The LuLac Edition #793, Apr. 24th, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: OUR IRS AND 1964 LOGOS, LUZERNE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PETRILLA AND SKREPENAK, THEN SECRETARY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS AND U.S. SENATE NOMINEE GENEVIEVE BLATT AND THEN PA. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE MICHAEL MUSMANNO.
They say it takes two to tango and I thought about that this week as word came out that two school officials were going down for accepting bribes. Surely the person accepting them has done something wrong but what about the responsibility of the other person who made the suggestion? Should they be prosecuted? That’s a gray area because technically they were the one tempting the official. Granted the office holder could have said no. But I believe that those making the offer should be exposed if not for criminal behavior but unethical codes of conduct. Companies I have worked for had a code of ethics that included clauses where an employee could not accept any gift or gratuity. Bad behavior such as accepting gifts would be subject to warnings. Outright bribery would constitute an outright termination. I feel that politics does not operate in a vacuum and the vendors who sought to take the shortcut to easy success should be revealed in some way shape or form.
The latest has to do with Commissioners Maryanne Petrilla and Greg Skrepenak. By now you’ve all heard that Petrilla burst in on Skrep after hearing him tell a reporter on the phone from the Times Leader that she, Petrilla, was the target of an investigation by the feds. Most likely not wanting to stew, Petrilla called Skrep out on it and it became just one more story of this incredible political saga of Luzerne County. Animosity between two former running mates is the norm, not the exception in Luzerne County. You can go back more than fifty years and chronicle the history between duos of Commissioners from both parties that started out as team mates and then became blood enemies. If anything, the past antics of the Commissioners did more to sell copies of the now defunct Sunday Independent than any other political story in the County. The intrigue will always be there. If I was on the phone with Skrep, I’d ask where did he get his information? Still, for a news reporter, it’s a sweet scoop, akin to walking in on an unanticipated blow up between two parents right after they attended church on Sunday. The drama aside, both Skrep and Petrilla have political problems individually in 2011. Skrep has to answer for his role in the yes vote for the building of the Juvenile Detention Center and Petrilla has to tap dance around the fact that she was the County Controller when the debit cards were passed out and devoured like candy by a bunch of orphans on Easter Sunday. The infighting between the two could be the least of their problems. But in the meantime it is wildly entertaining.
Welcome back to Nancy Kman to WILK Radio’s morning show. Nancy went on a Norwegian Cruise with her mom and certainly deserved it after her health ordeal 18 months ago. As a fellow cancer survivor (at least I’m hoping that for me) indulging in a lifelong dream is a good thing. Her stilettos were superbly filled by the Man Show team of Kevin Lynn and Joe Thomas. But I imagine returning to the airwaves yesterday was like a college student returning back to class in the middle of the semester. You loved the break but have a lot to catch up on, especially in this political climate. Anyway welcome back.
While we’re on the radio track here, two elected school board members from LuLac land provided a very good service to the listeners of the Steve Corbett show the other day. Pittston Area School Director Terry Best and Old Forge Director Frank Scavo gave the host as well as his listeners an insight into what exactly goes on at a school board session. More importantly Best and Scavo answered questions about contract complexities and ethics in their own school districts. Scavo is active as a taxpayer advocate in NEPA and was a participant at the Tea Parties in both Scranton and Wilkes Barre and Best has been a supporter of Home Rule in the County as well as being a Democratic District Leader. Their input was greatly appreciated.
WHERE IT WILL END
People in Lulac land are wondering just where this cacophony of corruption will end. Will all the people charged be brought to justice? Or will some slick lawyer have the indicted ones beat the rap? All of that is possible but not likely. Anyone associated with taking kickbacks would be stupid to claim it as income. Thus, ill gotten gains not taxed, any income for that matter subject to taxation boils down to one thing: income tax evasion. After the FBI is through, the IRS will come a calling!
JUDICIAL FORUM NOTE
A few representatives of the Judicial candidates have been calling and e mailing inquiring if it would be okay to invite friends and supporters of their candidate. The answer is of course a resounding yes. Admission is free and moral support is always a good thing. The LuLac Political Letter Judicial Forum takes place at 2PM, at Gus Genetti’s in downtown Wilkes Barre in the Princess Ballroom.
The 1964 New York World's Fair opens to celebrate the 300th anniversary of New Amsterdam being taken over by British forces under the Duke of York (later King James II) and being renamed New York in 1664. The fair runs until Oct. 18, 1964 and reopens April 21, 1965, finally closing October 17, 1965…….Statewide the Pennsylvania primary offers huge surprises. Challenger to the Democratic machine, Genevieve Blatt wins a close race over Supreme Court Justice Michael Musmanno for the U.S. Senate nomination. Blatt will face off against incumbent Senator Hugh Scott in the fall. Blatt beat the endorsed jurist in the primary by 3,000 votes in a lead that changed throughout the night….……In the GOP Presidential primary Governor Scranton polled 6642 write in votes for the Republican Presidential nomination while Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge came in second with a paltry 527 votes…….Sports wise, the Philadelphia Phils beat the Chicago Cubs on this day 10-0. Jim Bunning improves his record to 2-0 while Bob Buhl goes to 1-1. Outfielders Tony Gonzalez and Johnny Callison have muli hit games while rookies Richie Allie and Johnny Hernstein both hit triples…….The race for delegates to the Democratic convention resolves nothing in terms of the split in the County Democratic party. Wilkes Barre Mayor Frank Slattery is the top vote getter and pulls in one of his running mates Edward Zolnerowicz. But Dr. Dorris backed Democrats Bernard J. Podcasy and minority Commissioner Edmund Wideman win slots to attend the convention. Out of 4 seats available, the two factions split evenly…..The GOP delegate race is much quieter with Peg Sordoni and John Vivian snaring the top 2 spots on the ballot…..In the state Representative races, James Musto prevails in the Third over Michael O’Brien, in Wilkes Barre’s 6th, Bernard O’Brien beats Ray Chesney and in the Fifth District race two incumbents face off for one Legislative seat due to redistricting. Fred Shupnik beats Frank P. Crossin leaving Crossin without a seat come January 1965………and in LuLac land the number 1 song 45 years ago today is not by the Beatles. However, another English group, The Dave Clark 5 score with “Glad All Over”.