Both Bram and the Burgher have provided excellent coverage of the "Luke to Boston Scandal" so there's no need for me to include the various media links, but I would like to discuss whether these kinds of personal snafus will really pay off in the end for DeSantis.
Though many folks are losing support for Mayor Ravenstahl, I am still unconvinced as to whether this will add any points to the DeSantis column. Don't get me wrong, MD is playing his cards quite well so far, but he's still lacking the "man of the people" interaction that would push him over the edge.
My feeling is that many of those who decide not to vote for Luke will likely just not vote at all, hoping that the right fit emerges by the 2009 election. In this case, Luke will still win, albeit by a small majority, and be given at least two more years to prove he can learn from his mistakes.
Going back to DeSantis, he is showing the first steps towards becoming a populist with his Walt Davis anecdote, but he still seems too wonkish and not enough drinkin' buddy. Furthermore, his intent on selling off city-owned property will likely disrupt the community planning process put forth by CDC's all over the city, and his start-up support plan sounds like a home run for outsiders but does little for many of those of whom he is asking for votes. His policies comprehensive, but he must convince people to vote for him compared to just not voting for Luke.
For Luke, stop going anywhere outside the city limits until the election is over. And just tell the truth. You went to Boston to learn about mixed income housing strategies and how they might apply to Pittsburgh. You missed a meeting because your overbooked and didn't catch the error, but you'll have another meeting in the North Side where you will be sitting front and center to listen to every single comment until all voices have been heard. Don't run from criticism, fight back with actions and counter-successes.