Lu Lac Edition #3-May 13th, 2006
NEWS OF THE DAY..................................The weekend before the primary election was dominated by a plethora of radio, TV, and newspaper ads as the candidates make a last minute attempt to reach reach the voters. This election is different than others in the past. First, it is a generational election, with the turnover in the Legislature because of the payraise, new faces will be taking center stage. Secondly, with so many candidates running in the primary, it will be interesting to see if the political organizations can deliver the goods for the people they endorsed. Third, with the new technology of voting machines in both Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, it will be fascinating to see if a write in candidate can make an impact. Unchartered ground as we head into the big day.
With Mother's Day on Sunday, we should reflect on political mothers of note. Franklin Roosevelt's mother, Sara Delano was a huge influence on him, living with him and his family until her death. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy was a factor in keeping the Kennedy blessing from being a permanent curse. On shows like the Merv Griffin program she acknowledged the pain but never forgot the glory. Richard Nixon's mother, Hannah told her son "never to give up" and that tenacity saw him through some dark times. In his farewell press conference, Nixon ruefully said, "My mother was a saint, no one wrote a book about her". (At the time a book on Rose Kennedy had come out). George H.W. Bush's mother told him never to brag or put on the dog which accounted for his humility. And Lyndon Baines Johnson's mother, Sara taught the young LBJ how to read and understand tolerance. Mothers..............a tremendous influence on us all, even politicos and Presidents!!!
COMMENTARIES..............Driving out to my nephew's graduation today at Penn State Lehman, my wife and I saw a whole lot of political signs. Wonder if they'll be gone by this time next week or linger on the landscape from the losers..................Fred Belardi might not have wanted a debate with challenger Ken Smith but got one anyway today when the infamous Belardi interview was played on Coirey O'Brien's program on WILK. My wife heard the interview and said, "Makes me want to move to his district and vote against him".
MEDIA WATCH...........................Corey O'Brien's show on Fox, Sunday at 10am going to be very interesting as he and his guests anaylze the TV ads some candidates used...........West Wing finale Sunday night on NBC. Very first episode from 1999 airs at 7pm, finale at 8pm on NBC.
HOT RACES TO WATCH............The112th district pits restaraunt owner Ken Smith and incumbent Fered Belardi. Belardi as a 28 year incumbent has huge support in the neighborhoods and has been unapologetic about the payraise issue. Ealier in the year, he ran ads about precription drugs for the elderly as part of his office public relations. Belardi has a following but Smith just might make an impact with his low budget, door to door campaign. Underfunded but undaunted, Smith's presentation of meeting a payroll as a restaraunt owner might resonate among voters looking for a change.
In the 11t8th district, three candidates are vying for the Dem nod for the seat of retiring Tom Tigue. Two Pittston area school board members, Terry Best and James Red O'Brien are waging vigorous campaigns. Mike Carroll, an aide to representive John Yudichak is also in the hunt. Best has the local and county Demo endorsements while Carroll has the support of the PSEA which in the Pittston Area could be huge. O'Brien and Carroll live in the same town, Avoca, and Best is a Pittston city resident and businessman. Advertising for the candidates has been plentiful with Carroll pointing to Best and O'Brien's school board tenure as times when taxes were raised in the district. Best has touted his record of experience while O'Brien and Carroll have done pretty much the same.
On the GOP side, county deputy sherriff Arthur Bobbouine faces off against James Spinola and Maureen Tutu. Bobbouine has a good following in the Pittston area due to his past invcolvements in local politics and might be the strongest hope the GOP has in this race. The district in addition to the heavily populatred Pittston Area has areas of the Poconos, traditionally Republican in it. The last time Tigue ran in 2004, his GOP challenger pulled a big vote out of the Poconos.