Essential Pittsburgh: Campaigns for County Controller Face Final Days

May 14, 2015

 One of the most contentious political races is taking place between Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner and her predecessor, Mark Patrick Flaherty. As election day nears we’ll hear from the candidates who recently spoke with WESA Senior News Editor Mark Nootbaar. (Starts at 8:08)

Flaherty, who has previously served as county controller, explains why he wants to return to the office:

"The [county controller's] office is in a state of crisis and chaos...unfortunately, they've thrown too much politics into a very professional process-- the auditing process. When the controller's office can't do its job anymore, you need somebody to come in and point the office back in the right direction and fix it." -Mark Patrick Flaherty

When asked why her experience as controller has been extensive enough to be elected over Flaherty, her predecessor, Wagner points out her budget as it compares to Flaherty's:

"I've done more with less. When you look at my spending, I am still spending less than my opponent and predecessor did four years ago. You're not going to find that anywhere else in county government."- Chelsa Wagner

We start the hour with updates from the Philadelphia Amtrak train derailment. Also on the program, Facebook enters into a controversial deal with the country's major news corporations to directly host their content, and Elaine Labalme preps us for summer travel.

Philadelphia Amtrak Derailment (starts at 0:00)

Philadelphia Amtrak is recovering from a train derailment caused by excessive speeds coming into a turn. Tom MacDonald at WHYY gives us the latest details about how Amtrak is accounting for their passenegrs, the lives that were lost, and where the trip went wrong. 

Facebook To Directly Host News Content (starts at 23:09)

In a controversial deal, Facebook has solidified partnerships with such major news outlets as The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and NBC News to allow the internet giant to directly host their news content. This will increase download speeds and accessibility for users, but what will the deal ultimately cost the news corporations in readership and subscriptions? Heather Starr Fiedler, a professor of multimedia at Point State Park, joins us to discuss the potential ramifications. 

Summer Travel Planning (starts at 39:54)

From Kayak to Hotwire to Orbitz there’s no end to sites offering travel deals. But, are they too good to be true? Contributor Elaine Labalme, navigates us through the fine points of travel planning.

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be found here