That Luke Ravenstahl is one smart bastard.

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Whether or not he actually came to this decision on his own, what with all the rumors that he’s merely a puppet, I’m thinking Lukey’s decision to hire Nate Harper, an African American, to the position of police chief was quite a brilliant political move.

He inherited an extremely non-diverse administration and by naming Mr. Harper to this position, not only does he look good to everyone for choosing a minority, he looks good to those people who cite racism in the ranks of the police in dealing with crime. He’s now got the NAACP and the African American leaders of the Burgh in his corner.

So when election time comes next year, he’ll be able to say he’s making the tough decisions and that he’s dedicated to running a diverse administration.

And … wait for it … he’s committed to moving this city forward.

It’s genius. He’s the boy genius.


  1. bigslacker
    October 18, 2006 9:26 am

    as long as he doesn’t let politics affect his decision making process…..

  2. Mike
    October 18, 2006 11:09 am

    Smart move. Still, I’m not ready to say Luke gets elected next year (though I still think he probably wins). Luke is the de facto inheritor of the Bob O’Connor coalition. Bob had deep ties in Pittsburgh’s Catholic, Jewish, and African American communities. The coalition he had was truly special, and will be extremely difficult to duplicate.

    Other problems persist. Fighting crime is always a big issue in city elections. But, for a major city, Pittsburgh has a low crime rate. The city’s finances, pot hole repairs, influence with state officials, and attracting jobs are much bigger issues. Ravenstahl has yet to really address those issues, and the door is slowly creaking open for a challenger.

  3. TheBurgher
    October 18, 2006 11:12 am

    I totally disagree with you on this. If you read the article it says he had to be lobbied by BPEP and other African-American groups.

    It seems like he backed into the decision. It was the right move, but I don’t know if I give someone a ton of credit for merely solving internal problems.

    And I think the assertion — “He’s now got the NAACP and the African American leaders of the Burgh in his corner.” — might be a bit premature. There’s a lot more to do to make the Administration representative of the City.

  4. PtBreeze
    October 18, 2006 12:00 pm

    The problem Luke has is that he can’t hold the O’Connor coalition together. He has already lost Regan (no great loss) and appears to have lost Shields. And word is that many of Bob’s money people are meeting with Peduto and Lamb.

  5. Silent S
    October 18, 2006 3:49 pm

    I wouldn’t be so fast to say that Bob’s $$ people are meeting with Peduto. He would probably be the last guy they would get behind unless he comes out guns ablazing in the polls.

    Losing Regan is a big deal actually…appears to have lost Shields? Don’t be so quick to say that.

    Harper didn’t back into this job, the rank & file have wanted him for many years now. Nate is an excellent choice and he wasn’t hired just because he is black.

  6. Maria
    October 18, 2006 4:54 pm

    Harper does seem to be an excellent choice, but the question was whether or not that had anything to do with Luke choosing him.

    Anyway, I’d say PtBreeze is more on the money with who the money people are talking to from what I hear.