Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Even More Follow-Up... even for the Bureaucrat Haters

First, to get some stuff off my chest: I apparently pissed off a very ardent Anonymous supporter of Bill Peduto, as I am apparently a "Lamb partisan" and should "get over it." Sorry, I meant "GET OVER IT."


Dude (or Dudette if that is the case), if I supported Lamb and you supported Peduto, we share one same quality: we both lost. Bob O'Connor made us our bitches. He beat us like we were his whores and we are supposed to like it. Frankly, if Peduto won or Lamb won, we would be having a different discussion, but from my prospective we're both losers.

So it goes.

I don't want to skip ahead, but as I said in the comments, there are some questions I'd like to see answered: (1)how to either get the money to the message or the message to the money [or the alternative question, "what would the race have looked like if money was no object?"], (2) what would a race without O'Connor have looked like, and, more esoteric, (3) what would a race without Tom Murphy have looked like.

But I'm not there yet. I'd like to build up some element of suspense, so I have some other maps that I'd like to show. I'll try to save you my personal opinions... at least for now.

Bob O'Connor supports Free Image Hosting at

So where did Bob do well in terms of percentage vote by ward? The Hill, Homewood, Greenfield, Larimer, Hazelwood... and a bunch of other places. Well done Silver Fox. Bob didn't do well at all in Point Breeze, Shadyside, parts of Oakland, Highland Park, and Mt. Washington. Again, the City is his bitch.

Despite Anonymous' misspellings, he also supports Free Image Hosting at

As I said before, Bill did his best in Shadyside, Bloomfield, Mexican War Streets, Friendship, and Point Breeze. Worst showings, or indeed, no showings, were in parts of the Hill, Arlington Heights, and Hazelwood.

Mike and Bill, while they are both Bob's bitches, love Free Image Hosting at

Mike did his best South of the River in Duquesne Heights, Regent Square, Brookline, and Beechview. Generally strong in the South, Lamb tanked in the Hill and in St. Clair. Both Mike and Bill did their worst in primarily African-American neighborhoods.

Hop's 4th place finish gets him Free Image Hosting at

Hop didn't do too well overall, but he did his best in the primarily African-American neighborhoods, especially Lincoln-Lemmington-Belmar.

What does this all mean to those of us (including both me and Anonymous) who did not vote for Bob O'Connor? Who would have won without Bob O'Connor in the race. What does it mean for the future of Pittsburgh Politics? What is the point? Why am I asking all these questions? Will I end this post with a profanity?

The answer to the last question is "No... ya bastard".


Anonymous said...

Yes. Bob won. Big. (You could make an case he underperformed given his HUGE advantages, but who cares?)It was expected.

The true son of Roast Beef Sammiches has his dream job, but given the way his campaign was run ...

I think the dispute is over the fact that Peduto beat Lamb in 2/3rds of the city and you haven't mentioned that yet. Maybe you're waiting to unveil that fact later. suspense an all ... or maybe your trying to come with a way to obfuscate that cold, hard fact.

Lamb Partisans (Sciulli, Marchbein, Feder, Craig K, Frankel, Caliguiri, Team Mossie)went around saying "Peduto is Nader" but it just turned out not to be the case. Lamb -- in a clear 3rd -- hurt Peduto's chances not the other way around. (Peduto would have a bigger margin in the progressive areas, and picked up the rest of the anti-bob vote). He would still have lost, by at least 10 percent, but given Lamb's disappointing performance it is clear Bill is the heir apparent.

Lamb's base is small and he underperformed given his advantages. He should have taken the Senate race when they offered it.

Peduto has a bigger base and more of a city-wide reach.

With less money, labor, institutionl, and chamber support Bill beat Lamb in 2/3rd of Pittsburgh. There are 15 wards outside of the east end where Peduto beats Lamb.

In addition, he was the only councilmember to have an easy race. He BITCHSLAPPED the Lamb/Murphy plant who ran a $50,000 campaign against him. Peduto had over 60%, while Motznik squeeked by and Udin had a horrible night.

C'Mon, just give Bill his due, and realize there's plenty-a-room on the bandwagon.

Do yourself a favor, and make sure your not the last one off of the Murph-tanic. Them 3 rivers are mighty cold, even in May.

O said...

I'm confused about the 2/3rds comment...

The way that I see it, Lamb gets 13,104 votes, Peduto gets 14,179 votes... a difference of 1.84% of the total votes. Wouldn't necessarily call that a clear third place finish, but a third place finish nonetheless.

Unless you're talking by ward, in which Peduto bests (or performs better than) Lamb in 207 of the 404 wards, or roughly 51%. Peduto kicked Lamb's ass in some districts of the 11th ward and the reverse is true in the 19th. Again, not the 2/3rds margin you're looking for.

Ah! But you're talking about districts, not wards. I see... which, yes, is 20 out of 32 for Peduto... or 62.5%. That's slightly lower than 2/3rds, but OK.

But like I said before, Ward (or district for that matter) doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot, you get no electoral votes, that's for damned sure, but it gives you a rough idea as to how different neighborhoods voted, and a better idea as to what segments of the neighborhood voted for who. I'm just trying to show where the votes came from, not necessarily trying to shill for Lamb. Additionally I'm trying to show that the bases for both Lamb and Peduto, in this election, are not as broad as we all thought they were and there are some clear divisions underlying the results of the election.

At the end of the day, even with both of their powers combined, Mike and Bill still narrowly lose to Bob 28,344 to 27,283, which is about 200 votes more than Bob's loss to the Murph-dog back in 2001.

But hey! The maps are fun to look at, eh?

O said...


I've been saying and writing "Wards" when I've meant "Districts". I've been measuring this by DISTRICTS, dammit. Grrrr... Go back and read my postings, and suddenly I stop sounding like a schmuck. Or at least as much of one.

I have got to lay off the G&Ts before posting.

Interdum dormitat bonus Homerus

Maria said...

Well, yes. Of course the one with the bucks tends to win. My point was more that without bucks, Peduto was unable to run a true citywide campaign. Since he didn't run one, the criticism that he doesn't have broad citywide support falls a bit flat. He made a tactical decision to concentrate his efforts in a few key spots and he did quite well in those areas. I think that it's still a bit of an unknown what his appeal would be to voters in areas where his message wasn't heard.

One other factor that's not being mentioned here is that while O'Connor did do well in the primarily African-American districts, if I'm not mistaken, all the PARTY ENDORSED candidates did well in those same districts. Payne beat incumbent Udin, Riccardi beat the incumbent Conroy, etc. I would love to see the campaign expenditures in those races to see how much influence cash had vs. slate card. Also, getting to your "what would the race have looked like if money was no object?" question, I assume that money does tend to follow the ACDC endorsement, but by how much? How influential is the slate card in and of itself in this ultra Democrat city? Why was Peduto the incumbent candidate who was able to beat the slate card whereas Udin and Conroy could not?

2 political junkies

O said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head Maria with what I've been going for: supposing Bill had more money, could he have tapped into more voters? Would his message have been more widespread? How would the race have looked if there were more than the paltry 58K people out there registering their vote? In a race without Bob O'Connor, which candidate would have had the better shot at (1) the ACDC endorsement, (2) heavy financial & other endorsement backing, and (3) ultimately winning the race? And finally, who would have done better if the ghosts of Murphy and Act 47 hadn't been overshadowing this campaign?

To your last question, which is a bit off topic, but still germaine, I would say that Bill's Council seat win was driven by some other factors (in no particular order):
(1) He an incumbent;
(2) He's anti-Murphy;
(3) He has name recognition;
(4) His name recognition and visibility were boosted by his mayoral run;
(5) Harlan Stone ran a half assed campaign (or at least seemed to)
(6) Council District 8 is fairly mundane, without the deep socioeconomic divides in other districts, and therefore fairly easy to be councilman.

[This last one is more of a personal critique than anything; I've often openly wondered if Bill would be as successful a councilman if he represented, say, Beltzhoover or Carrick or Elliot, or any other district that has a higher rate of low & moderate income persons.]

I think Udin, in particular, was hurt by his close affiliation with Murphy and his inability to control a fractious district. Sala pissed a lot of people off and Payne was able to capitalize on the district's frustration (especially with the Hill Grocery store issue).

As for District Justice? I'm sure that people just went for name recognition.

Ain't local politics fun?

Anonymous said...

Lamb started with much larger name ID because of his county-wide position. Almost everyone in the city had voted for Lamb before. Only 1/9th of the city could say that about Peduto.

Lamb had more money. He had union support. He had the last vestiges of Murphy-machinery ... Yet he lost to peduto by over 1,000 votes or 1.84 %. If it's not clear to you that Lamb was in a clear 3rd, ask him if he would trade places with Bill Peduto on election night.

Lamb lost to peduto in 20 of 32 wards. Given the fact Peduto started with less money and no name ID outside his district -- it is startling that Peduto came on so quickly and Lamb fell so short.

Lamb came in third when he shouldn't have. By his own admission: "My polling shows us in a clear 2nd."

Either he is a bad candidate or has bad campaign personnel ... or both.

He was listless at times on the trail and the ads were terrible. Mike Lamb talking about cell phones from a dungeon didn't move folks. Bill's upbeat and positive style did -- that's why he better able than Lamb to move outside his base. (Yes, Bob beat everyone almost everywhere.)

Cost per vote, Peduto outperforms everyone for what it's worth.

More importantly, Brookline had no idea who Bill Peduto was before the election, but Squirrel Hill and Highland Park knew who Lamb was. Peduto is able to move into the South Hills now because he now has name ID there and he is known as the guy who came in second. He has credibility now. Lamb doesn't. He disappointed everyone. He said he was in a clear second. He said Peduto was Nader, but Lamb came in third. That hurts your credibility. Also, Peduto will still be in government and on TV every week and Lamb will be at a law firm.

I guess we're disconnecting b/c I'm talking primarily Lamb v. Peduto head-to-head and what it means for the future.

You say: "I'm just trying to show where the votes came from, not necessarily trying to shill for Lamb."

And Bill beats Lamb in 20 of the city's 32 wards. So we can say that: Bill did better in more neighborhoods than Lamb. Rich, Poor, Middle-Class: Peduto beats Lamb.

Agree with me on this then: Peduto has a long way to go to beat Bob, but he has proven he has a better ability than Lamb to run city-wide.

No matter how you look at (skew)the data, you have to admit that.

Also, still waiting on that turnout correction. You know better than that I'm sure. That's why I think your a Lamb partisan.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying Craig K ran a half-assed campaign?

Harlan raised over 50k. And he was endorsed by the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, the 14th Ward Independent Democratic Committee, State Representative Dan Frankel, State Representative Frank Pistella, County Council President Rich Fitzgerald, the Caliguiri Family, Sophie Masloff, and had Murphy Administration officials openly working on his campaign.

Yet he got bitched by Peduto. BIGTIME.

Your reasons for Peduto's triumph:
(2) He's anti-Murphy (TRUE)
(3) He has name recognition (TRUE)
(4) His name recognition and visibility were boosted by his mayoral run (WELL HE ALREADY HAD 80 PERCENT NAME ID IN THE DISTRICT AND YOU CAN'T USE THIS TWICE.)
(5) Harlan Stone ran a half assed campaign (BLAME IT ON CRAIG K? WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T PUT THE BLAME ON YOU -- YEAH E YEAH)

Either way, he still BITCHSLAPPED Stone on a night when all the other council incumbents got beat or squeeked by. And peduto didn't just win, he won BIGTIME.

Despite the drag of running two campaigns Peduto still beat your guy head to head in more wards and precincts across the city. Yet, another reason to look at Peduto as a stronger candidate.

Jonathan Potts said...

I'm at a loss as to why you are so defensive about this. (And I say that as someone who voted for Peduto.) I will say that you really shouldn't overestimate the visibility of the county prothonatory, even among likely voters. I would submit--sheepishly, since I reneged on a promise to volunteer for the Peduto campaign--that neither candidate did a good job expanding their base of support, even considering that they had fewer resources to work with.

Anonymous said...

I just get upset when I see people trying to put Peduto and Lamb as equals. One guy got more votes than the other. One guy surprised people; one disappointed.

Mistick and Roddey started election night on PCNC saying Bill was going to be a distant third and possibly out of a council seat. Look what happened. I think the Lamb-pushback is coming from the same folks who sold that rationale to pundits like Mistick and Roddey.

There is something emerging in this town: new (not necessarily young) voices in politics. It should be cultivated. If Dems what to crawl out of the hole we are in nationally, this is where we start. If we are to beat Rick S next year we need folks like Peduto to be working hard for the dem candidate. Peduto can motivate these people; Frankel and Lamb proved they cannot.

I think that should be recognized and built upon, not obfuscated away for the sake of salvaging Lamb's career.

Democrats need to re-build the party locally. This is where we can start.

Obviously, Bob beat everyone. But Bill proved these new voices can be part of our party and have a substantial impact.

This can be the beginning of a grassroots Democratic re-birth in this county. I'm tired of Melissa Hart and Tim Murphy, aren't you?

That is why I am so passionate. BTW, I live south of the rivers.

Anonymous said...

It seems the Peduto-istas feel the need to pound their chests. Reality check, people: Bill got 24%, and barely beat Lamb.

He won his council district because it is the district that is the least likely to pay attention to the party endorsement; the endorsed slate does better in lower income/socio-economic status areas - the more money & education the voter has, the less likely they are to be swayed by the committee. Comparing Peduto's council run to Motznik and Udin is comparing apples to oranges and to mangos. Motznik was openly supporting a Republican (Diven), while Udin was to closely tied to Murphy. Peduto's district is the highest income district (average) in the city, and they don't want city jobs for their relatives. Plus Harlan was too similar to Peduto - both pro-Act 47 (which kept the unions on the fence), both socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

You can speculate all you want on what would have happened if either Lamb or Peduto dropped out. This much is clear: Peduto's voters would NEVER vote for O'Connor in a Lamb-O'Connor race, while Lamb's voters might have for Bob in a O'Connor-Peduto race. Peduto's support was narrow, ideological, and fanatical.

Lamb's was softer (obviously), but he has room to grow. He is a middle-left reform candidate, and guys like are better in General Elections against Republicans as opposed to primaries when idealoges are searching for the perfect candidate. This primary had a leftist (Peduto), a centrist (Lamb) and the old guard not-quite-conservative (O'Connor). Given that line-up, a Lamb candidacy could never catch hold. In the absence of one of the other candidates (the left wing Peduto or right-leaning O'Connor), THEN and only then could Lamb be the winner. Peduto could only win in a five or six way race like we had in 1989, with several old-guard candidates. Sure, there are liberals South of the Rivers, and on the North Side, but not that many. The only way Peduto could win is if the other parts of the political spectrum are split several ways.

Anonymous said...

Peduto is Left? Peduto was one of the DLC's 100 New Dems to Watch for chrissakes, and he has attended the DLC annual conference every year since he was a staffer for Cohen.

Lamb and Peduto's only difference was communication style. peduto was young and energetic and Lamb was like this:

"It's gotta start here and its gotta starrr ... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ."

Pedutocrats aren't the ones rationalizing that a 3rd place finish is better than a 2nd place.

They're just pointing out the ridiculousness of your arguement.

Sucks to be 2nd, but it sure sucks a lot more to be third. You can pretend that peduto and Lamb are drastically different on the issues, but they are not. Ferlo is left. Peduto and Lamb are both moderate.

Anonymous said...

If Lamb has more room to grow, why did Lamb lose to Peduto in 15 wards outside of the progressive areas? (Lamb lost 20 out of the city's 32 wards to Peduto)

Why did Lamb lose to Peduto in 51% of the city's precincts?

Peduto has a East End Base; Lamb a South hills one. Peduto, however, beat Lamb more often in the neutral areas. That's why he was the 2nd place finisher and that's why he is perceived to be a player.

Also, an anecdote. Last Thursday on Stan Savran's radio show Beano Cook said he didn't want to talk about sports and he started talking about how great Bill Peduto was and what a great future he has. If Beano Cook felt the need to stop Savrans show cold just to talk about Peduto, we might want to consider that Peduto's message resonates with the white working class as well as the upper class.

Do you hear anyone talking about Lamb like that? (You can be honest with yourself)

Give Peduto time and money and he will be your next mayor.

Coming in 2nd gave him the opportunity to get more money, and he has four years to build a city-wide campaign.

Did he blow Lamb out of the water? No. But he beat him by enough to be the clear 2nd.

Politics is a game of inches. Peduto may not have beat Lamb by a mile, but Peduto's yard and a-half margin got him into the endzone.

a 1 vote margin is a win, a 2 vote margin is a landslide. Over a thousand votes is enough to make the Lamb has a better future arguement seem sad.

Maybe that's why the Pedutorats are so upset.

O said...

For the record: before the election, I actually picked Bob/Bill/Mike as win/place/show. I also had Kendrick in at 4th place.

Didn't think that the turnout would be that bad, though.

Anonymous said...

All this Peduto plumping is ridiculous. Without Bob in the race, most of his votes would have gone to Lamb. It's that simple.

How about the upcoming City Controller race? Will Peduto folk support Shields or Lamb? Or will Bill run too?