Monday, December 19, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1865, December 19th, 2011

The Capitol: Who will be serving the newly formed 17th Congressional district in 2013?

Former Luzerne County Council candidate and Charter volunteer Mike Giamber.


The political conventional wisdom says that Congressman Tim Holden is in the cat bird seat as the new redistricting lines surface. Holden will get the cities of Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Pittston and Easton. The good news is that those are all bastions of Democratic strong holds. The bad news is that Holden doesn’t represent those cities right now. The Congressman is going to have to quickly introduce himself to these new portions of his 17th district or risk a strong challenge from an eager and ambitious Democrat. And there are no shortage of those people around.
Here are a few people who might make a credible run against the out of towner, Tim Holden.
Bill Vinsko: Vinsko seems hellbent on running against Lou Barletta but he might do well to consider a challenge against Holden. On his Facebook page, Vinsko said, “The boundaries of the new 11th Congressional District have been made known. It is so great to have received calls and support from Democrats AND Republicans from throughout this district! I am the ONLY Candidate who has lived throughout this district, as I lived for a few years on South College Street in Carlisle, Cumberland County. I am grateful for the early calls, and support we have received".
Vinsko is known in the tri city Democratic population block that was just added to the district. He’s the Wilkes Barre City Attorney, he has attended functions in Pittston City on a regular basis like The Tomato Festival, and various Holy Name Smokers. Vinsko is well known in the Scranton area too and his affiliation with advertising mogul and former Scranton Mayor Jim McNulty can’t hurt him. Vinsko doesn’t have to run against Lou Barletta to make a difference with his formidable talents and passion. A race against Holden might be smarter because this is Vinsko’s home base. Holden would have to be coming to Vinsko’s “house” to beat him.
Matt Cartwright: I had the opportunity to meet and work with Matt Cartwright when I did political commentating for WYOU TV Interactive News. Cartwright was the co host of “The Law and You” with Candace Kelly and then Lyndall Stout. When WYOU jettisoned their news operation, Cartwright went on WBRE TV again with Candace Kelly. Cartwright has a monster TV presence, is well known, politically connected in both Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties and can raise a ton of money. Cartwright was the person who correctly stated that Mark Ciavarella would never, ever admit to sending kids away for cash. Cartwright reads people well, has a great deal of energy and enthusiasm and has had conversations with Washington insiders on the task ahead, should he decided to accept it. Cartwright also has a built in advantage of being on TV. He has been in living rooms across the area for years. That advantage helped Frank Andrews Shimkus, Sid Michaels Kavulich and Judge Tom Munley (who was the original host of “The Law And You” on Channel 22) win elections with name recognition.


There has been talk of both Mayor Chris Doherty and Tom Leighton taking a look at this race. But Doherty has been battered about after a failed run for Ltn. Governor and 22nd district State Senator. Leighton, just elected to a third term might be tempted but the loss in 2010 to John Yudichak still smarts. My opinion is there are some who would think a run by either Mayor would be a suicide mission. The incumbent Tim Holden can do a lot to bring grant monies to both cities and I’m not sure the two savvy Mayors would want to mess with the new kid on the block.
Steve Urban Senior: Why not? Urban always wanted to be a Congressman and has run in other races before that seemed more far fetched than this. He has name recognition and a solid record as County Commissioner.
Corey O’Brian: Oh the temptation must be maddening. O’Brien ran against Paul Kanjorski in 2010 and was handily defeated. But once you get a case of Potomac Fever……you just can’t get rid of it.
Mary Anne Petrilla: She will not challenge a stalwart Democrat like Tim Holden. But at any other time she’d be a formidable and hard charging candidate with experience in local, county and state government.
At first glance Tim Holden was handed a gift with the new district. But nothing is ever easy in politics and the former Sheriff might find that there are big political guns drawing a target on what was once regarded as an easy path to renomination.
The first day to circulate nominating papers is Jan. 24, the last day is Feb. 14 and the primary election is April 24. Not much time to mount a successful campaign against an incumbent, but then again not much time to introduce yourself to your new constituents.


Mike Giamber ran a strong race in the primary for Luzerne County Council. A strong supporter of Home Rule from the start, Giamber recently shared his thoughts about the appointment of a new county manager and how important that decision by the new council will be. Here’s what he wrote:
The Council-Manager Relationship
The Council-Manager form of local government in Luzerne County officially begins 2 January 2012. Patterned after a corporate business model where the council acts as the board of directors and the manager acts as the chief executive officer (CEO). Council’s role is to provide vision, policy and overall guidance. The manager’s role is to run the day to day operations in accordance with the direction provided for by the elected Council.
As Council eagerly awaits the arrival of the new manager, the temptation to jump in with both feet and begin tackling day to day management issues will take great restraint. Doing so, even with good intentions, may prove to be problematic. Council role is not to meddle in the day to day operations or review every detail. Council does not supervise the Manager or prepare the general budget.
Developing a positive working relationship between council and the executive manager is essential. Trust, honesty, good communication and understanding of each other roles must be established and reinforced throughout the relationship.
When council evaluates the new manager, the only consideration should be how well the manager is implementing the vision adopted by council. The manager’s job is to make that vision a reality.
Without a clear vision we may never achieve greatness. Having a clear sense of where the County is going and where we need to be ten years down the road is the work of Council.
Focusing on jobs, prosperity, economy, entrepreneurship, governance, education, health, safety, and social connectivity is the key to our future. It is important for Council to not devote all its attention on internal problems while neglecting the big picture.
Also, it may not be fun or exciting, but without citizen involvement government can lose focus on what is important and end up misusing public resources.
Michael Giamber


At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just what we need- Dump another incumbent out of office so our area has no clout whatsoever. With the wars contracting & federal budget money tightening up, Tobyhanna will become vulnable to losing work. And not just the jobs there, but the ripple effect across the area. We got nothing from Marino or Barletta execpt hot air, but they got their territories shored up to win again. More middle class losses....

At 5:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congressman Holden has a great opportunity to become "our" Congressman. All he need so is take a trip to his upper district rea and begin to make his preseence known. The biggest thing he can do is to open a local office and I strongly suggest that he do so in Dupont. There is an exit for 81 and the turnpike right here and Rt 315 runs right through the town. There is no better location between Wilkes Barre and Scranton and locating in Dupont would not be a slight to either of the two large cities. All he need do is do it. Wil Toole

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

Let us examine the results of the redistricting issue.
First off, debateable and silly as it is, gerrymandering is a pox on both political parties. A tradeoff if you will. Republicans and Democrats trade off a few sacrificial lambs to save the majority of their seats. And some people claim we have gridlock (you may laugh).
Fact is class, that all of this talk is useless and uncalled for. There is NO outcome that will stop the Republican party from keeping control of the HOuse and even expanding its numbers in 2012. The Senate itself, being held hostage by Sen. Reid will go to Republican hands also.
So my question is this? IF we are to believe all of the whining and constant hissie fits of the left wing press as to what the evil and hateful Republicans are going to do, why even debate gerrymandering?? Won't the mass of the middle class go to the voting booth and pull the lever for a Democrat. After all, is not 99% a greater number than 1%? Give me your answer!!
OF course, you have none. Not because most of you---if not all, are still recovering from last night's bender, but because there is no common sense answer in existence.
We live on a fiscal tight rope. Whether we end up like a third world nation depends on whether we can get our fiscal house in order. Just as your parents should have done with you spoiled ingrates, the checkbook needs to be put in the safe and locked. No more free rides, no more welfare for Cadillac drivers, no more cigarettes adn steak in exchange for food stamps. In short, no more taxpayer funded charity at all.
Years ago, we had a phrase for people who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and got on with the business of work---we called them Americans.
We also had a word for the have nots who wished for everything to be handed to them in exchange for nothing. We called them slackers. We still do.
Something to think about this morning.
CLass Dismissed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vinsko is demonstrating naivete, ignorance or arrogance. He appears to be attempting to cover up for his lack of intellect and foresight by getting into the race prior to redistricting. What kind of forward thinking individual would get into a race without knowing exactly who he/she would be representing. As much as I would like to see Barletta become a one-term congressman, I would not want someone who didn't think out his options before getting involved.

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to take anything serious said by Giamber who along with Eileen Sorokus tried to use dirty politics during the primary which he and she lost, to out another candidate as gay who they was afraid might win. The other candidate, me, ended up with many more votes than he did anyway and carried more votes in the city of Wilkes Barre than either. Just take your gas money and go away Giamber.

Bruce Simpson

At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eileen came very close to winning a seat on the County 11 in the General Election. Her campaign was clean, honest and above board.

At 11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you remember the Disney movies when they had the "bootstraps" philosophy imbedded boldly in the plot. Nothing subtle.

I still remember the line from a cartoon where a grasshopper fiddles and plays through his day, tempting some of the worker ants to play with him, unaware that winter is coming and food will soon be scarce.

The theme song was called "The World Owes Me a Living" which went on to become Goofy's theme song.

That lesson has been woven into my soul.

I suspect the cartoon on whole has been the victim of PC.

Its surprising that Yonk hasn't referenced it.


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