Thursday, March 3, 2011

Infindorsement: InsolvenCity Council District 5

Council District 5 has been the most fierce, and perhaps the most important, battleground during InsolvenCity's current election season.

A tense preliminary contest involved the judicial reconfiguration of jurisdictions for Allegheny County's dwindling roster of magistrates; the come-from-behind winner was Council President Doug Shields (left), for whom the preservation of a district centered in Squirrel Hill meant he could continue to pursue his preferred course, toward a seat among the minor judiciary.

The main bout: The battle for Corey O'Connor (right), the favorite to succeed Shields as District 5's council member and the heir to the political fortune (literally) of his late father, former Pittsburgh Mayor Bob O'Connor.

Chris Zurawsky (left) -- an East End progressive and Democratic Party leader -- is challenging O'Connor in the primary election. Josh Wander, a jackass, will carry the Republican nomination into the general election. But most attention, primary and general, is focused on a struggle for the heart and mind of young Mr. O'Connor, who seems destined to attract votes despite his scant record.

This struggle reprises the Animal House scene in which an angel and a devil are perched on Pinto's shoulders in Hoover's room, advising the bewildered pledge by turns on how to handle the passed-out girl lying on the bed.

On one of Corey O'Connor's shoulders (wearing white): Longtime family friend and advisor Shields (and, at least in spirit, Shields' council allies). The advice from this group: Follow your progressive spirit and your father's better judgement, by assuming Shields' position in the independent council majority that has included Shields, Natalia Rudiak, Bruce Kraus, Darlene Harris, Bill Peduto and (sometimes) Patrick Dowd.

On Corey O'Connor's other shoulder (in vivid red): Luke Ravenstahl and some of the parasites who came to surround Bob O'Connor over time, misappropriating his mayoral administration. The advice from this group: Ditch the pointy-headed stuff. Bring back the good old days of Regan, Verbanac, Zappala and the other List-Makers, by aligning with Rev. Ricky Burgess, Theresa Kail Smith, Daniel Lavelle and whomever else can be peeled off to form a mayorally inclined majority.

Both camps claim to have the upper hand in this contest for Corey O'Connor's soul, a contest that seems likely to continue until and beyond the general election.

O'Connor's youth and inexperience, coupled with his resources and heritage, make the fifth district's race a difficult one to reason. We will make this call on faith, and award the Infindorsement to Corey O'Connor in hope this leap of faith helps the better angels prevail.

Infindorsement: Corey O'Connor and his better angels
Infinonytune: William Tell Overture, Daniel Simpson Day

19 comments:

Chris said...

Fairly astute analysis Infy. Sometime you and I should talk, or at least email each other

chris.zurawsky@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Did Vincent Caliguiri drop out or never officially start?

MH said...

That was me.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, we have seen what the good old boys have done over the past few years (Ravenstahl et. al.) The question in mind is do we want someone from the old camp with the old name or do we want someone who is willing to look and if necessary work outside the box to resolve some of the systemic problems the good old boys helped to cause or exacerbate? I vote for new (Chris) and let O'Connor get a little more seasoned and show he is not in the Ravenstahl camp.

Anonymous said...

An endorsement based on faith? The analysis was reasonable, but the endorsement seemed abrupt. Corey has the money and media attention to get his message out there if he so desires. The fact that his political positions and philosophy on government can't be placed should give you pause.

Anonymous said...

What a sad state we find our democracy in when a candidate can achieve ascendancy without revealing even the slightest aspect of what his platform may be.

I'm puzzled by your endorsement of a kid who has a sparse resume and who has already shown his ethical stripes by appropriating his dad's PAC money before the new finance law took effect which would have prohibited such an act.

I'm more than willing to give Zurawsky a chance in light of his masters degree in public administration and the fact that he has, like, a real job.

Anonymous said...

anons 10:10 and 10:51

I hear what you're saying, but agree with Infy that sometimes progressives need to be pragmatic and accept that sometimes it's not possible to win and the best you can do is have a relationship with the inevitable winner.

I'm just glad Corey isn't facing off against Doug. That would have been bad.

MH said...

I vote for new (Chris) and let O'Connor get a little more seasoned...

O'Connor is holding two pieces of paper and you don't get much more experienced than that. I've tried and I can sort of hold three pieces of paper, but not so I can read more than two of them.

Zurawsky is holding no pieces of paper. He might not even have hands.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Doug Shields was once in league with the list-makers - until they reneged on their support of his bid to become controller. Just because you hang out with some of the good guys some of the time does not make you a good guy...If verbanac/zappalla were to hand Doug $, he'd go back to dancing for them.

Chris Potter said...

Just so folks know, City Paper is cosponsoring a political forum with East End Democrats this weekend. Candidates in this race, and others, are expected to appear. And you're invited to submit questions for it, even if you can't be there yourself. See my blog for details.

Corey said...

Thank you for the endorsement. I want you to know that I will be an independent voice if I am elected to City Council and I will do what’s best for the 5th Council District and the City of Pittsburgh. We all need to work together to move our city forward. Thank you again.
Corey

Anonymous said...

Corey needs to join the Harris-Shields-Kraus-Peduto-Rudiak team.

Don't be a hack and do the right thing Corey.

Anonymous said...

what's best for the city is to reject the Ravenstahl regime.

asdf said...

Generation Jones.

Infy Fan said...

Both candidates, the one Infy endorsed AND the one that didn't get it, respond in the comments. Then Potter uses Infy platform to promote his event? Looks like Infy is on the map.

Plus, best Infinytune ever (maybe)

Infy Fan said...

PS-Hell of a blog Infy.

Josh said...

Thanks for this interesting article. I'm just sorry that you have already reverted to name calling even before the race has begun. I'd much prefer that you hear my side out before discounting what I have to say. Feel free to email me if you are truly open-minded.

votewander@gmail.com

MH said...

I kind of feel the urge to move to a district where I can be represented by somebody who isn't reading the internet so much.

Anonymous said...

"I will be an independent voice if elected to City Council..." HAHAHA.

Perhaps you just have to say that sort of stuff to win an election. Because if you really believe that it is possible to be "independent" with this administration, then you have a sad, startling, new awakening ahead of you. Pick a side, brother, and give your constituents the courtesy of a hint.

I hope someone asks at a debate or forum about Corey's thoughts on the parking privatization deal. This is the baseline to understand the young man's take on the nuance between good and evil.