Oh, Lukey

This marks the SIXTH time in my blogging “career” that I’ve had to write a post entitled “Oh, Lukey.”

1. The first happened in 2007 when it was revealed that Lukey, or “myself and other individuals,” were kind of sort of arrested at PNC Park in 2005.

2. The second happened in 2007 when Lukey apparently hired Maya Angelou to write his budget address.

3. The third was in 2008 when Lukey was asked about Martin Luther King Jr. and he went all PoliticoBot 2000. 

4. The fourth quite possibly hinted at early tension in the Ravenstahl marriage, now that I’m looking back on it.

5. And the last and fifth time I did it, it was when Lukey publicly stated that he didn’t know who should pay for him(self) (hee!) to attend the Stanley Cup game in Detroit, to which I responded:

Dear Lukey,

If you would just hire PittGirl to be your Chief of That’s Church you would never have the entire city pointing at you and laughing at your inability to know the correct answer to this question.

No, instead, you would have walked into my plush corner office (corner table at Dunkin Donuts) and asked ME that question and I would have said, “Lukey, do what every person on the face of the earth knows to do. USE YOUR OWN DAMN MONEY!!!”

And as he was walking away from me, disappointed in my answer, I’d be calling after him, “That’s church, baby!  Don’t be a hater!”

And here we are today in 2013, in this my 3,601st post on my blog and I’m using it to say … “Oh, Lukey!”

Go read this over at the Early Returns blog at the Post-Gazette.

In a nutshell, Saleem Ghubril has apparently been moved to the top of Luke Ravenstahl’s “Lame Duck Shit List” because he has turned on Saleem in epically public fashion.

Saleem is the head of the Pittsburgh Promise, if you don’t know. And if you don’t know that …



So when Saleem wrote a letter to the editor, like Freddie Fu did (DON’T GET ME STARTED ON THAT BULLSHIT), Luke or someone using his official Facebook page commented to say this:

“Keep in mind as you read this … UPMC basically pays his salary! By the way … What is your salary Saleem?”

Well, I can tell you that. In 2011, it was $161,000 in total compensation. Boom! goes the Form 990.

Lukey’s valid point is that of course Saleem is going to come to UPMC’s defense in the case of Lukey v. UPMC. His job depends on it kind of.

But Lukey wasn’t done:

By the way Saleem…. Your a director (first and foremost) of an organization that would not exist without the vision and fortitude of Mark Roosevelt and myself. Just to remind u. Funny how quickly folks forget.

Well, he just said “Mark Roosevelt and myself” and removed all doubt as to whether or not this is Lukey. OF COURSE IT’S LUKEY. Who the hell else do you know uses the word “myself” so liberally?

Do I love it that Lukey seriously, honestly, 100% does not have a single f–k left to give? YES! I DO! I LOVE IT LIKE NUTELLA! I WANT TO HUG HIS INABILITY TO GIVE A RAT’S ASS ANYMORE!

Do I think this was probably not the most professional way to call out Saleem? Oh, hell yes.

If Lukey had come to me in my Office of That’s Church in Dunkin’ Donuts, this is what would have happened:

Lukey: “Your Highness of Churchitude, I’m thinking of using Facebook to stick it to Saleem Gubril. Good idea or bad? Say ‘good.'”

Me: “First, is my city debit card linked to the Nate Harper fiasco? Because if so, I’d like you to take it, puke on it, and feed it to a pigeon because I have put a SHIT TON of cappuccinos on this thing.

Second, I advise against this. You may have valid points, but going about it in this manner will seem childish and very high school-y in an OMG-CINDY-SPARKLES-HAD-THE-NERVE-TO-TEXT-MY-BOYFRIEND- SO-NOW-I’M-GOING-TO-START-A-CINDY-SPARKLES-IS-A-HUGE-WHORE-FACEBOOK-GROUP kind of way. My advice? Have someone with decent writing skillz (ahem, ahem) compose a letter to the editor or an op-ed piece for you in which you lay out the arguments as to why Saleem likely has ulterior motives and why you feel you can lay claim to starting the Promise, and why you feel going after UPMC is the right thing for Pittsburgh. And Lukey, if we’re being honest, the Promise is more Roosevelt’s than yours anyways. I know you don’t want to hear that, but this IS the Office of That’s Church.”

Lukey: “Ugh. FINE! I’m leaving. And no, your card is not tied to the Nate Harper account. [crosses fingers behind back]”

Me: “Good.”

Lukey: [starts to walk away]

Me: “Oh, and Lukey?”

Lukey: [turns] “Yeah?”


Lukey: [storms away]

Me: “That’s church, baby! Don’t be a hater!”


(h/t @thebitchdesk on Twitter)


  1. LisaB
    April 5, 2013 10:02 am

    And yet, if he had stayed in the race, even after all of this, the voters of the city of Pittsburgh would STILL have returned him to office. Sigh…

  2. Eric Williams
    April 5, 2013 10:46 am

    It’s all about inertia, momentum, and status quo. Folks don’t seem to care much for change around here. Heck, they give driving directions based on landmarks that no longer exist; how can we expect them to embrace political upheaval? ;) Like old men grousing about the weather, they’ll grumble about how poorly the city and county are run. Get them in a voting booth, though, and they vote for incumbent Democrats like there’s nobody else on the ballot.

  3. Julie
    April 5, 2013 11:23 am

    I am so embarrassed that the mayor of our city does not use proper grammar. What sort of message is that sending to students enrolled in the Pittsburgh Promise? Ugh.

  4. Akirah
    April 5, 2013 11:36 am

    I love Saleem as a friend and respect him a bunch. I believe he is truly encouraging all parties to focus on compromise for the sake of the Promise, the kids it serves, and our city! Given what I know about his heart, I can’t imagine this is about his salary. Yes, he makes a good chunk of change…but I just don’t think this is about that. I have never met a man who loves this city, its people, and his God more than Saleem Ghubril. Who he is and the work he has done has impacted so many people…including myself. This is a man who answers to God first…not UPMC. Sigh.

  5. Rick
    April 5, 2013 12:19 pm

    When it comes down to it, there’s leaving with class, grace and dignity. Then there’s leaving by dumping a BP truck on the bridge and using an ICBM to set it ablaze. Who knew Pittsburgh Politics could get so dirty? I look forward to the day that Luke just launches into a DEFCON 1 verbal assault on Marty Griffin. That’s the kind of cherry his recent shit storm sundae needs.

  6. Julia
    April 5, 2013 12:31 pm

    Someone should do a reality TV series on the mayoral race. Or a comic strip.

  7. Eric Williams
    April 5, 2013 12:36 pm

    I wish Justin Kownacki could revive the Mathis 4 Mayor campaign for a miniseries.

  8. Monty
    April 8, 2013 10:11 am

    Allow myself to introduce my….self.

    I’ll never forget the time I saw that movie. I said to myself “Myself, that is hilarious.”

    Now please excuse myself. I have to go to a meeting with some of my colleagues. And myself.

    • bucdaddy
      April 8, 2013 5:11 pm


      Let me please introduce MYself.
      I’m a man of wealth and taste.
      Use all your* well-earned politesse
      Or I’ll lay your soul to waste.

      *–Please note: “Your,” not “you’re.”

  9. Bram R
    April 8, 2013 6:32 pm

    Not sure why I keep reading “or someone else at his computer”… it sounded enough like a legitimate missive from Herr Lukinator, and it’s been online from his Facebook account or long enough I’m sure it was him. I kind of respect him for doing that even if I don’t agree with the sentiment of calling out the amount of Saleem’s salary. You’d figure Luke would have been accused of doing everything for perks and contributions often enough, he wouldn’t want to play that game.

  10. Scott
    April 9, 2013 9:03 am

    Putting this out there mainly as devil’s advocate, but for all this hand-wringing, finger pointing and saber rattling, there’s still nothing the mayor has been proven to have done wrong in this current fiasco. Perhaps because I follow Detroit and other city politics pretty closely, all of this seems so small time and petty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m expecting that some dodgy spending will get pinned on Luke eventually, but in the meantime, watching/listening everyone go straight to DEFCON 1 because a pallet of G-20 Gatorade was purchased with the wrong city spending account is absurd. Overall, the uproar smacks of a whole lot of people who don’t have anything better to do with their time.

    • Bram R
      April 9, 2013 9:38 pm

      I kind of agree with you Scott, but even in talking about the various ish, he never quite seemed to “get” it. Acknowledge the NOT LEGAL BUT ethical concerns. Tin ear, tin tongue.

      Besides someone needed to pay attention to Harper et al. It can’t have been that hard to notice all that for that long. Or was that a waste of the FBI’s time, should they get a life?

      • Scott
        April 10, 2013 9:27 am

        Bram, I agree the Harper thing needs to be investigated.

        However, that Luke never quite “got it” is a non-issue. The fact is, Pittsburgh has thrived over the past ten years. During that stretch, the city has outperformed virtually every other city in the country in nearly every regard. Pittsburgh is currently a world-renown community in every category. The city is doing extremely well. There are some issues that we need to resolve and sort out, but overall there is very little that we, as Pittsburghers, should be complaining about. The rest of the world is enthusiastically celebrating and praising our town. Yet, when you read the comments and blog posts here and elsewhere, people make it sound like the city is circling the drain, that we’re mired in idiocy and crisis. That’s sad, both for the city and for Pittsburghers who view the city in such a continually critical and negative light.

        I’m sick of all the Pittsburgh hate from Pittsburghers. This town is kicking ass at a global level. Quit complaining. Quite demanding heads on pikes. Enough with the negativity. When the world is pointing to us as an example of a city does things RIGHT, then we should be leading that charge, not sitting around whining and complaining about how things are so bad. THEY ARE NOT SO GIVE IT A REST.

        • Bram R
          April 12, 2013 2:01 am

          I agree Scott, this town is doing pretty well. Imagine how well it could be doing if we had, like, a mayor? Who not only showed up to work and payed attention but somebody with vision and leadership skills and the ability to inspire, and the courage to do what is not easy? Eventually Pittsburgh might cool down for a spell, and BOY would it have been nice if we accomplished some things. Infrastructure, efficiencies, community assets. Now give yourself a rest, we’re just participating. You call it complaining, I can’t help that, you started out by saying you were playing “Devil’s Advocate.”

  11. Slumpbuster Douglas J
    April 9, 2013 8:52 pm

    So, that is a lot of words to basically deride SteelerStahl for being informal on social media. I mean its all well and mommyblogga for you to voice concern over the lack of manners in the world today. Lets not forget the one great thing about Pittsburgh Promise, they kicked Franco to the curb. Anchor babies will not earn you permanent residency and your Burgh card is rescindable. An important lesson for the one or two denizens of this online community in the community for which this community is derived. Seriously though, the Peduto campaign is demonstrating the sort of 8 block reach that is just so Pittsburgh.