Friday, November 9, 2007

Winners, Losers, And A Few Honorable Mentions

Much, much sadness in having to acknowledge you live in a city where 70% of the population joyously elects a total moron for mayor. Not an “alleged” moron, mind you. But a tried and true, tested and certified moron for mayor of Pittsburgh.

Other melancholy stats jump out as one browses the carnage. A few notables:

Worst Voter Turnout
The 1st Ward (parts of Downtown & Uptown) had the smallest voter turnout in the city. Only 7% of those registered to vote actually did. The award for the “Worst Voter Turnout in a District” goes to Ward 5 (Upper Hill), District 8, where 443 were registered to vote but only 1 (that’s right … ONE) did cast his vote. The other 442 must be fine with the concept of disenfranchisement.

Highest Voter Turnout
44% of the registered voters in Ward 31 (Hays/Lincoln Place) came out to cast their ballots. Many of our police and firefighters live in this area. A lot of them have a lot at stake. (Like the rest of us don’t? So why don't we vote?)

Highest Percentage of Non-Thinking Voters
Again, Ward 5 (Upper Hill) tops the charts once more. 67% of the votes cast in this ward were straight party votes. 67% treated the voting machine much like a slot machine. They walked in without much forethought, pulled one lever, walked out, and then hoped for the best.

Strongest Showing For Ravenstahl
No … It wasn’t his own neighborhood (Ward 26 – Perrysville/Riverview) where Ravenstahl received “only” 75% of the vote. There were actually five wards where Luke’s support was 80% or better: Ward 3, Lower Hill, 83%; Ward 5, Upper Hill, 82%; Ward 12, East Liberty, 84%; Ward 13, Homewood, 86%; Ward 21, Manchester, 80%. All of these wards are predominantly black. Maybe there is some kind of “abusive boyfriend, low self-esteem girlfriend” syndrome at work here. You know, that’s where the worse he treats her, the more she wants him.

Strongest Showing for DeSantis.
Yes ….The only wards DeSantis carried were Ward 7 (Shadyside) and Ward 14 (Point Breeze/Squirrel Hill). Both wards are predominantly white, educated and affluent. More telling is the fact that the little “pockets” he carried in other wards were exactly the same demographic: Dist 2 in the Strip (Ward 2) has the upscale warehouse loft conversions. Dist 7, 10, 12 & 13 in Oakland (Ward 4) encompasses historic Schenley Farms and the “mid-rise” condos of the northeast sector. Dist 7, 8 & 11 in Bloomfield (Ward 8) are in fact “Friendship” where folks are flocking to reclaim old mansions previously cut up into rentals. Dist 7, 8, 9, 10 & 12 in Highland Park (Ward 11) are those areas closest to the park with the largest homes. Dist 3, 4, 6 & 28 in Ward 19 are the sections of Mt Washington which have the view or Chatham Village. Dist 2 (Mexican War Streets) in Ward 22 (North Side) is where many of those “uncivil” unions reside.

So what does all this say? In two words ….We’re doomed.

I’m seriously toying with the idea of becoming a “Bankruptcy Advocate”. That’s where I actively support folks like Ravenstahl, Motznik, Bodak or any of their relatives for any office with the hopes of bringing this city to its knees as quickly as possible. That’s where we're headed anyway. Might as well get there quickly, get it over with, and get on with the business of rising from the ashes.


antiyinzer said...

brilliant analysis coupled with unbridled rage!

Bram Reichbaum said...

Char, it is now my job to go around chastising bloggers -- especially you -- for making unnecessarily disparaging statements about our Mayor and his voters. By calling Luke a "total moron" and straight-ticket voters "non-thinking", you are making the blogosphere look bad, and are hurting our cause. Please curtail this reckless honesty and self-expression, and find some ways to flatter and shine on those genuine Heartland Pittsburghers with whom you disagree.

Char said...

Hey Bram,

Sorry to hear of your new blogosphere duties.

Before I edit my thoughts and speech for the sake of “the cause”, I’d like to hear what “the cause” is and how repressed speech might help it out. Sorry, but I never received an introductory email explaining these things. Never received any “talking points” memorandums either.

Flattery for the “non-thinking” straight-ticket voter? Rather than flatter, I can very quickly and honestly give a straight-forward compliment: Many of these folks must be good & trusting people. They’ve firmly placed all their trust in a particular group believing the group is worthy. So strong is their belief, they feel no need to ever re-think the situation, just in case any of the variables may have changed. Trusting people are usually trustworthy people. And “trustworthy” is a good thing. Blind trust? Not such a good thing. For anyone.

Flattery for the “moron” mayor? …… ……… ……… Am thinking …… …… …… Every once in a while he does something which at first appears to be okay. But then damned if he doesn’t go and screw it up almost immediately. I’m not very good at BS, so I can’t come up with anything right here on the spot to flatter the guy. But if the future of Pittsburgh’s blogosphere depends on my coming up with something, I certainly will. But for the life of me, I can’t imagine how my thoughts and my opinions could be so terribly important.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Particularly the comments.

Anonymous said...

This is the same city that elected Tom Flaherty five times...

There are very legitimate issues that cause African Americans to vote Democratic.A lot of that has to do with the outright racism of the national Republican Party. 20% of the black vote is a real achievement for a Republican.

Given the registration advantage, it was always going to be an uphill battle for DeSantis. 40% would've been a real triumph.

The silver lining is that the affluent wards have ditched the Mayor. The Mayor may well have a hard time raising money for 2009--and his awareness of that fact might be why he didn't run any ads.

Anonymous said...

Char: Did you ever stop to think that maybe black people have a reason for voting against the Republicans, and that the votes of the 5th Ward were not "non-thinking" votes? Are you aware of what the Republicans have been up to lately? Perhaps you've heard of a town called New Orleans?

Char said...


First of all, I didn’t say the folks who voted against DeSantis were “non-thinking”. I said folks who vote a straight ticket all the time, year after year are “non-thinking”. Whether it is a straight D ticket or a straight R ticket. Straight-ticket voters must think there are no differences between people. They must think every Republican/Democrat thinks the same exact thing. Every Republican is good/bad. Every Democrat is good/bad. They formed this opinion at some point in time and somehow think situations and circumstances never change. They trust that “their team” is uniform and unchanging and so therefore there is no need for them to ever evaluate or re-evaluate the situation. There is not a whole lot of thought which goes into pushing one button all the time, year after year. In fact only 17 of our 50 states still permit straight-ticket voting. And yes, as usual, Pennsylvania is part of the “progressive” minority.

As for somehow tying Katrina, Republicans and Pittsburgh’s mayoral election together …

You know, there are usually an abundance of issue differences between any two candidates whereby a healthy and robust debate can occur about what THEY say, what THEY think, what THEY do. Why do you and others have to go to the ends of the earth to link things together which have no link whatsoever?

Republicans, New Orleans, The Hill, Ravenstahl, DeSantis. It pains me to even have to link those words together in one of my own sentences. How come it doesn’t embarrass you to tie them together in yours?

I could point out that Gov. Blanco is a Democrat AND a woman who made unbelievably stupid mistakes in the Katrina mess which contributed to the deaths of many. New Orleans Mayor Nagin, also a Democrat, screwed up unbelievably. In fact, the New Orleans Levee Board over many, many pre-Katrina years blew money earmarked to strengthen the levees on silly stuff like a Mardi Gras fountain instead of the levees themselves. I could bring up all these things and many others ….. But why would I do that considering none of those things have anything whatsoever to do with Democrats (or women) in Pittsburgh or anywhere else in the world except for the specific situation in New Orleans?

If some African-American didn’t vote for DeSantis because of the Republican-led federal government’s screw up of disaster relief for New Orleans…… If some woman didn’t vote for Ravenstahl because of Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick “mishap”…… I wouldn’t call those people “non-thinking” voters. I’d call those people “silly-thinking” voters.