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TheGerbil

Mark DeSantis

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http://post-gazette.com/pg/07178/797438-181.stm

I would like to talk about this guy. I personally have mixed feelings so far, and will be interested in learning more specifically what his ideas are.

He's very much in favor of reform, and he supports some kind of city-county merger. I think those are both good things. Great things.

But at the same time I get this sense (and I may be wrong, but it's the sense I get) that he's too critical of the city. I'd really love to hear what he does like about the city, what he thinks the city has done right. I think there are plenty of things that the city has done right, and I am always wary of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I don't want a candidate who would do that. Not sure if DeSantis would or not.

I have always like Bill Peduto because he seems like a good balance of positive attitude and pro-change attitude. He is really who I want for mayor, but obviously that isn't happening this time around. Furthermore I would rather see reform start with a democrat. I think there are people in both parties who are capable of implementing reform, and I would rather not listen to the anti-democrat whiners shout "I told you so" for years to come.

So I definitely have mixed feelings so far. (I have mixed feelings about Ravenstahl too, but I won't go into that here). What do you all think? I would love to hear your thoughts on the upcoming election/candidates.

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I can get behind DeSantis, and I'm nothing akin to a Republican voter. I don't think Peduto, or any other Democrat for that matter, can implement enough change.

DeSantis plugs his articles at a blog he authors:

Transforming Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania

I'm not sure if you will like what you read, but at least you will be able to better understand what DeSantis is thinking.

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I agree with everything you said.

I am quite willing to give DeSantis a chance due to his vast and impressive resume in the private and public sectors and his pro-change attitude... especially in comparison to Ravenstahl's lack of credentials, "dumb luck" ascension to mayor and seemingly "old-time machine" political persuasion despite his youth. And perhaps as a meaningless side note... DeSantis is a resident of Downtown while Ravenstahl is a resident of Summer Hill... perhaps the most rural/suburban of the city neighborhoods lol.

However, I'm quite disheartened by DeSantis' overwhelmingly negative tone concerning the city. In order to find the cure, you must make the proper diagnosis of the region... and DeSantis instead spits out the same old misinformed cliches about the region... often invoking how glorious this place was during the time of Big Steel and its perceived economic irrelevance today. While Pittsburgh did occupy an important global niche in its steel heydey, the region is ultimately better off that steel is largely gone and that the region was able to restructure its economy so successfully. While it's difficult to pinpoint anything our economy is known for today... it has become much more diverse. Despite the doom and gloom sloganeering, this is not a poor region... the per capita personal income of the metro is 106% of the national average. It's not some hellhole that everyone is fleeing... it has one of the nation's lowest rates of out-migration. The continued population erosion is largely a legacy of one of the nation's most severe regional population exoduses in history when over 200,000 people in the region were unemployed in the early 80s. The city itself has one of the nation's most educated population of young adults, a population that is growing. And the city and region is just blessed with an incredible quality of life... the breathtaking beauty and one-of-a-kind topography, the diverse historic architecture, the strong neighborhoods and a real "sense of place", bountiful recreational opportunities, etc. It will take some savvy political leadership to leverage these assets properly in order for Pittsburgh to fulfill its potential.

The city's future is bright and its nadir is 25 years ago... even if we might have less people today. The primary problem is with dysfunctional government on local and state levels, which is a significant setback for Greater Pittsburgh.

The official "City of Pittsburgh" is artificially small and as such is weak and unable to raise appropriate revenues and provide necessary services for the economic, cultural and social heart of a region of 2.5 million people. Additionally, the rest of the metro is composed of a breathtakingly fragmented quilt of little governments, making regional coordination all the more difficult. The municipalities are "tenents at will of the state" and the state sets the ground rules for the local governments to play by. Despite whatever policy DeSantis would enact, the city still has a blindfold and an arm tied behind its back due to Pennsylvania's backwards system of municipal governance. This is an incredible city and region... but its attributes are squandered... and its quality of life and economic performance threatened... by the state's archaic policies.

Also... a city-county structural consolidation would be useless because there is no way to compel the other 129 municipalities to merge into this government... and almost none of them would see it serving their interests. Either profound change has to come from the state... or the region can work on methods of functional consolidation.

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I definitely like his ideas about city-county consolidation. In general I think he's a good candidate. I just get a vibe from him that I'm not entirely comfortable with. That might be my imagination though.

I will continue to watch him, and he certainly has a chance of getting my vote.

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Mark DeSantis released a statement today that he would never accept gifts as Mayor of Pittsburgh... this is in response to Ravenstahl skipping the public hearing about the promoted police officers that had domestic abuse records (which Ravenstahl was officially invited to)... After Ravenstahl was not forthright about his whereabouts... it was revealed that Ravenstahl spent 2 days golfing at a charity event... and apparently UPMC paid $27k for the Mayor and two others to play.

Here is a rather awkward Ravenstahl interview with Marty Griffin... the Mayor comes across as a brash young kid... which makes sense, I suppose...

This continues a disturbing pattern of shirking important functions in order to attend "celebrity events" and then lying about it afterwards... DeSantis is looking better all the time to me

http://podcast.kdkaradio.com/kdka/553041.mp3

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Yeah, initially I was giving Ravenstahl the benefit of the doubt. He's relatively new to politics, he was kind of thrown into this job.... But by now he should be figuring out what flies and what doesn't.

I'm thinking DeSantis might have a real chance at winning. But he needs to advertize and put himself in front of the public eye. And I think he needs to promote change while also being generally positive. It's really easy for pro-reform talk to come across as negative (attitude-wise, I mean), and I think that's what was itching me about him before. If he can be positive while also talking up reform, then I think a lot of people will be attracted to him.

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I'm definitely going to start reading up on DeSantis now, too. Ravenstahl is coming across as a total chump. I need to do some more research on him, though, because I hate casting a vote like this against one person rather than for the other.

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I'm definitely going to start reading up on DeSantis now, too. Ravenstahl is coming across as a total chump. I need to do some more research on him, though, because I hate casting a vote like this against one person rather than for the other.

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Luke is an idiot. He is even bad at being bad... check out today's PG editorial about this.

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You can read the latest from Mark DeSantis in Pittsburgh Quarterly here.

Before I knew DeSantis was running for Mayor of Pittsburgh and before I found out he is a Republican, I read his articles in Pittsburgh Quarterly with great interest. He is somebody who has ideas that can improve Pittsburgh and the region. But would he put aside his bold thinking in order to win the election? I have yet to see any evidence that he will compromise himself.

Beyond his intentions and his integrity, I just don't see another candidate in his class. He can stand up to the good old boys network and get something done. Sorry, but I have no faith whatsoever that any of the other candidates can do the same.

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Luke is just a puppet who can be manipulated... that's why he's getting so much support from the Democratic establishment.

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PUMP is hosting a mayoral forum at Duquesne's A.J. Palumbo Centre tonight!

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Politics is always disappointing to me, and I think it's become much more so in recent years. I have a feeling that, in spite of being the obvious best choice and most qualified candidate, DeSantis won't win. But then again, maybe that's just in keeping with elections these days... I could never have imagined that somebody like W could ever win the presidency. It's easy to feel jaded.

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I went to the mayoral debate last night... and there was A LOT of Desantis support there! I've alwas seen a lot more DeSantis lawn signs than Ravenstahl signs.

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I went to the mayoral debate last night... and there was A LOT of Desantis support there! I've alwas seen a lot more DeSantis lawn signs than Ravenstahl signs.

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The question is what the vast majority of residents who don't have yard signs or are greatly involved in politics are thinking/supporting.

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In a shocking announcement, the Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed Mark DeSantis! This is the first time the FOP has not endorsed a sitting mayor seeking re-election.

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The Gertrude Stein Political Club of Pittsburgh, a gay group, has endorsed Mark DeSantis!

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I've noticed a couple of letters recently in the PG from young people supporting Raventahl. What bothers me is they seem to be supporting him largely because he is young. I hope everyone will consider qualifications in this election and not get blinded by the age thing.

On the other hand one of those letters did make some nice points about how the city isn't really losing young people. It was a great letter except for the part about voting for Luke. It also touched on what I've been thinking about DeSantis, that he comes across as rather critical of the city without saying a lot of positive stuff. (I can deal with that, though, because he is still the better choice for the job).

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All of the Desantis Yard signs on my street were ripped up on Saturday night (I live in Squirrel Hill). My sign survived but only because you can't see it from the side fo the street the vandals were working from. My neighbors just put up twice as many in response.

As far as the letters to the editor are concerned in support of Luke because he is young - they are all from the North Side. They are probably Luke's highschool friends!

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I noticed a ton of Ravenstahl yard signs in Brighton Heights yesterday.

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Great televised debate by WTAE last evening!

Extra -big kudos to Sally and Sheldon for really pressing both candidates about full consolidation/regionalization and population loss.

DeSantis came off nervous, a little unsure, and had a constant head-swiveling-like tick ; but, did have a strong attack on Mayor Luke's regime.

"Mayor Luke" has gained quite the 'cock-of-the-walk' charismatic attitude ; addressed key issues strongly - attacked back when prompted.

Last Night's Advantage: Ravenstahl by a vibe, and some hope for the local Republican Party.

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"What should we do to keep young people in the city?"

"We should elect a 27-year-old mayor!" *smarmy grin*

UGH!

I don't know if I'll be able to be able to put up with another 2 years of Pittsburgh's version of Dubya.

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