Posts Tagged ‘pittsburgh mayoral race’

Dok Harris and Kevin Acklin – Back to the basics

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

harrisacklincitypaperarticleCapture from City Paper’s “Street Wise” article. Click it to go to the City Paper article.

SWB just wanted to highlight another one of the excellent articles that The Pittsburgh City Paper has been putting out lately. It’s about Dok Harris and Kevin Acklin going back to the basics of appealing to the actual voters personally for their votes.

Hmmmm … amazing how going back to the simple things actually works.

Now, since neither of these guys is a typical political running dude … they may actually give Luke Ravenstahl some competition – so ya might want to watch closely getting near the voting date.


PS – What these guys are doing to get votes makes sense … which I though was made illegal about a 100 years ago in Pittsburgh.

This article was also added into Pgh Mayoral Race 2009 section of SWB.


… And the five year olds start to battle …

April 14, 2009 Leave a comment

utternonsenseprodI thought to myself, just for once, maybe this year we will have intelligent enough mayoral candidates that we will be able to hear good news bites and debates about who is best for the job. SWB is sorry to inform you that it’s not going to happen. The battle of the five year olds has started. Although it’s beginning a little less intense that the last Pittsburgh mayoral election, I compare this to a baby food battle and I’m sure they will progress into a full out “Animal House” style food fight. Carmen is now calling the Luke and Patrick “divas”. Hmmm … maybe there is some dress fetishes the men have that only Carmen knows about. They are also fighting about the May 19th primary date not being moved because “Luke is too busy” … must be starting into his golf outing schedule for this year.

Oh well, I’m hoping for maybe a few on camera full out food fights between the primary candidates this year. I think we should have blueberry and cherry jam just in case the “divas” are wearing anything white.

Click Here for the latest from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the start of the election food fights. The candidates did promise to stay with organic foods this year to promote health.

And don’t forget to Click Here to take our poll on who you want for mayor. The page also includes links to our interviews with them (of course only Dok has had the courtesy to accommodate so far), and links to their campaign sites.

We stuck this under “Utter Nonsense and Such” because we are fairly confident that the mud-slinging will go far beyond that label.


PS – Do you remember when candidates could use two syllable words? … I don’t, it was too long ago.

Carmen L Robinson for Mayor

March 30, 2009 Leave a comment

carmendemCapture from Carmen L Robinson’s campaign site – click on it to go there. We have another Candidate on the Democratic side for Mayor of Pittsburgh. That candidate is Carmen L Robinson. Just as we did with the other Candidates that we have found so far, we e-mailed Carmen a request for an e-mail interview. The first six questions are the same first six Dok Harris answered, and the last three are optional as they are more on the fun side.

We will be awaiting Carmen’s reply …. and make sure you check out her site linked above so you get to know her better. Click Here for a quick link on what she stands for.

You also can follow her on Twitter.


PS – you gotta check out her new slogan on Twitter. It’s just so worth it.

Interview: Pittsburgh Mayoral Race Candidate Questions

March 24, 2009 3 comments

As you know we sent out interview questions for three candidates for Mayor of Pittsburgh. One (Dok Harris) completed his over the phone and had the option to redo via e-mail for accuracy. Patrick Dowd’s group did get back to us, but has yet to return the e-mail with questions. Luke Ravenstahl has yet to respond. Needless to say we are losing a little faith in Luke this year.

Check them all out at their links below ….. remember, you need to look into all of the candidates, and not just depend on opinions from blogs and the media.

Candidate Links:


PS – We do not plan in any way to use the power of the internet to push any of the candidates into answering any of our question against their will, but we will use the acquired skill handed down by my Italian grandmother ….. guilt.

I hope they all remember the little guys will probably be making the decisions this year. {note the hint of grandma guilt here}

Pittsburgh Mayoral Race

March 17, 2009 4 comments

flagwindowAlrighty then …

We sent requests out for either a phone or e-mail interview to all major runners for the 2009 Pittsburgh Mayoral Race around March 11th. Those three were Luke Ravenstahl, Patrick Dowd, and Dok Harris. The requests were sent either via their campaign websites or discovered e-mail addresses. The only one that almost immediately replied was Dok Harris – the other two have not given even a reply from a campaign intern saying that they can’t talk to us now. This pretty much shows you who really thinks a little more “highly” of the common person, and points out who is just status quo. Or course, it could also point out who really needs e-mail going to their Blackberry.

As a “citizen reporter” SWB has an ethical responsibility to keep things balanced when pointing out things during an election timeframe (the same as the commercial media) – which we are going to totally ignore, but we will give all candidates the time of day and the change to have their say via our blog …. if they so wish or care to communicate to actual Pittsburghers.

*UPDATE* – Kudos for Mr Dowd’s group for getting us an update e-mail address very quickly! Gotta give credit where credit is due.

*UPDATE 03/24*Click Here for update post.

But anyway … here are links to all three major candidates campaign sites:

Franco Dok Harris

Luke Ravenstahl

Patrick Dowd


PS – If there more candidates you would like to given a chance or needing reference links on this blog, please comment to this post ….. we’d love to give them a chance also to ignore us, thus giving the excuse to drop a bunch of pigeon crap on them too. Our trained pigeons are getting cranky. See ….. we do our best to be fair at SWB.

BTW – “buy a new mayor day” is May 19th, 2009 if yinz iz wonderin’

Luke Ravenstahl for Mayor 2009

March 11, 2009 Leave a comment

lukeformayorcaptureCapture from Luke’s site – click on it to go there and check him out

Luke is running for Mayor again too, so SWB wants to make sure he gets his space here and a chance to have his say. The same questions that Dok Harris gladly answered for us in a quick phone interview (and is re-answering via e-mail for accuracy) has been sent to Luke via his campaign site. To SWB, this is a test as to whether he will respond to the little blog guy as well as to the main media. He has in the past, so let’s see if he still supports the average guy.


PS – as we already have multiple posts supporting and critiquing Luke throughout our blog (and some on the old .mac site if you can locate them), we will refrain from doing that in this post ….. to be honest, SWB trains Pittsburgh’s pigeons to do that for us in plain sight 🙂

Please add comments to this post if you have any opinions on Luke – and keep them constructive, not hateful, mean, etc.

Interview: Dok Harris for Mayor

March 10, 2009 1 comment

dokharrisCapture from Dok’s site … click to go there

Here is Dok’s interview with SWB. This was done quickly over about 20 minutes (SWB had to pick up step-kid so his note taking wasn’t immaculate). Dok agreed to reply to our e-mailed questions to him as time was available so you get his true views from his own typing. Those will be posted when we get ’em. SWB would like to thank Dok for allowing us to be his first blog interview. Anyway, here ya go:

Standard Questions:

1. Since favors (or what some like to call political bartering) seem to be a mainstay in all parties, and at some points can be seen as acceptable for getting business done, what is your take on this attitude both politically and personally?

Dok believes that big government should not run the city and insists on an open door policy. A favor for a favor (networking for example) is something that can be acceptable, but a favor such as a place in a political office or a government job is something that is not acceptable.

2. There are two projects that come to mind where Pittsburghers were of the opinion collectively that those projects were a possible waste of money and indicated they did not want them started (two stadiums, instead of one for the Steelers and the under-river North Shore connector project) due to major lack of benefit to the city overall. Whether the citizen’s opinions may or may not be right, would you make sure that those opinions would be considered heavily along with what you would consider the best plan of action and how would you do that?

Corrected at 9:20pm 10/10 due to bad cut-n-paste: The two areas need to looked at differently as later successes may not be apparent at the beginning. A project like the north shore connector could have been done easier with reusing existing infrastructure. Explaining of projects better to the residents and not going forward with doing a project just to get funding before examining that project more closely would make residents feel more comfortable about the projects the city does.

3. With of of the haute (sometimes meaning high-class) living options appearing more and more in Pittsburgh, would you create a plan for affordable (not subsidized) living options to be available in or near those same areas? In other words, would you set the city up to give middle class residents the same chance for contacts and opportunities as high class residents?

Dok indicated that without federal and state funding can be hard to accomplish. The possible burden on the city may hinder this happening without the said fund. He felt good landlords, etc are more important to attract more tenants into the city opening up rent opportunities at various levels. Sophisticated renters do encourage better properties to be opened. You need bid developers to bring in money for that and small business development is more important to bringing in all levels of living space.

4. How would you encourage all political parties to weigh in productively (not just trash talking) on issues for the purpose of compiling the best plan of action to resolve city issues?

Dok is running as an independent for this very purpose, but believe strong leadership at the top and the ability to converse even with those that did not show any support or did not contribute funds to the election campaign is important.

5. Pittsburgh has always had the ability to reinvent itself by attracting new industries, but it has not always been as successful in retaining those industries after the perks to the companies are gone (no taxes, deferred taxes, etc) – how would you change that?

People and businesses moving away after the perks are gone may be an indication that they did not feel like the established a real “home base”. A smart tax structure is needed to keep people and businesses, not drive them away. That is also needed encourage people to live in the city – not just vist new stores, etc.Smart tax structure to keep people living in the city. It is important that every project gives the best possible economic benefit to everyone – residents and businesses.

6. Would you consider offering perks to students that have attended colleges or universities outside of Pittsburgh to move back? And how would you do that? (for example in some other countries, students may receive such perks as repayment for their education, and free housing for a period of time, etc as a reward for bringing their new skills back into their home city)

This works well in a developing economy, not necessarily developed ones as in the United States. This would actually be a huge burden to the city and would be better accomplished with things such as available good jobs, good transportation, a great art community, a vibrant night life, and of course lots of coolness in the city.

Light-Hearted “SWB Style” questions:

1. Would you consider making Parma Italian Sausage the official Pittsburgh city food, and if not, why?

Dok can’t remember if Isaly’s contract for that has run out or not, but actually feels the *big* fish sandwich is really Pittsburgh’s favorite.

2. Since we have always had a pigeon problem, would you encourage residents to feed them in a way that attracts them away from Pittsburgh and to a more appropriate place like the Cleveland Browns stadium?

Dok feels that Pittsburgh has it’s unique attributes, but indirectly indicated that the pigeons might add some color to Cleveland (this answer was paraphrased by SWB – so don’t go hating on Dok).

Candidate Specific “SWB Style” question:

1. (for Dok Harris) Since you have a fairly good contact with a prior and famous Steeler, will you be using free Steelers tickets as bribes (or shall we say “inspirational promotional materials”) to get residents to vote for you?

Dok said he just wouldn’t have the space, although he admits to having great seats – and honestly feels that sometimes Steelers football is just better and more fun to watch at your local bar with friends… so no – plus he doesn’t like bribes. Sorry, fans 😦
Candidate comments:

n/a — will come later when Dok responds via e-mail