Saturday, July 09, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1672, July 9th, 2011



With the recent dust up over Mayor Leighton’s hiring of his nieces and daughter, I thought it would be great to speak to an old time political sage about this.
Q: Do you think this hurt the Mayor politically?
A: Long term, no. Short term, yes. Look, the GOP always picks the weakest candidate in their primary. They had a guy named Frank Sorick who was all over talk radio and could handle himself verbally. But they picked a lady, Lisa Cope who spent fifty bucks and showed up with her cat at an after election party. So long term, he’s good. Short term he took some heat.
Q: Do you think he was wrong for hiring his family?
A: Yes and no. Yes because he got burned from talk radio and some of the citizens. No because that’s what politicians have always done, take care of their own. But look at it this way, the kids were working, they weren’t goofing off and they got penalized for who they were related to.
Q: Yeah but don’t you think that association helped?
A: Of course it did. I think though that you can’t fault them for taking the opportunity. I think you fault the Mayor’s office for not being totally open about it from the get go. The Mayor gave this story life by not acting immediately.
Q: Do you think there was an ethics violation?
A: I personally don’t but I’m an old time pol. But the Mayor’s mistake was thinking this would slide. We are in a totally different time frame here. People notice these things and they yell and holler.
Q: And that’s a good thing, right, the fact that people notice?
A: No actually it’s a bad thing. Because people notice doesn’t make change necessarily so. We have a lot of people who notice things and bark like tortured dogs but because they don’t have the political stones or power, that’s all they are, barking dogs. The only guy who went from being a barking dog to a power was Walter Griffith. You got to get the power. I mean what’s the harm here? The kids resign, Leighton goes on being Mayor and the next guy after him, most likely a Democrat will try something similar when they think people aren’t watching.
Q: That’s a pretty cynical view. I bet the people complaining won’t agree with you.
A: I don’t care about that, it’s the truth. People can complain all they want, but they need to be more subversive.
Q: What do you mean by that?
A: Instead of bitching and moaning, if I were serious about this stuff I’d be out registering people to vote in the fall. Look I was around in ’62 and ’63 when the Republicans had control of everything, the county, the city. The Democrats like Bob Brader in the city, Ed Wideman and Joe Tirpak in the county, as well as Martin L. Murray kept their mouths shut but started registering Democrats to beat the band. There is a reason why there’s a 2 to 1 registration in the county. It’s because these guys got the power. Nowhere did I hear a comment from the County GOP or the candidate for Wilkes Barre Mayor on this. You watch, those Libertarians will surpass the Republicans in registration in this county one day, I won’t live to see it but it’ll happen.
Q: So you have to back up the noise, right?
A: Right, it’s like my Tony Perugino story. Ever hear that?
Q: No.
A: I’m a young pup and I was taking clients to Perugino’s on South Main. And I’d get okay service but then I saw other people in the dining room getting better service than me. Special garlic bread, a free round of drinks, a big greeting at the door. So I tell this lawyer friend of mine and he says, “Well, if Tony doesn’t know you, you’re just a customer but he doesn’t know you so they don’t make a fuss”. And I says “But my money is just as good as anyone else’s, that’s not fair”. And he said, “Nope it’ll only be fair when he gets to know you. Get to know him”. So I walk in one day for lunch with Marty Murray and Judge Pinola and the next thing I know Tony Perugino is treating me like family. See, you just can’t complain, you gotta back up your barking with a threat.
Q: Do you think Leighton feels the threat is over?
A: Oh sure because there is no one in the city that has the tools to effectively defeat him. And in a way, you can’t fault the system because of the way it is because you gotta work at gaining power. And all I’m seeing here are people talking about how unfair it all is but not taking any action to really change stuff like hiring kids and nieces.
Q: Maybe the Republicans might read this and start some type of registration drive in the 6th district.
A: Yeah and the people making our sandwiches will be out there in the parking lot with landing gear as the pigs fly into Edwardsville!
EDITOR’S NOTE: We were having lunch at Virginia Bar b Que in Edwardsville. Thus the reference to pigs flying. BTW, the pork barbecue is very good. A close second to Half Circle in Hanover.


At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard Lisa Cope on Corbett yesterday. Unreal. It's almost like she was trying to hold a Mayor hostage because of her high test score for the police department. Read Andrew Staub in the CV today. Her interview and a few other choice comments were in there. Your old pro was right, you beat a guy like Leighton with votes, not someone that decided one day on a whim to run for Mayor. For the GOP, there are no votes and unfortunately with Cope a candidate that will not inspire any votes.

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a disgusted Demorat. enelretteroylly, Barack Obama is nothing but an empty suit. Mayor Leighton paid too much attention to the downtown and is an arrogant guy. But.......every time I try to pull the trigger and become a Republican in Luzerne County, they shoo me away. The party had a cluster in the 2009 primary for Controller because they didn't like Walter Griffith. THen this year they have a real shot at Leighton and the voters pick someone who said on the radio, "I've been taking notes and reading the papers". My invalid Uncle Jim does that too! It takes more than "reading the paper to mount a serious challenge. I realize the Republican party has no bench but at least vet your candidates. Mrs. Cope seems like a nice enough person but we'd be trading in an unlikeable public figure who at least has the machinery of government set up for an unknown quantity who "studies the issues". Everytime I try to join the Grand Old Party they give me another reason not to.

At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Corbet may have unwttingly given Tom Leihton the election by having Lisa Cope on his show. Not qualified whatsoever.

At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't go blaming Corbett for this one. He was doing everything in his power to light fire under this woman. Finally I even think he resigned himself to the fact that Leighton will win another term.

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to wonder about Lisa Cope's qualifications. And I have a few quesations, will she quit her job as a nurse if elected? If elected, how will she handle the obvious conflict of a spouse who is a police officer? Does she have a plan for the neighborhoods? You can't run on "Leighton stinks" because there are an equal number or more of voters who don't think he is that bad. Couple that in with people who are lukrwarm and he wins.

At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tommy Leighton!!!!!

Derek Jeter!!!!!!

David Yonki!!!!!!!

Lisa Cope!!!

Sorry missing a syllable on that last one.

Derek Jeter!!!!

Derek Jeter!!!!!!

At 4:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With apologies to professor cleaver:
Students, The code of the Wilkes Barre Democratic domination won't be cracked until you get into the South Wilkes Barre powerhouse. It gave Bill Amesbury a double nomination and top vote getter status in '09. This year, in order to fill his seat two Attorneys of note ran. They got hammered because South Wilkes Barre resident Rick Cronaurer wiped the floor with them. He also got a double nomination. Tom Leighton could hire anyone he wants, he can do just about anything he wants because that South Wilkes Barre voting bloc votes in a bloc. They vote for their own. So even if there was a write in candidate, even if Mrs. Cope started going door to door with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders in tow and a chicken and 30 pack of Coors for every Wilkes Barre voter, that south Wilkes Barre area will vote for one of their own.
Tom Leighton.
Class dismissed!

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget, every kid he hired has a family, most likely a huge one who will vote for the Mayor. And they won't be inclined to vote for a challenger or someone who messed that sweet deal up for them.

At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cat candidate Cope had to be basically be prompted to discuss the issue because her husband works for the city. Either run for Mayor or get out of the race. A good candidate may have been able to use this for major free media coverage, but she isn't a good candidate.
One question I have for the Mayor though. If he did something so boneheaded with everyone looking, including the feds taking up residency in the country, what was he doing when no one was looking?

At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Yonki for Mayor.
Its as simple as that. LuLacers write in David Yonki. A longtime resident and a smart guy. His body may be fading, but the brain is sharper than ever! David would immediately be the best candidate in the race. What the hell are the republicans up to? A real chance to win and they concede! I'd love to have Yonki sitting behind that desk and pullin all the strings.
Plus imagine the book that would come out of that term!

At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa Cope tells the Citizen's Voice that she knows what Tom Leighton is capable of. She paints him as an evil power mad devil. I did not vote for Leighton in the primary, I voted for Charlote Raup even though she ran a half assed campaign. (Nothing approaching the horrific race Cope is in but it was pretty bad). Anyway, Raup came within 800 votes of beating Leighton. So a few weeks after the campaign, Raup's mother dies. Guess who made it to the wake? That evil man, that evil Mayor, Tom Leighton. Before you demonize a political opponent rookie, get your facts straight!

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Leon Panetta says we have Al Queda
on the run in Afghanistan! I remember when MacArthur had the North Koreans on the run in Korea until 300,000 "screaming" Chinese Soldiers snuck into the country unnoticed! I hate it when we say shit like this when in fact we have no damned idea and we prove it again and again!!!

Cranky Old Man

At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonki for Mayor? Hey, don't blow it off too quickly, there are a basket full of votes looking for a candidate who has a brain. David, talk to your political friends, who knows?

At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Write In candidacies don't work. It could be the tow truck driver, Yonki, Frank Sorick or anyone with a pulse beating. Even with the new voting machines, they don't work. Wil Toole ran a very respectable campaign in '09 for Controller but he didn't win. Liz Randol in Lackawanna County was urged to run as a write in and she was wise enough not to do it. Write Ins don't work.

At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, first off if Yonki was written in for Mayor, I'd miss him on WYLN TV every FRiday.
But consider the possibilities. He;d rename City Hall the "Diet Snapple City Hall", Coal Street Park would become "Diet Coke Sports Plaza at Coal Street", the city food would be Abe's Hot Dogs (South Main Street only), there'd be a statue of Geena Davis on Public Square, Sue Henry would be his press secretary, L.A. Tarone would be his military adviser and to keep the tax base low, Yonki would charge up the Giant's Despair Laurel Run street armed with Kadluboski's stash of weaponry and annex Wilkes Barre Township as part of a bloodless coup. As per instructions from Mrs. luLac, tall redheads between the ages of 25 and 39 would be banned from City Hall. You think House is a good show? We should all fear the cane!

At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few years ago a guy named Gagliardi ran against Kathy Kane for Council in District C. He lost. He had run before too. He explained his loss this way to either a paper or talk radio, I don't remember who. But he said the people that voted for him, wanted an alternative, a change. The people that voted for Kane wanted the status quo. The status quo consisted of all her and her husband's cronies who wanted the same thing, not for the city but for their vision, view and perspective of the city. He explained that until the people who wanted the alternative outnumber the ones who benefit from the status quo, then nothing would change. I guess you can apply that to this story.

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question, what happened to Frank Sorick? He was all gang busters before Lisa Cope won the primary and now it seems as if he's gone underground. She could sure use his help. After all this guy said he was going to be Leighton's worst nightmare.

At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will always be an element in a city that doesn't like an incumbent. The Lighton I have met has been friendly and accessible. Engaging and funny at times. But he has a grown up job to do. And being a Mayor now in these tough economic conditions is murder. These national Republicans and tax crazies, of which there are many in Wyoming Valley have to know that if the feds cut taxes, the local communities have to make that up somewere. Leighton may not be a fan favorite but you don't see the city going under financially do you? And I heard Corbett yesterday with Cope and she was just dreadful. Kadluboski who I respect because of his crime fighting abilities and being a good citizen was unfortunately not any more enlightening than the GOP nominee.

At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long time reader, first time poster. For a year now, Yonki has been taking heat for the Interview feature. People wanted it stopped, people found it boring. Looking at the comments, I'd say some of those people are feeling a little stupid right 'bout now!

At 6:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonki has written a lot of smart things over the years. One article in particular was about how the county GOP needed to rebuild itself after the 2007 County elections where the Democrats had a clean sweep. Yonk wrote that the county GOP doesn't have the luxury of having so many inter party primary fights. In this past spring primary the Republicans had Lisa Cope, Frank Sorick and Karen Ceppa all running for the honor of getting hammered in the fall by Tom Leighton. Instead of having one candidate run from Feb. 1st on, knocking on doors, raising money the 6th district allows this silliness and vanity to go on. Yell at Leighton all you want, you missed your chance.

At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonk, don't listen to the people who think a write in campaign is impossible. I refer you to Alaska as proof positive. There is no one in Luzerne County who has a broader base than you. If you made a serious effort, you just might be the next mayor of Wilkes Barre and if not mayor then certainly in line for something worthwhile. Personally, I don't understand how or why those in power have not grabbed you for a position in government long before now. You have a pure attitude toward politics and accept ideas for their value and not their sponsor. You have the ability to cut through the silliness and bite into the meat. I'm not saying you would win but I do think you would make it one hell of a campaign. How about a little effort. Don't ask for funds but ask for $ commitments via direct emails. If people want you in as a candidate, let them email you with a commitment of funds. See what happens.

At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you want him, Yonki to run and if he doesn't make it, get in line for something worthwhile? See the problem here? Not Yonki run because you'll do a good job, but you might get something.
Second, why would anyone want to be Mayor of this craphole called Wilkes Barre? Yonki has written three books, has a successful and serious blog and is on TV every week. This job is a dead end, ask Tom Leighton how that leap to Harrisburg worked out? You have an under staffed police force, you have criminals stealing at will in the neighborhoods, no one wants to speak to their neighbor because no one can trust anyone anymore, you got welfare people sucking the life out of city services and not paying taxes, sitting on the porch swings making babies (Jesus I sound like the Yonk here!!!) and not even looking for work, you have no industry, no jobs and you want someone other than a hack to run for the job?
No way any sane person would even want to deal with the jokers on City Council. Look how they screwed McGroarty!! Half of the ideas Leighton takes credit for were started by McGroarty but blocked by those double dipping Council members. It's a hopeless rathole. And I bet if you asked Yonki if given the opportunity to move out of Wilkes Barre he'd do it in a heartbeat like everyone else.

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has Lisa Cope, Sue Henry, Frank Sorick, Karen Cepa, Charlott Raup, Dave Yonki or Steve Corbett ever pave a street or overseen a construction project?

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's my question, has it ever occured to anyone that thi is a wasted conversation? The chance to mount a serious challenge was in the spring. It's like Leighton is the guest at Thanksgiving, we let him say grace, then gave him a meal and a drumstick and now we're going to deny him dessert because we realize we didn't want him there in the first place. It's too late. And for those people who think Frank Trini or Owen Costello are going to allow their names to be used in a concerted effort, btw they both live in Mountain Top, it's just not gonna happen. If everyone had done what they were supposed to do in the spring, we'd be listening to that annoying kathy dobash (she's on Tarone's show as I write this) and talking about her intead of going through this over and over.


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