LU LAC Edition #1-May 11th, 2006
News of the Day……
Attack??? In 1965 the Toys had a follow up hit to their song “A Lover’s Concerto” with a tune called “Attack”. In terms of political campaigns, attack ads have been pretty sparse this season. In the race to replace Kevin Blaum, one would have thought Brian O’Donnell would’ve come under fire for political connections in his family. After all, in the Magisterial Race that pitted his sister in law against Atty. William Amesbury to replace the late Michael Collins, attacks of cronyism, nepotism and favoritism flew. Since Magistrates cross filed, Amesbury secured the nod on the GOP side and defeated Mrs. O’Donnell in the fall. It could be that Brian O’Donnell’s standing as a Wilkes Barre Area School board member might have blunted those attacks since he’s won election in his own right. Robert Reilly, another candidate had a little fight with a poll worker in a recent election, no one brought anything about that up either. The other candidates on the Dem side are Eddie Day Pashinski and Jim Hayward. Christine Katsock is running on the Republican side.
In the Pittston Area, for the race for the 118th District replacing Tom Tigue, Terry Best has been focusing on the school board tax record of James Red O’Brian and the experience of Mike Carroll who is an aide to Rep. John Yudichak. Best has placed mildly critical ads in the Sunday Dispatch but they haven’t been very negative.
The race for Senator in the 20th district was quiet until two developments this week. Both had to do with Mayor James Haggerty of Kingston. Haggerty began running TV and radio ads criticizing Lisa Baker for her employment connections to Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Some have labeled this as desperate but Baker’s media team opened the door when her business experience was touted at Blue Cross as more altruistic than it actually was. (She worked in the Marketing/Charitable Giving division of the corporation. Many large companies have PR departments that do that type of worthy work but the non profit Blue Cross’s rates and surplus have been fodder for discussion for many years). Anyway, Haggerty’s spots are effective and thought provoking. Whether this was “too little too late” on his part to have an effect is still too early to tell.
` Haggerty also had a lawsuit brought against him by The Lavelle Miller Advertising Agency for $17,000. Seems the ad group gave his campaign a proposal for work. His group refused it and they sent him a bill. As a former Radio/TV sales representative, let me say this, if I billed every prospect for every proposal I did, I’d be a very rich Republican most likely donating to Rick Santorum’s campaigns. If you look at the client list for The Lavelle Miller Group and you see which newspaper this story ran in (Citizen’s Voice Times Shamrock) then you’ll see the connection.
These incidents can hardly be described as very negative. For the most part the campaigns have been devoid of nasty attacks, but it does spice up the race a bit and are legitimate points of debate that will make voters think before making a decision. Many decry negative campaigning and for the most part I agree but when candidates bring up legitimate points, much like Haggerty and Best did this week, it can only enlighten and enrich the discourse.
COMMENTARIES………..Lisa Baker, in her TV ads on her Blue Cross career claims she was doing her best to fight obesity. If she was, it certainly hasn’t worked with me just yet…………How about Lavelle Miller suing on an advertising proposal. I should get the name of the law firm they are using to file suit against the agents and major publishers who have rejected many of my writings in my life. I went to school with Helen Lavelle, remember her playing a mean guitar at those folk Masses we used to have at St. John’s High School in Pittston. Or maybe that was her cousin, Margaret………….Also went to high school with Terry Best from Pittston. We have a few things in common other than being Pittston boys and classmates, we’re both the same age and have less hair than we did in 1972.
MEDIA WATCH…….Have to give a great hand to the Luzerne County Commissioners and the TV spot they have running on the new voting machines. All three look perfectly groomed, present themselves well and do a very good job of explaining the new voting system. Kathy Bozinski is doing the voice over and it is very high on information and low on bombast. The Commissioners are also doing direct mail as well as putting inserts in the local newspapers. You can access the new voting information on the web too at http://www.luzernecountyvotes.com/. It is actually a training site that is easy to use and learn. As an old call center trainer, it almost brought tears to my eyes. Very effective and informative, these guys have their act together when it comes to the process……..Corey O’Brien teaming up with Sue Henry for Election Night coverage on the WILK news network Election Night. O’Brien’s enthusiasm for elections is a good thing to behold………..and it seems like most of the local candidates for State Representative have hit the airwaves with commercials in anticipation for Election Day. Look for a barrage of “Happy Mother’s Day from Candidate “fill in the name” this Sunday. Those are always great fun and always pretty comical. I mean what are they going to do, run against motherhood?
WHAT’S AHEAD………A recap of the hottest races this Election Day.