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. Eileen
    February 16, 2010 8:12 pm

    Well said!



  2. Bojack
    February 16, 2010 8:26 pm

    NOW can he go partay in NOL??



  3. Jennifer Melnick Carota
    February 16, 2010 8:27 pm

    “To kind of prove a point.” SERIOUSLY?!?!? That comment is beyond disturbing. Thank you for always telling it like it is, Ginny. I raise my glass to you!



  4. SusanV
    February 16, 2010 8:30 pm

    He is a child. But we all knew that already.



  5. Noe
    February 16, 2010 8:32 pm

    that man makes me shake my head….



  6. PA Girl in VA
    February 16, 2010 8:49 pm

    Yeah, what SHE said!



  7. bigslacker
    February 16, 2010 8:52 pm

    so…..who is this Lukey guy anyways? Seems like a real jagoff.



  8. jmarie
    February 16, 2010 8:53 pm

    i wonder while he was out driving around inspecting the streets if he saw how bad the sidewalks are. actually they arent’ sidewalks they are garbage dumps for all the branches down. or maybe he stood there and laughed at the people who are falling down trying to get off of buses.

    hey lukey about redistributing the work force for all those sanitary waste managers who aren’t collecting our garbage to do some snow cleanup. just a thought!



  9. Neesie
    February 16, 2010 8:54 pm

    You go Ginny!

    He is an embarrassment and an immature, egotistical douche. I weep for my city.



  10. Christine
    February 16, 2010 8:55 pm

    Yep, what you said. (And I’m usually an apologist for the Mayor.)



  11. BethH
    February 16, 2010 8:57 pm

    All kinds of yes! Even the suprmemely kind jon delano verbally slapped him. How can we endure (survive) 4 more years of this?



  12. L-A
    February 16, 2010 9:18 pm

    And the winner of the gold medal for kicking serious mayor ass iiiiiissss….the toughest bitch in the ‘burgh….Virginia Montanez!



  13. Nate Bishop
    February 16, 2010 9:19 pm

    A) It’s called transparency. He’s a public official, not a CEO of a privately held company.

    B) I’m beginning to think you may be right, that it was completely manufactured, in the truest sense of the the word – rumors, Facebook clues, disappearing, hiding ;)

    C) The problem is that we – Pittsburghers, the media, normal sane adults (myself being only a wet-behind-the-ears 29) – were so READY to believe this – that, while amazing, would not have been out of the realm of possibility for the boy mayor. Isn’t that the real problem?

    So this was all to show that he and his office have no plan to embrace the reality that is today’s media. AND THIS IS FROM A YOUNG MAN! I’d expect this type of pushback from an older, almost excusably out-of-touch, mayor, that has gone up through the ranks of “old-style” politics, and reluctant to embrace the new newsday, but, Christ on a crutch, he’s 30 (AND A WEEK!) – he should embrace, love, THRIVE on things like being connected and transparency. Typical born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.

    Unbelievable.



  14. MessyDee
    February 16, 2010 9:28 pm

    City residents (and non residents for that matter) need to stop putting up with this nonsense and start holding him accountable. If a non-elected (job secure) employee pulled this stunt they’d be fired. There should be a “Luke Watch” website / blog from this day forward until he is out of office. Can you imagine? He’d totally cry.



  15. Dana
    February 16, 2010 9:29 pm

    What Ravenstahl doesn’t realize is all of his shady absenses are leading to some pretty nasty rumors (worse than skipping town for Mardi Gras). 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.



  16. KGC
    February 16, 2010 9:30 pm

    To all those in the City who think they’ll be sent to Hell twice over if they pull the R lever..

    “He’s 30. He’s Democrat. And, he’s yours!”

    [Apologies to Ringo Starr.. “You’re 16. You’re beautiful. And, you’re mine!”]



  17. PA Girl in VA
    February 16, 2010 9:44 pm

    Last time we read about a high-profile elected official ‘disappearing’, we found out that the governor of SC had been in Argentina having an affair. Lukey, so not cool!



  18. Mark
    February 16, 2010 9:46 pm

    Is it time to impeach this petulant bitch. He gave us all a big fuck off today and last week when the storms hit, time to give him the same. He should have been bounced when he lied that he couldn’t attend G-20 meetings because of other work while he was pretending he belonged as Steelers camp.



  19. Liz
    February 16, 2010 9:47 pm

    G-20. Beating up kids on the Pitt campus. Taxing universities. The big 30-ieth birthday. Blitzing the city . . . 6 days after the snow fell. Dumb is dumb, regardless of party and of age.



  20. Memory Lane
    February 16, 2010 9:51 pm

    The Mayor of Pittsburgh must have been trying to prove a point here too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac9zNGGb_AI



  21. Anthony
    February 16, 2010 10:04 pm

    He never denied being in New Orleans, now did he? Hmmm? Huh? He never said, “I was not in New Orleans.” Hmmm? Huh? Hmmm?



  22. letsgostillers
    February 16, 2010 10:05 pm

    yeah the prospect of him intentionally setting this up is pretty douchey, and i am not a fan of him at ALL, BUT to hold him to a 24/7 watch is a little ridiculous. if i call off sick, my employer doesn’t show up at my door with news cameras. granted, he didn’t call off sick; however, if i am at work and doing my job and unreachable because i am dealing with important issues, there is not going to be a company-wide outcry. i think his point was well founded, even if he was a baby about it.



  23. Different Brian
    February 16, 2010 10:13 pm

    All of this silliness – the NOLA visit that wasn’t, the “we’ll plow better next time” that wasn’t, the tuition tax that was almost, and whatever numerous stupidities await us — they’ll all be forgotten come next election when Lukey rolls out the same commercial of him driving his car around town (he should have a learner’s permit next election) talking about how he loves being mayor. All the ill tempered cute fist shaking bloggers and informed citizens can’t change the inertia of a democrat machine. Richard Daley Jr looks upon Pittsburgh and nods in approval.



  24. Bojack
    February 16, 2010 10:17 pm

    If the job, his job, was getting done, there would be no outcry!

    The 911 system was supposed to be overhauled after they failed
    to tell Pgh PD that the guy in Stanton heights was heavily armed
    and instead sent 3 officers to their deaths!

    So today, Lukey was doing PR damage control strategy (instead of systemic repair) with “Safety” Director Robert McCaughan.
    Wonderful!

    One party city!! You re-elected this joke, AND

    pay him $100K to do it!

    Live with it voters!!



  25. Ms Lee
    February 16, 2010 10:36 pm

    Ginny, this should be at the top of every editorial page in every Pittsburgh publication. I don’t know about you, but if I didn’t show up for work without notifying anyone, my job would be in serious jeopardy. I guarantee I would be fired if I told my boss he was being ‘ridiculous’ about wanting to know my whereabouts!

    Our elected officials need to be reminded that we’re paying their salaries – we have every right to ask where they are and what they’re doing when they’re on the clock!



  26. Mayor Luke Doggy Dogg
    February 16, 2010 11:14 pm

    Whut up, ya’ll?

    All ya’ll can kiss tha Lukey’s ass! I ain’t got to tell anyone shit! I’m tha mothafuckin’ man up in this cit-tay!

    I don’t report to no mofo’s up in here.

    I get me free tickets, transportation, and security to Penguins, Pirates, Steeler games (and free cover charge at Club Erotica but keep that on the DL, know what I’m sayin?)

    I got me a sweet ass pimp ride from homeland security to blaze up in my streets.

    This is what ya’ll gotta understand. I’m tha Lukey. If I want to, I’ll pull my draws down, squat, and take a big smelly dookie on Grant Street. What are you gonna do? Nothin! I’m tha man!

    I know I said in 2008 I’d make the city’s snow response better. I said a lot of shit to get elected. Know what I’m sayin?

    I went snowmageddon on Chancellor Nordenberg’s ass. We’ll see next time he wants to publicly front on tha Lukey about givin’ tha cit-tay mo’ money. Next time, I’ll make sure it’ll be two weeks before I send public works to clear off the streets of Oakland.

    Guess what you can suck on ya’ll?

    Deez nuhhhtz…!



  27. Maggie Tucker
    February 16, 2010 11:34 pm

    Seriously, what grounds are necessary to start looking at impeachment?



  28. Mr Chumbley
    February 16, 2010 11:53 pm

    I think it’s obvious – he was out Hiking the Appalachian trail. Or maybe some of those trails in Riverview Park that are being rehabbed.



  29. cathy
    February 16, 2010 11:59 pm

    The man-child mayor is acting like the child he is… what do we expect.



  30. bucdaddy
    February 17, 2010 12:02 am

    Thank God I live in West Virginia. Every state’s citizens think their politicians are the worst, but we have NOTHING on yours. NOTHING!

    Congratulations! You win.



  31. Megan
    February 17, 2010 12:23 am

    So he was trying to prove a point. What point? That the media is irresponsible?

    My next question…why? The media have been glued to him this past week, what with following him around riding on salt trucks, taking calls, getting bitched at by grandmas and all the like.

    Why would he suddenly feel the need to “prove them irresponsible?”

    All anger at his douchey-ness aside, this is one big WTF?! Call me stupid, but none of his reasonings make any sense. At all.



  32. jmarinara
    February 17, 2010 2:53 am

    Please people, give it a rest. This is making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

    I honestly fail to see why it was such a big story to begin with. What, the council had a bill to be signed? Ok. Did it get signed? Was someone going to die if he didn’t sign it right then and there? Does the mayor make public appearances everyday?

    Quick! Where’s Barrack Obama right now? OMG, MAYBE HE’S PARTYING IN HAVANA!!! WHY THAT IMMATURE JERK!! I DON’T KNOW WHERE HE IS SO IT MUST BE BAD AND HE MUST BE IN THE WRONG!!!

    Give me a break.



  33. The_Game
    February 17, 2010 5:09 am

    That’s what you get for voting him in, yinzers. Now you complain????



  34. USair
    February 17, 2010 6:17 am

    So its confirmed that his chief of staff, campaign manager and friend were all in NOLA for fat tuesday http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_667513.html.
    Ginny,
    i am sure one of your readers works for the airlines and could pull up flights to New Orleans (i’d check flights out of cleveland) and get you the passenger manifests. Unless he is Col. Jessep (a few good men) i am sure even though he’s mayor he can’t make a flight disappear. If he was going, he paid for a ticket and that record exists. I am sure you could get someone to furnish that list, or you could get a couple of guys who work the ramp at PIT to confirm the flight existed. Then ask him if he ordered the code red.



  35. USair
    February 17, 2010 6:21 am

    he may not have gone, but he was scheduled to, then the shit hit the fan and he scrubbed the mission came back home and acted like a little kid. someone who works for the airlines can confirm he was listed on a flight.



  36. Bojack
    February 17, 2010 7:19 am

    I want to know why what passes for “mainstream” journalism/media in our Burgh isn’t
    HAMMERING Lukey & Danny for this 911
    outrage!

    Weren’t 3 dead police officers enough for a real wake-up
    call as opposed to the usual lick-and-a-promise??

    Wrongful death litigation is going to top the list of Pittsburgh
    growth industries!



  37. Bojack
    February 17, 2010 7:23 am

    @jmarinara-

    Which Lukey flunky are you???

    Comparisons to BHO aren’t doing his Lukeystick any favors!!



  38. Rage Against the Demcratic Machine
    February 17, 2010 7:33 am

    Two words: GROW UP.



  39. windy city steel city
    February 17, 2010 7:40 am

    For these little zingers that our blog hostess offers, I suggest a new term. Knowing what fan of The Big Bang she is, how about BAVIRGINIA! instead of bazinga.
    The Boy Mayor is truly a boy. Does he take his ball and go home too? Kid swim is over, adult time in the pool.
    sheesh, what a marroon.



  40. Brighton Heights Jim
    February 17, 2010 8:01 am

    First off, *I* didn’t vote for him…never have.

    Second, I DO want to know what kind of underwear he has on :-/

    Third, the only thing I can hope for is that people remember this in 3.5 years from now.



  41. SpudMom
    February 17, 2010 8:03 am

    Re: Reports that The Dread Lord Zober et al were in New Orleans yesterday I can only assume that they think we’re all really dumb. Yarone and Lukey are to peas in a pod – never one without the other. Do they really think we’ll believe that Lukey stayed behind while Zober went out to play?



  42. SpudMom
    February 17, 2010 8:08 am

    Gah. that should read “two peas in a pod.” Sorry, folks.



  43. TripleC
    February 17, 2010 8:28 am

    This guy (kid) is a complete joke. Has the maturity of an 18 year old and that was crystal clear yesterday. But don’t worry wittle wukey…fortunately for you, you are in Pgh AND a democrat already in office so the job is your until you die or resign.

    So Wukey the moral of the story is to go ho-trolling once the weather clears and that pesky state of emergency thingy is no longer a concern.



  44. butcher's dog
    February 17, 2010 8:36 am

    One of the ongoing themes seems to be: “How can we live with four more years of this?” Which makes me wonder… I’m starting to think there won’t be four more years. If the heat got too hot for Tiger Woods, it may get too hot for your (sorry…I don’t live in the burg) mayor. Either voluntarily (he could tell you all where to put the shit) or involuntarily (talk of impeachment), someone else could be the incumbent come next muni elections. Just a thought. Nixon didn’t stick around long enough to be removed by impeachment, as I recall.

    (Anal person note: “impeach” means bringing the action. Slick Willie Clinton had impeachment against him. “Removal from office” is a legal action brought as a result of the impeachment.)

    And @ L-A: I’d be careful about using the word “bitch” and Ginny’s name in the same sentence! Woman could turn on you and it wouldn’t be pretty.



  45. SadDay
    February 17, 2010 8:49 am

    1) All PGH meteorologists said the initial storm was going to bring 4-8 inches to the area (higher totals in the higher elevations). 4-8 inches is not snowmageddon. It was not known how bad things were until Saturday morning so the media and bloggers who continue to say Lukey “skipped town during snowmageddon” are 100% wrong. If the forecast called 20-25 inches and he left town before that, yes, he could then be called out.

    2) Why are pictures of Lukey at a bar/restaurant that someone stole from facebook/myspace okay to put up on the 11:00 news or on a blog? The decision makers that put these up every time should not have the right to jump to conclusions and write whatever they want because someone took photos with people with a Bud Light in the background.

    3) If it comes out that Lukey was going to NOLA, who cares? Because some weasel with weird glasses incorrectly thinks he has to sign a piece of paper?

    I’m not saying the mayor is a perfect guy. He has made mistakes. But the media/blogging world has been out to get him from day one because he was elected in his 20s.



  46. SpudMom
    February 17, 2010 8:56 am

    @SadDay

    First, I can only assume you’re one of Lukey’s minions. That aside, I want to respond to your question about the pictures.

    If they were on a public My Space or Facebook page then the Mayor has no reasonable expectation of privacy as far as those pictures are concerned. If they’re on a site that anyone can view, there’s nothing wrong or illegal about news organizations using them.



  47. SadDay
    February 17, 2010 9:10 am

    Not a minion at all. I did vote for him though. I wasn’t saying that there is something illegal about whoever uses them. I just think it is over the top. The snoop dog picture, bar pictures. The pictures lead the public to believe something that may not be true. For example, most are taking a trip to Seven Springs as a drunken excursion. I am more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he likes to ski?



  48. Pittsburgh Perambulations
    February 17, 2010 9:15 am

    Ginny for mayor! Ginny for mayor!!!



  49. chrys
    February 17, 2010 9:23 am

    Lukey needs to put his big boy on and deal with the questions. It isn’t wise that a public official go AWOL for a day, then get pissed when he is asked about it. This isn’t the time to play games with the press. I think it was all a set-up so he could go off on the press. If I were the reporter he went off on about wanting to see his underpant I’d have said “absolutely.. let’s see ’em, moron”
    He is a gigantic asshole..