The LuLac Edition #35-June 21rst, 2006
PICTURE INDEX...........Jim Bunning's Hall of Fame Plaque, a thinner, younger, non hair challenged David Yonki, circa 1981 with cane (I sprained both ankles playing basketball, ironically it is the same cane I use today) Jim Bunning in Philadelphia Phillies uniform, Jim Bunning as United States Senator, Former Vice President Al Gore, former athlete and current Luzerne County Commissioner Chairman Greg Skrepenak and Minority Commissioner member, Republican Steve Urban.
ASSESSING THE REASSSESSMENT…Public hearings will be held at the following locations regarding the county reassessment plan. On a related note, Greg Skrepenak
has replaced Steve Urban as the “go to guy”, “point person” or main contact of
21rst Century appraisals. Here's the listing of meetings on the assessment issue, times, dates and locations included.
Wednesday, June 21
Crestwood High School, 281 S. Mountain Blvd., Mountain Top, 7 p.m.
• Thursday, June 22
Lake-Lehman School District, Old Route 115, Lehman Township, 6:30 p.m.
Wyoming Valley West Middle School, 201 Chester St., Kingston, 6:30 p.m.
• Friday: June 23
Dallas Middle School, Conyngham Avenue, Dallas, 6:30 p.m.
• Monday, June 26
Hazleton Area High School, 1601 W. 23rd St., Hazleton, 6:30 p.m.
• Tuesday, June 27
Greater Nanticoke Area High School, 427 Kosciuszko St., Nanticoke, 6:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, June 28
Northwest Area High School, 243 Thorne Hill Road, Shickshinny, 6:30 p.m.
• Thursday, June 29
Hanover Area High School, 1600 Sans Souci Parkway, 6:30 p.m.
• Friday, June 30
Meyers High School, 341 Carey Ave., Wilkes Barre, Pa. 6:30PM.
WWII vets and Iraq.............Saw the news the other night and the reactions to the killings and kidnapping of the two soldiers by WWII vets was telling. They undoubtedly supported the troops but expressed dismay and confusion as to why we, as a country, are still in Iraq. When the WWII vets start questioning why we're there, that's significant. But not surprising since WWII vets knew exactly what and why they were fighting for.
GORE ON COUNTDOWN...........Former Vice President Al Gore making the cable TV rounds promoting his book and movie. Gore was on Larry King and on Keith Obermann's Countdown show. Obermann asked Gore that given the disappointment of millions in the country who felt a Gore Presidency would have avoided much of the mistakes, misery and events of the last 6 years, how could he, Gore, not make a run for the Presidency. Good question. Here's the link to Gore's movie http://www.climatecrisis.net/aboutthefilm/, his book, http://www.climatecrisis.net/aboutthebook/ but more importantly the link to Draft Gore in '08. http://www.algore08.com/.
FORTY TWO YEARS AGO..........On Father's Day, Jim Bunning, pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies pitched a perfect game no hitter against the Mets. Bunning had 2 rbi's along with his catcher, Gus Triandos. Bunning later became a Congressman, U.S. Senator and a Hall Of Fame member in Cooperstown where he has been very critical of modern day baseball. Here is a recap of that famous lineup in that 1964 game as well as a recap of Bunning's political career.
John Briggs CF
John Herrnstein 1B
Johnny Callison RF
Dick Allen 3B
Wes Covington LF
Bobby Wine PR/SS
Tony Taylor 2B
Cookie Rojas SS/LF
Gus Triandos C
Jim Bunning P
Caught Stealing: Rojas.Doubles: Triandos, Bunning.Home Runs: Callison.Left On Base: Philadelphia 5.Sacrifice: Herrnstein, Rojas.
Losing Pitcher: Stallard (4-9).Winning Pitcher: Bunning (7-2).
Wild Pitch: Stallard.
Attendance: 32,026.Length of Game: 2:19.Umpires: HP: Ed Sudol, 1B: Paul Pryor, 2B: Frank Secory, 3B: Ken Burkhart.
In the ninth inning, Jim Bunning called his catcher, Gus Triandos, to the mound. What did they talk about? Triandos stated after the game, "He said I should tell him a joke, just to get a breather. I couldn't think of anything. I just laughed at him."
Did you know that Jim Bunning threw ninety pitches of which seventy-nine went for strikes during this perfect game?
What did Jim Bunning do immediately after the game was over? He appeared that same night on the Ed Sullivan Show.
JIM BUNNING'S POLITICAL CAREER
Kentucky state politics
First elected to office in 1977, the ambitious Bunning would serve only two years on the city council of Fort Thomas, Kentucky before running for and winning a seat in the Kentucky Senate as a Republican. He was elected minority leader by his Republican colleagues, a rare feat for a freshman legislator.
Bunning was the Republican candidate for governor in 1983. He and his running mate Eugene P. Stuart lost in the general election to their Democratic opponents, Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky Martha Layne Collins and Attorney General Steve Beshear. Bunning won 454,650 votes (44.1%) to 561,674 (54.5%) for Collins.
In 1986, Bunning won the Republican nomination in Kentucky's 4th District, based in Kentucky's share of the Cincinnati metro area, after 10-term incumbent Gene Snyder retired. He won easily in the fall and was reelected five more times without serious opposition in what was considered the most Republican district in Kentucky. After the Republicans gained control of the House in 1995, Bunning served as chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security until 1999.
First Senate term
In 1998, Senate Minority Whip Wendell Ford decided to retire after 24 years in the Senate--the longest term in Kentucky history. Bunning won the Republican nomination for the seat, and faced fellow Congressman Scotty Baesler, a Democrat from the Lexington-based 6th District, in the general election. Bunning defeated Baesler by just over half a percentage point. The race was very close; Bunning only won by swamping Baesler in the 4th by a margin that Baesler couldn't make up in the rest of the state (Baesler barely won the 6th).
Among the bills that Bunning sponsored is the Bunning-Bereuter-Blumenauer Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004. He is one of the Senate's most conservative members, gaining high marks from several conservative interest groups.
Bunning was also the only member of the United States Senate Banking and Urban Affairs Committee to have opposed Ben Bernanke for Chief of the Federal Reserve. He claimed it was because he had doubts that he would not be different from Alan Greenspan.
Second Senate term
Bunning was heavily favored for a second term in 2004 after his expected Democratic opponent, Governor Paul Patton, saw his career implode in a scandal over an extramarital affair. Eventually, the Democrats settled on Daniel Mongiardo, a relatively unknown physician and state senator from Hazard.
During Bunning's reelection bid in 2004, controversy erupted when Bunning described Mongiardo as looking "like one of Saddam Hussein's sons." Public distaste compelled him to apologize. Other behavior, including accusing Mongiardo of physically assaulting Bunning's wife—claiming that his wife was left "black and blue"—and the accusation that he used a teleprompter during a televised debate caused several media analysts to question Bunning's mental state. Bunning set unprecedented conditions on the debate: he could not appear in person due to an important vote held just few hours before the debate and instead was televised from the Republican national headquarters; he refused to allow an independent observer in the room with him; he insisted that no portion of any recording of his performance could be rebroadcast; he insisted that the debate be broadcast live in the afternoon instead of the customary prime time hours; and other conditions. After the debate, the state's two largest newspapers, the Louisville Courier-Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader, both called for Bunning to step down, however both papers had been strident Bunning opponents previously.
Bunning had an estimated $4 million campaign war chest, while Mongiardo had only $600,000. The Democratic Party began increasing financial support to Mongiardo when it became apparent that Bunning's bizarre behavior was costing him votes, purchasing more than $800,000 worth of additional television airtime on his behalf.
The race turned out to be very close, with Mongiardo leading with as many as 80% of the returns coming in. However, Bunning eventually won by just over one percentage point. Some analysts felt that had it not been for George W. Bush's 20-point victory in the state, Mongiardo would have won.
As was expected in light of Bunning's previous career as a baseball player, Bunning has been very interested in Congress's investigation of steroid use in baseball. Bunning has also been outspoken on the issue of illegal immigration taking the position that all illegal immigrants should be deported.
In April 2006, he was selected by Time as one of "America's Five Worst Senators." The magazine dubbed him "The Underperformer" for his "lackluster performance", noting he "shows little interest in policy unless it involves baseball", and criticized his hostility towards staff and fellow Senators and his "bizarre behavior" during his 2004 campaign
"Civil liberties do not mean much when you are dead."
"Let me explain something: I don't watch the national news, and I don't read the paper. I haven't done that for the last six weeks. I watch Fox News to get my information."