Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Lame Duck Predictions

Six days now until the beginning of the end of the Murphy Administration. What follows on May 18 is the longest drawn out Lame Duck period ever (+/- 5 points for hyperbole). It is a vast stretch of uncertitude that will last until January 1, 2006. These next seven months are too short to effectively enact any real policy changes or complete real project, but they are too long to begin packing up desks in the Mayor's Office.

The Long, Dark Tea Time of Pittsburgh Politics.

I'm going to venture a few guesses on what the next few months are going to hold for Pittsburgh:

First, projects that had 12 years to get underway are now going to get off the ground. The mayor has lots of friends in the private sector, aching for government work/money/approvals. The mayor-elect will have lots of friends too, also aching for government work/money/approvals. Some of these friends will be the same friends; others will not. Those that backed the wrong horse will cash in all their chits now, in the hope that inertia will carry projects along. The mayor will push & lean on the bureaucracy to issue commitments before the end of the year, thereby binding the next administration.

Second, supposing that a bitter rival of the current Mayor is elected to the office, you can expect to see at least one problem created to drive the next administration crazy. Think Somalia, 1992. Translation: we're invading Braddock for humanitarian reasons.

Third, the bureaucrats will be running a lot of the show at the end of the lame duck period, and probably through the first few months of the new administration. This is not a prideful boast, but rather an acknowledgement of the collective, institutional memory that we posses. Stupid projects will be taken behind the barn, and quietly be put out of their misery. Pet projects that have the tacit support of the new administration will be quietly worked on.

Fourth, there will be airing of dirty laundry. This will probably happen around March of next year when certain decisions of the current administration will be revealed and denounced by the new administration. Somebody may go to jail, but that's just wild speculation.

Fifth, for seven whole months, the East-End blog set will have absolutely nothing to talk about.... except for the 2006 Senate Race.

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