The LuLac Edition #820, May 16th, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: THE LATE RADIO BROADCASTER PAUL GRIMES (CIRCA 1970) JUDICIAL CANDIDATES THOMAS MARSILIO, RICHARD HUGHES AND THOMAS O'CONNOR, AND GOP PRIMARY CANDIDATES RICHARD HUGHES (JUDGE) CAROLEE MEDICO OLENGINSKI (PROTHONOTARY) WALTER GRIFFITH (CONTROLLER) GINA NEVENGLOSKY (REGISTER OF WILLS-UNOPPOSED IN THE PRIMARY) THOMAS MARSILIO (JUDGE) AND WALTER MITCHELL (PROTHONOTARY). ATTY. THOMAS O'CONNOR WAS NOT IN THIS PHOTO BECAUSE HE LEFT FOR ANOTHER EVENT ON HIS SCHEDULE. (CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS.)
THE BIG PUSH
The late Luzerne County Controller and Chair of the Democratic Party Joe Tirpak used to call the last weekend before an election "the big push". Candidates were doing just that this Saturday. We stopped in to the Walter Griffith breakfast at Pickett's Charge in Dallas and found a r0om packed with candidates going for that last chance to meet and greet the voters. Attorneys Tom Marsilio, Tom O'Connor and Richard Hughes pressed the flesh. All three agreed that this campaign for Judge has been a pretty collegial event with no sign of mudslinging. Candidates Walter Mitchell and Walter Griffith spoke of their credentials and interest in the office of Controller and Prothonotary respectively along with former officer holder Carolee Medico Olinginski. She got the biggest laugh in the room when she told the group how her family members did not want her to run again. "You're getting all their votes" she said to her primary foe Walter Mitchell. Government Study Commission members Jeffrey Niemiec, Charmaine Maynard and Ray Gustav also were in attendance with Home Rule archetect P.J. Best. The hours are getting closer and after the event the candidates went their seperate ways putting on their own "big push" for this election.
A lot has been made about lawyers giving to lawyers when one is running for Judge. And while it is admirable to not accept money from fellow attorneys, let's look at the issue more closely. Wouldn't a lawyer know who is going to be the best judge if they practiced in front of that person? Would they not get a glimpse of character, work ethic? Why should an attorney be prohibited from donating to his or her favorite candidate just like a plumber, teacher or a contractor? What about a family that has a few lawyers in it. Tom O'Connor, Joe Sklarosky and Joe Terrana have a boatful of attorneys in the ranks of their own families. When the campaign amounts from lawyers appeared in the paper this week, there should have been a breakdown of family contributions. A brother or sister, lawyer or not is going to contribute to a loved one, yet the way it appeared was that many candidates had "lawyer" money instead of "sibling" money. Margaret Moyle, candidate for Lackawanna County Judge said during their debate that campaign reports are in black and white. You know the contributors. What she wanted to know were the connections between attorneys and judges like who is in business with who, what relative has a business with another lawyer or dare we speculate what candidate's child is the godson to a President Judge? The money issue is an easy sound bite. The connections issue, a tough one to unravel.
Long time broadcaster Paul Grimes died yesterday. Grimes was a broadcast mentor of mine at the old WPTS in Pittston. I started working there doing weekend news at the age of 15 and Paul was very helpful and kind. That was after he shut the lights off in the news booth when I nervously began my first broadcast. He was a tremendous environmentalist and could tell a great story. Like many of his broadcast cronies of the time, George Gilbert, Ron Allen, Len Woloson, his passing will not only be noticed but signal the end of an era in local broadcasting that will never return.
Our friend Mark Cour has a new blog location. Here's his site address: http://mcour.blogspot.com/. Very timely and informative.
If you are a Democrat and not happy with the slate of candidates you have, it is easy to write a row officer candidates name in from the GOP. Just use the keyboard and you can vote for any candidate from the other side as a write in.