The dudes who would be Hizzoner had a candidates forum yesterday at the history center, and again, I have to say it seems like while he took a few shots upside the head, Lukey again held his own, and even managed to fluster DeSantis to the point that he spoke out of turn.

Ravenstahl said that nonprofits, “to the contrary of my opponent’s remarks, have recently signed an agreement to continue to contribute to the city, so the suggestion that they’ve lost faith in the city and don’t want to continue to contribute is false.”

DeSantis turned to Ravenstahl and accused him of “mischaracterizing what I said. I said very clearly that you had signed the agreement but there was no amount specified,” DeSantis said.

After a moderator told DeSantis to let Ravenstahl finish, the mayor said his leadership style with the nonprofits is “cooperative rather than confrontational,” glancing at DeSantis as he said it and drawing a laugh from a crowd of nearly 200 at the forum sponsored by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The PG says there were 400 people there. 200. 400. No big difference.

Then DeSantis went and schooled Lukey on what it means to be a leader:

Youth “is not an excuse for poor judgment, for bad behavior either. You either perform in this job or you do not,” the 48-year-old South Side tech firm head said to Mr. Ravenstahl. ” … It’s about how you do your job and what you do in your job, and what you reflect in your behavior, in your words and in every single action you take. That is leadership.”


But then Lukey went and did his “party all the time in the Burgh, yo! We’ve got a 27-year-old mayor!” shtick.

Mr. Ravenstahl got his own chance to play to the crowd when he heard this question: What is the single most important thing to do, to improve the city’s image nationwide?

“We should elect a 27-year-old mayor,” he replied to big cheers.

Yeah. That’ll do it.

Man in Seattle: Hey, I’m thinking of opening up a new business somewhere on the East coast. Any ideas?

Another man in Seattle: Dude, I hear Pittsburgh has a 27-year-old mayor. How could you possibly go wrong there?


Also, reader DW wrote:

I heard Lukey say “the phrase” FOUR times this AM to Jon Shumway on KDKA radio … so I’m drinkin’!!!

And I am too. Join me, Burghers, for Lukey has not forgotten us after all.


  1. The Bag of Health and Politics
    October 10, 2007 10:30 am

    I think Lukey benefits from low expectations. The fact that he didn’t show up hammered is a major victory. Kind of like when George W. Bush pronounced a word correctly. I also saw the same thing in 2002 with Lt. Gov. Knoll.

  2. Pensgirl
    October 10, 2007 10:52 am

    Yeah, Bag, whenever he does anything wrong all the grannies come out and verbally whack us with their purses, Benny Hill-style. “Leave poor Lukey alone! He’s doing the best he can! Sweet young man, reminds me of my grandson….”

    I still think the way to make people care about the Yukon is to tell them that we could lose ANTI-TERRORISM funding because of it.

  3. NoSide15212
    October 10, 2007 11:06 am

    If Luke’s “big policy moment” was a wise ass remark about DeSantis’ alleged confrontational style and the subsequent response it elicited from the audience, then once again, Pittsburgh is focussing on the inane rather than the substance. Frankly, I’d prefer someone get a little confrontational with an alleged “non-profit” called UPMC, which managed to pull down over $600 million in “not profit” profit last year alone. A collective $5 million contribution from ALL non-profits is not only laughable, it is less than 1% of net income earned by the alleged non-profit UPMC. It is high time someone with an ounce of negotiation saavy and an understanding of the magnitude of a $500 million unfunded pension liability started negotiating a different deal with UPMC, one that atleast equals, say, the $5.52 million which the City pays under contract to UPMC to manage it’s workman’s comp package. You know, the contract that was renewed by the Mayor a few months before his big golf outing with the lobbyist from UPMC at the Lemieux charity event. Yeh, that one. Laugh it up, Pittsburgh. Zing!

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