Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tough Questions

The Trib gave Mayor Luke Ravenstahl quite a tongue lashing in its pages today:

Ravenstahl, 27, of Summer Hill, won't explain why he did not want to reveal his whereabouts.

"What I was doing and where I was at has no reflection on me not being there," he has said.

That answer is "ridiculous," said Gloria Forouzon, whose Lawrenceville company runs candidate-training workshops geared toward women.

"If he won't answer questions like that, then the media shouldn't cover him when he's out at some ribbon-cutting," she said.

Mayors must face the press, even when the news is bad, said former Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff, 89, of Squirrel Hill.

"I was the mayor for 24 hours a day -- that came ahead of everything else," said Masloff, who served from 1988 to 1994. "When I had appointments I couldn't keep because I went somewhere, I always said where I was, and members of the media checked up on me. That was fine."...

Ravenstahl has had trouble with tough questions.

For months, he denied being arrested outside Heinz Field on Oct. 31, 2005, when he was a city councilman.

On Jan. 18, the mayor admitted police handcuffed and detained him. He dismissed the incident as "much to do about nothing" and blamed reporters for only asking if he had been arrested, not if he had been detained. Ravenstahl denied shoving the police officer who cuffed him, but he acknowledged shouting profanities at the officer, whom he criticized for aggressively charging into a crowd of people waiting to enter the stadium.

On March 13, Ravenstahl flew to New York City with billionaire Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle, a longtime Democratic fundraiser. The trip on Burkle's private jet -- dubbed "Ron Air" by former President Clinton -- came shortly after local officials and the team announced a $290 million deal to build a hockey arena Uptown to keep the Pens in town.

Ravenstahl denied traveling to New York when asked about the trip early March 19, but he changed his story later in the day.
And so forth...

But really, the local media and the local Blurghosphere, while asking the simple questions that the mayor won't answer, hasn't been willing to ask the difficult questions that the mayor won't answer. Par Example:

  • Given the state of the City's poorly funded pension system and given the newly proposed near city-wide property tax abatement, does Luke want a waffle?
  • If the mayor could give a bicycle to any member of the Constitutional Convention, with the exception of Gouverneur Morris, who would it be and why?
  • A train leaves Chicago at 12:30 PM and travels at a speed of 40 mph. A second train leaves Des Moines at 2:45 PM and travels at a speed of 25 mph. Assuming that the distance is 333 mile, when will the two trains cross?
  • Mr. Mayor, have you stopped all the illegal activities in your administration, yet?
  • Given the recent flap over your attendance of the Mario Lemieux Invitational, are you prepared to release your final score after two days of play?
  • Do you like gladiator movies?
  • Who would win in a fight: Guy Costa and Ron Graziano with their legs tied together or seven midgets, one of which has a hammer?
  • Please discuss the historical role of streets, roads, avenues, and boulevards within the context of art and power using examples from the ancient, medieval, and modern ages. How does the creation of roads in the post-modern age differ from previous ages and how is it similar? (500 words max)
  • Who was the first United States president?
  • Do you think David L. Lawrence would kick your ass if he saw you on the street? Do you think you'd lose a fight to a dead man?

    And so forth...

    I mean seriously folks! Where is the local media? Where are the bloggers? Why aren't these pertinent questions being asked by anyone? What the hell is wrong with you people???

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