Thursday, September 30, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1316, Sept. 30th, 2010



Chris Carney has to be the luckiest Congressman in America. He first won election in 2006 against Don Sherwood who was accused of having an affair with someone half his age. Some guys I know would have thought that was a good thing and worthy of a vote. But when you are accused of knocking them around, then that's another matter. Then in 2008 Carney runs against Chris Hackett who had a bruising primary with Dan Muesser. Now in 2010, he is facing Tom Marino who has had a connection with Louis DeNaples. Everybody has a connection to Mr. DeNaples but its how they handle it is they key to social and political survival. Marino has failed miserably in handling the issue. Carney, despite hundreds of thousands of dollars in negative ads spent against him still is doing well. If he prevails, it will be because of his good record but partly because of good luck.


The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is endorsing Paul Kanjorski for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in Pennsylvania's 11th Congressional District. "The NRA-PVF is endorsing Paul Kanjorski because he has defended the Second Amendment freedoms of law-abiding gun owners, hunters and sportsmen in Pennsylvania and across America," said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the NRA-PVF. As a member of Congress, Kanjorski has demonstrated his commitment to our Second Amendment rights by voting for legislation to allow permit holders to carry and transport firearms for self-defense in national parks and wildlife refuges, as well as voting for legislation to restore self-defense rights in our nation's capital. He signed the pro-gun congressional amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting our individual right to keep and bear arms in the Heller case and signed the pro-gun congressional amicus brief that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that protects all Americans in the McDonald case. Kanjorski also cosponsored legislation to force much-needed reform at the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
In addition, Kanjorski voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which prevents attempts to bankrupt the American gun industry through bogus lawsuits, and signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder opposing the reenactment of the failed Clinton gun ban. He also voted for the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act that prohibits gun confiscation during states of emergency as happened after Hurricane Katrina. Paul Kanjorski's commitment to preserving our right to keep and bear arms has earned him an "A" rating and the endorsement of the NRA-PVF."On November 2, I urge all Pennsylvania NRA Members and gun owners in the 11th District to vote Paul Kanjorski for Congress," Cox concluded.Chris W. Cox is NRA's chief lobbyist. He also serves as chairman of NRA-PVF. The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund is responsible for political candidate rankings. These are based on candidate voting records, public statements and responses to NRA-PVF questionnaires.


22nd District Senatorial candidate Frank Scavo also got the nod of the NRA. The emerging Scavo candidacy issued this statement: " I am extremely honored and proud to have the NRA A "Q" endorsement from the National Rifle Association. The NRA recognizes my commitment to the Second amendment of the United States Constitution and our clear right to keep and bear arms. In our God given right of self defense, it is the ownership of firearms that guarantees the continued freedom of "We the People" in these Untied States."
"The high value NRA endorsement is a big boost and clearly defines my pro freedom, pro constitutional stand in this PA Senate campaign. I will fight any erosion of our Second amendment rights and work to preserve these rights and all other constitutional rights for us and our posterity. I believe this endorsement makes the voting decision in November easier and crystal clear. "
NRA endorsements are not always given in a race. I will be joining Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President, Chris Cox, NRA National Director and Senate candidate Pat Toomey at the Ramada Inn, Rt 6, Clark Summit Pa on Tuesday 10/28/2010 for a Pat Toomey rally. Doors open at 11:45 and event starts at 12:15.



Lou Barletta, candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 11th District, accepted the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee, one of the nation’s leading pro-life groups. “You are a strong advocate for life: you support pro-life legislation and you oppose the use of federal funding for elective abortion. We look forward to working with you to restore legal protection for innocent life – unborn children and medically disabled or dependent persons whose lives are threatened by abortion or euthanasia,” wrote David N. O’Steen, NRLC executive director, and Karen A. Cross, NRLC political director. The group noted 26-year incumbent Paul Kanjorski’s vote to allow the government takeover of health care in making its decision to endorse Lou Barletta: “Recently your opponent, Congressman Paul Kanjorski, voted to enact President Obama’s health care legislation, which will provide government funding for health plans that pay for abortion on demand, and promote the rationing of lifesaving medical treatments. Your support is needed to reverse the pro-abortion and rationing effects of that health care legislation.” The NRLC wrote of Kanjorski’s vote for the healthcare bill, “A lawmaker who votes for this bill is voting to require federal agencies to subsidize and administer health plans that will pay for elective abortion, and voting to undermine longstanding pro-life policies in other ways as well. ... The executive order promised by President Obama was issued for political effect. It changes nothing. It does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill. The president cannot amend a bill by issuing an order, and the federal courts will enforce what the law says.” Kanjorski also earns a 50-percent rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), a pro-abortion group. This rating means he votes against pro-life measures every other time they come up for a vote.“I am pro-life, so receiving this endorsement from the National Right to Life Political Action Committee makes me extremely proud. Innocent life should be protected at every stage of development. I support the restoration of legal protection for innocent human life. The health care bill was absolutely devastating to pro-life groups and causes, and Congressman Kanjorski should be ashamed that he voted for it. If elected, I will fight to protect innocent life and reverse the pro-abortion effects of the government takeover of health care,” Lou Barletta


Sam Bianco died the other day of cancer. He was a major player in the local labor and social services scene. He was also a stalwart political partner of the Democratic Party in Luzerne County. I first met him in 1968 when I was helping to campaign for Hubert Humphrey. Through the years Bianco’s and my path crossed with various political campaigns, social events and also when I worked for the United Way of Wyoming Valley. I last saw Sam last fall when WVIA TV’s “State of Pennsylvania” had a program dedicated to the new health care reform bill. Bianco stood up to ask a short question but then began to engage the host Bill Kelly as well as the panel. 5 minutes later…………………that’s how Sam was. He made his point clearly but just in case you missed it, he repeated it. Sam lost a battle with cancer. His commitment to the middle class, social services and of course labor will be remembered and appreciated for a very long time. Here’s his obituary:
Samuel J. Bianco, 88, of Vandling, Pa., died Tuesday, September 28, 2010. His wife is Clara Golecki Bianco. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary June 10. Born February 17, 1922, in Vandling, he was a son of the late Louis and Angeline Ferraro Bianco. He was a graduate of Vandling High School and a member of the Roman Catholic Community of Forest City, Pa. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II in the Tank Corps and a recipient of the Purple Heart. Samuel was a member of the VFW and the American Legion. He was also a member of Elkview Country Club. Sam was currently president of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor Council (AFL-CIO) and the Alliance for Retired Americans District 3. He was presently serving as Chair of the Labor Participation Committee; Board Member, and Finance Committee for The United Way of Wyoming Valley. He was a present board member of United Rehabilitation Services and the Lackawanna County Board of Assistance. Sam was currently a co-chairman for the NEPA Area Labor Management Council and a committee member for PA AFL-CIO Community Services Committee. Sam was a past Pennsylvania Delegate for the White House Conference on Aging, and he served previous board positions for the Lackawanna County River Basin Sewer Authority, St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen, Wilkes University Continuing Education, Blue Cross of NEPA, American Red Cross Wyoming Valley Chapter, and the Forest City Regional School District. He was a past State Vice President for Pa. Alliance for Retired Americans and a past district manager for the International Garment Workers Union of Pittston and Wilkes-Barre. As president of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor council, the council under his leadership was the recipient of the "United Way of Wyoming Valley's Labor Award" in 1990, "Pa. AFL-CIO Boyer-Uehlein Community Service Award" in 1990 and 2000, the "National AFL-CIO Model City in Community Service Award" in 1998, and the "United Way of America's Joseph A. Beirne Community Service Award" in 2007.


Governor Ed Rendell named a successor to Bob Reilly the other day. With the urging of Senator Lisa Baker, Governor Rendell, notorious for not filling unexpired terms of any kind nominated Will Conyingman of Dallas. Conyingham is a Democrat and ran for the seat held by George Hasay a few years back. News of his appointment brought a great deal of relief because Conyingham for all of his political leanings can never be classified as a hack. Conyingham has been involved in the family business the Trucksville Hillside Farms property. It was made over to the non-profit Lands at Hillside Farms board in 2005. Conyngham also helped start a successful ice cream business and store at the farm in 1977. Conyingham will serve out the term until 2011. No word on what will happen to that office due to the Home Rule Vote and also no word if the new officer holder is going to issue a mandatory dress code of bow ties for the male office staff.


Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton found the Black Panther Party.......The Toyota Corolla car introduced………………….in Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton defends his record against Democratic candidate Milton Shapp. Scranton insists that the election of his Lt. Governor Raymond Broderick will continue the upward climb the state of Pennsylvania is headed…..and in Lackawanna County Commissioner Edward Zipay and Patrick Mellody make it crystal clear they are going to run for another term when the 1967 primaries roll along and 44 years ago this week the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was “96 Tears” by Question Mark and the Mysterians. The lead singer of the band actually had his name legally changed to “Question Mark.” He was the one hit wonder formerly known as Rudy Martinez.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1315, Sept. 29th, 2010



County needs home rule more than ever

Paul Golias is an old school newspaper guy who has been on the scene in Luzerne County for more than fifty years. Throughout that time, we have had our differences of opinion. But in his reaction to the campaign for Home Rule Mr. Golias hits it out of the park.
Is Luzerne County about to sustain a double whammy? Is the evil eye of history about to allow some severe smacks on the side of the head, again?
If I am reading the mood of many people correctly, there is a deep-seated anxiety that our 224-year-old county (as of Sept. 23) is headed for the great abyss of mediocrity, destined to be a second-rate, or worse, follower and never a trend-setter.
The fears that I hear are that the federal probe into government corruption is slowing down and possibly grinding to a slow death and that political forces too powerful to overcome will kill home rule. The hope of the political power brokers is that the status quo can be maintained despite the stench of corruption, that the probe into corruption itself will go away and that the old political game can continue.
"All politics is local," Thomas "Tip" O'Neil said. Locally, it has been played to the hilt and the politicos, their business supporters and job holders are at work, overtly and covertly.
About 30 people have been charged to date in the corruption probe. Yes, judges, county commissioners and other high-profile government officials or business people have been named, but there is a general feeling that many more people are involved in corrupt activities. The arrests made in local school districts alone should provide the fodder to more indictments.
The major political parties have a stake in defeating home rule. Controlling a county and controlling row offices equate to political power. Opposition to past home-rule efforts was bipartisan. It is no surprise that Republicans and Democrats are speaking out against home rule again in 2010. This November's vote is about control and power and in Luzerne County it has been a rough and tough game as strong-willed, seasoned politicians have had their way.
Our area's history is one of rough and tough people bearing with difficult challenges. The coal mining industry that was the backbone of our economy for 100 years also killed people, raped the land and left the county in economic shambles. Now we must hope that development of the Marcellus Shale natural gas bonanza does not wreak havoc on the environment.
Let's try to put all of this into perspective: The feds have found corruption in our courts, some school systems, county government and some local governments; the best home-rule charter yet drafted for Luzerne County, a real shot at reform, is being talked down; production jobs are down and unemployment is up; out-migration of our best and brightest continues; fragmented local government often can't provide quality services, yet regionalization initiatives are routinely snubbed; natural gas drilling has begun in Pennsylvania and Clean Water Action, an environmental group, said "we are stunned" at the number of violations being found; our state and federal legislative bodies are polarized and, finally, we are an angry populace but we really don't have a real grasp of what we are angry about nor do we have the willingness to engage in the research of issues or the level-headed debate necessary to get to the decisions necessary to meet the needs of all.
We really need the federal corruption investigation to not only continue but to intensify.
We need to summon the courage to take the dramatic step of adopting home rule.
These steps won't resolve all of our challenges overnight but, absent these actions, we may begin speculating on who will turn out the lights as Luzerne County slips into that abyss.
Paul Golias, retired managing editor of The Citizens' Voice, writes a weekly column on regional issues. He can be contacted at

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1314, Sept. 28th, 2010




Last week’s poll question featured Lackawanna County Commissioner Bob Cordaro’s appearance on WILK. Cordaro score a perfect score in one of the category questions. He was batting 1000%, pitching a perfect game in the over all results of this survey.




We’ll be staying on the same vein this week but we’ll ask about Luzerne County’s lawsuit against Lackawanna County over the Stadium and the baseball team.


Is Luzerne County justified in filing a lawsuit against Lackawanna County over the Yankees and the Stadium?
Should Luzerne County withdraw the suit?

Monday, September 27, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1313, Sept. 27th, 2010



Tom Corbett and Dan Onorato squared off in a debate for Governor of Pennsylvania. Seated on a platform with Ted Koppell the duo went at it other vowing they alone represent true change in Pennsylvania. The meeting between Republican Tom Corbett, the state attorney general, and Democrat Dan Onorato, the elected executive of Allegheny County, took place before 1,350 guests at the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry's $225-a-plate annual dinner.In one-minute responses, Corbett and Onorato accused each other of being career politicians, among other things.A few weeks before Election Day, Corbett leads Onorato in the polls and campaign funding, while Onorato is banking on Democrats' 3-2 edge in voter registration and a strong voter turnout to help him pull off an upset in the Nov. 2 election.Corbett, 61, who has signed a pledge not to raise taxes but hasn't ruled out higher fees and other levies, touts his office's high-profile investigation into the illegal use of taxpayer resources for electioneering in the Legislature as his bona fides as a government reformer. So far, one former legislative leader and a former aide have been sentenced to prison.Onorato, 49, portrays himself as the only state government outsider in the race and the only candidate with executive experience. He has said he would not increase the sales or income taxes, but he dismisses written pledges as political gimmicks.
If I had to judge the debate, I’d have to give it to Onorato. He was more smooth, polished and seemed more at ease than Corbett.
But Corbett is leading the Western Pa. County official and looks to be the front runner as Election Day nears.


Pat Toomey fielded questions from Ted Koppell at his Senatorial debate at the Hershey Lodge. Toomey’s Democratic opponent Joe Sestak stood him up citing a previous fund raiser commitment in Pittsburgh with Senator John Kerry and his wife Tesresa Heinz Kerry. Whether this will impact the campaign or anyone will notice is anyone’s guess. But Sestak really has to answer for this debate no show.

The LuLac Edition #1312, Sept. 27th, 2010



With September coming to a close, the 2010 campaigns for Governor and U.S. Senate are heating up. Later today, PCN will carry coverage of two debates put together within the confines of the Pa. Chamber of Business and Industry.
As part of the Pennsylvania Cable Network’s (PCN) extensive coverage of Election 2010, the statewide public affairs network will air LIVE coverage of the U.S. senatorial candidate forum and gubernatorial debate hosted by the PA Chamber of Business and Industry at the Hershey Lodge. The scheduled events are part of the state chamber’s annual dinner which is in its 26th year. PCN will begin its LIVE coverage at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, September 27. Following the conclusion of each debate, PCN will continue its LIVE coverage with debate reaction. Viewers will be able to share their thoughts after each debate by dialing 1-877-PA6-5001 during a special Call-In program.
The tentative air schedule for this event is as follows:
U.S. Senatorial candidate forum – PA Chamber of Business and Industry
PCN will begin LIVE coverage at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, September 27
PA Chamber of Business and Industry - PA Economic Survey at 3:45 p.m. followed by LIVE coverage of candidate forum with Pat Toomey, Republican for U.S. Senate on PCN at 4:00 p.m.
Moderator and former Nightline anchor, Ted Koppel, will focus on job creation
PCN will offer interviews from the field along with forum reaction at 5:00 p.m.
PA Gubernatorial candidates debate – PA Chamber of Business and Industry
PCN will begin LIVE coverage at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, September 27
LIVE coverage of gubernatorial candidates debate with Tom Corbett, Republican for Governor and Dan Onorato, Democrat for Governor at 8:00 p.m.– first debate between the two candidates
Moderated by former Nightline anchor, Ted Koppel
PCN will offer interviews from the field along with debate reaction at 9:00 p.m.
For more information about PCN’s Election 2010 coverage, visit PCN’s new Election Central page at

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1311, Sept. 26th, 2010



One half century ago tonight, Senator John F. Kennedy squared off against Richard Nixon, then Vice President in the first televised debate in American politics. Hearkening back to the :Lincoln-0Douglas debates, this much anticipated prime time program (produced incidentally by the late Don Hewitt, he of “60 Minutes” fame) the stand off was viewed by millions of Americans. The debate established Kennedy as a serious candidate, one that could share the stage with a sitting Vice President. I was very young at the time, in the first grade as a matter of fact. But there was a buzz about this event from the nuns all the way to parents talking about who seemed better. People who heard the debate on radio thought Nixon won, people who saw Kennedy vs. Nixon on TV thought JFK had in overwhelmingly. This debate was the seminal event on the road leading to the media influence that has permeated politics ever since. Here's a look back:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1310, Sept. 25th, 2010



Former Luzerne County Commissioner Greg Skrepenak went to prison a few weeks back. I had the opportunity to talk to a few political guys about the big guy’s fate. (EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a composite interview with more than one person.)
Q: I though Skrepenak was a good County Commissioner on the merits of seeing him discuss the county government in meetings. Was I wrong?
A: No, Skrep when he wanted to could command the facts and persuade people. The guy you saw in those meetings was prepared and engaged.
Q: Then what happened?
A: I think it had to do with the athletics if you will. I think he got bored easily. He played on a big stage and I think the county government just wasn’t that big for him. Remember when there were rumors abounding when he went to live in Plains. The talk was he wanted Kanjorski’s seat.
Q: Yeah, I remember. Was he crooked?
A: No, I think he was misguided. Not to excuse his behavior. I just think he got a lot of bad advice, bad judgement and horrible guidance.
Q: But those people who gave him that advice were people he put in place, correct?
A: Oh yes. That’s why I say there was bad judgement and bad guidance. He was at fault, no doubt. He did it to himself.
Q: Did he intend to get himself hung up?
A: No one ever intends it but I truly don’t think he ever saw the connection until…
Q: Until it was pointed out to him.
A: Right.
Q: Did you ever work for him?
A: No, but did vote for him.
Q: When he comes out of jail, what will happen, what will the public reaction be?
A: People scorn him now but there was a lot of built in envy here.
Q: We are an envious people.
A: You think?
Q: Oh yeah, my dad used to say, “People would rather see a hearse parked in your driveway rather than a Cadillac”.
A: (Laughs). I think he’ll come out stronger spiritually and personally than ever. He’s young, has time on his side. He’ll get another chance, not politically but personally. He was a good guy, smart guy who got bad advice.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1309, Sept. 24th, 2010



Maybe I’m Amazed……that the Congress of the United States took the time to have Stephen Colbert testify in character before a Tax Payer funded Congressional hearing. What could he add? I mean its like the Congress in 1966 hearing testimony from Buddy Ebsen as Jed Clampett or Adam West as Batman. How stupid are the Democrats going to get handing issues over to the GOP on a silver platter.
Maybe I’m Amazed…...that it is 11 years ago today that my auto accident happened. I think I’ve been through 25 canes in the time period. #1 reason for cane casualty: leaving them on the top of my car and then driving off and seeing them disappear on the highways and byways of LuLac land.
Maybe I’m Amazed….that Rush Limbaugh has been bragging about how he is the first person in his college not to go to college. I came from a time when it was fashionable, even honorable to be the first person in your family educated beyond high school. I guess Rush has adopted a little bit of the NEPA philosophy proudly proclaimed, “I’m ignorant and don’t you ever forget that”.
Maybe I’m Amazed…..that there are people who will benefit from the Health Care Bill doing everything in their power to defeat it. Talk about lack of self political interest.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1308, Sept. 23rd, 2010



Carl Romanelli, the Pennsylvania Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006, has been under court order to pay his Democratic Party challengers approximately $80,000 in court costs, for almost four years now. This is because Romanelli’s petition was found not to have enough valid signatures, and Pennsylvania procedure says when a petition is found to lack enough valid signatures, the candidate must pay court costs. However, the 2006 Democratic Party challengers used state resources and state employees (on government time) to challenge the 2006 petition, something that was not known until 2007.
On July 14, 2010, Romanelli had filed a federal lawsuit in Harrisburg, against the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and some of the people who challenged his petition. The defendant Pennsylvania Democratic Party did not answer the complaint, and the legal deadline for the party’s answer has now passed. On September 22, Romanelli asked for a default judgment against the party. The case is Romanelli v DeWeese, 3:10-cv-1434, middle district.


You know I am a landmark/benchmark kind of guy. The 6 month anniversary of the passage of health care reform is a giant step in American history. Because on this day some of the much needed reforms kick in. It is still not enough. There should be a Medicare type public option that will be fair to all patients, people and health care professionals, primarily doctors. If you’d hear the comments of the “Say No” GOP and the Tea Party people, you’d think this was the worst thing in the world. It is not. But the triumph of ignorance and fear sabotaged the health care debate right from the start. These are baby steps, it is the 6 month anniversary of a very good socio-economic achievement. But it should be more, not less.
On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. The landmark new law will put into place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will hold insurance companies accountable, lower health care costs, guarantee more health care choices, and enhance the quality of health care for all Americans. Yesterday President Obama marked the six month anniversary of the law’s enactment by meeting with Americans from across the country who will benefit from the new law and celebrate the implementation of the Patient’s Bill of Rights that was included in the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, the Administration will release state-by-state reports detailing the impact of the Affordable Care Act and a revamped website. Some of the participants whose stories are highlighted on the new website will include:
Dawn Josephson, Dawn Josephson from Jacksonville, FL, who can now live with the security of knowing that her new insurance policy can’t exclude coverage for young her son who recently had eye surgery.
Gail M. O’Brien from Keene, NH who was previously uninsured and diagnosed with high grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Gail is enrolled in the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that will pay for her treatments and is responding very well.
Details on the Patient’s Bill of Rights and examples of how the Administration has already delivered benefits of the Affordable Care Act to the American people are included below.
A New Patient’s Bill of Rights
On September 23, critical new consumer protections in the new law – a Patient’s Bill of Rights -- begin to take effect. The Patient’s Bill of Rights puts an end to some of the worst insurance company abuses, and puts consumers, not insurance companies, in control of their health care. These new protections include:
Ban on Discriminating Against Kids with Pre-Existing Conditions:
Before reform, tens of the thousands of families had been denied insurance each year for their children because of an illness or condition. Starting September 23rd, plans cannot discriminate against kids with pre-existing conditions. In 2014, no one seeking coverage can be discriminated against because of a preexisting condition. Up to
72,000 uninsured children are expected to gain coverage by banning insurers from refusing them coverage due to a pre-existing condition. Coverage for up to 90,000 children will no longer exclude benefits because of a pre-existing condition.
Ban on Insurance Companies Dropping Coverage:
Before reform, insurance companies could cancel your coverage when you got sick and needed it most because of a simple mistake on your application. Starting September 23rd, insurance companies are banned from cutting off your coverage due to an unintentional mistake on your application. Approximately
10,700 people’s coverage, whose coverage is dropped each year because they get sick or make a technical mistake on their application, will be protected under the new law.
Ban on Insurance Companies Limiting Coverage:
Before reform, cancer patients and individuals suffering from other serious and chronic diseases were often forced to limit or go without treatment because of an insurer’s lifetime limit on their coverage. Starting September 23rd, insurance companies can no longer put a lifetime limit on the amount of coverage they provide, so families can live with the security of knowing that their coverage will be there when they need it most. Up to
20,400 people who typically hit their lifetime limits on the dollar amount that can be spent on coverage, along with the nearly 102 million enrollees who have policies with lifetime limits, will no longer have to worry about hitting their benefits caps. The use of annual dollar limits will be restricted, and in 2014will be banned completely. By 2013, up to 3,500 people will gain coverage as a result of the ban on annual limits that insurers impose on nearly 18 million people today.
Ban on Insurance Companies Limiting Choice of Doctors:
Before reform, insurance companies could decide which doctor you could go to. Starting September 23rd, if you purchase or join a new plan you have the right to choose your own doctor in your insurer network. Up to
88 million people will benefit from the provision that protects primary care provider choice by 2013.
Ban on Insurance Companies Restricting Emergency Room Care:
Before reform, insurance companies could limit which emergency room you could go to or charge you more if you went out of network. Starting September 23rd, if you purchase or join a new plan, those plans are banned from charging more for emergency services obtained out of network. Up to
88 million people will benefit from this provision.
Guarantee You a Right to Appeal:
Before reform, when insurers denied you coverage or restricted your treatment, you were left with few options to appeal. Starting September 23rd, if you purchase or join a new policy, you will be guaranteed the right to appeal insurance company decisions to an independent third party. Up to
88 million people will benefit from the new appeals process provisions by 2013.
Covering Young Adults on Parent’s Plan:
Starting September 23rd, young adults will be allowed to remain on their parent’s plan until their 26th birthday, unless they are offered coverage at work. Up to 2.4
million young adults, up to 1.8 million who are uninsured and nearly 600,000 who purchase coverage in the individual market, could gain coverage through their parents.
Covering Preventive Care With No Cost:
Starting September 23rd, if you join or purchase a new plan, you will receive recommended preventive care with no out-of-pocket cost. Services like mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, pre-natal and new baby care will be covered and insurance companies will be prohibited from charging deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance. Up to 88 million people will have access to preventive care with no out of pocket costs.
Six Months of Progress
In addition to implementing the Patient’s Bill of Rights, the Obama Administration has worked to deliver other benefits of reform to the American people. In the last six months, the Administration has:
Fought Waste, Fraud and Abuse: The Affordable Care Act includes robust new tools that will help fight fraud and protect taxpayer dollars. Using these new tools, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has pledged to cut Medicare’s error rate (the percentage of claims paid inappropriately) in half by 2012. A proposed regulation that implements the first round of Affordable Care Act policies to combat Medicare and Medicaid fraud was issued on September 17.
Helped Fight Premium Increases: The Affordable Care Act also includes critical new resources and authorities to crack down on unjustified rate hikes. Today, 46 states are using resources under the new reform law to pass or strengthen premium rate review laws which will have a significant impact on keeping year-to-year increases in premiums low. In a number of states (California, Massachusetts, Maine) regulators have already reviewed and rejected these proposed increases. We expect this pattern to continue. The Administration has also been working on rules that require insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care instead of overhead, salaries or administrative expenses, in 2011. If they fail to do so, they will be required to provide rebates to consumers. THIS MIGHT MEAN NO MORE 70 MILLION DOLLAR SURPLUSES FROM THE BLUES!!!!!!!!!
Offered Support for Small Businesses: Under the Affordable Care Act, up to 4 million small businesses nationwide could qualify for a small business tax credit this year, which will provide a total of $40 billion in relief for small firms over the next 10 years. Small businesses have been notified of these tax credits and can make plans knowing the credits will help bring down their health care costs.
Helped Make Prescription Drugs More Affordable: More than 1 million seniors who have fallen into the prescription drug coverage gap known as the donut hole have received $250 rebate checks. The checks are the first step toward closing the donut hole in 2020.
Launched a New Website to Make it Easier to Find Coverage: On July 1, the Administration launched is a new, easy to use website that helps consumers take control of their health care and make the choices that are right for them by putting the power of information at their fingertips. The website is the first of its kind to bring information and links to health insurance plans and other coverage options to one place, making it easier for consumers to learn about their insurance options. The site includes extensive, easy to understand information about patients’ rights, how to navigate the current insurance market, and how the Affordable Care Act will help them. A Spanish language version – – was launched on September 8, and additional pricing information will be added on October 1.
Started Covering Individuals With Pre-Existing Conditions: On July 1, the Administration announced the establishment of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program to provide coverage for eligible Americans who have been uninsured for six months because of a pre-existing condition. Coverage started in 47 states by August, and will be provided in all states by the end of September.
Provided Employers Support to Cover Early Retirees: On August 31, the Administration announced that over 2,000 employers and unions across all fifty states had been approved to receive help to pay for their early retirees’ health care through the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. This program will help many older Americans, who are not yet eligible for Medicare, continue to have quality affordable coverage through their employer.
You’ll hear all kind of crap from the right wing Republicans about how this is going to bankrupt our grandchildren’s future, how it is going to provide a free lunch to unworthy people and my oh my wherever are we gong to get the money to pay for it! You’ll get the money to pay for it from the same place you got it from when you funded a pointless 30 billion dollar a month war in Iraq which did nothing but assassinate nearly 5,000 American soldiers.


Rick Arnold, candidate for state representative in Pennsylvania’s 119th district, will hold the South Valley Mixer on Sunday, September 26th at Alden Manor in Nanticoke. Residents of the 119th will have an opportunity to spend an afternoon with Mr. Arnold and discuss with him important issues facing the district and the state as this crucial election day for Pennsylvania approaches. Attendance for the event will be limited, so anyone interested in joining Mr. Arnold is asked to call (570) 868-7340 to make reservations. The event will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 26th at Alden Manor. Alden Manor is located on Middle Road in Nanticoke between Old Mountain Road and Lee Mine Avenue. Cost of attendance is $35.00 per person for unlimited food, beer, wine, and beverages. Menu items include pasta, chicken, stuffed mushrooms, and cheese steaks.
To learn more about Rick Arnold’s candidacy for state representative please visit The 119th District includes Edwardsville, Fairview Township, Larksville, Laurel Run, Nanticoke, Newport Township, Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Rice Township, Slocum Township, Sugar Notch and Warrior Run and sections of Bear Creek, Hanover and Wright townships.
About Rick Arnold:Rick Arnold is a business owner and community leader running for the 119th District seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He is a dedicated husband and father who will bring common sense, traditional values to Harrisburg as a representative of the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania. For more information on this press release, please contact Dan Salvaterra at 570-822-4300.


Two October dates are set for debates between Democrat candidate John Blake and Republican candidate Frank Scavo. Both are in contention for the State Senate seat of Robert Mellow, District 22.
The first debate, sponsored by the League of Women voters of Lackawanna County, will be held on Tuesday, October 12Th at 7:00 pm in the Pearn Auditorium (2ND floor) in the University of Scranton's Brennan Hall on Madison avenue. This will be a taped interview and air on ECTV. The second debate, sponsored by WVIA, TV 44, is Tuesday, October 26Th at 7:00 PM. The debate will be held at the WVIA TV 44 studios and air live the same night. Seating is available for this live debate and can be reserved by calling the candidates or WV IA prior to the debate date. "I applaud the League of Women Voters of Lackawanna county and WVIA TV for offering their forums for this critical election. I also believe the two debates will show the sharp distinction between the Harrisburg insider mindset versus that of the non governmental, private sector conservative approach to government. With recent defeats of the establishment candidates, the outlook for change here in Northeast Pennsylvania is at a peak, and the best it has ever been" stated candidate Scavo.


Join the Luzerne County GOP this Sunday afternoon by attending the Luzerne County Republicans Tailgate party.
6th District Tailgate Party Sunday, September 26 at 1:00pm, Location: GOP Headquarters, 41 S. Main St. Ste. 14, Wilkes-Barre.



President Johnson and Vice President Humphrey campaign furiously for Democrats in the mid term elections. The duo just two years from their landslide target states like California where incumbent Pat Brown tries to stave off Ronald Reagan in the Governor’s race and in Illinois where incumbent Paul Douglas faced off against Charles Percy……in Pennsylvania news reports still circulate over the big news in Erie during the summer. A film crew visits the town and starts to research a movie about what the residents saw. As reported five credible witnesses saw a UFO and one of its passengers on Presque Isle Park. Two women clearly saw a strange being. John Keel, respected paranormalist, investigated. The summer of 1966 was a strange one for some Erie residents. Eight gave descriptions of the alien beings they saw. People reported seeing mysterious lights in the sky. Something was eerie in Erie, the city of the canal folk song fame. Sadly a movie never was Scranton Mayor Jim Walsh gives Pennsylvania candidate for Governor Milton Shapp a tour of the town. Shapp's defeated primary rival, Robert P. Casey Senior joins them during the one day event and 44 years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac was the 4 Seasons "I've Got You Under My Skin".

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1307, Sept. 22nd, 2010




Former Congressional candidate and political analyst Joe Leonardi took some time away from his fitness endeavors ( to write a compelling story about the race in the 10th Congressional District. Here are his thoughts:

The PA 10th Congressional Race; What’s going on?
by: Joe Leonardi
The Reagan Revolution is reborn.
The conservative movement is energized.
Throughout the land there is excitement in the republican party.
Sarah Palln is taking her place as the head of the party. The Rockefeller Republicans and the Neo-cons are running for cover. Finally, conservatives are poised to reclaim the mantle and make a major move.
So, what do we get in Northeast PA? A knucklehead maneuver from one of our republican Congressional candidates –Tom Marino.
How is it possible for someone with an education that culminated with a law degree to be so, simply stupid?
When will people learn — political victories are usually not won based upon a candidate’s strengths, they are won based on how a candidate handle’s their own weaknesses.
I have to wonder, what went on in his early campaign meetings. Was there not enough brainpower in the room to form a cognizant thought? Didn’t one person think that his involvement with a gambling endeavor might be something to address?
How does someone not think that a sitting U.S. Attorney participating in an application for a gaming license, who then goes to work for the person who was awarded the license, is not going to be a campaign issue! Seriously, when he decided to jump into the fray didn’t someone bring this up? How could he have not been prepared for it? Actually, early on, it seemed as if he was ready. However, as the story played out, it is obvious he wasn’t.
The huge error in this whole mess was to claim to produce paper work that is either confidential or doesn’t exist. Why not just say; Yes I gave him a reference. Yes he is a friend. Then, just leave it at that. Why go any further? Why offer to produce documentation? The documentation was reported by Steve Corbett to be provided by Mr. Marino’s campaign manager in a follow up phone call. When I heard about this I thought to myself, since he volunteered it, this guy better produce the documentation.
Much as Dan Meuser dropped a huge ball concerning his company hiring illegal immigrants, Marino now has his own mis-step. Mis-steps such as these are born out of either ignorance or arrogance. Much like the establishment republicans that had their butts handed to them this primary election season, both men were the chosen ones of their parties. Meuser never made it out of the primary and now the new chosen one Tom Marino, may fumble an easy hand-off reminiscent of Joe Pisarcik during The Miracle at the Meadowlands. Funny coincidence, Joe Pisarcik is originally from Northeast PA.
Both in football and politics; poor play calling, combined with poor execution usually leads to defeat.
Doctor Leonardi ran for Congress in 2006 in the 11th Congressional District. He is a fitness advocate as well as local health care professional. A U.S. Navy Veteran, Leonardi is a frequent contributor to various newspapers and on line sites.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1306, Sept. 21st, 2010




As we enter the heat of the Governor’s race in 2010, the GOP is keeping Tom Corbett away from live microphones and Dan Onorato of the Democrats is telling people how to spell his name. In our poll question last week, we asked who people would be inclined to vote for as the next Governor of Pennsylvania. The results were a bit surprising to me given the fact that this is a heavily Democratic area. Here are the results:


When we asked the next part of the question on Governor Rendell’s tenure, this is the result we received:

YES 20%.
NO 80%



This morning on WILK Radio former Lackawanna County Commissioner Bob Cordaro appeared on the air talking about the Scranton Wilkes Barre Yankees deal. Cordaro refused to address the charges against him. Given the fact that he is going to have a trial date soon, we decided to pose this question.

Click here to take survey

Monday, September 20, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1305, Sept 20th, 2010



Eleven years ago tonight I began working part time (30 hours a week) at the Call Center on South Main Street in Wilkes Barre. I was still working in radio but knew I needed to become of the information and electronic age. My main motivation was to learn a little bit about computers and then move on., Turns out I stated until the last owner (Customer Satisfaction First) ran the company into the ground. The skills I picked up there as a 40 something part timer enabled me to move on to other jobs similar to what they offered in 1999, gave me the computer wherewith all to work on books and also was an integral part in my ability to bring you this blog every day. Life is full of right and left turns as well as unintended consequences. My association with the big grand building on South Main Street brought me more blessings than heartache. And when you do more than break even on any venture, that's a very good thing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1304, Sept. 19th, 2010



Had the opportunity to attend the Blog Fest for the Fall at Rooney’s Pub in downtown Pittston. Some pretty interesting people and happenings. Here’s a rapid fire LuLac snapshot of what went on.............
20th State Senator Lisa Baker attended the meeting and greeting the folks. A surreal moment happened when the Senator was featured on one of the big screen TVs as she chatted with the bloggers. We had Senator Baker “Live” and “On Tape”………Pope John Paul Ringo officiated at the informal opening of the event praying over a Bud Light…….Organizers Gort and Joe Valenti made sure things ran according to plan. Valenti had his battles with a local lawyer over documents and brought a shredder for miscellaneous blog entries that no longer exist…..Had a great conversation with Libertarian Senate candidate Betsy Sommers who is running for a State Senate seat. Sommers was one of the original advocates of Home Rule in 2003 and has a wealth of knowledge on all subjects governmental. Sommers is running for the State Senate seat held by Ray Musto in the 14th…..Had an opportunity to meet Karen Feather, Chief of Staff from Congressman Kanjorski’s office. She says she loves my blog. Flattered. Let’s see, that’s an even dozen now……Former 10th District Congressional foes Chris Hackett and Dan Muesser were in attendance. Both guys look like they could be actors in Hollywood with their individual and collective charisma….Steve Urbanski made the rounds……Adam H was filming some sort of debate out on the sidewalk later on in the night….Terrence O’Connor candidate for Mike Carroll’s seat in the 118th was there with a smile…Harry Haas a GOP rising star was on hand…..Lou Jasikoff from “The Political Emporium” seemed to have a crowd around him as he articulated some of the issues close to him….....Luzerne County Commissioner Steve Urban was there too meeting the crowd….……Also representing the Libertarian point of view was State Representative candidate Tim Mullen who is running in the 120th district…….Mullen’s two major party opponents were there too. GOP nominee and West Pittston Mayor Bill Goldsworthy was making the rounds. Goldsworthy is hoping he can get some solid support in districts that have previously favored the incumbent, Phyllis Mundy…..Mundy was also on the scene talking issues with the bloggers as well as the other attendees. It seems like yesterday that Mundy won an upset victory in the heavily Republican GOP district. For two decades she has staved off contenders with good constituent service as well as staying in contact with the voters….Representing State Representative Todd Eachus was Marguerite Woelfel from Conyingham. Marguerite and I had a discussion about the importance of local media outlets like Hazleton’s WYLN TV 35..….116th District candidate Rick Arnold stopped by. Arnold is running against Democrat Gerry Mullery who also was there pressing the flesh and talking up his prospects….Radio talk show callers Charlie Hatchko aka “Bible Buck” and “Duke From Dallas” stopped by and debated the issues as only they could….Ever think you recognize someone but weren’t sure about it? I had a 7 minute conversation with Luzerne County Elections Official head Leonard Piazza thinking he was someone else all together. Here he got rid of his glasses and was wearing contacts. I got tired of my fishing expedition and just said, “okay, I’m stuck, who are you?” By the way, the look is good Len…………Lackawanna County was well represented by Frank Scavo, his wife and a band of supporters. Scavo is running for the vacant seat in the 22nd Senatorial and his people were sporting some snazzy golf shirts……Long time State Representative Ed Staback will have his hands full this fall with a challenge from Mid Valley Realtor Theresa Kane. Kane worked the room with all the savvy of a seasoned political pro……...............This might be so hard to believe but I had never met Congressman Paul Kanjorski. I had the opportunity to speak with the Congressman and bent his ear a little about the much maligned stimulus package and how it benefited unemployed workers. My message to him was loud and clear, “It was good”……Democratic candidate in the 117th Rich Shemanski was there all suited up. The young man is running against incumbent Karen Boback…..Duke from Dallas took a picture of me with my talk radio nemesis Lorraine Cummings. Lorraine and I are so diametrically opposed on national issues it isn’t even funny. Every time she goes on Sue Henry’s show I go ballistic and call her out on LuLac. But surprisingly we have a common ground on many local issues. How about that, a Tea Party activist and Teddy Kennedy liberal actually agreeing on something…..Had a great conversation with Barletta for Congress spokesperson Shawn Kelly. Kelly and I talked a little bit about the Health Care vote and how it affected seniors. It was an interesting conversation that will certainly prod me to do some research on the issue. Kelly and I also chatted about the new Barletta Website and I forgot to mention one of the most intriguing fundraisers I saw on it dubbed “Barbecue for Barletta”……Speaking of food, 121st GOP candidate Jim O’Meara was at the event talking it up. O’Meara is having a “Wing Night”, Tuesday Sept. 21st at Dan’s Keystone Grill. The wings there by the way are fabulous and were introduced to me by Mr. Gort……..Pittston administrator Joe Valenti has been constantly getting a bust from me because I refer to him as “Michael”. With Valenti’s shaved dome, I say he has a stunning resemblance to national talk show host and former Frank Rizzo aide Michael Smerconish. So when Joe went out for a breath of fresh air I busted him about “the look”. The guy I was sitting with said, “Hey that really looks like Michael Smeconish”! The next thing we knew, two tea party activists started following Joe into Rooney’s wanting an autograph. I think the fellow I was speaking with clued them in. But hey, Valenti will sign autographs. He might shred them after he signs them but you can ask....Was very glad to see Attorney Joe Terrana at the event. Terrana who ran a very credible candidate for Luzerne County Judge in ’09 was circulating. Terrana is sporting a beard now and I’m hoping he’s not going “Al Gore” on us and growing facial hair after a long campaign. (Note: Gore grew a beard after his 2000 victory in the Presidential election that the Supreme Court stole from him, America and the world)…....Blogger Harold Jenkins was at the event. Jenkins has the popular site “Another Monkey”……Had a great conversation with Controller Walter Griffith and his wife. I asked him if he got any interesting e mails from his e mail machine. He said all of his mail is interesting these days…….Renee Butts who almost made a run for Mike Carroll’s seat was at the event with dare I say an entourage……and finally, I know I missed more people than I have mentioned. I’m sorry about that. But I just wanted to give a brief overview of a good time had by all political animals of different political views and persuasions. Perhaps the late Robert Palmer expressed it best:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1303, Sept. 18th, 2010



This week’s Interview segment is a composite of a few people I spoke with at last night’s Blog Social at Rooney’s in Pittston.
Q: What are you hearing on the election?
A: What am I hearing, it’s more like what am I not hearing. My God people are energized.
A: Yes you are right but I’m not sure that the energy is positive.
A: No way is it positive energy unless you want to throw everyone out. But in a way that is positive because people want a change.
Q: But they wanted a change the last time?
A: They sure got it but don’t forget people in the country are used to instant actions.
A:Right, right, I think TV had a lot to do with that.
Q: But the change you speak of, at least to me doesn’t seem to be backed up by a lot of alternative action. Are you hearing any ideas from the outsiders?

A: They don’t have to have ideas because people are mad. They are voting emotionally.
A: Yeah I agree with that. I think people are so scared they just want to lash out.
Q: But the Tea Party people are made up of people who are not starving, not poor. I mean that’s not what revolutions are based on are they?
A: In a way you are correct. But people who are active are fed up with what they perceive to be the haves and have nots.
A: Yeah, I bust my ass to make $40,000 a year and these politicians and lobbyists get nearly $150,000. That’s not fair.
Q: True but for years we let these guys do this. And not just Harrisburg but all over.
A: Like the Mid Valley administrator retiring with $700,000 a year or whatever.
Q: But they were in place. You just can’t take it back can you?
A: Damn right we can.
A: Yeah they did it California in that town where they had huge pensions.
A: I think if it’s bad enough things can be rolled back.
Q: Obvious question, will all of you be voting this year?
A: We’re not only voting we’re working for candidates of our choice.
Q: Who are you going for?
A: Scavo.
A: Mundy and Kanjorski.
A: Urban.
Q: Interesting. As a Democrat will Mundy and Kanjorski have a problem because of the anti incumbent fever?
A: Possibly that’s why I’m working very hard.
A: Who’s Mundy?
Q: The rep in the 120th District, you’re focused on your Scavo’s race in Lackawanna County so I’ll give you a pass.
A: Okay.
Q: Ever been this involved before?
A: Never.
A: I was raising my kids.
A: I’m a Democrat and I think Kanjorski and Mundy still have a little fight left in them.
Q: Any predictions on how this is going to end?
A: I don’t know but I can tell you that this is unlike anything I’ve ever been involved in. People are mad.
Q: But they can’t articulate why they’re mad?
A: Yes.
A: And that’s the most dangerous kind of anger there is.
Q: Why is that?
A: Because it comes from a sense of despair. I know, I’m divorced and I feel exactly the same way I did when I was breaking up with my spouse. I was mad. And that anger spawned action.
A: Yeah I see the point. People are unhappy and they don’t feel the need to justify why because they get the sense that government doesn’t justify what it does.
Q: Yes it does, it’s called a political campaign and whether you know it, like it or hate it my friends, you are in the very thick of it.
A: Yeah you’re right.
A: Now which one are you? Gort or Valenti?
Q: I’m LuLac. Those guys are over there.
A: Oh I read your stuff.
A: Me too. You look more…….
Q: Good looking in person?
A: No, I can’t articulate it.
Q: How about I look more tired in person?
A: Yeah, you do look tired.
A: Yes you do. As a matter of fact you look exhausted.
A: See, we tired you out.
Q: I’m sure you’re only starting to exhaust people?
A: Really?
Q: Really.