The LuLac Edition #83, Nov 6, 2006
PICTURE INDEX: CHRISTINE KATSOCK, CANDIDATE FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE 121RST DISTRICT, RAY MUSTO CIRCA 1971, GOVERNOR ED RENDELL PROVING THAT POLITICIANS WILL HAVE THEIR PICTURE TAKEN WITH JUST ABOUT ANYBODY, ROBERT P. CASEY JUNIOR IN FOREGROUND OF CASEY FAMILY PHOTO (HE'S HOLDING THE CATCHER'S GLOVE) FROM 1968 AUDITOR GENERAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE LATE CASEY SENIOR AND DR. JOSEPH LEONARDI, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR THE 11TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT.
THE TRUTH TEST
WBRE TV'S I-TEAM CONSUMER REPORTER JEFF CHIRICO ADMINISTERS THE TRUTH TEST AT 6 AND 11 TONIGHT. THE CONSUMER REPORTER WILL LOOK AT TRUTH IN ADVERTISING ON A FEW POLITICAL ADS. HE WILL SPECIFICALLY FOCUS ON THE U.S. SENATE RACE BETWEEN RICK SANTORUM AND ROBERT CASEY, JUNIOR. 6PM and 11PM TONIGHT ON WBRE TV.
CORDARA GETS ON THE AIR
Republican State representative candidate in the 120th district John Cordara ran on ad this morning on local radio against his opponent Phyllis Mundy and her role in the pay raise. It was a take off on the Godfather trilogy complete with music, Barzini and the whole Godfather cast of characters. While we're glad to see some movement coming out of the Cordara camp, if Phyllis Mundy could take care of Shirley Moyer, Bill James and her other foes through the years, then Barzini and the boys aren't a real threat.
LATE SANTORUM POLL
New poll out this morning by McCulloch Research and Polling shows the race within 4 points -- 48.1 Casey to 44.1 Santorum -- with Senator Santorum surging in the Central, South Central, Northeastern, and Northwestern PA. Note: This poll was released by the Santorum camp.
DAYS TO ELECTION
AT THE TERMINAL
Prior to the new voting machines in Luzerne County, the sub head of this article would’ve been IN THE BOOTH. But there are no more curtains, old machines and levers. Just touch screens.
So, unlike the predictions you’ve seen, and will see in future editions before the election, these are my thoughts on who I think will best serve me, my family, my readers and my fellow citizens.
I grew up in a Democratic family. My earliest memory was of my father taking me to see John F. Kennedy as his motorcade passed through Pittston. We waited with all of our neighbors for hours to see him. A block up, as the car approached, family legend says my godmother, a sturdy member of the ILGWU (Ladies Garment Workers Union) nearly pulled Kennedy out of the car planting a kiss on his cheek.
In 1962 my father backed a former Philadelphia Mayor, Richardson Dilworth for Governor while most of our neighborhood went for the hometown boy, William Warren Scranton. As I got older, I became involved in all of Hubert Humphrey’s campaigns and a few local races. As a junior in high school, I actually worked for a Republican candidate running for State Representative in the old third legislative district, now the 118th. His name, Ray Musto, running to succeed his father after having been shut out by the Democratic party of its blessing. The late Roscoe Mullcahy got the nod and lost to Mr. Musto. The way the Democratic party turned its back on a qualified candidate told me it was more important to vote the man than the party.
My belief system in this was so solid that in 1974, I got my father, a lifelong Democrat who would say on occasion “the only good Republicans are in the cemetery” to vote for the incumbent U.S. Senator Richard Schweiker. Two years later, when Ronald Reagan picked the Senator as his projected running mate at the 1976 GOP convention, my father said, “See, see, I told you he wasn’t that liberal!!!”
In nine Presidential elections I have voted for 5 Democrats and 4 Republicans. The 8 Governor’s races I’ve voted in this state show me voting for 5 Republicans and 3 Democrats. I have always voted for Arlen Specter and last year, in the spring primary changed my party affiliation briefly to cast a vote for him against Pat Toomey.
I share this with you because I don’t believe this blog to be a partisan tool or weapon. It is hopefully a news source of information that will make the political process a better place in our community.
So, with that back drop, here’s who I believe will help us as citizens if elected.
FOR GOVERNOR: Ed Rendell. I first encountered the Rendell personality when baseball Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn passed away. I was struck by the eulogy the then Mayor known to critics as “Fast Eddie” gave. I supported him in 2002, got invited to the inauguration and was told “He’ll do something to tick you off”. He did (cutting funding to libraries right off the bat) but he restored it. In his four years, he has done a great deal of economic development for the state. Many politicians have done that. But with Rendell, it was the way he put a human face on the program. Whether it be telling a story about a hotel worker making a bed trying to get by on minimum wage or a CEO trying to bring jobs to an underdeveloped area, Rendell gives you the impression that he is truly engaged in governing. His biggest strength is that you know, with all his faults, he is working. And I’d like to see that same energy and participation in the next term.
Lynn Swann, the Governor’s GOP foe is well spoken, charismatic but essentially an empty suit. If he schools himself on the issues, he may make a formidable candidate in the future.
FOR U.S. SENATE: Robert Casey, Junior. Mr. Casey is in the family business. He has served well the past ten years in the state. There is no question about his honesty, sincerity and dedication to the ideals of his party and his state. His campaign strategy fit the polls and I would be more comfortable if Casey outlined more specifics. But politically, he didn’t have to and the question then becomes, why should he? As a candidate, he caught everything Rick Santorum threw at him. (That catcher’s mitt he had as a young boy served him well). I think he will be a fine U.S. Senator. He may become a great U.S. Senator if his party someday controls the upper chamber and Mr. Casey gets an opportunity to lead.
Mr. Casey’s opponent Rick Santorum did much for Pennsylvania in terms of bringing home the bacon in a Republican administration. His seniority (which was always a deal breaker with my vote) will be missed if the GOP retains the Senate.
FOR CONGRESS: Joseph Leonardi has shown tenacity, humor in the face of adversity, an articulate grasp of the issues as well as a sense of purpose that has not been seen in this area in a long time. Dr. Leonardi has had many opportunities to fold his tent and just lay down and play dead. With no support from the national, state or local parties, no one would blame him. But he kept on asking for debates, for the vote and a chance to represent this Congressional district. Once when Tip O’Neill lost a close election, he was stunned when a next door neighbor told him she didn’t vote for him. He asked why in puzzlement and disappointment. She replied, “You never asked me!” Dr. Leonardi has been asking with virtually no strings attached and the least we can do is say yes and cast a ballot for him.
Congressman Kanjorski has served twenty years in Congress. He is regarded as a giant on the political scene. He has done much to help the people of this district. His refusal to debate Dr. Leonardi diminished him as a representative of this district. Giants don’t hide from a challenge.
FOR STATE SENATOR: You see on the picture index a photo of State Senator Ray Musto from 1971 when he ran as a Republican to succeed his father in the state House. That is the Ray Musto I am voting for Tuesday. The guy who took on his party, took chances and went full speed ahead. Not the 24 year Senate veteran who voted for a midnight pay raise and has been heavily aligned with the leadership that pulled it off. Musto has no opponent so the memory of what he was wins out over what he is today. Politics and voting is an imperfect science.
FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Christine Katsock. We hear that she wants to serve just for the title. I don’t think so. No one will put themselves on the line so many times if they did not believe in the system of government and how they can contribute to make it better. She is articulate on the issues, passionate in her unpaid representation of city and district wide problems as a citizen and if elected will serve the district with honor and distinction. I tend to look at her tries for office as the truest form of patriotism. A few have criticized her hard hitting campaign but nothing she stated was not already in the public record. The other Democratic primary candidates for whatever reason dropped the ball on some issues regarding Eddie Day Pashinski and are sitting on the sidelines because of it. Katsock will be a historic addition to the House of Representatives if given the chance to lead.
I only saw Eddie Day Pashinski once during this campaign. He’s a very nice man who served his students well as an educator. Throughout the last few weeks, I have sent him e mails requesting information and got an instant “Thank You” response. I also called his campaign directly. No response, no follow up. When I contacted Christine Katsock, I got a return call in a matter of hours. If the bread and butter of a State Legislator are constituent service, callback and attention to detail, Katsock is already winning this race as far as my interactions with the two camps are concerned.