The LuLac Edition #425, Feb. 24th, 2008
PHOTO INDEX: LUZERNE COUNTY COMMISSIONER GREG SKREPENAK AND SCRANTON MAYOR CHRIS DOHERTY.
Making it clear at an "on the road" Commissioners meeting Thursday, Commissioner Greg Skrepenak told three taxpayers he was not going to resign no matter how many times they asked. Walter Griffith, Tim Grier and Ed Chesnovitch asked minority Commissioner Stephen A. Urban to once again call for a vote for the terminations. Urban refused, saying he wants to wait until a new chief clerk/manager is hired and all three commissioners meet with that person to “come to a consensus.”
Commissioner Chairman Maryanne Petrilla said she was “comfortable” awaiting the results of a Secret Service investigation into the debit card debacle. Skrepenak was asked by County resident Tim Grier to specifically resign. Skrep refused and said that the debit card spendees were getting unfairly harrassed and what they did was not criminal. Skrepenak is now digging in against the advocates of resignation for the debit card users and you can bet he will use all of his political strength to push back on an issue that has yet to call for indictments and arrests..........and may never will according to some sources. Skrepenak, as a Commissioner is now in a unique position. Having had the responsibility as Chairman lifted from him, Skrep can forge out a seperate career as a quasi minority/majority member that I believe can enhance his political stature. His response to Grier accentuated the position he finds himself in. The only political destiny he has to worry about is in his own hands and for as many people who believe the debit card issue was wrong, just as many believe that beating it to death is a counter productive and strengthens the Commissioner's resolve against firing anyone.
There was talk of Statewide office this year or even a shot at the 11th Congressional race against Congressman Kanjorski but Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty eschewed those offers and is staying home. Home is the city of Scranton and the Mayor's office. Doherty intends to run for a third term in 2009 telling supporters he needs more time to accomplish his goals for The Electric City. Doherty, whose father was a multi year Council member and titan of the Democratic party in Lackawanna County has held fundraisers recently that point to his political power. At a recent Doherty event, more than 500 people attended. Mr. Doherty is expected to face a challenge from former City Council president Gary DiBileo, the man Mr. Doherty defeated in 2005 to win a second term. Councilwoman Janet Evans, a longtime critic of the mayor, is also expected to mount a campaign against the mayor. DiBileo who came close to upsetting the Mayor in the primary lost in the general election. An entry into a crowded Democratic primary might spell trouble for the Mayor given a three way vote split. But given Mr. DiBileo's unfortunate penchant for sounding like a clone of Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford and Ms. Evans obvious opposition to anything pro-Doherty, the Mayor might have a good shot for a third nomination. With the wreckage that is called the Republican party, the only way he'll face a GOP threat is if one of the Democratic losers in the primary runs on the "R" ticket like Mr. Dibileo did in 2005. If successful, Mr. Doherty will be the third Mayor realizing three terms, the previous two being Mayor James Hanlon (in the 50s and early 60s) and Mayor Jimmy Connors in the 90s.
Challengers of State Representative Frank Andrews Shimkus are trying to find out where the guy lives. Remember when the Casey operatives were taking pictures of Rick Santorum's house in the Pittsburgh suburbs trying to see if the "Rickster" lived in the state? Well, former Scranton Councilman Kevin Murphy and that zany web site fella Mr. Joe Pilchesky, a city resident, separately challenged Mr. Shimkus’ nomination petitions in Commonwealth Court this week, they had to give him copies of their challenges to comply with state law. Shimkus was found at a home on Boulevard Avenue, not in his name. The Representative said he was staying there doing a favor for his daughter. Shimkus bought a home in Throop in 2006 with former co-worker WYOU TV weekend anchor Gabrielle Pritusto. The two plan to get married in May, or September.......or the spring, whatever. Murphy in the meantime had his petitions challenged by Mr. Pilchesky so talk of an alliance there is out of the question. Shimkus to his credit did not duck the issue, even telling reporters he was watching "Hogan's Heroes" when Mr. Murphy "came a callin'" to serve him notice. Now I have no problem with the housing deal, his story that he wanted to help out a child is fine, his coming nupitals to a much younger women in my book is okay too even though Mr. Shimkus as Frank Andrews made a very public display of the support he showed his former wife who went through some problems. But what bothers me is this, and it might be Frank's fault for offering too much information: what the hell was a state rep who on a Thursday night doing watching "Hogan's Heroes" reruns? I mean doesn't he get PCN? Ever hear of "Journalists Roundtable"? How about C-SPAN? Jeez, even Channel 61??????
Ralph Nader said Sunday he will run for president as a third-party candidate, criticizing the top White House contenders as too close to big business and pledging to repeat a bid that will "shift the power from the few to the many."
Nader, 73, said most people are disenchanted with the Democratic and Republican parties due to a prolonged Iraq war and a shaky economy. The consumer advocate also blamed tax and other corporate-friendly policies under the Bush administration that he said have left many lower- and middle-class people in debt.
SUPPORT FOR LOU
Yep, Lou Barletta's campaign for Congress is getting a lot of ink and support. Just check out the web site of KKK advocate David Duke whose written article on the site was doing somersaults over the Barletta candidacy.
We usually try to do this once a year but have been remiss. Here are some links to what we read from other bloggers.