Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oh Sweet Lord, Please No!

This simply cannot be happening. Somebody please wake me up and tell me that this is all an exceptionally bad dream. Let me awaken to a Pittsburgh where former police chief Dominic J. Costa really isn't thinking about running for mayor.

The only way that this notion could ever work out for Mr. Costa would be if the majority of voters are as brain-damaged as he is. Then again, we are talking about the same electorate who gave us Pete "The Macer" DeFazio as sheriff and Darlene "Astroturf" Harris on City Council. Maybe brain damage isn't too much for Mr. Costa to hope for.

Like DeFazio and Harris, Dom Costa has consistently been on my "Top 10 List of Pittsburgh Public Officials Who Make Me Cringe With Embarrasment". He vaulted onto the list in 2002 with his grandstanding self-important heroics during a hostage standoff in Homewood. Then a district commander with the Pittsburgh Police, Mr. Costa did just about everything wrong that day, and ended up with a bullet in the brain for his trouble. It would be one thing if he was the only one affected by his mistakes. But his "all about me" attitude also got another police officer wounded, which is really what makes his failure unforgivable instead of merely tragic.

He then dropped off the list for a few years after he left the Pittsburgh Police on disability and departed from the public eye. Then Mayor Bob O'Connor managed to erase every shred of goodwill that I may have had for his young administration by nominating Mr. Costa to be our Chief of Police. Right up until that moment, I had held onto such enormous hope that Mr. O'Connor would do good things for Pittsburgh. But when he nominated Dom Costa for this position, I immediately knew that nothing was going to get any better.

I would love, at some point, to have somebody explain to me just why it is that we can't look outside of the city limits when we are shopping for a new police chief, but I'll save that issue for a later post someday.

In the wake of Mr. O'Connor's death and the ascendency of Luke Ravenstahl to the Mayor's office, the one bright spot amidst all that darkness was the (suprisingly sensible) decision by Mr. Costa to resign. Officially, we were told that he was departing for medical reasons due to his old bullet wound. But given the timing, the subtext was pretty clear. Without Mr. O'Connor's around to be his champion, Mr. Costa recognized that almost nobody else thought that his appointment as Chief of Police was an especially good idea.

And so, after two months where I didn't have to cringe every time I heard the words "Police Chief Domininc Costa", this story comes out:

"Every day, people come up to me and say 'You should run for mayor,' " said Costa, of Stanton Heights. "I feel humbled and flattered people in the city and in Allegheny County are urging me to run for public office.

"It would be remiss for me if I didn't look into it."
To borrow a bit from the Burgh Blog for a second, just who in the hell are these people who are urging Mr. Costa to run for mayor? I mean, who could possibly look at Mr. Costa's history and think that this is a good idea?

Then again, much like what we saw with Darlene Harris' election to City Council, having connections to the Democratic Machine could be the fuel that is feeding this delusional inferno. According to the Tribune-Review:
Dominic Costa's sister, Debra Costa, is a Penn Hills councilwoman. He has two cousins in the state Legislature -- Sen. Jay Costa, of Forest Hills, and Rep. Paul Costa, of Wilkins. Their brother, Guy Costa, is Pittsburgh's Public Works director. Another cousin, Ron Costa, is a district judge in Bloomfield.
So in other words, all of Pittsburgh's problems would somehow be fixed by having yet another Costa -- one with a bullet in his brain, no less -- in office? Yeah, that sounds like an excellent idea!

Oh please, let this all be a bad dream!


Anonymous said...

Costa's rug is nice

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, sir. Young Master Luke is a Jedi, and is destined to lead us

Anonymous said...

You should be stoned by a group of angry people. This man risked his life, good bad or indifferent. How dare you, what have you done so that you can claim the same. Go hide under your rock you piece of mung.

Ft Lauderdale, FL