The LuLac Edition #1573, April 30th, 2011
The semi annual Blogfest was held once more at Rooney’s Pub and it was quite an event. Because of the large political calendar, the candidates came in shifts. The first wave saw the very first arrival Mario Fiorucci who is a candidate for Luzerne County Council. Fiorucci is hosting his annual “State of the World” event Sunday from 1 to 4PM at 893 Main Street in Sugar Notch. Fiorucci worked the room the entire night…..Attorneys Jim Haggerty and Dick Hughes made the event talking to likely supporters. Both of these GOP candidates have very strong bipartisan ties and are making sure they are asking for every vote…..Attorney Lesa Gelb stopped by on her way to a myriad number of events. Political observers at the blogfest said that Gelb seems to be everywhere in this campaign effort……..A guy who made a very good impression on people was Assistant DA Jim McMonagle. It has been said that McGonigle might be the only candidate in the race without a private practice. He made a very good impression despite heading into deep Democratic party territory……Mountaintop Attorney Tony Ross also got some very positive vibes from the crowd. If this is Ross’ initial foray into a full blown campaign, you’d never know it since he was working the room like a pro….Attorney Paula Raddick worked the room outlining to people gathered her grass roots style campaign. Raddick left the event to motor up to an event for County Council candidate Mike Cabell of Drums….County Council candidate Bruce Simpson made the event. Simpson has impressed people on the stump. Simpson says either win or lose, this campaign has been an experience of a lifetime…..Libertarian candidate Tim Mullen stopped by and he had some interesting strategies for his general election effort. Both he and American Independent Party candidate Charlie Hatchko had their petitions and pens out and I gladly signed both of them………It was great to see Dave Baloga and his wife Donna there along with fellow GOPers Pat Umbra and Jim O’Meara……The room soon emptied out and then started to replenish itself after a short break. Candidates who were at the Third District Meeting stopped by…..Judicial Candidate Mike Vough worked the room with his wife Cindy. Someone strategically placed a pick up truck outside the event with Vough’s visage beaming forth…..Attorney Joe Saporito waded into the crowd greeting any and all of his friends and supporters…..Just as District Justice Fred Pierantoni was shaking hands, someone noticed him on the flat screen TV. It was double exposure for the long serving Justice looking to move up to the Court of Common Pleas…..I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mr. Mirabito, he of the Molly Hanlon Mirabito merger. We talked about his work with his students at Misrecordia and his wife’s campaign effort…..Attorney Mark Bufalino made the scene with his media advisor former Scranton Mayor Jim McNulty. Bufalino’s signs are everywhere and we both agreed that Mr. McNulty is a valuable import from neighboring Lackawanna County in terms of political marketing advice…..County Council candidate Casey Evans was boundlessly working the room. Evans and I were talking about his work with the Hillary Clinton campaign and his dogged determination on the campaign trail….Attorney Jennifer Rogers showed up working the room and taking a lot of time with individual voters. She is obviously building on one of her strengths from the last campaign, personal contact…..Had a great reunion with Eileen Sorokas and her husband Rich. As a matter of fact, Eileen’s husband testified to the fact that I wasn’t always with a cane and that yes indeed I could run (albeit slowly) the base paths. He and I were members of the City Hall Killer Bees Softball League in the 80s….On that note, County Council candidate John Adonizio and I were swapping stories about our various knee ailments through the years. Adonizio was one of the early arrivals. Adonizio also serves on the current Home Rule committee….Wil Toole made his way through the crowd. Toole was dubbed the energizer bunny because of his constant campaign appearances. Toole’s signs are placed strategically all over the county…..My former grade school class mate Mike Giamber made an appearance. Giamber was one of the original supporters of Home Rule and made quite an impression on the people at the event……Another guy who really wowed them was Attorney Jim Bobeck. Bobeck is actually serving on the Home Rule Committee now and he really had a few people listening intently to his pitch….Former County Commissioner Edd Brominski was greeted with open arms and friendly smiles. Brominski is one of the most well respected politicos in the arena and there are actually people thanking him for making the race……Harry Haas worked the room. Haas is running on the GOP ticket and more than a few people exclaimed, “Harry we got to elect you to something some time soon!”………….Representatives of Joyce Dombroski Gebhardt and Harry Skene were handing out their respective campaign materials…..Michele Bednar worked the room too. She has been traveling the county since the day of her announcement in pursuit of one of the seats on County Council…..Barb Zangre running for Pittston City Council was pressing the flesh advising people of her campaign promise to donate part of her salary for Pittston City playgrounds......Attorney Chris O’Donnell made the trek from South Wilkes Barre. O’Donnell, a well respected lawyer is making the run for District Magistrate in the South Wilkes Barre District that was represented by current Judge William Amesbury and prior to that the late Michael Collins. The district number is 11-1-01…....County Council candidate Tom Rome also stopped in handing out his materials and greeting his friends and fellow campaigners….Attorney Vito DeLuca who made quite an impression in the previous campaign regarding the Charter also was there easily milling about with his supporters….Among the media, WBRE TV’s Joe Holden showed up and did a story on WBRE TV Eyewitness News at 11PM….Jack Smiles from the Sunday Dispatch took copious notes from Mr. Valenti and me…Scott Cannon from Video Innovations was there the whole night taking film. The You Tube video you see was produced by Mr. Cannon who is one of the best media minds in the area. (Look at the video for proof), Cannon also was very active in the opposition to a frack water treatment building near the river in Hanover Township…..among the bloggers attending were the man himself who started the BlogFest, Gort 42… Michelle Hryvnak Davies who did some incredible work promoting this event. Her blog site link is http://www.mhryvnak.net/blog/ as well as Hmhryvnak.net,and Harold Jenkins who operates the site D.B. Echo and Another Monkey, Here's his informative link: http://anothermonkey.blogspot.com/ ……Tom Chipilewski one of the biggest supporters in the blogging community held court at the bar regarding issues of national security and the most important one, Penn State Football……I was leaving when local media follower and all around interesting fellow Bob Storz was on his way in...Bob Caruso, a former Democratic State Committeeman made the rounds...Larry DelGado, a candidate for Exeter Council stopped by as well as PA School Board candidate Bob Lamp....Rich Shemanki who is a comer in local politics was also there pressing the flesh and making more contacts for his bright future in politics and Athena Ford, a Fair Health Care activist circulated among the crowd.
This event was different than past years because there seemed to be an ebb and flow to the crowd. We thank all of our readers, supporters, media, posters, and most importantly the candidates for coming out on a typically miserable (weather wise) Northeastern Pennsylvania night. We are nothing but blank screens and empty thoughts without all of you.
NOTE: If I missed anyone in my rundown, I do apologize. Please send me an e mail and I’ll add you to this edition.