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.