Saturday, November 22, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2781, November 22nd, 2014

Attorney Joseph V. Kasper. (Photo: The Times Leader).

Attorney Joseph V. Kasper died the other day. He had a very prestigious legal career and from all reports was a friend of Wilkes Barre City all of his life.
Kasper was involved in politics in the 1960s and 70s and was involved in one of the closest primary fight in Luzerne County political history. In 1967 Kasper won the Republican endorsement to succeed Thomas Mack as District Attorney. Mack set his sights on one of the two Judgeships that opened up back then. Kasper and Attorney Blythe Evans from Plymouth were involved in an intra party fight that lasted well past the primary election. On Election night there were less than 40 votes separating the two men. When it was all said and done and the absentees were counted, Kasper lost to Evans by 22 votes! Evans went on to beat Stephen Teller in the DA’s race of 1967 despite an almost virtual sweep by the Democratic party under the leadership of the late Doctor John Dorris.
Kasper was involved in President Nixon’s re-election campaign and was Wilkes Barre City Chairman under the Council form of Government when North End Funeral Director John Morris took the reigns as Wilkes Barre Mayor. That is the last time a Republican even came near the Mayor’s office. Kasper’s wake was held at the Morris Funeral Home this past week. There aren’t many old timers left from that great city wide political battle. I remember it as a youth reading accounts of the vote counting in the old Sunday Independent. But Attorney Kasper’s passing reminds us that politics can sometimes boil down to a handful of votes.
When I moved to the Northend our next store neighbor was Attorney Kasper’s brother Carl. Two doors down from me was former city councilman Joe Williams. One day I asked Mr. Williams about his run for Mayor in 1975 and he replied, “After that, I just continued to look ahead, not back”. I’m sure if I asked Attorney Kasper about his 22 vote difference, his reply would be the same. 
One of the most important components for me in writing LuLac is to always try to give a little background on the people who served in party politics in the past. Our condolences to Attorney Kasper’s friends and family.

Today is the 51st anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. This past week the talk shows across America and Canada were alive with all kinds of crazy stuff about that day. It ranged from an old girlfriend of Lee Harvey Oswald who claimed the two were going to get married after “this thing” was all over to the fact that someone dug through Oswald;s grave from the bottom up, removed his head and replaced it with another.
In the meantime the Eternal Flame still lights the grave of the late President. And the beat goes on.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2780, November 20th, 2014

New Luzerne County President Judge Dick Hughes. (Photo: Times Leader).
Richard Hughes has been elected President Judge of the Luzerne County Court En Banc. Hughes was elected in 2011 and is a good consensus choice. He’s fair, personable and succeeds Thomas Burke who navigated the Luzerne County Judiciary through stormy seas after the Ciavella/Conahan debacle.

President Obama is taking Executive Action tonight on The Immigration situation in the United States. A bill was crafted in the Senate, a bi partisan bill by the way that was scuttled by the House. Here’s what the action would do:
FACT SHEET: Immigration Accountability Executive Action
The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will help secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable, and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules. Acting within his legal authority, the President is taking an important step to fix our broken immigration system.
These executive actions crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay their fair share of taxes as they register to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
These are common sense steps, but only Congress can finish the job. As the President acts, he’ll continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive, bipartisan bill—like the one passed by the Senate more than a year ago—that can replace these actions and fix the whole system.
Three critical elements of the President’s executive actions are:
• Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration at the Border: The President’s actions increase the chances that anyone attempting to cross the border illegally will be caught and sent back. Continuing the surge of resources that effectively reduced the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally this summer, the President’s actions will also centralize border security command-and-control to continue to crack down on illegal immigration.
• Deporting Felons, Not Families: The President’s actions focus on the deportation of people who threaten national security and public safety. He has directed immigration enforcement to place anyone suspected of terrorism, violent criminals, gang members, and recent border crossers at the top of the deportation priority list.
• Accountability – Criminal Background Checks and Taxes: The President is also acting to hold accountable those undocumented immigrants who have lived in the US for more than five years and are parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents. By registering and passing criminal and national security background checks, millions of undocumented immigrants will start paying their fair share of taxes and temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation for three years at a time.
The President’s actions will also streamline legal immigration to boost our economy and will promote naturalization for those who qualify.
For more than a half century, every president—Democratic or Republican—has used his legal authority to act on immigration. President Obama is now taking another commonsense step. As the Administration implements these executive actions, Congress should finish the job by passing a bill like the bipartisan Senate bill that: continues to strengthen border security by adding 20,000 more Border Patrol agents; cracks down on companies who hire undocumented workers; creates an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who pay a fine and taxes, pass a background check, learn English and go to the back of the line; and boosts our economy and keeps families together by cutting red tape to simplify our legal immigration process.
Under the Obama Administration, the resources that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) dedicates to security at the Southwest border are at an all-time high. Today, there are 3,000 additional Border Patrol agents along the Southwest Border and our border fencing, unmanned aircraft surveillance systems, and ground surveillance systems have more than doubled since 2008. Taken as a whole, the additional boots on the ground, technology, and resources provided in the last six years represent the most serious and sustained effort to secure our border in our Nation’s history, cutting illegal border crossings by more than half.
And this effort is producing results. From 1990 to 2007, the population of undocumented individuals in the United States grew from 3.5 million to 11 million people. Since then, the size of the undocumented population has stopped growing for the first time in decades. Border apprehensions—a key indicator of border security— are at their lowest level since the 1970s. This past summer, the President and the entire Administration responded to the influx of unaccompanied children with an aggressive, coordinated Federal response focused on heightened deterrence, enhanced enforcement, stronger foreign cooperation, and greater capacity for Federal agencies to ensure that our border remains secure. As a result, the number of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the Southwest border has declined precipitously, and the Administration continues to focus its resources to prevent a similar situation from developing in the future.
To build on these efforts and to ensure that our limited enforcement resources are used effectively, the President has announced the following actions:
• Shifting resources to the border and recent border crossers. Over the summer, DHS sent hundreds of Border Patrol agents and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel to the Southwest border, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) reordered dockets in immigration courts to prioritize removal cases of recent border crossers. This continued focus will help keep our borders safe and secure. In addition, Secretary Johnson is announcing a new Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Plan which will strengthen the efforts of the agencies who work to keep our border secure. And by establishing clearer priorities for interior enforcement, DHS is increasing the likelihood that people attempting to cross the border illegally will be apprehended and sent back.
• Streamlining the immigration court process. DOJ
• Protecting victims of crime and human trafficking as well as workers. The Department of Labor (DOL) is expanding and strengthening immigration options for victims of crimes (U visas) and trafficking (T visas) who cooperate in government investigations. An interagency working group will also explore ways to ensure that workers can avail themselves of their labor and employment rights without fear of retaliation.
By setting priorities and focusing its enforcement resources, the Obama Administration has already increased the removal of criminals by more than 80%. These actions build on that strong record by:
• Focusing on the removal of national security, border security, and public safety threats. To better focus on the priorities that matter, Secretary Johnson is issuing a new DHS-wide memorandum that makes clear that the government’s enforcement activity should be focused on national security threats, serious criminals, and recent border crossers. DHS will direct all of its enforcement resources at pursuing these highest priorities for removal.
• Implementing a new Priority Enforcement Program. Effectively identifying and removing criminals in state and local jails is a critical goal but it must be done in a way that sustains the community’s trust. To address concerns from Governors, Mayors, law enforcement and community leaders which have undermined cooperation with DHS, Secretary Johnson is replacing the existing Secure Communities program with a new Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) to remove those convicted of criminal offenses. DHS will continue to rely on biometric data to verify individuals who are enforcement priorities, and they will also work with DOJ’s Bureau of Prisons to identify and remove federal criminals serving time as soon as possible.
Every Democratic and Republican president since Dwight Eisenhower has taken executive action on immigration. Consistent with this long history, DHS will expand the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to include more immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. DHS will also create a new deferred action program for people who are parents of U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) and have lived in the United States for five years or longer if they register, pass a background check and pay taxes.
The President is taking the following actions to hold accountable certain undocumented immigrants:
• Creating a mechanism that requires certain undocumented immigrants to pass a background check to make sure that they start paying their fair share in taxes. In order to promote public safety, DHS is establishing a new deferred action program for parents of U.S. Citizens or LPRs who are not enforcement priorities and have been in the country for more than 5 years. Individuals will have the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for three years at a time if they come forward and register, submit biometric data, pass background checks, pay fees, and show that their child was born before the date of this announcement. By providing individuals with an opportunity to come out of the shadows and work legally, we will also help crack down on companies who hired undocumented workers, which undermines the wages of all workers, and ensure that individuals are playing by the rules and paying their fair share of taxes.
• Expanding DACA to cover additional DREAMers. Under the initial DACA program, young people who had been in the U.S. for at least five years, came as children, and met specific education and public safety criteria were eligible for temporary relief from deportation so long as they were born after 1981 and entered the country before June 15, 2007. DHS is expanding DACA so that individuals who were brought to this country as children can apply if they entered before January 1, 2010, regardless of how old they are today. Going forward, DACA relief will also be granted for three years.
The President’s actions will also streamline legal immigration to boost our economy and promote naturalization by:
• Providing portable work authorization for high-skilled workers awaiting LPR status and their spouses. Under the current system, employees with approved LPR applications often wait many years for their visa to become available. DHS will make regulatory changes to allow these workers to move or change jobs more easily. DHS is finalizing new rules to give certain H-1B spouses employment authorization as long as the H-1B spouse has an approved LPR application.
• Enhancing options for foreign entrepreneurs. DHS will expand immigration options for foreign entrepreneurs who meet certain criteria for creating jobs, attracting investment, and generating revenue in the U.S., to ensure that our system encourages them to grow our economy. The criteria will include income thresholds so that these individuals are not eligible for certain public benefits like welfare or tax credits under the Affordable Care Act.
• Strengthening and extending on-the-job training for STEM graduates of U.S universities. In order to strengthen educational experiences of foreign students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at U.S. universities, DHS will propose changes to expand and extend the use of the existing Optional Practical Training (OPT) program and require stronger ties between OPT students and their colleges and universities following graduation.
• Streamlining the process for foreign workers and their employers, while protecting American workers. DHS will clarify its guidance on temporary L-1 visas for foreign workers who transfer from a company’s foreign office to its U.S. office. DOL will take regulatory action to modernize the labor market test that is required of employers that sponsor foreign workers for immigrant visas while ensuring that American workers are protected.
• Reducing family separation for those waiting to obtain LPR status. Due to barriers in our system, U.S. citizens and LPRs are often separated for years from their immediate relatives, while they wait to obtain their LPR status. To reduce the time these individuals are separated, DHS will expand an existing program that allows certain individuals to apply for a provisional waiver for certain violations before departing the United States to attend visa interviews.
• Ensuring that individuals with lawful status can travel to their countries of origin. DHS will clarify its guidance to provide greater assurance to individuals with a pending LPR application or certain temporary status permission to travel abroad with advance permission (“parole”).
• Issuing a Presidential Memorandum on visa modernization. There are many ways in which our legal immigration system can be modernized to reduce government costs, eliminate redundant systems, reduce burdens on employers and families, and eliminate fraud. The President is issuing a Memorandum directing an interagency group to recommend areas for improvement.
• Creating a White House Task Force on New Americans. The President is creating a White House Task Force on New Americans to create a federal strategy on immigrant integration.
• Promoting Citizenship Public Awareness: DHS will launch a comprehensive citizenship awareness media campaign in the 10 states that are home to 75 percent of the overall LPR population. USCIS will also expand options for paying naturalization fees and explore additional measures to expand accessibility, including studying potential partial fee waiver for qualified individuals.
• Ensuring U.S. Citizens Can Serve: To further our military’s needs and support recruitment efforts, DHS will expand an existing policy to provide relief to spouses and children of U.S. citizens seeking to enlist in the military, consistent with a request made by the Department of Defense. (Source: The White House).
President Obama is not the first Chief Executive to take Executive Action on Immigration. Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush took action to remedy flaws in the 1986 Immigration Reform Act. You’ll be hearing the big cry of foul by the GOP but the fact is if they fight this in an unreasonable and ignorant manner, they will look like thugs. This is a good thing for the country. It will keep families together, improve productivity and make this country stronger. Those who fear it are wrong.
The Immigration scare is all about skin color. Plain and simple. The GOP controlled House is set up by districts that are primarily white. There will be push back and debate.
This action is years too late. GOP leaders are crowing that this could have been done when the President had both houses. Very true. But better late than never.
One more prediction: Tonight the President will announce a number of about 4 million people regarding this action. By the time Limbaugh hits the airwaves on Monday, that number will be 60 million complete with right wing caterwauling.
Some say this President is acting outside of the Legislative body. About time. This President has bowed and scraped to accommodate the GOP House. He kissed John Boehner's ass numerous times only to have Boehner break his word. This Executive Action puts the bullies and the party of no firmly in their place.


Let’s hope the GOP Legislature in Harrisburg stays put and doesn’t do anything anything to thwart the new administration of Tom Wolf. The rumors are, and let’s hope they are just that,  is that the present outgoing State Legislature will go into special session before Wolf takes office and pass Governor Corbett’s agenda. This is crazed because why would they do this now when their leader is on the way out?? If they really believed in this, why didn’t they do it before the election?

Governor Elect Tom Wolf. (Photo: Tom Wolf campaign)
Governor-elect Tom Wolf named the Steering Committee for his transition team. The steering committee will work with already named leadership on efforts to review state agencies, commissions, departments, and functions.
"As we begin to understand the complexity of the fiscal crisis my administration will face, it is important that my Transition Team move forward," said Governor-elect Tom Wolf. "Today's announcement, which rounds out my steering committee, continues that momentum, and I look forward to working with these individuals to address the steep fiscal and economic challenges ahead."
Neal Bisno
Neal Bisno is President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, the state’s largest union of nurses and healthcare workers. He has helped thousands of healthcare workers improve their lives and has been a strong advocate for access to quality, affordable care for all Pennsylvanians. Neal is an International Vice President of SEIU and a Vice President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. He is a Trustee of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania’s Training and Education and Health and Welfare Funds and of the Pennsylvania Employee Benefits Trust Fund; a member of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council; co-chaired the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers; and served on Governor Rendell’s 2010 Healthcare Reform Implementation Advisory Commission. Neal lives in Pittsburgh with his partner Lisa Frank and their son, Sam.
David Barasch
David Barasch has over 30 years of public service experience, including time as U.S. Attorney in Harrisburg. Barasch was Pennsylvania's Consumer Advocate in the 1980s and was also the lead counsel in cases involving the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. From 1990 to 1993, Barasch served as Special Assistant to Governor Robert P. Casey, Sr. Following his time with Governor Casey, Barasch served as U.S. Attorney until 2001, where he led federal prosecutions and multimillion dollar settlements. Barasch also served as Executive Deputy Secretary under then-Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf. In addition, Barasch has spent time practicing law in the private sector.
Aradhna Oliphant
Aradhna Oliphant is the President and CEO of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. Prior to joining Leadership Pittsburgh in December 2004, Aradhna served as the Program Officer of The Forbes Funds, a supporting organization of The Pittsburgh Foundation. Aradhna was the Executive Director of The Children’s Festival Chorus (CFC) of Pittsburgh from 2000-2003. Before moving to Pittsburgh in 1999, Aradhna led an arts organization in Princeton, New Jersey, and taught as an adjunct professor of management and psychology at both Rider University and the College of New Jersey.
Mark Nordenberg
Mark Nordenberg joined the faculty of the University Pittsburgh’s School of Law in 1977, eventually serving as Dean and Interim Provost of the university. In 1995, he was elected Interim Chancellor by the university's board of trustees, and in 1996, he was elected Chancellor. Nordenberg served as Chancellor for 19 years. During his tenure, the university experienced tremendous growth with both annual applications and overall enrollments increased.
Phyllis Mundy
Phyllis Mundy is currently serving her 12th term as state Representative for the 120th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Mundy serves as Democratic Chair of the House Finance Committee and co-chairs the House and Senate Early Childhood Education Caucus. She has been honored with numerous awards for her achievements, including the 2014 VOICE for Children Distinguished Career Award and the 2013 Children's Champion Award from the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission. Mundy is a graduate of Kingston High School and Bloomsburg State College.
Robert Brooks
Since 2010, Robert Brooks has served as the Mayor of Murrysville in Westmoreland County, and he currently holds a position on the Board of Trustees at Franklin & Marshall College. Brooks also sits on the NASDAQ Nominating Committee and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Planning Commission. From 1999 to 2004, Brooks was the Executive Vice President of Wabtec, where he had an extensive career. Brooks has thorough knowledge of the rail and financial industries.
Dr. Julie E. Wollman
Dr. Julie E. Wollman became the 17th President of Edinboro University in June 2012, and has an extensive background in teaching, research, and administration. Wollman was the first woman to be named President of Edinboro University. She came to Edinboro from Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, where she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs. Prior to that position, she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Worcester State University and Dean of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College. Wollman is also active in her community, where she serves on the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership Board of Directors, the Hamot Health Foundation Board of Corporators, the United Way Erie Board of Directors, as well as chairs the United Way’s Volunteer Engagement Cabinet.
Shanin Specter
Shanin Specter is a partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Kline and Specter, P.C. Specter received a B.A. with honors in Political Science from Haverford College in 1980, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, and an LL.M. with First Honors from Cambridge University in 1984. Mr. Specter has been named one of the nation’s best lawyers in addition to being ranked among the Top 10 lawyers in Pennsylvania by various independent attorney rating services. He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, described by The Washington Post as “a select group of 100 of the nation’s most celebrated trial lawyers."
Carl G. Cooper
Carl G. Cooper is widely recognized as one of the nation’s first management-level Chief Diversity Officers at a major law firm from his time at K&L Gates law firm. After leaving K&L Gates, Cooper launched a Pittsburgh-based diversity consulting firm in 2007. As a diversity consultant, Cooper works with law firms to design and implement an agenda that promotes, achieves, and maintains a diverse workplace. Cooper received his B.S. degree with a major in Business Administration from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio and completed his law degree at the Howard University School of Law.
Nilda Iris Ruiz
Nilda Iris Ruiz is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc. (APM). From October 1999 to March 2005, Ms. Ruiz was the Senior Community Development Director for the East Coast at National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national constituency-based Hispanic organization. Ruiz also has been honored with a number of distinguished awards, including the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2009 Women of Distinction Award; Girls Inc. 2008 Strong, Smart and Bold Award; El Sol Latino Newspaper’s 2008 Crystal Award; and the 2008 Hispanic Choice Award for Favorite Community Advocate. Ruiz has an undergraduate degree from Temple University and a Masters in Business Administration from Eastern College.
Joseph Meade
Joseph Meade is the Director of Government and External Affairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Prior to his current role, Meade served as the museum’s Director of Government Relations. Before joining the museum, Meade served as the Director of Government and Public Relations for the School District of Philadelphia; worked for two years as legislative director for the Honorable Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondel Reynolds Brown; and served as Chairman of The Five Guys Political Action Committee. Meade is a graduate of La Salle College High School, West Chester University, and received his Master of Public Policy and Administration from Widener University.


17th District Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives)
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright sent letters to Randy Huffman, the Cabinet Secretary for West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection, andCraig Butler, the Director of Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency. The letters are a significant step in a comprehensive investigation Cartwright is leading in his role as Ranking Member of the Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The letters requests information about the respective state’s regulatory process for monitoring the handling and disposal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) waste.
Cartwright writes, “As you know, fracking wastes are categorized as "special wastes" and are exempt from federal hazardous waste regulations under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). As a result, fracking wastes are regulated as non-hazardous wastes by state governments under the less stringent RCRA Subtitle D solid waste regulations. I am writing to inquire about your state’s reporting requirements for fracking operators, fracking waste transporters and disposal site operators.”
The letters go on to ask several detailed questions about the waste disposal practices and oversight capabilities in both Ohio and West Virginia. Just last month Cartwright sent a similar letter to Pennsylvania’s acting Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP) Secretary Dana Aunkst.
In Pennsylvania, the state’s oversight of the process has come under scrutiny after the release of PA Auditor General Eugene Depasquale’s audit of the PA-DEP’s performance in monitoring potential impacts to water quality from fracking.
The audit concluded that Pennsylvania’s current system for oversight of fracking waste “is not an effective monitoring tool” and “it is not proactive in discouraging improper, even illegal, disposal of waste.” Source: Congressman Cartwright's office).



ECTV Live host David DeCosmo welcomes Rusty Fender back to the Co-host seat during the week of November 24th as they discuss plans for an exciting Concert to benefit the Toys For Tots campaign. Steven Perillo, President of Making a Difference Ministries is the guest for the week's programs which air daily on Comcast Channel 19 (and 61 in some areas).


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Sharon Roginski from the Lackawanna County Office of Children & Youth Services about the agency's "Adopt An Angel" program.
Brian speaks with home improvement expert Danny Lipford about how to prepare your home for the coming winter storms.
Brian interviews food expert Maureen Petrosky on how to make quick and healthy meals as the holiday season approaches.
And an encore of Brian's interview with Dr. Mary Dundon about Flu Season.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, and 6:25am on Magic 93.


Sunday morning November 23rd on Community Forum Mike Remish welcomes Maureen McGuigan and Fran Pantuso from the Lackawanna County Department of Arts and Culture. You'll hear the program Sunday at 6 am on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 am on The Game 1340/1400/1440 am and 100.7 and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 am on 105 The River


Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. Special Edition is heard Saturdays and Sunday on these Entercom stations, WILK FM Saturday at 2pm Sunday at 6 am on Froggy 101 Sunday at 7 am on The Sports Hub 102.3 Sunday at 7 am on K R Z 98.5 Sunday at noon on WILK FM 103.1.


Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”   


Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.


Every Wednesday at 5PM, Steve Corbett shines the light on a Public official with his “Somebody’s Watching Me” segment. Corbett picks an alleged public servant to eye ball and observe. Batten down the lawn furniture in the driveway and that e mail machine. There is nowhere to hide when “somebody’s Watching”. Wednesdays at 5 on WILK’s Corbett program.

Our 1974 logo.


UN General Assembly recognizes Palestine right to sovereignty…… 60 Ethiopia government officials executed……..2 truck hijackers freed (3/3/1974)…….62nd CFL Grey Cup: Montreal Alouettes defeats Edmonton Eskimos, 20-7….38th US President Gerald Ford & Leonid Brezhnev signs SALT-2-treaty...Jane Blalock wins LPGA Lady Errol Golf Classic- Irish Republican Army is outlawed in Britain following deaths of 21- Rangers' Mike Hargrove wins AL Rookie of Year….Approximately 140 die when suspension bridge collapses (Nepal)……Catfish Hunter & Charlie Finley meet in arbitration……..Senator Hugh Scott says that the signing of SALT 2 Treaty reinforces the fact that U.S. Foreign policy is still intact even after the tumultuous year of 1974…..and in Luzerne County County Controller Steve Yanoshak says he will run for County Commissioner on the GOP side. Already there is speculation that a rival GOP team consisting of Hazleton’s Bob Warren and Labor Leader Bob Leonardi will compete with him…and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was Bobby Vinton’s “My Melody of Love”.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2779, November 19th, 2014


Our "Write On Wednesday" logo

 Former Pittston Area head football coach Bob Barbieri. (Photo: Citizen's Voice).
I though this would be a great submission as we approach thanksgiving. the highlight of my youth was the Pittston area/Wyoming area Thanksgiving day game.Pittston Area just gave Coach Barbieri a well-deserved and long overdue honor.
Dr. Joe Leonardi wrote this from what I think is a different perspective, not as a star players, but as someone who actually never really played very much, but even sill, Coach Barbieri had a lasting influence on his life.

Bob Barbieri --- Much More Than A Coach

by Joe Leonardi

I wasn't an athletic youth, but I always participated in sports related activities. As kids we didn't have video games, Facebook, computers or five hundred cable channels of nothing to occupy our time, so, we played outside; in the parks, in the streets or in vacant, or not so vacant, lots --- anywhere we could find a spot, we played sports. Football, baseball and basketball where the big three. But we also made up games that involved physical activity, we even had our own neighborhood Olympic Games. Being overweight, I wasn't the best, and I was often picked last, but still --- I participated.
Over the summer, between eighth and ninth grade, I decided I was going to go out for football. No matter how ridiculous it sounds in retrospect, I was going to play for the Pittston Area Patriots, Penn State Nittany Lions and finally, I would play in the National Football League.
Summer program was the first step along my path. My mom dropped me off at the front entrance to the high school and instead of turning right and going into the gym, I walked straight. Beyond a second set of glass doors my gaze was fixated on the trophy case. Little statuettes of championship seasons stared back at me, but it was the center item that had my full attention --- the number 44 jersey worn by Jimmy Cefalo.
I daydreamed about playing on the gridiron wearing the Pittston Area red, white and blue. I was lost in my imagination, completely oblivious to anything, or anyone. Suddenly, my day slumber was broken by a large hand that had fallen over my shoulder, it was that of legendary head football coach Bob Barbieri. A booming voice stated, "You are going to be part of this son."
I just nodded my head. It was as if the hand of God himself had touched me. He continued, "Cefalo was the best, a natural talent, but do you know what made him great?"
I couldn't speak. I simply stared at the jersey and then the coach. "In his time here he set track as well as football records, but no matter what he did, he didn't rely solely on his natural abilities." He paused for a moment and continued, "He worked and practiced harder than anyone else." Still awestruck I said nothing --- how could I? What do you say when a living legend is talking to you, and only you. So, I simply allowed Coach Barbieri to lead me down to the gym.
Even in my first year, Coach Barbieri pushed me as hard as he pushed anyone, I still remember as a sophomore, when I made a good tackle, he said to me, “Leonardi, now you’re impressing me.” I only was on the team for two seasons and I wasn’t very good. I never started, heck I barely played, but spurred on by Coach Barbieri, I worked hard, and enjoyed the game.
Most importantly, I took from those two years valuable lessons about hard work, maximizing potential, that winners are more than born and that even the best still had to practice.
If you live, or lived, in Northeast Pennsylvania, and are around my age, then you are acquainted with the names Jimmy Cefalo and Bob Barbieri. I never knew Jimmy Cefalo beyond a handful of meetings, but in addition to being Coach, Bob Barbieri was one of my high school teachers. His lessons extended far beyond the football field and beyond the classroom --- they extended well into life. They are lessons I used getting through boot camp, college, business and in my continued battle with obesity. In every journey I take, and when overcoming every obstacle that presents itself, the words of Coach Barbieri continue to echo within my head.
Author, Chiropractor, & Physical Culturist
Doc Joe Leonardi

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2778, November 18th, 2014


The late John Wansacz (Photo Times Tribune).
Former State Representative John Wansacz died Sunday. The elder Wansacz, the father of current Lackawanna County Commissioner Jim Wansacz served for 12 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Wansacz a self made businessman won in the 1964 landslide election in Lackawanna County where only Joe McDade eked out a win. He served in that capacity until 1972 when Republican Jon Vipond succeeded him ..............but only briefly. Wansacz claimed that seat back forty years ago in the 1974 General Election and served two more terms until being succeeded by Republican Frank Serafini. Wansacz was an avid proponent of getting out the vote and also was a 50 year veteran of voting in elections. 
As a State Representative Wansacz was known for his constituent service and encouraging younger people to enter politics. He also was one of the supporters of the Shapp administrations plan for start a State Lottery and have the proceeds go to Senior Citizen programs. Wansacz just turned 78 in October.

So a few Palestinians killed five people today in an attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem. Five people died, four of them were rabbis. The attack came during morning prayers in the west Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof and was carried out by two Palestinian cousins wielding meat cleavers, knives and a handgun. Blood-smeared prayer books and shawls were left on the floor of the synagogue as proof of the violence.
The World Post Reports that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, But he also called for an end to Israeli "provocations" surrounding Jerusalem's shrines that are sacred to both Muslims and Jews.
Yeah those praying rabbis were certainly provoking people this morning weren’t they? Israel said it would retaliate. Let’s hope it is ten fold. It’s the only thing that gets through to the other side.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2777, November 17th, 2014


So for the past 12 months we’ve been hearing from the Republicans, local, state and national about how Obamacare, aka The Affordable Care Act was going to have businesses dropping workers from their plans and how workers will have to pay gigantic premiums. Oh my God the sky is falling. The GOP, one of them newly elected State Senator Mario Scavelo from the 40th Senatorial District even claimed in a TV ad that 2 million jobs were already lost by Obama care. Really? Then why has there been job growth over the last five years?
Thursday afternoon the company I work for sent out an e mail regarding our health care benefits. When I asked our CEO in June what our plan was going to be in 2015 she told me that they were still crunching the numbers. Here’s how those numbers shook out:
1. We have a passive enrollment this year. What that means is this: if you like your health care from last year YOU CAN KEEP IT!!! Do nothing. I remember Don Pachnce beating me up on WLTV TV 35’s 2013 Election Night coverage over that one. Hey Don, I like it, I’m keeping it.
2. The cost is the same. The same money comes out my check for my Medical, and for Dental and Vision for me and Mrs. LuLac. SO THE PRICE DID NOT GO UP!!! It’s…..wait for it…..THE SAME.
3. The deductibles are…….here it comes……THE SAME!!!!!!
Enrollment is up, there are very few website glitches and people re happy with it.
I watched something on Meet The Press on Sunday. A gentleman who was unemployed and went without it because it was $1700.00 a month for he and wife said that if the Congress wants to repeal The Affordable Care Act, let them go without THEIR health care and see what it’s like.
Good idea. But they won’t. Bullies, especially redundant one trick ponies rarely have any real smarts or guts.
The lies will continue..but that’s all they are. Lies.

17th District Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo: LuLac archives)
Last week U.S. Representatives Matt Cartwright (PA-17), Blake Farenthold (TX-27), and Alcee Hastings (FL-20) introduced the bipartisan Veterans Care Financial Protection Act of 2014. The legislation would direct theDepartment of Veterans Affairs (VA) to work with other federal agencies and states to address a myriad of scams that target low-income, older veterans. U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Marco Rubio (FL) first introduced the legislation in the Senate.
“I believe that we owe a great debt to those brave men and women who served our country through military service,”said Cartwright. “I am proud to work with Congressmen Farenthold and Hastings, and Senators Rubio and Warren to address any form of fraud targeted towards our nation’s older veterans and their hard-earned benefits. These scams are completely unacceptable and appalling. Our legislation would require greater protections for our nation’s heroes.”
“It is unfortunate that there are people who want to take advantage of those who have fought for our freedom,” said Farenthold. “That’s why I am proud to introduce, along with Congressmen Matt Cartwright and Alcee Hastings, legislation to help prevent scam artists from targeting and taking advantage of our veterans, especially those older and low-income veterans. I remain committed to helping our veterans receive the benefits and care they’ve earned.”
“I find it abhorrent that we even need to consider this legislation. The idea that there are people in this country who seek to defraud those who have sacrificed so much is sickening,”said Hastings. “Along with Congressmen Cartwright and Farenthold, I am dedicated to protecting veterans and their families from these scams and ensuring they receive all the benefits and care that they have earned.”
The VA offers Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefits to veterans who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person to complete basic daily activities. Scam artists have exploited the A&A program by charging veterans for obtaining the benefit even though the application process is free. Additionally, these predators often take control of the veteran's assets and move them into an irrevocable trust or an annuity, creating significant financial strain for the veteran. This movement of assets may also disqualify the veteran from other assistance, like Medicaid.
The bill would require the VA to work with other federal agencies and state experts to develop and implement standards that protect veterans from predatory practices. Furthermore, the bill would require a study on the implemented standards to determine whether the standards have effectively addressed the scams.

Click above to enlarge.
The Diamond City Figure Skating Club of Wilkes-Barre would like to invite you to cover a private dress rehearsal for their upcoming production "Disney Through The Years" .
When: Wednesday November 26th 2014
Where: The Toyota Sports Plex, Coal Street Wilkes-Barre, PA
Time: 3:30 to 5:00 pm.
The club has been skating feverishly to bring this "one of a kind" venue to our area featuring local skaters that will be held SATURDAY NOVEMBER 29th, 2014 at the Toyota Sports Plex, 38 Coal Street, Wilkes-Barre at 3 pm.
For more information contact our friend Karel Zubris, Diamond City PR Chair 470-406-0378

Today Governor Elect Tom Wolf celebrates his 66th birthday!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2776, November 14th, 2014


Just wanted to announce that The LuLac Political Letter was named the Best Political Blog on October 11th at Blogcon held at College Misericordia. To all those readers who voted for this site, my heartfelt thanks. Blogcon is held every fall and the principals behind it are Karla Porter, Mandy Boyle and Michelle Hryvnak Davies. It is an honor to be associated with that group as well as Mr. Harold Jenkin’s NEPA blogs.
We are entering our ninth year in doing this. We try to be fair, informative and timely. My goal is to combine the rich political heritage of this area but also never lose sight of the future. LuLac has become for me a labor of “like” for me. Love is too strong a word.
I did ask for votes and I appreciate all who gave me a thumbs up. When I had to run for Eighth Grade Class President three times (that is a story I’ll share someday) I remembered the old adage that you have to make your case…………..and then ask. I’m glad those who voted, asked or not, look to this site as something worth reading. Thanks again. As my friend the Reverend Tom Carten is fond of saying, “We’ll keep doing it until we get it right!”


Mayor Tom Leighton during the Flood of 2011 managing the situation. (Photo: WBRE TV)
Now that the 2014 Statewide elections are over, the municipal contests are ahead of us. One of the big races that will be front and center will be the race for Mayor in the City of Wilkes Barre. Right now there is a candidate who has made no bones about the fact that he is running. Tony George, the former Police Chief and current City Councilman has made it known that he will run for the office. George has been a Democratic maverick on Council and has seemed to stake out ground for an opposition campaign.
I’m hearing reports that a soon to be announced candidate will be First District Councilman George Brown. Brown recently retired and is putting out feelers. Brown comes from the South Wilkes Barre District that always gets out the vote.
Former Congressional candidate Brian Kelly has been making noises too. Kelly has a strange pedigree. He was backed by the Tea Party when he ran for Congress in 2010, came in third behind then Congressman Kanjorski and Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O’Brien. Then after he lost, he backed Lou Barletta for the seat. Democrats in Wilkes Barre, at least the established McLaughlin-Namey Democrats don’t take too kindly to a thing like that. Plus with that plethora of conflicting philosophies, no one is sure of where he is politically.
There might be a few others but here are my thoughts. I think that Mayor Tom Leighton should run for a fourth term. Through the years I disagreed with some of the things going on in the Leighton administration. But as a city resident, blogger and taxpayer I was always treated with the utmost respect. But that is not why I think Leighton should go for another term. After surveying the field, looking at the facts, seeing the progress this city has made, I’ve come to the conclusion that Tom Leighton is the person who could lead the City in this decade. It is up to him, after all the guy has been in the line of fire for three terms. 12 years, longer than any modern era Wilkes Barre Mayor. Public service, while rewarding can take its toll. But here’s why I hope Leighton runs again.
1. CITY FINANCES: This Mayor took the city off the brink of fiscal disaster. He restored the credit rating, got the city consistently on target in terms of its spending projections and gave the City the opportunity to once more use its credit for the future. Last night Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright proposed a 19% tax increase on City Residents as well as raising the garbage fee to $300.00. I pay 6 bucks for a small bag, the kids from King’s next door pay $32.00 for four large bags every week. Think about it.
2. THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE CITY. Take a look at the improvements to all of the streets in the city. They are passable and a pleasure to travel on. Then go to Scranton or Hazleton. See how that works out for you. Neighborhood houses that were blighted properties have been methodically and logically jettisoned. Even though many remember the great old days of The Hotel Sterling and scoffed at Leighton’s traffic plan (myself included), the take down needed to happen. The downtown has been revitalized and even though businesses leave, they are replaced by others.
3. RESPONSIVE CITY SERVICES. Wilkes Barre has responsible department heads that have treated taxpayers like consumers. Complaints are handled quickly and efficiently. Plus the Police and Fire Protection, in my opinion is second to none.
4. A SOUND MANAGEMENT PLAN. While many have been critical on the way the city has been run, look at the people who have served under this administration. All were hands on professionals who did their jobs without fanfare or controversy. The Mayor usually took that flack.
5. CRIME. Despite the 13 murders in Wilkes Barre in 2013, this administration has kept the lid on rampant crime. Fugitives from out of town have been nabbed and investigations of major crimes have yielded convictions. That comes from a Police Department that is professional and allowed to run itself without political interference. The issue of Sherman Hills was addressed and is still being worked on. But a Mayor can’t control social ills. A Mayor can’t control a city woman with no self esteem who takes up with out of town criminals. A Mayor can’t control the influx of drug pushers who are housed by naive residents. A Mayor can’t control Housing Developments and neighborhoods that have been infiltrated by criminals with landlords who previously have taken the money and looked the other way. To blame a Mayor for every crime means that when there is a day of peace in the city, then you must surely give him that credit.
6. FUTURE DEVELOPMENT. Pennsylvania now has a Democratic Governor who has stated he will build partnerships with cities. This current administration has the political and government infrastructure in place to take advantage of any help that could come our way.
Leighton has been the target of various investigations. No sale. The rumors of something terrible at City Hall just never happened. There is a Hosanna Chorus of political opponents who have tried three ways to Sunday to defeat him. Guys, you need the votes in a General Election through registrations committed to YOU. Tom Leighton gets more votes going to Mass on Sunday than you do in your entire campaigns.
7. THE ALTERNATIVES. Tony George and George Brown clearly love the city. But a new administration will take months to gain traction. There are too many nuances and curves waiting to trip up a rookie. The GOP most likely will go to the extremes, they’ll either have a multi candidate primary field and eat each other alive or have no one. (Except maybe getting an “R” nomination for Tony George.) No one should be Mayor for life…..but the time to change horses right now would be counterproductive.
Tom Leighton has had his ups and downs. There are people who say he isn’t warm and fuzzy. Sometimes he is blunt to a fault. But here are the facts, while other cities have floundered and have been gasping for breath, Wilkes Barre has navigated the fierce waters of the early part of this century with competence and clarity. Like any city or governmental entity, it hasn’t been a pleasure cruise. But the ship of state is on course and sailing full steam ahead. That’s why if Tom Leighton makes up his mind and forms a campaign committee, I’m not only going to support him but send him a check. You should too.

Then candidate Tom Wolf on the campaign trail. (Photo:

Democratic Gov.-elect Tom Wolf announced Thursday who will aid his Chief of Staff Katie McGinty transition into the governor's mansion.
Some of the members of Wolf's transition team may look familiar. But it is common to have a talent pool from previous administrations. Wolf tapped Rendell and Casey people just as Governor Corbett picked Ridge people to get things moving.
Here's the line up of Team Wolf straight news release:
John A. Fry - Transition Chair
Fry, Drexel University’s 14th president, has served in higher education for his entire professional life, as a consultant, board member, chief operating officer, and chief executive. Fry has positioned Drexel to become the “modern urban university of the future,” harnessing both long-established and still-emerging strengths to serve its students, its neighborhood, its city, and the nation. Drexel is setting a new standard for cooperative education, investing in its research capacity and becoming a major force for economic development
Mayor C. Kim Bracey - Transition Vice-Chair
Bracey was elected the first African-American Mayor of the City of York on November 3, 2009. As the City's chief executive officer, she is responsible for all aspects of the general management of the City, including its $98 million budget and the enforcement of all City laws and ordinances. Previously, Bracey was the appointed director of the Department of Community Development for the City of York from June 2003 until January 2009 under Mayor John S. Brenner.
Jim Brown - Transition Vice-Chair
Brown currently serves as Chief of Staff to United States Senator Robert Casey, Jr. Brown served as Chief of Staff to Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey, Sr. from 1989 to 1994. Brown has also served as Pennsylvania Secretary of General Services and was a partner at the law firm Dilworth Paxson, LLP. Brown was a founding partner of SCP Partners, a family of venture capital funds.
Cynthia Shapira - Transition Vice-Chair
Shapira is a community activist at the local, state, and national levels. She serves on the board of the Allegheny County Airport Authority and chairs the Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics at Chatham University. She also serves on the boards of Brandeis University, Point Park University, United Way of Allegheny County Pittsburgh Promise, WQED Pittsburgh, Vibrant Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Shapira is secretary of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, as well as a commissioner of the Pennsylvania Commission on Women. Previously,
Denise Smyler - Counsel to the Transition
Smyler is the founding attorney and owner of the Smyler Firm, which joined with Wadud Ahmad and Joseph Zaffarese to form Ahmad, Zaffarese & Smyler, LLC in September 2013. Denise is a well-respected commercial litigator and public finance attorney who has successfully represented municipalities, corporations, and government entities for over twenty years.
Mary Soderberg - Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force Chair
Soderberg is the former secretary of the budget appointed by Governor Edward G. Rendell and began serving in the position on July 7, 2008. Prior to her appointment as secretary of the budget, Soderberg had served since August 2005 as executive deputy secretary of the budget and chief financial officer of the commonwealthand Montgomery County Commission Chairma. 
Josh Shapiro - Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force Vice Chair
Shapiro was elected Montgomery County Commissioner in 2011 and was elected unanimously to Chair the three-member Board on January 3, 2012. As the Commission Chairman, Josh helped lead a dramatic turnaround in Montgomery County by eliminating a large budget deficit, reducing overall debt, and replenishing the County reserve fund. Prior to his election in Montgomery County, Shapiro represented the 153rd Legislative District in the state House for seven years. Before serving in the state legislature, Josh served as a Congressional staffer in Washington, D.C. where at age 25 he became, at the time, the youngest person on Capitol Hill to serve as a Congressional Chief of Staff.


Congressman Matt Cartwright with fellow Congressmen. (Photo: Cartwright office)
U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright was elected Regional Whip by his Democratic colleagues representing Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
"I look forward to working with my fellow Democrats to support a legislative agenda that puts people first," said Cartwright. "Now more than ever we must be unified in putting forth an agenda that will create jobs and improve our economy, support our veterans, protect the environment, and strengthen Social Security and Medicare."
Regional Whips develop strategy, count votes, gather and distribute information among Members. Cartwright will join Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer in garnering support for key legislation and bringing members of the Democratic Caucus together.
"I would like to thank my colleagues for their support and confidence, as well as my constituents in Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district for entrusting me to be their voice in Congress," said Cartwright. "I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that we will face together in the 114th Congress."



Live host David DeCosmo will welcome Kathleen Nelson to the program during the wee of November 17th. She'll unveil plans for the 31st Artisans' Marketplace at the Waverly Community House along with the annual Holiday bHouse Tour. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Cable channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is presented several times each day throughout the week.


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with Michael Zimmerman and Nora Bagulsky from Family Service Association of Wyoming Valley about their National Family Week Conference coming up on Thursday at Genetti's in Wilkes Barre.
Brian speaks with Janet Sweeney & Palmeri Miller from the Pa. Environmental Council about their Shoe Dropoff Program.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Tom Fritz about Scranton's Santa
Parade coming up next Saturday.
Brian speaks with real estate investor Kelly Rafuse about her company's "Home For The Holiday's promotion.
And Brian speaks with Natalie, Joe & Jacob about their 3rd Annual Abilities Tipoff Wheelchair Basktetball Tournament coming up on Sunday at the University of Scranton Byron Center.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X and 6:25am on Magic 93.



Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. Special Edition is heard Saturdays and Sunday on these Entercom stations, WILK FM Saturday at 2pm Sunday at 6 am on Froggy 101 Sunday at 7 am on The Sports Hub 102.3 Sunday at 7 am on K R Z 98.5 Sunday at noon on WILK FM 103.1.


Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”


Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.


Every Wednesday at 5PM, Steve Corbett shines the light on a Public official with his “Somebody’s Watching Me” segment. Corbett picks an alleged public servant to eye ball and observe. Batten down the lawn furniture in the driveway and that e mail machine. There is nowhere to hide when “somebody’s Watching”. Wednesdays at 5 on WILK’s Corbett program.

Our 1974 logo.


Union of Banana Exporting Countries (UPEB) forms…..Aliança Operário-Camponesa (Worker-Peasant Alliance) founded in Portugal as a front of PCP(m-l)……..Rangers' Jeff Burroughs wins AL MVP…… The US files antitrust suit to break-up AT&T……Freedom of Information Act passed by Congress over Pres Ford's veto…in Pennsylvania K. Leroy Irvis becomes the first black to be named to a House of Representatives Leadership position assuming the Majority Leader role under House Speaker Herbert Fineman…….in Lackawanna County the Democrats try to line up candidates for the 1975 Commissioners race. Names that come to mind are those of James McNulty, aid to Mayor Peters and for the GOP,  Ed Hughes the Mayor’s Communications person and forty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was “Everlasting Love” by Carl Carlton, a remake of the 1967 Robert Knight hit.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2775, November 13h, 2014


Our “13 Questions” logo.

1. So now the hard work for Tom Wolf begins, how will he do?

I'm sure he'll do fine. But I think you are going to see a very analytical leader who is going to be very transformative in his methods. The GOP in Harrisburg is going to have to give him and themselves a chance to succeed. The state needs a break. As much as I loved Ed Rendell, the state doesn't need a showman but a person who can see well into the future.

2. I saw you on TV and was struck by how spot on you were on the Cipriani/Kaufer race. My question is this, I understand Kaufer asked you to moderate a debate, why didn't you?

In its 8 year history LuLac has hosted four public forums. Wilkes Barre City Council in 2007, Luzerne County's multi candidate Judicial Race in 2009 and then a Luzerne County Controllers forum in the spring and fall. They are hard to put together if you don't have a staff. Plus the entities that put them on had more reach than I can hope to have without having my full time job suffer. Mr. Kaufer did ask me as early as 2012 but it just never happened.

3. Have you seen that House map all in red?

Yes it is something. It is a sea of red with only the west coast in blue and parts of the east. It indicates that the GOP will control the House at least until 2025.

4. What do you think about Tom Wolf naming Katie McGinty as his Chief of staff?
Governor Elect Tom Wolf and his new Chief of Staff Katie McGinty. (Photo:
Not a shock. During the primary she did not attack him and ran on positive notes. In the fall effort she became a chair of his campaign and stumped the state for the ticket. She has run departments at the state level and can be his hub as he navigates the Capitol. Good pick.

5. What do you think of the "grants" the Lackawanna County Commissioners are giving to area communities in the Lac?

I think it is a good way to show taxpayers what they are getting for their money. Some call it politically motivated but good politics usually begets good government and vice versa. I like this approach.

6. Our of all of the Sunday morning news shows, which one is your favorite?

Good question. When David Brinkley had the This Week, that was my favorite. When Tim Russet had Meet the Press that was my number one. I've gravitated toward Face the Nation as a favorite the last few years since it went to an hour. I watch all of them, even Fox when I get the time. Usually I make the time.

7. What do you think of the NFL playing in London this season?

They are expanding their brand for sure. I like it because you get a chance to catch an early game.Almost, and I stress the word almost here, like living in California.

8. The big races in 2015?

Thanks for not asking about 2016 first. Wilkes Barre and Hazleton Mayoral, Luzerne County Council and Lackawanna County Commissioners. Not to mention the Luzerne County DA's race.

9. I thought you were right on point when you said the Democrats ran away from the President. But can or will he compromise?

Who knows at this point. I think the thing to watch is how the GOP leadership in the Senate can moderate the Tea Party people in the House. Immigration is going to be the starting point.

10. Favorite part of Thanksgiving?

The family, the drum stick, the NFL (maybe)  and a four day weekend. Might even try for a 5 day weekend this year.

11. Why wasn’t the winner of the Lt. Governor’s office Mike Stack standing beside Tom Wolf on Election Night? I saw Jim Cawley with Governor Corbett.

Our friend Exeter Mayor Cassandra Coleman informed me that Stack was at a separate victory event in Philadelphia. I guess Cawley had no other place to go.

12. Best place to get a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving?

The Sanitary in Nanticoke. Hands down. But place your order early. Tell them Yonki from LuLac sent you. It won't get you a discount but it'll give them a laugh.

13. How do you think Tom Corbett will go down in history?

For politics he will be the guy who broke that eight year cycle of administrations going from party to party. From a policy standpoint, he will be known as the Governor who couldn’t define his agenda and actually was unable to get his beliefs through with a majority in both houses.