The LuLac Edition #141, Jan. 28, 2007
PHOTO INDEX: SENATORS JOHN MCCAIN AND HILLARY CLINTON, COULD THIS BE A HARBINGER OF THINGS TO COME IN THE 2008 GENERAL ELECTION?, 1960's ROCKERS SONNY AND CHER AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, MY GIRL MARIA SHARAPOVA, (SHE CAME IN NUMBER TWO IN THE AUSTRAILIAN OPEN BUT IS STILL THE TOP RANKED WOMEN'S TENNIS PLAYER IN THE WORLD). I SETTLED IN ON FRIDAY NIGHT WITH A CHILLED TAB, A SANITARY BAKERY ECLAIR AND SMALL BAG OF DORITOS. TURNED OUT THE MATCH WAS SO QUICK, I BARELY GOT THROUGH THE TAB. BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME, YOU LOST MARIA, BUT GOD YOU LOOKED FABULOUS GETTING YOUR CONSIDERABLE CLOCK CLEANED.
LUPAS’S "PODCASY" PROBLEM
With the recent revelations of some cases in the District Attorney’s office not be prosecuted because the files were misplaced or the defendants were not brought before the court in the proper time frame, it appears that candidates running for the offices of Judge and D.A. now have a legitimate issue to campaign on. As we all know, for the last 8 years, Judicial candidate David Lupas has served as a pretty high profile D.A. Media savvy, the D.A. was no stranger to crime scenes as well as follow up press briefings on said crimes. However, a few cases got by his staff which resulted in other notice Mr. Lupas could’ve lived without.
The best example was the Hugo Selinski escape charges that escaped prosecution when it is alleged a staffer misplaced a file. Plus there were some exchanges between Mr. Lupas and Judge Peter Paul Olszhefski where the Judge in effect told Lupas to shape up his office. These were all of course made public.
Now comes the news that a few cases have gone by the wayside because of the time passed before the individuals could be brought to trial. One was involving a teacher from the Shickshinny area, the other a hit and run driver that killed the victim in the case.
Oversights happen. Staffs sometimes can’t get to a particular file. Sometimes confusion reigns. But that falls at the feet of the leader of the office. Surely in this election cycle Mr. Lupas and his first Deputy, Jackie Musto Carroll will have their feet held to the fire. Candidates running against them will have an issue of competence. Competence is such a nebulous term that it can be twisted like a pretzel by a challenger. Plus it is a tough charge to disprove. By saying you run a competent team, you are in effect admitting to a lower standard because is that not the basic requirement for public service.
One issue could sink a candidacy. In 1984 when Congressman Frank Harrison wasn’t around for the water crisis, his opponent Paul Kanjorski hammered him on the issue. It won him the election and since then he’s never looked back.
In 1985, Bernard Podcasy, Junior was appointed by the court en banc to succeed resigning D.A. Robert Gillespie. Podcasy’s father was one of the Judges who voted for his son to get the job. Issue number one: nepotism. Then when Podcasy failed to get cases in on time and could not get traction on the sensational Betty Wolseffer murder case, the second issue, competence came up. It just wasn’t the fact that Podcasy’s staff was on top of their game or not, it was the perception that they were not. And this is what might derail the Lupus candidacy. The D.A.’s office has many cases that are adjudicated smoothly. You never hear about those but you do hear about the ones where the file is missing and the deadline has passed. A D.A. or Judicial candidate can say that a few cases fell through the cracks but if the public perception is that the entire office is incompetent, that could be a campaign problem. Lupas does not have to deal with the nepotism issue like Podcasy did in his failed effort in 1987 against Correlle Stevens (who became the D.A.) but he might run into the problem of “perceived incompetence” if his opponents make hay of the snafus that have happened under his watch.
RIGHT WING TALKERS
Well, it has started. Sean Hannity now bills his program as the “Stop Hillary Clinton Express”. Rush Limbaugh has been weighing in on the Senator’s record before the year 2000 and her time in the White House. The boys are just about jumping out of their skins trying to take down the Democratic front runner. Hillary’s husband, former President Clinton was aided with his boatload of political troubles by the vehemence of his enemies. Look for that to happen with Mrs. Clinton too. These guys are really strident and make me (even though I disagree with their opinions, I like to hear what they say) just pop in a CD or turn on the WARM Oldies station.
WB CHAMBER AT AN IMPASSE
It seems like the Search Committee at the Wilkes Barre Chamber is having a problem finding a successor to Steve Barrouk. Former Commissioner Todd Vonderheid has applied for the job. The honchos can’t decide if they should hire a local person or an out of towner. Typical. You have a few great quality candidates, born, bred and educated here but nooooooooo, you want to have some out of town “jasper” come in and tell us why we’re so screwed up and how he or she can save us from our pathetic little lives. Then the “out of town jasper” settles in, only to revamp the organization to model it like the one in East Blessed Mother, Illinois where they came from. Then, after two years goes by, the “jasper” slaps his or her forehead and says, “What the hell am I doing here?” and leaves the area getting a new job, this time in West Blessed Mother, Arizona. And the Chamber nimrods slap their collective foreheads and say, “Why didn’t we hire the local guy”? As Sonny and Cher said, “And the Beat Goes On”.