Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1121, Mar. 16th, 2010



The late Johnny Carson lamented often that people associated him more with his sidekick Ed McMahon than they did with one of his wives. “When I go out in public” he once said, “people expect Ed to be with me. It’s like they think Ed’s in the trunk of my car”. So it always seemed with Bob Cordaro and A.J. Munchak. My association is very limited and goes back to 1994 when Cordaro bought the old WARD AM off of Jim Ward’s widow. I saw Cordaro breeze in every once in a while along with an older guy. The striking thing was Cordaro, the owner, attorney and chief investor dressed in a running suit while the older gentlemen, later known to me as A.J. Munchak dressed like, well an accountant. (Earlier I had attended an event with a attorney friend of mine when Cordaro ran for Congress in 1988 against Joe McDade. Always, Cordaro was never without Muchak within reach. So it is ironic and fitting that both men were charged today in a federal corruption probe that has all the earmarks of a bombastic scandal. It has everything, Playboy mansions, the New York Yankees and yes even foreign intrigue and travel. While most politicians in LuLac land are content to attend church sponsored Monte Carlo nights, these guys went for the real thing! The Scranton Times reported that:
None of the cash, trips and "other things of value" was disclosed by Mr. Cordaro or Mr. Munchak on required financial interest statements filed for 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, the indictment states. Mr. Munchak did not disclose them on his 2007 statement. Mr. Cordaro never filed a 2007 statement. Both men never reported the cash on their federal tax returns and never paid federal taxes, according to the indictment. Cordaro and Munchak won a storybook election in 2003 by a scant 200 votes. On the night they were going to the rally they were prepared to make a concession speech. But the late returns put former Democrat Commissioner Randy Castellani first, Munchak second and Cordaro third just edging out incumbent Joe Corcoran. When the duo took control, there were problems left behind but I think the resignation of Castellani and his inaction as a minority commissioner from the get go gave Cordaro and Munchak carte blanche to do whatever they wanted. By the time Mike Washo came in the train was running full steam down the track. It seemed like Cordaro was the Admiral and Munchak was the willing first mate. Always joined at the hip, the time to separate is now. Break up the partnership boys and fight for your own individual lives. Munchak is saying he’ll be vindicated, Cordaro is speaking through his high priced attorney. In every partnership there is always one person slightly more dominant. It is evident that Cordaro was calling the shots. It is evident that Munchak was Ed Norton to Cordaro's Ralph Kramden following along with the dreams and schemes and not quite fully realizing the mess he was getting into. To prove that all you need do is look at the alleged payoffs:
Cordaro: $410,000.
Munchak $65,000.
That indicates who was leading and who was following. Friendship and associations evolve over the years. Lasting ones that survive adversity and result in triumph have always fascinated me. On that election night in 2003, Cordaro and Munchak must have thought of that old Dr. Seuss book title "Oh the Places You'll Go." Bet they never thought of jail.


At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me it seems like this 40 count indictment seems like throwing the pasta against the wall and seeing what sticks. I would not be surprised at all to see them walk.

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The investigation started with Chuckie! If Bob hadnt been so arrogant as to put Chuckie, an obvious bully and idiot, in a position of importance he might have gotten away with it all! Demanding to be the sole negotiator with the NY Baseball team was also telling. The amazing thing was that "anyone" allowed him to do that! I believe he got more out of that deal than a few tickets.
The most effective bullet in the gun, however, was Bob's own performance in front of the cameras at the Commissioners Meetings! TV magnifies people and personalities. Bob came off as the megalomaniac he also was, but worse yet as an asshole! He always loved a microphone or a camera and he managed to assasinate his own character in front of each!
Lastly, Anthony Munchak was in large part along for the ride. He must regret the day he met his partner, but in the end it doesnt look like he just looked the other way most times.
As of today both men are innocent. My sense is that AJ is more innocent than Bob, but there will be a trial and ultimately, if the system works, a fair and honest verdict.
My hope is that it doesnt linger on like the judges in Luzerne County who long ago admitted guilt.
Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties have much to be ashamed of as both stand as National Leaders in Corruption! "Blow em both up and start over again!!!"


At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good comparisons and contrasts. ralph and ed, bob and a.j. what a pair.

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Fed need to lookinto Wilkes Barre City Hall and the Wilkes Barre Police Dept lots of corruption going on for years there.

At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no home lacking a dust ball or two! Truth be known, any community put under the glass would shine no less.

I always viewed Lil' Bob as an arrogant but bright leader who knew no bounds. I viewed AJ as being a nice fellow who just didn't get it. You can see in many of the photos that he was absolutely enthralled by Lil' Bob.

It will be too bad to see AJ take this fall.

Signed -- Not a Happy Camper

At 10:11 PM, Blogger dfoglietta7200 said...

AJ was Norton to Kramden (Cordaro)?
but Alice called all the shots, remember. Which begs the question: who was Alice??


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