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Ravenstahl Tebows up

Published by Tim McNulty on .

ravenstahltebowBefore we get too carried away, let's not forget the big story of the day: Luke Ravenstahl Tebowing to settle his bet with Denver's mayor.

Here's coverage from the Denver Post:

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravensthal this morning made good on a wager he made with over Sunday’s NFL Playoff game between the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Broncos of course won the game, forcing Ravensthal to do the unthinkable — wear a Broncos’ jersey and take to the knee in a pose made popular by Broncos’ quarterback .

UPDATE: In a comment to news media, Ravensthal said:
“This is not something I ever thought I’d have to do, and it’s certainly not something I’m looking forward to,” Ravenstahl said according to the 9News website. “However, we’re good sports here in Pittsburgh, and I want to congratulate Denver on a great win.”

Meanwhile this morning, Hancock put on his own Broncos’ T-shirt and pajama bottoms on for a press conference announcing the annual pajama party that raises money for Denver’s Road Home program for homeless.

Hancock also announced today that Friday again will be “Orange Friday,” encouraging people to wear the Broncos’ colors in support of the team that plays the New England Patriots on Saturday.

Hancock said he is still weighing what to wager with Boston’s Mayor Thomas M. Menino and is thinking about asking for famous New England lobsters if the Broncos win and offering beef from Colorado if the Broncos lose.

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Happy primary night

Published by Tim McNulty on .

NYT photo

Good evening; Early Returns will be here through the night live-blogging the nation's first 2012 primary.

Here's Jim O'Toole's setup from Hudson, N.H.

CNN has a 5 Things To Watch feature here, on Romney's benchmark for success; Huntsman's; how independents break; Ron Paul's impact; and how Santorum/Gingrich will fare. Maggie Haberman at Politico does a similar story.

Molly Ball at the Atlantic breaks down the five major candidates, and notes the odd lack of discipline Rick Santorum has shown, and his slide in the N.H. polls: "How well does he need to do? The rough ride he's had here has refocused Santorum on South Carolina, but placing fourth or fifth, as most expect, will still be humbling after his Iowa success."

With attention turning next to South Carolina, some in the GOP are aghast at attacks on the frontrunner from his rivals for his work at investment firm Bain Capital. (NYT)

The WashPost's Fix blog has a cool scorecord to track how Romney performs town by town tonight.

Photo: NYT/Nathaniel Brooks

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Fitz avoids jail

Published by Tim McNulty on .

A judge's decision on Allegheny County's worried-over property reassessments won't come until Thursday. But at least county exec Rich Fitzgerald doesn't have to worry about going to the klink -- Judge Wettick told assessors and county offiicials to basically ignore the exec's orders and proceed with the revaluations.

From Len Barcousky:

He asked the court to delay using the numbers until next year so most of the appeals from residents on the new values could be heard and decided.

In a related matter, Judge Wettick declined to hold county Executive Rich Fitzgerald in contempt of court for telling residents they should ignore the new assessment numbers, but he ordered the process to continue.

Attorneys for residents who filed the lawsuit that led to the reassessment asked the judge last week to hold Mr. Fitzgerald in contempt for declaring the new assessment figures "null and void" and telling Pittsburgh and Mount Oliver to use 2002 assessment figures. Mr. Fitzgerald, a Democrat who took office last week, is against reassessment for Allegheny County because neighboring counties haven't issued new property values for decades.

In his order today, the judge ordered county manager Jim Flynn and other county officials to continue carrying out his assessment orders or face contempt charges. New figures for the rest of the county should be released in the next few months.

UPDATE 5:40PM Fitz has released a typically fiesty statement, saying if "the Court believes that removing the elected officials from this process and requiring county staff to report to him directly will result in my stopping this fight – the Court can think again."

It's in full after the jump:

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Murphy picks up AG endorsements in Pgh

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Democratic state Attorney General candidate and former congressman Patrick Murphy will be in Pittsburgh Wednesday at noon to pick up endorsements from county exec Rich Fitzgerald, Phil Ameris, President and Business Manager for Laborers’ District Council of Western Pennsylvania, and state Reps. Dan Frankel and Dan Deasy. Aides to Mike Doyle and Wayne Fontana are expected too at the courthouse presser.

Other Dem candidates include Kathleen Kane and Dan McCaffrey.

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Critz announces campaign team

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Congressman Mark Critz's campaign announced its reelection team today, following a similar announcement from fellow Democrat Jason Altmire in the (new) 12th congressional district.

The campaign is being headed up by Tony Coppola, a congressional campaign vet and lead field organizer for America Votes in Western PA in 2006. His 2010 CM Mike Mikus remains involved as strategic consultant, and the campaign also announced its polling, mail, media and fundraising team members.

Full statement after the jump: