Thursday, February 10, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1467, Feb. 10th, 2011



So Ed and Midge Rendell are separating after forty years. They are telling their friends to invite them to the same parties and not to worry they will be civil. For years there have been rumors of a marriage of convenience between the two. If that’s the case, then stick it out. As I stated when another political hero of mine, Al Gore and his wife split after 40 years (Could 40 years be the new “7 year itch”? ) why bother after all that time. Ironically one of the most maligned political marriages of all time, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s seems to be chugging along just fine.


My dad was fond of saying “That telelvision was a wonderous thing” when news crews took him to stories around the world. The age of the Internet, FaceBook and Twitter is akin to what he felt like in the 1950s. But some people don’t use common sense when trying to cope with the new technology. A married New York congressman accused of sending a shirtless photo of himself to a woman resigned his seat Wednesday, saying he was quitting because he regretted actions that had hurt his family and others. The gossip website Gawker reported Wednesday that Rep. Christopher Lee, a two-term Republican, had e-mailed the photo to a woman he met on the Craigslist classified-ads website. First off, it’s Craig’s List. Second, you’re a Congressman. What the hell happened to poaching interns and staffers? I’m sure there were more than a few that were willing. Third, when you’re over 35 I don’t care how much you work out or how buff you think you are, shirtless is for A). The beach, B) The shower, C) The cardiologist!



Tom Leighton announced he’s going for a third term as mayor of Wilkes-Barre. Leighton painted himself as the indispensable man saying the progress made by the city could be reversed. One of the knocks on Leighton has been the fact that he is a downtown type of guy.
Leighton countered saying he's put more police officers on city streets, built playgrounds and placed surveillance cameras in troubled neighborhoods. He also gave a stern warning to absentee landlords the city will crack down on absentee landlords that have plagued neighborhoods.
Taking a page out of Ronald Reagan’s playbook, Leighton asked., "I would ask you to take a hard look at the progress of our city and the developments the last seven years, and ask yourself honestly, 'Is the city better off today than it was in January of 2004?'" Leighton said. "Judge me on that question alone. So far there has been no word on opposition against Leighton from his own party or the GOP.


Joseph M. Saporito Jr., an attorney with a private practice in Pittston and an assistant public defender for Luzerne County, said he plans to run for county judge. He is a principal in the law firm Saporito, Saporito & Falcone in Pittston.
Saporito is a member of the board of directors of the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, vice president of the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association and a board member of the Pittston Memorial Library Association.


Attorney James J. Haggerty, one of the late Gov. Robert P. Casey's closest advisers, died at the age of 74 the other day. A friend of the late Governor, Haggerty served as Casey’s Chief of Staff. Early on in Casey’s administration Haggerty served as the gatekeeper for the Governor.
After finishing studies at Georgetown University's law school, Haggerty served as U.S. District Judge William J. Nealon's first law clerk in 1963 and 1964. But Haggerty is most famous in political circles for his run against Congressman Joe McDade in 1964. McDade was just finishing up his fiurst term as a Congressman. With the sympathy surrounding the still fresh wound of the John F. Kennedy assassination as well as Lyndson Johnson’s impending landslide, Haggerty gave McDade a run for his money. On Election night, Lackawanna County Party Chairman Patrick Melody declared that the Democrats would not concede until there was an official count. Haggerty carried Lackawanna County by 13,000 votes but lost in Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties. With more than 10,000 absentee ballots outstanding the count stood at McDade with 87,992 and Haggerty with 83, 090 on election. Johnson campaigned for the Democratic slate at a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport rally on Oct. 14, 1964 telling a capacity crowd, "We need Jim Haggerty in the House, and I hope you people will help us send him there," Johnson said.
After Casey tried for the Governor’s nomination in 1966 against Milton Shapp Haggerty ran for Casey’s State Senatorial seat. In a heated primary Haggerty beat Mid Valley Attorney John Pieski who at that time was making a name for himself fighting for strip mine reform against the old coal operators. Haggerty prevailed in the primary but lost in the fall to to Republican Arthur A. Piasecki by 2,200 votes. Political analyst, historian and former Sctanton Mayor Jim McNulty told me once that many people thought Piasecki, a grocer and tavern operator was Attorney Pieski and that the name mix up helped defeat the more qualified Haggerty.
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a lawyer in the Haggerty law firm for five years in the 1990s, called Haggerty "a mentor, a friend and one of my most generous and dedicated supporters." Shortly after the governor died in May 2000, the only one other than the governor's family in the room at Mercy Hospital was Haggerty, Casey said in an interview with the Scranton Times.
"I really can't think of another person who was closer to him during all of his campaigns and then when they served together in Harrisburg," he said. "Sometimes when people have that kind of engaging personality, you can sometimes forget how capable and brilliant they are. He was fun and funny, but he was brilliant."
Edward J. Lynett, whose sister, Cecelia, was Haggerty's wife, and whose family owns and publishes Times-Shamrock newspapers, said the news was devastating. Haggerty's son, Daniel, is publisher of The Citizens' Voice and Hazleton Standard-Speaker. Haggerty is survived by his wife, seven children and 18 grandchildren.


Bruce Simpson is running for Luzerne County Council. The candidate sent us his tax plan. Unlike other candidates who are expressing interest, Simpson has a well thought out plan regarding the tax structure in the county. Simpson is running as a Democrat.
In recognition that property taxes are already too high on the people of Luzerne County and are placing a burden on many seniors who are trying to hold onto their homes, Simpson has announced that if elected to the County Council, he will not vote to raise property taxes.
"I realize in order to eliminate the nearly half billion dollar deficit that Luzerne County is anguishing under, new revenue will have to be raised. It is my intent to introduce whatever legislation is required to try and do this so that the tax burden is spread evenly across the board and where possible, on non-residents of the County. It isn't equitable to tax only home owners, or only those who reside in apartments to battle the deficit. New thinking is required to seriously solve this problem," Simpson said.
"If elected, I intend to propose a raise in the hotel occupancy tax by one to two percent on the 3200 hotel rooms within Luzerne County. This will result in only a one or two dollar per night increase to those utilizing hotel rooms, and raise the county tax rate from 5% to 6% which would match the state rate of tax. I would also look into proposing a new entertainment tax that will affect the Mohegan Sun casino which was supposed to reduce property taxes for many in the county. I've seen no such decrease. I would also investigate levying a new tax of .25 for every movie ticket sold in the county, and an additional one dollar tax on every live event entertainment ticket sold at any Luzerne venue.
Any new taxes of this nature would be classified as "restricted revenue streams," so that the only permitted use for these new taxes would be to apply them directly to the deficit and nowhere else. I would also propose a "sunset" provision on these additional taxes that would make them expire and revert to the previous tax rate once the deficit reaches zero.
"I realize that these taxes might be controversial, but the Luzerne County Government must make concrete efforts to reduce the debt that is choking off growth in the county as well as taking badly needed revenue away from productive projects and services and instead going towards interest payments on the debt. We all have to face it: this debt isn't going away by itself."
Simpson said that if elected, he would urge the new council to examine all sources of revenue and examine how they are being used to the benefit of the county and make changes where necessary.
"The days when taxes were raised without a plan and with no concern for who they effected must end. Creative use of available new sources of income must be sought out and used so that taxes are fair to everyone and the county can avoid bankruptcy."



This week on Saturday Night Live at the Oldies tune in when Shadoe Steele features as his guest Yvette "Corvette" Marine-Barlowe, lead singer of "The Mary Jane Girls. Saturday Night Live At the Oldies is heard every Saturday from 7pm to midnight with ABC News on the hour on WILK FM and AM.


This Weekend on Sunday Magazine: Brian Hughes interviews State Senator John Yudichak, who discusses a wide range of topics, from natural gas drilling and privatization of state liquor stores, to education funding and shortfalls in Pa Adult Basic healthcare.
An encore of Brian's interview with Helen Lavelle and Randy Williams about the new non for profit internet mall,, which is helping local businesses establish a cyberspace presence.
And Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Tanya Olivanti from Big Brothers, Big Sisters about their upcoming "Bowl For Kids Sake" fundraiser. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30 on JR 93.7, 6am on 97BHT & 97.9X. 6:30am on Magic 93 and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.


A few guys I had the chance to encounter a few years ago as I undertake my quest to become a minimalist are the “Cash Or Trash” guys on WILK. The Savo family will be featured on Cable’s Nat Geo Channel tomorrow night (Friday Feb. 11th) at 9PM.


U.S. airlines begin mandatory inspection of passengers and baggage....Bob Douglas becomes the first African American elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame………in Pennsylvania the state GOP starts scrambling trying to find an opponent against Auditor General Robert Casey. Casey is just wrapping up his first term in the office and is regarded as unbeatable in the fall election given his name recognition across the state as well as his independence from the Shapp administration……in Luzerne County newly minted third district State Representative Ray Musto announces he will indeed run for a new term. Musto succeeded his father in the 1971 General Election by running as a Republican. The Democratic primary field was cleared for the Freshman legislator so he’d have no primary opposition and this week in 1972 across America and LuLac land the number 1 song in America was “Hurting Each Other” by the Carpenters.


At 8:19 AM, Anonymous JUNCTION said...

Great job on the latest news on all the goings on in Luzerne county. In regards to the judgeships.We either have people running towards or running from the judges offices.Go figure. Almost like a mouse trap. Will the trap be re-set for another victim. Time will only tell or will they be smart enough to fly straight once they get elected. Again,time will tell.

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fat eddie is about to make big, big money, that is why they are splitting now...

At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Sap? I read this guys announcement and how his campaign manager Insalaco said he is ready now. Ready? Really? He isn't even ready to run. No campaign web site, no campaign facebook page. If these guys want to win, they have to actually run a modern campaign.
who the **** announces for an office without at least a rudimentary web site?


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