Saturday, October 31, 2009

The LuLac Edition #992, Oct. 31st, 2009



As Election Day draws near I had the opportunity to talk with an 88 year old man who has been voting in almost every election since the 40s. Met him as I was putting my monthly supply of Snapple, Aquifina and Tab in my trunk at a local market.
Q: What was the first election you voted in when you turned 21?
A: I was overseas in ’43 so I couldn’t vote locally but my first was 1944.
Q: Mind telling me who you voted for?
A: Dewey.
Q: Are you a Republican?
A: Nope I’ve always been a Democrat but I thought Roosevelt looked sick. And I was right.
Q: Weren’t you worried about another party taking over?
A: No things were different back then. It was more civil. Nobody was trying to gnaw the other guy’s posterior off.
Q: Ever attend any rallies?
A: Only for the national candidates. Went to see JFK in ’60 at the Watres Armory because I was working at the Globe Store then. Once you got there you couldn’t leave. Then in ’88 went to see his boy Junior (Editor’s note:John F. Kennedy, Junior aka John John) at the Courthouse because my granddaughter thought he was a pretty boy.
Q: Indeed he was?
A: Huh?
Q: Never mind. I’m just saying women found him attractive.
A: Oh yes they did.
Q: Ever miss an election?
A: ’68. I was so damn mad at everything going on I just stayed home. Never did that again.
Q: Why not?
A: We got Nixon.
Q: Your thoughts on the stuff going on here in Luzerne County, the corruption?
A: Awful, awful, these guys give crooks a bad name. What I saw here before was dime store petty stuff, guys trying to do unethical things to get ahead. You know get a softer job, help their kid out but these guys, they want the whole store. The top money I ever made in my life was $19,400 a year. And I was satisfied with what I got. I read about these guys making so much money and they take bribes? Where did all that money go?
Q: When you were raising a family though butter was 29 cents a pound, a loaf of bread was maybe 12 cents. Prices are higher.
A: Does higher prices make stealing right?
Q: No.
A: Well then shut (edited) up.
Q: What do you think about the Juvenile cases being overturned?
A: That’s just damn wrong. Kids were bad and they needed to be punished. Others were mischievous and got the same treatment. They can’t all be dismissed. That’s wrong.
Q: Who are you going to vote for this year?
A: That’s between me and the Lord above.
Q: C’mon, give me a hint.
A: You are a real pain in my ass you know that?
Q: I’ve been told that many times. C’mon.
A: Okay, then you can leave me to shop. I’m going for any independent not affiliated with any party, I’m writing in a few people too for school board, like that Jewish fella…..
Q: Sam Troy?
A: Yeah that’s him. And I think I’m going to vote for all the new fresh faces. The newer the better.
Q: Good luck on Election Day. If I see you at the polls I’ll give you a hand getting out of your car.
A: (He replies eyeing up my cane) Seems to me I can move better than you on any given day. Maybe I’ll have to help you.
Q: Maybe you will.
A: Why do you have so many bottles of water and tea in your cart?
Q: Like to keep hydrated.
A: You better with all the hot air coming from you.
Q: Thanks.
A: You’re more than welcome.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The LuLac Edition #991, Oct. 30th, 2009



The Times Leader today talked about the rental fees magistrates were paying with of course tax dollars. This was first brought to my attention in May by Wil Toole, then mulling over a run for Controller. Toole as you know by now is the Independent candidate for Luzerne County Controller. Toole commented on the story saying, “I'm happy to see the county is finally looking at the high cost of office space rental. I personally pointed out the cost of the magistrate rentals back in May at The LuLac Controller's forum at LCCC. I also brought it to the Commissioner's attention at their monthly meetings and it is one of the written suggestions I placed on my web site, It was my contention that with the high cost of office rental, in some cases the county might want to consider purchasing rather than renting which would save hundreds of thousands of dollars.”


Sunday morning there will be an organizational meeting for the candidacy of Frank Castellano for Lackawanna County Judge. Stop up Nov. 1- 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Pre-Election Day Breakfast, Fiorelli’s, Main Street, Peckville ($20 per person)Poll workers can pickup their packets at the breakfast. This is a combination funder and poll meeting to get the vote out.


The clock is ticking this weekend for the big Judicial races in both counties. In Luzerne Richard Hughes had a very successful polka party Thursday night at Genetti’s. Tina Gartley barnstormed the county the entire week and is set to have a big rally on Sunday in Plains. Bill Amesbury has had huge turnouts in Nanticoke, Pittston, and Swoyersville to rev up his troops for Election Day. It was the successful Amesbury ground game that got him the dual nominations in the primaries and he has been relentless in his campaigning in the general. When all is said and done because this is now a 3 person race the successful candidates will be the ones who have the consistent and productive ground games. In Lackawanna County, Frank Castellano is running very hard to overcome the Democratic registration edge while Margie Moyle has been outspoken in the ads Castellano is running. It would seem that Moyle has the edge in the heavily Democratic county as well as her gender going for her but Lackawanna County has a strong history of ticket splitting and is not shy about electing GOP candidates to the Court of Common Pleas.


The Lackawanna County Judicial race is shaping up as the battle of the ADA’s. (Assistant District Attorneys).
At the last judicial forum in LuLac land, Margaret Moyle charged Frank Castellano with being a novice without the necessary jury trial experience. The newly created judgeship, will handle criminal and civil cases, but the initial assignment outlined by President judge Chester Harhut will be Family Court. Castellano said his opponent is belittling his work in the juvenile division and claimed he was a better choice for a Family Court position. Asked about a judicial philosophy Castellano talked about the need for "restorative justice" that not just punishes but solves community problems. Moyle expressed frustration with a high rate of recidivism for criminals specialty sex offenders. She said she would like to see more programs and partnerships to handle those crimes. After Tuesday, someone in this race is going to the Court with a black robe. The other will return to the DA’s office in the same capacity. At one time or the other, the loser will appear before the winner in court. Can anyone say the word “awkward”?


You know how much I hate the credit card industry. You have better chances borrowing money from the mob than relying on these rat bastard companies that use the loopholes in the law to screw consumers. Congressman Kanjorski is concerned about it to and has this news release:
At the very time when many Americans are relying on their credit cards to make ends meet, credit card companies have been hiking interest rates and drastically increasing minimum monthly payments, even for consumers who faithfully pay their bills on time. Earlier this year, Congress passed a bill I cosponsored to combat these practices. We gave the credit card companies until early next year to change their deceptive practices. Instead of adapting to these reasonable new rules as quickly as possible, many irresponsible credit card companies chose to squeeze every last possible dollar out of consumers before the new rules take effect.
We are not going to let them get away with it. Last Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee approved a bill to put the new rules into effect as of December 1, 2009. I expect this legislation will quickly be approved by the House and Senate and signed into law by the President by December 1.
The Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act would simply move up the implementation date of the legislation passed earlier this year so that most of its provisions become effective on December 1, 2009. The Credit CARD Act will:
Protect cardholders against arbitrary interest rate increases;
Prevent cardholders who pay on time from being unfairly penalized;
Safeguard cardholders from due date gimmicks;
Shield cardholders from misleading terms;
Empower cardholders to set limits on their credit;
Require card issuers to fairly credit and allocate payments;
Prohibit card issuers from imposing excessive fees on cardholders;
Prevent card issuers from giving credit cards to people who cannot afford them; and Require Congress to provide better oversight of the credit card industry.
My personal way of dealing with the credit card companies is this:
1.If you can, pay them off but put an extra fifty bucks in your payment so that they owe you. Cancel the cards though before you pay them off. Let the money sit there until they issue you a refund.
2. When you get a credit card offer, don’t throw it away. Take the forms and tear them up in little pieces and mail them back in the prepaid envelope.
3. Try to pay everything by cash or check.
4. When they send you those offers shred them and send them back.
5. If you do send a full payment in, beware some companies will send you back a courtesy check that looks like a refund in the same amount of the final payment. This is a promotional check that will give you cash but once you cash it, it’ll reactivate your account all over again.
6. If you get credit card solicitation by phone put your name on the do not call list. If that fails and you still get solicitation calls, in a deep leering voice ask the caller what color of underwear they are wearing. Guarantee they won’t call again.


This election Mrs. LuLac and I did our due diligence in getting absentee ballots out to her 92 year old mother whom I am fairly confident will outlive us. Her mom fills out the ballot but we don’t mail it because it said to drop it over the office at Penn Place. Mrs. LuLac dutifully takes it over to the election office and is asked “is it your ballot?” Because she was not 92, disabled, bedridden or ill Ms. LuLac replied in the negative. The election clerk said, “Well then I can’t take it, I can only take it if it’s your ballot. You have to take it to the post office”. Now the point of an absentee ballot is to help the 92 year old, the disabled, the bedridden or ill cast their vote. They can’t show up at the office and need to rely on others to take it there. This was just another added step in the cumbersome electoral process. So Mrs. LuLac hauled her collective bad self over to the Post Office, explained her situation and the Post Office said, “Yeah we have a lot of pissed off people today”. See Mrs. LuLac and I are election geeks. When we honeymooned in Jamaica we followed the election results for Prime Minister like hawks. The natives thought we were nuts but Michael Manley was going for another term and he was facing off against……….see what I mean? My point is this, any other person would toss the ballot and not take that extra step. I wonder how many votes were lost today all in the name of legalities that turn less hardier souls off to the election process.


I pretty much hate Halloween. My dear mom made me wear a Captain Kangaroo blue satin costume for three years running. Finally after the third grade I asked, “Can I stop this nonsense? I don’t need candy that badly”. She said yes. When I worked at the Call Center on South Main I wore a tux and a sign around my neck that said “Sorry” (I went as a formal apology”.) But my nephew Ian is a Halloween fanatic. One year he went as Joe Snedecker, one time a pirate of the Carribean and still another time as WNEP's Don Jacobs. This year he thought up a great one, he’s going as a Luzerne County gangster judge complete with funny money to hand it. Good thing the guys that got pinched aren’t operating that detention center because he’d be headed out of town.


A collection of irreplaceable
gemstones, including the 565 carats (113 g) Star of India, is stolen from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City…….Campaigning at Madison Square Garden, New York, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson pledges the creation of the Great Society……President Johnson signs legislation expanding Food Stamps to needy families…. Mortar fire from North Vietnamese forces rains on the USAF base at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam, killing 4 U.S. servicemen, wounding 72, and destroying 5 B-57 jet bombers and other planes...In Pennsylvania the contentious U.S. Senate race comes down the wire. Democrat Genevieve Blatt charges first term Senator Hugh Scott with being an ineffective leader and one lawmakers who has been in Congress too long. Scott blasts back saying Blatt is “impugning his character and is not being very pleasant in her conduct on the campaign trail”. Scott and his backed worry about the impending Johnson landslide coming Pennsylvania’s way on election day…..locally…..a final report is made from The Teenagers March for St. Jude in LuLac land which netted over $1200 for the charity…….as Election Day nears, both counties ready for the big day with both Democratic and Republican organizations getting their workers prepared to hit the streets when the polls open and 45 years ago today the number 1 song in America and LuLacland was “Last Kiss” by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. Years later Pearl Jam did another version. Here are both:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The LuLac Edition #990, Oct. 29th, 2009



Since Monday night we have had many requests to upload the video of our Controller's debate the other night at Bentley's. Wow, we must have a lot of policy wonks out there. By request, in its entirety is the Luzerne County Controller's Forum featuring Democrat Bob Morgan, Republican Walter Griffith and Independent Wil Toole.

The LuLac Edition #989, Oct. 29th, 2009



The League of Women Voters hosted their own forum on Wednesday night at King’s College. League member Ingrid Cronin served as moderator and did a fine job. The forum was designed to have the row office candidates come and greet the public. About 25 of the general public showed. Not even all the candidates came. Controller candidate Walter Griffith was at the Government Study Commission meeting and told me Monday night at the LuLac Forum that his responsibilities on the Home Rule Commission came first. Nancy McGinley Bellas, Democratic candidate for Prothonotary was not present nor did the moderator mention whether she even responded. Let me break down who was there representing what office and some memorable phrases.

CONTROLLER: Democrat Bob Morgan and Independent Wil Toole presented their views in a collegial fashion. Unlike the Forum on Monday night there was no tension between these two candidates. Morgan offered up his experience in the financial area while Toole touted his governmental experienine as an administrator. The personable Toole all but admitted he was not only a follower of government but a big fan of what it could do for people. Toole reiterated that things are broke and he’d try to fix him with his administrative expertise. Morgan also talked about his own lifetime commitment to the area and how ashamed people feel with the scandals surrounding government. Morgan pledged to work hard to rein in some problems at the Courthouse. Both Morgan and Toole referred to the Sheriff’s office as one of their first targets if elected. Toole pointed out that the Sheriff’s office had no bookkeeper and found that astounding since they handled so much money. In a remark clearly directed at the absent Griffith, Morgan said the Controller needed to be focused and have a professional purpose and goal and not go off “shooting in all directions like Yosemete Sam”. (Best line of the night by the way)

PROTHONOTARY: Carolee Medico Olinginski was the lone representative because the Democrat Nancy McGinley Bellas did not attend. Olinginski recounted stories about her 20 year effort for reform, advised that after 8 years of undoing if elected she’d have to reinstate some of the reforms she felt were put on hold. Olinginski and Toole bantered about the time constraints and when the subject of hiring relatives came up, Olinginski joked, “I hope I can just get them to vote for me because they are so apolitical!” Olinginski cited her previous experience in the Prothonotary’s office and promised to be the same outspoken and effective watchdog she was when she served in the late 90s. Olinginski said that the Democrats spent over $250,000 in 2001 trying to unseat her (they succeeded with Jill Moran cruising to victory) but it appears in 2009 the Dems have all but given up on beating her. If they were serious, their candidate might have made an appearance.

REGISTER OF WILLS: Republican Gina Nevenglosky and Dottie Stankovic squared off in their little debate. Nevenglosky advised that she would keep the office open during lunch hours and said that as a people person she would have the best interests of the taxpayers at heart. The Gop candidate kept on saying "the people were in her heart". Stankovic defended her 16 year record saying that she has administrative duties at Penn Place, the Brominski office annex, the Thomas building as well as going to nursing homes for executor issues. She pointed out that she is a full time official and said that she is running the office with a staff of 6, down from 15 when she took office. At times Nevenglosky was a tad unfocused in her presentation while Stankovic was crisp and to the point. But both were warm and cordial to each other in a very civil display uncharacteristic in many campaigns.

FASHION REPORT: Toole and Morgan wore dark suits, white shirts and red patterned ties. Carolee Medico Olinginski was wearing a winter white ensemble with matching boots, Nevenglosky sported a navy blue business suit with red top and Dottie Stancovic had a burnt orange blazer accented by a matching fall colored scarf. The moderator wore a dark gray muted pinstripe suit with black heels.

NEXT UP: The League of Women Voter’s next event is a Legislative breakfast at King’s in January 2010.

CONCLUSION: The debate/forum gave candidates and the public still another opportunity to meet and greet one another. After the event, all the candidates dashed off to other events.


Get Out The Vote Rally" on Friday, October 30 at 6:00pm.
Event: Get Out The Vote Rally
Start Time: Friday, October 30 at 6:00pm
End Time: Friday, October 30 at 10:00pm
Where: Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Hall.


Get Out the Vote Rally for Tina for Judge" on Sunday, November 1 at 1:00pm. Event: Get Out the Vote Rally for Tina for Judge, What: Rally, Start Time: Sunday, November 1 at 1:00pm End Time: Sunday, November 1 at 4:00pm Where: Plains Polish American Veterans Hall (PAV).


Best wishes go out to former GOP council candidate Pete Gagliardi. Gagliardi was injured a few weeks back on his way to the Judicial Forum at King’s when he was struck by a car. Drop him a get well wish at 423 South Hancock Street in Wilkes Barre.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The LuLac Edition #988, Oct. 28th, 2009



The Citizen's Voice endorsed the Judicial candidates on Monday. The paper like its neighbor the Times Leader tabbed Richard Hughes and Tina Polachek Gartley as winners of their endorsement. We can debate whether endorsements are deal breakers in a political race. But Exhibit A should be Attorney Michael Blazick who was endorsed by both papers in the spring primary and finished deep down in the electoral pack. The Voice endorsement seems to damn Amesbury with very faint praise. Here's what they said, Amesbury would be a good fit for the court of the past, not the new, more transparent, more accountable court we believe Polachek Gartley and Hughes can help create. In my estimation this is pretty unfair. Amesbury won the dual nominations not because of political connections but because of his power base in Wilkes Barre, the lack of Wilkes Barre candidates to compete against him and the fact that he worked his butt off this entire campaign. Amesbury is not from a political family, held very few if any public positions and is well rounded in terms of his work experience. Plus he took on the O'Donnell political dynasty in 2001 when he won his Magisterial seat to defeat the Ridge appointee Kathleen O'Donnell. To say that he would fit the court of the past is a misrepresentation and an insult. I understand what the Voice is trying to say but I think they might have used different verbs to express their opinion. Amesbury has won dual nominations but because of the touch screen voting, there will be only three candidates in line when the ballot appears.


Nothing new occurred yesterday at the WVIA TV debate. All three candidates, Richard Hughes, Tina Polachek Gartley and William Amesbury presented their credentials, expressed their qualifications for the job and tout their areas of experience. WVIA was scrupulous in putting the effort together but because of that, it took the spontaneity and audience participation out of the event. It might have helped too if the debate moderator could pronounce the names of the candidates. But it served the purpose and gave the candidates an opportunity to get elongated valuable TV time. Earlier in the day I saw candidate Polachek Gartley at another event and she said that when she was on 44 the hour just flew by. Might have been that way for the candidates but not for the viewers. That said, kudos to WVIA for the effort and zealous attention to detail.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The LuLac Edition #987, Oct. 27th, 2009



Attorney Tina Polachek Gartley spent her lunch hour today on the campus of Wilkes College. The candidate for Judge of the Luzerne County Common Pleas Court met with about 50 students sharing pizza and ideas on the judicial system. Key points in the candidates address to the students were:
1. They had their future to change things for the better in Luzerne County.
2. Citing her “wanting to make a big difference instead of a small fortune” quote Gartley asked the students to get involved in politics on the local level saying their diverse voice was needed.
3. Asked for volunteers to help in her effort to become Judge. The candidate expressed concern over a projected low voter turnout and asked those in attendance to talk up the importance of the election.
4. Gartley joked about her age after her introduction when the student said “I was only three in 1991” when you started your legal career.
The event was hosted by the Young Democrats of Luzerne County. Head Mike Sistak was pleased with the turnout. Member Tony Thomas told me that there were about 15 to 20 active members and that these informational sessions were things the group planned to do in the future. Thomas said that with 2010 looming the group was going to get involved inviting more statewide candidates.


Tina Gartley also tossed out this aside in her talk. She mentioned the recent Michael Moore movie and pointed out that the Luzerne County Corruption scandal had 9 minutes devoted to it in the film. Gartley said the scandal has not only reached the silver screen but is now known on a national and international level. “If that doesn’t say we need change” said the candidate, “than nothing will”.


Still getting good feedback from the Controller’s Forum. Here’s Michael Buffer’s article from the Citizen’s Voice and a link to Gort42 who did an excellent recap job.
ASHLEY - During a candidates' forum on Monday night, Walter L. Griffth Jr., the Republican nominee for Luzerne County controller, questioned the authenticity of a controller's audit of the sheriff's department.
Bob Morgan, the Democratic nominee, responded that Griffith was making "headline-grabbing accusations" without knowing all the facts. Wil Toole, an independent candidate, said Griffith should file criminal charges if he believed "a fraudulent report" was filed.
Griffith responded he filed a complaint with the Auditor General's Office and explained he was making "a supposition" based on contradictory information. Griffith questioned how a 2007 controller's audit of the sheriff's department was filed when the last audit done was from 2006. About 30 people attended the question-and-answer forum at Bentley's on Route 309. David Yonki, who runs a Web site called The LuLac Political Letter, was the moderator and organizer of the forum. Morgan questioned Griffith's interest in serving as controller by noting Griffith in the May primary election ran to be a polling place judge of elections, a constable and a member of the Luzerne County Government Study Commission. Griffith said serving as county controller would be his top priority, and he added he would resign from the study commission if elected controller.
Griffith repeated a claim that Morgan can't keep his job as a financial consultant with PNC Investments if elected because PNC does business with the county. Morgan said PNC Investments doesn't do business with the county and is completely separate from PNC Bank. Morgan said he would abstain from any retirement board votes if PNC wanted to invest and handle money from the county employee pension fund. The county controller is one of five members on the retirement board. While Morgan touted his financial background, Griffith stressed his abilities as manager. Griffith is president and owner of Rutter Auto Service in Nanticoke. Toole touted his experience in government. He was Pittston city clerk from 1986 to 1997. In 1999, Toole agreed to repay $18,743.75 in overtime pay to Pittston. The city claimed Toole illegally inflated his overtime hours, and as part of the settlement, the city agreed to begin paying Toole a $30,600-a-year pension. "The administration that replaced me dragged me though a living hell," Toole said Monday. "I ran out of money, couldn't fight any longer." The three candidates said they are willing to serve as controller at the current salary - $36,562 a year with an additional $5,000 for retirement-fund duties. But Toole said the salaries of elected officials "are kept low to keep good people out of government." Toole said he can afford to serve at the current salary because he is retired. But Griffith said the salary is sufficient because many people in the county earn less than $36,562., 570-821-2073

Monday, October 26, 2009

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



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.


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 Here's his report via this link:

The LuLac Edition #985, Oct. 26th, 2009



The LuLac Political Letter Controller's Forum will be held tonight at Bentley's Route 309 in Ashley from 7 to 9PM. Here are the guidelines for tonight's event:
Opening statement by each candidate. (3 minutes)
Each candidate will then get two questions from the moderator. The questions will be asked specifically to each candidate.
After the series of questions is answered on the subject, candidates have 2 minutes rebuttal on the subject. There will be two subjects.
Candidates will then be asked 5 questions (directed at all 3) and will have 3 minutes to answer.
Candidates will then answer questions from the audience.
Closing statements. All questions have a 3 minute time limit, rebuttals 2 minutes.
The moderator has the right to reject any public question that intends to be scatological, put us off track and not related to the future of Luzerne County.
The event is open to the public.


If you thought the Democratic Party was reeling because of the Judicial scandals, you might want to rethink that idea. The Democrats have been having little pep rallies around the county. The turnout is strong and the passion is high. Judicial candidate Bill Amesbury hosted a “Rally The Troops” meeting at the Barney inn a few weeks ago and the attendance was high. In Swoyersville last week, over 300 party workers turned out to meet and greet the faithful. And yesterday at the Pittston Knight over 250 Democrats crowded the joint enjoying sausage and peppers as well as ziti and meatballs. Third District Chair Terry Best coordinated the event and it was a virtual who’s who of Luzerne County politics. Judicial candidates Bill Amesbury and Tina Gartley made the rounds as well as Prothonotary candidates Nancy McGinley Bellas and Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Junior. Controller candidate Bob Morgan arrived with family in tow visiting each table sans suit coat. I left a tad early but I’m sure there were other Dem luminaries in attendance. Some GOP candidates were there too, I spotted Carolee Medico Olinginski working the crowd and it was a pleasant surprise to see Paul Maher from Congressman Kanjorski’s office. My uncle Lenny Pribula was manning the bar and overseeing the food operation and everyone had a great time. The big thing to remember here is that success on election day comes from a ground organization. The troops motivated by employment, loyalty to the Democratic party or a particular candidate are looking to the future. Add to that the built in individual organizations of Amesbury and Polachek Gartley, well you just know the Dems are going to to their best to turn out the vote. And in this county, organization sometimes trumps a troubled past, no matter how recent.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The LuLac Edition #984, Oct. 25th, 2009



This is a small news story but might be indicative of the tone deafness that seems to permeate the White House these days. The First Family’s dog recently celebrated his first birthday. The family got him a cake…made of veal. Now I’m a meat eater and very rarely do we have veal. But in the rare times we do, I have second and third thoughts about how the meat gets to the market. It seems to me that the White House might have given the pooch perhaps some low grade beef or maybe some Beggin’ Strips instead of a hot button meal like veal.


Some Democrats are pushing hard for a donor strike. Seems like they want to push to get the public option and are urging like minded Democrats to hold back the purse strings until they get their way. Here’s this interesting e mail communication: The Democratic majorities in the Senate (60/40) and the House (258/177) are large enough to pass a "public option" even with no Republican support. But a handful of conservative "Democrats" are blocking the will of the Democratic majority. These conservative "Democrats" refuse to listen to the Democratic voters who elected them. That means it's up to our Democratic leaders - Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and President Obama - to persuade them.
Join the Democratic Donor Strike for a Robust Public Option: We will not accept a weak public option or worse, a "trigger." We want a robust public option (based on Medicare rates, not negotiated rates) that is nation-wide (with no state opt-outs), administered by Medicare (not a for-profit insurance company) and available immediately. That is why we are joining together in a Democratic donor strike against the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC until the Democratic Congress passes - and President Obama signs - health care reform with a robust public option. Until then, we will only donate to individual Democrats who will truly fight for us.


Soupy Sales died the other day and if you were a kid growing up in the 1960s his zany madcap show was part of your life.I even had a huge red Soupy Sales button to prove something or the other when I was in grade school. He later became a mainstay on game shows and was a constant companion on WNBC when I’d go to the Jersey Shore in the late 70s. Laying on the beach listening to Soupy Sales is one of my best memories of my college days. Soupy was 83 and here’s one of his most famous bits with Frankie Valli:


The LuLac Political Letter will be having its Controller's Forum for Luzerne County Monday night from 7 to 9PM at Bentley's. All three candidates, Walter Griffith (GOP) Robert Morgan (Democrat) and Wil Toole (Independent) will be on hand to answer questions and talk about their campaigns. We've included a few videos from the Times Leader Endorsement process.
The first video features Walter Griffith talking about the office staffing in the Controller's office.

In this video Bob Morgan talks about his action plan he will implement if elected.

Wil Toole talks about his decision to run for the Controller's seat.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The LuLac Edition #983, Oct. 24th, 2009



This week Vic Mizzy died. He wrote the TV themes from The Addams family and “Green Acres”. Ne of my posters asked the ultimate question, Eva or Zsa Zsa? Turns out that all three of the Gabor sisters, the aforementioned duo and Magda could turn many a head. But like most people in that category, they possessed a charm and elegance very few stars today possess. I talked with a former co-worker who grew up in New York City. Her family apartment was directly under the Gabor residence and she had many encounters with the sisters.
Q: So their mother lived above you?
A: Yes and a few other family members that immigrated from Hungary would visit.
Q: Ever meet the sisters?
A: All of them at one time or another. They were very close to their family and checked in often.
Q: Were they all decked out and glamorous?
A: They were very beautiful, classic beauty. Always upbeat.
Q: Yeah but how were they dressed when you saw them?
A: Well David sorry to disappoint you but there were no plunging necklines, they wore what any New Yorker wore in season in the late 50s and early 60s. Fall, blazers, summer, light dresses. That sort of thing.
Q: Ever talk to them?
A: Yes.
Q: About what?
A: Just things you talk about in a New York City building. Like how’s the weather, any problems upstairs, that type of thing. Never politics or sports just small talk. But once they started talking to you they were engaged in what you were saying. It wasn’t……what’s the word I’m looking for here…..
Q: Perfunctory?
A: Exactly. Once you started a conversation or they did, it was very polite, even, equal and a lot of fun.
Q: There was an aura about them?
A: Not after the first few times. They were the girls just visiting the family.
Q: Any famous beaus accompanying them?
A: No, they just stopped by alone or together.
Q: How you would describe them in two words?
A: Regular Joes.
Q: Did your little brother have a favorite?
A: No but you would have loved Magda.
Q: Why?
A: She was the tallest of the three.
Q: Here’s a stat, between the three Gabors sisters there were 18 marriages and one annulment. What do you think about that?
A: I guess they were optimists.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The LuLac Edition #982, Oct. 23rd, 2009



A story in the Scranton Times implied that Lackawanna County President Judge Chester Harhut said that the next Common pleas Judge would be handling Juvenile cases. Republican Judicial candidate Frank Castellano touted his experience working with young offenders. Political observers see this as a leg up for the Castellano candidacy since the signal, if true seems to be going out that the new Judge would be dealing with cases in an area where Castellano is currently working. But here’s the curious thing, back in May during the Judicial debate/forum at Scranton University, then candidate James Tierney
Said before he decided to run for Judge, he met with all of the Judges and primarily President Judge Chester Harhut to see where the need was in the system. He was told that civil cases were at a dangerous backlog. Citing his experience as a civil attorney, Tierney made the point that if he was elected and assigned to the civil division, his background would serve the voters well. So in the primary Harhut indicated that civil cases would have the greatest backlog. Tierney had a close relationship with Harhut. Now the President Judge did a turnaround and now says the new Judge will be assigned to Juvenile Court. My question is did that civil backlog he talked about in May disappear and who should we give credit to for that great feat. I know Margie Bisignani Moyle would like to know.
Source: LuLac Edition #807, May 6th, 2009.


He’s back and this time he’s going for the Scranton Mayoral brass ring a third time. He spelled his name out for the crowd and asked for their support. The former councilman is running a write-in campaign for mayor. "While the challenges of a write-in campaign are many, so are the challenges we face today in Scranton, and both can be overcome," said DiBileo in a report in the Scranton Times. Mr. DiBileo was defeated for the Democratic and Republican nominations for mayor in May's primary election, with incumbent Democrat Mayor Chris Doherty garnering both. DiBileo’s big issues include the city's distressed status and high taxes - property taxes, more jobs, public safety concerns such as gang activity and the need for a mayor willing to work with City Council. DiBileo assured his listeners he only is interested in winning election to Scranton's top spot.


Final preparations are under way for the LuLac Political Letter Controller’s Forum/Debate at Bentley, Route 309 in Ashley Monday Oct. 26th, 7 to 9PM. The event is open to the public and all three candidates Republican Walter Griffiith, Robert Morgan and Wil Toole will participate.


The two candidates for Pennsylvania’s highest court faced questions on pay raises, campaign funding and judicial conduct in the first debate of their statewide race. Jack Panella and Joan Orie Melvin are competing for a single opening on the state Supreme Court. They debated at Temple University’s law school in Philadelphia on Thursday, less than two weeks before the election. Melvin is a 53-year-old Republican from the Pittsburgh suburb of Wexford. She is a state Superior Court judge. Panella is a 54-year-old Democrat from Easton. He is also a Superior Court judge. The two are competing for the seat vacated by Chief Justice Ralph Cappy, who retired last year. His replacement, Justice Jane Cutler Greenspan, agreed not to seek a full 10-year term. Joan Orie Melvin has made a few campaign stops to this area. (Edited 10-23-09:8:48AM).


The People's Republic of China explodes an atomic bomb in Sinkiang.........The NY World's Fair closes for the year (it reopens April 21, 1965).....The film version of the hit Broadway stage musical My Fair Lady premieres in New York City. The movie stars Audrey Hepburn in the role of Eliza Dolittle and Rex Harrison repeating his stage performance as Professor Henry Higgins, and which will win him his only Academy Award for Best Actor. The film will win seven other Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but Audrey Hepburn will not be nominated. Critics interpret this as a rebuke to Jack L. Warner for choosing Ms Hepburn over Julie Andrews.......

In the closing days of the 1964 Presidential election President Lyndon Johnson embarks on a whirlwind campaign tour across America’s major cities........A few members of the Pennsylvania National Guard get back from their work in Florida during the Hurricane Dora emergency.......Paul Kepner, 68 from Houston Texas arrives in Nanticoke by bike to see his family the Drapers and from Trucksville the Drehoffs. He is o his way to the World’s Fair after making the long trek....and 45 years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Summer Song” (In the fall???? Hey this was the British Invasion and anything went!!!) by Chad and Jeremy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The LuLac Edition #981, Oct. 21st, 2009



Ever hear of Football Night in America? How about debate week in Wilkes Barre. Next week starting on Monday Luzerne County residents can have three informational opportunities to meet and greet the candidates. Here’s the schedule:
Monday Oct. 26th 7PM: Bentley’s, Luzerne County Controller’s Debate/Forum. Sponsor: The LuLac Political Letter.
Tuesday Oct. 27th, 8PM on WVIA TV, a debate forum with the three candidates in the race for Judge of Common Pleas Luzerne County. See it live on TV44.
Wednesday, Oct. 28th, 7PM at King’s College, second floor Student Center, row officers Forum.
Three days in a row voters will have the opportunity to hear and see the candidates up close just days before the election. Take advantage of this because it is free and open to the public.


With Luzerne County Courthouse as a backdrop, Republican candidates Walter Griffith and Gina Nevenglosky on Wednesday signed a “Contract With Luzerne County” that promises to reform the way the county row offices are run. Griffith, who is running for Controller, and Nevenglosky, candidate for Register of Wills/Clerk of the Orphan’s Court, were joined by Minority Commissioner Stephen A. Urban and GOP officials on the steps of the courthouse.
The concept, borrowed from the Republican Party’s 1994 Contract With America, is an issue that is not solely Republican, Democratic, conservative or liberal, said Executive Director Renita Fennick.
“It is a good-government issue,” she said. “That’s what we all want. That’s what we deserve.” Fennick spoke on behalf of Griffith, Nevenglosky and Carolee Medico Olenginski, the Republican candidate for Prothonotary, and read a statement from Luzerne County judicial candidate Richard Hughes who missed the press conference because he was home with a sick child. She also urged voters to retain Judge Thomas Burke to the county Court of Common Pleas. County Chairman Terry Casey was out of town on business and Olenginski could not make the event. Casey, in a prepared statement, said: “The people of Luzerne County are searching for leaders that can bring the principles of honesty, ethics, accountability, reform and transparency back to a government that has failed them. By pledging to follow the standards listed in the ‘Contract With Luzerne County,’ our Republican candidates are stepping up to the plate and demonstrating exactly why they are ready to move Luzerne County past the corruption scandals of the past.” This is a pretty good way to demonstrate the serious stance the local GOP is taking in trying to reclaim the row offices. However that said this is not the first time Carolee Medicco Olinginski has been absent from GOP ticket events. The word on the street is that there are the local Republicans and the Carolee Republicans. Other GOpers in the past have stayed away from party function by building coalitions in both parties. Frank Trinisewski and Steve Yanoshak come to mind. It will be interesting to see who has the stronger coat tails on Electinion Day, the local GOP or Carolee.


In 1994, the Republican Party drafted a Contract With America that promised fiscal responsibility, accountability, reform and transparency in the federal government.
Americans loved it.
Because it was all about simple, common-sense principles. The idea appealed to people of all political affiliations, and all viewpoints.
Its focal point was to “restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives.”
That is what we offer you today on the county level. This is not a Republican issue nor a Democratic one. It is not conservative. It is not liberal.
It is a good-government issue. That’s what we all want. That’s what we all deserve.
The premise can be traced to the most basic of human values and ideals: Honesty, Ethics, Accountability, Reform, Transparency.
That is what we offer to you on Nov. 3.
We ask that you look beyond philosophical ideas and beyond party lines and support the candidates who will restore accountability to county government.
It doesn’t matter if you are Republican or Democrat or Independent. Our slate of candidates promises to serve all residents with honor, ethics, integrity and fairness.
We ask that you support:
Richard Hughes for Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas;
Walter Griffith for County Controller
Carolee Medico Olenginski for Prothonotary
Gina Nevenglosky for Register of Wills/Clerk of the Orphan’s Court.
Judge Thomas Burke who is seeking retention to the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The LuLac Edition #980, Oct.20th, 2009



Congressman Kanjorski sent this directive regarding his involvement with breast cancer awareness month. I proudly co-sponsored the Breast Cancer Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act of 2009. The EARLY Act will implement a national educational campaign to increase awareness of the threats posed by breast cancer in young women, and the particular heightened risks faced by certain groups. The campaign would help young women and providers identify the specific threats and warning signs of breast cancer that lead to early diagnoses, and increase prevention efforts women can undertake to reduce their risks. It would also provide assistance to organizations to support young women diagnosed with breast cancer and help them get the assistance they need. Additionally, after learning about managed care organizations that require doctors to perform mastectomies as outpatient surgery or to discharge patients on the same day as the surgery, I decided to co-sponsor the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act. With same-day discharges, patients may not receive pain management help, wound drainage assistance, and psychological support. This legislation would require a minimum hospital stay of 48 hours for mastectomies and 24 hours for lymph node removals.


The Controller’s race in Luzerne County is now getting red hot. Bob Morgan is on the air on local radio stations touting his experience. Morgan is also taking a swipe at his two rivals Republican Walter Griffith Junior and Independent Wil Toole. Morgan makes reference to the watchdog term readily applied to Griffith saying it takes more than some sort of mutt to oversee the finances of the county. He also refers to Toole’s previous administrative tenure as a way for the old boy network to continue to thrive. Predictably Toole took exception and has fired off a missive to the local papers. Here’s an excerpt:
As this election draws near, I urge that the current negative ads being aired be withdrawn. Luzerne county is at a point in time when these type of negative ads discourage good people from getting involved. Enough negativity has surrounded the court house and if we are to attract quality candidates then the traditional mud slinging must stop. As an Independent candidate for the office of County Controller, I made the decision to have nothing to do with the long standing practice of mud slinging campaigns. Public Office is a worthwhile endeavor and to reach out to the voters on a platform covered in mud is no way to begin a term of office. There are many issues which should and must be addressed or once again, the voters will be shortchanged. Tell the voter what you plan to do, not what your opponent can't do. Bring the beef to the table and leave the BS in the gutter where it belongs. Meanwhile, Walter Griffith tells the Times Leader editorial board that as far as him being referred to as a dog with a bone, so be it. “I just won’t let go if it’s not right”. Griffith continued saying, "My big issue with county government is the lack of consistency. There never seems to be anybody that will put their hand in the air and be accountable or consistent with their policies. I think that’s crucial in government".
He said he will shut down his business for four years if he’s elected unless he finds someone else to operate it. Griffith said he’s not running for the money because he makes about twice the $36,562 controller salary in his business.
You can meet all three candidates this coming Monday night at the LuLac Political Letter candidate’s forum, Oct. 26th from 7 to 9 PM at Bentley’s in Ashley.


Vic Mizzy died the other day. At the end of Green Acres or The Addams Familly you’d usually see his name at the end. He was 93. Here’s one of his greatest hits:

Monday, October 19, 2009

The LuLac Edition #979, Oct. 19th, 2009



One week from Today The LuLac Political Letter will be hosting our Controller’s Forum. The event will be at Bentley’s, the old Kozy K in Ashley on the way to Mountaintop. I am pleased to report that all three candidates, Walter Giffith, Robert Morgan and Wil Toole have agreed to participate. The debate/forum format will be:
1. Opening statements.
2. 3 Lead off questions.
3. Questions on the job itself and how the candidate’s perceive their role in it.
4. Audience questions submitted on index cards.
It’s free and open to the public. Monday night, October 26th, 7 to 9PM, Bentley’s.


Senator Bob Mellow in case you might not have realized it was instrumental in getting this budget deal solved. It was Mellow on PCN that indicated the thing went on too long and many insiders in Harrisburg are crediting the Lackawanna County veteran Senator with getting this budget issue solved. Here are some highlights from the Senator's web page on what transpired:
This week, the funds started flowing once again to the many agencies impacted by the state budget impasse. The tough economic times and a resulting $3.2 billion shortfall in state revenue brought about some necessary cuts in funding in order to make up the multi-billion dollar gap. While there is no ideal budget in this economic climate, the final budget which was approved by the Senate and House of Representatives and signed by Governor Rendell did make some important commitments to areas that have been and continue to be important to us. It was a hard-fought battle, but this budget commits an additional $300 million to education. That is a 5.7% increase that should ensure that Pennsylvania’s schoolchildren remain competitive and property owners don’t see a tax hike on the local level.
Funding was restored for child care, autism, attendant care, and other social service programs. Hospitals saw more than $208 million restored in state and federal cuts. Funding for veterans’ homes was restored to the governor’s proposed level of $82 million in an effort to prevent those who served from having to be turned away and to help prevent jobs from being lost.
The state’s budget deficit could not have been predicted. Regardless of the dire circumstances and extreme challenges it created in crafting the 2009-2010 budget, finding a solution took too long. To those impacted by the budget logjam, I extend my apologies.
I think this plan, with more than a billion dollars in recurring revenue, is a sound agreement that will see us responsibly through this recession into better times.
$300 million increase in the Basic Subsidy for Education.
More than $1 billion in new recurring revenue is included to balance future budgets with NO broad-based tax increase and no arts tax.
Restores more than $60 million in community, economic, and job development programs.
Restores more than $50 million in funding for child care, autism, attendant care and other social service programs.
Funding kept at 2008-2009 levels for Pre-K Counts and Head Start. Supplemental Funding
PHEAA Grants to Students is funded at $403.6 million, a reduction of $3.9 from last year, but a significant increase from what was set forth in earlier spending proposals.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The LuLac Edition #978, Oct. 18th, 2009



I have been doing a lot of work on this Judicial race in Luzerne County since this whole thing started in early January of 2009. It has been my honor to meet many local attorneys who have offered themselves for public office. All of the aspirants made an impression on me whether it was part of their resume or just the way they presented themselves. I’ve met Tina Gartley a few times, at my Judicial Forum in April (matter of fact I think she R.S.V.P. ed personally) and throughout her campaign effort. There are many words to describe Gartley but the words “cozy” and “hand picked” are definitely not Tina Polachek Gartley. Maybe if her husband bought her a “Snuggy” for her birthday could I use the word cozy but I met Mr. Gartley and he seems way savvy in the marriage business to proffer a gift like that for his wife. So “cozy” is out. The phrase “hand picked” is not one I would ascribe to candidate Gartley either. But Friday the state GOP weighed in on the Judicial race in Luzerne County. One of their spokesman Michael Barley questioned Luzerne County Commissioner Chairwoman Maryanne Petrilla’s recent vote to add language to the general election ballot, saying it’s an attempt “to rig the election for the corrupt Democrat Party and its candidates.” While I as a voter don’t agree with his supposition that this is going to sway the election one way or another, it is nice to see life in the local GOP. What is even more exciting is to see the state lend a hand for a GOP candidate. (I watched in absolute wonderment and surprise in 2006 as the party higher-ups on the state and national level virtually ignored a clean as a whistle charismatic, smart candidate for Congress in the 11th Congressional district while embracing an embattled scandal plagued one in the 10th. So in my view any recognition on the local level is a good thing). And truth be told Ms. Petrilla can take care of herself when she is hammered. In Barley’s release, after questioning Petrilla’s motive in the straight party maneuver regarding Election Day, he also criticized Democratic judicial candidate Tina Polachek Gartley. He said, “Just look at how cozy Maryanne Petrilla is with Tina Gartley, a candidate who has been hand-picked by the entrenched Luzerne County Democrat machine to help them maintain the culture of corruption in Luzerne County.”
Okay, a few facts here:
1. The Democratic party didn’t embrace anyone in the spring judicial primary. It was too fragmented. Proof of that was leading up to the deadline, we knew one Attorney Bufalino was running for Judge but not sure if there would be another one in the hunt. And the guy in question who was not taking a run was the party Chairman! That sounds more like a free for all (sorry Corbett) than a hand-picking ceremony in a smokey back room.
2. With all due respect to Gartley, no one took her seriously except the band of loyalists she had with her and the people who heard her speak on the campaign trail. At the start, you saw no party big wigs at her events, not even Petrilla. You saw people you never saw at a campaign rally. Regular folks who needed a primer on “networking” and an elementary course in “back slapping”.
3. While other candidates spent big bucks, she spent her money wisely thanks to some savvy advertising people who enlisted in her cause. She bought “smart” not “big’.
4. While she was endorsed by the two daily papers that came about because of her presentation skills as well as the belief that it was not time for a “woman” judge (that slogan was used before in this county) but time for a Judge who had levels of experience on a multiple dimensional plane. (Or as one of my frequent posters says about Gartley, “one that has it going on everywhere”).
5. The Democratic party was divided in this Judicial race along all lines. Family, old school, new school, geography, gender, class and even fragmentation of legal specialization. Even the three women who ran, Gartley, Rogers and Morabito had their own separate cheering sections. Not a good formula to be hand-picked if you ask me.
6. Barley is correct that the Democratic party is entrenched because people here vote that way. But the old days of a party chairman calling up a member of the Young Democrats who was seen at a social function with a friend of a GOP official telling the kid, “you’re getting a little independent there” are over. (No. it wasn’t me, I never joined the young Democrats, I was in Future Nurses for the dating opporunities.) If there were any juice left in the controls of the Democratic party, there wouldn’t be 17 candidates running in a primary!
7. Barley seems to imply that Petrilla wants Gartley to win for some power trip or personal triumph. Petrilla is doing what she is expected to do as a Democrat but also a woman. Support women Democratic candidates. Petrilla was front and center with Hillary Clinton in 2008. As a matter of fact, one on line political site criticized the Gartley campaign for having Petrilla host an event.
So the obvious conclusion here is that Tina Gartley is cozy with no one on the party level and she is not a hand-picked candidate either. Like her own life, Gartley had to fight every step of the way to get nominated. And she will be the first to tell you it was not a done deal. Even after the primary, Gartley endured a whispering campaign that was finally put to rest two weeks ago.
The State GOP over reached on this one. Everything is pretty much fair game in an election year and you can’t blame the local GOP for bringing in the big guns. You could say as a Democrat Gartley would benefit from the straight party voting. But to use the words “cozy” and “hand-picked”, well I can see the late wordsmith and GOP speech maker William Safire (who passed away a few weeks back) turning over in his grave. Words matter. Even if they are spoken 105 miles south of Luzerne County.


Lackaweanna County Common Pleas Judge candididate Frank Castellano invites all to an "Old Forge Rally for Frank Castellano" on Thursday, October
22 at 7:00pm. Here are the details:
Event: Old Forge Rally for Frank Castellano
What: Fundraiser
Start Time: Thursday, October 22 at 7:00pm
End Time: Thursday, October 22 at 9:00pm
Where: Cafe Rinaldi.

BAKER IN 2010??

We have reports coming in from the 10th Congressional district that telephone pollsters are asking likely voters if they would support State Senator Lisa Baker in a run against incumbent Chris Carney. Baker became Senator in 2006 succeeding Charles Lemmond. It is an intriguing question and one has to wonder if it is part of the GOP national committee, rejuvenated by the ambitious agenda of President Obama and doubts about it, casting about for a strong candidate to reclaim the 10th. This is worth watching.