Whack the Mole | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
Favorite

Whack the Mole 

Political punditry: The play-at-home version

It's the question that has Grant Street buzzing: Who let Post-Gazette reporter Tim McNulty listen in on a conference call between city officials and Gov. Ed Rendell, a call in which Rendell seemed to be planning to levy a new tax on Pittsburgh commuters?

 

McNulty will never crack: Having sat through years of City Council meetings, he has a superhuman ability to withstand torture. Politicians, on the other hand, can't keep their mouths shut after the third beer, so the truth will probably come out eventually. Until then, take the opportunity to make wild guesses by engaging in scurrilous gossip and unfounded speculation -- just like the pros! Here's the City Paper morning line on which of the nine councilors is the most likely culprit.

 



Twanda Carlisle

 

Reason to think he/she did it:

To prove to a reporter that there was at least one City Council function she took an active part in.

 

Reason to think he/she didn't:*

She rarely even returns reporters' calls; why would she let them sit in on one?

 

Odds: 10 to 1


 

Luke Ravenstahl

Reason to think he/she did it:

Don't let the 24-year-old's boyish charm fool you. Plus, he tells City Paper he thinks it's "unfortunate ... such calls are taking place without the involvement of all of council."

 

Reason to think he/she didn't:*

Other councilors don't usually give him phone privileges until he finishes his chores and homework.

 

Odds: 9 to 1

 

 



Alan Hertzberg

 

Reason to think he/she did it:

Hasn't done anything to really jerk Murphy's chain in days. He's gotta be feeling the itch.

 

Reason to think he/she didn't:*

He's too busy getting fitted for judicial robes.

 

Odds: 8 to 1

 



Sala Udin

 

Reason to think he/she did it:

So that once, just once, an African American could have some impact on deliberations over the city's financial rescue plan.

 

Reason to think he/she didn't:*

He's not a big fan of such scoops. In 2000, he demanded McNulty and a second P-G reporter be investigated for reporting another leak: a memo Udin sent to contractors asking for campaign contributions. Udin called the two "unprincipled reporters greedy for a scoop."

 

Odds: 7 to 1

 



Leonard Bodack

 

Reason to think he/she did it:

Told City Paper "I think somebody did it to get their name in the paper"; given his near- silence in formal council meetings, this may be his only shot.

 

Reason to think he/she didn't:*

Too affable to pull something like this. Hell, probably too affable for regular City Council meetings.

 

Odds: 6 to 1

 

 



Bill Peduto

 

Reason to think he/she did it:

Truth is, Peduto only got into public service for the kicks.

 

Reason to think he didn't:*

Rendell would take away Peduto's New Democrat decoder ring if he found out.

 

Odds: 5 to 1

 

 



Gene Ricciardi

Reason to think he/she did it:

By demanding the leak be investigated, he doth protest too much, some Grant Streeters say. In fact, calling for an investigation of his own leak would be just the kind of move that has earned him the nickname "Eddie Haskell."

 

Reason to think he/she didn't:*

His wife works for the governor. Plus, the P-G didn't quote him saying anything. Ricciardi would never let that happen if he were calling the shots

 

Odds: 4 to 1

 

 



Doug Shields

Reason to think he/she did it:

He's "quirky that way," as one Democratic insider puts it, and under a lot of pressure. He's wavered on the bailout deal and might want to torpedo it, but couldn't do so outright: His old boss, former City Councilor Bob O'Connor, now works for the governor.

 

Reason to think he/she didn't:*

His old boss, former City Councilor Bob O'Connor, now works for the governor.

 

Odds: 3 to 1

 

 



Jim Motznik

 

Reason to think he/she did it:

Motznik hates financial plans that hurt city workers and has been a vocal critic of the entire bailout process. He's also the Wild Child of City Council: lovable but feral, prone to acting out with stunts like wearing sewer boots to council meetings.

 

Reason to think he/she didn't:*

Because he has to know he's the first person everyone will suspect.

 

Odds: 2 to 1


 

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Listings

CP Newsletters

Sign up to get the freshest content sent right to your inbox.

No recent CP TV

© 2018 Pittsburgh City Paper

Website powered by Foundation

National Advertising by VMG Advertising