The LuLac Edition #1446, Jan. 23rd, 2011
ROGERS SETS RUN
Jennifer Rogers declared her candidacy the other night for Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge. Most likely she will be one of about 40 candidates throwing their respective hats into the ring for 6 seats on the ballot. Rogers, a Democrat will cross file. Rogers made her first run in 2009 and ran a very credible campaign. One local political handler told me that out of all the candidates running last time, Rogers was one of only a few that connected with the voters in terms of having a comfortable media presence. She made her announcement at the Courthouse surrounded by a crowd of family and friends.
Rogers currently practices law in Kingston, and specializes in family law, general civil and commercial litigation, estate planning and administration, real estate transactions and contract disputes.
Rogers is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association. She has been admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, New York Court of Appeals, U.S. District Court for Middle District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Expect Rogers to run the same type of aggressive campaign she ran the last time. It is a political truism that sometimes in a crowded race, the first time you run for name recognition. As I stated earlier, although Rogers did not win her first time out, she garnered a respectable amount of support which translated into an entire new group of supporters. I’m sure that will only strengthen her profile as the campaign progresses.
EVANS IN TOO
Casey Evans is taking a run at one of the open seats on Luzerne County Council. Evans explained why he felt this particular election was so important,
I'm running for county council to give us a home rule government that works for everyone. As you know, roughly 40% of the voters rejected the charter last November; many people still have pause over the issues that surround it: accountability, transparency, the fact that the "referendum" takes an obscene amount of signatures to get an issue on the ballot in our county (almost three times the amount it takes to run for Governor or U.S. Senate), the fact that the manager can move funds around without prior notice to anyone, et. al. Those same people, and a growing number of people that supported the charter, are concerned with how the transition committee has been conducting itself, and are worried about one-sided governance. I'm running to be the council's watchdog: To call out shady governing when I see it and to speak for all of the people in this county, especially those in the outlying suburban and rural communities that pay their taxes to a government that forgets about them after the election is over.
I have both the real world and political experience to bring real results for the people of Luzerne County: I was born and raised in the Back Mountain and graduated from Lake-Lehman High School and went to college at Misericordia. My first job was cleaning tables as a bus boy in my family's restaurant, the Red Rooster, in Sweet Valley when I was 14 years old. From then on, I worked at a number of jobs in food service, offices, even construction work with my father's contracting service! I know, first hand, the problems working families have because I've been through it myself. I understand where they're coming from because I came from the same place.
I went to school, I took internships with companies and with U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, and I was lucky enough to have caught the attention of Hillary Clinton's staff when she was running for president; they hired me. I travelled with her campaign from Pennsylvania all the way to Oregon, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to meet real, everyday Americans, and listen to why they were supporting then-Senator Clinton -- whether it was because they were paying for health care for their kids, but couldn't afford it themselves, whether they were trying to decide whether to buy groceries for the week or pay their heating bill, or if it was because they were going through the change cup in their cars to put enough gas in their car to go home from because they couldn't afford to fill their tank. People with sons and daughters in Iraq, people holding on to their homes by the skin of their teeth, people looking to take a second job to take care of their families: It affected me greatly.
From my time with Senator Clinton, to my time as Rural Regional Field Director for the Virginia Democratic Party, to my work with the House Democratic Campaign Committee for PA State Representative Gerald Mullery, I've heard from people from coast to coast who just want better government that will let them thrive and flourish, but still be there to help when times get tough -- a government that will act for positive change, and work well for them. I took everything I learned, ran for Democratic Committee here in Luzerne County in 2010, and was elected Chairman for the 2nd District, and now I serve on the Executive Committee. I was offered a position on COPS' executive board as Secretary.
I am so excited and so enthusiastic for this campaign, and I'm meeting with almost overwhelming positive support for my candidacy from people in all parts of the county. My plan for Luzerne County is a plan to empower the citizenry, keep government accountable, and stay vigilant against corruption and exploitation.
Establish new protocol requiring purchase orders for any county expense over $50.00Authorize and order the county to host a publicly accessible website that will document the county budget and list every expense and transaction from every department, commission, agency, etc. over $25.00 so each citizen can go online and see exactly where their tax dollars are going. No more debit card scandals!
As the Charter doesn't allow funds for councilmembers to have their own offices, I will be setting one up privately and publish my office contact information to the public: if anyone wants to meet with me to discuss and address their issues and concerns with them, I will gladly do so; I will go to them, or they can come to me! I pledge and promise to be the most publicly accessible member of council.
Preserve the nondiscrimination provisions in the county personnel code.
Implement a 5 year freeze on tax increases from property assessments for Luzerne County residents.
Establish protocol requiring the county to have a clear appeals process set in place well before any future property assessment takes effect.
On Energy and Natural Gas Extraction, a.k.a. "Fracking"
Pass county legislation requiring that the natural gas companies provide a comprehensive land development plan for each fracking site, new and existing, that will include a contingency plan that will document exactly what those companies will do in case of emergency and hold them responsible and accountable for any clean-up and relief effort relating to leaks, spills, waste removal, and blowouts (Believe it or not, when asked to submit a "contingency plan" earlier, companies only provided a list of all police and fire stations in the county and essentially said, "If there's a spill or an emergency, call 911"). If they are incapable of drilling safely, they shouldn't be drilling at all.
Promote Luzerne County to alternative energy companies: Our land and water resources make us an invaluable place for them to set up shop in! Alternative energy production based right here at home will lower our area's energy costs and electrical consumption, help preserve our environment and natural resources for future generations, and most importantly, will create good paying, permanent jobs right here in Luzerne County.
MUSTO TRIAL DELAYED
Here is a delay in the Ray Musto trial. That word came down the other day. There’s all type of speculation going on but the most logical one that I see is that there is a great deal of activity on the Federal level in terms of on going cases. No new date has been set in Federal Court. Also there are reports that the defense needs more time to prepare for their case.
DR. JOE STRIKES AGAIN
As many of you already know, Keith Olbermann from MSNBC resigned from his “Countdown” show on Friday night. Quickly. It was the classic Friday afternoon corporate firing but this time Olbermann was given the chance to say goodbye on the air. Late Friday night my friend Dr. Joe Leonardi sent me an e mail with the link and posed the intriguing question, “Olbermann: next Press Secretary?” Leonardi has a penchant for predicting political events such as the GOP pick of Sarah Palin in 2008 as Vice President. Now at first blush that might seem a little sarcastic or out there but think about it, would Keith Olbermann be a good press secretary?
1. He is a passionate defender of the Obama administration’s policies, much more than I dare say than the old Professor in Chief himself.
2. Olbernmann can articulate the goals and missions in understandable terms.
3. Olbernmann is a recognizable figure that can blend both reality and fact which is although unfortunate in today’s media culture, It is also a way that business is conducted.
1. In a time when Washington is trying to quiet down the rhetoric, Olbermann is not the guy to have as your point man.
2. He does get angry and sometimes irrational and that might not bode well for a high profile position like this.
3. More people in the press might take the message as Olbermann’s and not necessarily that of the White House.
However, if you like roman candles blowing off from time to time, this might be entertaining as hell.
WILK’s John Webster and I have a wager on today’s Packers-Bears game. John is a Bears fan who watches the games from a distance because he’s afraid he’ll jinx their chances for victory. I get that but only watch the last 10 minutes of a Packers game so I won’t jinx them. But today throwing caution to the wind, I’m going to watch the whole thing. The wager? Hot dogs what else!!!
This is the first time in 70 years the two teams are playing for a Championship. Think about that, when they played there was no TV, no cell phones, no space program, no automatic transmission, no Webster, no Yonki........