Never has a campaign tchotchke spoken more clearly about a candidate's constituency than the seven-day pill container given out by the Bob O'Connor campaign.
By all estimations the front runner, O'Connor still appears not to be taking any chances with the medicated voter -- presumably one of aged Pittsburgh's largest demographics.
Scrappy young City Councilor Bill Peduto is countering with scrappy, youth-oriented campaign swag, including do-it-yourself, one-of-a-kind buttons from the campaign's button-making machine and "Peduto for Pittsburgh" logos silk-screened onto T-shirts and tote bags passed from voter to candidate and back again. By campaign volunteer Gloria Forouzan's account, the buttons could hardly be more youth-oriented, including "Students for Peduto," "Kids for Peduto" and "Pumpkins for Peduto" (a reference to the very youngest children). Some feature a photo of Peduto playing hockey, youthfully. Others publicize his portrait in City Paper's "Hair to the Throne" feature -- from the "good hair days," of course.
Jennifer Pihlaja, campaign manager for Prothonotary Michael Lamb, the third of the city's strongest mayoral candidates, says stickers and yard signs are it for Lambites. "We're giving away a lot of ideas about how Michael can help the city of Pittsburgh," she says. "That's what I think candidates should be giving away."
Well, sure. But O'Connor won the Democratic endorsement last month after giving away clocks that said "Bob O'Connor for Mayor, Time for a Change." Coincidence? We think not.
"We don't have hats and T-shirts and all that kind of stuff," says O'Connor spokesman Dick Skrinjar, dismissively. But he didn't return a call about those seven-day pill containers, and no one from the other campaigns will comment on them. Perhaps they're afraid O'Connor might consider the next logical move: giving away the pill containers pre-filled.