Thursday, May 14, 2009

The LuLac Edition #817, May 14th, 2009



Luzerne County Judicial candidate Tom Marsilio has brought back a staple of old time politics. Wednesday afternoon, a pick up truck festooned with Marsilio bunting was heard and seen in downtown Wilkes Barre. The sound truck played Marsilio’s stock campaign message in this campaign. Inexpensive, effective, eye catching. What’s old… new again.


Scranton City Council candidate Tom Charles has ads running on the radio saying he was the voice of reason. Really? On Steve Corbett’s radio show on WILK, the candidate said the reason why he didn’t attend the Council debate was because questions were passed to the opposition by the League of Women voters. This was denied by officials who called Corbett almost immediately. The League of Women Voters is a non partial bi partisan volunteer group. Only in Lackawanna County can this type of group be challenged. I mean if this crowd where around when Betsy Ross was sewing the flag, we might have a different color scheme. And so what if someone got the questions early! They aren’t that hard, it’s not a test for rocket science. If Charles wanted to align himself with a controversial team, he got his wish. He’s running with the Mean Girls, Sherry Nealon Fanucci and Judy Gatelli. By his actions and words today, he proved his worthiness to be part of that cabal. When you lay down with dogs……you get up with fleas.


The Scranton Times reports that two county judges whose names appear in judicial candidate James Tierney's campaign literature and advertisements are distancing themselves from the candidate, saying they never endorsed him. Lackawanna County Judges Carmen Minora and Tom Munley are both mentioned in a direct-mail flyer recently distributed by the Friends of Jim Tierney campaign committee. On one side, the flyer reads, "The judges have spoken" and takes two quotes out of a 2007 letter written by Judge Minora and Judge Munley published in The Times-Tribune. Mr. Tierney's television and radio ads also contain excerpts from the letter. The letter was a blanket thank you to people who helped the election board get through a tough and technically challenged general election that included many paper ballots. Some will blame Tierney for this overreaching, I’d take a look at the ad agency he employed that sought to inflate the importance of these remarks.


Notice that gas prices are going up this month? Blame Wall Street. There are speculators on that beloved thoroughfare that are intentionally driving the cost of oil up to $60.00 a barrel. Traders in the oil pits of New York and other energy trading centers have been bidding up the price of crude oil. It is hovering around $60 a barrel, almost double what it was in December. Analysts say investors are buying because they expect an economic recovery in the U.S. will spur demand. China seems to be responding to a huge stimulus package and demand is up. So the logical conclusion is it will happen here. If Wall Street just did what it was supposed to do and not screw the little guy, we’d all be better off.


The Luzerne Home Rule committee and Mt. Zion Baptist Church are hosting a Government Study Commission Candidates’ Forum and Rally on May 16th at 2 PM. The event will take place at the Mt Zion Baptist Church at 105 Hill St. in Wilkes-Barre. The event is free and open to the public. This will be the final forum hosted by Luzerne Home Rule before the primary election.


Health care providers descend on Philadelphia to demand “A more perfect health care system”. Resident physicians from the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare will join activist doctors and nurses from across the country in Philadelphia May 15 to call for urgent reforms to the nation’s health care system.
From their vantage points on the front lines of the nation’s safety net hospitals, representatives from health care unions and progressive doctors’ organizations will share their insights about what real reform -- that promotes increased access to high quality care -- should look like. As the debate heats up around the country about how to expand health care access to all, these doctors, med students, nurses and other practitioners are publicly coming forward to support key components of health care reform: providing a public plan option to compete with private insurance, reducing disparities of care based on race or socio-economic background, protecting safety net hospitals, and emphasizing primary care and preventative medicine. This event is organized jointly by: Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare, American Medical Student Association (AMSA), SEIU Healthcare PA, Healthcare Equality Project, National Physicians Alliance, Doctors Council/SEIU Healthcare, Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association, Doctors for America, National Doctors Alliance, Student Osteopathic Medical Association, Student National Medical Association and other healthcare workers and advocates. The event is set for 130pm at Independence National Historic Park on Market Street between S. 5th and S. 6th Streets. Locally a rally was held on Public Square Thursday touting health care reform.


As part of our on going series in covering the Luzerne and Lackawanna County Judicial races, we are going to do brief profiles on those candidates running. In today’s edition, we continue with Attorney Michael Blazick. The order was determined by our lottery at the LuLac Forum last week.


Mike Blazick was raised in Hanover Township by his parents Chester and Vern. He attended Hanover Area Schools until eighth grade and graduated from Bishop Hoban High School. Mike obtained his undergraduate degree from Susquehanna University where he graduated magna cum laude. He earned his law degree from Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While attending law school, Mike worked as an intern on the Pennsylvania Superior Court for the Honorable John T.J. Kelly, Jr. After graduating law school, Mike was offered a position to serve as one of Judge Kelly’s law clerks on the Pennsylvania Superior Court. As a law clerk for the Superior Court, Mike was responsible for reviewing the decisions of trial courts throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for errors. He was also responsible for drafting appellate decisions affirming or reversing trial judge’s trial decisions. Mike worked on numerous appellate decisions ranging from criminal procedure to complex civil issues. After completing his appellate clerkship, Mike began his career in private practice in a Philadelphia law firm. He was responsible for handling medical malpractice, product liability, pharmaceutical liability and complicated insurance disputes.
After the birth of their daughter in 2003, Mike and his wife, Kate, made the decision to return to Luzerne County. After returning home, Mike joined a local law firm and continued handling complex cases. In 2006, Mike joined the Perry Law Firm, LLC. The Perry firm offered Mike the opportunity to expand his practice and start the firm’s Wilkes-Barre office. After adding several clients to the practice, Mike decided to fulfill his long-term dream and started his own law firm in Plains. Mike currently lives in Mountaintop with his wife Kate, and their two children Hillary and Owen.
e are in the middle of a meltdown of public confidence in our judiciary. Members of our community are demanding reform and change. Mike represents and is change. Mike has great pride and deep roots in Luzerne County. His paternal grandparents were Polish immigrants that came to Luzerne County (Edwardsville) seeking a better life. Mike’s paternal grandfather, Frank Blazick, was a coal miner who died in a mining disaster when Mike’s father – Chester – was twelve years old. Chester worked hard to provide his family with a better life. He was employed at the old Acme Warehouse in Forty-Fort for twenty-five years loading freight onto tractor trailers. Chester was a proud member of the Teamsters union and instilled in his son the value of hard work, honesty, and integrity. Mike’s maternal grandparents, Keith and Margaret Treslar, were life-long residents of Forty-Fort. Keith managed a local A&P supermarket. Mike’s mother, Vern, worked in the Hanover Area schools during Mike’s childhood. She now owns a successful Orthotics and Prosthetics business located in Plains. Luzerne County has afforded several generations of his family the opportunity to provide a better life for each successive generation. He brought his own family back to Luzerne County so that his children could experience the same values and sense of community that he enjoyed during his childhood, close to his extended family. The recent events at our courthouse have deeply damaged our community and the public’s confidence in our judiciary and local government. If elected, Mike will bring to the judiciary not only the knowledge, experience, and skills that he obtained during his eleven years in practice, but the values instilled in him by his family and a deep sense of pride in Luzerne County. Finally, Mike has pledged that every person appearing before him will receive a fair and unbiased decision. Because he has neither solicited nor accepted contributions from attorneys or law firms, there will be no concern about attorney money influencing his decisions. Mike believes it is absolutely imperative to remove the transfer of money from attorneys to the judiciary as part of the political process to restore the public’s trust in our judicial system. Our current system is broken and needs change. A vote for Mike Blazick on May 19th is a vote for meaningful change.

In Blazick, fresh face appears on judicial landscapeAfter Mike Blazick, 35, spoke with our endorsement board, two words came to whiz kid. A Bishop Hoban High School graduate, Blazick attained his law degree at Temple University School of Law. He served as a clerk on the state Superior Court, helping to review trial decisions on all kinds of cases from across the commonwealth. He then worked at the Philadelphia law firm of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin, handling complex issues: medical malpractice, product liability and insurance disputes. The Mountain Top resident indicated he will not accept campaign contributions from lawyers. “We must remove the taint of the transfer of money from attorneys to the judiciary if we truly want to restore the public’s confidence in our system,” he said. Blazick appears to be free of any political baggage. His is a fresh face, and one that voters shouldn’t allow to get lost in the crowd.
Blazick 35, of Mountain Top, has unique experience in a very experienced field, having clerked for a state Superior Court justice, worked for a Philadelphia law firm and handled complex civil cases involving deaths linked to the now-banned weight-loss pill ephedra.
Blazick has taken the clearest stand on one of the most controversial issues in this race, pledging to forgo contributions from other attorneys to avoid even the appearance of bias and arguing that the state should consider banning such contributions altogether.A Luzerne County native who chose to return home with his young family, Blazick talks convincingly of his wish to help restore the reputation of his court and his community.


At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Charles implosion was reminiscent of Al Campanis with
Ted Koppel. Charles clearly didnt get it. As I was once told by an Army Colonel, "Never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut, Son". Guess you cant follow that in politics, but at least think before you open your pie hole!

At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was Bob Bolus' crime? I am relatively new to the area and currently a Scranton resident. The politics in this town are down and dirty unlike other places I've lived where I only thought politics were vicious. I am a Republican and would like to consider Bolus, but need more information.


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