Friday, March 30, 2007

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.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The LuLac Edition #187, March, 29, 2007


PHOTO INDEX: SCRANTON WILKES BARRE YANKEES LOGO.



YANKEE LAND DRAMA


George Steinbrenner's daughter is divorcing her husband, Steve Swindal - likely leaving the Yankees without an heir apparent for the Boss.
Swindal's future with the Yankees was tossed into uncertainty yesterday after his wife, Jennifer, filed divorce papers in a Florida court.
She is seeking to end their 23-year marriage just weeks after her husband was arrested for allegedly driving while drunk in a seedy part of St. Petersburg.
But the marriage had apparently grown troubled before Swindal's Feb. 15 arrest.
Two sources close to the team said Swindal moved out of the couple's tony Tampa home this year.
The couple also had gotten into vicious arguments, according to a source who witnessed one of the altercations. Yesterday, an off-duty Tampa police officer was stationed in front of the couple's gated estate.
Steinbrenner, 77, refused to comment about the divorce or answer questions about who would succeed him atop the Yankees hierarchy, as he and three bodyguards stormed by reporters outside Legends Field in Tampa last night.
His spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, said the divorce papers cited "irreconcilable differences."
Swindal, 52, is listed as general partner of the Yankees and chairman of Yankee Global Enterprises. He was publicly anointed as Steinbrenner's successor in June 2005 after plans for the new Yankee Stadium were unveiled.
Locally, Swindal came to the area to check out the Lackawanna County Stadium and was reported to be impressed with the Glen Maura development. He supposedly told people that "I could move here."
On the Yankee front, it is not known how Swindal’s departure will affect the development of the parent team. Swindel was known as the “buffer” between the volatile Steinbrenner and Yank GM Brian Cashman. The Yankees currently have three major prospects playing in Moosic this year. Swindal was known to preach patience and have the farm system restored even if it meant missing the playoffs for one year. However, Steinbrenner has always had the “win now” mentality that both Swindal and Cashman seem to have tempered.
Swindal has been the only family member of his generation to take an active role in the running of the famed baseball operation.
Steinbrenner's sons, Hank and Harold, and his daughter Jessica have concentrated on other aspects of the family business, including its hotels and horse stables.



ANOTHER BASEBALL NOTE

So Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta is on PCN taking calls about illegal immigration. Switching the Channel, I tune to Hazleton's WLYN TV (my favorite local station) and they have on a baseball game featuring Mexico (complete with Corona ads on the uniform backs) vs. the Dominican Republic.

JESSE BACKS OBAMA


Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Thursday he's backing Democrat Barack Obama in his presidential bid, giving his support to a new generation of black politicians. "He has my vote," the Rev. Jackson told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
Jackson sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988, winning 13 primaries and caucuses in 1988. His son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, has already endorsed Obama.
Jackson represents a different era of black politician, battle-tested by the civil rights struggles of the 1960s with Martin Luther King.



ROMNEY NAMES NAMES


Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Thursday dropped some names of potential running mates in the 2008 race, but added such speculation is a bit premature. Among those Romney mentioned for the second slot on the Republican ticket were three Southerners: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.Jr.



JUDY AND RUDY

Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani says if elected, he'd be open to his wife attending Cabinet meetings on issues in which she's interested.
In an interview with Barbara Walters to air Friday on ABC News' "20/20," the former New York city mayor and his wife, Judith Nathan Giuliani, answered questions about the six marriages between them and whether she was the "other woman" who caused the breakup of his second marriage to TV personality Donna Hanover.
Rudy Giuliani, the current front-runner in the 2008 GOP race, discussed what role his wife would play if he wins the White House. In 1990s, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton played a prominent role in her husband's administration, including a failed effort on health care reform. Her policy efforts created some problems for the couple.
Asked whether his wife would sit in on Cabinet meetings, Giuliani said, "If she wanted to. If they were relevant to something that she was interested in. I mean that would be something that I'd be very, very comfortable with."
Giuliani described his wife as a close adviser who has as much involvement in his campaign as she wants.
Asked if she would sit in on policy meetings, Mrs. Giuliani, who was a nurse, said: "If he asks me to, yes. And certainly in the areas of health care."
He disputed suggestions that she was responsible for the messy and very public breakup of his marriage to Hanover, with whom he had two children, Andrew and Caroline. Giuliani's relationship with his children has been strained.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The LuLac Edition #186, March 28th, 2007
















PHOTO INDEX: LUZERNE COUNTY MINORITY COMMISSIONER STEVE URBAN, PRESIDENT JOHNSON'S SWEARING IN ON AIR FORCE ONE ON NOV. 22nd, 1963. JACK VALENTI AIDE TO JOHNSON WAS THERE. VALENTI IS THE GUY CROUCHED DOWN NEXT TO THE GUY IN THE BOW TIE AND HAZLETON MAYOR LOU BARLETTA.





URBAN-JAMES




In a move that many disgruntled GOPers predicted, Minority Commissioner Steve Urban who obviously loves his job picked Bill James of West Pittston as his running mate in the spring primary. James I’m sure is a nice enough guy and most likely very good at what he does in his day job. But you have to think that picking James is not the strongest political choice for the General Election. But then who’s thinking about that now? Urban has a reputation, deserved or not for protecting his turf. That turf is of course the Minority Commissioner’s chair. Bill Jones of Mountaintop has a solid constituency, David Shipula of the Hanover Area District has great strength and stands out like a giant. Kristine Katsock ran strong in many races and has name recognition and the gender vote on her side. Would any of these three standout as a better alternative to James? Certainly. And reports are rampant that Katsock entered the race because of her friction with Urban over unrelated issues. But the question is whether Urban is playing toward the General and again running with James (who has had nearly as many election defeats as Katsock) to insure another four years. Now to be fair, Urban as a Commissioner is no flack, he is thoughtful, actually seeks out people who run agencies that the county funds and takes his job seriously. Urban seems to want to be this century’s John Senio. (Senio was Minority commissioner for years under the Corcoran & Alberiggi regime in Lackawanna County) until a few party upstarts got angry and voted him out. It appears Urban is not in that political position………………yet. But events in the primary will tell the tale of this story.




SICK BAY


Tony Snow, Press Secretary to President Bush with a recurrence of colon cancer. If you want to send him best wishes, go on http://www.whitehouse.gov. and check out the link.

Jack Valenti: Former aide to Lyndon Johnson, he was in the cockpit when LBJ got swown in as President in Dallas, later became head of the Motion Picture Association of America. He’s ill with a stroke.

Steve Flood, former County Controller and current candidate for Luzerne County Commissioner. The Demo businessman is hospitalized with a serious illness.



MAYOR LOU ON PCN


Mayor Lou Barletta takes live call in questions Thursday Night at 7PM on PCN TV.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The LuLac Edition #185, March 26th, 2007









PICTURE INDEX: GOVERNOR ED SET TO DO SOME "SPLAIN'" AS RICKY RICARDO USED TO SAY ABOUT THAT WINTER STORM TUESDAY NIGHT, MARCH 27th, 8PM ON PCN.



BENCHMARKS
Kathy Kane, Wilkes Barre City Council Candidate in District C with a nice bench in front of Coughlin High School (actually a few feet before it on the corner) and Tony Thomas, candidate for Wilkes Barre city Council District B with a bench on Pennsylvania Avenue.


ON THE CABLE
Joe Daniel, candidate for Wilkes Barre City Council in District D is up and running on Cable TV with the calender of events. Daniel who has run twice before ceertainly has the name recognition and might be the sleeper candidate in this district. Also on Cable, District Justice candidate for re-election, Bill Amesbury.


LETTERS, LETTERS!!!!
Charlotte Raup, Wilkes Barre Council candidate in District E recently sent a letter to the Times Leader. In case you missed it, here it is:
As a Wilkes-Barre City Charter Review Commission member and a Wilkes-Barre City Council candidate, I think it is important for not only the voters but all city council candidates to be aware of the duties, responsibilities and limitations of council members.
As with any other job, the employer and the employee should be familiar with the job description.
Wilkes-Barre has a strong mayoral form of government. City council is the legislative branch of the government. According to the city charter, city council essentially makes ordinances, approves or disapproves the budget and is the watchdog for the city government because they have the ability to conduct investigations, audits, or study the city’s affairs.
While city council’s duties are significant, their power is limited. They cannot hire police, firemen, or department of public works employees, have streets plowed or paved, have bridges fixed or enact clutter cleanup campaigns. These responsibilities belong to the mayor, who heads all of the departments in the city.
To read the exact wording, a copy of the city charter can be obtained at city hall or viewed on my Web site at charlotteraup.tripod.com.
Charlotte Raup
Democratic city council candidate
District E Wilkes-Barre


DON'T FORGET!!!!!
Governor Ed on PCN Tuesday night at 8PM talking about the "snow storm" investigation.
And remember to keep open Sunday, May 6TH from 430PM to about 7pm for the LuLac Wilkes Barre City Council Forum at Genetti's in Wilkes Barre.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The LuLac Edition #184, March 24th, 2007







PHOTO INDEX: LACKAWANNA COMMISSIONERS BOB CORDARO, A.J. MUNCHAK AND THE SCRANTON/WILKES BARRE YANKEES LOGO.



MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING


The release of season tickets for the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees has caused concern among some politicos in Lackawanna County. It seems the staff of the baby Yankees used visuals of Commissioners A.J. Munchak and Bob Cordaro in the release of season tickets. To me, this is no big deal because:
1. Both Cordaro and Munchak were in the majority when the Yankees decided to come here. When President Ford was in office, he got to ride and sail with the tall ships in New York harbor because he was the sitting President. Same with these guys.
2. The visuals are from news stories not posed pictures of them in replica jerseys imitating Jeter's or A-Rod's batting stance.
3. Some season ticket holders won't notice, care or wonder. All they know is they have their beloved Yankees on real grass.
Nonetheless, in case you missed it, here's the report from the Scranton Times/Tribune:
Lackawanna County’s Republican majority commissioners do, however, appear on tickets shipped to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees season-ticket buyers this week. The sight of incumbents’ faces on tickets for the county-owned team, during an election year, had political opponents in an uproar Friday.“This is a public agency that is paying for the tickets,” said Andrew Eldredge-Martin, campaign manager for Democratic commissioner candidate Corey O’Brien. “This is something that’s owned by the people of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties. I don’t see the Luzerne commissioners on the tickets, and I don’t see (Lackawanna) minority Commissioner Mike Washo.”The majority commissioners, together with team management, maintain the tickets were not politically motivated. Both Mr. Cordaro and Mr. Munchak said they knew nothing about the use of their images until asked about the tickets by The Times-Tribune on Friday afternoon.“They in no way had anything to do with this,” Yankees executive vice president Jeremy Ruby said. Instead, team staff chose images of events leading up to opening day, starting with the Sept. 21 announcement that the New York Yankees was bringing its Triple-A farm club here.One of the images — which shows up on the April 5 opening-day tickets in a pack obtained by the Times-Tribune — shows the newspaper’s Sept. 22 front page, featuring a picture of the majority commissioners and the headline “Yankee-Mania!”“We in the office thought, that’s the shot to remember,” Mr. Ruby said.Another image shows Mr. Munchak holding a Yankees jersey from the December press conference when the local team’s name and logo were unveiled. That shows up on several tickets during the season, including ones for the May 13 game, two days before the primary election.“Are you kidding me? That’s complete irony,” said Mr. Ruby, who admitted he didn’t know exactly what a primary was. “We’re not about politics. We’re all about baseball in our office.”The images do not appear on general sale tickets, he added.Mr. Cordaro had a clear message for those who would politicize the tickets.“A.J. and I brought the Yankees to Scranton, and the other candidates did not,” he said. “We’re very proud of it.”Mr. Washo, the incumbent Democrat, wasn’t surprised, nor did he want his own picture on a ticket, calling that “inappropriate.”“Moms and dads and kids that are going to ballgames aren’t interested in seeing a county politician’s mug on their tickets. It’s tawdry,” he said. “A Washo majority would not permit this.” Instead, Mr. Washo wondered why Yankees greats weren’t pictured on the tickets.Most of the season tickets feature dancing mascots, smiling children, fireworks and similarly cheerful scenes. But, Mr. Ruby said, the team did not have approval to use images of the New York Yankees. And because the Triple-A Yankees have not yet played here, local action shots weren’t available.Republican commissioner challenger Phil Spinka said he wasn’t bothered by the commissioners’ pictures. Fellow Republican contender Robert G. Castellani was less obliging.“What does any commissioner have to do with a baseball game? Or any facet of baseball, period?” Mr. Castellani asked.“The Yankees brought themselves here,” he continued. “Let’s face it, it’s a lot closer than Ohio or the other choices ... (George) Steinbrenner owns the team. If he didn’t want to be here, the team wouldn’t be here.”A call to the home of Democratic candidate Evie Rafalko McNulty wasn’t immediately returned Friday.The images may have caused political consternation, but do not seem to have broken any laws.Asked about the situation, an official with the state Ethics Commission said it didn’t sound like an issue that would fall under the agency’s purview.State elections officials described the question as “murky,” adding that direct political appeals on the tickets would be a different story. There were no such messages on the tickets.Barry Kauffman, executive director of Pennsylvania Common Cause, a nonprofit government watchdog group, drew a fine line between legality and propriety.“It certainly smacks of political advertising paid for, ultimately, by the taxpayers,” Mr. Kauffman said. “It’s another example of how public resources are used to perpetuate incumbents.”Mr. Cordaro, however, suggested the opposition’s posturing could effectively become advertising for the majority.“Silly candidates like this are now putting this out to 60,000 newspaper readers, versus the few thousand people who actually got the season tickets,” he said.


NEWS FROM MARIO


Got an e mail from Mario Fiorucci who has decided not to run for County Commissioner but instead return to closer political roots. Here's what he had to offer:
I am replying to the March 4 letter from Mark Cour of Wilkes-Barre.
Mr. Cour says that “elections at any level of government should not be turned into free-for-alls.” He goes on to say it would “further cloud the multitude of clouded issues.”
Third parties have to gather huge numbers of signatures to get on the ballot. But they do not have to run in a primary. If other candidates vie for the same office in their party, they hold a caucus.
In December 2005, I announced I would run as an independent candidate for Luzerne County Commissioner. To get on the ballot, I needed over 1,000 signatures. The best way to obtain that number, which is four times more than a major-party candidate needs, is to have people with petitions at the polls during the primary election. This way you know that those who sign are probably registered voters.
To gather more signatures, the best method is to knock on doors. After Carl Romanelli, the U.S. Senate Green Party candidate, lost a challenge to his petition, he was required to pay over $80,000 in related costs to the Democrats and courts.
Fearful, I registered as a Democrat to compete in the May primary for Luzerne County Commissioner. Then the big winter storm hit us, just as the three-week primary nomination period started. Not able to overcome such bleak weather conditions, I chose not to run.
Instead, I am running for Sugar Notch Mayor again. But I have also developed issues over the years for the Hanover Area School District. Some of them were reported in the local papers.
So I have also submitted petitions to put me on the primary ballot for school director. If I win both elections, I will have to choose one. As a low-income resident, I will rely on the letters to the editor I have written over the years to inform the public that I am a qualified candidate for those positions. (I also have a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University.)
Mr. Cour goes on to say those who are circulating petitions for council and mayor are making “spectacles of themselves and the electoral process.” He says “that a serious candidate would know what office they aspire to, before they pick up nomination petitions.”
I believe I could be more effective than a lot of elected officials. Most major-party candidates seem to lack a vision for the future. I have developed progressive issues for commissioner, school director and mayor.
Mr. Cour says, “Why should anyone have unfettered access to the ballot?”
I believe in democracy, not just the two-party systems. And to put my money where my mouth is, I am bestowing the 2007 Free Speech Award to Tim Grier at my Eighth Annual State of the World Forum.
He is running for both Wilkes-Barre Mayor and City Council. I think that his qualities and abilities make him a real candidate for whatever office he seeks.
Mario Fiorucci Republican Hanover Area School Board candidate Democratic Sugar Notch Mayor candidate Sugar Notch .

Friday, March 23, 2007

The LuLac Edition #183, March 23rd, 2007




PHOTO INDEX: COMMISSIONER MIKE WASHO AND ATTORNEY COREY O'BRIEN, TWO CANDIDATES WHO DON'T HAVE A LOT OF EXPLAINING TO DO ABOUT THEIR TAXES AND FINANCES. THE LATE SOVIET DICTATOR LENIN ENJOYING AN ISSUE OF PRAVDA WHICH IS REPORTED TO BE THE NEW MEDIA OF CHOICE FOR THE GALS ON SCRANTON CITY COUNCIL.



LACKAWANNA WANNA BEES


A series of Lackawanna County Court rulings Thursday left Commissioners Robert C. Cordaro and A.J. Munchak as the only Republican commissioner candidates on the May 15 primary election ballot.
On the Democratic side, candidate Evie Rafalko McNulty is still on the ballot after a challenge to her financial interest statement was rejected.
So it looks like three candidates running for County Commissioner still have tax questions surrounding their candidacy. Mr. Cordaro who must answer why it took him so long to pay taxes on a property he obtained from a deceased friend, Mr. Munchak who still has over $20,000 in employment taxes and Mrs. McNulty who is still negotiating with a lending institution to pay off a loan dent that was not disclosed on a campaign disclosure statement. How this will play with Lackawanna County voters who have endured a more than 52% tax increase under this administration is anyone’s guess. Democratic political pundits are now saying the cleanest ticket for them might be a Washo/O’Brien ticket. Republican commissioner candidates Phil Spinka and Robert G. Castellan. Wqho originally wanted to oppose Cordaro and Munchak, were scheduled for a hearing on challenges to their nomination petitions, but the hearing never happened because their lawyer said they were withdrawing from the race. Judges Thomas J. Munley and Carmen D. Minora had to order their names removed from the ballot because the deadline for withdrawing was Wednesday.


CHANNEL 61


First off, I am totally disgusted and disappointed with the actions of the Scranton City Council regarding the latest news to come out of that city. Judy Gattelli first cancels the meeting and tells people she feels threatened and upset but fails to file a police report on her concerns. She then deprives the citizens of Scranton their meeting. The Council meetings are held not for the Council members but for the citizens of a city. Her abdication of responsibilities is an insult to her election, the office she holds and the men and women who served on Council before her! Could you imagine Grace Shimmelfinig (the first woman elected in Scranton on City Council) John Brazil or James Doherty, (the father of the current Mayor) acting as wimpish and childish as this bunch? SHAME!
The Council has banned channel 61 because they feel the citizens showing up for the meetings are playing to the cameras. Here’s a thought: Produce the show yourself. In the mid 70s when streakers ran across baseball and football fields naked to disrupt proceedings, the networks simply didn’t put them on camera. Why couldn’t Scranton City Council work out a DEAL WITH Channel 61 where only the council members would be shown and the audio of the “performers/citizens” would be on TV? Oh wait, that would make too much common sense and require a little more original thinking and less whining. If Ms. Gattelli and her female posse on Council were the first women elected instead of Grace Shimmelfinig, I’m afraid no women would ever be taken seriously for election to Scranton Council.
As far as Channel 61 is concerned, there are rumors that another communication organ will take its place as an information tool for the city of Scranton, it’s called PRAVDA!



STANDARD SPEAKER NEWS

I’ve been getting many personal e mails regarding my “Breaking News” in Edition # 182 that the Scranton Times would buy the Hazleton Standard Speaker. I appreciate the feedback and concerns for my reputation but I stand by my story.

E MAIL ADDRESS
It’s been corrected in Edition #181 but the new e mail for me, activated by Monday is yonkstur@ptd.net.

ON THE RADIO
The invitations are being readied for The LuLac Political Letter’s City Council Forum at Genertti’s on Sunday May 6th starting at 430pm. Sue Henry of WILK radio will moderate and the event will take place in the Imperial Ballroom at the hotel and convention center.

Candidates interested in radio advertising on WNAK A 730 can contact me for the details. E mails for now are yonkstur@aol.com, yonksturt@ptd.net or by leaving me a message at 821-6152.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The LuLac Edition #182, March 22nd, 2007

BREAKING NEWS

There are reports circulating out of both Luzerne and Lackawanna County that TIMES SHAMROCK, the owners of the Scranton Times Tribune and The Citizen's Voice have purchased the Hazleton Standard Speaker. We've confirmed this with two sources and expect announcements to be forthcoming in a few days or sooner.

The LuLac Edition #181, March 22nd, 2007













PHOTO INDEX: JOHN AND ELIZABETH EDWARDS, THE LATE GOVERNOR OF ALABAMA LURLEEN WALLACE AND THE LATE SENATOR PAUL TSONGAS.



BENCH MARKS!!



Campaign 2007 has begun in earnest in the Wilkes Barre Area. Council candidate for District D, Bill Barrett has a bench strategically located in the Shiell’s Supermarket Parking lot in Parsons.
Meanwhile in the North end, Frank Pizzella Junior of Plains is sporting a bench on Butler Street for his candidacy for Wilkes Barre Area School Board.
By the way, if there is any city based candidate wanting information on WNAK Radio, AM 730 out of Nanticoke, just e mail at
Yonkstur@aol.com or my new e mail address Yonkstur@ptd.net. or by leaving me a voice mail message at 821-6152.

THE EDWARDS CONCERN

The news conference today of John Edwards and his wife regarding her health was just a reminder of what a great equalizer health is in all of our lives. No matter how much money, celebrity or power you have, if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.
Presidential candidates have run before with problems of their own, most notably former Mass. Senator Paul Tsongas who ran for President in 1992. It was said that in 1960S, the Kennedys were running around at the Democratic convention talking about Lyndon Johnson’s heart attack when in fact, their man, John Kennedy had a myriad of health problems including Addison’s Disease. Presidential candidates are screened from top to bottom health wise and that is a good thing.
But the emotional toll the illness of a spouse encounters is still undetermined. Plus the political ramifications is in how you handle it. The breast cancer conditions of Betty Ford and Happy Rockefeller in the mid 70s while their husbands served as President and Vice President did not distract them from governing and in a way increased the awareness of breast screening for women of all ages.
On the other hand, Governor George Wallace’s recruitment of his first wife, Lurleen, to run for the Alabama statehouse because he was limited to one term and could not succeed himself backfired in a number of ways. Wallace’s wife died midway through her term in 1968 and smack dab in the middle of his Presidential race. Plus people in political circles saw his move as ruthless and heartless.
The Edwards story is now going to be part of the Presidential narrative of this campaign. For Edwards it will do a few things:
1. Blunt attacks from Democrats in the Iowa caucus proceedings especially since he seems to be carrying on despite the burden.
2. Engender both sympathy for his family and awareness of the disease and how Elizabeth Edwards seems to be proclaiming how she will live with it, rather than die from it.
3. Put the health concern out there so that voters can hear the John Edwards message he has been taking to the country since his Vice Presidential run.
In this Democratic presidential campaign, the number of candidate “firsts” keeps growing: first spouse of a former president, first African-American with Ivy League credentials, first Hispanic-American. And now we have the first candidate—John Edwards—to turn his spouse’s illness, and how he and she are dealing with it, into what he contends is an inspirational metaphor for the brand of leadership he offers the country.
Having seen a lot of press conferences, but none like the one that Edwards and his wife Elizabeth held on a sun-dappled lawn in Chapel Hill, N.C. Bottom line: yes, Elizabeth Edwards’s breast cancer had spread to the bone. No, there was no immediate danger. No, it was not curable, but yes, it was treatable—treatment would last the rest of her life, however long that may be (years or even decades). As for the campaign, he said, “it goes on, goes on strongly.”
They sang a memorable duet of praise for each other, and for their determinedly sunny view of life amid tragedy. They had lost their beloved oldest son in a car crash when he was 16. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the midst of the last presidential campaign. Now this. And yet, she said, she and her husband “always look for the silver lining.” She would continue to campaign; the chemo she would have to take would not be debilitating, at least initially, especially because the bone cancer was well-contained as of now. He was asked how he would be able to focus on a campaign for the country while at the same time worrying every minute about Elizabeth.
This was a test, he said, as the presidency is a test. To be president you had to have “maturity and judgment.” You had to be able to “focus.” This was “not the first time” he had had personal and family hardship to deal with. All of this made him a stronger more disciplined person, the former senator said—and, by implication, would make him a strong and steady president.
How’s that for a credential?
The border between the personal and the political has long since disappeared in American politics—if it ever really existed. But this was really a watershed moment, and one with which many voters will readily identify on several levels.
For one, cancer is no longer a death sentence. New treatments can allow cancer patients to fight the disease to a relative standstill. Americans can understand and cheer for those who refuse to let their own—or their family’s—cancer slow them down.
Americans can understand that the Edwardses are on a shared mission, and that she wants it to continue. Presidential candidates and their spouses aren’t like us in some ways—the main one being that they think that it is their duty to save the country and the world. But people honor couples who share love and a dream and faith—and the Edwardses do. They both believe deeply in him.
As to whether the response to cancer is emblematic of what an Edwards presidency would be, well, that is a big idea. It means is that her illness—and his handling of it, personally and politically—could become the central measure and meaning of his candidacy. She will travel with him, and on her own scheduled, and the questions will be constant and clinical. Everyone will be rooting for her—she is the real deal—but does that mean they will root for him?
We are in uncharted territory here, but I suppose that ultimately is Edwards’s point about the world.

PROFILE OF THE PAST

Lurleen Burns Wallace was born on September 19, 1926, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to Henry and Estelle Burroughs Burns. She worked in a Tuscaloosa dime store where she met George C. Wallace. Sixteen-year-old Lurleen married George on May 22, 1943, and devoted herself to being a housewife and mother over the next twenty years. When her husband was elected governor in 1963, she assumed the duties of first lady. Mrs. Wallace opened the first floor of the governor's mansion to tourists seven days a week and refused to serve alcoholic beverages at executive mansion functions.
In 1966, after failing to get the legislature to amend the constitution to allow governors to serve consecutive terms, George announced the candidacy of his wife Lurleen for governor. The couple admitted frankly that if Lurleen was elected, George would continue to make the administrative policies and decisions. Mrs. Wallace won the May Democratic primary with 54 percent of the vote which assured her election in November.
Lurleen was inaugurated on January 16, 1967, and refused to have the customary inaugural ball out of respect to Alabamians serving in Vietnam. Although she continued to carry out George's policies regarding segregation, Mrs. Wallace did not remain in her husband's shadow completely. She initiated a few programs of her own. Most notable was her successful campaign to increase funding for the state's mental hospitals.
The day after her inauguration, Governor Wallace issued an executive order to the state treasurer requiring that state funds be deposited only in banks that would pay 2 percent annual interest. This order resulted in a court case that was resolved when Lurleen agreed to obtain the change legislatively. A bill requiring banks to pay interest on state deposits was signed into law in June 1967. During her administration, a $160 million road bond bill was also passed, as was a program to develop Alabama's parks and historic sites.
In March 1967, a federal court ordered that Alabama's public schools must begin desegregation that fall. Lurleen responded with a televised speech to the state legislature on March 31. In that speech she asked the legislature for the power to seize all state schools and place them under police power. Although clearly a policy from George, the speech was delivered by Mrs. Wallace with "force and faultless execution." (Stewart, p. 206). Lurleen, Governor Lester Maddox of Georgia and Governor Paul Johnson of Mississippi called a meeting of twelve southern governors to draft a plan to fight the court order. In addition to the meeting's organizers only one other southern governor attended, Governor John McKeithen of Louisiana. McKeithen and Maddox, however, stated they would not disobey the court order. The hand of her husband was again displayed in May when Lurleen recommended that state funds be withheld from Tuskegee Institute. Mrs. Wallace also opposed an Office of Economic Opportunity antipoverty grant to establish a farm cooperative for blacks in Lowndes County.
In June 1967 Mrs. Wallace was hospitalized in Houston, Texas, where doctors discovered the cancer for which she had been treated in 1966 had returned. Over the next few months she courageously endured numerous operations and radiation treatment. Her last public appearance was at the Blue-Gray football game in January 1968 with her husband. Mrs. Wallace died in her sleep on May 7, 1968. In addition to George, she was survived by their four children: Bobbi Jo Parsons, Peggy Sue, George, Jr., and Janie Lee. Lieutenant Governor Albert P. Brewer assumed the governorship at her death.



Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The LuLac Edition #180, March 21rst ,2007

















PHOTO INDEX: AL GORE TODAY, AL AND TIPPER AT THE 2000 DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION (GEE, IF ONLY AMERICA COULD LOVE AL LIKE THAT!!!) AND GORE ACCEPTING AN OATH OF OFFICE.



FROM THE SHAMELESS

PROMOTION DEPARTMENT

Dear Friends,

Today Al Gore will testified before Congress on the issue of global warming. It is a crucial time for us to make a bold statement about the need for Gore candidacy. When Al Gore makes news, we get ten times more visitors than normal -- including media. Let's impress them with the biggest petition possible and take some bold actions. Tonight. Together. Please join us.There are four things we'd like to ask of you. Please take a few minutes to read this. It's never been more important than now.
1. Forward the petition link to at least one friend.
2. Make a contribution -- now more than ever.
3. Ask DFA to include Al Gore in their presidential poll. Their endorsement hangs on this.
4. Write Al Gore -- his birthday is 3/31.First, however, some good news. Al Gore's favorability ratings in three major national polls have shot up dramatically in recent weeks. Not only are his numbers higher than those of all lead Democratic candidates (Clinton, Obama, and Edwards), but his favorable ratings have shot up 10 points over a period of one month. That's an extremely positive development for Gore. Read more on our website (top news item at draftgore.com).
Now for the call to action:
1. PETITION (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/algore2008/)We currently have almost 60,000 signatures on the petition. For a petition of its kind it's enormous. (Most similar petitions get stuck at 3,000 or less.) But for us to have an impact and demonstrate the strength of our movement, we need to double this number now, and then aim for far more in the months ahead.And it's easy if you all forward the link (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/algore2008/) to as many people as you can -- friends, neighbors, coworkers. Or tell them to visit draftgore.com and sign the petition. It can make a huge difference. We rely on you.
2. CONTRIBUTIONS For each one of us there are millions of Americans who would love to join this movement but don't know we're here. They will never find us unless we advertise. Ads are the biggest expense of a campaign. Right now we cannot afford to reach large audiences beyond internet activists. With YOUR help we will take out big ads that will tell the world Draft Gore has arrived.http://www.draftgore.com/contribute.htmAnything you can afford will make a big differenc. Your dollars COUNT. And for each contribution you'll receive a beautiful color bumpersticker. You can pay either by check or securely and quickly online through either ActBlue (the Democratic fundraiser) or by PayPal.
3. DFA POLLDemocracy for America is running a poll right now asking people to pick a candidate for 2008. Based on this poll they could make an endorsement. To our disappointment, Al Gore is NOT included in the poll. The DFA membership is extremely Gore friendly. If Gore were included, he'd win in an instant. Please write to DFA and ask them to include Gore in their presidential poll. You can do it by taking the poll and selecting "other" for the candidate, or by writing them directly. Here are the links:http://www.democracyforamerica.com/contacthttp://www.democracyforamerica.com/pulsepoll4. BIRTHDAY LETTER
Al Gore's birthday is coming up on March 31. This is the perfect time to write him a letter to send him your wishes and tell him why you think it's so important that he run for president. Here's his address (sorry, no email ... same thing, with a stamp ;-)
The Office of the Honorable Al Gore
2100 West End AvenueSuite
620Nashville, TN 37203
Thank you very much for your continued support, Draft Gore.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The LuLac Edition #179, March 20th, 2007









PHOTO INDEX: CONGRESSMAN PAUL KANJORSKI AND PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH.


LULAC FORUM

TIME CHANGE

The LuLac Political Letter City Council Forum is still scheduled for SUNDAY MAY 6th.

The LuLac Political Letter City Council Forum is still scheduled for the Imperial Ballroom at Genetti's Hotel and Convention Center in downtown Wilkes Barre.

HOWEVER

THE STARTING TIME HAS CHANGED FROM 3PM TO 430PM.

Invitations to all City Council candidates will be mailed in April.


SICK BAY

CONGRESSMAN KANJO

U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski is recovering from a surgery he underwent on Monday to bypass blockages in three blood vessels to his heart, according to a news release.
There were no complications, according to the surgeon who performed the operation, and Kanjorski, D-Nanticoke, is expected to make a full recovery from the previously scheduled surgery, the release stated. The surgery wasn’t the result of a heart attack, according to the release.
He is expected to spend about a week recovering at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the release stated, and should return to work by mid-April.
The condition became apparent during an annual physical examination and follow-up tests in February, “which indicated that coronary heart disease had caused significant narrowing” of the three arteries.
Kanjorski, who turns 70 on April 2, also has diabetes, but Dr. Michael Curran, a cardiologist at the National Naval Medical Center where Kanjorski underwent a stress echocardiogram, didn’t expect that condition to “significantly impact” Kanjorski’s recovery because he follows a diet and medicine schedule.

AND THE VEEP TOO!

Vice President Dick Cheney went back to George Washington University Hospital on Tuesday after experiencing discomfort in his left lower leg — the same leg in which a blood clot was found two weeks ago — NBC News reported.
Initially the White House had said the vice president had gone to the hospital for a follow-up examination in connection with the clot. “He’s getting a routine follow-up on his leg. It’s just a routine checkup,” said spokeswoman Megan McGinn.
Cheney’s office issued an update after his return to the White House, saying the vice president experienced discomfort in his left lower leg Tuesday morning and after consultation with his physicians, he was asked to return to George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates for "repeat ultrasound imaging of the deep venous thrombosis (clot) in that leg."
The vice president's office said the ultrasound revealed no extension or complication of the clot. His blood-thinning medication was found to be therapeutic.
When doctors discovered a blood clot in the vice president’s leg two weeks ago, they said at the time that he likely would have to be treated with blood-thinning medication for several months.
Spokeswoman Lee Anne McBride said at the time that the 66-year-old had visited his doctor’s office on March 5 after feeling minor discomfort in his calf. An ultrasound showed the blood clot — called a deep venous thrombosis —in his left lower leg.
Blood clots that form deep in the legs can become killers if they break off and float into the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism. Deep vein thrombosis strikes an estimated 2 million Americans each year, killing 60,000.
Long-haul flightsMany people suffer DVT after spending long periods without moving, such as passengers on long-haul airline flights. Cheney had just spent about 65 hours on a plane on a nine-day, round-the-world trip.
Cheney has had had a host of heart-related problems over the years.
He had six hours of surgery on his legs in 2005 to repair a kind of aneurysm, a ballooning weak spot in an artery that can burst if left untreated. He has had four heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, two artery-clearing angioplasties and an operation to implant a special pacemaker in his chest.

BUSH TAKES A STAND

An angry sounding President Bush took a Texas style stand this afternoon in defense of his Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. Taking the old Country and Western maxim to its ultimate, "If You Don't Stand For Something, You'll Fall For Anything" Bush was clearly playing to the 30% of the American public still supporting his administration.
Calling the Democratic response to the firing of eight federal prosecutors a "partisan fishing expedition," President Bush told lawmakers Tuesday not to subpoena White House staff for testimony related to the matter.
Bush's public statement came hours after the White House offered to make political strategist Karl Rove and former counsel Harriet Miers available for interviews — but not testimony under oath — before congressional committees investigating the firings.
"We will not go along with a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants," Bush said in a statement from the White House. "I proposed a reasonable way to avoid an impasse."
He added: "There's no indication ... that anybody did anything improper."
Democrats' response to Bush's offer was swift and firm. "Testimony should be on the record and under oath. That's the formula for true accountability," said Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, said he would still press for White House aides to testify under oath, saying that White House counsel Fred Fielding “indicated he didn’t want to negotiate” whether Rove and others would have to appear in a full hearing. “That doesn’t mean we’re not going to try,” Schumer said.
The White House move was announced after the Senate voted overwhelmingly to end the Bush administration’s ability to unilaterally fill U.S. attorney vacancies. That had come as a backlash to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ firing of the prosecutors.
Gonzales got a morale boost with an early-morning call from President Bush, their first conversation since a week ago, when the president said he was unhappy with how the Justice Department handled the firings.
In his statement from the White House, Bush said of Democrats involved in investigating the firings: "I hope they don’t choose confrontation. I will oppose any attempts to subpoena White House officials."
(from combined reports and MSNBC.com).

Monday, March 19, 2007

The LuLac Edition #178, March 19th, 2007







PHOTO INDEX: EVIE McNULTY, CANDIDATE FOIR LACKAWANNA COUNTY COMMISSIONER, SENATOR RICK SANTORUM AND SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER.



OH ARLEN!!!!!!!!!!!!


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, a moderate who has often clashed with the Bush administration and his fellow GOP lawmakers, said Monday he plans to seek a sixth term in 2010.
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.



TAXING SITUATIONS

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.
Whether these unpaid taxes will have an effect on Lackawanna County voters is still open to conjecture. What is very clear is that the bar seems to have been lowered for people entering public office with a sketchy payment record of taxes. Years ago, in local political circles, those candidates with financial problems (and we're not making judgements here because it is tough to survive in these economic times for even for two income professional households) would not even make it past the party bosses. It'll be interesting to see if the voters empathize or condemn.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The LuLac Edition #177, March 18th, 2007

















PHOTO INDEX: POSSIBLE 10TH DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE AND SECURITY ANALYST FOR NEXSTAR BROADCASTING, JOSEPH PETERS, LAW AND ORDER'S SAM WATERSON WHO, LIKE FRED THOMPSON, HAS BEEN MAKING POLITICAL NEWS TOO AND
FORMER 11th CONGRESSIONAL GOP CANDIDATE TURNED BLOGGER, DR. JOSEPH LEONARDI.




WATERSON TOO!!!!


Law and Order actor Sam Waterson is also getting involved in the political process. The actor was on ABC's "This Week" talking abojut a bi-partisan organization he is behind that would give the country an opportunity to vote for candidates on a bi-partisan basis.
Waterston has joined
Unity 08 (click here for link), an effort to empower the political center and elect a bipartisan ticket to the White House.
Sam Waterston: There's a huge majority of the American people who are ready for this, who are not represented in the current system, and this is an opportunity for those people to speak up, go to Unity08.com, sign up, become a delegate and participate in the process.
I think by its existence it will have a beneficial effect on anybody who is running for president, because they will be obliged to look over their other shoulder at the center and not simply address the partisan factions that have so much sway in primaries.
If standing at opposite ends of the room, throwing things at each other, was going to produce a consensus on that or a solution for this, I think it's fair to say that it would have been done by now. And it hasn't been done.
So the center is not such a bad place to be. It's actually where American politics, in the end, takes place.




THE DONALD AND STEVE!!!



If you were tuning in to Steve Corbett's talk show on Saturday over WILK Radio, there was a comic exchange between Corbett and a caller who was imitating real estate magnet Donald Trump. This was ironic because just the night before "The Donald" was on CNN's Wolf Blitzer show opining on the weaknesses of Secretary of State Rice (she refuses to make a deal), the Iraq War (a disaster from the start) and the current administration (everything has been pretty much based on lies). The guy covered a few of Corbett's topics and truth be told was a very good impersonator. To Corbett's credit, he let the guy do his thing, rolled with it and because of that, it made for great live radio. Now if we could get the real Trump to call Corbett or Kevin Lynn, now that would be golden.



JOE PETERS AGENDA



First off, Joe Peters is an attractive candidate in the Republican roster of candidates. Peters is the son of two term Scranton Mayor Eugene Peters (1969 through 1977), has worked in the Clinton administration and also for Governor Tom Ridge. Peters ran a credible race for Auditor General in 2004 but was beaten by incumbent and former primary running mate of Bob Casey Junior in the 2002 Governor’s race, Jack Wagner. The Auditor General’s office has been a stronghold for Democrats since 1960. Seven of the last eight elected auditor generals, starting with Tom Minehart in 1960 and Grace Sloan in 1964, have been Democrats: Minehart, Sloan, Casey Sr., Al Benedict, Bailey, Casey Jr. and Wagner. Hafer is the lone Republican to hold that office in the past 44 years. So, Joe Peters really didn’t come out badly in his first statewide attempt.
Currently, Peters has been making the rounds of political people throughout the state but most importantly throughout the 10th Congressional District. There are many who feel Peters would be the perfect candidate to take on one term Democrat Chris Carney. Many GOP people feel the Carney is just a one term reaction to the scandal surrounding ex Congressman Don Sherwood. In the unofficial primary leading up to the actual election year of 2008, Peters seems to hold many cards that also include name recognition, an ability to raise money, a political heritage as well as a connection to the powerful and respected Scranton dynasty.
Peters also seems to be helping himself by becoming WBRE TV’s “Security Expert”. Peters has appeared on WYOU TV as a panel guest and on WBRE TV news. In fact, this morning, Peters was the featured guest on the WBRE TV Public Affairs Show. By getting face time on TV, Peters is building more name recognition for himself. One has to remember the recent Judicial race in Lackawanna County where Tom Munley, a long time TV pundit on WYOU TV easily won a double nomination for Judge of Common Pleas. Many have said Munley was helped immensely by his TV work. You have to think Joe Peters and his people are thinking the same thing.




NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE


During last year’s Congressional race for the 11th District, Dr. Joseph Leonardi really impressed many people with his campaign abilities, forceful arguments and charismatic personality. Leonardi who ironically received no help from the national GOP while they poured money into the sinkhole that was the Sherwood candidacy pulled in a respectable vote against long term incumbent Paul Kanjorski. More importantly, Leonardi brought to the forefront many dormant issues that at some point in the future might make the Congressman politically vulnerable.
Leonardi is in the process of rebuilding his practice after the long campaign but has not given up his penchant for talking about the issues. The good Doctor has joined the “blogging” world and has a lot to say. Here’s his link and a sample of what you’ll see on his new and informative site.
http://joeleonardi.wordpress.com/


Libby’s Guilty —– Big Deal-Joe Leonardi




I. Lewis Libby, I refuse to call an adult Scooter, has been convicted of perjury, obstruction, and lying . Special prosecutor Fitzgerald has reportedly said that there will be no further indictments, that the investigation is “inactive.”
Well all is right with world, correct? The Democrats and the Left are awash in a celebratory glow, so much so that Senator Harry Reid has decided that the Constitution now gives him the power to tell the President who he can pardon. The Republicans and the Right are overwhelmed with indignant anger; White House spokespersons Limbaugh and Hannity are now convinced the the jurors are all filthy liberals. All of this is just, I hate to say, a disgrace.
I don’t care either way about Lewis Libby. Did he perjure himself ? Did he lie to the FBI? Did he obstruct justice? Maybe, the jury thinks he did, but I don’t care. What bothers me about this entire mess is that a CIA agent was outed. She was most likely exposed for political retribution and this trial and conviction is more of the same. We should be ashamed of all involved.
I served in the in a branch of Naval Intelligence, and while not an operative, I learned the importance of National Security. I learned the seriousness of protecting intelligence. I also was extremely aware, if not involved in, that the most dangerous off all was HUMINT; human intelligence. Of course, the fact that a person possibly engaged in HUMINT was exposed has been lost in the wake of the trial. I’m sure that the hearing, book and movie deal will reveal all from the Wilson’s side, but for now and through most of this, we have neglected the true tragedy of this saga.
Valerie Plame was an employee of the CIA. At the time of this disclosure there had been claims and speculation that she was or was not covert. The right claims that she wasn’t and the left claims she was. Nonetheless, it doesn’t matter what her status was at the time. The simple fact of the matter is, at one time or another, she MAY have been covert. That is what makes her name being disclosed obscene and irresponsible if not possibly treasonous. Intelligence gathering is an ongoing endeavor and in most cases operations rarely cease. They build upon each operation forming layers upon layers.
If Ms. Plame was a covert agent at any time during her service, her status must be protected. Why? Because, any agent who had been affiliated with her through any previous operation can now be at risk. This is common sense. However, in D.C. and the politics of personal destruction this doesn’t matter. Her name and position were given to a prominent CONSERVATIVE columnist, Robert Novak. Mr. Novak subsequently published this tidbit in his column. Novak claims he learned of Plame’s CIA affiliation from Richard Armitage and confirmed it with, I know here was the big surprise, Karl Rove —- shocking. If these two gentlemen didn’t know that it was wrong to give out Valerie Plame’s affiliation they should have been immediately fired and never allowed to serve in government again. The reason, they must be stupid. Not to let Bob Novak off the hook, he should have used reasonable judgment and quashed the story. I don’t know about most people, but I am an American first and it is simply wrong to release something that common sense tells you could be a danger to national security.
Bob Novak is a columnist, commentator and pundit of great renown. If he got scooped on this story it would have done nothing to his reputation, his status or his earning potential. However, to those of us conservatives who genuinely put America first, he has fallen to the level of — Al Franken.
The members of the Silent Service are dedicated individuals who function with little recognition. Their reward is the knowledge that their efforts ensure the safety and security of the United States. These brave agents are well aware that they live in a clouded, mysterious sphere of cloak and dagger activities, though I’m sure they never expected members of their own government to use the dagger on them.
Joe Leonardi


Saturday, March 17, 2007

The LuLac Edition #176, March 17th, 2007







PHOTO INDEX: DEMOCRATIC COUNTY COMMISSIONER CANDIDATE COREY O'BRIEN IN LACKAWANNA COUNTY, A CORRECTED VERSION OF FRED THOMPSON, THE ACTOR, FORMER SENATOR AND POSSIBLE FUTURE PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANT AND LACKAWANNA COUNTY COMMISSIONER CHAIRMAN ROBERT CORDARO.



O'BRIEN WRITES CORDARO


In a continuing campaign straight out of the box, Democrat Corey O'Brien's effort has raised some interesting questions for the incumbent Cordaro/Munchak team. Here's a copy of that letter in its entirety:


TO: Damon Bowen Campaign Manager Munchak-Cordaro Campaign
Dear Mr. Bowen,
Late in 2006, the county commissioners approved a taxpayer funded television campaign to air on WNEP-TV 16 under the Lackawanna Wonderful theme. The commercials feature Bob Cordaro touting the Republicans' perceived accomplishments over the last four years. These commercials are blatant political advertisements, aired during an election year. In January, the Munchak-Cordaro Committee reported that it had raised over $600,000 for the re-election of Bob Cordaro and AJ Munchak. If Bob and AJ want to tout their perceived accomplishments, they should do so using campaign funds, not tax dollars. We respectfully request that the Republican administration:
1. Release the details of production and airtime costs that the taxpayers are paying for this political propaganda;
2. Pull the advertisements from television immediately; and
3. Reimburse the taxpayers through their campaign fund for this advertising campaign which began late last year. This administration has engaged in enough wasteful spending on the backs of the taxpayers without the people bearing the burden of financing their campaign advertising budget. We knew the 48% tax hike would hurt the people, but we did not know it would also fund their campaign. While we prepare for a spirited debate on the issues during the Democratic primary, we would be remiss to allow the fleecing of taxpayers at this time.
Sincerely, Andrew Eldredge-Martin
Campaign Manager Friends of Corey O'Brien
P.S. This letter has been sent to local press contacts and posted on our campaign website.


THE BAD BEHAVIOR CONTINUES
Bad behavior still prevailed at the Scranton City Council meeting this past Thursday. It's getting to the point that if TV dial 61 is going to become a hot spot for politicos. When some of the stuff starts showing up on YOU -TUBE and other type web cams, all the hard work at promotion and image building by the Doherty administration and the Chamber nationwide will just go down the drain. Sure the "regulars" and "usual suspects" can be trying, but elected officials should not feed into the madness.

The LuLac Edition #175, March 17th, 2007


SNOW UPDATE

It is 1:15AM, Saturday morning, March 17th. It has been snowing heavily since 4PM, Friday, March 16th. So far, no DPW truck, plow or vehicle has graced North Main Street with its presence. The only dent into the heavy snowfall has been those of traveling trucks and cars and the occasional set of footsteps. This is not an opinion, a complaint or a jab at anyone in particular: it's just a fact.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The LuLac Edition #174, March 16, 2007












PHOTO INDEX: WILK'S SUE HENRY, MAYOR OF HAZLETON LOU BARLETTA AND LAW AND ORDER STAR/POSSIBLE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FRED THOMPSON WITH ACTRESS CO STAR STEPHANIE MARCH. (HAD TO USE AN EXCUSE TO GET A PHOTO OF MRS. BOBBY FLAY ON THE SITE!)


LULAC CITY COUNCIL FORUM

ATTENTION: WILKES BARRE CTY COUNCIL CANDIDATES!
The LuLac Political Letter will sponsor a forum on Sunday May 6th starting at 3PM. To my knowledge, this is the first time that all city council candidates will have the opportunity to be together under one roof at the same time to discuss the issues facing the city. (Other forums have featured Mayoral candidates but I thought this might be a good idea). The Forum will take place at Genetti’s in downtown Wilkes Barre in the Imperial Ballroom. (I’m told there will be a Holy Communion party next store so no Jerry Springer language or chair throwing. Oh wait, that’s Scranton City Council!) WILK talk show host Sue Henry has graciously agreed to moderate the forum. Candidates will be seated according to district and will be given about 3 minutes to discuss their candidacy. (That’s what we’re thinking now but we haven’t firmed up the final details yet.) Then after every candidate has been heard from, we’ll get questions in writing from the audience. All candidates will get an invitation by mail but if anyone wants to let me know if they can participate, you can e mail me at yonkstur@aol.com.

WILL SWEET LOU
BE SINGING THE BLUES?

I’ve been reading the dispatches from the newspapers regarding the case of the Hazleton immigration case taking place this week in federal court in Scranton. Also, the TV reports have been fascinating and informative. However, I can’t help but think that the long term effects of Mayor Barletta’s crusade might not bode well for the city of Hazleton finances. Looking at the lawsuits Exeter has been dealing with, it occurred to me that the issues in the borough are less constitutionally daunting than they are in Hazleton. Plus Barletta’s lack of meaningful statistics gave me an uneasy feeling that the city might be ruled against in this case. And that will cost the taxpayers money. If that happens, how will that affect Barletta’s career? To be sure, Barletta has a core group of support in the city, he is charismatic and has the uncanny ability to turn a pointed question into what seems like a 60 second political spot. But only time will tell on this issue and the long term effects it will have on the city of Hazleton and Barletta’s political future.

READY FOR FREDDIE?


It appears the right wing base of the Republican Party is having difficulty becoming cozy with a candidate. Apparently Mitt Romney, Duncan Hunter, and Mike Huckabee have not given the right an opportunity to cheer. The news that former Senator and Law & Order star Fred Thompson has expressed an interest in the 2008 race tells you something about the disarray the GOP is in right now. Thompson is charismatic, well known in terms of recognition, taller than the average candidate (Americans like their Presidents tall) and can have easy access to both Hollywood monies and the largesse of the right. He fills in for long time radio host Paul Harvey occasionally on the ABC Network and is well received. Jeez, the last time the GOP nominated a “radio commentator”, his name was Ronald Reagan. Thompson has the opportunity to sit back and watch developments unfold. Then if needed, he can enter the race and see if he has a chance with the GOP faithful. If he brings along Angie Harmon and Stephanie March, I might even consider voting for him!!!! But then, I’m easy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The LuLac Edition #173, March 14, 2007














PICTIRE INDEX: LACKAWANNA COUNTY COMMISSIONER CANDIDATE COREY O'BRIEN AND THE FAMILY, DEMOCRATIC LACKAWANNA COUNTY COMMISSIONER MIKE WASHO AND WILKES BARRE CITY COUNCIL IN DISTRICT D CANDIDATE TIMOTHY ANDERSON.



A SERIES OF FIRSTS


Someone has to jump into the pool first and from our scant observances the past few days, this is what we found.


FIRST SIGNAGE OF THE SEASON


Those road and yard signs that dot the campaign trail, you know them, you love them, you can't live without them. In Lackawanna County, Corey O'Brien had his signs wrapped around telephone poles just in time for the big parade.


In Luzerne County, District Attorney Dave Lupas has signage and it's big. Saw a Lupas sign in downtown Pittston in the storefront formerly Terry's Bagel Shop. Terry Best, a good friend and former classmate of mine at St. John's is set to run for another term on the PA School Board and you can bet his name will be festooned alongside the DA's.


Wilkes Barre's race for the signs was won by Council Candidate in District E. Virgil Argenta has a multi colored royal blue and fuscia sign sporting his candidacy.


FIRST WEB SITES FOR WB COUNCIL


Two council candidates for Wilkes Barre City Council are on the world wide web. Timothy Anderson in District D and Charlotte Raup in District E.





WASHO FIRST ON THE AIR


Mike Washo, Lackawanna County Democratikc candidate for County Commissioner was the first politico to hit the airwaves with his campaign. Washo ran spots on ESPN Radio WEJL/WBAX, AM 630 and AM 1240 talking about the past performance of the Cordaro/Munchak team (which he found wanting) and how he could do better.



MURDER IN NORTH END


The two crimes committed Wednesday morning in the Northend are certainly food for thought. The home invasion on Darling Street was absolutely scary and one wonders how the candidates in District E will address that issue.
In the meantime, a murder at 21 North Street points to how important it is for landlords in the city to screen their tenants better. The North Street property surrounds young college students just starting out their way in life, not to mention long time North End residents who have hung in there for their neighborhood. The revelation that the murder victim was himself a convicted murder felon in 1988 and that the man accused of killing him today was himself convicted of murder in 1996 is chilling news. The landlord, Ms. Gildea justified her landlord policies in a hodgepodge of information given to reporters. Too little, too late. Check to see if you are renting to killers, especially when your property surrounds young men and women who have parents sending their children to Wilkes Barre with the expectation they'd be safe. Perhaps a background check would cut into the massive profits the landlords make. And by the way, wasn't it the Gildeas who recently asked Wilkes Barre council for a tax break for their properties?



TRANSITION


We've been away for a few days, Mrs. LuLac is transferring my gigantic file folders to a new computer system that will better serve LuLac readers. That old "I.T." tech is even letting me keep my Genna Davis photos. Ain't she a sport!!!!????



BARRY THE BARBER


A BarberShop is a hotbed of political gossip and talk. As a boy I was introduced to baseball, football and politics at a BarberShop. For many years, Scranton residents as well as the creme de la creme of politicians and journalists used the services of Barry Prandy on Prescoltt Avenue in the Hill section of the city. Recently, Barry's shop was closed because of an illness incurred by the affable Dodger devotee, Ronald Reagan loving, Richard Nixon justifying, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity listening barber. I'm happy to report Barry is doing well but I have to share the hysterical e mail from mty fellow Junction-ite, Barry the Barber.



Local Barber snatched from the jaws of death.



In what can only be described as a harrowing chain of events, local Barber
Barry Prandy---- AKA---Barry The Barber was plucked from the jaws of death and is now in his third week of a well needed rest and recovery.
The drama began to unfold several weeks ago as Barry The Barber ---AKA--- B THE B noticed an increased thirst, which began to, over the next several days, spiral out of control. For 4 days the thirst methodogically increased and vast amounts of liquids were consumed---BUT---to no avail. On the fifth day, B THE B, who is not and will not complain, remarked to his faithfull and devoted wife that his tongue appeared to be swollen. This as it turned out to be, was a cleverly disguised symptom of what we now know was------ SUGAR---- diabetes. At the persistent urging of his faithful and devoted wife and with great reluctance, B THE B agreed to be transported to the emergency room at Geisinger hospital. After a short 3 1/2 wait, B THE B was ushered to an examination room were he was asked to urinate into a cup----always a degrading and humiliating experience. B THE B with strong persistance from his faithful and devoted wife finally complyed. A preliminary sugar test was done and to the shock and dismay
of the Technician the urine sample went off the chart. It was stated at the
time, from a well placed source, that the technical device used to measure the sugar exceeded it's highest reading. It can now be revealed that this was indeed the case and the actual reading was an astounding--- 860--- normal be between 70 to 120. This began a flurry of activity with several of the Nursing staff rushing to Mr. Prandy's---- AKA ---- Barry The Barber, side urging him to lay flat on the examining room table befor he blacked out and fell off the examining room table. Numerous technicians were now escorted in to the room to remove endless viles of blood, and a constant stream of Doctors were added to the mix. The examination room was now a bee hive of activity. It was at this point, some 5 hours into the ordeal that a key test revealed, what appeared to be an abnormality in the heart. This piece of information would later play out as the single most important piece of information to be unearthed in this drama.
Mr. Prandy---AKA--- B THE B, was now informed that he would not be returning home, but would be admitted to the hospital for further tests. The news was not received well by Barry The Barber----AKA--- B THE B and a strong protest was voiced. The protest was short lived however as it was immediately quelled by Mr. Prandy's faithful and devoted wife. Mr. Prandy was transported to the main hospital and to a comfortable and quite room.
The following morning began with once again an endless flow of Nurses,
technicians and doctors and it was then that MR. Prandy----AKA---Barry The Barber was informed that something was indeed amiss with his heart and he was immediately scheduled for the dreaded-----Stress Test. In the next few hours the --- Stress Test was administered and the results were obtained by the administering doctors. Dark clouds appeared on the horizon. The test revealed more abnormalities and a catherization was immediately scheduled. More dark clouds, and as suspected, the catherization test revealed-- not 1----not 2---but 3 blocked arteries, two severe and the third 95% blocked. This was, as the reader could well imagine, devastating. Tripple by pass was the only option, a
very unpleasent prospect. The mear thought of having one's chest split open like a Turkey on Thanksgiving day was ---appalling. A strong protest was again voiced, however Mr. Prandy----AKA--- B THE B was litterly hit in the face with a bucket of ice water as the lead physician layed out the stark and raw facts.
With the tripple by pass---- 95% recovery success rate. With no by pass ---25% survival rate. And so, after an extensive review of the facts, Mr. Prandy agreed to the by pass. A crack team of Geisinger surgeons were assembled and numerous Nurses assisted in the 6 1/2 hour operation. The operating room gallery was filled to capacity with on lookers. The result----100% success. Later, as Mr. Prandy was struggling to fight off the post operitive anesthetics, the chief of the surgical team asked a somewhat groggy Barry The Barber how he felt. Mr. Prandy, struggling to regain his senses could only mutter a somewhat cryptive message----- You----You----You can take the boy out of the junction, but you can't take the junction out of the boy.