Dick? Shut up, already. God.

When Tom Murphy was mayor, his spokesperson Craig was pretty low-key behind the scenes, talking when he needed to, but letting the Mayor be in the spotlight. You know, not stealing his thunder. At least it seemed to me.

But man, Dick Skrinjar, Mayor Ravenstahl’s Chief of Making Shit Up, sure is in the news as much as the mayor is.

The trash-talking started early, with Dick Skrinjar, mouthpiece for Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, questioning whether the visiting entourage from Cincinnati was running late because that city hadn’t yet mastered the concept of timekeeping.

Next came the suggestion that Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory was behind schedule because he had spent a late night at the Carson Palmer House of Ladies’ Dresses.

“The Carson Palmer House of Ladies’ Dresses”?!?!? Please, someone over there in the City-County Building, please tell me if Dick did in fact utter the words “Carson Palmer House of Ladies’ Dresses.”


What does that even mean? That is the lamest, dumbest-assest put down I’ve heard since “Oh, yeah?! …”

Is there some history here between Carson Palmer and dresses that I’m unaware of? Or does Dick Skrinjar, Mayor Ravenstahl’s Chief of Making Shit Up, need to just shut the hell up already?

“Carson Palmer House of Ladies’ Dresses”. I think Dick is ready for an appearance on MTV’s “Yo Momma.”


  1. Me in Dormont
    September 25, 2006 1:04 pm

    You’re a little off base about Murphy’s former mouthpiece, Craig Kwiecinski. Craig wasn’t in the news very often because Craig would often give condescending non-answers when the media would call seeking comment. He was the master of boring quotes that said nothing. He was incapable of giving a straight answer.

    The Murphy administration was tight-lipped, so Craig was probably just following orders.

    I worked for a national news organization and I remember that Craig couldn’t even crack a smile when I was looking for a quote for a light, feel-good story about Pittsburgh. The guy has no sense of humor.

    At least Dick knows how to have a little fun.

    Plus, Craig was really spotty when it came to promptly returning calls. When Dick was a spokesman for PennDOT, he was on the horn right away.

  2. pittgirl
    September 25, 2006 1:23 pm

    I’m not questioning whether or not Dick has a sense of humor, I’m questioning the QUALITY of his sense of humor with put downs like that. And like I said in the post, it was just my impression of Craig. He always got back to me promptly and you’re right, he wasn’t a very SMILEY fellow.

  3. notayinzer
    September 25, 2006 2:04 pm

    Maybe Craig wasn’t smiling because he was so frustrated by the bad rap the the Murphy administration got even though they were essentially responsible for all of the wonderful initiatives that O’Connor has received credit for in the last few months. Do people really think that things like downtown housing just happened?

    But to the point of the post – I’d rather have a condescending non-answer than non-funny smack talk. I’m not sure who is being made fun of there – Carson Palmer or ladies dresses.

  4. PittDude
    September 25, 2006 3:33 pm

    I’m not defending him, but could he have been making reference to Jack Lambert’s famous line that “quarterbacks should wear dresses”? Either way, it’s still pretty lame.

  5. pittgirl
    September 25, 2006 3:48 pm

    PittDude, it is possible. Like I said, clearly, I’m missing something here. And yes, still lame.

  6. Not in Dormont
    September 25, 2006 8:59 pm

    Word, notayinzer. It’s like the big deal that has been made about the “Redd Up” campaign which is no different than Murphy’s “Operation Clean Sweep” program that was under the same supervision of Guy Costa. The only difference is that you didn’t see Murphy pandering to the cameras by nailing boards into vacant houses.

    By the time Craig became spokesperson for Murphy, Murphy was already the most-hated person in SW PA. How could anyone in that job muster a smile? Perhaps Craig didn’t show his sense of humor and stayed in the background because he was professional. And by the way, Craig is a very good-humored guy.

    Me in Dormont claims that Craig was never in the news because he gave boring, condescending answers. Is Dan Onorato’s spokesperson boring and condescending, too? Because I don’t even know the name of Onorato’s spokesperson since his or her name isn’t in the paper every day like Skrinjar. Can anyone even name Onorato’s spokesperson? Truth of the matter is that Skrinjar needs to back off and remember that he’s not the mayor. Maybe the PennDOT Skrinjar returned calls quickly because he liked the limelight a little too much. But if he was such a great spokesman for PennDot, why did he get fired? I mean, how difficult can being spokesperson for PennDOT be? That job entails all of telling people when the Parkway will be closed and that the salt trucks are ready when a snowstorm is expected.

    PittGirl is right.

  7. Me in Dormont
    September 26, 2006 5:34 pm

    You all have very good points and I have to admit that I posted in haste.

    I probably would have had a very different relationship with Craig had I been a beat reporter for a local newspaper.

    Also, Dick’s joke was lame.

    This is off topic:

    Isn’t there a line in the mayoral flack job description that says you’ve got to play the game? You know, make a joke when mayors place bets over football games or see the humor when the city gets on one of those stupid Forbes lists?

    You’re right, Not in Dormont, Murphy had his own clean up campaigns — the anti-litter campaign, the crackdown on jaywalking, etc. The difference between O’Connor and Murphy’s campaigns is that people knew about O’Connor’s efforts. Isn’t it the mayor’s — or at least his flack’s — job to communicate to residents?

    I find grip-and-grins and photo ops as distasteful as the next person, but at least the average Yinzer had an idea that something was being done when O’Connor nailed that pressboard to the vacant buildings. I’m probably a Pollyanna, but I think those kind of images go a long way toward boosting residents’ moral and getting them to clean up their neighborhoods.

    Murphy and Craig were piss-poor at doing that. I know that they faced a lot more pressing issues, but they could have made an effort.

    BTW, I think Murphy was one of Pittsburgh’s best mayors. I would even dare to say the best.

    One more thing … I have no idea why Dick was fired from PennDOT, but I once heard a rumor that he stepped on the wrong toes and it had nothing to do with his PR skills.

  8. latchkey
    September 28, 2006 9:37 am

    Just look at it this way, Dick is a dick. Enough said.