The LuLac Edition #80, Nov 3, 2006
PHOTO INDEX: Singer Al Green who appeared at the Kirby Thursday night, The Fighting 69th of New York, Lackawanna County Commissioner Robert Cordaro, Senator Rick Santorum with Senator Arlen Specter (Specter campaigning hard for his junior partner but has not yet compared him to Winston Churchill), 11th Congressional GOP contender Joe Leonardi and friends and last but not least, Sir Winston Churchill, who died in 1965 (41 years ago) but who seems to have enjoyed a revival courtesy of Santorum supporters.
DAYS TO ELECTION
The 11th: The Times Leader endorsed Congressman Kanjorski today. No big surprise there but it did misrepresent challenger Joe Leonardi on the Wall Street West issue. Hopefully the newspaper will give Dr. Leonardi a clarification.
In the meantime, there’s a buzz going on about the Congressman’s “Kerry like” moment before a group of college students recently. The Congressman told the college students that knowing, learning and taking part in debates was an integral part of being a public servant. It has not been lost on any and all political folk as well as citizens that Kanjorski has refused to debate Joseph Leonardi. The Doctor has made himself available on a moment’s notice but has heard nothing from Mr. Kanjorski.
And while we’re at it, let’s talk about those debates. In reality, they are public forums. This year, in the debates I’ve attended, there has been no give and take, question and answers to each other and no fireworks either. So to decline a debate, even if you are an incumbent, is ludicrous to me since in reality, you’ll most likely enhance your image.
In this year’s debate season, the two best presenters had to be Christine Katsock, 121rst candidate for State Representative and Mike Carroll, candidate in the 118th. In speaking with Dr. Leonardi, I'm sure he would have been very good too, but given his lack of opportunity to debate, we'll never know for sure.
The 10th: With the election only a few days off, challenger Chris Carney holds a 9 percentage point lead over Rep. Don Sherwood in a new poll. However, 15 percent of likely voters still haven’t decided between the candidates.Mr. Carney leads the four-term incumbent 47 percent to 38 percent, according to the poll led by Jonathan Williamson, Ph.D., a political science professor at Lycoming College. Although the numbers remained the same, there were internal shifts, Dr. Williamson said. Mr. Sherwood picked up more Republican supporters and Mr. Carney gained more independent votes. The Sherwood shift is significant because it seems like the Republican stalwarts might be coming around to the candidacy of the Congressman. While Carney can rely on independent voters, there are many pundits who believe that at the last minute, Sherwood may get back some of his base.
BOB CORDARO REVISITED
The other day we predicted that Lackawanna County Commissioner Robert Cordaro would be a formidable candidate for Congress in 2008 if Mr. Sherwood is defeated and Mr. Carney assumes his seat. We mentioned that Cordaro ran against Congressman Joe McDade in 1988 for the 10th and lost. But a blog reader correctly pointed out that Mr. Cordaro, a Dunmore resident NOW lives in Congressman Kanjorski’s 11th district. (The district was redesigned to help the Republican incumbent in the last census).So as it stands now, Mr. Cordaro could not be a candidate for the seat unless he provides an address in the 10th. He might take an effiency apartment in the Summit or buy a home in the hinterlands to qualify for residency. He might of course be accused of being a carpetbagger but that same accusation was made against Robert Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, both elected to the Senate from New York. (I know, I know, the 10th Congressional district is not New York!) But if the party and Cordaro want it to happen, it will. However this all speculation since we don’t even have this Congressional race in the books yet.
I read a newspaper account that Lynn Swann, Republican candidate for Governor was in Scranton the other day glad handing the folks during the lunch hour. Former Ltn Governor Bill Scranton was with Swann along with city GOP Chairman Paul Catelano. It’s funny to see Catalano come out of hiding. He’s the chair of the party that can’t even recruit a full slate of Scranton Republicans to field a full ticket in the city municipal elections.
THE VETERAN’S VOICE
Got a few views via e mail on the John Kerry statement. One veteran from New York’s Fighting 69th actually got on TV regarding the flap. Here’s his e mail:
Just to let you know I was in the 69th this afternoon getting the Garryowen Club ready for the Makin Dinner when Superintendent Jim Jackson called me into his Office to speak to a member of the DMNA Public Information Group. He said that Dave Evans of ABC-TV (Channel 7) wished to interview a Veteran regarding Senator Kerry’s “remarks” of yesterday.I told him I had some strong opinions about the Massachusetts Senator but these were my own and I did not represent either the 69th and / or the Veteran Corps. They wished to do an on camera short interview to which I agreed provided it di not take place at the Armory so I chose Stuyvesant Town - which is where I reside - and also the subject in the recent press.I really wanted to talk about our annual Dinner honoring our WWII Veterans this Friday and the work of the 69th Veteran Corps, Officers Association, AOH #7 and the Family Support Groups that rallied to support the 69th Soldiers and their Families while they served in Iraq. The 69th has many friends and has always taken care of our own. It never came to that in the interview.The questions posed were 100% directed to what I as an individual Vet thought of the remarks - I was wearing my 69th cap and a 1916 “Star And Plough Flag” shirt. Short, sweet, candid, to the point is what they wanted and what they got.Probably won’t use it as some Producer will say who wants that puss on Prime Time?Since then Tom Fitzsimmons told me of the prepared comments that Kerry really toned down in his speech as reported in the liberal newspaper Newsday. Kerry was a lot more vindictive toward the Military - really calling those in Uniform too stupid to be doing much else as these College kids he was addressing. I wish I had known of that article for I would not have been so kind to John Kerry in my remarks as I was.But, I said what I said respecting Kerry as one who wore the Uniform in combat and was a hero - maybe not as much of a hero as he portrays - but a hero nevertheless as he did his duty when called.Just like the Soldier of today. Our new heroes.Baseball is over and there ain’t nothing better to do so if you are interested take a peak at ABC TV and look for the old guy in the 69th hat.
For those interested in a unique bit of military history, here’s the link to the fighting 69th website. http://www.69thnysv.org/
Another veteran, Jim Petrie wrote a letter to the Scranton Times on the conduction of the Iraq war by the current administration, he gave us permission to repeat it on this blog:
In 1969,when I was in Vietnam, we were losing four to five hundred men a week and we were winning! Dick Cheney was on his fifth deferrerment and Karl Rove his first of many questionable re-classifications. Later George Bush couldn't be bothered with National Guard meetings in Texas or Alabama. We lost one hundred men in October in Iraq, but these "leaders" say we are winning. Perhaps if they had served like so many other patriotic young Americans they might have learned something about winning. Nobody wins when it comes to war!
And more feedback via e mail………….
Thank you for the reprint of K.O."s remarks. Brilliant. The Worst Person in the World candidates should have included Stepford Wife #1, John McCain, who I long admired but who wants the white house so bad hes willing to do anything to gain the support of the right wing this time around and anyone who tunes in to the rush limbaugh show-oxycontin -oxy morons. (Matthew's best friend's grandmother, a lovely lady who I knew as a kid, now 87, calls ann coulter- ann c**tler! Isnt that wonderful.).
NO KEITH, PAULA, WOLF, LARRY, OR PCN
Thursday night, I took a break from the election shows and commercials and saw the Rev. Al Green at the Kirby Center along with the Dixie Hummingbirds. The Reverend rocked the house and made a lot of joyful noise. Toting a lot of bling, a loud and talented band and fortifying his bad self with Gatorade, Green put on one heck of a show.
SANTORUM AS CHURCHILL?
Yep, this one is making the rounds. You have got to read this piece that is being passed around by the Republican Party. Who knows, if the Senator loses his re-election bid, this essay might get him an appointment to be Ambassador to Great Britain. As Mr. Santorum might put it, not bad for an Italian kid from southwestern Pennsylvania.
It is not every day that a politician chooses to use the closing days of a hotly contested, and exceedingly high-stakes, election to give voters bad news. Yet, in Pennsylvania, the incumbent Senator, Rick Santorum, is courageously doing just that.
Specifically, Sen. Santorum is stumping across his state telling constituents about the most important issue with which the man they elect next week will have to contend: a world in which America's people and vital interests are in grievous danger. With pages literally ripped from Winston Churchill's memoir about the run-up to World War II, the Senator is providing an unvarnished assessment of the "Gathering Storm" that threatens our generation - and those of our children and grandchildren - unless addressed in creative and effective ways.
I had a chance to witness first-hand the clarion call Rick Santorum is giving to the people of his state and the rest of this country as I introduced him to audiences in Pittsburgh, Johnstown and Erie last week. He spoke with passion and authority about the combination of enemies who are currently joining forces - despite differences of ideology no less dramatic than those of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Imperial Japan and Fascist Italy when they were allies during World War II - to advance a common goal of destroying America and other freedom-loving nations.
Notably, Sen. Santorum addressed squarely the danger posed by "Islamic fascists," a term he does not shrink from using. He understands that it does not defame peaceable, tolerant Muslims. Rather, it distinguishes the latter from those who make up the virulent and violent totalitarian political movement that seeks to conquer and repress the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds, alike.
The Senator is no Johnny-come-lately to this subject. For years, he has been discussing how this ideology of hatred is translating - thanks to state-sponsors such as Iran, Syria, North Korea, Pakistan and Venezuela - into a mortal peril, not just to Israel and our forces and friends in the Mideast, but to Europe, Latin America and even our own homeland. With an indefatigability and clarity reminiscent of Britain's wartime prime minister, he stresses that the conflict we are in is, as a result, about more than Iraq and not a "war on terror." It is, instead, a war for the Free World. Voters in Pennsylvania and elsewhere need to understand that next week as they entrust their lives for years to come to one representative or another.
Like Churchill before him, Sen. Santorum is far more than a Cassandra warning of the dangers ahead. He is a man with a record of leadership and accomplishment who both recognizes such perils and works effectively to devise and adopt appropriate strategies for dealing with them.
For example, Rick Santorum has sought to apply the lessons of Ronald Reagan's destruction of the Soviet Union to our current, global struggle with today's totalitarians. In the Senate, he has led on energy self-reliance, military readiness, homeland security and political warfare. The Senator has also been a prime-mover behind legislation aimed at de-legitimating the odious Iranian and Syrian regimes and empowering domestic opposition aimed at bringing them down. Such an outcome represents the only realistic hope for preventing freedom's defeat in Iraq and its imperiling elsewhere.
The commanding grasp shown by Sen. Santorum of the most important issues of our day stands in stark contrast to the haplessness of his opponent, State Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr., when it comes to the war. He has generally declined to debate the substance of the incumbent's positions and judgments, offering - often incoherently - canned talking points and platitudes seemingly focus-group tested to obscure his lack of knowledge or gravitas.
In the past few days, Sen. Santorum has found a way of starkly demonstrating to Pennsylvania's voters that Treasurer Casey is more than unprepared for the job he seeks in the U.S. Senate. He has also been missing-in-action when it comes to the role he could have been playing to support the war effort in his present job .
Rick Santorum has been joined on the campaign trail by Mr. Casey's counterpart from Missouri, Sarah Steelman. Ms. Steelman has shown what a state treasurer can accomplish if they understand the nature of the threat we face - and are interested in doing something about it.
Under Treasurer Steelman's leadership, the Missouri Investment Trust (MIT) has become the first public pension fund in the nation to divest from its portfolio the stocks of companies doing business with state-sponsors of terror like Iran, Syria, North Korea and Sudan. She has thereby ensured that the fund's beneficiaries are not unwittingly having their retirement savings invested in ways that are strategically counterproductive, morally reprehensible and even ill-advised from a financial point of view. (A study done for Ms. Steelman proved that the MIT would have performed better last year had it been terror-free than it was investing in companies partnering with our enemies.) She has also helped empower American investors to privatize the war for the Free World.
Bob Casey has not exhibited this kind of leadership in Pennsylvania. To the contrary, he has been indifferent to the fiduciary and strategic implications of a business- as-usual approach to what amounts to his state pension funds' investments in terror-sponsoring states.
Pennsylvanians should return a man we all need in the Senate - the American Churchill, Rick Santorum, not entrust the job to a man who, in his present position, has neither understood nor helped to win the war for the Free World.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .