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Pittsburgh Mayor Strokes Dick’s; Sales Still Limp

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It’s hard to look to the future when you only have one eye.

As long-time GGD readers no doubt remember, last year Dick’s head Ed Stack spewed some goo about how Dick’s target market didn’t need to buy legal guns in a legal way anymore. Some commentators cheered—more about the Dick’s boosters soon—but others pointed out that this Dick’s move might be seen as biting the hand that fed them. Almost immediately, Dick’s once-firm sales began to droop as first one prominent gun manufacturer, then another, bit back. It’s been pretty clear that Dick’s $150 million loss in sales has left shareholder reports embarrassingly flaccid.

That’s why, now, all the anti-gun Dick’s lovers are squirming out of the highway rest-stops to make Dick’s stand taller. Last week, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto did his best to firm up Dick’s standing with a vigorous stroking session.

Dick’s head Ed Stack is always looking for unusual new spots to insert himself, so it’s no surprise that he popped up at the Yale Mayors College & CEO Summit a few days ago. With a session theme entitled “Trumpeting the Issues without Becoming the Issue: Selective Use of CEO Voice,” the Summit’s goals were as glaring as an unzipped fly: teaching government officials and CEOs to use their businesses and constituencies to signal boost politically correct legislation and policy. It’s important to note that “trumpeting the issues”—which is known as “virtue signaling” when it’s at home with its feet up—can definitely damage the businesses and constituencies in question. So, obviously, the Summit is also a great opportunity to stroke the folks who’ve hurt their businesses or re-election odds. And hoo boy, did Dick’s head Stack get stroked firmly and vigorously by Mayor Peduto.

Peduto, whom you no doubt recall is the mayor who, in the words of the linked article, “has breached his duty to the public by advocating for local anti-gun measures that are illegal under Pennsylvania law.” So obviously he was the perfect choice to bestow Dick’s head Stack with a “Maverick in Leadership Award.” (On an unrelated note, it has occurred to me that “Maverick in Leadership” would make a great brand-name for a line of extra-small condoms.) After all, nothing says “Maverick” more than trying to break your state’s gun laws just to make Dianne Feinstein do that thing that looks like a smile but isn’t.

So when Podesta presented the Maverick Award, he made sure to give the Dick’s head lots of stroking. He started softly and tenderly, saying, “It’s my honor to present Ed Stack with this award, and to celebrate the integrity and courage he has shown.” Warming to his task, he took a firm grip on the subject, elaborating that the Dick’s head had taken on in “what we in Pittsburgh know to be one of the most important fights of our time—protecting our neighborhoods, schools, places of worship and all public places from the gun violence epidemic.”

It’s pretty clear that these two “Mavericks” are cut from the same gas-station checkout display. Peduto has shown that he’s behind Dick’s all the way. About 4 inches behind, in point of fact…

What’s your call, readers? Should “Mavericks in Leadership” be a line of peewee condoms, a cover band that plays the Office Space soundtrack at corporate retreats, or the title of a man-on-man skinflick based on Top Gun? Tell us in the comments!

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