As first reported here yesterday, there's been some online rumor-mongering about a potential mayoral bid by Franco Harris's son. It's worth noting that as of this morning, the "Harris for Pittsburgh" site is now unavailable. And the Franco Harris Wikipedia entry has been altered yet again, to remove the reference to Dok Harris' campaign.
Which makes this look like it was indeed a hoax, right?
On the other hand, a little Intenet sleuthing suggests the "Harris for Pittsburgh" site was created by one "F. Dok Harris," who provided a Pittsburgh address. A call to a phone number listed with the registration info got me a rather friendly voicemail message -- a message from someone identifying himself by that name. Messages left by phone and e-mail have not been returned.
Intriguingly, the site was apparently registered on Jan. 27, 2009, even though I suspect people only began noticing it in the past few days. (An e-mail tip earlier this week is what prompted me to start searching for the site in the first place, and I gather I'm not the only person to have received one.) In late January, you'll recall, no one knew whether anyone other than Carmen Robinson would be challenging Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. Within a couple weeks of the site's creation, though, City Council President Doug Shields announced he was dropping out, and City Councilor Patrick Dowd announced he was getting in.
To use the inevitable football metaphor, could it be that Harris thought he saw a hole, but it closed up too quickly for him to cross the line of scrimmage? Or is this just all some sort of screen pattern? If I learn anything more, I'll post it here.
UPDATE (6 p.m.): I receieved an e-mail from Dok Harris a short time ago. He declined to comment "at this time" but promised "an announcement regarding this issue" early next week.