PHOTO INDEX: ESPN'S CHRIS BERMAN AND STATE REPRESENTAIVE KEN SMITH IN A PHOTO PRIOR TO HIS ELECTION.
HAS SESTAK GIVEN UP?
Why would a charismatic former Admiral who is running behind in a U.S. Senate race give up appearances on TV and in a debate? That’s exactly what U.S. Congressman did tonight by not showing up for a PCN Call In show. Okay, I know PCN is not MSNBC or even Fox News for heaven’s sake but it was a forum to reach people most likely to vote. Once I can see but c’mon, there’s a pattern of behavior that I see is disturbing for a candidate. Unless there is a compelling reason I’m not aware of, this was still another mistake in the Sestak campaign. I wonder if the Admiral wishes he took up the President on his job offer in the administration right about now. We’re still voting for you Joe but that’s because we crossed party lines in ’04 to vote against Toomey in that GOP primary. Sometimes a good defense is all we got.
WEBSTER AND THE FOLKS
John Webster was taken to task this morning from a caller on WILK who said he was making an untoward reference toward the President’s use of the term “folks”. Somehow the caller said there was a tone in Webster that “concerned” her. Look, The President is a Harvard Grad and when he was running for President, his use of the term “folks” kind of made me cringe. To me it wasn’t real. It was like Obama was trying to get down with, well “the Folks”. You can make all the attempts you want as a President to reach “the folks” but in the final analysis none of “the folks” are going to be invited to the President’s book club. And this term crosses all parties and any other line of demarcation you want to make. Obama’s use of the term “folks” was to me just as insincere as John McCain calling my family “his friends”. Last time I looked, Cindy McCain wasn’t calling Mrs. LuLac up to talk about Coach handbags.
CLOSE YOUR EYES
Listen to GOP candidate Tom Corbett’s voice and speech pattern. Doesn’t he sound like ESPN’s Chris Berman? Imagine Election Night and Dan Onorato pulls an upset, I can see someone like Brad Bumstead of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review or John Micek of the Allentown Morning Call saying to Mr. Corbett, “Now that you lost, where will you go?” and Corbett saying, “Back, back, back, back………………to the AG’s office!”
NO MORE PASSES or
REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION
Good guys always get passes when they get in trouble. God knows my personality and past history let me get away with more than I ever deserved to. Not that I think I’m a good guy but there’s the perception. Ken Smith has always been known as a good guy. When the tax thing came out a few years ago, people were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because of his family name and ties. Then when he threw his wife under the bus for the taxes, we thought, okay, maybe she did handle the taxes. But this latest deal really makes Smith look bad. Because it concerns a few former workers. When you have a business, the ideal philosophy is that you should be the last to get paid. That is why it was unsettling when The Scranton Times reported Sunday thatt he state Department of Revenue has placed an $8,437 lien on the now-defunct restaurant owned by state Rep. Ken Smith, D-112, Dunmore, for failure to pay state personal income tax withheld from employees for at least the last two years. The lien follows a host of financial problems Smith's Restaurant has had, including its foreclosure in July. Earlier this month, Mr. Smith - who sits on the Labor Relations Committee in the state House - acknowledged he had also not paid another employee payroll tax toward the state Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund. "Yes, we have an obligation to pay, and it will be met," Mr. Smith said Thursday, confirming he failed to pay the personal income tax withholding. "Our accountants are currently working on this." He said payroll had to be met, so the money was used to meet that. Asked if he had paid Social Security tax for employees, Mr. Smith said, "It's hard for me to say, because I don't have the details."
C’mon, you either paid them or didn’t Ken!
The Times also reports that former Smith's Restaurant employees have raised concerns that the federal Social Security payroll tax withheld was also not paid by the restaurant. A Social Security Administration earnings report from Allen Plotkin - a cook let go in 2007 after his wife died of cancer - showed in 2006 he earned "$0." Vito LoRusso Jr. of Dunmore - a chef downsized in 2009 - said his Social Security report shows no earnings for 2008. Though the South Scranton restaurant has been foreclosed on, the state lien filed Tuesday will apply to any other investments, bank accounts or other property the business had, said revenue spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell. The lien, filed in Lackawanna County Court, shows Mr. Smith failed since at least July 2008 to pay his employees' state income tax. The $8,437 represents unpaid taxes, as well as interest and penalties that have accumulated. There are no other civil penalties sought, though unpaid trust fund taxes - those withheld from employees and paid by employers - can be referred to the state attorney general if the Department of Revenue suspects "intentional deception and theft," Ms. Brassell said.
The bottom line here is that the perception is that by not paying those taxes, Smith was not looking out for his employees in the family business. I guess when you work for a family business, it is not safe to assume you will be “considered family” in the tax process. Even though as an employee you should have that reasonable expectation. Smith is running pretty much without opposition in the General. And he’ll win but he might be in for a world of hurt if the IRS gets involved. in this thing.