Saturday, June 30, 2007

The LuLac Edition #254, June 30th, 2007



Will Chris Carney, Congressman in the 10th have real opposition in next year's race? The national GOP seems pretty preoccupied with their concerns and the news that Tom Marino is not running can't be good. Carney as you well know beat Don Sherwood last fall in a race that wasn't even close. With the district, in the past being gerry mandered to favor Republicans and a whole bunch of attack ads in the can telling us how close Chris Carney is to Nancy Pelosi, the GOP should have a better even than chance of retaining this seat. But they need an attractive, smart candidate. I'll offer up two. First, Dr. Joseph Leonardi. He has to move into this district but that's a small matter. He's smart, articulate, can tote the Republican party line but balance out his ideas so he'd attract the anti-Bush people in the party. It was a travesty how he was ignored in the '06 race against a clearly flawed Paul Kanjorski by the national party. They can make up for that mistake and regain the seat if they offer up some help. Whether Leonardi, a successful health care provider wants to put up with their nonsense is another story though. Still, he'd be a great candidate who'd wipe the floor with Carney in a debate. Another Joe that is staying in the limelight is Joe Peters. The son of Mayor Gene Peters, Joe is active on the local TV airwaves talking about terroism and security. He has the name recognition, the pedigree, the contacts and has run for state office before. What the GOP will do is anyone's guess. But let me remind them that in 2004, Dem Tim Holden beat a twenty year incumbent George Gekas for a Congressional seat that encompassed Harrisburg. Holden, from Pottsvile was thought to be a one term Congressman in 2006 but because the GOP couldn't come up with a decent candidate, they failed to regain that seat. The same can happen in the 10th with '08 most likely being a Democratic year and tons of money coming Carney's way.


You have to hand it to Bob Cordaro, he makes life interesting. Even when he's out of the limelight, they pull him back in. Apparently a supporter was videoed spying on people going to a Democratic fundraiser for Mike Washo. This is a priceless piece of video from YOU TUBE. And to be clear, we do not endorse the ethnic slur muttered by the subject in the video (although you have to wonder why that was the first thing that popped into his mind, I mean, whatever happened to "leave me alone" or "get the hell out of here!") or his behavior. Here it is: With friends like these, who needs enemies.


Today I found myself driving to my favorite bakery, The Sanitary in Nanticoke. The top was down, the sun was blazing and I realized that one year ago today, the weather was pretty much the same except that the water was ready to come over the Susquehanna and the city was evacuated. How things stay the same and change at the same time. Glad we dodged that bullet.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The LuLac Edition #253, June 29th, 2007




One of my favorite sports times of the year is Wimbledon. It has been more appealing since the arrival of that tall girl Maria from Russia. Even though she is very young, there is a sameness to her celebrity. There are the grunts, the menacing looking dad with the Motorola hat in the stands and of course the competitive nature of this fine young athelete. Years ago, when my friend David Dellarte and I played bad tennis at Coal Street Park, we talked about the magic of Wimbledon. It's upon us, let's enjoy it.
By the way, here's a real funny YOU TUBE video featuring ESPN's Stewart Scott and my girl Maria.


As Barry Bonds comes within shouting distance of Henry Aaron's home run record, here's a fascinating story about Babe Ruth in Kingston's Kirby Park. WBRE TV Sports also had a feature on it Wednesday night.


And then, there is the magic moment when Jenkinson seeks and finds proofof a 600-foot homer, in Wilkes-Barre, of all places.
"I had heard of supposed 600-foot homers," Jenkinson said, "one in Detroit, one in South Bend. But this is the only one that has 600-feetcredentials after I investigated it.
"Hit it out of Kirby Park, which was part of Artillery Field. There was a running track beyond the stadium. And this homer went over to the far side of the track. When I got there, in 2003, a flood had washed out thetrack. And, from aerial photos, you could see that home plate had been moved 15 feet."And then I found Joe Gibbons, who was 10 at the time of the homer. He saw the whole thing happen. He later was a prisoner of war in World WarII. But he was still lucid when I met him, playing golf every day. "He walked me out there and said, 'Here, this is where the ball landed.'
I added it all up and it never came out less than 600 feet."
The game was played in '26. After the third inning, a pack of boys
scuttled out of the rightfield stands to swarm Ruth. The stampede
knocked him to the ground. When they sorted through the pile of
humanity, Babe popped up grinning and holding on to a 4-year-old boy.
Ruth had kept the kid from being trampled. His name was Frank Lavery,and there's a classic photo of Ruth cradling the kid in his right arm while older boys in newsboy caps cluster around him.
There are photographs of the old ballyards, and spray charts of Ruth's homers and a homer-by-homer list that includes preseason exhibitions and postseason barnstorming. Ruth's incredible career ended in 1935.
Jenkinson can't help wondering whether Ruth couldn't have played longer if the Yankees hadn't foolishly given him two ultimatums."They forbade him from running in spring training," he said bitterly."They said they were 'saving his legs.'
"Other than the year he was sick, his biggest drop-off was between '31 and '32. Overnight, he was transformed into an old man."Well, he had been playing golf every chance he got from the mid-20s. And now, early in the '32 season, the Yankees forbade him from playing golf. "Those 36 holes he used to walk, that's what was holding him together. They took that away, his leg strength vanished, his hitting suffered."


Yankee manager Joe Torre finally got his 2010th win passing Leo Durocher on the all time win list. Torre is ninth. It took his team long enough to get him that win. When Torre was hired in 1996, no one ever believed he'd last a year, let alone 12.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The LuLac Edition #252, June 28h, 2007



I don't know if he is responsible for the phrase or not, but when you think about the term "Iraq Dollars" that Kevin Lynn uses every morning on WILK, you have to stop and ponder what we could be using those dollars for. Mrs. LuLac is fond of saying that if we only had the money that was wasted and not allocated, this country would be in great shape. One has to wonder how any entity can lose a few billion dollars. Even Fredo, the Corleone family's weakest link got the suitcase of money to Havana for his brother Michael in "Godfather II". Anyway, here's what we could have spent the money on in this country instead of pissing it away in Iraq.


The Environment.
Children's Health Care.
Infrastructure Repair in the U.S.
Protection of the Borders.
Universal Higher Education.
Space Exploration.
Medical Research for Catostrophic Diseases.
Mass Transit.
Energy Research & Development.
Terrorist Trackdown Unit.
Veteran's Rehabilitation & Care.

Those are 11 initiatives that most likely can be fully funded with "Iraq Dollars". All the money wasted. All the potential wasted. I write this because the other morning the President nixed the CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program)funding because he feared its passage would put us on the road to socialized medicine. Oh God no, not that! Instead, let's just go down the dark pit known as Iraq which is sapping the strentgh of this nation. The President says we need to stay in Iraq so that the terrorists won't win. They already did. Our policy in Iraq is like a crazed gambler throwing money into a slot machine with no visable hope of a return on the investment. "Iraq Dollars", a sad legacy of this sad administration.


Here's a fascinating article on the President's second in command, Mr. Cheney from the Washington Post. If this doesn't give you chills on this man's view of government, nothing will. From the files of Mrs. LuLac:

Dear D, You have to read this to get a picture of how Dick Cheney single-handedly has wrecked the environment all to please his friends. It is amazing that this cowboy and his sidekick have been allowed to get away with so much crap.

Leaving No Tracks
Jo Becker and Barton Gellman Washington Post Staff Writers Wednesday, June 27, 2007; Page A01
Sue Ellen Wooldridge, the 19th-ranking Interior Department official, arrived at her desk in Room 6140 a few months after Inauguration Day 2001. A phone message awaited her.
"This is Dick Cheney," said the man on her voice mail, Wooldridge recalled in an interview. "I understand you are the person handling this Klamath situation. Please call me at -- hmm, I guess I don't know my own number. I'm over at the White House."
The vice president has intervened in many cases to undercut long-standing environmental rules for the benefit of business. Here, Cheney is photographed during an August 2004 family vacation in Moose, Wyoming.
Wooldridge wrote off the message as a prank. It was not. Cheney had reached far down the chain of command, on so unexpected a point of vice presidential concern, because he had spotted a political threat arriving on Wooldridge's desk.
In Oregon, a battleground state that the Bush-Cheney ticket had lost by less than half of 1 percent, drought-stricken farmers and ranchers were about to be cut off from the irrigation water that kept their cropland and pastures green. Federal biologists said the Endangered Species Act left the government no choice: The survival of two imperiled species of fish was at stake.
Law and science seemed to be on the side of the fish. Then the vice president stepped in.
First Cheney looked for a way around the law, aides said. Next he set in motion a process to challenge the science protecting the fish, according to a former Oregon congressman who lobbied for the farmers.
Because of Cheney's intervention, the government reversed itself and let the water flow in time to save the 2002 growing season, declaring that there was no threat to the fish. What followed was the largest fish kill the West had ever seen, with tens of thousands of salmon rotting on the banks of the Klamath River.
Characteristically, Cheney left no tracks.
The Klamath case is one of many in which the vice president took on a decisive role to undercut long-standing environmental regulations for the benefit of business.
By combining unwavering ideological positions -- such as the priority of economic interests over protected fish -- with a deep practical knowledge of the federal bureaucracy, Cheney has made an indelible mark on the administration's approach to everything from air and water quality to the preservation of national parks and forests.
It was Cheney's insistence on easing air pollution controls, not the personal reasons she cited at the time, that led
Christine Todd Whitman to resign as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, she said in an interview that provides the most detailed account so far of her departure.
The vice president also pushed to make Nevada's Yucca Mountain the nation's repository for nuclear and radioactive waste, aides said, a victory for the nuclear power industry over those with long-standing safety concerns. And his office was a powerful force behind the White House's decision to rewrite a Clinton-era land-protection measure that put nearly a third of the national forests off limits to logging, mining and most development, former Cheney staff members said.
Cheney's pro-business drive to ease regulations, however, has often set the administration on a collision course with the judicial branch.
The administration, for example, is appealing the order of a federal judge who reinstated the forest protections after she ruled that officials didn't adequately study the environmental consequences of giving states more development authority.
And in April, the Supreme Court rejected two other policies closely associated with Cheney. It rebuffed the effort, ongoing since Whitman's resignation, to loosen some rules under the Clean Air Act. The court also rebuked the administration for not regulating greenhouse gases associated with global warming, issuing its ruling less than two months after Cheney declared that "conflicting viewpoints" remain about the extent of the human contribution to the problem.
In the latter case, Cheney made his environmental views clear in public. But with some notable exceptions, he generally has preferred to operate with stealth, aided by loyalists who owe him for their careers.
When the vice president got wind of a petition to list the cutthroat trout in Yellowstone National Park as a protected species, his office turned to one of his former congressional aides.
The aide, Paul Hoffman, landed his job as deputy assistant interior secretary for fish and wildlife after Cheney recommended him. In an interview, Hoffman said the vice president knew that listing the cutthroat trout would harm the recreational fishing industry in his home state of Wyoming and that he "followed the issue closely." In 2001 and again in 2006, Hoffman's agency declined to list the trout as threatened.
Hoffman also was well positioned to help his former boss with what Cheney aides said was one of the vice president's pet peeves: the Clinton-era ban on snowmobiling in national parks. "He impressed upon us that so many people enjoyed snowmobiling in the Tetons," former Cheney aide Ron Christie said.
With Cheney's encouragement, the administration lifted the ban in 2002, and Hoffman followed up in 2005 by writing a proposal to fundamentally change the way national parks are managed. That plan, which would have emphasized recreational use over conservation, attracted so much opposition from park managers and the public that the Interior Department withdrew it. Still, the Bush administration continues to press for expanded snowmobile access, despite numerous studies showing that the vehicles harm the parks' environment and polls showing majority support for the ban.
Hoffman, now in another job at the Interior Department, said Cheney never told him what to do on either issue -- he didn't have to.
"His genius," Hoffman said, is that "he builds networks and puts the right people in the right places, and then trusts them to make well-informed decisions that comport with his overall vision."
'Political Ramifications'
Robert F. Smith had grown desperate by the time he turned to the vice president for help.
Bush and Cheney, who lost Oregon by less than half of 1 percent in 2000, couldn't afford to anger thousands of Republican farmers and ranchers in the state during the 2002 midterm elections. Above, in 2001 a sign stands in a field near Klamath Falls, Oregon. Aurora/Getty Images
The former Republican congressman from Oregon represented farmers in the Klamath basin who had relied on a government-operated complex of dams and canals built almost a century ago along the Oregon-California border to irrigate nearly a quarter-million acres of arid land.
In April 2001, with the region gripped by the worst drought in memory, the spigot was shut off.
Studies by the federal government's scientists concluded unequivocally that diverting water would harm two federally protected species of fish, violating the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The Bureau of Reclamation was forced to declare that farmers must go without in order to maintain higher water levels so that two types of suckerfish in Upper Klamath Lake and the coho salmon that spawn in the Klamath River could survive the dry spell.
Farmers and their families, furious and fearing for their livelihoods, formed a symbolic 10,000-person bucket brigade. Then they took saws and blowtorches to dam gates, clashing with U.S. marshals as water streamed into the canals that fed their withering fields, before the government stopped the flow again.
What they didn't know was that the vice president was already on the case.
Smith had served with Cheney on the House Interior Committee in the 1980s, and the former congressman said he turned to the vice president because he knew him as a man of the West who didn't take kindly to federal bureaucrats meddling with private use of public land. "He saw, as every other person did, what a ridiculous disaster shutting off the water was," Smith said.
Cheney recognized, even before the shut-off and long before others at the White House, that what "at first blush didn't seem like a big deal" had "a lot of political ramifications," said
Dylan Glenn, a former aide to President Bush.
Bush and Cheney couldn't afford to anger thousands of solidly Republican farmers and ranchers during the midterm elections and beyond. The case also was rapidly becoming a test for conservatives nationwide of the administration's commitment to fixing what they saw as an imbalance between conservation and economics.
"What does the law say?" Christie, the former aide, recalled the vice president asking. "Isn't there some way around it?"
Next, Cheney called Wooldridge, who was then deputy chief of staff to Interior Secretary
Gale A. Norton and the woman handling the Klamath situation.
Aides praise Cheney's habit of reaching down to officials who are best informed on a subject he is tackling. But the effect of his calls often leads those mid-level officials scrambling to do what they presume to be his bidding.
That's what happened when a mortified Wooldridge finally returned the vice president's call, after receiving a tart follow-up inquiry from one of his aides. Cheney, she said, "was coming from the perspective that the farmers had to be able to farm -- that was his concern. The fact that the vice president was interested meant that everyone paid attention."
Cheney made sure that attention did not wander. He had Wooldridge brief his staff weekly and, Smith said, he also called the interior secretary directly.
"For months and months, at almost every briefing it was 'Sir, here's where we stand on the
Klamath basin,'" recalled Christie, who is now a lobbyist. "His hands-on involvement, it's safe to say, elevated the issue."
'Let the Water Flow'
There was, as it happened, an established exemption to the Endangered Species Act.
A rarely invoked panel of seven Cabinet officials, known informally as the "God Squad," is empowered by the statute to determine that economic hardship outweighs the benefit of protecting threatened wildlife. But after discussing the option with Smith, Cheney rejected that course. He had another idea, one that would not put the administration on record as advocating the extinction of endangered or threatened species.
The thing to do, Cheney told Smith, was to get science on the side of the farmers. And the way to do that was to ask the National Academy of Sciences to scrutinize the work of the federal biologists who wanted to protect the fish.
Smith said he told Cheney that he thought that was a roll of the dice. Academy panels are independently appointed, receive no payment and must reach a conclusion that can withstand peer review.
"It worried me that these are individuals who are unreachable," Smith said of the academy members. But Cheney was firm, expressing no such concerns about the result. "He felt we had to match the science."
Smith also wasn't sure that the Klamath case -- "a small place in a small corner of the country" -- would meet the science academy's rigorous internal process for deciding what to study. Cheney took care of that. "He called them and said, 'Please look at this, it's important,'" Smith said. "Everyone just went flying at it."
William Kearney, a spokesman for the National Academies, said he was unaware of any direct contact from Cheney on the matter. The official request came from the Interior Department, he said.
It was Norton who announced the review, and it was Bush and his political adviser
Karl Rove who traveled to Oregon in February 2002 to assure farmers that they had the administration's support. A month later, Cheney got what he wanted when the science academy delivered a preliminary report finding "no substantial scientific foundation" to justify withholding water from the farmers.
There was not enough clear evidence that proposed higher lake levels would benefit suckerfish, the report found. And it hypothesized that the practice of releasing warm lake water into the river during spawning season might do more harm than good to the coho, which thrive in lower temperatures.
Norton flew to Klamath Falls in March to open the head gate as farmers chanted "Let the water flow!" And seizing on the report's draft findings, the Bureau of Reclamation immediately submitted a new decade-long plan to give the farmers their full share of water.
When the lead biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service team critiqued the science academy's report in a draft opinion objecting to the plan, the critique was edited out by superiors and his objections were overruled, he said. The biologist,
Michael Kelly, who has since quit the federal agency, said in a whistle-blower claim that it was clear to him that "someone at a higher level" had ordered his agency to endorse the proposal regardless of the consequences to the fish.
An estimated 77,000 salmon washed up on the banks of the Klamath River. Last year, the government declared a "commercial fishery failure" on the West Coast. Above, dead salmon line the banks of the Klamath River in Sept. 2002.
Months later, the first of an estimated 77,000 dead salmon began washing up on the banks of the warm, slow-moving river. Not only were threatened coho dying -- so were chinook salmon, the staple of commercial fishing in Oregon and Northern California. State and federal biologists soon concluded that the diversion of water to farms was at least partly responsible.
Fishermen filed lawsuits and courts ruled that the new irrigation plan violated the Endangered Species Act. Echoing Kelly's objections, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit observed that the 10-year plan wouldn't provide enough water for the fish until year nine. By then, the 2005 opinion said, "all the water in the world" could not save the fish, "for there will be none to protect." In March 2006, a federal judge prohibited the government from diverting water for agricultural use whenever water levels dropped beneath a certain point.
Last summer, the federal government declared a "commercial fishery failure" on the West Coast after several years of poor chinook returns virtually shut down the industry, opening the way for Congress to approve more than $60 million in disaster aid to help fishermen recover their losses. That came on top of the $15 million that the government has paid Klamath farmers since 2002 not to farm, in order to reduce demand.
The science academy panel, in its final report, acknowledged that its draft report was "controversial," but it stood by its conclusions. Instead of focusing on the irrigation spigot, it recommended broad and expensive changes to improve fish habitat.
"The farmers were grateful for our decision, but we made the decision based on the scientific outcome," said the panel chairman,
William Lewis, a biologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "It just so happened the outcome favored the farmers."
J.B. Ruhl, another member of the panel and a Florida State University law professor who specializes in endangered species cases, said the Bureau of Reclamation went "too far," making judgments that were not backed up by the academy's draft report. "The approach they took was inviting criticism," Ruhl said, "and I didn't think it was supported by our recommendations."
'More Pro-Industry'
Whitman, then head of the EPA, was on vacation with her family in Colorado when her cellphone rang. The vice president was on the line, and he was clearly irked.
Why was the agency dragging its feet on easing pollution rules for aging power and oil refinery plants?, Cheney wanted to know. An industry that had contributed heavily to the Bush-Cheney campaign was clamoring for change, and the vice president told Whitman that she "hadn't moved it fast enough," she recalled.
Whitman protested, warning Cheney that the administration had to proceed cautiously. It was August 2001, just seven months into the first term. We need to "document this according to the books," she said she told him, "so we don't look like we are ramrodding something through. Because it's going to court."
But the vice president's main concern was getting it done fast, she said, and "doing it in a way that didn't hamper industry."
Cheney's insistence on easing air pollution controls led Christine Todd Whitman, shown with Secretary of State Colin Powell and Cheney aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby, to resign as EPA administrator. Getty Images
At issue was a provision of the Clean Air Act known as the New Source Review, which requires older plants that belch millions of tons of smog and soot each year to install modern pollution controls when they are refurbished in a way that increases emissions.
Industry officials complained to the White House that even when they had merely performed routine maintenance and repairs, the Clinton administration hit them with violations and multimillion-dollar lawsuits. Cheney's energy task force ordered the EPA to reconsider the rule.
Whitman had already gone several rounds with the vice president over the issue.
She and Cheney first got to know each other in one of the Nixon administration's anti-poverty agencies, working under
Donald H. Rumsfeld. When Cheney offered her the job in the Bush administration, the former New Jersey governor marveled at how far both had come. But as with Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill, another longtime friend who owed his Cabinet post to Cheney, Whitman's differences with the vice president would lead to her departure.
Sitting through Cheney's task force meetings, Whitman had been stunned by what she viewed as an unquestioned belief that EPA's regulations were primarily to blame for keeping companies from building new power plants. "I was upset, mad, offended that there seemed to be so much head-nodding around the table," she said.
Whitman said she had to fight "tooth and nail" to prevent Cheney's task force from handing over the job of reforming the New Source Review to the Energy Department, a battle she said she won only after appealing to White House Chief of Staff
Andrew H. Card Jr. This was an environmental issue with major implications for air quality and health, she believed, and it shouldn't be driven by a task force primarily concerned with increasing production.
Whitman agreed that the exception for routine maintenance and repair needed to be clarified, but not in a way that undercut the ongoing Clinton-era lawsuits -- many of which had merit, she said.
Cheney listened to her arguments, and as usual didn't say much. Whitman said she also met with the president to "explain my concerns" and to offer an alternative.
She wanted to work a political trade with industry -- eliminating the New Source Review in return for support of Bush's 2002 "
Clear Skies" initiative, which outlined a market-based approach to reducing emissions over time. But Clear Skies went nowhere. "There was never any follow-up," Whitman said, and moreover, there was no reason for industry to embrace even a modest pollution control initiative when the vice president was pushing to change the rules for nothing.
She decided to go back to Bush one last time. It was a crapshoot -- the EPA administrator had already been rolled by Cheney when the president reversed himself on a campaign promise to limit carbon dioxide emissions linked to global warming -- so she came armed with a political argument.
Whitman said she plunked down two sets of folders filled with news clips. This one, she said, pointing to a stack about 2-1/2 inches thick, contained articles, mostly negative, about the administration's controversial proposal to suspend tough new standards governing arsenic in drinking water. And this one, she said as she pointed to a pile four or five times as thick, are the articles about the rules on aging power plants and refineries -- and the administration hadn't even done anything yet.
"If you think arsenic was bad," she recalled telling Bush, "look at what has already been written about this."
But Whitman left the meeting with the feeling that "the decision had already been made." Cheney had a clear mandate from the president on all things energy-related, she said, and while she could take her case directly to Bush, "you leave and the vice president's still there. So together, they would then shape policy."
What happened next was "a perfect example" of that, she said.
The EPA sent rule revisions to White House officials. The read-back was that they weren't happy and "wanted something that would be more pro-industry," she said.
The end result, which she said was written at the direction of the White House and announced in August 2003, vastly broadened the definition of routine maintenance. It allowed some of the nation's dirtiest plants to make major modifications without installing costly new pollution controls.
By that time, Whitman had already announced her resignation, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family. But the real reason, she said, was the new rule.
"I just couldn't sign it," she said. "The president has a right to have an administrator who could defend it, and I just couldn't."
A federal appeals court has since found that the rule change violated the Clean Air Act. In their ruling, the judges said that the administration had redefined the law in a way that could be valid "only in a Humpty-Dumpty world."
Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.


Wilkes Barre GOP Mayoral candidate Linda J. Stetts has brought some pretty interesting questions about the Wilkes Barre City Summer Youth Employment program. Here's what she had to say:
The WB City playgrounds now have park workers stationed. However, in
talking with Charlotte Raup, Pres. of WB City Crime Watch, and Parsons section of WB resident, she mentioned something to me that I think is worth researching.......
How many youth's are now employed with the federally funded summer youth program in WB?
Was the Summer Youth Employment Program ever advertised in any of the local newspapers for all city youth to apply to? If so, when? I did not see any ads for it.
Where are these youth's stationed in terms of city clean up projects,
graffitti, garbage removal helpers, painters, park volunteers, life guards etc.?
Do you have the right to ask for names of the youth's whom were hired and is there an income guideline system as to whom is employed and who does not qualify due to parental income/s?
According to what Charlotte Raup said "100 city youth's are supposed to be
working during the summer at an hourly minimum wage rate." She commented that 100 youth's at minimum wage are working 8am-2pm and five days per week.
Figures: 100 youth x 6 hours daily = 600 hrs. daily x minimum wage = $5350.00
plus approx. 25% Workman's Comp. ( prevailing min. wage
@$5.35 hr.)
$5350.00 x 9 weeks = $48,150.00, plus W.C.expense. (admin. cost unknown?)
What was the total of the summer youth employment program grant to WB for this year?
All in all, is the hiring process political or publicly open (advertised) for
equal opportunity employment for all youth?
Linda J. Stets 825-2901

Monday, June 25, 2007

The LuLac Edition #251, June 25th, 2007



My favorite TV talk show host and columnist L.A. Tarone brings us news of great political import. Seems L.A. has discovered that the "Obama Girl" hails from Hazleton. Personally, if I can do a little match making here, I think L.A. and this young lady would make a fine couple. Mrs. LuLac has given me the greenlight to try to bring these two political stars together. Now, as my work begins, here's L.A.'s communication to me.


“Obama Girl” is from Hazleton.A video of “I Got A Crush on Obama” by someone billed as Obama Girl has been the hottest thing on You Tuber the last few days.And the gorgeous brunette with the crush on the Illinois senator is Amber Lee Ettinger; a Hazleton native whose mother owns
"Remember When," the classic clothing store on Broad Street.Ettinger said she was asked about bring in the video on line.“The producers contacted me through my website and I was, like, sure why not,” she said. “They let me hear the song, and it was so cute, and so catchy, I loved it. I knew it would be something fun to do.”Ettinger said the decision to star in the video had little to do with politics.“I like him as a candidate, but I love him as a quality human being,” she said. “But I didn’t do it because of politics.”But she said the creators had politics in mind because they, “knew it would cause some sort of stir.”The video has been causing a stir on line. It’s become You Tube’s most hit video and it’s gotten attention elsewhere – including ABC News.“I didn’t expect it,” she laughed. “They put it on You Tuber, and two days later, I started getting bombarded with phone calls. I think I’ve been on every news station in New York the last two days.”Ettinger is not the singer; Leah Kaufman is. Amber Lee said she just met her within the first few days.While Obama Girl is getting her attention now, it’s far from her first appearance in front of a camera. She’s been modeling and acting for five years and has made appearances on Maxim and FHN, as well as an acting appearance on “Law And Order.”

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The LuLac Edition #250, June 23rd, 2007



That old Beach Boys song was playing in my mind this weekend as a series of events and news tidbits hit the wire. First off, Scranton Mayor Chris Dougherty hosted a very successful conference for Pa. Mayors. Mayors from across the state took a look at the redeveloped Scranton and its charismatic Mayor. Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta showed up late on Thursday night. His anti immigration stand was rebuffed by the Pa. Conference of Mayors with the city chief executive officers saying immigration was a national, not a local issue. Dougherty invited past Scranton Mayors to the festivities. Mayors Peters, McNulty and Wenzel conducted themselves with their usual class and dignity. But class clown and Mayoral buffoon (still after all these years he hasn’t lost his touch) Jimmie Connors said that being Mayor was like being hit with a hammer, you enjoy it when they stop hitting you or some nonsense like that. Now that didn’t stop Connors from feeding at the public trough for three terms. Mayor Peters went back in time and talked about his days as host of the Mayor’s conference in Scranton too. But the strangest thing happened when Mayor David Wenzel made this remark to the Scranton Times.
"To really sum it up, before I became mayor, I called (Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce president) Austin Burke, and his secretary took the message, and it took Mr. Burke three days to get back to me,” Mr. Wenzel said. “When I became mayor, I called Mr. Burke, told his secretary it was Mayor Wenzel calling, and Mr. Burke was on the phone in three seconds. After I left office, I called him, and he never got back to me.” Wenzel’s point was that the power of being Mayor could enable a politician newfound respect and leadership clout. To me, that’s all he meant. But Austin Burke, the deeply entrenched and arrogant head of the Scranton Chamber took exception (somebody must’ve stole his baby rattle) to the comment and responded to the Times with this childish comment. From the Times: Mr. Burke, however, said he is sorry Mr. Wenzel chose to use him to make his point. “It’s a total figment of his imagination, and I consider Mr. Wenzel a good friend and I feel that I go out of my way to be responsive to everyone, including mayors,” Mr. Burke said. “I think the comment is totally bizarre.”
First off, let me say this. In the mid 80s, I had the misfortune to deal with Mr. Burke and his tight ass suck up staffers at the Scranton Chamber. The group I was with floated innovative ideas that finally came to fruition years later without Mr. Burke’s help. Our group never got the credit, but at least it got done. Like Mr. Wenzel, before and after, he became Mayor, I wasn’t important enough to get phone calls returned from Burke. His arrogance has grown in leaps and bounds judging from the comments he made against former Mayor Wenzel, a disabled, decorated war hero and public servant. Austin Burke, I’ve met David Wenzel, I worked with David Wenzel, I got phone calls returned from David Wenzel, to paraphrase Lloyd Bensten, “Austin Burke, you’re no David Wenzel”.


All my adult life, I wanted to join the Scranton Taurus Club. Finally a few years back, I received an associate membership. I was told the people were friendly, the food was delicious and the fellowship was beyond compare. So Friday after work, Mrs. LuLac and I popped the top, plugged in the Temptations and proceeded to enjoy our membership in the popular Scranton Club. Well, here’s what happened, we sat at a table unattended for 25 minutes. In that time, I was attempting to get a few drinks at the bar for the two of us only to be constantly ignored and bypassed by the zombie like sexagenarian bartender. Waving my cane in front of her didn’t even get her attention. I was told by a member that I had to stand in the “bar line” to get a drink. So if you were to sit at the bar, you first had to stand in line and then get your drink. Gee, customer service at its finest. (The Taurus Club joins my long list of American institutions where you can wave at fistful of money at people and instead of taking it, they’ll ignore you and dare you to go somewhere else). In the meantime, Mrs. LuLac was told that food could be ordered at 6pm. “A girl will come around and take your order” she was told. 6:30PM, no girl, no food. After one hour and five minutes of this nonsense, we left but not before I nearly took a header on spilled beer in the doorway. We were rudely treated, ignored and basically told we weren’t welcome. Ladies and Gentleman, the famed Taurus Club of Scranton! Well, at least I got to use my card to get in the joint. But as Groucho used to say, “If a club lets me in, I might not want to join it”. Years ago, rumors abounded that radio and TV salesman become alcoholics by spending their time in the afternoon drinking liquor at the Taurus Club. From Friday's experience and the way we, as members were treated, I honestly can’t see how they became sauced. Unless they were on their hands and knees licking the spilled beer in front of the bar. Yeah, I’m enjoying this membership!


In 1991, I went to the Crossings Shopping Center in the Poconos and bought 3 pairs of shoes at the Ralph Lauren outlet. One black, one brown, one cordovan. Loved those shoes. Instead of buying new ones, I had these three pair resoled through the years. I had other shoes, most likely too much for a man. But these shoes were the ones that were comfortable in the summer, steady on an icy sidewalk in the winter and easy to coordinate with anything I was wearing quickly. Since my accident, wearing any other shoe cramps up my back quickly. (Especially wingtips and sneakers.) But these shoes made my pain bearable. Well by 2005, they started to give up the ghost. My main shoe repair man, Frank on Northampton Street died in the early part of this decade. Frank remade my shoes. But now with Frank gone, I sought out a guy on Pierce Street in Kingston with a shoe repair shop. Don’t remember his name but what an ignorant bastard. So by accident, I came upon June’s Shoe Repair Shop. I gave him the shoes and he said, “Had these a long time, huh?” “Since ‘91” I replied. “16 years old, they’re old enough to drive!” I asked him if he could do something. He said, “If it’s important to you, it’s important to me”. Needless to say he did a magnificent job. Fast forward to the end of 2006, I see the Cordavons are getting frayed around the edges. I go see the guy at June’s and he tells me that they are truly on their last legs. I told him I’d wear them into the ground and then try to find some new ones. By the end of May, the soles were filled with holes and the stitching was coming apart. I went to June’s and talked him into saving the shoes. I explained to him my condition and how the shoes were a comfort to me. He took them but made no promises. Sighing heavily, he said, “I’ll do my best!” I had no doubts. After a week, he called my cell and told me they’d be ready but to pick them up during the week because he would be closed on Saturday. Since my work schedule conflicted with that plan, Mrs. LuLac went to pick them up. The shoemaker was visibly disappointed when he saw her. “I wanted to see his face, I really pulled out all the stops!” Mrs. LuLac promised to take my photo when I pulled them out of the bag. (That’s the photo you see in the index above). The 18 year old shoes were rehabilitated with brand new tassels, an expanded sole and heel where my dented posture seems to concentrate my weight and a shine right out of the box. It was a job well done by a craftsman who took pride in his work but more importantly did not refuse the order. In a world where you have to beg people to take your money for inferior goods and services, my friend at June’s Shoe repair in Forty Fort, right off Denison Street, rehabilitated something I loved wearing, but more importantly, listened to me, a customer. I thank him, a true gentleman, craftsman and capitalist, for all of the above.


Mrs. LuLac and I wound up at La Trot in Scranton after being shunned at the Taurus Club and then had dessert at Krispy Kreme. There we saw a flyers that said, “DON’T STOP MY BUS!”
More Money is needed to keep bus service alive. Call before it’s too late, contact:
Senator Mellow 342-4353
Rep. Smith 342-2710
Rep. Staback 876-1111
Rep. Wansacz 451-3110
“MY NAME IS _________________________”
“I RIDE THE BUS TO GO TO___________________”.
“PLEASE SUPPORT MORE MONEY FOR PUBLC TRANSIT IN _________________________________
In Scranton, and other areas of the great northeast, public transportation is one of the few ways and in some cases the only way low income people trying to make their way up can get to work. Let’s support this.


Saturday, Mrs. LuLac and I finally said goodbye to our first home computer. Sadly, we packed it up and put it into the car and drove it to Hanover Area High School for the annual county electronic recycling. The average usage for a home computer is about 2 and ½ years. Our unit was heading into year number eight. It re-established ties for me with old friends from around the world, helped me write three books, countless angry letters to the editor, and gave me the opportunity to publish two blogs and contribute to so many on line with topics ranging from my beloved 4 Seasons to Italian cooking. It served more than its purpose. Over the past four years Luzerne County residents have recycled a mind boggling 1, 254, 338 pounds of electronic equipment. That’s a lot of gadgets! The effort was smooth as strong young men and women complimented me on my ragtop and took away our first home computer that served us both so well. We’ll come across it in another manifestation I’m sure, so for now, we’ll just say “so long!”


This weekend marked the 35th anniversary of the Agnes Flood. What a contrast Saturday’s weather was from that fateful day. Since our topic on this edition was Heroes & Villains (you distinguish which is which) we’d be remiss in saluting the heroes of Agnes. Just a few names:
Frank Townend.
Daniel J. Flood.
William Wilcox.
Min Matheson.
Frank Carlucci.
Salvation Army.
The Red Cross.
David DeCosmo.
Tom Bigler.
Franklin D. Coslett.
Milton Shapp.
Richard Nixon.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The LuLac Edition #249, June 21rst, 2007



The Obama Girl piece is taking the country by storm and in a conversation with good friend and Colorado DLC official Jim Gibson, we touched on the popularity of the video as well as the new way that YOU TUBE seems to be paving for Presidential politics. It's current as the second hand on your watch and can be helpful or hurtful. (Ask former Virginia Senator George Allen who had a candidacy and a Presidential bid derailed by YOU TUBE in the 2006 elections.) We are a long way from Richard Nixon appearing on "Rowen & Martin's Laugh In" during the 1968 campaign where he said in mock surprise (Nixon could've been Brando I tell ya!) "sock it to me!!???" Here's the YOU TUBE video in case you haven't seen it, by special request.


When I was a kid, one of my favorite TV shows was "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis". A character in the show, Maynard G. Krebbs, played by Bob Denver had a signature line when someone suggested something incredulous to him. His response was usually "oh come now!" That's how I feel when people talk about Fred Thompson for President. I cringe at the comparisons to Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a two term California Governor. He ran for President, lost twice (in '68 and '76) and tried again. He refused a co-presidency idea with Gerald Ford in 1980 because he knew he wanted to govern unfettered. His TV career was well in the past when he embarked on his Presidential bids. Like him or not, he had a core set of beliefs that, unlike Thompson, never changed. New York Daily News Sports Columnist and Author Mike Lupica has been let loose to comment on politics. Let me share with you one of the finest appraisals of Fred Thompson's career and legitamacy as a Presidential contender written in a long time. Lupica makes great points. Here's that column from the Daily News:

Fred Thompson really started out his political career as Richard Nixon's errand boy to the Watergate Committee, back when Nixon still thought he could take the Constitution and fold it into a paper airplane.
Thompson ultimately went from there to be elected twice as U.S. senator from Tennessee, then to a career as an actor, most notably as District Attorney Arthur Branch on the "Law and Order" television series. Now he might actually go from there to what could be the role of a rather pedestrian career, in both show business and politics, as a Republican candidate for President.
So it should have surprised no one last night that the unannounced candidate went from NBC's prime-time lineup - such as it is - to a role as guest political analyst on Fox News after the latest Republican presidential debate. It was kind of beautiful, the professional actor evaluating the performances of the amateur actors already running for President from Thompson's party.
It was as close as we have come yet to where the political process in this country is headed eventually, which means straight to "American Idol."
You want to know how the clown line between what is real news and what is fake news blurs more by the day in this country? Somebody like Fred Thompson is how. Maybe Sam Waterston - who is expected to be promoted to DA to replace Thompson's character in the fake world - can moderate the next Democratic debate.
"But if you think about it, what politician isn't an actor?" Lowell Weicker said yesterday. He is a former Republican senator and governor from Connecticut, and served on the Watergate Committee when Fred Thompson was its Republican lawyer. "I got my start as the head of theDramatic Society at Lawrenceville, I'd like you to know," Weicker said.
In his day, Lowell Weicker was as good a show as they had in the Republican Party and, let's be honest, never much of a team player, back when "maverick" was probably the most polite thing people in his party called him. At a time when almost everybody running for President as a Republican genuflects every time Ronald Reagan's name is mentioned, Weicker takes great pride in being called a pompous, no-good fathead in the new Reagan diaries because he stood up to Reagan on school prayer.
Weicker is one who remembers Reagan as he really was, not the saint he has become over the last 20 years in America, as if he somehow has become the President anybody even thinking of running from the right should aspire to be.
Weicker was asked yesterday if he ever saw any acting potential in Fred Thompson back in the days when Thompson would go running back to Nixon as soon as he heard anything good in Watergate Committee meetings.
Weicker is a big guy with a voice and opinions and a laugh to match, and he laughed big now. "No," he said, "I didn't see any potential for acting, and why don't we just leave it at that?" He was asked about somebody like Thompson running, if he does run, more because he is a face and a character everybody knows from television than for anything memorable he did as a senator or lobbyist.
"Are you are asking me a general question if I'm surprised that something like that could happen in this country?" Weicker said. "Because then the answer is no."
Maybe it was inevitable that somebody would try to run straight from a long-running series all the way to the White House. Or maybe Thompson thinks he's ready to lead the free world because he plays President Ulysses S. Grant in the current television adaptation of "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."
This all started a half-century ago when we had a President, Jack Kennedy, who looked and lived and carried himself like a Hollywood leading man. Then 20 years later came Reagan, who went from acting to governor of California and finally to the White House. Now there are people who have urged Martin Sheen to run for some kind of office because his heart seemed to be in the right place on "The West Wing" and he did a good job delivering Aaron Sorkin's speeches.
This all does really make sort of screwball sense. Every day it is a knockdown, drag-out fight to separate the news from the real world and the news from the trash world, when the late-night adventures of Lindsay Lohan and an authentic no-talent like Paris Hilton seem to dominate everything.
And last week here came Alex Rodriguez to join the bimbettes on the other side of the clown line with a blond of his own, even managing to shove Lindsay and Paris out of the way for a couple of days.
You couldn't help thinking at the time that if we had somehow been able to consolidate some of the trash news, if the blond with A-Rod in Toronto, the one with whom he was reportedly photographed between a strip club and his hotel, had been Paris or Lindsay - or both! - how much space we could have saved for news that actually mattered.
Fred Thompson isn't a moral authority on anything, he just plays one on television. He isn't famous for anything he ever did in politics. These days he is just someone else in America famous for being famous, even as a supporting actor.
At least Reagan was a leading man, in the fake world and the real one.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The LuLac Edition #248, June 18th, 2007



Rose Tucker has been selected to fill the Luzerne County Commissioner seat vacated by Todd Vonderheid’s resignation.
The Times Leader is reporting that former Luzerne County Commissioner Rose Tucker has been appointed to fill the seat left vacant by Todd Vonderheid.
Tucker, 77, of Exeter, was county commissioner from 1992-96. The part owner of Tucker’s Travel has said her experience and interest in the county makes her the best candidate.
County judges selected Tucker in a secret ballot. She will serve through the end of the year.
The pick was a smart and non controversial one. Tucker served with distinction in her role as County Commissioner with a special focus on Social Services in the county. I can see how Greg Skrepenak would be comfortable with her on the board. While former State Represeentative Tom Tigue was a “sexy” pick, that might have hurt him too. Tigue is extremely informed but also loquacious. His twenty four years experience in Harrisburg, his willingness to be frank on public issues (this is the man who said “there was a pay raise and I took it, next case” or something to that effect) and his understanding of state funding formulas was most likely too much for an interim appointment. Right now the Dems have this race in the bag and Tucker, while outstanding in her own right, cannot fill Tigue’s shoes. But she is the safe pick where all Skrep and Petrilla have to do is gain a few yards and run out the clock.


There are some retired State Reps like Tom Tigue who offer themselves up for public service after their terms ends for the good of the community and then there are others who continue to feed at the public feed bag.
Four legislators who lost reelection bids after the pay-raise debacle have found jobs in state government, while at least three others have become lobbyists, a newspaper reported.
One former legislator, Republican Peter Zug of Lebanon County, started a $55,000-a-year job last week as a licensing analyst with the state Gaming Control Board, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday.
And former Scranton-area Rep. Fred Belardi now makes $116,000 annually - about 36 percent more than he did as a lawmaker - managing parking spaces and other personnel matters for his former House colleagues, the paper said.
Turning to Harrisburg as a job-placement service is a time-honored tradition for lawmakers suddenly out of work. But critics deride the practice as a sanctioned revolving-door policy.
"It demonstrates how out of whack public service has become in Pennsylvania," said Matthew Brouillette, president of the Commonwealth Foundation, a conservative Harrisburg think tank. "It isn't a place to serve the public. It has become an opportunity for legislators to serve themselves."
Montgomery County Republican Sue Cornell was one of several legislators who lost her seat in 2006 after lawmakers voted themselves a pay raise, later repealed.
Cornell is now the in-house lobbyist for the Philadelphia Parking Authority, a quasi-state agency. Though ethics rules prevent her from lobbying the House until December, Cornell said working as manager of government relations "makes sense from a practical point of view."
"If you spend years in the legislature, that's what you know," she said. "You have the contacts, and you understand how legislation moves."
Ex-Rep. Frank LaGrotta, D-Lawrence, was put on the House payroll as a legislative consultant making $73,613 annually - the same as when he was in office. Former Rep. Kenneth Ruffing, D-Allegheny, filled a similar advisory role for three months after his term ended. Both lost in last year's spring primary.
All three legislative leaders who were defeated last year quickly made the transition to lobbyists. Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer, Senate Majority Leader David "Chip" Brightbill and House Democratic Whip Michael Veon now represent groups from trial attorneys to organized labor.
Combined reports of Scranton Times/Harrisburg Patriot/LuLac Political Letter.


Since there is virtually little quality local TV News over the weekend in the morning except for the WBRE TV cast at 9AM, needless to say that’s where I go to see if the river is rising, the White House Café on Hazle Street has a new body count or whether the Indians, Yanksa or Phils prevailed the night before. Sunday’s newscast was missing Jill Knopka. Turns out she participated in the Duatholon on Sunday. Congrats to her and the others for finishing the race. This is a fine kick ass event and my only criticism is that there has got to be more press and publicity on this event. This is as much of a community builder as anything else. Tell us about it BEFORE it happens so bloggers like me and Gort can sit in our lawn chairs with our TABS and Coors Lite in a stragetic location and cheer these “young uns” on.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The LuLac Edition #247, June 17th, 2007



Thirty five years ago today, the Democratic headquarters in Washington, D.C. at the Watergate Hotel Complex were broken into by burglars. At first glance, it looked to be a small crime but it escalated into the forced resignation of a President. I had just graduated high school and was on my way to Washington, D.C. to attend school in early July. When I heard the news, I thought two things: 1. This was comical, even at that young age I had seen first hand how disorganized and cash poor all levels of the Democratic Party was. Having worked in the Humphrey Pennsylvania primary effort that spring, I was amused and amazed at how things ran in a major campaign. What could anyone want from these Democrats. 2. Number one all stated and said, I knew in my gut that this thinfg had all the earmarks of a major drama that had the potential to unfold historically if not immedtiately but somewhere down the road. In researching this edition on this anniversary, I came across the original newscast reported by Walter Cronkite on this news story. You can play it by clicking on the link at the end of this story. Something very striking about this report is the length of it, nearly 6 minutes. This is how broadcast news on the networks used to be, thorough and thoughtful. While we look at the break in through the rear view mirror 35 years later, it is also fascinating to compare the news reporting then and now. Here's that link from YOU TUBE, reported on June 19th, 1972 by Walter Cronkite.


Had a few comments on the last edition about the possibility of George "Nipper" Nowakowski running a write in campaign for Sheriff. Apparently this rumor has taken hold and there appears to be a plan to have his name written in given the ease the new voting machines allow for such actions. I was asked my opinion and on this and here are my thoughts:
1. Nipper has the political clout to get this accomplished. Even though he has lost every county wide election, the man has a solid block of support that will vote for him come hell or highwater.
2. If Nipper does this, he will get a good amount of votes from his base in the Pittston area to cause havoc. It won't be enough to win but it'll be significant.
3. It will be significant enough to pull enough votes away from Michael Savokinas and get Barry Stankus elected to a third term. Stankus' vote totals have decreased since his first election. Nothing he has done it's just that the Dems want to retain this office which used to be a "no brainer" for them. However, if Nipper goes with his write in effort, a Democratic recapture can be put in peril.
4. Dem Chair Mark Bufalino and his braintrust better have a sit down on this and see what can be done. Nipper has never made an electoral breakthrough with the party and this latest story is precisely the reason why. He has strength and can be a spoiler in this race.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The LuLac Edition #246, June 14th, 2007



Governor Ed Rendell revealed today on PCN TV that he cancelled a 10 day Africa Safari with Mrs. Rendell set for this August. The Governor said he cancelled the trip in March because he knew the state budget would not be finished. In a free wheeling hour, Rendell also noted he's not running for anything ever again and wants this year's budget to "work" for the people. Ed in Africa, tough to imagine. Well, there's Eagles training camp in August for him to pass the time.


Dan Rather, former CBS anchorman and legend cannot win for losing. When asked about the news program he left, Rather said that the network dumbed down the news and tarted it up with Katie Couric. That last remarks had all the feminists in an uproar. But Rather was right on both counts, CBS has resorted to feature style reporting. Tonight's report featured a guy sitting with Katie filling out a MySpace website. And let's face it, Katie is a "babe". On TV news, it has been a tradition to put nice looking people, people pleasing to the eye on the air. You don't "tart" up a newscast with Candy Crowley, you do with a perky, size 3 Katie. Let me say this, I have enormous respect for women in broadcasting. Locally there are great reporters who routinely put themselves in dangerous situations to get a story. These women are tough. All that said, they also don't look like me, Ernest Borgnine or Greg Skrepenak. TV news is a product. I think Rather's point was that he could take the "tart" if it had a little substance. It doesn't. Case closed.


Kevin Lynn from WILK was featured today on WYOU TV's interactive news speaking about profanity on the airwaves. His camera presence was amazing. If I were a news director, I'd slap a tie on him (let him keep the sandals) throw him some copy and put him in an anchor chair. The ratings would go through the roof, but we'd miss him on the radio.


A great American story teller, John Prine has a wonderful song about flag decals. When I had my radio show in the seventies, Prine's "The Frying Pan" and "Everybody" were staples of my program. What better way to commemorate FLAG DAY 2007. From a concert in Philadelphia, courtesy of YOU TUBE, John Prine.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The LuLac Edition #245, June 13th, 2007


Women control 51 percent of the nation's wealth, but account for just 27 percent of federal political donations, according to a report released yesterday by the Women's Campaign Forum Foundation.
And the percentage of campaign money from women hasn't changed in a decade, even as women have begun to achieve economic parity with men, the study found.
One longtime Republican fund-raiser said women don't give as much as men because they don't see politics as a big business the way men do.
"Because politics is a business and women are not participating in that business of politics as much as men, they're not going to invest as much," said Candy Straight, an investment banker.
And women tend to be late deciders in elections. "If you're a late decider on who you're voting for, why are going going to give money?" Straight asked.
Straight established Wish List, a national political fund-raising committee for Republican women who support abortion rights, because "I was so disappointed that the Republican Party - especially nationally - did not support the [1990 Christie Whitman U.S. Senate] campaign to the extent they should have, because she had an opportunity to win."
Democratic fund-raiser Blair MacInnes said female fund-raisers don't like asking for money.
While organizing a fund-raiser for the 2004 John Kerry presidential campaign, MacInnes said she was stunned when it was time to talk about ticket prices and her committee - composed of women - suggested $100.
"These were reasonably affluent women," said MacInnes, of Morris Township, N.J. "At $100, we would have to have 700 people to make the kind of money men are used to making."
While MacInnes said she believes campaigns should be publicly financed to reduce the influence of money on public policy, "this is the system we have. . . . Women have to become comfortable with the rules."
The nonprofit Women's Campaign Forum Foundation is trying to encourage women to give more money to candidates, enticing them with the thought that they could have a sweeping effect on the 2008 electoral cycle, which includes races for president and Congress as well as numerous state and local elections.
And the report suggests that candidates looking for money from women should look at those who give to charities - an area where female giving is rising at a rate faster than male giving.
As part of the study, the foundation ran focus groups across the country. Instead of finding the typical lack of faith in the political system among women, they found "it was truly the idea that women who wanted to see social change were giving dollars to charity," said Ilana Goldman, the foundation's executive director.
The Washington-based foundation's affiliated group, the Women's Campaign Forum, endorsed U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.) for president.
Always thirsting for new money, other presidential campaigns also are trying to tap into that reservoir of female donors.
Clinton sponsored a concert in New York and luncheon in Los Angeles to make her appeal to female donors. The Washington Post reported last month that Clinton took in 36 percent of her contributions from women, leading all candidates, with U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.) coming in a close second.
U.S. Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) announced a "Women for McCain Leadership Team" yesterday in the closely watched early-primary state of New Hampshire.
One of this area's most prolific fund-raisers, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, (D., Pa.), held a fund-raiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia yesterday with U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.).
The event was to kick off the DCCC's effort to "make sure that women understand how important it is for women to be in the mix and not just let the boys be the ones who write the checks," said Daniel McElhatton, who is Schwartz's chief of staff.

Locally, you'll see a roster of male campaign contributors with a few female names interspered. Many women belong to PACs (educators come to mind) and therefore it is tougher to track them statistically.
(Combined reports and LuLac. )


June 12th: George H.W. Bush turned 83.

June 13th: O.J. Nicole and Ron.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The LuLac Edition #244, June 11th, 2007



I love the summer but TV is terrible during this time. Mrs. LuLac and I put the top down and do some cruising, even with these obscene gas prices. Thank goodness I love baseball, NFL reruns and Law and Order. But still, there's a lot to be desired video wise. However, on YOU TUBE, I came across two amusing pieces, the first is a send up of poor little rich babe Paris Hilton's recent troubles. Take a look.
And if that's not crazy enough, how about Senator Mike Gravel's recent verbal battle with MSNBC'S Chris Matthews. This debate was classic Matthews and from what I am learning about Gravel, classic Mike!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

The LuLac Edition #243, June 10th, 2007



During last year's Congressional campaign, GOP candidate Joe Leonardi warned us about a lot of things. The Iraq situation, the tax base, the inflatible dam, the health care crisis as well as some of the dealings of his opponent Congressman Paul Kanjorski. Leonardi had little money and no support from the national GOP. While the Republicans were pouring money into the black hole known as the Sherwood candidacy, Leonardi had virtually nothing from them. Despite that, he ran a credible campaign, never lost his sense of humor or purpose and pulled about 50,000 votes (for a percentage of 28% of the vote) in a heavily Democratic district against a 22 year incumbent. Recently, the Times Shamrock newspapers ran an expose on the Kanjorski family business dealings, sourced primarily the federal goveernment. Or us, we the people, the taxpayers. Seems like Leonardi was a phrophet. On Friday, a group headed by Old Forge School Director Frank Scavo (never shy about getting into a fight) had a press conference with some fascinating info about the Kanjo family business. My friend Gort had something on this too. Here are the links to Gort and the citizen's group explaining the Kanjorski family funding formula.


Cornerstone Should Bring Kanjorski Consequences
Local Citizens call on Congress to investigate embattled Congressman Kanjorski

Plains, PA - The Public Accountability Project, led by local citizen Frank Scavo, held a morning press conference in front of the former headquarters of Cornerstone Technologies LLC. Cornerstone Technologies has recently been exposed in local media reports as being part of the bungled private dealings of Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski and his family.
“We call on our leaders in Congress to investigate Congressman Kanjorski for possible ethics violations and our leaders in the criminal justice system to investigate as to potential criminal wrong doing,” said Frank Scavo. “Congressman Kanjorski's years and years of securing federal contracts for his family's enterprises may or may not pass the legal test, but they sure don't pass the smell test. Citizens in this District deserve better.”
As reported Sunday in the Times-Tribune, Congressman Kanjorski began securing federal contracts or “earmarks” back in 1987 for the bungled family projects; funneling the money through foundations he set up and then through Cornerstone – where his family was making hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll.
“Pennsylvania is an interesting microcosm of hypocrisy - of our political landscape today,” said Randall Thompson, President for the Peace and Prosperity Project. “On the one hand, you have Congressman Carney calling on Congressman William Jefferson to resign – but saying nothing about Congressman Kanjorski; apparently not differentiating between questionable money in a freezer and questionable money in a family's bank account. And, on the other hand, you have Congressman Murtha being called up for a reprimand in Congress for using earmarks as a tool to intimidate other members.”
“With Cornerstone, you have an overall mismanagement of funds, not paying subcontractors, inabilities to manage a project, overlapping inefficiencies and putting the family 'on the payroll.' It sounds just like many parts of the federal government.”
To learn more about Pennsylvania's Peace & Prosperity chapter, please contact Randall Thompson at (517) 402-1712 or via email at, or visit

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The LuLac Edition #242, June 9th, 2007




SCENARIO #1: Uncle Junior may want you to think he’s bats but he may not be. Junior’s character always stewed over slights, real and imagined. Is it so far fetched that Uncle Jun is orchestrating all the messed up things from his prison cell to be the last New Jersey “don” standing?

SCENARIO #2: The missing mob Russian. Remember the episode where Paulie and Christopher had to take care of a Russian mobster? Instead, he took care of them. Got them lost in the woods like two whiney babies. Tony had to come and get them. Interestingly enough, this episode played on A&E this week. A&E has been running episodes every week except one. Could it be this episode this week was a juxtaposition for the final scenes?

SCENARIO #3: Taking a page from the Godfather, (the series has many GF references) perhaps Tony ends up alone sans family and kids. He told Carmella “they never come after the families”. Set up? Michael Corleone died along without any family except a little dog. Might happen here.

SCENARIO #4: Throughout the series, Tony showed great disdain for “the rats”. Could he do a Henry Hill and go into the witness protection program? Confined to midwest macaroni and cheese instead of basil and garlic.

SCENARIO #5: Tony moves the family to Archbald and makes the pothole a theme park.

Those are my guesses. We’ll find out Sunday.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The LuLac Edition #241, June 7, 2007




When I was a young boy growing up, the dominant team of my time was the New York Yankees. Following the Phillies and the Pirates, mainly because my tastes had not yet been refined or for that matter defined, I was a bystander when it came to the New York teams. The Mets were just starting and it was a treat to stay up late on Friday night and watch the Met games on WNEP from the Polo Grounds. (I think they ran them on delay). My Yankee friends had their idols, Mantle, Maris and Berra. I was told to pick a Yankee because in our sandlot games, we emulated players and took on their identities. Watching the Saturday games on TV, I noticed the third baseman, Clete Boyer. He made hard plays look easy, something I was never going to master. And his number was simple, “6”. His batting stance and swing were functional, not flashy. My kind of guy. So I made Clete Boyer my favorite Yankee. Taking an old white tee shirt, I carefully imprinted the number “6” on the back with a navy blue laundry pen. Back in 1964, there were no custom made shirts for youngsters, you had to make your own. And I made Clete’s persona my own in that summer sandlot season. I didn’t do too badly either.
Little did I realize that years later, I would have contact with “my favorite Yankee”. In 1990 at Lackawanna County Stadium, there he was, Clete Boyer pitching batting practice. I had to meet him and pestered him until he sat with me, consented to an interview reluctantly and finally posed for a picture. He was pissed and rightly so because I had intruded on his pre game workout. Granted, all he was doing was pitching batting practice but he wanted to do it right. Still, he was okay and didn’t drill me with a ball, but I’m sure he would’ve if he had the chance.
My next encounter came in Cooperstown. Clete had bought a burger joint there aptly called “Clete Boyer’s Hamburger Heaven”. Made the pilgrimage one weekend but Clete was nowhere to be found. We had a great breakfast there and went to town. Clete might not have been at his “Hamburger Heaven” but he was at a store signing autographs. My friend Frank began yammering on about his idol Mickey Mantle and Clete told many stories about “The Mick”. Finally, we were all getting uncomfortable because no one was asking about Clete’s career. So I stepped to the plate. I asked Clete about the 1964 World Series when he faced off against his brother Ken. The Yanks vs. the Cards. I asked Clete who his parents were rooting for when the Boyer Brothers faced each other. He was pleased with the question. “Well, my mom and dad had 14 kids, they never played favorites and that year, in public they said they hoped we’d both win. But I think they were rooting for Kenny because I already had my World Series rings and Kenny had none. So I think they were pulling for Kenny” he concluded. He then posed with me for another picture. This time he was more relaxed and not annoyed with me. He had no pregame responsibilities, just memories to share.
The last time I saw Clete Boyer was again at his “Hamburger Heaven”. We had spent the day in Cooperstown and were on our way home. Stopping for dinner, we saw Clete. He was alone in the back nursing a cold beer. We were invited to sit with him. He signed a photo and talked about the old day and the newer ones too. Said he thought Buck Showalter was a back stabber, told us Torre would be the greatest Yankee manager if they just left him alone and told us George Steinbrenner was really a very generous man. He made it clear he never wanted to be the Yankee manager but thought he’d be able to handle it. As we got up to leave, he asked us for a favor. In the back of the restaurant he had this huge chicken barbeque contraption that was easily 20 yards long. He needed it moved just near the fence so that he could hold his annual barbecue chicken fundraiser for the town. As we struggled with this huge grill like piece of cookery, I laughed to myself about how sweet life was. My favorite Yankee was putting me to work. But we did good and Clete thanked us profusely.
In later years, we went to his restaurant for breakfast and dinner on the way home. It seemed like we were his only customers because no one else seemed to be there. Clete sold the place because he was in declining health. So it came as no surprise that he died at the young age of 70. It was a baseball life packed with glamour, humor, steady workmanship and recognition. Bobby Richardson said this week, "He was a hard liver, I don't think that's any secret," he said. "He lived life to the fullest." Maybe that's why I liked him. He seemed to enjoy every day with gusto, whether it was downing one of his own burgers, a cold beer or telling a story about a team mate or himself. In a very small way, I was glad “my favorite Yankee” and I had intersected in our lives. It might not have done much for his existence but it certainly enriched mine. And that’s how I’ll remember Clete Boyer, solid, fun loving, life loving pinstripe number “6”.