The LuLac Edition #1803, October 20th, 2011
Libertarian candidate for Wilkes Barre Mayor Betsy Summers.
Wilkes Barre Attorney Bill Vinsko.
Lackawanna County Treasurer Ed Karpovich.
Our 1972 logo.
It appears that the Lulac Political Letter is not the only entity taking polls. On Wednesday night we had a phone call from a firm asking us two questions, 1. Who are we going to vote for in the Wilkes Barre Mayor’s race and what was the main area of concern we had about Wilkes Barre government, two of the options were transparency/accountability in government as well as public safety. Someone is taking the pulse of the citizens of Wilkes Barre and since Lisa Cope and Betsy Summers have no money for the basics, I’d have to conclude this poll was commissioned by the Tom Leighton people.
VINSKO IN POLITICO
Wilkes Barre Attorney Bill Vinsko continues to get notice in his proposed run for Congress. Vinsko’s name appeared as a credible Democratic challenger to incumbent Lou Barletta. Here’s what the articles had to say about him.
HOUSE FUNDRAISING – DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGERS OUTRAISE REPUBLICAN CHALLENGERS: Democrats want you to know they are playing OFFENSE, generating this analysis of Q3 finance reports (exclusive to Score) that shows Democratic CHALLENGERS against Republican Patriot Program members outraised Republican CHALLENGERS to Democratic Frontline members on average. The average Democrat challenging a Republican raised $207,160 while the average Republican challenging a Democrat raised $157,803. That’s about one-third less. Republicans have some seats they will almost certainly lose after the midterm tidal wave, and Democrats in a lot of these places are raising enough early money to ensure they’ll be competitive.
DCCC, media tout Bill Vinsko among nation’s top challengers.
Vinsko beats Marino, keeps pace with Barletta in 3rd Qtr Fundraising.
Tops all recent Democratic challengers from Northeast PA in first filing.
POLITICO reported today that Bill Vinsko was among the top Democratic challengers who on average beat Republican top challengers in 3rd quarter finance filings with the FEC by $50,000, according to numbers released by the DCCC.
“…Democratic CHALLENGERS against Republican Patriot Program members outraised Republican CHALLENGERS to Democratic Frontline members on average.”
– Politico Morning Score, October 19, 2011.
Vinsko for Congress raised $84,972, on par with the two sitting Republican Congressmen from Northeast Pennsylvania. Vinsko’s filing beat Congressman Tom Marino’s $80,776 and kept pace with Congressman Lou Barletta’s $100,196. While new congressional maps will not be published until January, Vinsko is expected to challenge Barletta in the Pennsylvania’s newly drawn 11th CD.
“I am pleased that the DCCC and national media have recognized what hundreds of Northeast Pennsylvanians have said with their individual contributions. We are tired of the Washington politicians who have done nothing to get our economy back on track, but instead have voted to end Medicare as we know it. Together, we are going to change that direction in November,” said Bill Vinsko, a small business owner and Assistant City Attorney of Wilkes-Barre.
Vinsko raised more money in his first quarter than any recent Democratic challenger from Northeast Pennsylvania:
BILL VINSKO (7/1/11 to 9/30/11) (Vinsko for Congress): $84,972
CHRIS CARNEY (7/1/05 to 9/30/05) (Carney for Congress): $28,283
COREY O'BRIEN (7/1/09 to 9/30/09) (Corey O'Brien for Congress): $26,400
And Vinsko also outraised Barletta, Marino and incumbent Democrat Tim Holden in individual (non-PAC)contributions to Northeast Pennsylvania campaigns:
YOUNG DEMS ON FOOT
LUZERNE COUNTY YOUNG DEMOCRATS TO HOLD CANVAS
The group to canvas Kingston for Democratic Ticket on October 22nd at 2:00 P.M.
The Luzerne County Young Democrats, in conjunction with Obama for America, will be canvassing on behalf of the Democratic ticket Saturday October 22nd at 2:00 P.M.
The canvas will be supporting the eleven county council candidates, six county judicial candidates, district attorney, and two state wide judicial offices. All candidates were endorsed by both the county Democratic Party and the Luzerene County Young Democrats. “Luzerne County needs the slate of candidates we currently have,” said Luzerne County Young Democrats President Thomas Shubilla. “Our electorate had spoken in the May primary and have nominated a phenomenal slate of candidates with integrity. There is no doubt in my mind that this slate will get Luzerne County back on track and be able to work together to get this new form of government to work.” Shubilla added, “This election will set the stage for the 2012 election and beyond. So it's important that we get a clean sweep this election and we are going to work hard in order to get every Democrat elected.” To learn more about the Luzerne County Young Democrats go to their website at http://www.luzerneyoungdemocrats.com.
WILKES BARRE MAYOR’S RACE
One of the complaints I’ve been hearing about the challengers in the Wilkes Barre Mayor’s race is that they can’t seem to articulate any ideas on what they would do if elected. A friends of mine asked me the question the other day, and it was whether I, as a citizen of Wilkes Barre was confident that the reformers would run the city any better than Tom Leighton. I’m still pondering that question but I went to Betsy Summers’ website and here are her ideas for the city.
1) Redefine the position of Wilkes Barre Mayor.
a) Cut the Mayors pay by $10,000.
b) Eliminate the Mayor’s pension. Elected officials serve as a civic duty and should never become a lifetime burden on the backs of the taxpayer.
c) With daily business conducted by the city administrator, reduce the mayoral position to part-time.
2) Eliminate City Council pensions and benefits. Part time positions should not receive either a pension or benefits.
3) Audit every city department in order to eliminate waste and mismanagement.
4) Maintain our parks and vacant lots.
a) Institute an Adopt-a-Block program to keep the city clean.
b) Work with organizations such as Rupert’s Kids ( www.rupertskids.org).
5) Build relationships to create safer neighborhoods. Remember when the neighborhood kids knew every police officer and firefighter’s name? We need to bring that back.
6) Reformulate the Community Action Team. Help people and neighborhoods solve problems rather than “evict, condemn, and demolish”. Keep properties on the tax roll. We don’t need more unkempt vacant lots!
7) Change city contractors, permits, and inspections policies. The price to be licensed in Wilkes Barre is too high. Give homeowners a free market to choose whomever they want (including themselves) to work on their homes. Encourage the issuance of low cost permits and utilize inspectors to help homeowners get their repairs done safely and properly rather than forcing repair work under the radar because of excessive cost and over regulation.
8) Reevaluate garbage collection and re institute clutter clean-up.
9) Appoint a committee to write an Accountability Conduct and Ethics Code. There will be full transparency under my watch.
10) Cut the Wage Tax to 1/2%. Whether we reduce the tax in scheduled increments, or bite the bullet and do it all at once, will need to be determined by the experts and the residents of the city. Wilkes Barre should be an environment that welcomes working people.
Local author Jack Smiles will be signing copies of his latest book – “Bucky Harris, a Biography of Baseball’s Boy Wonder” – this Thursday, October 20, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Hoyt Library on Wyoming Avenue in Kingston.
The book is published by McFarland & Company. Smiles took more than two years writing and researching the book, which is 320 pages and contains 33 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, and index.
While Harris is not technically a local native – he was born in Port Jervis, New Jersey, in 1896 – his father moved the family to Hughestown when Bucky was three. In the 1920 census Bucky was counted in Hughestown on Rock Street and listed as a weighmaster in a colliery.
Just four years later, at the age of 27, Bucky, aka “The Boy Wonder,” as the manager and second baseman of the Washington Senators, led the team to its only World Series championship in an upset so stunning it was the inspiration for the Broadway play Damn Yankees.
Harris is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Harris also managed the 1947 World Champion Yankees in Yogi Berra’s rookie season.
MUCH ADO ABOUT....
Veteran Lackawanna politico Ed Karpovich seems to be on the hot seat for stopping off at Mohegan Sun on his way home from a conference. Apparently some busybody got all out of sorts because he had a County car parked in the lot. Bottom line is this:
1. He was on his way home from the conference and stopped for something to eat at the buffet there. (Totally over rated by the way if you go. It’s a lot of starchy food for like 16 bucks but I digress).
2. Karpovich did not use his per diem meal money and paid with his own money.
3. He was not drinking.
4. He admitted that after the meal he stopped to play the penny slots when in fact he was off the clock.
The main thing people seem concerned about was that the car was parked in the Mohegan Sun lot. The man was on his way home. If there was a snowstorm and he had to stop at a motel to spend the night, the county car would be parked in the lot too. What was he supposed to do, go home and drive back? The guy stopped at the Casino because he was hungry and like the buffet. In the middle of the last decade, Pennsylvania passed gaming. He played the slots. He wasn’t doing anything illegal or unethical. When our politicians tell the truth, we crucify them. When they lie, we do the same thing. This whole thing was blown way out of proportion. We wish Ed Karpovich luck in the election. He is running unopposed for a 5th term as County Treasurer.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
CASEY AT BAT
Casey Evans is back in the political fray this fall in full supports of Dallas Twp. Supervisor candidate Liz Martin. Here are his thoughts:
When I first took office as the Democratic Chairman of the 2nd District last year, I was told that my region was a Republican stronghold, and that finding solid Democratic candidates to run and win would be impossible. This year, in 2011, I believe that all of the naysayers are going to be proven wrong. What I have found in the 16 months since I have held this position, is that electing qualified, smart, and talented people to government is a far more important goal than simply working to elect candidates from one party over another; that true leadership comes not from party affiliation, but rather from the candidates themselves.
In Dallas Township, there is such a candidate: Liz Martin, who is making her second run for the post of Dallas Township Supervisor. Now, many of you might ask why special attention is being paid to a Supervisor race -- after all, it's a small, local office, right?
Wrong! In the Back Mountain, the largest political issue that has arisen within the past two years is the issue of natural gas extraction and transportation. It is at the top of voters' minds. The meetings, town hall meetings, and legal hearings are so well attended that there's barely standing room only. In the Dallas area -- the heart of the 2nd District -- issues range from allowing a metering station in close proximity to Dallas High School, tapping the aging Transco pipeline and pushing it to well beyond what it was built to handle, and of course, the issues of natural gas "fracking", itself. While Encana has pulled out of the area, those leases can (and most likely will) be sold to another company, and the integrity of our land, our drinking water, and the health of our population may once again be placed at risk. If a blowout were to occur at a metering station located at the proposed site next to Dallas High School, the consequences would be catastrophic. In the rollercoaster ride that this debate has become, the public has voiced its opposition to the industrialization of our residential areas, for the sake of profit for an industry that offers no apologies nor excuses for its destructive actions; and as local governments are directly involved in all of these issues, the role of Supervisor has become more important than it has ever been.
For each of these discussions, conversations, and legal proceedings, Liz Martin was there. She has stood up for the peoples' rights to clean water, safe towns, and safe schools. Liz has been there from the very beginning of the "fracking" conversation, speaking up for citizens whose voices are drowned out by the corporate cash of the gas industry. Through it all, she was never deterred, never intimidated, and always stood by her principles. If that's not leadership, then I don't know what is.
Her experience also makes her the ideal candidate: Liz has served on the Board of Directors for the Back Mountain Business Association, served as Co-Chair for the immensely successful and always well-attended Dallas Harvest Festival two years in a row, served on the Brass Ring Fund Committee, and was a founding member of the Back Mountain Arts Association Board of Directors. A businesswoman and community activist, Liz is the Managing Editor for Independent NEPA Magazine. She is a lifelong resident of the Back Mountain -- she graduated from Dallas High School and received her degree after attending College Misericordia (Now Misericordia University) and LCCC. Liz is a wife and mother, who also works as the office manager for her husband's business, Modern Nursery Tree Service in Dallas, and her son, Robert, is a 7th grade student and his Mom's biggest supporter.
As a District Chairman, I have the power and privilege of appointing at-large representatives to the party's Executive Committee of Luzerne County, and I could not think of any person better suited to best represent the voters in the 23 municipalities of the 2nd District than Liz Martin; I was proud to appoint her, and serving alongside her has been a pleasure and an honor. Liz is a person with a big heart and boundless compassion for her fellow citizens. Most important of all, I am prouder still to call her my friend.
This isn't about politics, this is about the future, and if Liz were running as a Republican, I'd still be supporting her. A candidate like her only comes along once in a great while, and if the voters of Dallas Township elect her to the position of Supervisor on November 8th, I guarantee that she will make them proud. Her opponent has been in office since the 1970s, and while times have changed dramatically since then, township government, unfortunately, has not.
Now is the time for a Fresh Start in Dallas Township: and Liz Martin is the right woman for the job!
Chairman Casey Evans
2nd District, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
A special one hour edition of Storm Politics this week features various candidates for the Luzerne County Council. Join Tiffany Cloud on WYLN TV 35 as she hosts Independent Rick Williams, Libertarians Tim Mullen, Mike Lacey, and Republicans Blythe Evans, Harry Haas, Rick Morelli and George Ruckno. Storm Politics airs WYLN TV Thursday 900p, Sat 5p, Sun 11a, Mon 830p, Tues 900p
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Shadoe Steele hosts “Saturday Night Live At the Oldies” this week on WILK AM & FM with ABC News at the top of the hour. The show starts at 7pm but sometimes begins a little late due to Penn State Football. This week the show will pre empted by Penn State Football.
This Week on Sunday Magazine Brian Hughes speaks with Brian Evans, an organizer with Occupy Scranton , who discusses the Occupy Wall Street movement, what the protest is all about, and the future of the movement. An encore of Brian’s interview with breast cancer survivor Paula Knapp in recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And This Week In Harrisburg features highlights of a news conference with State Senators Lisa Boscola and Judy Schwenk on Pa Works Now legislation to create jobs, and a Republican bill to expand the number of fire and EMS companies that would qualify for state grants. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on JR 93.7 & 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, 6:30am on Magic 93, and 9:30am on WARM 590 AM.
Elizabeth II visits Yugoslavia………The first female FBI agents are hired…..State Auditor General Robert P. Casey declines to say whether he will run for Statewide office in 1974 for Senator Dick Schweiker’s seat. The popular Casey says he is concerned about winning re election to the Auditor’s office………in Luzerne County Flood Recovery activirtists make a concerted effort during the United Fund drive to highlight the suffering of flood victims. They laud the Unitedv Fund’s agencies actions during the flood. The Chair of that ’72 campaign was Labor Leader Bob Leonardi……and 39 years ago this week the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was this horrible song by Michael Jackson called "Ben".