The LuLac Edition #81, Nov 4, 2006
PHOTO INDEX: CLEOPATRA, L.A. TARONE (L.A. LOOKS LIKE A ROSE, A MASCULINE ROSE NO LESS SURROUNDED BY SOME THORNY WOMEN), MERCEDES McCAMBRIDGE AS SADIE BURKE FROM THE 1949 MOVIE "ALL THE KING'S MEN", ADULT FILM ACTRESS ERICA BOYER, FORMER FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE MONICA LEWINSKY, ACTRESS PATRICIA CLARKSON, PLAYING SADIE BURKE IN THE 2006 FILM REMAKE OF ROBERT PENN WARREN'S GREAT NOVEL, "ALL THE KING'S MEN" AND CYNTHIA "DON'T CHOKE ME OR CALL ME CINDY" ORE.
DAYS TO ELECTION
From Nancy Kman, WILK Radio, I had stated that she said the day after Thanksgiving should be a national voting holiday. In fact she said that the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) should be traded for another day so that all Americans can vote. Here's what she really said: I didn't want Election Day to be Black Friday...I wanted to trade the Black Friday holiday that I have...for making Election Day aHoliday. I think Election Day should be a national holiday so everyonehas all day to get out to vote.....this would reduce lines. Just wanted to give that claification.
First up, Hazleton Standard Speaker columnist and WLYN TV host of "The L.A. Tarone Show", Mr. L.A. Tarone gives his considerable election day predictions.
Okay, here goes: Important note to keep in mind – even in a bad year, incumbents are re-elected at a 90-plus-percent rate!
PA SENATE: I’m still hesitant to pick this, despite the overwhelming poll numbers. I simply cannot believe a candidate who has said so little, whose man campaign theme is “I’m not the other guy,” can be leading. I cannot believe an auditor general who wouldn’t tell a sizeable whether it can or can’t do something with its pension money can possibly win by 12 points. (For the record, Hazleton asked Casey when he was AG whether it could over-fund the Police and Fire Pensions and use excess Act 205 funds to pay for retirees’ life and health insurance; Casey said,. “I’m not telling you you can; I’m not telling you you can’t.” Nice backbone Bobby. Now, AG Jack Wagner has cited the city for it and might be demanding $1 million-plus back. What, Casey couldn’t say, “Yes, you can” or “No, you can’t”? Plus, there was his debacle in Berwick where he cited the district over George Curry’s guidance title over something like $2,000 and then backed down, and his audit of a Lehigh Valley school district that was challenged, and thrown out, in court because of shoddy workmanship. I’m really surprised the Santorum campaign didn’t make issues of these things!) Plus, deeper polls numbers show Casey’s backers don’t love him, they just hate Santorum. His vehemence factor (are you voting for this guy or simply against the other guy) are the lowest of any major candidate I’ve ever seen. Something near 60-percent of Casey supporters aren’t voting for him, they’re just voting against Santorum – and they’d vote for anyone against Santorum. That’s not strong support. Still, you obviously have to think Casey will win, but I suspect there are a lot of Santorum voters whom the polls have missed. If Casey wins, it’s by five points or so and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Santorum win.
PA CONGRESSIONAL 11TH: Kanjo obviously beats Leonardi and I don’t think Joe will reach 30 percent – though he will, I think, get 20 percent, or close to it. And he’d have done better had RNCC done anything on his behalf.
PA CONGRESSIONAL 10TH: Sherwood beats Carney. A month ago, I thought Carney would win. But he’s become a one record hit parade: “Sherwood let down PA values.” It’s getting grating. And while it was ballyhooed, I think Mrs. Sherwood’s letter was actually quite effective. Plus, the 10th is conservative by nature – at least socially, if not economically. The more they hear about Carney, the more many will decide, “Well, I’m mad at Sherwood, but not THIS mad.”
PA GOV.Rendell beats Swann – not going out on a limb here. But while polls keep showing the incumbent with an 18-point lead, I think the victory will be around and probably under 10 points – something like 55-45; 54-46. Few lose by 18 points. I don’t expect an Itkin re-run
PA 117: This seat’s wide open for the first time since the Maverick battled the Valiant, as George Hasay decided not to run. Democrat Fred Nichols has run as a conservative, but Karen Boback’s name is better known and 117 remains solid Republican. Boback will win.
PA 118: Tom Tigue’s seat. Since the district lines were changed in redistricting, it’s more Republican than it had been, because of the inclusion of more of Monroe County. That gives Maureen Tatu a much better chance; she’s been a township supervisor up there for several years and has name recognition. I think she beats Democrat Mike Carroll.
PA 121: I know Christine Katsock and I like her quite a bit. She’s smart, she works hard, and her ads are effective. Her opponent Eddie Day Pashinski does not strike me as someone who has much of a grasp on too much. But this is Wilkes-Barre; Republicans need a waiver to drive through town. Eddie Day wins, but it’s closer than some seem to think.
STATE HOUSE AND SENATE: The D’s need nine seats to gain control of the House. They won’t get them. While there were a lot of incumbents turned out in the primary and a bunch of others who decided not to run for re-election (Tigue, Hasay, Blaum etc.), most districts remain solid for one party or another; which equals something near status quo. The D's may pick up three or four seats, but there will be no big turnover. Status Quo in the state Senate.
ELSEWHERE:PA CONGRESSIONAL 6thIt hasn’t been getting much attention up here, but the race in the 6th District in and around Reading and into Chester and Montgomery Counties has been as nasty, maybe nastier, than Carney/Sherwood. Gerlach is the incumbent. A former state senator, he’s a fairly moderate Republican. His challenger is Lois Murphy, a fairly attractive but quite liberal challenger. Much as Casey is doing with Santorum, Murphy is trying to attach Gerlach to Bush – noting he voted with the president “80 percent of the time.” Notice – just 80 percent! This is an interesting district. Suburban Reading remains staunchly conservative. But the 6th also includes a few wards in the city of Reading – which are all Democrat. Chester and Montgomery have been growing blue. I think Murphy will pull this out in a nail biter.
FEDERAL HOUSE AND SENATE: Just a few of the high profile races. R-Talent beats D-McCaskill in Missouri. Stem Cell research is not nearly the hot button issue McCaskill tried to make it and I think the Michael J. Fox ad backfired. D-Menendez beats R-Keane in New Jersey – and really, it doesn’t matter; they’re virtual Xerox copies of each other. D-Lieberman holds onto his seat in CT by a comfortable margin. In Maryland, D-Cardin and R-Steele have been hammering each other. They’re even in polls. I suspect there are more black votes for Steele than polls have shown and I think he’ll eke out a win. In Virginia, R-Allen beats D-Webb.
In general, D’s pick up three or four Senate seats and a handful of House seats (say, eight) but do not gain control of either.
One other prediction: If I’m right and the D’s don’t get the control they expect, they’ll spend the next two years screaming about voter fraud – and continue to oppose reasonable measures such as requiring people to show photo ID at polls.
The recent revelation that Cynthia Ore, Don Sherwood’s friend settled a lawsuit for half a million dollars has again become the topic of conversation in northeastern Pennsylvania. First off, political pundits are wondering who leaked the information. Jake O’Donnell, spokesman for Sherwood said it wasn’t their camp, stating on the Sue Henry show that the last thing the campaign needed was a cover story as seen in the Citizen’s Voice Friday morning.
So far no one has owned up to releasing the information. We know that but what is unknown at this point is whether this is going to help or hurt Sherwood. I think this revelation will help Sherwood’s campaign. Here’s why:
1. Ore initially sued for 5 million dollars. When one sues they do shoot for the moon. But when you break down the facts and the money, it seems less than I had expected. Perception in politics is reality and when you look at the high number of 5 million and the settlement number, there is a disparity. Kevin Lynn made the point that it was roughly 10 cents on the dollar.
2. Over a five year period, $500,000 is roughly $100,000 grand a year. Median income in Washington, D.C. and Maryland is $71,551.00. Eliminating lawyer’s fees, Ore was compensated about $60,000 a year to be Sherwood’s mistress. She might have made that amount working at Proctor and Gamble in the Congressman’s district if she did a little overtime. When one thinks of a mistress, the image is of a beautiful starlet stashed in a high end apartment flitting around in a little sports car and trips to faraway places first come to mind. But remember, Don Sherwood is essentially a country boy who drives his pick up truck back home every weekend to the district. He doesn’t even fly home so if anything, this was a bargain basement relationship. There was no evidence of lavish trips, having her own apartment paid by the Congressman and other accoutrements that a busy mistress needs. So the number, when you break it down, doesn’t seem like huge amounts of hush money paid to the subject.
3. The financial number again sends the message that perhaps this was not a serious case. There were allegations of choking but that’s all they were, allegations. If Ore settled for that amount (which is considerable to be sure but far below the range of opportunity by the lawsuit) one has to think about the righteous indignation first shown by Ore and wonder exactly where that went. It certainly doesn’t fall under the category of “frivolous lawsuit” but in comparison to the palimony suits of other celebrities and politicos, this dollar amount is a drop in the bucket.
4. Buyer’s remorse. I wonder if Ore got buyer’s remorse when she initially made the charges against the Congressman (realizing “what the heck have I been doing here for 5 years!!!!!????”) Perhaps the settlement number was a reflection of a young woman who thought better of dragging this involvement through the courts and further damaging her future prospects. True, it was in Sherwood’s interest to make this go away but the dollar amount suggests to me that Ore wanted to get this past her and wash that man out of her considerable blonde tresses.
Those are the reasons why I think this helps Sherwood. The case was settled, and if voters looked at the actual numbers she got after settlement, they may give Sherwood the benefit of the doubt.
Despite the problems Sherwood faces from this scandal, in this large of a district, all the Congressman has to do is get back his base. Among the undecided voters, if he gets those people back, however reluctantly, he’ll have a chance to win. Not by much but he can squeak it out. And Sherwood is driving home three points:
a. As he told PCN the other night, “I just didn’t parachute in the district, I’ve been here all my life” This is a clear jab at Carney who was born in Iowa.
b. He constantly tells people he is sorry and taking responsibility for his actions. In a society where athletes and celebrities blame everyone else for the predicament they find themselves in, taking responsibility is seen as a virtue. Congressman Mark Foley checked himself into rehab to provide an excuse, Sherwood pulled no such stunt.
c. Sherwood stresses his seniority and the things he’s done for the district.
Coupling those three aspects along with the news of this less than expected dollar amount, perhaps Sherwood could pull this one out of the fire.
THE BABE FACTOR: BREAKING IT DOWN
Okay, so you want to have a mistress. You love the wife, enjoy the kids but there’s still some overflow left in that love engine and you want to explore the possibilities. How much will it cost?
Well, that depends on the type of woman you pick.
There are 3 types of mistresses. For political purposes we’ll categorize them accordingly.
THE CLEOPATRA MISTRESS: The highest maintenance one of all. She wants your heart, your mind, your soul and even can move you to annex countries. She’ll make you make decisions that will not only change your world but the entire world. Involvement with this type requires full abandonment of all common sense and reality. Be prepared to give up life as you’ve known it forever. Also, after you are long gone, don’t expect this one to mourn too long. She’ll move on delicately stepping over your dad body and moving on to your successor.
THE SADIE BURKE MISTRESS: Sadie Burke was a character played by Mercedes McCambridge in the 1949 movie based on the great Robert Penn Warren novel “All The President’s Men”. (In the 2006 remake, Patricia Clarkson plays that role). Sadie was a hard driven political operative who believed in her man Willie Stark. Seeing his potential for greatness, ambition first fueled her fire but then eventually love took over. She was spurned when Willie went on to a better looking, prettier, softer subject. In today’s work world, the Sadie Burke mistress can be problematic at best given sexual harassment laws, 24/7 media scrutiny and the fact that you are having an affair with someone closely aligned to your business or political success. There has to be a high level of mutual trust, friendship and respect for this to succeed. If one is involved with a Sadie Burke mistress, he should stay faithful to her. If not, the wrath of her rage will destroy whatever you have left of your life. A Sadie Burke invests not only her emotions in you but her own personal career goals which when she adored you, she gladly subjugated in deference to your needs. But when scorned, look for her to take you down in a New York minute even if it means her own future career choices will be an assistant manager at a grub factory in East Galveston, Texas.
THE MONICA MISTRESS: This is the least complicated and best case scenario. Young, impressionable, willing to please, and easy to buy for. No sports cars, fine dining and Dom Perignon for this lovely lass. Buy her some Calvin Klein perfume, remember her birthday with discreet flowers and a stuffed animal, pay her phone bill once in a while and talk about how badly you are misunderstood by your wife. All the while reveal to her how surprised you are by the fact that she has such depth and substance for someone so tender of age. Do that bare minimum and this thing can go on until the shenanigans leaves you dead from a coronary from all the sex. However, a caveat, if you lose interest, don’t ignore her. Keep in touch, phase her out slowly. If you don’t, she’ll complain to a girlfriend, the recipient of that complaint will tell someone else (either a newspaper, special prosecutor or just a neighbor over the picket fence) and your life will be pretty much over.
If you want a mistress in this day and age, you have to realize that most women have economic buying power that was not available before. So you must not go on the cheap. Here’s a breakdown of the basic essentials in order to keep a mistress.
SPA SERVICES $280.00 a week.
You have to maintain those good looks.
GYM MEMBERSHIP $1200.00 a year.
RENT PARTICIPATION $4800.00.
COMMNICATIONS SUPPORT $1600.00 a year.
FOOD ON AND OFF PREMISES $5200.00 (this can flexible depending on whether your girl is a yogurt or lobster devotee.)
ALCOHOL $3120.00. (Again depends on the demo and the lady, older gals love their cognac, younger ones can get by on a 30 pack of Keystone Light).
CANDY $1000.00 a year.
FLOWERS $3120.00 a year.
VACATION AKA BUSINESS TRIP (either a Cruise or All Inclusive vacation-$3800.00.)
CAR MAINTAINECE $1560.00.
Now in addition to that $39,000 plus, there is the emotional cost of the involvement and the stress. Consider this: according to Black Kat Productions, the average salary breakdown a female porn star gets is the following:
$100 - $150 an hour w/ 2 hour minimum
G/G - $200 - $400
B/G - $500 - 600
Paying porn star rates once a week for 52 weeks will cost you $15,600.00 with no overhead, receipts or need to explain. Plus there's that saving of $24,360 dollars.
I know, I know, most men who want to have affairs need to cuddle afterwards. Well, then you might want to abandon the porn star rate. So given the totals and cost breakdown of a regular relationship listed above, maybe Cynthia Ore got a good deal at $60,000 per year after lawyer’s fees.