The LuLac Edition #1425, Jan. 4th, 2011
PHOTO INDEX: CONGRESSMAN PAUL KANJORSKI WITH THE BROTHERWS TERRANA OF PITTSTON, JOE ON THE RIGHT WHO WAS AN AIDE TO THE CONGRESSMAN AND HIS BROTHER JOHN. THE BOTTOM PHOTO IS LUZERNE COUNTY COMMISSIONER MARY ANNE PETRILLA AND CONGRESSMAN KANJORSKI WITH SOME NEW KID IN D.C. (CIRCA 2009) WHO THREW A PARTY AND INVITED A FEW FOLKS. KANJORSKI WAS ONE OF "THE FOLKS".
Paul Kanjorski leaves his office as Congressman in the 11th Congressional District. Kanjorski is the only Congressman from this district to serve 26 years consequtively. Kanjorski first ran for the office in 1980 twice during the Special Election and Primary that elected Ray Musto. He ran in the ’82 primary finishing behind the eventual Democratic victor Frank Harrison. Finally in ’84 Kanjorski broke through defeating Harrison in the primary and never looked back. Through the years Kanjorski proved to be an effective legiislative technician and someone who put the needs of this district first.
On the Congressman’s web site were requests for dollars for projects ranging from infrastructure improvement for the Scranton Farmer’s Market to aid to military families. Over the last few years the Congressman has gotten combative on the way he stood up for issues. Paul Kanjorski thought that government could solve the problems. He was a true believer. Without government, our air and water would be polluted. Without intervention, the Wall Street markets would continue to rape the little guy. I got the feeling toward the end that Kanjorski was a little exasperated with the political discourse that dominated the political scene. He refused to get caught in a “gotcha” moment by people he characterized as “kooks”. He was outspoken and didn’t take much crap from any opponent. Many times when Kanjorski debated, he gave a civics lesson while at the same time trying to score points with the voters. As he leaves office he will be remembered as an imperfect but tenacious member of the Congress. He reminded me of the kid you went to school with that wasn’t flashy or bombastic but always was near the top of the Dean’s List or the kid that came through with a major component of a task. Bottom line, he got it done. It took Lou Barletta three times to unseat him. Kanjorski’s legacy will be largely controlled by what transpires in the future and how Barletta will perform. When the District was playing revolving Congressmen in the early 80s, pundits and voters fretted that perhaps no one could match the accomplishments of Dan Flood. Well no successor could ever hold a candle to Flood but Paul Kanjorski followed his own path and with his own light cast a pretty big shadow over the governmental and political landscape. We wish him well in his political retirement. We hope he will continue to work in some role in the government or in regulatory reform because quite frankly his mind and smarts are too good to pass up. As the Congressman told many a veteran on his frequent visits to the VA Medical Center, let us say to Mr. Kanjorski, “Thank you for your service”.
MUNLEY TOP JUDGE
Tom Munley who has been on the Lackawanna County Common Pleas bench for a relatively short time is its new President Judge. Munley succeeds Chester Harhut. Unlike the rotating system Luzerne County used, President Judges in Lackawanna County stay a while. Harhut has been the guy in charge for about 15 years. Prior to that former Mayor James Walsh, elected to Judge in 1973 held the post. Munley was a popular attorney from the mid valley who added to both his resume and credentials by appearing on WYOU TV’s “The Law and You”. Munley told Attoerney Todd O’Malley on the barrister’s weekly show on FOX 5 that he was honored and humbled to be selected as the new President Judge by his peers. Munley always impressed me as a common sense type lawyer who always took the law and his cases seriously but never himself. We wish him the best of luck.