The LuLac Edition #371, Dec. 17th, 2007
PHOTO INDEX: FORMER PITTSBURGH MAYOR PETE FLAHERTY AND GOVERNOR ED RENDELL.
FIGHT OR FLIGHT
The recent debit card and financial crisis got me thinking the other day about the type of politicians we elect. There are some people who aspire to public office because they want fame and a bit of notoriety. I had an uncle who was a school director for over twenty years and I'm convinced he did it because he wanted to help people but he wanted them to know he helped them. He was a behind the scenes guy, not bombastic. Then there are some that crave power, they want to leave a legacy, a building, some type of monument. Others want to help their friends. There are all types of reasons but with politicians, in my mind, there are only two types. The guys who fight and the ones who take flight. The fighters get in there just for the fight. The flighters use that as a tool to escape the hard questions. The fighters relish the high hard ones, the flighters, well they run away from them. My best friend once had former Pittsburgh Mayor Pete Flaherty in a class at Carnegie Mellon University. The class was being conducted right at the time of Three Mile Island. (Flaherty had lost the 1978 Governor's race to Richard Thornburgh only months before.) One of Flaherty's students asked Flaherty if he was relieved not to be Governor at a critical time of crisis. The former candidate arched an eyebrow and said, "Are you kidding me? I would've eaten that exposure up." Another politician who not only steps into the fray but creates some of it himself is Governor Ed Rendell. He welcomes the chance to meet the media and go head to head, even when the battle is not in his favor. These politicians are your examples of leaders who get into the fight, stand their ground and even if you disagree with them, come out looking better than they did before. Currently there are people calling for the resignation of Commissioner Greg Skrepenak. Skep has not done anything illegal to warrant that but the perception is among the public is that he does not want to face this issue head on. The Commissioner has been interviewed on TV (tonight on WBRE) and has made some comments. But many agree it might have been better if the ex lineman steppeed into a crowded room of reporters, rolled up his sleeves, gave his spokesperson the afternoon off and say, "let me have it, ask me what you want". He is a savvy guy who knows the inner workings of the various departments. His knowledge is impressive but no one sees that because his very political persona is being kidnapped by the misconception that he is not leading in this crisis. Skrepenak should fight, not take flight. If he fights and answers everything, this debit card fiasco will subside sooner than later. See, the late Flaherty and Rendell loved the idea of getting beat up and sparring with their enemies. And you can't blame Skrepenak if he finds that distasteful, but the best way to calm this down is to speak now in the open and let it fly.
THE GRIER ATTACK
So the county bond lawyer Peter Moses says that Wilkes Barre resident has no standing because he doesn't own property in the county. Maybe Grier could borrow a small parcel from the people who took over the land to build a cargo airport in Hazleton. Grier, as a resident uses county services. That counts. Is the good barrister saying that we are returning to the good old days when only the landed gentry can question the dealings of government? Sounds like it to me.
Critics of County Judge Anne Lokuta may ultimately get her head on a silver platter like they intended but one has to wonder about the ultimate cost. Recent testimony in the case brings to light some pretty gamey machinations among the Luzerne County Judiciary. It is what many have suspected all along but this is the first time there has been an actual unveiling of these antics. From the Times Leader:
So much is being made about the fact that the county protests today drew a few residents. This small turnout is not indicative of the public anger. People have to work to earn money to pay off their own credit cards. Let's not think the lack of numbers translate into lack of passion on this issue.
So Joe Lieberman former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate is endorsing Republican John McCain for President? Good for McCain, he needs all the help he can get in his bid to pull an upset. Lieberman after all is an Independent Democrat but he doesn't have to be a fanatic about it.
Notice that for the last few weeks we were going to get answers about the County financial mess? First there was a snow storm, then there was a postponement, then the audit came. Day after day we were going to get answers. Kind of reminds me of that old Peggy Lee song "Manana Is Good Enough For Me". But is it good enough for the taxpayers? From YOU TUBE, a musical treat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD8Smtjsxyk