding of the casino license to Mr. Barden to begin with. But let's not congratulate ourselves prematurely! The coming fate of the Hill District is the first huge, real test for all of us, but of the coming Mayor most particularly.

And I certainly don't see Mark as a hired gun. I see him as someone who is worried and concerned for the city and the region. He believes what he believes about governmental consolidation and about saving money; call him Republican if you must. We know he could have made a lot more money in the private sector this whole time, and he could Not have known he'd catch fire like this.

Either way, I really hope he remains a player and a voice over these coming years.

Anonymous said...

DeLay's appearance at the Republican Committee of Allegheny County event clearly energized a group of party faithful stumping for judicial and sheriff candidates, as well as Pittsburgh GOP mayoral hopeful Mark DeSantis.

"Anybody who's rubbed elbows with George Bush has got my vote," said Ed Nelson, 80, of Moon, after meeting DeLay.

Anonymous said...

Desantis is a fraud. He never even wanted to make a run for mayor or he would have obtained enough petition signatures to get on the ballot like all other candidates did. Instead they spend a fortune on a write-in effort.

Look at where all the Desantis campaign cash is coming from. Scranton, Meakem and other conservative republican big shots.

What is the real agenda here? Not the best interests of Pittsburgh.