The LuLac Edition #178, March 19th, 2007
PHOTO INDEX: EVIE McNULTY, CANDIDATE FOIR LACKAWANNA COUNTY COMMISSIONER, SENATOR RICK SANTORUM AND SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER.
In his 2004 Senate election, Senator Arlen Specter enlisted the aid of President ush, then Senator ick Santorum and other conservatives across the country to convince them he really wasn't that liberal of a guy. Then, after he wins the GOP primary against conservative Pat Toomey, Specter says "he is beholden to no one and will continue to speak his mind". There are many in GOP circles who claim that Senator Rick Santorum's support of Specter cost the junior member much needed support in his 2006 race against Robert Casey, Junior. Now the news that Specter, four years out is saying he's going for another term in 2010 has some in the GOP right in an uproar and others mildly amused.
Specter said he has fundraisers planned, including a large one April 4 in Philadelphia.
A former Philadelphia prosecutor dubbed "Snarlin' Arlen," Specter has never shied from controversial issues.
In 2004, his sharp political analysis nearly cost him the chairmanship that he coveted after years on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Shortly after his election to a fifth term, Specter angered conservatives long suspicious of him by warning a just re-elected President Bush that anti-abortion judges would have a difficult time winning Senate confirmation, given Democratic opposition.
Social conservatives demanded that Senate GOP leaders deny Specter the Judiciary Committee chairmanship. Only his extraordinary public pledge to give Bush's nominees quick hearings and early votes, regardless of their views on abortion, spared Specter the ignominy of a chairmanship denied.
From his seat on Judiciary, Specter has participated in the Senate confirmation hearing of every sitting Supreme Court Justice except Justice John Paul Stevens. He was chairman of the committee during the confirmation hearings for Chief Justice John Roberts and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.
He is now the panel's top Republican.
In 2005, while undergoing chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin's disease, he challenged the administration over federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research. On Monday, he said his health is excellent.
The April 4 fundraiser was first reported by The Patriot-News of Harrisburg.
Specter's last re-election campaign was the toughest of his career. He barely defeated former Rep. Pat Toomey in a primary race in which his age was contrasted with that of his youthful-looking opponent, but Specter went on to win the general election handily.
Lackawanna County commissioner candidates Robert G. Castellani and Evie Rafalko McNulty paid their property taxes late three of the last four years, county records show.
Another candidate, Lee D. Jamison, still hasn’t paid his 2006 local and county property taxes, the records show.Mrs. McNulty also owes more than $20,000 to a credit card company, and her delay in disclosing the debt might cost her a spot on the May 15 primary election ballot. Six of the nine candidates for county commissioner or companies they own have had trouble paying one tax or another the last few years.Records show Republican Phil Spinka and two Democrats, attorney Corey D. O’Brien and police officer and businessman Robert Berta, paid their taxes on time. Republican Commissioner Robert C. Cordaro recently paid $40,000 in back taxes on a building that he bought that came with much of the debt. A real estate company co-owned by Democratic Commissioner Mike Washo paid off $730 in back property taxes this week. Commissioner A.J. Munchak is still trying to pay almost $18,000 in federal taxes from his defunct medical billing services company. Mr. Castellani, a Republican, owed $316.29 in 2003 county property taxes, penalties and interest on his and his wife’s home at 206 Eleanor St. in Peckville. He didn’t pay that until Nov. 4, 2005. Until he paid them Wednesday, Mr. Castellani owed county and Valley View School District property taxes, penalties and interest totaling $3,255.67 for 2005 and 2006. Ironically, Mr. Castellani was Blakely’s tax collector in 2003 and 2005. He left that job in January 2006. Mr. Castellani blamed funeral expenses for family members’ deaths the last two years for his tardiness.