Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The day after...

Well...that was disappointing.

Not only did I fail in my attempt to become the next mayor of Pittsburgh but I was relegated to last place, not even capable of breaking 1000 votes. To say I am not disappointed would be a political cop-out that politicians use when they don't want you to see that they are upset. By now, you probably understand that such political machinations are not in my playbook.

Quite frankly, I'm mad as hell.

But that is just the guttural reaction that I have seeing that I lost. I like to win, I hate to lose. I am sure a town like Pittsburgh can appreciate the feeling.

But more than anything I am disappointed. I am disappointed in myself for not running a better campaign. For not getting out there enough door to door to make a it a wee bit closer.

I am disappointed in the media for choosing to dictate how this election would go and by closing me out of the debates and their staunch refusal to run any press releases from my camp so that when I went door to door too often people were surprised that there was anyone other than Mark and Luke running.

I am disappointed to everyone who went to the polls and for no other reason than party loyalty voted their party line. NOTE: I'm not disappointed in those who didn't vote for me...just in those who would have voted for their party's candidate even if he was a shaved monkey in a suit.

And I am once again disappointed in myself because when all was said and done last night, there was a moment when my idealistic outlook dimmed for just a little bit. I doubted for a moment that an honest man can win an election, that Pittsburgher's as a whole can look past the party and vote for the man, that I don't need a machine behind me in order to be taken seriously.

I had my low its time to rise again.

I have 2 years in order to start and build the most dynamic and engaging mayoral campaign this city has ever seen. I will knock on 100,000 doors if necessary and hold town hall meetings nightly. I was marginalized this time because I allowed myself to be marginalized. That was my mistake...I will not make it again. The majority of Pittsburgher's who voted yesterday voted to maintain the status quo and as such the city will continue to circle the drain for the next two years. Eventually, even the rank and file will have enough and my message of lower taxes, more freedoms and a better life will resonate.

On my travels this year I have met a number of people, energetic and talented, willing to help my cause...the cause to better Pittsburgh. I will have an even more dynamic team in 2009 taking the best people from all parts of the city, from all parties and backgrounds.

I made my mistakes this election...I will learn from them, I will improve because of them and I will win in 2009.

You think I need a miracle?

I don't believe in miracles...I believe in Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The day has come

Election day. I am anxious and excited. We shall see what my door to door grassroots campaign has wrought. What can a Libertarian with no political machine, no corporate sponsorship, no war chest in the hundreds of thousands of dollars do when he asks the people for their help.

It's in your hands no Pittsburgh. The future can either continue to look bleak and circle the drain with a vote for the status quo OR we can take a bold new step forward with new ideas, forward thinking and someone not beholden to politics as usual and who will always put the benefit of the people over any special interest.

It's up to you're future is in your hands. Vote your for the best man for the for Tony Oliva. With your help I will win.

I will not let you down.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


And down the stretch they come.

I haven't been able to keep very current with this blog and I apologize for that. What I have been doing is spending about 10 hours a day going door to door throughout the neighborhoods of this city and taking my message directly to the people.

In this city and in this country there has grown a widening disconnect between the politicians and the public. Politicians get so encapsulated in their own little world with blinders on that they forget that their job is to serve the people. The voters and the taxpayers of this city are the real bosses and as such they should be treated like the bosses. I have resolved that, when elected mayor, I will spend one week a month going door to door around the city getting the people's direct opinions, concerns, questions, etc so that I can be a better mayor and that the city can benefit everyone, not just the rich who have money to burn on campaign contributions.

I can understand why people don't trust politicians; you usually only see them at election time or a photo opportunity. Well, when I started this campaign I promised that I wouldn't be a politician...I would just be the man my father raised me to be and try my best to do a good job. I don't think that the voters can ask for more, or deserve any less. It's long passed due that we had a person in office that put the citizens of Pittsburgh's needs ahead of his own.

I believe that I am that person. With that being said, I need your help to do it. The 2 old parties have their big money, political machine, dirty tactics and all the like; I have the common sense and belief of the citizens of this city. I now call on you all to give me your effort as well. I am only one man and if I could go to 200,000 houses I would win this election in a landslide but I can't. I need help from those who I have had the opportunity to talk to, who have seen the promise in my ideas and the gauged the strength of my character to go out and tell some people about me. Tell them to go and check my website and to come and read this blog. The old parties want to try and silence me because they are afraid that I will do everything I say when I am elected mayor and they see their power base threatened because of it. I don't care about power bases or inter-party politics. What I care about is the well being and prosperity of the city and its people.

If you believe in my vision for the city and believe that I am the man to make it happen I humbly ask that you call up a friend, family member, coworker who may be undecided, who may have given up on voting, who may just vote for a party out of reflex and tell them a little about me.

When elected I will not have a political machine pulling my strings, I will not have special interest contributors to pay back or any favors to return...I am going door to door and taking my message directly to the people so that when elected, the only people I have to repay, are the good people of this city who elected me.

Believe in me and I will save this city. Help me, and so will you!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fighting back

Once again it seems as if the self fulfilling prophecy strikes at me. Allow me to explain, on Saturday I was to be in a debate with Luke Ravenstahl and Mark DeSantis on PCTV21. Emphasis on the was. They both backed out and the debate was cancelled. Oh, they are still having a debate between the two of them but I am, as of yet, not invited.

It gets pretty frustrating when the media tries to influence an election so strongly. You see, they say I have no legitimate shot so they exclude me...but in truth they exclude me and thus try to negate any shot that I would have. Hence my using the term, Self Fulfilling Prophecy. If the media was fair and didn't treat the voting public as cattle to be led about on a leash then they would have me at these debates and let the voters decide who should be the next mayor of Pittsburgh. As it stands right now, they are trying an end around the democratic process. And let us not leave out my two opponents, they could simply say, lets have the Libertarian debate with us but they don't. Why? Because they don't want to lose votes. Luke is afraid I'll take the young demographic and socially moderate while DeSantis thinks I am going to take the fiscally minded and overtaxed demographic.

Funny thing is, they're both right. I am going to cut your taxes, I am going to promote diversity and equity, I am going to stay out of your personal lives and I am going to do it all honestly and openly and apparently no one in the media or politics wants me to get my voice out to tell you.

That's fine. If they are going to try and silence me on the airwaves then I am going to take it to the street, directly to the people. I have 12 days and I am going to go door to door, have town hall meetings, say hello on the street and try and shake 20,000 hands before all is said and done because the one person who can actually save this city from the Politically and Bureaucratic nightmare it currently is embroiled in, is the one those with an affinity to the status quo are trying to silence.

The media is trying to shepard you into a boxcar where they can dictate to you for whom you should vote. Don't let them, have your voice heard loud and clear on November 6th. Make a difference, the time for change has come, it may never come again. Tell a friend about me...tell a dozen. This election is the chance you have been waiting for to have your vote really mean something. This city is begging, crying and screaming for a change and I am the one who can provide that change. Honest and open government, low taxes, individual freedoms...but I need YOUR help. We all have been trampled on long enough. Its time to send out a message, loud and proud, we are the voters and taxpayers of Pittsburgh...and we are the boss!

Tell people about me, get them to look over my website, you can make a difference for the future.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Issues Page on the website

I have just added an Issues page on my website:

It is just a quick summation of some of the more pressing issues that are facing the city and what I plan on doing about them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My first endorsement

On October 14th I met with the Firearm Owners Against Crime political action committee and spoke at their meeting. FOAC is a non-partisan group that supports the second amendment. More information about them can be found at They are also the largest group of their kind in Pennsylvania.

Included from their website is a voter guide for Allegheny county in which there are a balanced selection of Republicans and Democrats...oh yeah...and one Libertarian of course. I am proud to be endorsed by this organization as I am a staunch supporter of all rights guaranteed the people in the Constitution with specific onus on the Second Amendment, as I believe that is the one amendment that guarantees all others.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

AM in the A.M

I just finished (about an hour or so ago) my first in studio radio interview at KQV with Elaine Effort. I think it went very well. It goes to strengthen my own sense that talking to someone face to face is a much better form of communicating than over the phone or via email.

Elaine asked the standard questions: who I was, why I was running etc.

She also asked about what it is to be a Libertarian and I told her of my stance of small government with low taxes and an onus on the government keeping out of the people's personal affairs.

Then she asked what the first thing I would do when I got into office. I especially liked this question because it hearkens directly back to why I am running in the first place. My first act would be to eliminate the occupation tax. People should be encouraged to work, not penalized for it. And if the Mayor, city council and all the appointed officials in city government need to take a hefty pay cut in order to eliminate this oppressive and originally "temporary" tax, than so be it. I'm ok with that...and I'm pretty sure most Pittsburghers are too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I hate phone radio interviews

Why? There is just something difficult about speaking to someone who I can't look eye to eye with. I prefer person to person communication with a eye contact and a firm handshake. The more we get away from that the more disconnected we become with each other. It is that disconnect that messes me up with phone interviews from time to time.

What am I speaking about specifically? Well, I gave a phone interview to Fred Honsberger today. I should have sensed the foreboding when I was put on hold and heard the "VOTE DESANTIS" commercial I had to listen to before going on the air. Fred seemed all right but I kind of got the feeling like he was rushing me along. That's fine, it's his show, but I never felt like I got across what I really wanted to say.

For example, he asked me to list some of the government waste that I refer to in my campaign. I brought up the unnecessary expenditures made for the under river tunnel project. I know the county is putting up the money (Fred still reminded me the city isn't paying anything out of pocket anyways - which isn't true...depending on who "the city" is) but my point was that it does cost the city. We pay county taxes, the county is wasting money in Pittsburgh, hence the citizens of the city suffer. The "city" is the taxpayer and when the taxpayers money is wasted it is the city's fault. That was my point though I fear I came across as uneducated on the entire matter.

My overall point, along those lines, is that the Mayor has to stop letting the city of Pittsburgh be a doormat for other politicians to push projects down our throats. There are better ways to spend those hundred of millions of dollars than building a hole in the ground. We have Police and Fire Departments to better fund, bridges to maintain, schools to improve...we can do a lot instead of just burying taxpayers dollars in a hole being built for a casino we didn't want in the first place. The Isle of Capri plan came with a free arena for the Penguins...yet some Harrisburg pencil pushers made Pittsburgh bend over and take the North Shore plan. Any protest from City Hall? Nope. But the taxpayers have to foot the bill for a new arena. Fair? Hardly.

But lets talk about the youth of Pittsburgh for a minute; I brought up after school programs on Fred's show and he quickly reminded me that schools don't fall under city jurisdiction. Thanks Fred...but just because I say after school program that doesn't mean that it has to be school related. Too often after the last bell the children of this city are sent back to empty homes. Parents working to make ends meet aren't always there to guide their kids and give them things to do. When kids are left to their own devices often times they will find their own brand of mischief. When I speak of after school programs I speak of staffing parks with people who can organize sports. Workshops where kids can come to read or build things or whatever it takes in order to give them something productive to do. I understand schools and teachers are stretched thin but there is a huge vacuum that needs to be filled and I would love to work with the great non-profits of the city in order to fill it.

Fred just seemed to like pointing out what a political neophyte I am. It's fine that he all ready made his choice in DeSantis but I never shied away from proving people wrong.

Though I have better explained here what I was trying to get across on his show, I am not trying to say I do not make mistakes...lord knows I do and I will, but I am not afraid to admit them and face the consequences they hold. A trait that is too rarely found in the world of politics. If being a political neophyte keeps me this way then I am ok with that...and deep should you :o)

Minor doesn't mean loser

Being a "minor" or third party candidate has its added disadvantages than do the two old parties. I have no campaign war chest brimming with donations and I do not have a small army of staff that they may have. The bloggers don't tell DeSantis he shouldn't be in the debate because he has no chance of winning.

I see the attempt to minimize and marginalize both my efforts and my campaign and I can't quite understand why. Fortunately for me, I also don't care to understand their misguided and myopic vision of politics.

Thankfully, it is not the media or the bloggers or the naysayers that will have the final word on the matter. I am not running for Mayor in order to help them but rather to help all Pittsburgher's. I am going to bring vitality and strength back to this city with a straight shooting candor and with promises that can be taken to the bank. I am beholden to no special interest save for the best interests of the citizens of this burgh. And though some may say that my campaign is Don Quixotic in nature, let em, I have never been afraid of a windmill. Some may say that it is a David vs. 2 Goliaths...well, I have a sling built on conviction and the stones I hurl are made of truth and innovations. New ideas will save the city and I am the one to bring them forward.

Of course, in order for the brighter tomorrow I need your help. I need your belief and faith in me. I know that is asking a lot but I am the best person for the job and I can win. Do not listen to those bloggers or the intelligentsia that tell you who can and can't win. Don't let them decide for you. That decision is in each and every one of your hands. I believe that I can win...I wouldn't be in this race if I didn't...Believe it to and with your vote we can change Pittsburgh for the better.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The transcript of my speech from last Thursday's debate

Tony Oliva: Good evening. I'd first like to thank the outpouring of support I got to actually be here tonight. I wasn't initially invited to this debate, nor any of the upcoming debates. It's going to be pretty interesting when I actually win this election. Some people might have some egg on their face, but that's quite all right.

Now, the way I see Pittsburgh right now -- or the way I see the two candidates to the left of me -- I see it as a choice between painting a bare room. And you have a choice right now of people who debated here tonight, between painting it eggshell-white or mother-of-pearl white. They even look like they have the same tailor. Now, maybe a splash of color is just what this city might need. I listened, I sat up there and listened to what they had to say, and I've heard things like this before. I've heard it all before. It's the same political rhetoric that Republicans and Democrats spew at each other. And I think it's time that we hear a different voice.

With me, I can safely say that the buck stops here. As mayor, if the city continues to stay in trouble, I wouldn't accept my full pay because any sane person who doesn't do the job shouldn't get 100 percent of their own benefits or a pay raise. And that would extent to city council and any appointed official. That's just a personal little quirk of mine.

Basically my idea for the city, put things back on track. Lower taxes for the working people, lower taxes for small businesses to increase the ability for small businesses to work here, or to start and have better jobs. Right now, even if you have a job in Pittsburgh, likely after coming out of college you're under-employed. You're not getting paid what you're worth, and what you paid $40,000 for that little piece of paper called the diploma for. Now, people say, "Tony, you talk about the young college graduates too often." And I do. But it's not only them that my ideas will benefit. It's also older Pennsylvanians, because if the younger people keep leaving, then the tax burden will pass on to older Pennsylvanians, people near retirement, people who are retired. People on a fixed income. And when you're on a fixed income and you're being taxed more, you have to get another job or leave the city. Now me, I'm 28 years old, and getting a second job -- no problem. I can take care of that. But when you've worked 40 years of your life, and you're enjoying the golden years and have your grandchildren you should be playing with, you shouldn't have to go be a greeter at Wal-Mart in order to cover up city government's mistakes and squandering of your money.

As a city, we need to be more inclusive, be more welcoming to new ideas, to all peoples. A big complaint I've heard about Pittsburgh is we're an old, white town. We need to offer more opportunities for more diversity in our city, and be welcoming to all peoples. Because right now, that will make us a better and stronger, and more welcoming place for everyone. We can start by including a Libertarian in the next mayoral debate. Thank you.

Caruso: Thank you. And thank you all for coming tonight.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Eggshell's and Pearls

Tonight I went to the Mayoral debate, unfortunately I played the part of spectator throughout the large majority of it. I wasn't originally invited to be there but after doing all right on Tuesday and apparently with a large number of people calling to complain about my exclusion I was given 3 minutes to speak. This was at the end of the debate.

First and foremost, my speaking ability seems to have finally founds it's sea legs as I was more fluid and concise than I was on Tuesday. I spent the much of the 3 minutes allotted me discussing the need for Pittsburgh to draw in more businesses and promote better jobs. Even if people do have jobs, often times they are underemployed, not making as much as their $40,000 diploma would lead them to believe. On top of that I discussed how Pittsburgh needs to be more welcoming to a diverse population. In other cities, Pittsburgh is often viewed as an old white town. I think it is very important to foster the diversity we have with more cultural events and understanding. I believe that if we all take steps to come together that Pittsburgh will flourish. And it will not become, "us and them" but rather just us...we are all Pittsburgher's after all.

My biggest reaction was when I made the simile that Pittsburgh is like a bare room that's needs to be painted and the choice of candidates from the "old" parties were like choosing between eggshell white and mother of pearl white.

I would have liked to have had more time to discuss more topics because I feel I offer a different perspective that people can relate to. If you would like to help me participate in more debates, by all means, contact those hosting the upcoming debates and lend your voice in saying that I have a right to speak my mind.

After my little speech I stuck around to meet and greet with the people assembled and it was very reassuring. One gentlemen came up to me and said "you are going to be something" while another person said "stick with it, you're going to make things happen". I bring this up only because when you feel like the last Spartan at Thermopylae, it's always nice to hear that you are not fighting in vain.

I spoke with one nice woman, a business owner for the past 20 plus years who wanted to discuss children and after school programs with me. I had touched on this before in this blog but I told her that the after school programs are vital to the health of this city. Kids with too much time on their hands and no direction will occupy themselves and oft times it is to dangerous ends wrought with trouble. Of course one may ask how would I pay for such programs? To that I reply that perhaps our non-profit friends who make a non-profit of $500 million dollars a year and their friends would like to share such wealth for the benefit of Pittsburgh's youth. I'm sure such caring non-profits would see the wisdom in such charity.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Check two...PART 2

So I had the debate tonight. All in all I think it went quite well though I must admit I was a bit nervous in the beginning, though that soon passed. Also, I wasn't as polished as my Republican and Democratic opponents, though I think I still made the points I wanted to make.

The highlights can be found here:

You can also listen to the entire audio version of the debate from the Post gazette website. I made a few good points on the need for Non-Profits who make over 500 Million Dollars to give a little back to the city. Also, I touched on the benefit and the need for younger Pittsburgher's to remain in the city, for all Pittsburger's.

I appreciate all the support from the audience and the well wishes they gave me after the forum was completed. I would also like to thank the Post Gazette for including me in the forum.

Check two...

Tonight I am participating in my first debate. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette Editorial Staff is hosting the event the the Heinz Historical Center at 1212 Smallman Street from 7 - 8:30 pm. It's open to the public if anyone has any interest in hearing me speak.

I think it is going to be very interesting, I finally get to face the opposition in open combat...verbal combat of course. If you cannot make it to the debate tonight I believe that it will soon be available via podcast. A link from my website will connect you to it once it comes out.

I wonder if the politico's will be able to wrap their heads around the honest man's language with the common man's ideals. For far too long has this city been in the hands of the political machine of self preservation, at the cost of the city's vitality and growth. I plan on bringing this to the forefront of the consciousness of the voter's and by doing so awaken them from their lethargic apathy of politics so that real change can finally take place.

Our City doesn't need to be in a constant state of bankruptcy.
We don't need to be taxed so oppressively.
We don't need to be closing activities for the youth in order to save a quick buck.
We don't need to be sheeple, being led by the crook of politicians.
We don't have to pick the lesser of two evils.
We don't have to blindly accept the status quo.
We don't have to settle at all...we are hard working pittsburgher's and we deserve better.
There is a choice...there is a voice of sanity in the madness...his name is Tony Oliva.

Footnote- def. Sheeple: A group of people following blindly and never questioning their leaders.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Something I learned from Ghandi

So I was watching the movie "Gandhi" last night that stars the incomparable Ben Kingsley. For those of you who haven't seen it, it is an incredible film and Kingsley's deserved his Academy Award for his portrayal.

But it is not about the movie that I want to bring up but rather something Gandhi said during the movie. On his march to the sea in order to make salt, thus denying the British monopoly on salt, a reporter asked Gandhi about the Brit's power to stop him. His response, to paraphrase, is that "they (the British) do not have the power, we (the Indians) have the power".

When I heard this it brought me back to the relationship between our government and the voters operate. The system is set up to give US, the voter, the power but it seems as if the government has forgotten that and so they continue to tax us and spend out money in anyway they choose.

I hear all the time how people are disinterested or apathetic or forlorn about how the government runs and they think they are powerless. That is not the case. We do not have to march to the sea to make salt, or home spin our own clothes to prove the point that the governments power to take from us is not absolute. We are given the power to vote. The power that even the most unscrupulous politician must bend to.

Remember this, the power for change, the power for a better future, the power to cast of the chains of taxed oppression rests with you. Use this power wisely, cast your vote and decide to stop the governments flippant treatment of those who are truly in charge...the voter.

The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming election is this Saturday, Oct. 6th. If you need to register to vote go to:

In the upper left corner is a "register to vote" box, fill in the information, print out the form and mail it in. If you've lived here for 30 days and you have an address (dorm, apartment, house) then you are allowed to register to vote. Use this power for a positive change...the time is now.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rally at Rumshakers

This past Friday, the 21st of September, a rally was held for me at Rumshakers in the South Side. I would like to thank all those in attendance for coming and I hope you all enjoyed your evening as much as I did.

I would also like to especially thank the staff at Rumshakers for doing a hell of a job and also the owner, Theresa, for hosting the event.

I've known Theresa for a while now and I know the kind of work ethic and professionalism she approaches business with, so I was not surprised in the least with how well the night went. Theresa is a self made woman and an entrepreneur who has overcome the challenges of starting her own business and is succeeding at it. That's the good part. The bad part is that, instead of supporting Theresa in her efforts to bring business and jobs to Pittsburgh, the city government instead, wants to tax her out of business, limit her freedom in running that business and even going so far as to target her as a problem because she is successful.

Let me explain the last one more fully; Theresa hires an off-duty officer to stand at the door of Rumshakers so to avoid any problems within and to handle any that might arise. When problems do arise the Officer simply arrests the perpetrator while other establishments would simply kick them out on the street to continue the trouble elsewhere. This, on paper, makes it seem as if Rumshakers has more problems than other places, where in truth, the inverse is true. I find it personally repugnant, that a hard working, honest woman who is doing her best to be successful in her profession and is doing what is right (ie officer at the door) can have a knee jerk government try to punish her with some feel good politicking in order to give the illusion of trying to solve the problem.

The problem? The problem is that the government, though fat in feeding it's own bureaucracy, has thinned and cullied the police force out of manpower, equipment and training in order to save a quick buck. The current government would rather build walking bridges and dig tunnels than actually work on improving city life. Who pays for this hubris? You and I do. Theresa and other business owners do, the future of this city suffers and all that choose to stay and all those who choose to leave.

Either we take a hard look at what is REALLY going wrong with the city and make attempts to fix it, rather than having political photo opportunities at walking bridges to nowhere and unneeded tunnels, or we should all just pack up and leave. If things stay on the course they are now the city Pittsburgh will become will be a place no one wants to live in.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rally Friday 21st

I would love to have the opportunity to meet the 300,000 people who make Pittsburgh their home before the election. Unfortunately, due to time constraints I am unable to do so. But, if you would like to meet me and talk about the issues in a fun environment, I am having a Political Rally, Friday night, the 21st of September at Rumshakers over in the South Side.

There will be music and libations and everyone's favorite Libertarian Mayoral Candidate. If you are over 21 years of age feel free to stop by, I would love to get a chance to meet you and discuss what's on your mind.

Rumshakers 8pm-10pm
1224 E. Carson St
Corner of 13th and E. Carson St.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Going green to save green

As I walk the streets of Pittsburgh a few interesting things spring to mind. Such as, why doesn't our bus system run on bio-diesel? Why don't our government building use solar panels? Why is our rivers still polluted enough to have water quality warnings?

Now I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a tree hugging hippie. I am more of a conservationist in the same ilk as Teddy Roosevelt. I am more interested in reintroducing the mountain lion and wolf packs back into the Appalachians than I am about crippling a business by feel good type restrictions that make it impossible to run a business and yet would yield little to no positive effect on the environment. But come on, there are plenty of things that we can do to make our corner of the globe a little better AND save us some scratch in the long run. For instance, with the price of oil reaching record levels a solution is needed lest our bus fares go to $10 a ride on the limited 3 bus lines PAT deems profitable enough to keep open. The time to invest and make a change is BEFORE the 11th hour, BEFORE we have no other choice. That way, we will be before the wave and the forward thinking will save the city and citizens money and we will be helping the environment.

Also, electricity is a dirty business. Not to say it's crooked per se, but it produces a high level of pollution. Plus, if we continue to rely on only one source of power we leave ourselves vulnerable to price gouging, terrorist attack, mechanical failure etc. You should always have backups and as of right now, unless you have a generator in your home, if the electricity goes out, you are sitting in the dark waiting for it to come back on. The city invest in a solution for this too. Fed Ex in Oakland, CA has installed solar panels on the roofs of its buildings and 80% of its power is generated by those panels. The best part is, when power is needed the most (during the summer with a/c's blasting) the sun is out the longest and produces the most amount of power. This saves Fed Ex countless dollars...why can't Pittsburgh follow suit. Saving money AND the environment in one fell swoop.

Like I said, as Mayor I want to save Joe and Jane Taxpayer as much money as I can in order to make their lives easier. Bio-diesel buses and solar power are two ideas to do just that, with the added bonus of helping to save the planet.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Where have all the good times gone?

What good times you ask? The good times I refer to are those had at the South Side Fair. A staple of the south side and the second largest event of its kind for years. That was, until a few years ago. I believe it was in 2004, the South Side Fair took its last curtain call, done in by a penny pinching government who ignored the benefits of the fair in order to tout its ability to cut SOMETHING out of the budget. You see, when you drive a city into bankruptcy and you have to answer for it, politicians will often time cut anything in order to have a "feel good" measure that makes it look like they are doing something.

Now, I am all for cutting out waste in government but let us be serious about it. The fair served a few purposes and benefits. These include, but are not limited to, the tax revenue produced by all the sales, giving our younger Pittsburgher's something fun to do, the identity and community that such annual events bring to the city and countless other benefits that politicians often times ignore in pursuit of a soundbite that makes them come across as effective.

The governments excuse was that it was too much money for police and clean-up. Makes sense no? To a degree it does, until you realize that the business owners of Carson Street volunteered to pay for the extra police and another company was willing to donate the funds for the clean up afterwards. THIS IS IMPORTANT! This is how government SHOULD I propose to have City government operate when I become Mayor. Government shouldn't solve every little problem in the world...if it did we would be socialists. BUT, government should stay out of the way of progress and let the private sector and non-profits fill in the void to benefit everyone. Together, we all benefit, it's very Musketeer like.

If you think about it, it really makes a lot of sense. The private sector and non-profits can do more with less because they don't have to deal with the lumbering bureaucracy that stagnates government. The city government killed the South Side Summer Fair, and a little part of the future died with it. In order to say they were doing something, the politicians snuffed out an event that brought money into the city and extinguished another event that may have added an extra check mark in the pro column, keeping younger Pittsburgher's in the city. As Mayor, I fully intend to work hand in hand with local businesses and non-profits in order to stop the extermination of such events in the city.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Year of David beating Goliath?

This year definitely started with an underdog pulling out some magic over a juggernaut, with Boise State knocking down Oklahoma, using everything but the kitchen sink to do it. Then, just yesterday, the little college that could, Appalachian State, did what was thought impossible...they beat 5th ranked Michigan.


This was a fantastic game, where the App. State Mountaineers refused to listen to talk that they were a warm up game, where they had no chance of winning, where they should just feel happy about being there. Appalachian state did not heed these claims but rather came to play and with righteous indignation for being overlooked and belittled they felled a giant and went home, with their heads held high.

Well, being a third party candidate I am going up against Michigan like opposition in the Democrat and Republican candidates. The two old parties are so entrenched in the mindset of people that they give little heed to the fact that they have a choice. Finally, a choice that doesn't include the term "lesser of two evils" but rather is the best choice. The choice that allows for people to be free; with both their money and their lives. It is time that the city of Pittsburgh learns the lesson of little Appalachian State and vote for the best choice, the one with heart, the one people can cheer for and the one...deep down...they are really pulling for. It is time for a Libertarian Mayor. is the best of things...Boise State had it, so did Appalachian it is Pittsburgh's turn...hope comes with change.

Vote Tony Oliva November 6th and continue the year of the Underdog.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Article in the Pitt News

It is always nice to get some good press in the news. The following link is an article published yesterday in the Pitt News. I personally like how the first paragraph is written...very straight forward and strong...Pittsburgh Strong. Enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Welcoming the youth back to the 'burgh

I had the good fortune, yesterday, of meeting a great number of returning and new students at the University of Pittsburgh's activities fair. Many of you reading this now may have first heard of me when I introduced myself and gave you a card, I appreciate you reading it and not having it make a b-line to the garbage. Overall it was a good turnout, my table was placed between the Pitt Democrats and the Pitt Republicans...I would say ironic but I think that it was more fitting than anything else. As my friend Nick says, "libertarians take the best parts of the Republicans and the Democrats and leaves the rest out".

At the end of every summer I am very enthused to see so many people returning to the city but it is a half-life of enthusiasm. I say this because it is much like trying to enjoy a Sunday night in high school; it's still the weekend yet Monday looms ominously over the next sunrise. So is it with the influx of students in the city. They come here, get a fine education from one of the many quality Universities that Pittsburgh has to offer, be it Pitt, CMU, Duquesne, Carlow, Chatham etc. only to be forced to leave when they graduate in order to find a decent enough job. And it is not only jobs that need to be found but also a lifestyle conducive to a young graduate student who is too old to go to a local dive bar and too young to get married. As my previous post states, the government is trying to limit the opportunities vital to make Pittsburgh an appealing place to live for young people. It's about time that someone spoke for ALL Pittsburgher's and not just those who are pro-bankruptcy, pro-tunnel, pro-walking bridge, pro-golf tournament and every other pro that should be thrown aside so the real work of improving the city can begin.

In the youth of the city I see hope and I will not cheat them in order to gain the appearance of improvement or cater to special interests at the cost of this city's future. If Pittsburgh is to survive, if it is to keep the youth that it nurtures in the embrace of education, then it needs to give them a home that they want to stay in. We do this by cutting venue taxes so more concerts come, we cut corporate tax so more businesses will return, we promote a more lively and entertaining night life so one doesn't have to try so hard to find something to do. Jobs will get them to stay in the city, fun will make them love it.

If anyone is interesting in helping me get elected, feel free to email me at but even if you don't want to "get involved", if you like what I have to say and if you believe in the vision I have for this city then tell a friend of two. I am not a juggernaut politico powerhouse, I do not have the bankroll of the GOP or the Dems, I'm just an honest man, making a stand, doing the best he can. I would appreciate the help.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Prohibition Lite

Why is the governments answer to everything, taxation and limitation? In case you haven't heard, this has been a hard fought year for the hospitality industry (that's a euphemism for bars and clubs). Between smoking ban legislation, bar saturation bills and now a 10% drink tax to be voted on in December, it has been a long fight for many small businessmen who are trying to run their businesses they best they can. When will government realize that capitalism flourishes when the government does LESS to interfere with the process? Between the oppression tax and the limit on capitalism, the government is trying to impose a softer touch of prohibition. One where it prohibits a legal business to run as the owner sees fit, where the government prohibits the market from figuring out its own solubility, where the government prohibits the people from their own free choice on how to run their lives.

Do not be fooled my friends, Prohibition may start with alcohol, but who is to say it will end there?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Under the river and through the woods to the casino we go

A lot of people have been asking me about the proposed tunnel under the Allegheny. My question is this: Why would the city of bridges need an underground tunnel to connect downtown to the north side? Is this the great solution to our traffic problem that vexes so many drivers? Hardly. The tunnel, let us be serious about it, has more to do with funneling people into a casino than trying to relax traffic concerns.

Does the city of Pittsburgh, you know the place, the city that has been run into bankruptcy, really need a tunnel that will will cost the taxpayers at LEAST $14.5 million dollars from our county taxes? Of course we don't. And that number is based on the the price not going up. In July the cost of the project went from $393 million dollars to $435 million dollars (mind you the initial pitch was for $130 million). We have bridges that are in need of dire repair, lest Pittsburgh becomes a news story like Minneapolis, as our politicians look puzzled as to why our bridges have crumbled while they looked to dig under the city for a tunnel.

My father used to tell me that you can't build a tall building without a strong foundation. It is therefore ironic that the strong foundation for rebuilding the city and setting Port Authority right is NOT found by digging in the ground. Unnecessary tunnels are an additional burden to an all ready strained tax base and it is about time some sanity was brought in to quell the madness.

As mayor, I can assure you all that I can take $435 million dollars and use it infinitely better than building a single tunnel. Once again, port authority has mismanaged resources and have gotten us into a bind. This is the catch 22 that Port Authority has gotten us into; The county or Port Authority will have to pay back the federal government the money they have put up thus far. THAT is the sticking point? To admit they were wrong and pay a penalty? Of course County Council and Port Authority chose not to do what is best for the city but rather bull headedly continued forward with this nigh half BILLION dollar hole in the ground.

As we are all aware, government projects seemingly never come in under budget or even at budget, so the status quo will dictate that a half billion dollar price tag is only the low ball estimate. If I knew that digging holes in the ground was so lucrative I would have done better at it when I was four years old.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Selling out the kids

I ran across a woman the other day, who upon hearing that I was running for mayor had a great deal of passion concerning a topic near and dear to her. Basically, she is concerned about the future that not only her children, but all children in the city. A valid concern I must admit. Why does it always seem that government, when forced to cut something, always dives right in to that which is most needed. I spoke previously about the Fire Departments, but now let us take a look at the programs being denied the youth of this city. I still remember a time when swimming in a public pool was free. Back when kids didn't need to break open piggy banks in order to help mom pay for a refreshing dip when the 90 degree Pittsburgh heat is only eclipsed by the 95% humidity. This issue, though, is bigger than mere swimming pools as this concerned voter and I discussed. We lose after school programs, we close parks, we continue to whittle away at what young, boisterous, energetic children can do. Not only are we stunting their growth but as we all know, a child left to his own devices will find his own excitement. Too often, unfortunately, that excitement comes with negative price to pay. Now, you may be well off financially and think that you will never have to pay this price...until that is, a child the city wrote off on his own devices is sticking a .22 in your back.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think government is the end all be all answer to any problem. But there are situations in which they can help. Finding ways to keep kids in a positive environment, constructively using their time while their parent or parents are working hard to earn a living is one of them. I am not a father. I know I wouldn't have all the answers on how to raise a child but I have my parents, whom I think did a fantastic job raising me, to ask for advice. Many people don't have such a support network, or have come from homes where their upbringing was less than optimal. The woman I was talking with suggested that classes should be offered to new parents on how to parent. I like this idea, in the army we call it "teach the teacher". Seeing how government runs I doubt that they should be teaching anyone anything, but I intend to work with the plethora of non-profits we have in the city to enact a "Parenting Teaching Class" free of charge to the participants and with no added burden to the taxpayers. I feel the benefits would be felt for years to come.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Act 47...take two

I was reading over Act 47 and how it is supposedly going to save the city. It's all well and good until a fire breaks out...then we have to do we call when there are no firefighters? I sat in on a city council meeting a few weeks ago and listened while some Harrisburg pencil pushers hemmed and hawed around answering anybody's question directly about how Act 47 was going and when they (the Act 47 number crunchers) would be done. I can tell you I wasn't the least bit surprised when they sidestepped any real answer. What bureaucrat with a cushy job wants to give it up? Don't get me wrong, I do believe that Act 47's premise that cuts need to be made is a valid one. I do question WHERE some of the cuts come from, though. Of all the fat and wasteful spending the city currently has, with no sign of stopping anytime soon, do we really need to put lives in jeopardy by sandbagging firefighters? Am I to understand that all the pet projects of Mayor Ravenstahl are more necessary than ensuring the lives of the city? Am I getting too dramatic? Answer: No. Firefighters are heroes. My cousin was a firefighter and responded on 9/11 in New York City. What others run from, they run to. Hero's come in many forms...and sometimes they ride in big red trucks waving axes.

I see that I am getting off the point. The point is that WE...the city of Pittsburgh, and not some Harrisburg oversight committee knows what is best for our city and we do not need them to baby us into doing it. The time has come for someone to stand up and do what is right by the people...and it's time for the people to stand up and vote for him. I am in need of your support, and by proxy, the city of Pittsburgh needs you to make a stand with me.

Besides, last time we let Harrisburg decide something we lost a free arena for the Penguin's and now have a casino being placed in a family oriented area. I'm sure the kids can learn about physics at the Carnegie Science Center and then can use their skills to try and beat the roulette wheel. Only slots you say? Yeah...for now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The wheels on the bus go round and round

I was posed a question via email the other day (one that has been broached often while meeting people) regarding the state of the PAT bus system and the inane way it is being run. In this email I was asked what I would do to fix the problem of the bus service. Unfortunately, unlike my other ideas, this one is not so easily remedied. First of all, PAT is run by the county and not the city so my options for how to directly improve it must be implemented by the county. Secondly, I doubt that the people in charge of PAT, cushy in their jobs and driving to work everyday, even realize what the problem is. I wonder if they even know if there is a problem. The fact that Port Authority is losing money isn't the problem...its the symptom. The problem is the mismanagement by the administration and the backward thinking "solutions" that they come up with have robbed a vital resource from the people, not only of Pittsburgh, but of the whole county. Maybe, instead of cutting routes AND raising fares, they should cut their bloated salaries and raise the condition of the buses.

In any private sector company (as most of us understand) if you don't do your job well you will be fired. Simply put, the administration, who has turned a blind eye to the troubles of the Public Transit system and have offered no salient solutions, must be held accountable. If they can't fix it the problem then the county should find someone who can. The status quo will no longer work for many problems in the city and the county and its time that someone smashed the notion that it will.

This is all fine and good but the question is, "what can Tony Oliva, as mayor of Pittsburgh, do to help the find a solution". To that I simply say that the City of Pittsburgh is the financial workhorse of the county and as such should have a voice in matters that directly involve her. As Mayor, I would make that voice be heard. Cutting out vital routes is not an option, especially when the fares are rising. People need to get to work without spending extra hours on a bus trying to piecemeal a course from point A to point B. Small business owners shouldn't lose customers because they are deemed "not important enough" to have a bus line come near.

This is an important issue and I wish I had a panacea to make it all better but you won't get any false promises from me. The best I can offer is that I will make our voice heard. And if that means some out of touch fat cat bureaucrats in PAT (rhyme unintended) get their walking papers then so be it...the voters have been forced to walk long enough, I hope they can appreciate the poetic justice. It is time that those who have forgotten who they work for listen.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I have a webpage...sort of

My website is up and running, though it is currently under construction. There isn't much there other than a link to my blog and to my email address. Continue to check it in the future as I hope to soon have it up and running with plenty of information. If you are an eager voted who can't wait you can email me questions about myself or my politics and I will be happy to post a reply on this blog.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

It's official...thanks to you

Earlier this afternoon I submitted in the final pieces of paperwork in order to be on the ballot in November. The long hours and hard work have led to this first step being attained. I have many of you to thank for it. As I sit here contemplating my first bid for elected office I cannot help but reminisce about the past fortnight in which I met so many nice and colorful people. Of course some weren't nice but with the vast majority of those I met, the experience proved to be enjoyable and entertaining. I hope you don't mind but I think I'm going to share some stories of my first steps toward this campaign and the people I met along the way.

My first day out: I had 600 signatures to get and only about 5 days to get them so I hit the streets of Oakland, meeting up with friends and introducing myself to strangers. That worked to a degree but after 5 pm I decided to head over to Morningside and go door to door. I am a firm believer that I should go to all areas of Pittsburgh to meet and talk with people. By doing this I can learn the issues and concerns of all Pittsburgher's and thus become a better Mayor. This is the thought that kept me moving through the heat wave that met me on my travels and the nigh exhaustion I began to deal with around mile 150 (you should see my sneakers...worn right through the rubber soles). Anyways, my time in Morningside was proving a bit difficult with a series of empty houses and the task at hand began to look more and more daunting. Then I rang on a door and had the great fortune of meeting Mario. Mario was a younger gentlemen with a lovely family who took time out of his day to talk with me about who I am and what I believe in. The response that he gave me bolstered my spirits and steeled my resolve. It was my great fortune in meeting and talking with him because he lifted MY spirits and told me that I gave him hope. Hope that I can turn around the city we both love. I will not allow his hope to be misplaced.

Further along in Morningside, I met Gary who offered to his lawn for placement of one of my signs. To that I silently chuckled to myself. I hadn't even considered signs yet...this was still my first day. But once I get some funds together I plan on taking Gary up on his generous offer.

I can't forget Jeanne or Denise who volunteered their time and effort to help me in my goal. To them both I am greatly appreciative.

I also spent some time in South Side. I went early enough so as to not bother anyone when they were getting on with their libations. On a sidewalk cafe' style eatery I met George who was kind enough to volunteer to help me as well. The wellspring of volunteering that has come from the fine citizenry of Pittsburgh has been astounding. I thank you all.

Nearing the deadline I found myself in Squirrel Hill. I had some very nice conversations with myriad of people with a plethora of differing ideologies and views. As night was falling upon the streets I found myself almost out of steam. I had been at it for 5 days, I slept roughly 4 hours a night, walked about 150 miles and ate very little. All this while under the unmerciful summer hear and humidity that mother nature was throwing at me. I say this not to garner sympathy but rather to illustrate how fantastic it was to come across the final house on my journey.

I rang the doorbell and then my cell phone rang. I answered the call and slightly turned from the door. When I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, that someone was there I turned back around and what I saw stole the words from my mouth. I barely uttered, "I have to go" to my friend on the phone before hanging up on him and just stood there, mesmerized by the sight I saw. It was a sheep's head. Not a real one mind you but at the moment I wasn't really sure. The face I had to have made must have been priceless because I hear a wave of laughter in the background. Finally the door opens, the sheep mask wearing gentlemen retreats to his female sheep mask wearing counterpart and a mask less woman greets me. She asks what I am doing and I point quizzically at the sheep couple. They all laughed and told me it was a long story. I quickly recovered and told her who I was and what I was doing. The next thing I know, I am being whisked into the house and being served the most delicious strawberry ice cream while talking politics to the 5 people in the house. It turns out that I have interrupted a "Bad Movie Night" party in which the movie happened to be "Black Sheep". A New Zealand film featuring killer zombie sheep. Well, more genetically mutated rather than zombie...but you can imagine the quality of the film. I have to assume that the wear and tear of the previous week showed prominently on my face because I was quickly offered a plate of food. What were they serving you might be wondering? Why, Lamb of course! At this point the sun had set, my door knocking, thus, had come to an end and the party invited me to stay to watch the rest of the movie. How could I refuse? So I sat down for what felt like the first time in days, at a delicious lamb roast with some tasty potatoes and a tangy salad. After such a week this was a meal fit for a king. Elizabeth, Thomas, Claire, Jeff and Faisal have my deepest gratitude for their kindness and hospitality.

It reaffirms the saying that: 'Pittsburgh is the last city heading east that still says Hello'

There are many more fascinating stories and people who have offered their time and efforts to help me and hopefully I will get around to thanking them all. I am grateful for everyone who took the time to talk with me and tell me their concerns because in order to be the best Mayor I can be, I need to know what the bosses think. And it's about time that the voters are put back in charge. As Mayor I answer to only one boss...the voters of this fine city.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

On the Airwaves

Funny how an easy going guy who wants to change how government operates is such a news story all of a sudden. I received a phone call from Blake who wanted to do a radio interview with me. He asked if it was a good time. Silly me, never one to keep anyone waiting and being someone who tends to tilt when he should withdraw, said sure (mind you I was in East Liberty with buses and traffic flying by). Anyhow, I feel less confident about this interview than I did about the Post Gazette one. Hopefully I didn't come across too convoluted. I really wanted to get my points across and I think I did. Less bureaucracy equals less taxes. Unfortunately, I don't think I made it clear enough that less bureaucracy does not mean cutting the legs out from under Pittsburgh's Bravest and Finest. I firmly believe that those who risk their lives daily, deserve MORE support than they are currently getting. Therefore, some of the fat that gets cut out of the city will go to bolster and support the departments that are the thin line between living our lives and losing them.

Meet the Press

Today started off as an interesting one. I received a phone call from Rich Lord of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette this morning and he asked me a few questions. For all of you who have met me you may have sensed that I am a "look you in the eye, firm handshake" kind of would be correct. On the phone though, dealing with a disembodied voice I am always weary of not coming across as I intend. There is much to be said about looking into someones eyes when you speak with them. The interview was brief but I was very excited and a bit nervous. It was, after all, my first interview since starting my campaign.

Overall I think it went well, I told Rich who I was and why I was running for Mayor.

You can read the article online at:

Now I am off to file more paperwork. There seems to be a whole heck of a lot of paper to push in order to simply get on the ballot. I wonder what the founding fathers would think of all the bureaucracy...after they processed the freed slaves, women's suffrage, airplanes, the Internet, cell phones and everything else that would amaze them, that is.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Campaign Begins

Welcome intrepid Internet itinerants. My name is Tony Oliva and I am running for Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh as the Libertarian candidate. I have decided to set up this blog in order to give everyone an opportunity to learn about me and also take this journey with me, in a sense. From the first sentence you may have realized my love of alliteration...a literary device that a very good professor got me hooked on in my youth. Of course, you may think that I am some wordsmith bookworm. While I do enjoy reading a good book my life and times have covered the globe and the experiences I have garnered from them have left me with the feeling that I can save the City of Pittsburgh from the dangerous precipice it now teeters on. If you think that the city is not in need of saving then I am sorry to burst your bubble. With taxes growing ever higher and jobs getting ever scarcer and a city budget getting ever fatter and a city debt sinking ever deeper, the city is indeed in need of saving.

"But Tony", you may ask, "what can YOU do....why are YOU different?" To that I simply say that I am not a politician. I am a military man. I don't mince words, I don't set a goal I don't intend to keep. I am a straight shooter and I have ideas for this city that will once again make it the jewel of the three rivers. I am beholden to no special interests, save for the people of Pittsburgh. In my heart and in my actions, it is in their best interest that will guide my time as Mayor.

A bit about myself, though I have all ready alluded to some. I am a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a former Airborne Paratrooper in the Army. I was going to make a career out of the military until an accident on one of my jumps made it impossible to continue as a infantryman. Though I could have went to any other city in the country I decided to return home to Pittsburgh because it is where my heart is. What I have found though is unsettling at best. The city is going in the wrong direction and I plan on stopping the slide and turning the city around. It is time I did something for the city instead of just complain about the problems.

Throughout my blog, from now until November, I will keep you updated on my travels, the different people that I meet and how, specifically, I intend on helping the city recover. I know I have an uphill battle ahead of me but heed not the naysayers who say that I won't win. The city is in its hour of need...and I cannot lose. The time is now.