Thursday, March 31, 2011

More Fracking Bull...ishness (A Glowing Report)

Where some observe a plutonium-laced clustermuck and undiagnosed environmental threats in a fox-guarded henhouse, the proprietor of Burgh Diaspora sees "stars aligning for Pittsburgh" with respect to nuclear energy and natural gas extraction from Marcellus Shale.

On the nuclear front, the literal (and developing) meltdown in Japan is described as a double-barreled shot of good news for InsolvenCity and environs. First:
"Apparently, the nuclear disaster in Japan and the unrest in the Middle East trumps the public concern about groundwater contamination from mining shale (particularly the Marcellus Shale) for gas. Geopolitical events are conspiring to push through a favorable policy for hydrofracking"
In other words, people bothered by radioactive milk and radiation-scorched workers might come to see flaming faucets and hydrological uncertainty in a new -- and, for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, more profitable -- light. Sounds plausible (although not necessarily heartening, especially among those who wonder about the long-term value of an industry that appears to subsist primarily on transient employment of imported rigworkers).

There's even a silver uranium lining to the nuclear angle:
"Furthermore, Westinghouse is in a position to learn from Japan and build a much safer reactor.
What? A half-century after the Shippingport plant began to produce nuclear power, the industry might be positioned to introduce safety measures even better than storing still-deadly retired rods in the unprotected attic of a reactor building (while the emergency electrical system operates in the basement -- at least, until it is flooded into uselessness precisely when needed), or failing to have robots available to help determine how the meltdown is progressing inside a containment vessel that could be cracked?

"The future for energy jobs in Southwestern PA just got a lot brighter. Go ahead and roll the dice on Pittsburgh. It is a strong bet to attract a lot of talent over the next few years."
Brighter? One might even say glowing.

Perhaps the only downside is uncharted risk for water-based life forms. What could go wrong? Our future is apparently so bright, all we need are shades bottled water and a lead shield.

Infytune: Cheap Sunglasses, ZZ Top

We Guess They Weren't Watching "All The President's Men" In The Bush Jr. White House

Former Alcoa leader Paul O'Neill, architect of the regional cooperation project that gifted a downtown InsolvenCity office tower to a community development organization, is "just astounded" by the approaching sheriff's sale precipitated by decisions of the some of the region's leading (and best-funded) civic groups to abandon the building in favor of for-profit landlords. In particular, Mr. O'Neill can't understand why those civic leaders promptly placed a $13 million mortgage on the building:
"They got a building in perfectly fine operating condition. Why they would have to spend $13 million is beyond me."
Mr. O'Neill also can't understand how the financial condition of the structure deteriorated to the point of foreclosure in 13 years:
"If somebody gave you a building free, wouldn't you think you could figure out how to charge rents that cover maintenance?"
It seems odd to be offering this particular advice to a guy whose signature is on dollar bills (right), but if Mr. O'Neill wants to understand the $13 million mortgage and the decisions of the Allegheny Conference and VisitPittsburgh to abandon the former Alcoa Building and regional cooperation, the path is simple:

Follow the money.

Infytune: Crumblin' Down, John Mellencamp

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Who Says There's No Opportunity For The Young'uns Around Here? (Not Ben Or Charlie)

It's official! Any claim that parents of southwestern Pennsylvania lack opportunity for their children must now be withdrawn: Landing your son a chance to work with Charlie Sheen (right) is the best opportunity we've heard since getting your daughter engaged to Ben Roethlisberger.

We hope the Allegheny Conference will forgive us for being distracted by the moribund economy, population flight, infrastructure decay and insolvency for all these years.

Infytune: Ooh La La, Ronnie Wood (too-drunk-to-care version)
Infytune: Ooh La La, Faces (damn-good-song version)

Corbett Administration's Latest Budget-Cutter: Eliminating Fig Leaves On Marcellus 'Regulation'

Tom Corbett, who is overseeing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, has informed environmental regulators (not publicly, of course) that all enforcement and regulatory actions concerning gas extraction operations must be pre-approved by political appointees, effective immediately.

Can anyone explain the "money back guarantee" angle?

Infytune: Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On, Jerry Lee Lewis

Pittsburgh's Parking Privateers: They're Back!

We have observed a noticeable increase in visits to Infinonymous by parking privateers -- the law firms, local greasers, financiers and the like that pursued the Not-So-Great InsolvenCity Parking Garage Sale -- since mid-March.

The inference seems so strong a child could see it.

(Lesson for the small-time local cream-skimmers: Our readers from Chicago never took a break, not even during the holidays; that level of thoroughness is likely related to the size of eventual paydays.)

Infytune: Back In Black, AC/DC Infytune: Highway To Hell, AC/DC

For Some Local Police Officers, Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates (With Misconduct Fillings)

Pittsburgh police officer Garrett Brown appears to be one of several local officers who have a Forrest Gump-like tendency to encounter an exceptional string of unlikely (and, for citizens with whom they interact, unpleasant) situations.

UPDATE: Lauren Daley of the City Paper has seen this movie and filed a timely review.

Some Guys Have All The Luck, Rod Stewart

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Introducing The Same Old And Merely Renamed (But Still Always Worth Listening To) InfyTunes

From a correspondent's suggestion (and for pixel preservation), Infinonytunes have been renamed. The inaugural Infytunes are inspired by headlines, the first by reports from Fukushima (where plutonium has been detected in soil) and the Bronx Zoo (currently featuring a loosed -- and literate -- cobra), and the second by accounts involving Abercrombie (peddler of the padded bikini top for seven-year-old girls) and the Family Radio Christian Network (whose leader predicts our world will end this spring).

UPDATE: Abercrombie has ditched its ads peddling padded bikinis for seven-year-olds; it has switched its target, to twelve-year-olds. A good corporate citizen, just like Dick's Sporting Goods.

Infytune: Godzilla, Blue Oyster Cult
Infytune: It's The End Of The World As We Know It, REM

Mathematically Marginal March Madness

Which of these circumstances is more remarkable, in a year in which the Final Four consists of a third-seeded team (Connecticut), a fourth-seeded team (Kentucky), an eighth-seeded team (Butler's Pitt-killers) and an eleventh-seeded-but-only-because -it-won-a-preliminary-game team (Virginia Commonwealth):
1. Nearly 6 million entries were submitted in a single pick-the-winners contest (ESPN's).

2. More than 70 percent of the entries failed to predict a single Final Four team.

3. Roughly one in fifty entrants correctly chose two Final Four teams.

4. Two entrants -- among nearly six million -- correctly predicted all Final Four participants.

5. One of those entrants has refrained from taking credit for his selections (perhaps because, despite incredible precision with respect to the improbable Final Four, that entrant is in 6,343rd place).
Infinonytune: She's A Beauty, The Tubes

Taxpayers Getting Reamed Again On North Side (But Don't Worry . . . The Rooneys Are Still Fine)

The only sane people who continue to believe that taxpayer-subsidized "North Shore development" was a good idea are greedy, selfish leeches people named Rooney and moral bankrupts people whose paychecks are signed "Rooney."

If this region survives the period in which Dan Onorato was county executive while Tom Murphy was mayor, the accomplishment will rival the Connecticut Huskies' overcoming-the-odds journey to this year's Final Four.

Infinonytune: Chain Of Fools, Aretha Franklin (with Elton John, Smokey Robinson and Rod Stewart)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Idled Buses Indicate We're Running Out Of Fumes

For years, cheerleaders for InsolvenCity and environs have had an easy way to disseminate their many "most livable" and "turned the corner" press releases throughout the country -- they could simply hand them to the hundreds of thousands of people who were leaving the region, who could carry them to spots deemed more livable by people other than magazine writers and public relations hacks.

This morning, however, Allegheny County's decline and failures could not be ignored. A few years after County Executive Dan Onorato claimed to have saved the county's mass transit system (at the cost of a job-killing drink tax), many of PAT's buses stopped running over the weekend.

These buses were not stopped consequent to a prudent pruning of unneeded routes. Some of the terminated routes had been popular, featuring full loads of riders traveling to work, to school, to appointments, or to stores. Others had constituted the sole service to entire communities. These engines of livelihood and mobility were still this morning because this region is running out of the fumes on which it has been running for decades.

Decades of failure and inadequacy -- among voters, PAT directors and managers, elected officials, union leaders, and others -- were crystalized during a futile burst of last-minute wrangling and haranguing. The current strategy is to preserve service for the City of Pittsburgh, but focusing on the rotting core seems an unsustainable trajectory.

This morning, Allegheny County has admitted, by action, that it can no longer manage to operate buses full of residents bound for work. The broad harm is composed of countless individual tragedies -- the teenager locked into the stifling confines of a dying town, the senior citizen unable to reach her physician, the secretary forced to recalculate whether work is worthwhile. It is time for the region's cheerleaders to take a break long enough to look at the scoreboard, and past time for the region to field leaders rather than cheerleaders.

Infinonytune: One Of Us, Joan Osborne

Burn Could Comment On InsolvenCity Democratic Committee Members Without Sacrificing Credibility

Allegheny County Democratic Committee Chair Jim Burn relies on committee members' votes for that position, making it understandable that he would refrain from insulting those members when asked to explain city committee members' endorsements for InsolvenCity council.

Instead of courteously avoiding comment, however, or mumbling a platitude, Burn opined that the knuckleheads he oversees had been motivated by a focus on issues while denying endorsements to four incumbent members of InsolvenCity's council.

The obvious follow-up: If city committee members vote on issues rather than personalities, why do they routinely endorse unqualified candidates for judge?

Infinonytune: I Can't Go For That, Hall and Oates

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Reading: The "In" Edition

Insight: from Bob Herbert.

Innovation: at the table.

Injustice: at the bar.

Incompetence: of the worst kind.

Information: of the ages.

Insider: at the trough.

Infinonytune: In Dreams, Roy Orbison
Infinonytune: Into The Mystic, Van Morrison

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pirates Once Again Demonstrate They Know Their Fans In Unveiling Club's 2011 Lineup

The Pirates have announced their lineup for 2011. Predictably, Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker are placed atop the order, with Pedro Alvarez in the middle; a number of reliable veterans (although nothing that would help a club win on the field) fill out the order. The biggest problem for Pirates fans -- other than reality and the fact that newspapers still publish standings -- is the lack of pitching. (As in, in this lineup, there is literally no pitching.)

1. Andrew McCutchen action figurine (right) (April 23)
2. Neil Walker bobblehead (right, below) (May 21)
3. Zambelli fireworks (seven dates)
4. Pedro Alvarez jersey (June 5)
5. Huey Lewis and the News (June 11)
6. Pirate Parrot bobblehead (June 12)
7. Pierogy wind-up racers (July 10)
8. Skyblast! (three dates)
9. Steve Miller Band (September 24)

Play (Nutting-like-losing-at-a-handsome-profit) ball!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Commemorating The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire By Scapegoating Workers, Dismantling Unions -- And, Of Course, Removing Their Historical Murals

Some Americans are commemorating the centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire (left) in novel ways.

In Maine, a small man (recently elected governor, with a push from Tea Partiers) is dismantling a labor-themed mural at the state's Department of Labor (because, a spokesman said, the mural "is not in keeping with the department's pro-business goals").

In Wisconsin, a small man (recently elected governor, with a push from Tea Partiers) is dismantling collective bargaining and public employee unions (because, he said, he campaigned on it -- although he did not).

In Indiana, Republican legislators have proposed to cripple unions by entitling parasites to refrain from funding the unions that negotiate contracts (over the objection of Gov. Mitch Daniels, whose first act in office had been to had been to eliminate unionization rights for 25,000 workers).

Maine's governor is not stopping at removing a mural from a wall. He also has vowed to rename conference rooms, including the one that honors Frances Perkins (right), the daughter of Maine for whom witnessing the Triangle Shirtwaist tragedy launched a crusade against inhumane workplace conditions, leading to a long term as United States Secretary of Labor.

Many of today's Americans are unfamiliar with the conditions that caused the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, consequent to the work of Frances Perkins and others -- and perhaps because Americans haven't taken cues on labor issues from the likes of Paul LePage and Scott Walker for most of the past century.

We are confident that today's Republican unionbusters regret the 146 deaths of the Triangle Shirtwaist tragedy, but we suspect they understand why the factory's owners needed to lock those doors, couldn't afford an adequate fire escape, deserved to be acquitted in the criminal trial, and deserved every penny of profit when their insurance proceeds exceeded the $75-per-victim judgment they lost in the civil lawsuit.

Infinonytune: Which Side Are You On?, Natalie Merchant

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All Is Relative (Literally) Among The Campaign Contributors In Corbett's Scrap Metal Cabinet

Tom Corbett, governor of the recently renamed Marcellus Shale Coalition Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Presented by the Chamber of Commerce, has announced his nominee to lead the Department of Conservation and Environmental Resources. Confounding some observers, Gov. Corbett passed over every bond-defaulting strip miner in the state and chose Richard J. Allan, heir to a scrap metal dealership.

Those charting Gov. Corbett's appointments need not be told that Mr. Allan is the husband of another Corbett appointee, the nephew of an influential Republican Partier, and a Corbett campaign contributor.

We discount rumors that Gov. Corbett's lone remaining cabinet-level appointment -- Secretary of Labor and Industry -- has been delayed by unforeseen difficulty in locating a lineal descendant of Henry Clay Frick (right) who contributed to the Corbett campaign. The established pattern, however, enables a prediction: Gov. Corbett will soon announce a new department, Department of Childhood Nutrition, whose initial secretary will be the guy who invented Kool-Aid.

Infinonytune: After The Gold Rush, Neil Young

Concert Preview: Special Pair Of Infinonytunes From An Interstellar Pair Of Rocket Men

The confluence of Elton John's arrival for tonight's scheduled concert (at the Taxpayers' Memorial Hockey Barn; try to attend) and William Shatner's 80th birthday prompts a special pair of Infinonytunes:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Leeches Turn Aggressive At InsolvenCity Water Authority; Where's A Flashlight When Needed?

The leeches congregated among the underground slime and dark sludge of InsolvenCity's water authority appear to have become aggressive. The solution would likely involve an investigative flashlight (controlled, this time, by someone other than the politically compromised, personally conflicted and morally bankrupt). A reasonable over-under on how many people might be incarcerated after a legitimate investigation would seem to be 2.5.

On the other hand, we wouldn't be surprised if a meeting concerning this very subject, involving the elected official who is the natural candidate to conduct such an investigation, has already occurred.

UPDATE: Rich Lord, Joe Smydo and Tim McNulty lack subpoena power, but they can be handy with flashlights, as if on cue.

UPPERDATE: Speaking of handy, InsolvenCity solicitor Dan Regan provides (inadvertently, we assume) a useful signal concerning the value of what follows when he introduces his legal opinion with "To our knowledge . . . "

Infinonytune: Shine A Light, The Rolling Stones
Infinonytune: I'm Waiting For The Man, Velvet Underground
Infinonytune: Drowned, Pete Townshend

Adventures In Method Journalism: Letting Drunks Design A Reader Poll On Liquor Board

Publications' (and politicians') attempts to gauge and rely on public opinion with respect to most issues are mostly dopey -- the collection and reporting methods are generally slanted, and the value of the average American's opinion on nuclear nonproliferation treaty details seems slight -- but a vote-for-one-and-one-only reader poll from today's Post-Gazette establishes an impressive high in low-quality polling:
What is your perception of the state Liquor Control Board?

A.It serves the public's good by limiting its access to wine and spirits
B.It's an effective generator of state taxes and revenue.
C.It's outdated and is no longer useful or relevant.
D.I don't understand why it is needed.
Most persons -- and in particular those with even a meager understanding of the relevant issues -- would find it difficult to respond sensibly by selecting a single letter. The most likely explanation for this circumstance is that the poll's designer could not identify, let alone explain, the relevant issues at gunpoint. It would be impossible for this poll to generate useful data.

Cue Tom Corbett, the Post-Gazette and others relying on this poll to advance their muddled "positions" on the Liquor Control Board.

Infinonytune: What's Made Milwaukee Famous Has Made A Loser Out Of Me, Jerry Lee Lewis

Monday, March 21, 2011

Short-Sighted Flight Fells Regional Enterprise Tower

The regional cooperation project embodied by the Regional Enterprise Tower has been whittled by Allegheny County-inflicted cuts to the brink of foreclosure, causing officials from other counties to engage in justifiable wonder concerning prospects for intercounty collaboration.

Regardless of why entities such as VisitPittsburgh and the Allegheny Conference abandoned the former Alcoa Building (none of the rumors flatters those entities), they apparently were entitled to leave. Just as representatives of other counties, when approached by officials seeking bailouts for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County with respect to municipal pensions and Port Authority transit, will be entitled to respond with slightly puzzled, vacant stares.

Infinonytune: Since You're Gone, The Cars

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Reading: On The Road Edition

Portland: A lesson learned along the road.

Seattle: Liberty takes the high road.

Birmingham: Where the civil rights met the road.

Ethics: The chicken is on which side of the road?

Durham, N.C.: Symbolism and reality along Tobacco Road.

Fission: When a reactor reaches the end of the road.

Infinonytune: The Long And Winding Road, The Beatles
Infinonytune: Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pittsburgh Police History Deserves A Home

Especially given the substantial volume of abandoned buildings and vacant leasehold space in Pittsburgh, it is difficult to believe that a suitable home for the Pittsburgh Police Historical Association (and display of its artifacts) could not be identified.

Until a permanent location is found, perhaps some of the wasted space at the Convention Center or in the Regional Enterprise Tower could be put to worthwhile use?

Infinonytune: All This Time, Sting

Judge Donald J. Lee, 1927-2011

Donald J. Lee -- a former local and federal judge who was qualified and worthy of judging others -- died on St. Patrick's Day. Judge Lee was an enlisted wartime sailor; a G.I. bill beneficiary; and a husband, father and grandfather.

Those responsible for selecting judges could learn much from Judge Lee's example.

It Is Time For Gaddafi To Die -- And Time To Revoke Warmongering Privileges For Iraq-Afghanistan Fans

After decades of unhinged and clownish (left) despotism, it is time for Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and a number of his associates to die (and, consequently, for the life of most Libyans to improve).

If the United States can lend a hand to the Libyans struggling to remove Gaddafi, Americans should do so -- so long as American hands work alongside those provided by a consensus among decent nations, and the work does not involve attempted occupation of Libya.

It would be senseless, however, for Americans to turn Libya into another Iraq or Afghanistan. President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have been smart to disclaim any prospect of American soldiers marching through Libya.

Advocates of unilateral and/or ground-level American action should be ignored. In particular, those who pushed the United States military into two misguided quicksands to Libya's east -- and especially those who have not yet acknowledged and apologized for those mistakes -- should have their warmongering privileges revoked by decent citizens.

Gaddafi has been excused for decades. Now, he has been warned. Next, unless he immediately takes Hosni Mubarak's cue, he should be killed.

Infinonytune: Masters Of War, Pearl Jam

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pressures Continue To Build As Meltdowns Become Apparent Where Rubber Meets Road

The fallout from recent meltdowns could affect not only the relevant industry but also the public.

We refer, of course, to the deteriorating conditions at Allegheny County's Port Authority transit operation.

After a long period of unstable operations, the first signal of extraordinary pressure buildup was a recent outburst from PAT chief executive officer Steve Bland, who called Allegheny County Council President Jim Burn "stupid" (technically, Bland called Burn's proposal "stupid," but the term was radioactive enough to reach Burn's person). Confirming trouble at PAT's core is a current charge by PAT management that union drivers are attempting to sabotage operations. (Readings from union statements and member conduct indicate that PAT workers are, inexplicably, ignoring the crisis.)

This dangerous cycle -- management and labor dysfunction that appears to be both cause and consequence of long-term problems -- appears to be creating an acute meltdown just as conditions are inclining the traveling public (and its employers) to rely increasingly on PAT.

Thank goodness Tom Corbett, Dan Onorato and Port Authority directors are positioned to protect the public interest.

Infinonytune: Under Pressure, Annie Lennox and David Bowie

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Remembering City Democratic Chair Sam Tiglio

The Post-Gazette reports the kind (and apt) observations of those who remember former Pittsburgh City Democratic Commitee chair Salvatore ("Sam") Tiglio as an enduring and culinarily inclined force in City of Pittsburgh politics. Mr. Tiglio, a graduate of city politics' Harvard-Kennedy School of Government the Public Works Department and the 20th Ward, was city committee chair from 1990 to 2002. He died Friday, at 83.

It should also be remembered, however, that the City Democratic Committee has been steering InsolvenCity into a deep ditch for decades.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Cascade Of Lessons On Safety And Predictability

As nuclear reactors continue to burn, melt and explode in an ostensibly unpredictable (thanks, again, Wikileaks!) toxic cascade along Japan's northeastern coast, some questions seem pertinent:

• Why were emergency inventories of and delivery systems for boron, electricity, coolant, and other necessary items not already in place at Fukushima?

• Of the 50 or more noble persons who have remained in harm's way to attempt to avert additional disaster, how many were among the Tokyo Electric Power Company and General Electric executives, salesmen and designers who received the greatest rewards for designing, selling, and managing the questionable reactors that are currently burning, melting and exploding? (Bonus current events question: How many of the heroic workers are union members?)

• When will people acknowledge (or, at least, recognize) that energy might be inexpensive (at point of purchase), and energy might be relatively safe, but energy can not be both?

Infinonytune: Before The Deluge, Jackson Browne

Matta v. Wagner Becomes High-Caliber Duel

The Early Returners -- and plenty of people along Grant Street -- are discussing the high-stakes duel concerning nomination petition challenges aimed at Allegheny County Controller candidates Chelsa Wagner and George Matta.

This isn't an Orie-Zappala War, but it also is not the usual jousting about whether the dead guy signed on February 13th or 14th, or whether "Correyopalliss" counts at line 17 of page 14.

Matta's colleagues focus on the back sides of Wagner's petitions (in particular the uncompleted candidate affidavits on many or most of them), while Matta's challengers object to the front of Matta's petitions (in particular the union "bug" added to Matta's reproductions of the official forms provided by the Elections Division).

This Matta v. Wagner heavyweight slug-out could generate substantial revenue for Allegheny County if anyone can arrange to sell tickets (next Wednesday, 9 a.m., Courtroom 707, City-County Building). Valerie McDonald Roberts will not be listed on the docket card, but she could be the one whose hand is held up by referee Joe James after the final bell.

At the InsolvenCity level, the Ravenstahl camp, demonstrating the lack of self-awareness that has become predictable and humorous, has objected to one of Darlene Harris' opponents (not the one they like) on the basis of [pause for comedic timing] . . . residence. Does this mean Luke Adam the Ravenstahls will campaign for Vince Pallus with the argument that Darlene Harris is unqualified?

Strengthening rumor: One campaign may take a new approach to petitions perceived to be defective, by taking the issues -- reported to include whether the candidate swore falsely with respect to personal circulation of petitions, and "laughably obvious" handwriting issues -- to law enforcement authorities. One observer's analysis: 'The thinking is, instead of investing $10,000 or $20,000 of your own money in attorneys and handwriting experts, why not let the other side spend at least that much to defend itself? Plus, it ought to keep them busy for a couple of months, and maybe it leaks to the papers. Unorthodox, could backfire, but there is a logic to it -- although the wild card is you gotta remember who the D.A. is.'

Infinonytune: Both Sides Now, Joni Mitchell
Infinonytune: Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Matta v. Wagner Headlines Unexpectedly Light Card In Nomination Petition Challenges

George Matta's full-bore assault on Chelsa Wagner's petitions (filed by the Network's legal department) deservedly dominates Petition Challenge Deadline Day news, but the more interesting point might be the substantial number of planned challenges that apparently were not filed by today's 5 p.m. deadline, in races that included Pittsburgh City Council (although Darlene Harris reportedly found objectors to at least two opponents' petitions, sketchy petitions filed by other mayoral soldiers were not challenged), Allegheny County Council and Allegheny County Executive.

UPDATE: A commenter's assignment of responsibility to the Ravenstahl camp for the objections to Oberst and Wilson in InsolvenCity council district 1 seems correct. The lawyer who filed those objections also filed a challenge to Jason Phillips in district 5. It also appears that someone challenged George Matta's petitions in the Allegheny County Controller race.

Infinonytune: Let It Ride, Randy Bachman and Fred Turner

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wecht Cuts Expertly, With Scalpel Or Tongue

Former Allegheny County Coroner Cyril Wecht was a rarity among local elected officials -- exceptionally well-educated and well-spoken, the most competent public official in these parts during the past half-century.

The Early Returners showcase Cyril's outsized persona (so large in stretches in several directions simultaneously) in a manner that imparts an incisive message about the current prosecutorial crusade in the Orie-Zappala war without leaving any Post-Gazetteer fingerprints at the point of incision.

Infinonytune: Not Fade Away, Buddy Holly

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Congratulations To Pitt's Top-Seeded Panthers

With the best regular-season record among teams in America's toughest college basketball conference, Pitt's Panthers have earned -- and received -- a top seeding in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Congratulations to Jamie Dixon -- a good guy -- his staff, and especially to the players who carry the dreams of Pitt fans to Washington and, we hope, beyond.

Sunday Reading: Juxtapositional Edition

The Gridiron: Billion-heir socialists.

Organized Religion: Twentieth Century Jesus Muhammad God god.

Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission: "Regulating" themselves.

Petro-Politics: Cheap oil: unaffordably expensive.

Wall Street: Free-market fixers.

PennFuture Shares Pulpit With PennPrevious

The region's ossified, obsolete, obsequious, mildly opprobrious power structure deserves credit for sharing its pulpit with PennFuture's Jan Jarrett this morning.

Infinonytune: God's Counting On Me, God's Counting On You, Pete Seeger

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Quibbling During Wartime: Orie Quakes, DA Skates

Judge Jeffrey Manning displayed displeasure -- and his prosecutorial bias background -- yesterday during a hearing concerning compliance with the gag order he had imposed on all participants some participants (and, apparently, a non-participant) in the current courtroom battle of the Orie-Zappala war.

"I'm like the father of quibbling children," the judge declared.

Judge Manning then displayed no appetite for quibbling about legal precisions -- dancing around the issue of whether Jack Orie (brother of two defendants) was a "participant" who had been (or could lawfully be) governed by the gag order -- before issuing a formal warning to Mr. Orie, whose attendance had been compelled by Judge Manning.

Judge Manning tiptoed past the district attorney's flagrant violation violations of the order, which unambiguously governed prosecution statements. The district attorney's office had issued a press release concerning a theatrical search warrant (designed to tar the defendants among prospective jurors) and provided statements to reporters, but Judge Manning apparently did not issue a formal warning to the district attorney's office. Nor did the judge compel the relevant representative(s) of the district attorney's office to appear in court for a scolding.

The prosecution of clan Orie (right) may never reach a verdict, let alone a conviction (particularly in Allegheny County), but it already accomplished the improbable -- making sympathetic figures of the Ories.

Infinonytune: Sweet Jane, Lou Reed (Paris, 1974)
Infinonytune: Vicious, Lou Reed (Paris, 1974)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dreaming Ant Warrant Was Tangled Up In Blue

The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police's Fraternal Order of Police's failure to consult the district attorney's office before obtaining the sketchy warrant aimed (left) at the Dreaming Ant's router (right) merits investigation but is not new information; the departure from customary law enforcement procedure was mentioned before the FOP belatedly began to discuss with prosecutors the illegality legality of that warrant.

Infinonytune: Tangled Up In Blue, The Grateful Dead

Regional Representatives: Fortunately, The Ground May Have Already Broken Our Fall

The Allegheny Conference, local elected officials and even the local headline-writers are furiously applying truckloads of lipstick to census results demonstrating that InsolvenCity and Allegheny County have continued to hemorrhage population in the Twenty-First Century. (The City of Pittsburgh, perhaps for the first time since George Washington was president, holds less than one-quarter of Allegheny County's population.)

Joanna Doven, representing mayor Luke Ravenstahl, told a reporter that "We believe that we have reversed the brain drain and are now experiencing brain gain."

The reporter apparently was too kind to note that Ms. Doven and her boss represent the generation of Pittsburghers from the period in which departure of young people with resources, education, ambition and opportunities diluted the city's gene pool.

Infinonytune: Looks Like We Made It, Barry Manilow
Infinonytune: Top Of The World, The Carpenters

FOP's Dan O'Hara Is Right (Believe It Or Not): He Is A Victim (But Not In Way He Perceives)

Perhaps for the first time, InsolvenCity police union president Dan O'Hara has said something about the Jordan Miles/FOP hoax situation that makes sense:

"I am a victim in this investigation," he told the City Paper.

True, that -- but not in the manner O'Hara likely intends. He is a victim . . . of his own poor judgment, and that of his union.

And, if the district attorney's office unexpectedly does a comprehensive and honest job of determining whether wrongdoing has occurred with respect to the self-interested abuse of police powers by rampaging FOP members, he might discover that he is more a victim than he currently recognizes.

Infinonytune: Is It In My Head?, The Who

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Orie-Zappala War: Enough To Make Anyone Gag

The Orie-Zappala war -- in which District Attorney Stephen Zappala and his soldiers are marching stridently, exploiting political opponents' weaknesses (self-inflicted and otherwise) while demonstrating a striking lack of self-awareness concerning their own -- returns to the courtroom of Judge (and former prosecutor) Jeffrey Manning tomorrow morning.

Judge Manning apparently proposes to address Jack Orie (left) concerning Mr. Orie's public statements concerning the trial of his sisters, regarding which trial Judge Manning issued an order compelling to the parties to remain silent.

Jack Orie, however, does not appear to be a party. Perhaps Judge Manning proposes to introduce and enforce an elastic standard with respect to the breadth of his orders?

Creative or expansive interpretations might not be necessary with respect to the public statements that have been issued by the prosecution with respect to the trial since Dec. 15 (when the gag order was issued).

Historic evidence indicates that the district attorney's office is a repeat offender in this context, but that Allegheny County judges can be lenient -- at least, when the extra-order-inary yapping is being done by the district attorney's office.

We don't expect Mr. Zappala himself to attend tomorrow's hearing, however, despite his office's obvious emphasis on the Orie prosecution; he must be too busy investigating casino lobbyist filings, local angles to the Luzerne County cash-for-jailed-kids scandal, and fraud with respect to placement of inappropriate financial instruments with public agencies by politically connected cream-skimmers (say, members of a Network).

Infinonytune: Talk Talk, Talk Talk

Might Pitt's Pleas Fall On LRAD-Deafened Ears?

Within hours of Gov. Corbett's Spare-The-Shale, Rod-The-Children budget proposal, the University of Pittsburgh circulated a plea for support, begging alumni and friends to pester legislators. Since the University abandoned its students during and after the G20-related siege of Oakland (left), however, some recipients might have a hard time hearing Pitt's request for help -- even if the University used a military-grade sonic cannon (like the one used on Pitt students without objection from Mark Nordenberg).

Aside: Is there no one left in the English Department who could have proofread a message circulated among alumni, some of whom learned the language before Pitt abridged its writing program?

Infinonytune: Help!, The Beatles

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Did Patti Weaver Campaign Box Itself In Out?

Most comment concerning the petitions filed by candidates today in Pittsburgh (for most offices) and Harrisburg (judicial candidates) will await another day, but because Chuck McCullough is sometimes busy righting wrongs or protecting county taxpayers, one curious point will be noted tonight:

Early Returner Jim O'Toole's listing of petitions filed with the Allegheny County Division of Elections indicates that Republican Patti Weaver's county executive petition identifies a post office box -- instead of her street address -- as her residence. In a state that bounces signatures for use of "Bob" rather than "Robert," that might constitute a disqualifier. (Especially for a candidate who advocates "strict constructionism" and "originalism" in judicial matters, and despises "judicial activism" of the bleeding-heart type that would excuse strict compliance with law.)

Perhaps proper petition preparation was omitted from the curriculum at Glenn Beck University.

Infinonytune: Ain't That A Shame, Pat Boone (Tea Party version)
Infinonytune: Ain't That A Shame, Fats Domino

The Drive To Dismantle America, Pillar By Pillar

Republicans continue to demonstrate that they hate America:
• Tom Corbett proposes to dismantle public education (so religious and conservative schools can indoctrinate eight-year-old minds with whatever corrosive agent induces a desire to watch Fox News?), first by cutting nearly $1 billion from state education funding, next by redirecting more of the remaining public funds to nonpublic schools.

• Pat Toomey, still mad that he missed the chance to cheer on Frick when the river ran red (and apparently forgetting his let-the-states-decide stance on abortion), has co-sponsored legislation designed to defund America's unions by permitting workers to benefit without paying dues.

• Right-wingers (although not all of them) continue to attempt to fashion a bill of attainder with respect to Planned Parenthood.

• Mike Huckabee scorns a 29-year-old, intellectually accomplished, Harvard-educated, polished professional for becoming pregnant outside the realm of Covenant Marriage (but within sight of marriage), yet defends and excuses a 17-year-old no-count dropout who got knocked up by a loser because she was too dumb to operate a condom (the difference, of course, is that the teen tart was part of a good "family values" household of religious-right Republicans).

• Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who supported terrorists when it suited his electoral ambitions (and the terrorists were white), is preparing to conduct this week a long-planned legislative hearing villification of Islam and Muslims in America.
In other words -- say, the words of House Speaker John Boehner (describing his party's promised agenda as it wrested control of the House from Democrats) -- jobs, jobs, jobs.

Are there really enough white, male, old, rich (and/or dumb), selfish, superstitious, prudish, bigoted xenophobes in America to maintain the current version of Republican Party?

Infinonytune: Deja Vu (All Over Again), John Fogerty

Step Right Up! Step Right Up! (Pay No Attention To The Development Behind The Schedule . . .)

The Radical Middleman aptly observes that even obscenely subsidized development in InsolvenCity is a bad bet (except for the List-Makers and other cream-skimmers).

Which makes dumping another $35 million in taxpayer funding into the politically toxic, operationally counterproductive cesspool that is Pittsburgh's Urban Redevelopment Authority the worst local news since the National League included the Pirates in this season's schedule.

Infinonytune: Stuck In The Middle With You, Stealers Wheel

Joe The Abstainer Advises President Obama

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (whose daughter has again overcome her educational background, this time by joining the Mylan Inc. board) has revealed what he plans to do with the time he saves by ducking important votes: He will criticize President Obama for inadequate leadership.

Infinonytune: Tell Me Who You're Working For, The Nighthawks with Billy Price

Who Is Trying To Strangle Phyllis Copeland-Mitchell's Candidacy For InsolvenCity Council -- And Why?

Unless there is a huge goggle-napping spree underway at Somerset County ski areas, or Teresa Heinz-Kerry has been spotted ignoring a stray kitten along a Ligonier boulevard, the Post-Gazette and/or the Tribune-Review should currently be connecting (or at least collecting) dots concerning the strange story of Phyllis Copeland-Mitchell.

Ms. Copeland-Mitchell (left) works worked for Program For Offenders, a relatively small social services organization funded by government (and represented, at least with respect to its dealings with Copeland-Miller, by a lawyer from one of the world's largest law firms).

Mildly vague early reports suggest Ms. Copeland-Mitchell was compelled by her employer to take leave from her job after she challenged Rev. Ricky Burgess for the Democratic endorsement for InsolvenCity's District 1 council position, then was informed that if she did not abandon her campaign by Sunday (the day on which she was endorsed over Burgess) her continued candidacy would be deemed to constitute a resignation.

Why did Program For Offenders attempt to strangle an employee's candidacy? Who control's Program For Offenders' government funding? Who are Program For Offenders' directors and officers?

If Rev. Burgess is handling four jobs -- preacher, teacher, council member and candidate -- why does Program For Offenders conclude that Phyllis Copeland-Mitchell could not work while standing for election?

UPDATE: Regardless of petty ski gear heists or juvenile taunts of the Kerrys, this might be a job for the City Paper.

Infinonytune: Da Doo Ron Ron, The Crystals

Monday, March 7, 2011

Road To City Democratic Committee Endorsement Was, In District 1, Paved With InsolvenCity Asphalt

It appears the road to the City Democratic Committee's endorsement for InsolvenCity's Council District 1 was the road to Kevin Quigley's house.

Does Vince Pallus get a t-shirt?

Infinonytune: On The Road Again, The Highwaymen

A Few Words Concerning Infindorsements

Infindorsements are not predictions, preferences, exhortations or criticisms.

They are predictions, preferences, exhortations, and criticisms -- more precisely, a blend of those elements, compounded using an imprecise formula, designed to impart messages to voters, candidates, and others.

In some circumstances, the Infindorsement goes to a flawed candidate who outshines competition; in others, an Infindorsement eludes even an adequate candidate because a broader message is expressed by endorsing no one. Sometimes, an admirable candidate misses Infindorsement because another candidate packages likelihood and quality (perhaps even lesser quality).

The most recent set of Infindorsements involved all of those circumstances, and others.

[If you listen to one Infinonytune this year, pick these two. Then, buy Quadrophenia.]

Infinonytune: The Dirty Jobs, The Who with David Gilmour
Infinonytune: The Punk And The Godfather, The Who

Sunday, March 6, 2011

County Democratic Committee Endorses Fitzgerald

Allegheny County Democratic Committee members endorsed Rich Fitzgerald for county executive today by a margin smaller than the Fitzgerald family dinner table (five-vote difference reported).

Chelsa Wagner was endorsed (by a plurality) for county controller.

The City Democratic Committee, a primary driver as InsolvenCity has been steered into a ditch for decades, generally followed its traditional course (the ideal candidate for endorsement would be an illiterate felon employed by the Public Works department and sponsored by an uncle named Costa, Flaherty or Caliguiri) in council endorsements:
District 1: Vince Pallus
District 3: Jeff Koch
District 5: Corey O'Connor
District 7: Tony Ceoffe Jr.
District 9: Phyllis Copeland-Mitchell
City committee members rejected incumbents Darlene Harris (1), Bruce Kraus (3), Patrick Dowd (7) and Ricky Burgess (9); they did not reject incumbent council member Doug Shields (5) for council, because he didn't seek the endorsement; instead, they denied him endorsement for district justice, preferring Hugh McGough.

Mike Marmo and Alex Bicket were endorsed for Common Pleas judge.

The party endorsement doesn't mean as much as it once did (which explains why Pittsburgh has not yet reached the Gary, Indiana, stage of deterioration), and the Mark Patrick Flahertys and Bruce Krauses will withstand today's disappointment and regroup tomorrow, but every endorsed candidate can enjoy the rare good day along the campaign trail today.

UPDATE: Darlene Harris pledges a continued campaign in District 1, as does Chris Zurawsky in District 5.

UPPERDATE: The volume of arrivals at Infinonymity from searches reflects enough interest in endorsement votes to warrant posting results at the Democratic Committee website. (Also: Sorry we don't have information concerning the other endorsements.)

Infinonytune: Fight For Your Right To Party, Coldplay

Infindorsement: InsolvenCity Council District 9

InsolvenCity's 9th council district is a collection of desolate neighborhoods -- Lincoln-Lemington, Homewood, East Hills, Garfield -- that need and deserve better than the status quo.

Despite a background that would seem to predict strong advocacy of social justice, Rev. Ricky Burgess devoted his initial council term to citywide (and mayorally tinged) politics rather than to providing desperately required assistance to his district. Recently, Rev. Burgess has become a transparent, predictable and divisive lapdog for interests that are entirely unrelated to his district's needs.

On the other hand, every political force -- including the better elements of InsolvenCity's current council -- should have a foil, and Rev. Burgess has been a dependable (if merely reflexive) counterweight to the Peduto-Kraus-Dowd-Harris-Rudiak-Shields coalition.

Two challengers, hoping the mayor's money and influence might be overcome by indigenous effort within the 9th district, seek the Democratic endorsement today. Lucille Prater-Holliday (left) presents an impressive resume from the schools of hard knocks and community-mindedness. Phyllis Copeland-Mitchell appears to be a politically inexperienced but well-intentioned citizen candidate.

It is tempting to root for Rev. Burgess' tumble consequent to his cynical (and often bigoted) contributions to citywide politics, but that would ignore the most important issue for district 9 -- its local needs. The real reason to support Lucille Prater-Holliday (left) is found along Lincoln and Penn avenues rather than on Grant Street. Rev. Burgess could toss a few mayorally dispensed crumbs to his district, but East Hills and Lincoln-Larimer and Homewood would be better served by a council member focused on, and genuinely devoted to, street-level concerns.

This is a closer call than one might expect from Infinonymous' observations and reports of Rev. Burgess' performance as a member of council (and Rev. Burgess' bigotry). The Infindorsement belongs to Lucille Prater-Holliday.

Infindorsement: Lucille Prater-Holliday
Infinonytune: Living For The City, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles

Infindorsement: Court Of Common Pleas

Jim Burn is a busy man -- state Democratic Committee chair, county Democratic Committee chair, member new President of Allegheny County council, practicing attorney with a family (and no apparent trust fund or political sugar daddy, which means he must work to support that family).

It therefore is understandable that he cannot attend immediately to every worthwhile cause on his plate, despite his dedication -- forged in Millvale -- to his community.

The weak lineup presented today to county Democratic Committee members asked to endorse candidates for Common Pleas judge -- merely the acute symptom of a chronic condition that has inflicted unqualified and embarrassing judges on Allegheny County -- indicates, however, that reformation of his party's method of recruiting judicial candidates is essential and overdue.

The Democratic Party could -- and should -- improve Allegheny County by providing good judicial candidates. Jim Burn could -- and should -- make it happen.

Infindorsement: Push Jim Burn to improve judicial recruitment
Infinonytune: You Don't Mess Around With Jim, Jim Croce

Infindorsement: Allegheny County Executive

Succeeding Dan Onorato as Allegheny County executive -- inheriting a moribund economy in a declining region, confronting a county budget teetering after years of phony fixes -- would seem unattractive to a visionary civic leader, a candidate with bold ideas and a passion to implement them.

Which probably explains how Rich Fitzgerald (left) and Mark Patrick Flaherty (right), a couple of political mechanics with stale toolboxes, have the Democratic nomination contest to themselves.

Fitzgerald and Flaherty have largely split Dan Onorato's unattractive electoral foundation. Flaherty is the List-Maker candidate; Fitzgerald has most of the better-paying unions. When it became apparent that Flaherty was the cream-skimmers' choice, many decent Democratic elected officials and committee members literally stood behind Fitzgerald, figuratively holding their noses.

Fitzgerald, Onorato's dutiful soldier (until recently; he mailed to Democratic Committee members an obvious swipe at Onorato's me-first interaction with the party), has embraced the worst aspects of Onorato's unattractive performance as county executive. Like Onorato, Fitzgerald defends inaccurate and regressive assessments to comical degree; also like Onorato, he neither identifies nor works toward a solution to the genuine problems associated with reliance on property taxes. Like Onorato, Fitzgerald was a mindless proponent of the drink tax; also like Onorato, he seems oblivious to the consequences of that poorly chosen revenue generator.

Like Onorato (and, apparently, Flaherty), Fitzgerald would be a Republican in most of the United States.

For all of Fitzgerald's faults, however, Flaherty's association with the List-Makers (or, as some call it, the Network) is a disqualifier. (See List-Makers' List, far right column)

For today's Democratic Committee endorsement vote, the Infindorsement calls for a protest vote. In a race against nearly any Republican, a sensible voter would prefer Flaherty or Fitzgerald; each is a decent man who wants to help his community in ways of which he is incapable.

But in the context of an intraparty endorsement, the sensible choice would be a write-in vote for a worthwhile Democrat, a standard neither Fitzgerald nor Flaherty meets. It appears Allegheny County will need to wait at least four more years for the leadership it strongly needs.

Infindorsement: Write-in (other than Fitzgerald or Flaherty)
Infinonytune: Running On Empty, Jackson Browne

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Infindorsement: InsolvenCity Council District 7

InsolvenCity Council District 7's theme has been improbability -- sometimes mercurial -- for several years.

A blue-collar slice of the city along the Allegheny River from Highland Park to Lawrenceville, in which nothing larger than a lemonade stand has been built without public subsidy since the United States last won a war, the district threw a wrench into the Democratic machine by electing Patrick Dowd to council in 2007.

Dowd overcame several severe political obstacles -- a strong education, an accomplished professional career, familiarity with standard English -- in defeating legacy hack and endorsed Democrat Len Bodack with a strenuous campaign. Geographically, Dowd used votes in Highland Park and Bloomfield to overcome Bodack's strength in Lawrenceville.

Dowd joined council as a natural ally of an emerging independent and progressive group of councilors, then promptly alienated his ideologically compatible colleagues (even when appearing to operate from the same policy page) and entered an isolation chamber. Soon after joining council, he succeeded his most estranged colleague, Bill Peduto, as challenger to Luke Ravenstahl for mayor.

After bitterly criticizing Ravenstahl and losing, Dowd became the improbable and unwise fulcrum in an awkward and failed effort to deny Peduto the council presidency and deliver that plum to Ravenstahl. The beneficiary of such intrigue was council president Darlene Harris, whom Dowd defeated in his original campaign for school board.

(This sequence was no easier to follow as it unfolded.)

Dowd then became a component of the coalition that thwarted the Not-So-Great InsolvenCity Parking Garage Sale (although, after joining the coalition, Dowd engaged in a final dalliance with the List-Makers before finally voting against the proposed transaction).

Dowd appears to be trying to reconnect with his natural cohorts, but fractures persist despite general congruence on policy. Some of the friction, curiously, has been most pronounced during episodes of seeming agreement, such as the Lamar and Pacific billboard disputes.

Neither Dowd's dust-ups with the Pedutos and Krauses nor his bizarre cooperation with the mayor has lessened the Ravenstahl camp's fundamental dislike of Dowd, which establishes the context for Dowd's re-election campaign.

The Ravenstahl camp positioned Lauren Byrne (right), offspring of a minor but effective political family, in a community development position from which she could dispense minor goodies and make the contacts suitable for a council candidacy. The mayor's agents openly and confidently predicted Byrne's victory (let alone candidacy) against Dowd. Consequent to a blind spot, however, the Ravenstahlers misjudged one element of Byrne's character: its existence. Byrne passed on the race, reportedly because she preferred to avoid perception as a puppet.

This leaves the mayoral camp with a late minor-league call-up, Tony Ceoffe Jr., to pitch at Dowd. Ceoffe Jr. yet another twenty-something with heavy connections but light qualifications, is son of a district justice who, as a community leader, had befriended and benefitted unsavory developers and property owners. If Ceoffe Jr. has an education, he is too modest to disclose it on his website (which nevertheless revealed more than Ceoffe Jr. intended). He has manned a low-level state government desk for a few years, and is one of the ward chairs who makes the City Democratic Committee a formidable force for mediocrity.

Another candidate, carpenter and artist David Calfo, seems well-meaning but irrelevant.

Dowd squandered much of his prospects and opportunity during his first term as a member of council, but his record and especially his remaining reservoir of promise constitute ample reason for his constituents to re-elect him. With hope Dowd's interpersonal and tactical problems on council are (like his doctorate and the classes he taught at the Ellis School) history, the Infindorsement goes to Dr. Patrick Dowd.

Infinonytune: Teacher Teacher, Rockpile

Why Are Drug Warriors Such Dopes? (Proximity?)

It may be fitting, in a perverse and instructive manner, that so many drug warriors appear to be dopes (dopey handiwork and victimized innocent citizen, right, depicted by Post-Gazetteer Rebecca Droke).

Likely related is the probability that anyone who would accept a long-term posting as a narc has a cramped understanding of the concepts of freedom and justice.

Why would anyone whose civic-mindedness inclines a career as a police officer settle for chasing doobie-smokers (perhaps while moonlighting as a uniformed doorman at a nuisance bar)?

Infinonytune: Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word, Elton John

Chamber Of Commerce Giving P-G The Business

The Post-Gazette business section's regular publication of junior high-level essays by Chamber of Commerce representatives at least once each week -- the most recent slice of Swiss cheese is here -- suggests that someone in an editor's chair needs a reminder that business section content is supposed to be about business, not by business.

Infinonytune: Takin' Care Of Business, Bachman Turner Overdrive

Friday, March 4, 2011

Candidate Koch Describes His Level Of Passion For His Council Race In No Uncertain Terms

InsolvenCity Council candidate Jeff Koch is no longer relying on the indirect efforts of supporters to dismiss sidelines chatter that Koch is not whole-heartedly committed to his campaign to unseat Bruce Kraus. Candidate Koch has personally and forcefully refuted rebutted addressed any claim of indifference with this declaration to the Slagger:

Ask him about the losing 2007 campaign, for example, and he says, "I wouldn't even have voted for myself that time, with all the shit that came out."
Could Koch could have been more convincing about his passion for the campaign without invoking tiger blood and Adonis DNA?

Infinonytune: You Send Me, Sam Cooke