Sunday, August 13, 2006

What does politics have to do with hockey?

There is a great article on the "close friends" of Pittsburgh Mayor O'Connor on the front page of the Post-Gazette this morning. What does that have to do with hockey? Just keep reading to the end for the kicker (or just go read the actual article - that will give it away too).

For those of you who haven't been following the saga of Mayor O'Connor, here is a brief synopsis:
  1. Mayor diagnosed with cancer, goes into hospital.
  2. Circle around mayor closes, allowing only close friends to see him while he's in the hospital.
  3. Under advisement from close friends (ie, cronies), mayor fires several aides that were seen as disloyal (the firings are done with the mayor on a conference call from his hospital bed). They were also more progressive, and not entrenched in the same political games that the other "close friends" were.
  4. With mayor still in hospital, several cronies, er, I mean, "close friends" show their influence.
That's where the article picks up, with demonstrations of the influence being wielded by four people in particular. None of these guys was elected or appointed to any official capacity, but they all have clout. How is that the case? Because it's typical Pittsburgh politics, if you ask me.

Anyway, the kicker I promised:

What do three of the four "close friends" have in common? They are all working for (or with) Forest City / Harrahs in an effort to bring their casino to Pittsburgh. It's no wonder Mayor O'Connor refused to endorse a plan. I'll also be shocked and amazed if anyone but Harrahs is awarded this casino license.

Read the article if you haven't done so yet. I know Mayor Murphy wasn't anyone's favorite, but he certainly didn't seem to engage in these kind of games.

No comments: