Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
On the “Watch List”: The Pittsburgh mayoral race. Serious Democrat candidates are emerging in the aftermath of incumbent Democrat Luke Ravenstahl's decision to not seek re-election. Think Jack Wagner and Jim Ferlo. But there also are the unserious. Think City Council President Darlene Harris, state Sen. Wayne Fontana and state Rep. Jake Wheatley. Look for others of both species to declare as Tuesday's filing deadline nears.
Lance: To Bill Robinson. The Democrat Allegheny County councilman says he, too, is running for Pittsburgh mayor. But there's a problem — he's still sitting on the county council. States the county Home Rule Charter (Article III, Section 6, Part B): “A County Council Member shall not be a candidate for nomination or election to any political office other than that of County Council without having first resigned from County Council.” No ifs, ands, ors or buts, Mr. Robinson must resign — now.
Lance: Pittsburgh Public Schools. It's warning, again, that it will go broke in 2015. It blames, among other things, the continuing exodus of students to charter, parochial and private schools. Allow us to translate: A district whose per-pupil spending is among the highest in the nation — one that even bribes families with college scholarships for mediocre performance — is failing to satisfy the educational demands of a growing number of city residents and they're fleeing the educratic establishment. And the district wants even more taxpayer money to double down on that failure?