That Luke Ravenstahl is one hilarious bastard.

There is a big black cloud of political fighting hanging over the City/County Building today, as a result of Lukey’s plan to name a former driver and bankrupt business owner (at least that’s what I’m told) Dennis Regan as the director of public safety.

And then the claws came out:

  • Doug Shields, NOT a Lukey ally, says the city code made that position irrelevant and “chided” the Lukey administration for not knowing the code.
  • Commander Catherine McNeilly wrote an email to the mayor and the entire city council claiming that Dennis circumvented her attempts to discipline one Det. Francis Rende who called in sick 37 times over 4 years to work side jobs. Something Det. Rende admits to. Det. Rende is the brother of Marlene Cassidy, Regan’s live in love and Mayor O’Connor’s former secretary. Marlene’s son and daughter also were hired by the city. Marlene is the HBIC.
  • Catherine McNeilly doesn’t much like those of the O’Connor administration because her husband, former police chief Robert McNeilly was fired by O’Connor when he became mayor, due to some past issues the two had when O’Connor was on city council.
  • Then Peduto publicly denounces the appointment because Regan has no experience.
  • Then Jim Motznik, who is an ally of Lukey’s and HATES Shields, claims that Shields is just trying to duck the vote.

And to all this, Lukey says:

“My number one priority is to make sure that politics stays out of the decision-making process,” the mayor said.

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Oh, that was awesome. I needed a laugh like that. Good luck with that, Lukey.


  1. Matt H
    October 10, 2006 10:14 am

    Motznik has no business commenting on anyone or making a statement like that.

    Maybe someone needs to remind Jim Motznik about the time when he ducked a news camera when they were asking him about gas fill ups…Motzniks response? Run run run away.

  2. Laura B
    October 10, 2006 10:29 am

    Oh my god, he didn’t mention anything about “moving forward”???

  3. SeaBass
    October 10, 2006 10:29 am

    Politics played absolutely no part in Regan’s nomination.

    Irony:(noun), Criticing others for being “political” after nominating unqualified political hack for PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR.

  4. pittgirl
    October 10, 2006 10:31 am

    Actually Laura, he did:

    The concerns that emerged yesterday are “something that I’m going to take a serious look at, and it’s safe to say that nothing will be going forward” this week.

  5. latchkey
    October 10, 2006 10:51 am

    It would be politics as usual if this Regan appointment goes through. Come on, really, the guy has NO experience. God, he ran his own business into the ground. Sure McNeilly has a beef with the O’Connor administration but hopefully she will realize that really her husband is so much better out of the City of Pittsburgh. It is a crying shame that everyone in Marlene Cassidy’s family has to depend on nepotism to get a job – guess none of them could make it in the real world. I see nothing changing – I see Regan getting this job; the detective getting made the new Chief replacing Costa; Marlene getting an even larger salary than her $70,000 + benefits when the job should be paying $32,000; her unskilled, uneducated kids getting promotions and raises. All is well with the City of Pittsburgh!!! I just thank God that I don’t have to live in the City or spend my hard earned money there.

  6. Maria
    October 10, 2006 12:31 pm

    There’s a real easy fix to ALL of this:

    Pressure Dan Onarato and the Board of Elections to have an election next near — not in 2009 — and vote these jokers OUT.

  7. cityworker
    October 10, 2006 2:29 pm

    They are not jokers. The truth of the matter is that Regan would have gone through with no fuss from council if Peduto and Shields didn’t have aspirations of being Mayor. If O’Conner made this same appointment not a word would have been said. The position has no power anyway. It does not pay anything, it doesn’t have a staff. He won’t be making policy. The problem is in the position itself, not the one who is filling it.

  8. Matt H
    October 10, 2006 2:47 pm


    How can you say that Marlenes kids are uneducated and unskilled? Do you actually know their job description at their respective jobs and what they do? Do you know that Ryan Cassidys job is a very complex/hands on job that does require some skill?

    Or are you a big enough moron to think that they just sit there and do nothing all day while everyone else just sits there and let them throw their feet up because they are Cassidy kids? Something tells me that you are a total moron. Maybe that something that told me was your stupid post.

  9. bigslacker
    October 10, 2006 3:04 pm

    too funny! While he’s at it, Luke wants to keep God out of church, alcohol out of beer, and losing baseball out of PNC Park.

    It would be like Bill Cowher saying “My number one priority is to make sure that football stays out of the decision-making process”

    or Bill Deasy saying “My number one priority is to make sure that songwriting stays out of the decision-making process”

    or pittgirl saying “My number one priority is to make sure that her sparkling sharp wit and stunning beauty stay out of the decision-making process”


  10. Maria
    October 10, 2006 4:13 pm

    ” The truth of the matter is that Regan would have gone through with no fuss from council if Peduto and Shields didn’t have aspirations of being Mayor. If O’Conner made this same appointment not a word would have been said.”

    Well I guess the Post-Gazette paper is running for mayor too because they think it’s a ridiculous appointment as well:

    And, I guess all of city council is running for mayor because they want a legal opinion:

    The reason they need a legal opinion is because the there’s a dispute as to whether the job even exists in the city charter now (the position was apparently axed) so maybe the City Charter is running for mayor…

    And, state laws do give loads of responsibility to that title including seats on the Fire and Police pension boards.

  11. Mike
    October 10, 2006 4:15 pm

    I’ve maintained that Ravenstahl probably wins an election next year if he doesn’t screw up. He should want the election next year, so he’ll have a mandate.

    Denny Regan knows far more about city government and politics than he is given credit for. But the battle scars from the last months of the O’Connor administration remain. This was going to happen when Regan was appointed to a new job. This was a real big mistake. One cannot blame the other mayoral aspirants (Jack Wagner, Bill Peduto and Doug Sheilds, though I’m unsure about Sheilds) for making noises about it.

    If this keeps up, one of those three will become Pittsburgh’s Mayor next November.

  12. Mike
    October 10, 2006 4:17 pm

    If there is a special election, and not a regular general election for Mayor, all of Council may well run. That said, I think a May primary followed by a November election–with the winner taking office immediately after the election is certified.

  13. pittgirl
    October 10, 2006 4:17 pm

    I’d give my blog for some completely new random awesome unknown person to come out of nowhere and win Mayor.

  14. Matt H
    October 10, 2006 4:19 pm

    I could see these people run for Mayor on council.



  15. PtBreeze
    October 10, 2006 4:20 pm

    Wagner will never leave statewide office to be mayor. If he’s not in then Lamb becomes a player.

  16. Maria
    October 10, 2006 4:36 pm

    Lamb will have to explain to any potential backers how he had three times the money as Peduto and still came in third.

  17. PtBreeze
    October 10, 2006 5:00 pm

    Wrong again Maria. Peduto and Lamb raised and spent almost the same amount.

  18. SeaBass
    October 10, 2006 5:16 pm

    Wrong PtBreeze:

    Neither candidate raised much money, but Lamb had about 42 percent more cash.

    From PG:

    “In the reporting period from Jan. 1 to May 2, O’Connor spent $921,315 compared to Lamb’s $299,930 and Peduto’s $176,102.

    Lamb, by contrast, raised $252,764 during the reporting period, giving him a grand total of $386,198 when added to his starting balance. Peduto raised $160,863.”

    If you consider a 120k deficit “the same” then I’d love to work for you.

    It isn’t just the money. Lamb was a countywide candidate with name ID, where as Peduto had ID only in 1/9th of the city. Yet, when it was said an done, Lamb lost to peduto. It’s not about the money; it is the campaign performance. Noone though O’Connor could lose, so there was never a push to get either candidate out of the race. Peduto had energy; lamb was flat. Now, the institutional support has swung behind Peduto because they saw Lamb’s performance.

    Shields is a part of the Ravenstahl administration, so he will never run. Motznik would only run just to get under the skin of the people who — to him — “backstabbed” him.

    Can Peduto get enough Cash and kep the momentum?

    And I wouldn’t write off Wagner, who would rain on everyone’s parade and probably win. There is more to being mayor of Pittsburgh than some think.

  19. PtBreeze
    October 10, 2006 5:24 pm

    Thanks for the correction Seabass but I knew it was not 3 to 1. I’ll disagree with you though that Lamb was better known than Peduto at the start. Peduto was far better known to City voters than Lamb was in early 2005. While Lamb ran countywide, it was in a very low visability race. Peduto had been on Council and was a regular in the media. It is suprising that Lamb was able to raise more than Peduto. My guess is he had a better work ethic.

  20. Maria
    October 10, 2006 5:46 pm


    Peduto beats Lamb in 20 of the 32 wards

    Peduto 20 (1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,16,17,21,22,23,25,26)

    Lamb 12 (3*,15,18,19,20,24,27,28,29,30,31,32)

    THERE ARE 15 Wards outside of “East End” base Peduto wins over Lamb:

    Number of Wards outside of “South of the Rivers” base Lamb wins over Peduto

  21. SlipnFall
    October 10, 2006 5:55 pm

    I didn’t live here for the last Mayor’s race but I know this, any comparison of Peduto and Lamb’s numbers in a race with O’conner and without O’conner is pointless.

    Wouldn’t O’conner voters gravitate to Ravenstal and Lamb before Peduto?

  22. Anonymous
    October 10, 2006 6:09 pm

    If I recall correctly a big chunk of Lamb’s campaign money came from Lamb & his family. His brother’s a big muckety muck at PNC Bank…

    Peduto’s family doesn’t have deep pockets.

  23. Anthony
    October 10, 2006 7:22 pm

    I have 2 words that will make all that campaign cash worthless and have all the aforementioned potential candidates crying in their oatmeal:


  24. SeaBass
    October 10, 2006 7:34 pm

    No one takes David Caliguiri seriously.

    He was Murphy’s campaign manager and I think Murphy’s negatives are still in the HIGH 70s. Also, there is not much of an experience gap between Caliguiri and Ravenstahl. I think he was a lobbyist after having trouble with the PA Bar. Name recognition only goes so far, and I think the symmetry with his father’s death doesn’t carry the day. Ultimately, I think the people around him will tell him not to. Despite what some have told him he needs to start smaller or put in the work in an adminstrative role.

  25. Lino Gunn
    October 10, 2006 11:37 pm

    Damn Pittgirl, what school did you go to for that degree in Advanced Stiring Shit Up?

  26. PtBreeze
    October 11, 2006 8:44 am

    David seems like a nice guy but he should start on some smaller office like council like his Dad did.

  27. Matt H
    October 11, 2006 10:30 am

    No way would David Caliguri would run for Mayor on his first try at office. No one is even mentioning his name for the race.

  28. pittgirl
    October 11, 2006 11:12 am

    Regarding David Caliguri needing to hold some other office in order to be mayor: this is not meant as an insult in any way to Lukey, however, if Lukey’s rapid ascent from a college grad to city councilman to city council president to Mayor has shown me anything personally, it is that pretty much anybody can be mayor. This could be simplistic thinking on my part. But hell, Arnie has shown me that anybody can be a governor.

  29. Mark Rauterkus
    October 11, 2006 1:49 pm

    Jim Ferlo is a player in the mayor’s race, when it happens.

    Of course the O’Connor vote swings to the side of Luke, not either Lamb nor Peduto.

    David C, no way. Might as well be talking about Corey O’Connor in the next breath.

    There is also a Controller’s race brewing for 2007. That’s where both Motznik and Shields are headed, not the mayor’s race.

    Plus, there is a County Executive race in 2007 too. That hits as Dan O goes for the open seat of PA Treasurer, a post now held by a guy in the debate with Rick tomorrow night. An open field for County Executive might be of great interest to Michael Lamb.

    And, I love the unknown blogger comment up stream in the thread. But, to think a no-name with no program is going to win is twice as bad as Lynn Swann pulling out a victory, as at least he has a name.

  30. Matt H
    October 13, 2006 11:54 am

    I’m sure Danny O has his eyes on the next Governors race actually.

  31. maverick
    December 4, 2006 11:06 am

    well, lukey did it again…announced his candidacy for mayor and once again said “moving Pittsburgh forward.” where’s his writer?????