Monday, October 26, 2009

The LuLac Edition #986, Oct. 26th, 2009



PHOTO INDEX: LULAC EDITOR AND CANDIDATES FOR LUZERNE COUNTY CONTROLLER BOB MORGAN, WALTER GRIFFITH AND WIL TOOLE. BLOG EDITOR TALKING POLITICAL GOSPEL PIE WITH ACTIVIST AND ATTENDEE CHARLIE HUTCHKO, AND A PARTIAL SHOT OF THE CROWD.

CONTROLLER FORUM

We held our Controller’s Forum tonight at Bentley’s and quite frankly I’m pleased with the outcome. Prior to the event I was accused of favoring not one but all of the three candidates in some way shape or form. I have been editing posts on all three candidates because they didn’t have anything to do with the future of this office or the county. I succeeded in torquing just about everybody off in this race and in my estimation, if everyone is mad, then I’m being objective. All of the questions from the audience were asked. Not a single one was edited or eliminated. I reserved the right prior to the debate to do this. This is a regular practice in all debates, the only difference is I told you I was going to do it before hand and others don’t. If an opinion is hurtful, old news, detrimental to a person or person’s family, that doesn’t mean there is a Constitutional right to air it. However that was not my concern, I wanted the event to move along and I did not want any audience member getting us off track. We had a decent crowd at the event and the exchange of ideas was very good.

HIGHLIGHTS

Endorsements: All three candidates commented on their endorsements by the Times Leader. Walter Griffith who got the endorsement talked about his combativeness on the part of the taxpayers. Bob Morgan said he disagreed with him not being endorsed saying his financial background speaks for itself. Wil Toole the Independent said he was mystified by the wording and verbage used regarding his weight. The TL said he wasn’t up to the job yet he had to get over 1500 signatures to get on the ballot.
Test time: All three candidates gave correct answers when I questioned them on GASB (governmental accounting standards board) ((Morgan)), Recording an expense (Griffith) and Substantive audit tests and definitions of the three kind of testing. (Toole).
Centralizing Cash payments: Morgan and Griffith favored central locations as well as streamlining the process for collection of money. Toole disagreed with that saying the County needed a singular way to deal with multiple locations.
Inner Workings: All pledged to be a full time Controller and to either increase staff or make the office more efficient. Each candidate said that the victor needed to be vigilant so that there would not be a debit card problem again.
Audience questions: Dealt with Mr. Toole’s pension and disability, Morgan’s associations with PNC and whether that would be a conflict of interest and whether any were veterans. Mr. Toole was the only person to serve in the military.
Dust ups: Minor but Morgan took Griffith to task for not being specific on certain allegations he made in his Times Leader interview concerning the current Controller’s office. Toole started it saying Griffith claimed to be the watchdog of the county and as such should have filed a criminal complaint with the DA or the Atty General's office. Griffith said he filed a complaint with DCED and then Toole said a criminal complaint should have been filed with the proper law enforcement agency because a filing a fraudulent report on the heels of all that has happened is a very serious matter. Morgan would not let go utill Griffith said he did not have proof that it was done and only assumed it was. Griffith also questioned Morgan’s association with PNC Bank and how he (Griffith) had in his possession word from PNC that Morgan could not serve. Morgan disagreed, said he checked it out with counsel and said he had already gone over this with Griffith.
Fashion report: Dark suits, white shirts, Morgan had a striped Red rep tie, Griffith a red paisley and Toole a light navy. Morgan sported Red Cuff links. We all looked like we just graduated from The Undertakers Academy.
Aftermath: The event broke up after an hour and 45 minutes with each candidate shaking hands and exchanging stories afterwards. We’ll post the coverage from The Citizen’s Voice in a later edition. Thanks to the candidates, Mrs. LuLac, timekeeper Patrick Fadden, the attendees and of course all of my readers.
Media: WBRE TV covered the event, the Citizen's Voice Michael Buffer was on hand as well as Joe Valenti from Pittston Politics.com. Here's his report via this link: http://www.pittstonpolitics.com/.


17 Comments:

At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dave: Just wanted to let you know you did a superb job in asking your questions whic were obviously researched. Great job putting these guys to the test. I also thought the set up was great and you had some good feedback from the audience. Well done and yes you guys all looked like pallbearers.

 
At 12:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy crap, I just looked on Joe Valenti's site........you could see the whole freakin' thing! Thanks Joe, thanks Dave!!!!!!

 
At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Joe Valenti said...

Dave, No problem. And, holy crap on my analysis:-o
Joe V

 
At 1:29 AM, Blogger Gort said...

Great job Dave. One of the best political debate's I've been to. The candidates mixed it up but kept it civil.

 
At 3:09 AM, Blogger Wil Toole said...

I want to make a very clear statement that David with the help of his wife and friend Pat Fadden did a great job of presenting a very professional debate. It was a no holds barred event and I for one appreciated the format. I wanted to give Pat a nudge a time or two with that darn timing buzzer but I'm not the kind of guy that needs and introduction, I need a conclusion and Pat did a great job providing it. I do wish we had more time and a room of hundreds would have been great but without the effort of Dave and company, we would not have had any opportunity to square off. I'm still excited and ready for round two. Thanks Dave for a job well done.

 
At 5:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David: You really hit a homerun with this one. Prior to it I know from other sites that you took a little bbit of flack on your decision to moderate the questions. But everybody does that. And as Joe Valenti said in his report, all the questions were answered. Beautiful setting, good, good questions from you and the audience and a definite plus for the public and the candidates. And unlike other debates/forums put on in this community, there was never a dull moment. All four of you made fiscal gobbleygook interesting.

 
At 6:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seeing you mix it up with the three candidates makes me how painfully aware of how I miss WYOU TV News and your part in it. You did an outstanding job. With all due respect to your previous moderators, you were to the point, informed, kept it moving and really got to the heart of the matter. Good job.

 
At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good job last night. The best ever that I've seen.

 
At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great debate with everyone offering lots of info on why they should be the successful candidate.
I must comment on two statements I heard - Mr. Toole said that the salary of $36,000 is insufficient for "a man to raise a family today". The same holds true for a woman raising a family, as many do in this area and across the country. And Mr. Griffith's statement that the salary is sufficient because many residents of this county make less than that. Guess what? Many residents in this county make more than $36,000, too. Considering the responsibilities of this office (and others, too), this salary is ridiculously low. My father always opined that the only reason to get elected to public office in this area was to be able to collect the "goodies" from people currying favor. I always thought that was cynical, but in light of the muck uncovered by Federal investigators in recent months, I fear he was correct. A higher salary won't guarantee honesty, as witnessed by the two well-paid former judges under indictment, but it might attract well qualified candidates to run. None of these three men are the ideal candidate. Each has some good qualities, but it would take combining qualities from all three to build the ideal Luzerne County Controller.

 
At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was at the event last night and was impressed with the way you set it up. Also, your credibility seemed to be taking a hit because you reserved the right NOT to ask any disparaging questions. THat was ballsy but as others pointed out every question was asked. We have to get you on radio or TV with this stuff!

 
At 12:28 AM, Anonymous Patrick S Toole said...

I just wanted to say thank you to Mr. Yonki and to Gort for having this event. It has been a long time since I was able to watch my father speak, so I just wanted to say how grateful I am to get the opportunity to again. I felt that it was a fair debate and civil as well. I believe anyone who was in attendance or has seen Joe Valenti’s video will see the passion my father has for this county and the abilities that he possesses to do what it will take to run the office of Luzerne County Controller. I stated in my other post my father has never done anything half way and will be a true full time and then some Controller, my only hope is that he gets the chance to because well he was born to do it. He fought for the employees of Luzerne County as the first president of their union, he has proven himself time and time again to be more than qualified for this post and if given the chance he will work his hardest to clean up the mess that we are currently in and make Luzerne County a better place to live, and give us a chance to hold our heads up once more after the terrible black eye we have received from all of the illegal activity we have seen under the dome. I know from his past work history he will be open and available to the public beyond anyone who may have sat in this seat before him. I thank you for allowing me to share my feelings on these sites and hope that come election day people will put down the party banner they may carry and pick the best candidate for the job. I am going to borrow from another blogger by saying on Nov 3rd vote for number 3 position on the ballet and number 1 in this race. I want to close by saying thank you to all who support my father and who have always been there and assure you that I personally will never forget such wonderful people.

Patrick S Toole proud son of Wil Toole Independent Candidate for Luzerne County Controller.

 
At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Your friend and political sparing partner said...

I finally watched the debate over on Pittston Politics this morning. Great job. I am really at a crossroads on this one. Walter proved again that he does not have the temperament, nor qualifications for the job. I am not so much concerned with a watch dog, I want someone qualified to do the job, not point out what they think is wrong. Growing up in Pittston I am no fan of Toole's, but he really impressed me, but I remember the mess he made of my city. I think I will either abstain on this one or vote for Dem. Very tough decision and very good job on your part.

 
At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far a I'm concerned, its over. Here is my prediction.
Toole
Morgan
Griffith

Everyone thought that Griffith would be the ultimate winner but visability is not always a good thing. The more we see of Walter and learn of his abilities to be the Controller, the more clear it becomes that Walter is way over his head. Morgan would have had a more creditable campaign if he was not financed in a big way by Democrat Leaders. When I saw that Petrilla, Neil O'Donnell and Brian O'Donnell were Morgan's biggest contributors, I put him right in the pocket of the administration. How can we get a good auditor who is so beholding to the Party Leadership. I think my prediction is well thought out and will prove to be accurate. Toole, Morgan, Griffith. Gold, Silver and Bronze.

 
At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your friend etc. I live in Pittston and as a taxpayer, I'm living with the mess that the Lombardo administration gave us. I hate to be the one to bust your bubble but it was Lombardo who caused what ever mess it is your ferring to. Toole ran the city very better than it ever has been and now he is gone and its a total mess. If Toole runs the county the way he ran the city then he hets my vote.

 
At 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

418pm I AGREE!!!!!!
All you need to know about Toole as a leader is this: when he ran Pittston City, the pool was open every day in the summer. Since he left, it's been in drydock. Nuff said, vote Wil Toole.

 
At 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

418pm I AGREE!!!!!!
All you need to know about Toole as a leader is this: when he ran Pittston City, the pool was open every day in the summer. Since he left, it's been in drydock. Nuff said, vote Wil Toole.

 
At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Joe Valenti said...

Wow! I think I created a monster:-o

 

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