The LuLac Edition #829, May 26th, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: THE COVER OF PEOPLE MAGAZINE FEATURING BRISTOL PALIN AND BABY SON TRIPP, FORMER STATE REPRESENTATIVE FRANK ANDREWS SHIMKUS AND THE LATE LACKAWANNA COUNTY REGISTER OF WILLS SAM CALI. (PHOTO FROM TIMES LEADER).
Sam Cali, former Lackawanna County Register of Wills passed away over the weekend at the age of 92. Cali was a personable, glad handing politico who was a mainstay in Lackawanna County politics in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Cali’s signs for re-election could be seen on buses and in yards during his heyday. Mr. Cali was known for his civility and for his willingness to help anyone regardless of party. Cali also served for many years on Dunmore Council. Normally when a former elected official passes on, there is a strong identification of his political party. Nowhere in his obituary was there an indication of his party affiliation. And honestly, I cannot remember what party Mr. Cali belonged to, I just remember him as a dedicated public servant of all the people. That speaks volumes of his service and not the vehicle of how he got there.
Paul Carpenter of the morningcallonline writes that former State Representative Frank Andrews Shimkus scored big at a New York State casino. He writes: Rep. Frank Shimkus, D-Lackawanna, another gambling supporter, hit a $7,000 jackpot in New York State in February of last year. Not all the amazing jackpots for Pennsylvania pols were out-of-state. Rep. Flo Fabrizio, D-Erie, another gambling industry backer, won a $1,500 jackpot at a casino in his county after inserting only 75 cents in the machine.Those are only the ones that were well publicized. Last May, I characterized the good luck of politician/casino boosters as ''miracles'' -- because I have yet to hear about such good luck. Mr. Carpenter, let us not forget that former Representative Shimkus is an ordained minister, that wasn’t luck my friend but the Lord’s will.
MUNLEY FALLS SHORT
Lackawanna County Common Pleas Judge Tom Munley failed in his bid to ascend to the Superior Court in last Tuesday’s statewide election. Munley, a Vietnam War vet and charismatic campaigner who parlayed his appearances on WYOU TV to a Judgeship a few years ago was the victim of a few things in his campaign. First off he was sidelined with a major health concern and secondly there were more than a few people who said Munley, just recently elected a few years ago, was overreaching. More importantly, Munley did not have the large geographic advantage that propels statewide judicial candidates into office. The results statewide were thus: Allegheny County Judge Robert J. Colville claimed 21 percent of the vote, while Allegheny County prosecutor Kevin F. McCarthy had 20 percent and Philadelphia Judge Anne E. Lazarus had 19 percent. Philadelphia Judge Paula A. Patrick had 15 percent, Munley had 13 percent and Philadelphia Judge John Milton Younge had 12 percent.
I am not an advocate of Merit Selection for Common Pleas Court Judges. I think it takes the voice away from the people. Statewide though, I think it should be considered. We don’t know candidates from Western Pennsylvania or even from one of our neighboring counties. But if a candidate has a gender and geographic base, they’ll win. Take the case of Barbara Jo Ernsberger, a Pittsburgh lawyer who was the only one of the 22 appellate-court candidates to receive a "not recommended" rating from a state bar review panel. In a crowded field she attracted 22 percent of the vote. Twice defeated for Alleghany Common Pleas Court, she was the top vote getter on the Democratic side for a seat on Commonwealth Court. But the people spoke, not knowing who she was and there she is, steps away from the bench. Food for thought.
BRISTOL AND BABY
Bristol Palin will tell you she just doesn't have the time anymore to educate herself to become a nurse. But she has managed to pose for a cover on People Magazine with her out of wedlock child. The recent magazine photo did nothing but glamorize teen pregnancy and irresponsible behavior when it comes to teen age sexuality. The law of unintended consequences will tell us that Bristol baby didn’t knowingly want teen girls to follow her example but the reality of the situation is that the photo makes her the pinup girl for teen motherhood. On the surface, I don’t begrudge her the fame or fortune she might have received from the cover. But what bothers me is the sanitized article where you see no dirty diapers, no stressed out single teen mom abandoned by free and easy sperm contributing jocks who had their way with the daughter of a United States Governor. Her picture looks beautiful, the baby looks well fed, happy and perfect. It’s almost like she’s saying, “I can have it all, how about you?” Teen age girls and boys will find this as acceptance of bringing a child into the world without two grounded parents. People reports that she will enroll at a local college, not for medicine but for real estate. I must give her credit for finishing high school because most unwed teen moms don’t. But her education is going to depend on the kindness of family members who will watch the child or on grandparents who will take the all too familiar route of raising the child. Bristol Palin joins the staggering statistic that less than 2 percent of unwed teenage mothers get a college degree by the time their 30. Why? Because life happens, kids get sick and if she is any kind of a mother she’ll put the child first. But that comes at a personal cost that can only be calculated at a later date. In an interview shortly after the birth of her child, Palin said her life was changed radically and she couldn’t do the little things for herself like she did before like getting her nails done and texting her gal pals. As she will find out like most single teen moms, especially those without her unique support system, that isn’t even the half of it!