Starting right after this post. You'll be interested, I swear. And even if you're not, stayed tuned to the end of this blog for a special announcement.
Anway, remember Dennis Regan? In 2006, he emerged as the power behind the throne during the too-brief O'Connor administration, and seemed likely to play a similar role when Luke Ravenstahl took over. But, like a flabby Icarus, Regan rose too high, too fast, and plummeted to earth after accusations that he injected politics into policing.
Ravenstahl tossed Regan out, and you haven't heard much of him since. But Regan, who now lists his position as "consultant," still serves as the Democratic committeeman for portions of Point Breeze.
That may be about to change.
Saleem Khan, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh's medical school, has filed to run against Regan in Ward 14, District 16. In recent years, Khan has been an active supporter for Barack Obama -- his house served as a gathering spot for loyalists during Obama's healthcare speech last summer, for example. But he's now taking the plunge by running for the local Democratic committee -- his first run for office.
"I've been an active supporter for the Democrats, and some of my friends are on the committee," says Khan, who was born in India but has been living in Pittsburgh for 30 years. Those friends urged him to run, he says, and "they told me that generally, you're unopposed in these races. But it turns out that this is the only seat in the ward that is being contested."
Party insiders say they tried to ascertain Regan's interest in running for the seat again, but got no response. I've been unable to reach Regan for comment, and will post it if I get one.
In any case, judging from my talk with Khan, there's nothing personal about this race. Although Khan and Regan live a block apart, Khan professed to be unfamiliar with Regan's background. "I walk my dog through the neighborhood, and I think I've seen him at his house," he says, "but that's about all." He seemed unaware of, and not terribly interested in, Regan's involvement in old controversies.
Running for committee, he says, merely "seemed like a good way to formalize things I was already doing."
Even so, if Khan wins, I'll bet some Pittsburghers will take more satisifcation from it than Khan himself will.
OK, and now the promised special announcement. I'm going to be guest-hosting on KDKA Radio tonight -- oops, wait. I screwed up the station ID. Let me try that again:
"Tonight I'll be guest hosting on The Voice of Pittsburgh, News Radio 1020 KDKA."
Anyway, I'll be on between 10 and 11 this evening, with a special guest. We're gonna be talking a little about police accountability, St. Patrick's Day, and police demonstrations on St. Patrick's Day.
Please feel free to call. You could be the very first person -- and maybe the very last, depending on how this goes -- who will hear the words, "You're on News Radio 1020 KDKA with Chris Potter." Plus, my mother-in-law will be standing by her phone in case she feels like I'm bombing. And much as I admire my in-laws, I really don't want it to come to that.
If you do decide to call, the number is ... uh ... wait a second. OK, let me try this again:
"The number here to call is 412-333-KDKA -- or you can get in touch with me by clicking on 'Dollar Bank Instant Access' on our Web site, KDKAradio dot com."
How was that? Did it sound OK?