Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Quiz: How Many Public Crooks Are There?

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Quiz: How Many Public Crooks Are There?

Article excerpt

Time for a news quiz:

1. What is the significance of the number "82" that Pittsburghers have been talking about this week?

a) That is the number of people from Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's administration, his bodyguard contingent and his little black book who have testified before the federal grand jury.

b) That is the number of votes President Barack Obama had in the 435-member House of Representatives for bombing Syria.

c) The Pirates 82nd win, on Monday night in Texas, guaranteed their first winning season since the year Miley Cyrus arrived in the delivery room, twerking.

2. Why would Ronald "Porky" Melocchi, the alleged video poker kingpin of the Mon Valley charged with various gambling-related crimes, ever give his company the provocative name "Back Alley Vending"?

a) "Nyah-nyah, Nyah-nyah-nyah, Coppers!" was already taken.

b) "I Can't Wait To Be Wiretapped" was already taken.

c) "Rivers Casino," the state-endorsed gambling monopoly that is protected by laws forbidding machine wagering elsewhere, was already taken.

3. Why do defense attorneys representing clients called before the federal grand jury probing the city always emphasize that their clients are "fact-based witnesses"?

a) This distinguishes them from the fiction-based witnesses yet to come.

b) The only people who still read newspapers and watch the 6 o'clock news are old enough to have watched "Dragnet," and thus sounding vaguely like Joe Friday shows media savvy.

c) "Fact-based witness" is just another charming redundancy that lawyers use, like "legal rights" or "billable hours in a day."

4. State Rep. Marc Gergely was caught on a wiretap telling the accused gambling ringleader, "I just want to take care of ya." Is Mr. Gergely in trouble?

a) Nah. Everyone knows Pennsylvania state legislators suck up to whoever's on the phone.

b) Nah. Once Mr. Gergely found out Mr. Melocchi was being investigated, he donated an equivalent amount of the guy's campaign contributions to a for-profit company that treats gambling addiction and covers politicians' posteriors.

c) Possibly, but Pennsylvania voters generally need to hear a catch phrase like "midnight pay grab" before they vote anyone from office. …

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