Peduto questions mayor on knowledge of blog attack

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Pittsburgh Councilman William Peduto, a candidate for mayor, today questioned Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's claim that he knew nothing of a Web blog launched by City Councilman Jim Motznik that makes a variety of allegations.

"Luke Ravenstahl and Jim Motznik are two peas in a pod," Mr. Peduto said. "Luke Ravenstahl and Jim Motznik are very close friends. It would surprise me that Jim would do something this substantial without Luke's blessing."

Yesterday Mr. Motznik inaugurated his Web blog with posts claiming that Mr. Peduto's campaign was responsible for some rumors related to Mr. Ravenstahl's Oct. 31, 2005, handcuffing at Heinz Field. Mr. Peduto has denied having any role in spreading the rumors, which were rampant since October and developed into news stories Jan. 18.

"Everyone knew that Luke Ravenstahl had been arrested," Mr. Peduto said. "That didn't come from me. I wasn't there."

He asked what the public would be saying "if Tom Murphy was arrested and put in handcuffs. . . . The question that still isn't answered is, why wasn't there a report" written up by police on the handcuffing.

Mr. Ravenstahl's spokesman said yesterday that the mayor knew nothing of Mr. Motznik's blog.

Mr. Motznik's blog also draws a contrast between Mr. Peduto's "vow to run a clean campaign" and his alliance with Brighton Heights Democratic Committee ward chairman Ben Woods, convicted on corruption charges in 1989.

Mr. Woods had no comment today, other than to confirm that he is backing Mr. Peduto.


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