Thursday, March 04, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1112, Mar. 4th, 2010



Jerry Brown, who was first elected governor of California when he was 36, wants another try at the job. It has been 27 years since he left office. Brown, who will turn 72 in April, announced he is officially in the race to succeed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. If elected to serve a third term, Brown would become California's oldest governor. Brown, now the state's attorney general, continued to demonstrate his penchant for the unorthodox by announcing his entry into the race in a video posted on his
Web site. Despite not having formally entered the race until now, the expectation that he would be a candidate cleared the field of major Democratic challengers, leaving him virtually uncontested for the June primary. Vying for the job on the Republican side are Meg Whitman, a billionaire and former CEO of eBay, and Steve Poizner, a wealthy former high-tech entrepreneur who is the state's Insurance Commissioner. Both Republicans have tapped into their personal fortunes to finance their campaigns. Whitman has contributed nearly $40 million of her own money and Poizner has contributed nearly $20 million of his own funds. Some Democrats have criticized Brown for lying low and letting the two Republicans dominate the early months of the race. But he has avoided becoming much of a target in the race while quietly raising more than $12 million for his campaign. It's not clear why any of them would want the job. The state faces an unemployment rate of more than 12 percent, massive budget deficits, and a contentious political climate that makes forging agreement difficult.Brown is eligible to run for governor again despite a California law restricting a governor to two terms. The provision was enacted after Brown left office, and so his first two terms do not count toward the limit. The son of former Gov. Pat Brown, Jerry Brown became known for rejecting the trappings of office and dating rock star Linda Ronstadt while serving as governor from 1975 to 1983. He was labeled "Gov. Moonbeam" for ideas that seemed flaky at the time. But in many ways he was a visionary, pushing for car-pool lanes and satellite communications and preaching an "era of limits" at a time when California's resources seemed unending.In a speech to California Democrats two years ago hinting he would run again, Brown quipped, "They didn't call me Moonbeam for nothing. I worked hard to get that."Brown noted that he dumped the bulletproof limousine of his predecessor, former Gov. Ronald Reagan, and racked up 240,000 miles on a blue Plymouth from the state motor pool during his eight years in office. "Now that's sustainability," he said.While governor, he ran unsuccessfully for president in 1976 and 1980. After leaving office, the onetime Jesuit seminary student grew a beard and traveled to Japan to study Buddhism, to Mexico to study Spanish, and to India to work with Mother Teresa.He ran one more time for president in 1992 on a platform of opposing the influence of wealthy special interests in politics. He pledged to accept contributions of no more than $100 -- a promise he is not making in this campaign. Mrs. LuLac campaigned ardently for Brown in ’92 and he did carry Luzerne County. In 1994, Brown began his political rehabilitation by hosting a radio talk show from his new home city of Oakland. Defying expectations yet again in 1998, the onetime national political star ran for and won election to the mundane job of Oakland mayor. His agenda of fighting crime, improving education and revitalizing downtown Oakland met with mixed success, but he easily won again in 2002. Brown is also making an issue of the Blue Cross rate hikes in California and has asked for an investigation into why the Blues there raised premiums by 39%. In his video announcement, Brown made the case that his experience makes him the best choice for the state's top post. He noted that during his eight years as governor, the state added 1.9 million jobs.


Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met with health care CEO’s today and called for more openness in their dealing with their customers. Calling transparency among health insurance providers "an important step for consumers" Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said companies should make information about their requests to raise insurance premiums available online. Sebelius made the remarks after a meeting with executives from the nation's top insurance providers and a handful of state insurance commissioners on how to bring down health care costs. The call comes just weeks after WellPoint's Anthem Blue Cross proposed raising premiums by as much as 39% in California. That rate increase request has been withdrawn for at least two months and the California insurance commission has opened an investigation into the matter, Sebelius said. Sebelius told reporters President Obama had stopped by the meeting briefly to share his concerns about the current system, which he believes is "simply unsustainable," something she said was acknowledged by the company executives present. And in a rare direct reference to the political opposition to the health care overhaul legislation the administration hopes will work its way through Congress by the Easter recess, the secretary spoke about "a big disagreement" between Republicans' strategy and the president's strategy. "Republicans at the end of the day feel it's acceptable to have a risk pool that only has sick people in it," Sebelius said, a reference to group people with pre-existing conditions in high risk pools. "The president said we need a different marketplace." The meeting's participants included: WellPoint, Inc. CEO Angela F. Braly; CIGNA HealthCare, Inc. CEO David M. Cordani; Health Care Service Corporation CEO Patricia Hemingway-Hall; Aetna, Inc. CEO Ronald Allen Williams; UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley; Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario (Chair NAIC Health Committee); Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger (Chair NAIC Health Committee); West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jane Cline (President, NAIC); NAIC Executive Director Therese Vaughan.


Gov. Rendell is speaking at just two commencements in the state this year,” said Wilkes President Tim Gilmour. “Wilkes is honored to be selected and looks forward to hosting him at our commencement ceremony. It’s a special day that will be made more special by his presence.” That comes from a published report in the Times Leader. Rendell is the 45th governor of Pennsylvania and is serving his second term in office. He will speak at Wilkes in May. My commencement speaker was Dan Flood and in my experience, politicians seem to be the most entertaining at these events. Look for Governor Ed to knock this one out of the park.


Majority Leader Todd Eachus and Rep. Jim Wansacz are among nine Democratic state representatives who may soon find themselves testifying in the public-corruption trial of one of their former colleagues, depending on how the presiding judge rules after a courtroom debate Thursday. Defense attorneys in the theft, conspiracy and conflict-of-interest trial of former Rep. Mike Veon and three ex-aides want to question the sitting lawmakers, as well as legislative staff aides. Earlier this week, Dauphin County Judge Richard Lewis threw out subpoenas issued to state Senate and House Republicans, but has not ruled on the House Democrats. This cannot be good for Eachus' re-election bid or Wansacz's entry into the Senate race in the 22nd Senatorial district. I can just see the ads now from their respective opponents. Times Shamrock Harrisburg reporter R.B. Swift said Wansacz was subpoenaed because his name has been referenced in some case-related court documents and he played in weekly pickup basketball games organized by Mr. Veon that are the subject of court testimony. These basketball games were held Tuesday nights and attended by a number of lawmakers and House aides. Melissa Lewis, a one-time aide to Mr. Veon, testified in court Tuesday that she helped take food orders from participants and set up an after-game dinner. The basketball meals cost taxpayers $15,600 between 2002 and 2006, according to court testimony Wednesday by agent Michael Cranga of the state attorney general's office, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Eachus was subpoenaed because his name has been referenced in numerous court documents.


Two trades councils representing 10,000 construction industry workers in Northeastern Pennsylvania have endorsed Corey O'Brien for Congress, peeling away labor support from incumbent Congressman Paul Kanjorski. The Scranton Building & Construction Trades Council and Northeast Pennsylvania Building & Construction Trades Council announced Wednesday they would throw their support behind O'Brien. The councils, which represent 15 international unions, could help the Lackawanna County commissioner in the Democratic primary. Kanjorski's campaign, however, questioned whether O'Brien can claim the full support of the trades councils. Ed Mitchell, Kanjorski's campaign spokesman, said several of the council's member unions have contributed significantly to Kanjorski's campaign. Whatever the story, O’Brien is a mesmerizing figure. He is engaging, is an incredible campaigner and shows a great deal of interest and compassion on the campaign trail. He connects and that is something the Kanjorski people are going to have to deal with in this race.



In an interview published in The London
Evening Standard, John Lennon comments, "We're more popular than Jesus now," eventually sparking a controversy in the United States.......Canadian Pacific Airlines Flight 402 crashes while landing at Tokyo International Airport in Japan, killing 64 of 72 persons on board. ….The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provides over a million and a half dollars to have Crestwood Area construct a new school……Luzerne County Commissioner Jim Post is stripped of his status as GOP party leader by the State Republicans. Post originally backed Congressman Richard Schweiker for the Governor’s office. The state endorsement went to Lt. Governor Raymond Shafer…and 44 years ago in America and LuLac land the number 1 song was “Nowhere Man” by the Beatles.


At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kanjorski was always out of touch with his constituets but Ed Mitchell is even more out of touch.

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You hit it on the head, Obrien is a helluva campaigner. Not much on accomplishment or staying in the game, but today being a campaigner is all that seems to matter. If he gets a job in the congress can president be far behind on his day planner?

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Augean Stableboy said...

"The basketball meals cost taxpayers $15,600 between 2002 and 2006, according to court testimony Wednesday by agent Michael Cranga of the state attorney general's office, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported."

WAIT, it gets better.

The PPG article states: "During cross-examination, Veon attorney Dan Raynak suggested that attendees discussed legislation at the dinners.

He also pointed out that during 2004, 2005 and 2006, caucus leaders often hired caterers to deliver lunches and dinners to members, and that those members also collected per diems on those days."

Someone should investigate whether our beloved Pennsylvania legislature is now TRIPLE DIPPING. No only do they get salary plus benefits, plus this unaccountable per diem for daily room & board expenses, but they have been billing the Pennsylvania taxpayer for catered meals as well??? If true, I am sure they've written legislative regulations saying it is OK.

Not one member has had the moral and ethical fibre to stand up and say that this is wrong?

Something to consider when we consider re-election and House members running for Senate seats.

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Jerry Brown tribute does not surprise me Mr. Yonki. Like Mr. Brown, you are a burned out bitter old meanbeam yourself.

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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