Dear Lukey,

Dear Lukey,

I was going to apologize, I was.

You see, a few days ago, a reader came to me and said, “I heard Luke is going to Mardi Gras.”  To which I responded, “YOU LIE!  No way.”  Problem was, this reader is well-connected and told me about your separation from your wife THREE WEEKS before it hit the news.  So I took a wait and see approach.  Today rolled around and I said, “Gee.  I wonder if the Mayor is around or if he really did leave town.”

I emailed the Dread Lord a day or so ago and asked him if you were leaving town to head to New Orleans.  The Dread Lord never responded, and he ALWAYS responds to my emails.  That gave me pause.  So I emailed around to some media and other connected people.  Some had heard the rumor too and couldn’t find you.  Council was looking for you to sign something and THEY couldn’t find you.  I asked twitter.  “HAS ANYONE SEEN THE MAYOR IN PITTSBURGH?!”

No one had.  Even Yarone wasn’t around and your press secretary claimed to the media that she didn’t know where you were but that she knew you were in Pittsburgh.

This is all happening at about 10:30 this morning, but the media started asking questions about your whereabouts last night around 6:00 p.m.!

This goes on until 4:00 p.m today.  That was about 22 hours that the word was out that Council was looking for you and no one knew where you were.  You’re mayor.  You don’t just disappear like that.  Seemed fishy.  And keep in mind, Mr. Mayor, that the reason these questions were being asked was due in part to the fact that you weren’t around during Snowmageddon.  And now, here we are, one week later, and no one can find you. WHERE IS THE MAYOR NOW, the city and the media and the bloggers asked.

Finally, you called a press conference, popped your head out to say, “I’m here.  I’ve been here.  I’ve been working and I’m PISSED.”

If it had ended there, I’d be writing an apology to you because you were just out doing your job and were unreachable or just didn’t have time to respond to the media and council asking where you were.

But it didn’t end there.  You said:

“I was here,” Mr. Ravenstahl said. “I did three things today. I responded to your ridiculous inquiries. I drove around the city of Pittsburgh and did an evaluation of the streets and how they looked. And I spent the majority of my time with the public safety director” discussing the death of a Hazelwood man whose companion repeatedly called for an ambulance during the snow emergency.

Asked why his staff did not disclose his whereabouts, the mayor said the information was withheld “just to kind of prove a point, that you all need to be more responsible.”

No, you DIDN’T respond to those ridiculous inquiries.  All of this could have been avoided if you had just bothered to just let your press secretary say, “The Mayor is not available to sign the document because he is meeting with the public safety director.” End of story.  See ya later, Mayor.

But that didn’t happen.  She did not disclose your whereabouts.  She lied and said she didn’t know where you were and the reason she said that is because you WERE INTENTIONALLY WITHHOLDING THAT INFORMATION FROM THE MEDIA.

“To kind of prove a point.”

You weren’t just out there working. You weren’t unreachable.  You were aware that you were being sought. You did this on purpose.  You could have made it all go away with one little phone call, but you didn’t.  You decided you didn’t owe the media, or the people of Pittsburgh an answer as to where you were.  You decided to just not tell them.  You let the uproar build and build and build just so you could pop your head out and be all, “YOU PEOPLE ARE RIDICULOUS.”

What you did was kind of like a mother hiding in the closet from her children, watching as they get more scared by the minute, waiting until they start crying, and then poking her head out to YELL AT THEM FOR CRYING.

You’re the MAYOR.  You have to show up and when you don’t show up you have to actually give a reason for it when the media asks where you were in lieu of showing up.  When you know there’s a rumor that you’re in New Orleans and you know people are looking for you, you pick up your stupid phone, you text your press secretary and you say, “Let them know where I’m at.  Will answer questions shortly.”

Something, ANYTHING to quell the uproar and stop the questions.

You had that power.  The power was in YOUR hands this entire time to put a stop to the questions of your whereabouts.  It is because of YOUR actions that it got as bad as it did.  It was your decisions.  Your silence. You. All you.

You don’t get to be angry at people for reacting to a situation you MANUFACTURED on purpose all by yourself.  You don’t get to lash out at the media for their “ridiculousness” in daring to ask where the elected Mayor has been all freaking day.

You decided to “prove a point.”  What point you thought you were proving, I can never hope to know.  That the media asks questions and when the questions aren’t answered they keep searching for answers?  That you don’t answer to anyone?  That you can do what you want and no one should question it?

I put forth, Mr. Mayor, that in light of your past issues with “showing up” and in light of you not being here for the blizzard and in light of how long you were off the radar, the media would have been IRRESPONSIBLE if they weren’t asking the questions they asked and continue to ask.

I put forth that the only point you really proved is that it’s not the media that acted irresponsibly here.  It was you.

Yours,

Me.





96 Comments


  1. Jake
    February 17, 2010 9:33 am

    @SadDay (et al): You’re missing the point. As an elected official presiding over an American constituency, we own him. Yes, he’s entitled to privacy in his personal life, but this is far from “personal.” Had he wanted to take a day off I think most everybody would have been happy to hear his spokesperson say “Luke took PTO today, but we know where he is and can get in touch with him if necessary.”

    Did he do that? No. He vanished without so much as a sentence of explanation on a day that an emergency declaration needs extended, and then mysteriously appears (after nearly a day) all petulantly pissed off that we – his effective employers – were asking questions.

    Bull shit.



  2. Bojack
    February 17, 2010 9:34 am

    @SadDay-

    You are obviously either:

    1) On Lukey’s staff
    2) A Lukey relative
    3) On the Dem Committee

    no matter which- suck a dick!!



  3. LaReina
    February 17, 2010 9:35 am

    Lukey is the eternal frat boy. As noted above, all it that was necessary to elect an adult was to vote “R” for a change (CHANGE being the operative word).



  4. Neesie
    February 17, 2010 9:36 am

    The most depressing thing about this whole situation is that the nothing will ever change in Pittsburgh. As long as there is a D next to a politician’s name, they will be elected, whether they are qualified or not. If you have a R, I, X, Y, or, Z, your campaign is a losing proposition.

    It’s time to give another party a shot at the job. Some new ideas wouldn’t kill us, and at worst, we will be in the same sinking boat that we are in right now.

    Everyone knew that Luke Ravenstahl was nowhere close to being qualified for the job when he was elected, but people voted for him anyway. Yes, the other options in the general election sucked, but he won the primary, too.

    If you actually went out and voted for him in the primary or general election, or worse yet, didn’t bother voting at all, quit your complaining, because you are part of problem.



  5. The Hamburgular
    February 17, 2010 9:37 am

    Ginny, I think we will look back on this episode as the turning point in Luke Ravenstahl’s mayoral tenure. He has cast the “ridiculous” media as the enemy, a strategy that might work if he were a populist, but that’s not who he is. Having been called out, you don’t think the media will come at him with everything they’ve got?



  6. Dan (Not Onarato)
    February 17, 2010 9:47 am

    I agree with the earlier post in saying that there were shenanigans afoot…he was doing something or was somewhere where he shouldnt have been.

    Great post Ginny!



  7. TripleC
    February 17, 2010 9:49 am

    @ Nessie – very well said. Unfortunately, and as we all know, the unions in W. PA (and PA in general) have all too much “influence” on elections in the state and unless Wukey does anything short of associating the Rooney’s with Satan he probably has the most secure job in the county. Sad, but probably true.

    My hunch is we’re stuck with boy-wonder for quite some time.



  8. Dana
    February 17, 2010 10:07 am

    The fact is, is Ravenstahl were a good mayor this wouldn’t have happened. There’s nothing wrong with someone taking a “mental health day,” although doing so as an elected official is probably not the best idea. Regardless, Lukey disappeared and the media naturally asked questions. However, if he hadn’t messed up A LOT in the past few months/years/his entire life, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal. Ravenstahl is so irresponsible that the media believed that he was going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras when he was needed in the city. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t. Either way, everyone thought he was capable of skipping town. He’s made some mistakes and was still re-elected. Now, people are watching him closely and he is expected to take full accountibility for his actions. He needs to step up.



  9. bucdaddy
    February 17, 2010 10:08 am

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAH!!!

    ahhhh …

    (ahem)

    hehehehehehehehahahahahaha

    ahhhhh …

    (ahem)

    mmmmmhmmmm



  10. Baba Wawa
    February 17, 2010 10:12 am

    @SadDay – you are totally wrong about the forecast…i clearly remember hearing friday afternoon a weather bulletin that changed the snow amounts to “significant”….our mayor is putting his personal wants/needs ahead of the city’s and that is not right



  11. Carpetbagger
    February 17, 2010 10:15 am

    Lukey saw that the Pittsburgh public schools were on a delayed start, and he just assumed that went for him as well. If this keeps on going, he’s going to have to work a couple of extra days at the beginning of summer break just to make up for it!



  12. LukeysMom
    February 17, 2010 10:21 am

    My boy wonder the mayor was having a temper tantrum over the media so I gave him timeout in the corner. He was in his super-spidey underoos playing with his toy trucks and sand muttering something about the damn snow… Please excuse him for his 24 hour absence.

    LukeysMom



  13. hello haha narf
    February 17, 2010 10:29 am

    i really hope you seriously consider running for mayor. lots of us would happily pull a lever for you.



  14. Bojack
    February 17, 2010 10:30 am

    @Hamburgalur-

    “… media come at him with everything they’ve got?”

    Are you joking???

    Our local media is soo in the bag, and soo gutless they would
    either simply not cover or make apologies for home invaders who raped and killed their own grandmothers!!



  15. Bojack
    February 17, 2010 10:36 am

    Jon Delano should replace Fred Rogers!!!

    Where are the microphones in the face DEMANDING to know
    how this 911 travesty took place before the corpses of 3 police officers are even cold?? Promised 911 overhaul???

    KDKA, Post Gazette, Trib simply print the official press releases and claim they’ve “covered” the news!!!

    Excuse me while I puke!



  16. SpudMom
    February 17, 2010 10:39 am

    @Bojack – and that is one of the reasons it’s so sad to see print media die. They can’t afford to do more than just print what’s handed to them because they don’t have the manpower.



  17. Bojack
    February 17, 2010 10:46 am

    Jon Delano has cachet and access!!!!!

    Every one of the name “reporters” also!!!

    The editorial staffs set the tone!!



  18. Bojack
    February 17, 2010 10:49 am

    Maybe KDKA needs a political reporter who isn’t related to FDR
    and a member of the DNC?



  19. eileen
    February 17, 2010 12:07 pm

    Everybody involved in this whole mess are acting like children.
    Lukey, was totally wrong.
    City Council, was wrong. They heard he was going to be out of town. They used signing of bill as an excuse to nab him. THey knew he didn’t need to sign it. They set the whole plan in motion. Knew the press would eat it up and Lukey would act like a jerk.
    Everyone fell for it.
    I’m sooo sick of Pittsburgh Democratic politics.



  20. spoon
    February 17, 2010 12:31 pm

    Come on people we know he was doing something important, he was getting randy back on DVE to save a sinking ship. Mayor Lukey Baumannstahl!



  21. Pay to Play
    February 17, 2010 12:35 pm

    The trip to NOLA is not as important to me as this
    Doven acknowledged Ravenstahl rented a condominium at Seven Springs for his birthday outing from Jim Scalo, a real estate developer who donated thousands to the mayor’s re-election campaign.

    Scalo, a co-owner of Burns and Scalo roofing and commercial real estate companies, is developing a high-rise apartment complex on Smithfield Street, Downtown, and recently acquired the former Goodwill headquarters in the South Side with plans to turn it into a 90-unit apartment building with first-floor retail space. Scalo could not be reached for comment.

    Ravenstahl said the visit was “wholly appropriate, legal and ethical. Any assertion otherwise is nothing more than flat out wrong or sensationalism.”

    Doven said Ravenstahl paid for the condo and the rental was in line with the city’s ethics policy.

    Asked how much he paid for the weekend getaway, Ravenstahl refused to answer.

    He said the question offended him.



  22. SusanV
    February 17, 2010 1:28 pm

    For all those defending him citing their own experiences: unless you are a public official, the mayor for goodness sake, your situation does not apply.

    He is accountable to his city. He needs to grow up and be more responsible instead of acting like he’s in junior high. When you are a mayor (a governor, the president) you do not get to hide. It is part of the job description.



  23. Jen
    February 17, 2010 1:36 pm

    I can’t wait for the Rob Rogers cartoon where Lukey loses his juice box playing hide-n-seek with the press.



  24. unsatisfied
    February 17, 2010 1:58 pm

    bring back sophie!!!!



  25. SadDay
    February 17, 2010 2:37 pm

    BabaWawa…not trying to start an argument with you. I was just stating facts that the meteorologists were calling for not even half as much as Pgh received. Scroll down to midway here. There was no bulletin Friday afternoon. Friday at 11pm maybe…

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10043/1035161-238.stm?cmpid=news.xml



  26. toni
    February 17, 2010 3:53 pm

    Dana said:The way he acted at the press conference leads me to believe he is hiding something, because, like Ginny said, he didn’t “respond to your ridiculous inquiries.” If he doesn’t want the media or his constituents to theorize about his whereabouts, then he needs to stop disappearing.

    Dana he and his not supposed to be known mistress/girlfriend/employee might be the something he’s hiding. I’m totally sick of this idiot. And hwile he’s playing his head games to ” prove a point” the immature azzhat took himself right outta the loop to possibly help a dying man aftr numerous 911 calls. Unconscionable.

    What they should do is stick a Steeler uniform on a snow plow driver and hang a party ball on the plow. Our own version of El Nino personified would come outta the woodwork for that photo op.



  27. toni
    February 17, 2010 4:15 pm

    As for those who voted him back in office…while there are some truly innocent and clueless souls that pushed his lever…the vast majority of votes were union members. His race was actually alittle tight number wise if I recall. And you don;’t think it an accident that 3 days after election he proposes a tuition tax on perpetually broke college kids and their frazzled parents to benefit….UNIONS and their legacy benefit packages.



  28. Baba Wawa
    February 17, 2010 4:28 pm

    maybe that’s why i always check the national weather and not the local…it was around 3pm that they made the announcement on the radio…no worries, even 4 to 8 inches should have made the mayor rethink his plans



  29. Bojack
    February 17, 2010 4:41 pm

    Pittsburgh in national news, 911 horror show!!!!
    Overhauled 911 system.

    http://www.drudgereport.com/



  30. frog nails
    February 17, 2010 4:50 pm

    That Scalo condo at 7 Springs is used to host business associates. They’re courting the mayor, for certain. That IS a big story.



  31. Sooska
    February 17, 2010 6:35 pm

    Sidney Crosby for Mayor! He is mature for his age AND knows how to deal with snow and shows up whenever and wherever he is needed. He doesn’t throw hissy fits like a 5 YO when asked a bunch of questions. He leads by example. He doesn’t get irked and ask if we want to see his underwear. He goes out and shows the world how damn freaking competent he is.



  32. peirogi kid
    February 17, 2010 7:09 pm

    Dang y’all

    The guy was out of pocket for a day. A DAY. His every breath and fart is scrutinized and yinz want to crucify him at the drop of a hat. I think you all and the media need to give him a little bit of a break. Mayor of The Burgh is a tough gig.
    Don’t judge a man until you have walked in his shoes. I’d like to see one of you haters try to run a city for a while. On second thought, no I wouldn’t. Sidney C for mayor?? Y’all would shred him inside of a month.



  33. Steeler_tom
    February 17, 2010 8:22 pm

    You have got to be $h!TTING me!

    Hold on for 1 blasted second.
    Do we scrutinize all elected officials? Yes
    Last I looked he’s still the mayor. Why shouldn’t he be held to the same standard the all other people who are elected?
    It’s simple, public official, elected or otherwise….. sorry take the heat or get the Eff out.
    Luke needs to “man” up. Hey If he came clean about N.O. I’d respect the hell out of him. I really would.
    If ya ain’t happy with your current situation, start politicking now, make the change! Don’t sit on your arse and whine if you don’t do something about it. Many might disagree with me but Vote Republican. If that bothers you come up with own solution….



  34. mfj
    February 17, 2010 8:30 pm

    He still has the big D after his name. That’s all the depth and breadth of the average Pittsburgh voter’s capacity for political analysis.

    So glad we moved out of the city, where a handful of ward bosses decide the fate of half a million people.

    If that guy who the paramedics killed lived in Lukey’s neighborhood instead of in Hazelwood, he would be alive today. Somebody tell me I’m wrong.



  35. Private Planes R Us...
    February 17, 2010 8:32 pm

    No question in my mind that Luke is hiding the truth. It’s entirely possible that he was, in fact, in NOLA and he was able to scurry back on the same private plane that got him there just in time to hold his news conference and act like a jack-ass.

    Sooner or later, the truth is going to come out about all of this but regardless of when it does, this guy and his word should not be trusted!!



  36. Clementine
    February 17, 2010 8:37 pm

    Oh, Ginny, so much Word to you. Lukey pulls down 96K in tax dollars each year… hell, yeah, we can ask where he is in the middle of a work day. And the Dread Lord was at Mardi Gras?? BWAHHAAHAHAA!!! That says it all.

    @Mayor Luke Doggy Dogg: Fo shizzle my nizzle~ Will you be my Valentine? I wanna have your puppies.



  37. Ed
    February 17, 2010 10:34 pm

    Actually, I think Pay to Play and Frog Nails (gotta love handles) are correct about the Condo being more important. The question of how much the Mayor paid is important (compared to how much a non-Mayor might pay for a condo out there). I almost wonder if the Mayor pulled this stunt precisely to avoid questions about the condo and distract us.

    I was going to say that Doven could have ended the speculation by saying she could reach the Mayor on his cell phone if need be, but now I suspect she wasn’t suppose to say such a thing.



  38. Mayor Luke Doggy Dogg
    February 17, 2010 11:10 pm

    @ Clementine

    Girl, hit me up if you can drop it like it’s hot…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtUVQei3nX4

    That’s how I dooz it!



  39. Mayor Luke Doggy Dogg
    February 17, 2010 11:39 pm

    Let me get this shit crackalackin’ up in this piece…

    Since a bunch of ya’ll decided to be some suckas about a playa’ just tryin’ ta git outta town and do his thang, I decided ta help ya’ll out fo’ next time.

    Next time ya’ll fools can’t reach me, I gotta new hotline number for all ya’ll.

    You can reach tha “Where is Lukey at?” hotline at: 412-Dog-Nutz.

    I will also let all ya’ll mofo’s know what type of draws I’m wearin each day. I will personally send my shit stained draws to tha city council next time one of them bustaz tries to pull some shit like this wit tha media again too.

    Remember ya’ll…Luke D-O-Double G got tha biggest ballz of them all!



  40. Bojack
    February 18, 2010 8:14 am

    Lukey has thrown Public Safety Director Michael Huss under the bus for the most appalling unnecessary snowstorm death and made him point buttboy. No surprise there.

    If EMS was unable to reach streets, why was the Natl. Guard (and more importantly their Humvees not called until Feb. 8??)

    Cuz Hizzoner Lukey was boozin and shmoozin at Nutting’s
    place, Seven Springs! (Anyone seen who paid his bar tab??)

    After some Winter Olympics level blame-storming between the 911 union and the EMS union here is the remedy (you’re gonna LUV this!)-

    in this morning’s Trib-

    “….. The city will rearrange seating for some people in the call center and change the way some calls are documented, Roth said.”

    translation- maybe we should move the party-appointment job-holding hacks, and the incompetent affirmative action hacks off the front line, maybe!!

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_667744.html

    Wait’ll Mitchell’s lawyers get done with ….US!! The city taxpayers!!



  41. Steverino
    February 18, 2010 9:21 am

    Looks like Mayor Opie just can’t let go of his frat boy days. Party on, Garth.



  42. toni
    February 18, 2010 10:22 am

    Hey peirogi kid …it’s not that the mayor was missing for a day. It’s that the mayor was missing for a day during a time when the city was in a state of emergency (which he initiated) and he ws being sought by counsel members to sign a document to extend the state of emergency.

    It was that in the time of this state of emergency a man died after 10 phone calls to 911…a 911 system this mayor had promised to overhaul…and after we are still getting snow dumped on us…fter said mayor was ” waging war” and promised better street conditions and snow removal.

    Because, if in fact, Mayor Lukey was heading down to Mardis Gras while a city sits in a state of emergency that HE initiated…that’s news…and thats the height of irresponsability.



  43. Mike
    February 18, 2010 11:25 am

    Why is Mayor Ravenstahl driving around surveying road conditions? Does he clean the bathrooms at the City-County building, too?

    Yes… these sorts of crises demonstrate just how poor our municipal services are and how little municipal leadership we have. Sadly, our local political system leaves us with only anecdotes to argue over. There are no careful policy analyses done.

    Anyone want to call Mr DeSantis?



  44. outonalimb
    February 18, 2010 2:00 pm

    About the weather forcast: I was sitting in Wendy’s that afternoon for lunch, with my kids. We were reading the weather on the Weather Bug on my phone. I gasped and said, “Oh my! Now they are saying 12-20inches!” Everyone seated around us started checking their phones and sure enough, Weather Bug was predicting that much. So yeah, they knew as early at lunch time on Friday. I think everyone just didn’t believe it.

    And the way Lukey acted at the press conference, yeah, that’s the way my kids act when they are hiding something or lying.



  45. Smoochybooches
    February 18, 2010 5:38 pm

    Has anybody considered that he might have been DRUNK at the pres conference? Unhappily just back from Mardi Gras + totally busted + belligerent = sounds drunk to me.



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