The LuLac Edition #826, May 21st, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: WYLN TV 35'S L.A. TARONE, LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OFFICIAL CHRIS McLAUGHLIN, JUDICIAL CANDIDATE TINA POLACHEK GARTLEY AND THIS BLOG EDITOR. THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN BY LOCAL POLITICAL CONSULTANT AND FORMER STATE COMMITTEEMAN ROBERT CARUSO AT THE LEAGUE FORUM. CARUSO TOLD ME HE WS GOING TO POSE ME WITH CANDIDATES WHO HE WAS CERTAIN WOULD WIN IN THE SPRING PRIMARY. HE WAS RIGHT AND THUS THE PHOTO. THE BOTTOM PHOTO IS OF THE WYLN TV 35 COVERAGE, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT MODERATOR DAN PACHANCE, POLITICAL ANAYLST JOE ZOBA, THIS BLOG EDITOR AND LUZERNE COUNTY COMMISSIONER MARYANNE PETRILLA. THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN BY COMMISSIONER PETRILLA'S HUSBAND, JACK.
WYLN BEHIND THE SCENES
I was very happy to be on the Election Night coverage with the folks from WYLN TV. We were on the air from 8pm to 11pm with perhaps the most comprehensive election coverage in Luzerne County. My fellow panel members were Hazleton political analyst Joe Zoba, Luzerne County Commissioner Maryanne Petrilla, Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta, WYLN TV News Director L.A. Tarone and WYLN TV host Don Pachance who anchored the coverage. Having worked in radio and TV broadcasting in the 70s and 80s, the election night hustle and bustle brought back some great memories. Also as one who worked in various campaigns, the waiting for election results brought back memories of those nail biting days. The WYLN TV coverage was shown locally on Service Electric Channel 19. During the night we covered the Judicial race in Luzerne County getting an opportunity to speak to the two Democratic winners, William Amesbury and Tina Polachek Gartley. We also watched as the crack WYLN news staff garnered interviews with winning candidates from the Hazleton Area for Council and School Board. The people you see in the photo index were the lead people for the coverage and again I was happy to be included. But the true credit belongs to the behind the scenes people who scurried about with statistics, photo clips of what and who we were talking about as well as getting the latest returns in from the precincts. News Director L.A. Tarone was like the captain of a ship sailing steady into a sea of statistics and information. And of course this piece would not be complete without a shoutout to two old radio guys, Tony Pacelli and “Cruisin" Bob Adams who found their way from radio to TV. Hope anyone who saw it enjoyed the broadcast.
After the defeat of Pittston Mayor Joe Keating for another term as Pittston Mayor by new comer Jason Klush, we all figured were were finished with surprises. But Wednesday Keating resigned his post as Mayor saying that his remaining time in office would not serve the city well since his views were rejected. Councilwoman Donna McFadden Connors was named acting mayor. Michael Lombardo will take her seat. He won a Democratic nomination for a city council seat Tuesday.
HOME RULE WINNERS
The voters spoke loud and clear on Tuesday regarding Home Rule voting overwhelmingly to form a commission to look at the county way of doing governmental business. The commission will be set up to study new ways to improve county government or keep it as is. Here’s the list of the top 11 vote getters:
Jim Haggerty of Kingston, 23,977; Walter L. Griffith Jr. of Wilkes-Barre, 23,010; John Adonizio of Hughestown, 16,193; Veronica Ciaruffoli of Larksville, 15,456; Frank E.P. Conyngham of Shavertown, 15,385; Rick Morelli of Sugarloaf, 15,200; Jack Schumacher of Kingston, 15,206; Richard “Kick” Heffron of Dallas, 15,167; Robert “Whammer” Wanyo of Forty Fort, 13,916; Christopher “C.J.” Kersey of Kingston, 13,887; and Charmaine H. Maynard of Sugarloaf, 13,640. The mix is interesting especially with the selection of Haggerty, Schumacher, and Adonizio all who served or are in political office. My concern, with all due respect to those elected, is that I do not see a name on here that might be able to bridge the gap between the reality and theory of government. That said, this will be interesting to watch.
DEBILIO TO RETURN
Word on the street in Scranton is that Gary DeBilio, defeated Mayor candidate against Chris Doherty might be in the running for a seat on Scranton City Council. Bill Courtright was elected tax collector and thus will be giving up his seat. DeBilio has not denied interest and if he were to join the Council, Chris Doherty’s win Tuesday night might turn into a pyrrhic victory.
Looking at the numbers in both the Democratic and Republican sides in the Luzerne County Judicial race, it is fascinating to see the numbers range. It took less than 11,000 votes to win on the Democratic side and less than 5,000 to garner the GOP nomination. The candidates coming in after the winners on the Democratic side, Joseph J. Musto 7,642, and Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr. 7,374, cracked the 4,000 mark. Other candidates who got above that were, Daniel Zola 5,017, Gene Sperazza 5,710, Thomas A. O'Connor 5,719, and Jennifer Rogers 4,048. The others in the field followed with less than 4,000.
On the GOP side Hughes and Amesbury cracked the 4500 vote mark while Polachek Gartley, Sklarosky, Zola and Rogers broke the 2600 vote barrier. The rest finished below 2600.
ROLL OF HONOR
It was a tough campaign, a ballot filled with perhaps too many names at a time in county history that was at best trying and difficult to mount a campaign. But whether they won or lost, we must salute the men and women of the Luzerne County legal profession who sacrificed their time, energy and resources to run this race. Their names are:
Joseph J. Musto
Tina Polachek Gartley
Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr..
Stephen A. Menn
Thomas A. O'Connor
Molly Hanlon Mirabito
William H. Amesbury
For making the effort, in the eyes of many citizens, you all are winners. And if you're feeling a tad disappointed, let me leave you with the immortal thoughts of the Chairman of the Board.