Luke Ravenstahl

Infobox Mayor | Luke Ravenstahl
order=58th Mayor of Pittsburgh
term_start=September 1, 2006
term_end=
predecessor=Bob O'Connor
successor=Incumbent
birth_date= birth date and age |mf=yes| 1980 | 02 | 6
birth_place= Troy Hill, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
spouse= Erin Lynn Feith
alma_mater= Washington & Jefferson College
religion= Roman Catholic
party=Democratic

Luke Ravenstahl (b. February 6, 1980, Troy Hill, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is the current Mayor of Pittsburgh. In September 2006, he became the youngest mayor in Pittsburgh's history at the age of 26.cite news|url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06244/718522-100.stm |title=Ravenstahl sworn in as Pittsburgh mayor |last=Roddy |first = Dennis B. |work = Pittsburgh Post Gazette |date=2006-09-01 |accessdate=2007-01-01] He is also the youngest mayor of any major city in American history.cite web|url = http://kdka.com/video/?id=19751@kdka.dayport.com |title=Ravenstahl Among Youngest Mayors Ever |date=2006-09-04 |accessdate = 2007-01-01 |publisher = KDKA-TV |last=Highfield |first = David]

A graduate of North Catholic High School, Ravenstahl attended Mercyhurst College and the University of Pittsburgh before graduating from Washington & Jefferson College. Four months after his graduation, at the age of 23, he ran for a seat on the Pittsburgh City Council. He was elected and took office in January 2004 before being appointed City Council President in December 2005. After the death of Pittsburgh mayor Bob O'Connor, Ravenstahl became the acting mayor, per the city's charter, on September 1, 2006. Wording in the charter was ambiguous and it was unclear how long Ravenstahl could serve as acting mayor before an election was required.

Personal life


2008 Pennsylvania Democratic Presidential Primary on April 22, 2008.

Ravenstahl's family has a history of involvement with politics. His father is a judge, his grandfather, Robert P. Ravenstahl Sr., represented the 20th legislative district as a state representative and Democratic ward leader in the North Side. He was defeated in the 1976 democratic primary by a young Tom Murphy, who would go on to become mayor himself.cite web|url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06246/718782-53.stm|title=Ravenstahl's political roots go deep on the city's North Side|last=Roddy |first = Dennis |work = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | publisher = PG Publishing Co., Inc. |date=2006-09-03- |accessdate=2007-01-24 ] His father, Robert P. Ravenstahl Jr., is a district magistrate on the Northside, serving Wards 26 & 27 [ [http://www.alleghenycourts.us/district_justices/results.asp?street_name=rd&pageno=41 Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania ] ] He is the head coach for the North Catholic High School football team. Ravenstahl's mother was a crossing guard in the neighborhood of Manchester and is currently a teacher's aide with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Ravenstahl is the oldest of 3 brothers. He became involved in Pittsburgh politics at an early age, helping distribute literature for his father's campaign and becoming the Democratic committeeman at 18.

Ravenstahl graduated from North Catholic High School in 1998, where he was class president and played baseball and football. He attended Mercyhurst College, where he played football, for one year before transferring to the University of Pittsburgh, where he attempted make the football team as a walk-on. He transferred to Washington & Jefferson College, where he graduated with honors with a degree in business administration in December 2002.cite press release | title = W&J Graduate Elected Mayor of Pittsburgh | publisher = Washington & Jefferson College | date = 2007-11-07 | url = http://www.washjeff.edu/content.aspx?section=2210&menu_id=517&crumb=518&page_title=Current%20Press%20Releases&id=10629 | accessdate = 2008-05-09] He was W&J's starting place kicker for three years and was team captain for his senior year.cite web | last = Reid | first =Robert | title = Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl Addresses W&J’s Class of 2007 | publisher = Jay Connected | url = http://www.washjeff.edu/uploadedFiles/External_Relations/For_the_Media/Winter07Mag.pdf | format = PDF | ] He currently holds the school record for most consecutive extra points. [cite web | title = INDIVIDUAL RECORDS | work = W&J College Football Records | publisher = Washington & Jefferson College Athletic Department | url = http://www.washjeff.edu/uploadedFiles/Athletics/Athletics/Fall_Sports/Football/06recbook.pdf | format = PDF | ]

He worked summer jobs for the post office, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the office of the Pittsburgh city controller. Following graduation from W&J, Ravenstahl worked as an account manager for a courier service.cite news|url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06245/718587-53.stm |title=New mayor Luke Ravenstahl confident he is ready to lead city |last=Lord |first = Rich |work = Pittsburgh Post Gazette |date=2006-09-02 |accessdate=2007-01-01 |coauthors=Bill Toland]

In July 2004, he married Erin Lynn Feith, who he began dating in high school. After high school, Erin attended the Pittsburgh Beauty Academy and now works at a beauty salon and spa. They now reside in the Summer Hill neighborhood of the Northside. Ravenstahl is a Roman Catholic and attends mass weekly at Holy Wisdom Parish in the Northside. [cite web | title = About Mayor Luke Ravenstahl | publisher = Mayor's Office | url = http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/mayor/html/about_the_mayor.html | format = | accessdate = 2008-05-16] They are expecting their first child in the fall of 2008.

On May 19, 2007, Ravenstahl delivered the keynote address at Washington & Jefferson College's 208th commencement celebration. He served as honorary co-captain with fellow W&J graduate Roger Goodell during W&J's 2006 homecoming football game. [cite press release | title = Mayor of Pittsburgh to Serve as Honorary Co-Captain W&J Homecoming Football Game | publisher = Washington & Jefferson College | url = http://www.washjeff.edu/content.aspx?section=2210&menu_id=517&crumb=518&page_title=2006%20Press%20Releases&id=7474 | accessdate = 2008-05-09]

Career on City Council

In April 2003, just four months after graduating from college, Ravenstahl ran for the Democratic nomination for the Pittsburgh City Council's District 1 seat against incumbent Barbara Burns. At the time, the 23-year old Ravenstahl was a Democratic committeeman in the 26th ward and had won the local party endorsement. Burns, who had several years experience working for the state government and neighborhood groups, was endorsed by Mayor Tom Murphy. [ [http://www.post-gazette.com/election/20030429districtone0429p4.asp North Side candidates a study in contrast] ] Ravenstahl defeated Burns with 54.5% of the vote. [ [http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_173155.html Two new council members are sworn in] ] He credited his win to a combination of grassroots campaigning, a voter registration drive aimed at 18- to 25- year-olds, and a general dissatisfaction with Mayor Murphy. [ [http://www.post-gazette.com/downloads/20030521electpages.PDF PRIMARY2003] ] [ [http://www.post-gazette.com/election/20030522citycouncileln2.asp City council president campaign off to an early start] ] Ravenstahl was sworn in as the youngest member of City Council in Pittsburgh's history in January 2004. During his first few weeks on City Council, Ravenstahl's bill to reduce the newly imposed parking tax from 50% to 33% was vetoed by Mayor Tom Murphy, who was unwilling to balance the budget with $3 million from the Urban Redevelopment Authority. [ [http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_195318.html Ravenstahl supported bill to cut parking tax] ]

On December 7, 2005, Ravenstahl became the youngest President of the Pittsburgh City Council, when Gene Riccardi (who had been elected district justice) stepped down from that post in a move seen as paving the way for ally Jim Montznik. [cite news|url=http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_401455.html |title=Ravenstahl elected city council president |author=Jeremy Boren |publisher=Pittsburgh Tribude-review|date=December 7, 2005 |accessdate=2008-08-11] However, Montznik was unable to secure the votes needed to win the presidency, and Ravenstahl emerged as a compromise candidate. [ [http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/search/s_396008.html On his climb to the summit, councilman loses his footing] ] He was re-elected unanimously at the re-organization meeting in January 2006, when the new members of the city council took office. One of his first major hurdles was to deal with the two state budget oversight boards. [cite news |url=http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_403767.html |title=Council urged to share health costs with workers |author=Jeremy Boren |date=December 14, 2005 |publisher=Pittsburgh Tribune-Review |accessdate=2008-08-11 ] Per provisions in the city's charter, Ravenstahl ascended from the office of City Council President to Mayor on September 1, 2006, following the death of Mayor Bob O'Connor.

Interim Mayor of Pittsburgh

Due to ambiguous language in the city's charter, a controversy developed about how long Ravenstahl could temporarily serve as mayor before an election had to be held. Ravenstahl stated his desire to fulfill the remainder of O'Connor's term.cite news|url = http://www.postgazette.com/pg/06247/718950-53.stm |title=Doubts surround how long Ravenstahl can be mayor |last=Bucsko |first = Mike |work = Pittsburgh Post Gazette |date=2006-09-04 |accessdate=2007-01-01] cite news|url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06245/718563-53.stm |title=City of Pittsburgh charter vague on length of term for mayor's successor |last=Lord |first = Rich |work = Pittsburgh Post Gazette |date=2006-09-02 |accessdate=2007-01-01] cite news|url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06249/719325-53.stm |title=Former top city lawyer opposes succession opinion |last=Lord |first = Rich |work = Pittsburgh Post Gazette |date=2006-09-06 |accessdate=2007-01-01]

The charter refers to holding a new election when someone ascends to mayor through a vacancy but makes no mention of serving out the full term. It was unclear when the election could or should be held due to a confusing phrase that says the "vacancy in the mayor's office shall be filled at the next election permitted by law", yet not elaborating on what "permitted by law" means. [http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/city_clerk/assets/HOMERULE%20Revised%2012-7-00.pdf#search=%22pittsburgh%20home%20rule%20charter%22 Pittsburgh Home Rule Charter] ]

Ravenstahl instructed the city's legal department to quickly obtain a decision as to when the election should be held.cite news|url = http://www.postgazette.com/pg/06252/720428-53.stm |title=Mayor Ravenstahl changes key posts, targets budget |last=Lord |first = Rich |work = Pittsburgh Post Gazette |date=2006-09-09 |accessdate=2007-01-01] On October 12, 2006, the Allegheny County Board of Elections decided unanimously that mayoral candidates would compete in the May 15, 2007, primary election followed by the November 6, 2007, general election. The winner of the general election will take office after the election results are certified, and the term will end in January 2010.cite news|url = http://www.postgazette.com/pg/06286/729694-182.stm |title=Ravenstahl must run next year |last=Rotstein |first = Gary|work = Pittsburgh Post Gazette |date=2006-10-13 |accessdate=2007-01-01]

In his first official act as mayor, Ravenstahl ordered the city flag at all city locations to be flown at half staff and declared the city in a state of mourning. Ravenstahl and deputy mayor Yarone Zober had been coordinating city government since O'Connor's medical diagnosis in July 2006, which limited O'Connor to the confines of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Shadyside, while O'Connor convalesced.

Media coverage of Ravenstahl has included a feature story in "The New York Times", and an appearance on "Late Show with David Letterman" on September 14, 2006. Ravenstahl was concerned about how appropriate the coverage would appear in the wake of Bob O'Connor's death, but O'Connor's widow encouraged him to participate in the media coverage and continue O'Connor's work as a "cheerleader" for Pittsburgh. [cite news
last = McNulty
first = Timothy
title = Ravenstahl finds Letterman's spotlight bittersweet
language = Post Gazette
date = 2006-09-15
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06258/722070-53.stm
accessdate = 2008-05-16
]

Ravenstahl played an important role in helping other local officials, including Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell negotiate with the Mario Lemieux-led Pittsburgh Penguins ownership group to keep the team in Pittsburgh. [cite news
last = O'Toole
first = James
title = Risks over arena great for public officials and franchise
work = Post Gazette
date = 2007-03-07
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07066/767367-53.stm
accessdate = 2008-05-16
] [cite news
last = Smizik
first = Bob
title = Political futures may hinge on arena deal
work = Post Gazette
date = 2007-03-07
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07066/767418-194.stm
accessdate = 2008-05-16
]

After generally following O'Connor's agenda for the first few months of his term, Ravenstahl began to implement his own agenda, including pursuing a tax break for new housing in downtown, proposing college aid for city high school graduates, improving diversity in city government.cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = O'Connor left behind one-page 'vision' for city through 2010
work = Pittsburgh Post Gazette
date = 2007-09-02
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07245/814129-53.stm
accessdate = 2008-05-16
] He also began replacing O'Connor's staffers with his own. He also continued O'Connor's "311" city help line proposal, as well as the "Redd-Up" crews. [cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = Taint of politics colors city's Redd Up work
work = Pittsburgh Post Gazette
date = 2007-05-20
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07140/787561-53.stm
accessdate = 2008-05-16
] [cite news
last = Boren
first = Jeremy
title = City kicks off help line
publisher = Pittsburgh Tribune Review
date = 2006-10-24
url = http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/today/s_476364.html
accessdate = 2008-05-16
]

Controversy over 2005 arrest

In January 2007, radio and television talk show host John McIntire wrote in his Pittsburgh politics blog "MacYapper" that on Halloween night 2005 at Heinz Field, then-City Councilman Ravenstahl shoved a Pittsburgh police officer and was led away in handcuffs but released shortly after. The blog speculated that O'Connor, who was not yet mayor, played a role in keeping the incident quiet. The rumors spread to other Pittsburgh politics blogs, forcing Ravenstahl to go public to dispel the rumors. [cite web| url =http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/10786616/detail.html| title =Blogging Causes Ravenstahl Incident To Hit High Water| accessdate = 2007-01-24| date= 2007-01-18| publisher = WTAE-TV] Ravenstahl's response induced a large amount of mainstream media coverage of the incident.

During a radio interview with KDKA, Ravenstahl responded to the allegations by saying that McIntire had lied. McIntire said that the mayor's response further brought into question his maturity. [cite web| url =http://kdka.com/local/local_story_019203048.html| title =Blog Brought Ravenstahl Story To Light| accessdate = 2007-01-24| date= 2007-01-19| publisher = KDKA-TV] Robert McNeilly, Pittsburgh's police chief when the incident occurred, publicly questioned how the case was handled, saying that the behavior of both Ravenstahl and Pittsburgh Police Officer Mark Hoehn should have been scrutinized more closely. "Admits to drinking with several of his friends. Becomes argumentative with a police officer. Using vulgarity towards a police officer. Led away in handcuffs", McNeilly said, " [H] ow many 25-year-old young men who have been drinking, who were just vulgar with the police and shouting at the police, would be un-handcuffed and released?"cite web| url =http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/10795764/detail.html| title =Former Police Chief Speaks Up About Ravenstahl Incident| accessdate = 2007-01-24| date= 2007-01-19| publisher = WTAE-TV] McNeilly said that both word of an unusual situation like this not traveling up the chain of command, as well as the lack of documentation, are out of the ordinary.

Lemieux Celebrity Invitational Golf incident

Ravenstahl also created controversy for his participation in the $9,000-a-head Mario Lemieux Celebrity Invitational golf outing in June 2007. His participation was sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Members of the Pittsburgh city ethics board cited concerns about the "perception" that he might owe something to those who subsidized his participation. [cite web| url =http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07234/811154-53.stm| title =Mayor Defends his Golf Outing| accessdate = 2007-08-24| date= 2007-08-21| publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] Republican mayoral candidate Mark DeSantis challenged Ravenstahl to sign an [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07198/802226-181.stm 'ethics pledge'] in response to this incident. Six months later, mayor Ravenstahl introduced legislation that would have kept UPMC from paying any future taxes, and possibly some current taxes. [cite web| url =http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07351/842371-100.stm|title =Mayor to council: Tax credits for UPMC for Pittsburgh Promise| accessdate = 2007-12-17| publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] Further complicating matters was that the mayor held this for weeks until the very last session of the 2007 City Council (2 of the 9 members were outgoing, and one had resigned under indictment). [cite web| url =http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07353/842763-53.stm|title =City weighs UPMC trade-off| accessdate = 2007-12-19| date= 2007-12-19| publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Questionable use of police vehicle

Over the weekend of August 18, 2007, Ravenstahl used a Homeland Security funded SUV to go to a Toby Keith concert at the Post Gazette Pavilion. The Mayor's use of the GMC Yukon to travel to the concert may have violated the terms of the grant that funded the purchase of the vehicle. Responding to the allegations of impropriety, Ravenstahl said "I'm still going to continue to be who I'm going to be, and go to concerts like I always have, and go to have a drink with my wife in bars. That's what 27-year-olds do and I shouldn't be any different ... [I] 'm not going to change my life to appease the media or appease somebody who wants me to be somebody I'm not. I think the fact that I'm 27 is something the city should embrace and it's something that I've embraced."cite web| url =http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07276/822509-100.stm?cmpid=MOSTEMAILEDBOX| title =Mayor defends use of SUV; U.S. attorney to review it| accessdate = 2007-10-21| date= 2007-10-03| publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] Sgt. Mona Wallace was reportedly intimidated for reporting the incident to Public Safety Director Michael Huss. [cite news
last = Delano
first = John
title = Sources: Officials Knew Mayor Shouldn't Use SUV
publisher = KDKA
date = 2007-10-04
url = http://kdka.com/topstories/Ravenstahl.SUV.Mayor.2.379924.html
accessdate = 2008-05-16
] Police Chief Nate Harper began disciplinary measures against her, but the reprimand was rescinded by Huss.

Reaction to controversies

In a story by "The New York Times", Ravenstahl complained that he could no longer attend Pittsburgh Steelers games. "I just can’t enjoy the game when I know I’m going to get hounded by the press the whole time", Ravenstahl said. [cite web| url =http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/08/us/08pittsburgh.html?hp| title =In Media’s Eye, Young Mayor Says He’s Learning| accessdate = 2007-10-25| date= 2007-10-03| work = The New York Times] In the same story, Ravenstahl discussed a number of controversies that have surrounded him in his time as mayor:

2007 Special election

Ravenstahl was unopposed on the ballot in the Democratic primary, held on May 17, 2007, to finish the remainder of Bob O'Connor's unfinished term. His chief opponent, Pittsburgh City Council member Bill Peduto, withdrew before the primary, claiming refusing to engage in a negative campaign that many said would have been required to defeat Ravenstahl. [ [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07081/771552-182.stm Analysis: Negative race could have marred Peduto's future] ] His eventual Republican challenger, CEO and adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University Mark DeSantis did not appear on the Republican ballot, instead gaining the nomination through a write-in campaign. [cite web| url=http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/bio%5Cfaculty/markd2.html| title=The Heinz School - About the Heinz School| accessdate = 2007-10-25| publisher = Carnegie Mellon]

DeSantis' candidacy garnered an unusual amount of interest in a city where no Republican had been elected mayor in since the Great Depression. He was endorsed by Pittsburgh's two major newspapers, including the conservative-leaning "Pittsburgh Tribune Review" [ [http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/archive/s_534843.html For Pittsburgh mayor: Elect Mark DeSantis] ] and the liberal-leaning "Pittsburgh Post Gazette". [ [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07301/828883-35.stm For mayor: Mark DeSantis is the choice for a new Pittsburgh] ] He was also endorsed by the city's police union [ [http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/columnists/steigerwald/s_536181.html City police endorse DeSantis for mayor] ] and was profiled on Fox News. [ [http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/columnists/steigerwald/s_536181.html Light at the end of the city's Dems?] ]

Of the 28% of registered voters who voted in the general election, 63% chose Ravenstahl and 35% voted for DeSantis. [cite web | title = SUMMARY REPORT Allegheny County 2007 Municipal Election Final Results | url = http://www.county.allegheny.pa.us/elect/200711gen/el45.htm | accessdate = 2007-11-07 ] [ [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07311/831797-53.stm Ravenstahl cruises to 2 more years as Pittsburgh's mayor] ] [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07312/832124-155.stm GOP spent big, got no change] ] Ravenstahl will continue as mayor of Pittsburgh until 2010, when the term of the late Bob O'Connor is finished.

Finishing O'Connor's Term as Mayor

2008 Democratic Presidential Primary in Pennsylvania

Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton at a rally on March 14, 2008, at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall. The double endorsements, coupled with endorsements from Governor Ed Rendell and Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll, were seen as an indication her strong support in Pennsylvania. [cite news
last = O'Toole | first = James | coauthors = | title = Onorato, Ravenstahl back Clinton | work = | pages = | language = | publisher = Pittsburgh Post Gazette | date = 2008-03-14 | url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08074/865144-176.stm |
] Ravenstahl marched with Clinton the next day in Pittsburgh's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade [cite news
last = O'Toole
first = James
coauthors = Anya Sostek
title = Revelers greet Clinton with warm Pittsburgh reception
publisher = Pittsburgh Post Gazette
date = 2008-03-16
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08076/865599-85.stm
]

Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll made headlines with comments that she made at a rally with Bill Clinton in Market Square. Referring to Ravenstahl and Dan Onorato, whom she felt slighted her in the introductions, "These two men can't stand women." [cite news
title = Lt. Gov. Knoll Jabs Ravenstahl, Onorato In Front Of President Clinton
work = The Pittsburgh Channel
publisher = WTAE
url = http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/politics/15949104/detail.html
]

Banner-Gate

During the 2008 Stanley Cup playoff run of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Penguins and Reebok proposed putting up convert|40|ft|m|sing=on by convert|85|ft|m|sing=on advertisements on two downtown buildings. Due to controversy over a no-bid electronic billboard approved by director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority Pat Ford, there was a moratorium on new downtown signage. [cite web| url =http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08101/872206-100.stm| title =URA board calls for state ethics investigation on billboards| accessdate = 2008-04-10| date= 2008-04-10| publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] . The Penguins and Reebok thought that they could not get new signage put up during this moratorium, and they contacted the mayor's chief of staff, Yarone Zober, to confirm this. Zober worked with City Council, including Council President Doug Shields to get this done and worked until 10 pm on a Friday night to finalize an agreement. Legislation was written to get the "holiday" banners put up but because of Victoria Day in Canada, Reebok could not get the banners printed in time. Ravenstahl blamed the inability to get the signs printed on City Council. [cite web| url =http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08142/883612-100.stm| title =Penguins signs held up by city billboard moratorium| date= 2008-05-21| publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] Councilman Bill Peduto, a Penguins season ticket holder, went so far as to call this accusation a "bold faced lie". [cite web| url =http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08143/883869-53.stm| title =Penguins call off plan for banners; Ravenstahl wants to go to Detroit but awaits ethics ruling| date= 2008-05-22| publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] E-mails obtained by WTAE TV of Pittsburgh between City Bureaucrats, Councilmembers, the Penguins and the Mayor's office supported Peduto's claims. [citeweb| url =http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/video/16366976/index.html| title =Huge Pittsburgh Pens Banners Axed; City E-Mails Show Background| date= 2008-05-20| publisher = WTAE]

Allegations of Corruption

*On August 27th, 2008, suspended Urban Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Pat Ford resigned in a tersely worded letter to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Chief of Staff Yarone Zober. [cite news
last = Ford
first = Pat
title = Text of Pat Ford's letter of resignation as URA executive director
publisher = "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette"
date = August 27, 2008
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08240/907308-85.stm
] The letter claims that the Ravenstahl administration is characterized by a “culture of deception and corruption.” [cite news
title = Pat Ford resigns from URA post
publisher = Pittsburgh Business Times
date = August 27, 2008
url = http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stories/2008/08/25/daily14.html
] [>cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = Urban Redevelopment boss Pat Ford Resigns
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = August 27, 2008
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08240/907303-100.stm
] When asked to substantiate these rumors of corruption, Ford lawyer Lawrence Fisher replied: "the way contracts are supposed to be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, and the way contributions have been made to the mayor, I think it's self-evident." [cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = Urban Redevelopment boss Pat Ford resigns
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = August 27, 2008
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08240/907303-100.stm
] Specifically, Mr. Fisher referred to the recent awarding of a URA contract to the highest of three bidders, contrary to Pennsylvania state law that states such contracts must be awarded to the "lowest responsible bidder." [cite news
last = Boren
first = Jeremy
title = URA bid went to highest of three finalists
publisher = Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
date = August 16, 2008
url = http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_583212.html
] In addition to the claims of corruption, Mr. Ford called Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's "a failed administration" that forced him "to serve as a scapegoat for the inappropriate affairs and activities of others." [cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = URA chief lambastes mayor upon resigning
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = August 28, 2008
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08241/907593-53.stm
] Councilman William Peduto issued a statement that the contracting issue "goes much further than Pat Ford. Pittsburgh is no longer a city that is open for business; Pittsburgh is a city for sale." [cite news
last = Boren
first = Jeremy
title = Exiting URA chief blasts mayor, corruption
publisher = Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
date = August 28, 2008
url = http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_585255.html
]

*In December of 2006, Matthew McTish, president of McTish, Kunkel & Associates, gave $10,000 to Ravenstahl's campaign. In August of 2007, McTish, Kinkel & Associates was awarded a $525,000 contract by the Urban Redevelopment Authority despite being the highest of three bidders. [cite news
last = Boren
first = Jeremy
title = URA bid went to highest of three finalists
publisher = Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
date = August 16, 2008
url = http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_583212.html
] [>cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = Mayor: Ford attacks others to help self
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = August 30, 2008
url = http://postgazette.com/pg/08243/908225-53.stm
] That contract, and other URA dealings, are currently under investigation by the City Controller. [cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = Mayor: Ford attacks others to help self
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = August 30, 2008
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08243/908225-53.stm
] [cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = URA ignores its own rules in parking lot contracts
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = September 8, 2008
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08252/910293-53.stm
] [cite news
last = Houser
first = Mark
title = Pittsburgh councilman urges URA contracts review
publisher = Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
date = August 22, 2008
url = http://livesite.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_584301.html
]

*In 2006, two Liberty Pacific Media executives gave $12,500 each to the mayor's campaign fund after a dinner and drinks meeting with URA Director Pat Ford and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. [cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = Digital Billboard to get a hearing
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = April 18, 2008
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08109/874477-52.stm
] Permit applications for an electronic billboard were granted without public hearings or votes despite the fact that the signs were erected in two areas -- the Cultural District and the North Shore -- where they are not allowed under the city zoning code. [cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = How dinner meeting led to $750,000 billboard deal in city
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = April 17, 2008
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08108/874136-53.stm
] Additionally, there was no competitive bid for the erection of this illegal billboard, instead the contract went to Liberty Pacific without any outside competition from other billboard firms. [cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = Plan to erect LED sign bypasses city panels, gets approval anyway
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = February 12, 2008
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08043/856736-52.stm
]

*In June of 2007 the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center paid $27,000 for Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and two of the health care giant's executives to play two days of golf during a charity event. [cite news
last = Boren
first = Jeremy
title = Pittsburgh mayor's free golf may not be on par
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = July 6, 2007
url = http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_515982.html
] At the end of that year, the mayor's office would introduce legislation that would allow the not-for-profit UPMC to not pay any city taxes in the future, and not pay the few taxes they were currently paying. [cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = UPMC payment to Promise partly at city's expense
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = December 18, 2008
url = http://www.postgazette.com/pg/07352/842608-100.stm
] Additionally, UPMC, with help from the administration, was allowed to erect a 1,900 square foot sign atop the U.S. Steel Tower after the city's planning department initally rejected the application. [cite news
last = Mark
first = Belko
title = Planning board OKs UPMC logo atop U.S. Steel Tower
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = June 27, 2008
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07178/797432-53.stm
]

*In February 2008, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, "in consultation with board Chairman Yarone Zober, who is Mr. Ravenstahl's chief of staff," awarded multiple leases, without board approval, to the lowest bidder. The "winning" bid would cost the city $91,188. The owner of the company that won the bid, even though it had the worst offer, Robert Giglioti is known in government circles as the valet provider and some-time political liaison at LeMont restaurant, scene of high-dollar fund-raisers, including Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's. [cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = URA ignores its own rules in parking lot contracts
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = September 8, 2008
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08252/910293-53.stm
]

*In 2008 the Mayor vetoed a campaign finance reform bill that would have limited large campaign contributions. [cite news
last = Lord
first = Rich
title = Mayor vetoes campaign finance reform
publisher = Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
date = June 9, 2008
url = http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08161/888622-100.stm
]

Election history

{| class="wikitable" style="margin:0.5em ; font-size:95%"
+ Mayor of Pittsburgh!|Year!!|Democrat!|Votes!|Pct!!|Republican!|Votes!|Pct!!|Socialist Workers!|Votes!|Pct!!|Libertarian!|Votes!|Pct
-
2007 [cite news |title=2007 Municipal Election Official Summary report |work=Allegheny County |date=2007-11-26 |url=http://www.county.allegheny.pa.us/elect/200711gen/el45.htm ] |
Party shading/Democratic |Luke Ravenstahl
Party shading/Democratic align="right" |43,557
Party shading/Democratic |63.2|
Party shading/Republican |Mark DeSantis
Party shading/Republican align="right" |24,025
Party shading/Republican |34.9%|
Party shading/Socialist |Ryan Scott
Party shading/Socialist align="right" |550
Party shading/Socialist |0.7%|
Party shading/Libertarian |Tony Olivia
Party shading/Libertarian align="right" |504
Party shading/Libertarian |0.7%|
###@@@KEYEND@@@###

ee also

* List of the youngest mayors in the United States
* Youth politics

References

External links

* [http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/mayor/ Mayor Luke Ravenstahl official Pittsburgh city website]
* [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06245/718587-53.stm New Mayor Confident He Can Lead City]
* [http://articles.news.aol.com/news/_a/baby-faced-mayor-takes-over-an-aging/20060908234809990005?ncid=NWS00010000000001 Baby-Faced Mayor Takes Over an Aging Pittsburgh] , The New York Times article, September 9, 2006
* [http://lukeformayor.com/ Luke For Mayor, Ravenstahl's reelection site]
* [http://www.citymayors.com/mayors/pittsburgh-mayor.html CityMayors profile]


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