Thursday, November 18, 2010

To 'Revel' Properly, Allegheny County And InsolvenCity Should Party Like It's 1929

A word of caution if, as the Early Returners describe, Western Pennsylvanians are stepping forward to "revel" in their "capture of leadership posts across the state Capitol":

Please step back, InsolvenCity. You, too, Allegheny County.

Anyone expecting or even seeking a Commonwealth bailout -- pension, transportation or otherwise -- for Pittsburgh or Allegheny County lost substantial ground during the recent overhaul. One of Tom Corbett's earliest moves has vividly confirmed this setback.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, the Democrat who puts the "I" in "team" (must be how they spell it at North Catholic), uncharacteristically invested $50,000 in a fellow Democrat, House Appropriations chair Dwight Evans -- just before Democrats lost the House and budget bully Evans became former leader of that committee's Democrats. Bonus failures: The horse Ravenstahl bet on was lame, and the horse he bet against is from Monroeville.

(Can anyone else imagine how hard it must have been for the JP Morgan crew to keep up with this guy during lease negotiations?)

In general, Ravenstahl's strongest relationships in Harrisburg are the nonexistent ones, before and after the leadership changes.

Dan Onorato's influence in Harrisburg is now to be measured by the thimbleful. He not only lost the state; he lost Allegheny County (several laps behind Joe Sestak, indicating substantial alienation of the Democrats who know him best). Everyone knows the county budget has been held together with gum and Post-Its for several years, with Onorato assuming he and his family would be zipping past the Turnpike EasyPass reader at Monroeville, heading east for the governor's mansion, just as the county's finances collapsed. Instead of thinking about working with Onorato concerning Allegheny County's serious issues (let alone how they might help), Harrisburgers are wondering how Onorato plans to live up to a mid-six-figure salary as a law firm rainmaker.

Gov.-elect Corbett set an ominous tone for those expecting state cash by inducing Liquor Control Board members to refrain from approving a hundred-million-dollar increase in fees. It would have been easy for Corbett to allow a Rendell-appointed board to enact a Rendell-arranged revenue increase yesterday, just in time for the new administration to use the cash as a salve for a bad balance sheet, but Corbett instead sent a signal that should sober InsolvenCity.

Jay Costa, Joe Markosek and Frank Dermody have titles but little power. Mike Turzai, Tom Corbett and Sam Smith have power but little respect for the governments of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

Perhaps, if boozing in solitude at a Carson Street bar while your ostensible political allies are gathered at a reception a few blocks away constitutes "revelry," the Early Returners have it right: Revelry it is! Four Loko for everyone!

Just put it on the tab.

Infinonytune: 1999, Prince


Thought I Knew said...

OK, now it's official, Infinonymous is my favorite political commentator in Pittsburgh.

Anonymous said...


Infy Fan said...

For the record Infy had the LCB price freeze eight hours before the Post Gazette.
Looks like the Trib still doesn't have it.