The LuLac Edition #188, March 30th, 2007
PHOTO INDEX: SCRANTON MAYOR CHRIS DOHERTY AND THE BUS HE WAS THROWN UNDER BY COUNCIL PRESIDENT JUDY GATELLI AT THURSDAY'S CITY COUNCIL MEETING.
UNDER THE BUS
So last week, Scranton City Council President Judy Gatelli yanked the Channel 61 cameras out of Council Chambers. She cited threats, lack of decorum and unruly, possibly violent behavior. At no time in her remarks did I read that Mayor Chris Doherty wanted them out. It seemed like Gatelli was taking a “Joan of Arc” stance in her determination to stifle free speech. It appeared to be “all her”.
Then things started to happen. Councilman Bill Courtright called the Steve Corbett program on WILK last Saturday and said he could be persuaded to offer up a motion to let the cameras back in. In hour number two of the Corbett soiree Councilwoman Janet Evans calls and says she’ll second that motion. Now the city is buzzing about the 2-2 split and how newly appointed Councilman and ally of Mayor Doherty, Bob McGoff would vote once the meeting began. On the way in, McGoff was cordial, stood among the people, took some heat but only indicated that the reinstatement of cameras in Council Chambers should be talked about.
When Courtright made the motion for the vote, I thought of two things. Corbett starting the dialogue 5 days earlier and Courtright responding to the question. The second thing I thought of was John F. Kennedy’s book “Profiles In Courage” and how Kennedy told stories about people in American history who stood against the tide and voted their conscience. “Naw” I thought, “No one does that anymore”. Then when I heard Bob McGoff cast the deciding vote for the cameras to be put back, I thought this was fantastic. Then I started to think about the last time a local politico stood on principle for something that would cost him, and I had to go back to the 1992 Democratic convention where the late governor Bob Casey was denied recognition by his own party for his Pro-Life beliefs. 15 stinking years in LuLac land without a politician standing up for something? That’s not so fantastic.
But the topper came when Judy Gatelli apologized and blamed the whole thing on the Mayor. After the vote!!! Nowhere in her bravado the week before was a reference to the Mayor being in the words of our President, “the decider”. Now, he’s the guy pulling everyone’s strings in the city except of course Bob McGoff. And if Gatelli in her apology thought the cameras were okay, then why did she vote against the reinstatement? Maybe because she didn’t count on McGoff acquiring a spine or perhaps thinking of his own political future. Or maybe as a politico she saw the wind blowing in the opposite direction? Don’t know but you have to wonder if the Mayor’s pinstripe suit was at the cleaners getting the tire tracks off the back of it.
And on my girl Sherry Nealon Fanucci (always gravitated to the mean and nasty girls before Mrs. LuLac) who was shouted down when she tried to make her remarks, my comment is “what goes around, comes around” or as my mom still says, “to earn respect, you have to give it”.
In the meantime, cameras are back in City Hall, Janet Evans is talking about a recall for a Mayor who barely won his primary and had to face the same guy (Gary DiBilio) in a general election, the Legion of Doomers t shirts are becoming a cult collector’s item and the light is being shone on the city’s fiscal dealings.
This could not come at a worse time for Chris Doherty who in 2008 has been touted as a Statewide candidate for State Treasurer. The very fact that the guy was associated with trying to subvert free speech and now has been accused outright of that by his closest council ally (Gatelli, “it was him, him, who me, not me, him!!!?”) can’t bode well for his future ambitions. But like the end of all promising political careers, it is not the great big obvious things that wound you but the petty, small arrogant stuff that cuts and nicks until there is no more life left.