The LuLac Edition #1186, May 19th, 2010
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE....
This election of 2010 for all of its bluster and blarney about "throwing the bums out" and making a change turned into one big win for the party establishment. The exception to that is of course the unseating of Senator Arlen Specter. As a few wags said, "The only Democrat that in the end can defeat Arlen Specter...is Arlen Specter." Opponent Joe Sestak beat Specter who in 5 past Senate elections won. Sestak squares off against Pat Toomey in the fall. You can bet Toomey will ask hard questions about Sestak's mercurial reputation as an admiral but also as a Congressional office holder that ran through staff like Southern barbecue enthusiasts run through napkins. The National GOP will be pouring money into this race. Other than the Senate race, it seemed like the old reliables won.
Dan Onorato spent a lot of money, Jack Wagner who is perhaps the most qualified to be Governor did not. Wagner proved that old school politics doesn't work without a serious infusion of cash. Anthony Williams made an impression and may be the future of the Dems in years to come.
Corey O'Brien had me convinced. O'Brien said he had a wining strategy that would put Paul Kanjorski away for good. And there were ancillary things to back him up. Anger about Wall Street, an anti incumbent mood sure to sweep Kanjo from his perch. Nope, like the sleepy tortoise Kanjorski shut his moiuth, kept his head down, went about his business and prevailed. In a future edition I'll visually depict for you tone of the reasons why O'Brien lost. Lou Barletta awaits Round 3 and you can be sure that Kanjorski staffers and his media guru Ed Mitchell are doing research on the good Mayor.
Despite a lackluster campaign, Tom Marino beat Malcolm Derk and David Madiera for the chance to run against Chris Carney in the fall. Carney's seat is one the GOP has an eye on. Marino better run a better effort in the fall if he is to challenge Carney.
John Blake was the quiet man in this race. He touted his career as a public servant distinguishing himself from the other candidates, Doherty, Corcoran, Volpe and Wansacz. I can't help but think the long arm and reach of both Ed Rendell and Bob Mellow had something to do with this win. Frank Scavo will have his hands full in the fall.
It appears that people in LuLac land want their Mayors to stay Mayor. Going back to the time of Wilkes Barre Mayor Frank Slattery (who ran for Judge and State Rep) and Scranton's Jimmy Connors (who ran for Congress) we tend to like our mayors to stay put. Tom Leighton found that out on Election Night when he lost to John Yudichak. Yudichak clobbered the Mayor and made this race very competitive by doing a lot of grassroots campaigning. Many people, particularly in the Greater Pittston Area changed their mind after meeting Yudichak because of his charisma and honest attitude. He never shied away from the per diem issue and deflected it. Leighton made a good impression but didn't light any crowds on fire. Like Mayor Doherty, Mayor Leighton ran on the good points of his record but also on the unfulfilled accomplishment that come with being a Mayor. Steve Urban will have his work cut out for him in the Fall.
Gerald Mullery outlast Gary Zingaretti and Bob Morgan to replace Yudichak. Morgan ran TV and radio ads, touted himself as "The Real Democrat" but apparently the barrister Mullery had some support no one could foresee.
Representative Ken Smith proves my point about people and change. First off love the guy's restaurant and think he is a nice man. But he had tax problems that have been an ongoing issue for most of his terms. But Smith prevailed over a group of candidates that couldn't seem to get out of their own way.
The people who are advancing to the General Election contest are seasoned veterans of politics and government. If there were any change agents in Election 2010, I'm not seeing them. Like the old adage goes, "The more things change, the more they stay the same". That said, I congratulate the winners and to the losers, I applaud you for putting yourselves out there. Next to government service in the armed services, a citizen running for office is performing a patriotic duty.