The LuLac Edition #1817, October 31st, 2011
With apologies to Alfred E. Neuman and Mad Magazine, Wilkes Barre Mayor Tom Leighton.
Leighton opponents Lisa Cope and Betsy Summers.
The race for the Mayor’s job in the city of Wilkes Barre took another turn today and it wasn’t for the best. It is evident that any hope between a detente or agreement between Leighton challengers Betsy Summers and Lisa Cope is just not in the works. Political alliances where one person is asked to subjugate themselves to a perceived equal or lesser just don’t work. Remember 1980 when the idea of a co Presidency between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan was floated? Ford wanted the co-equal status while Reagan wanted to a Vice President. The latest dust up came last night when Libertarian party chief Lou Jasinoff sent an e mail to a few media types. I was flattered to be included but because of a personal family issue just got around to sorting it out. Not to worry, my friends Sue Henry of WILK and Bill O’Boyle of the Times ran with it. Jasinoff made the point that the debate showed that Lisa Cope is not the strongest candidate to upset Leighton electorally. (I’m sure Leighton has enough upset already to last him a lifetime with these two chirping at him). Jasinoff accused Frank Sorick., Cope’s primary opponent and current campaign manager of pulling strings and whispering ideas into her ears. Here’s part of his e mail:
Last Monday, I called Frank Sorick, Lisa Cope's campaign manager. I suggested that the time had come to examine possibilities of working together as a single entity to ensure Leighton's defeat on Nov 8th.
The suggestion met with a positive response from Frank Sorick. Since then, attempts to follow through with plans have raised "red flags". Betsy Summers tried to call Lisa Cope herself to explore common ground for the common good between them, and was deferred to Frank Sorick.
Maybe I look at things a little differently.
I thought, if both women were able to discuss together without interference from campaign staff, a common solution might be reached. At the very least, they would walk away with a clear understanding of each other, knowing they could work together for a common vision.
Why does this matter?
It matters because, on multiple occasions, it has become clear that this is Frank Sorick's campaign. He is the puppeteer pulling the strings and directing the candidate. On a recent Sue Henry interview, Frank is clearly heard whispering answers to Lisa Cope. Someone who wants to be the mayor of Wilkes-Barre should have the confidence to interview by herself. I was also utilized by Bill O'Boyle of the Times Leader to contact Frank Sorick for approval for Lisa's debate participation. Bill reported to me that Lisa Cope was unaware of the planned debate and had other meetings that night. Anyone attending the debate clearly saw that Lisa Cope is incapable of making decisions required of a Mayor.( I encourage you to watch the debate if you were unable to attend.) She was incapable of making a decision to meet with Betsy Summers! Why is this cause for concern? For one, if you cannot make decisions without getting answers from Frank Sorick, how can you be an effective independent thinking Mayor? If you cannot decide to meet with taxpayers without consulting Frank Sorick, how can you make decisions that will impact the welfare of a city? And, if you are incapable of talking with a down-to-earth capable visionary like Betsy Summers, how can you ever communicate with the melting pot of Wilkes-Barre residents?
Do we go from a secretive corrupt entitled administration to one that is filtered by Frank Sorick?
This should scare any Democrat, Independent, Independent Republican, Green, or Libertarian who is ready to embrace a city government committed to transparency, inclusiveness, fiscal responsibility, community pride, and neighborhood revitalization.
One thing for sure is this; a Betsy Summers administration will have an equal number of Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, and Greens in it. Not the connected Democrats or connected Republicans but individuals qualified and wanting to make for a better city.
Can you honestly say with certainty that if Lisa Cope is elected you are not going from one connected administration to another connected administration? I couldn't. This is the time. This is the time to snap the head off of the nepotism that has for so long benefited only the connected.
With your help this can be done. This is truly not about party but about our future and the future of Wilkes-Barre. I can tell you for certain the polls are trending towards Betsy Summers especially after the debate. These are the real facts, not the facts of Frank Sorick. Republicans do not have a base is Wilkes-Barre, nor do they comprise 35% of the voting base. 70% of the electorate in Wilkes-Barre is registered Democrat, 20% Republican, and 10% Independent.
Disenfranchised and disheartened Democrats alone could elect Betsy Summers. A vote for Lisa Cope is truly a vote for Tom Leighton. With the help of Democrats, Independents and independent Republicans, a brighter future for you and your families are there to be had November 8th.
Jasikoff makes the point that Sorick is overestimating the number of people who have confidence in the Cope campaign. As a campaigner for Betsy Summers, he is bound to say that. He says that the polls he is taking have Summers trending up. The polls are outreach phone calls consisting of one question on the Mayor’s race. Today on Sue Henry’s program Jasikoff said he wanted to hear from Lisa Cope as to why she did not meet with Betsy Summers. A meeting is not going to bridge the divide. Nor is a meeting going to change the minds of the Republicans voting against Leighton or the Independents voting for Summers. Sorick in calling Sue Henry’s show indicated that Cope was at work and would try to call in the program. Sorick said he wasn’t a puppeteer and that Cope has a mind of her own. (Which I will attest to having met her a few times on the campaign trail). But Cope has shown a maddening disregard for political messaging that is driving seasoned players crazy. Jasikoff seems to feel that Cope should stand down on her debate performance or at least talk to Summers about it. Cope sees Summers as a late interloper into the process who was originally running for County Council until changing her mind after getting a gander at Cope. Summers sees Cope as a candidate that is less qualified and articulate than herself. Cope’s people, Frank Sorick reasons why should a bonafide established party relinquish its stake on the Mayor’s chair for a third party that has less registration. Sorick said that would be like “Mitt Romney telling Ron Paul he can’t run as an Independent”. Jasikoff feels that Summers is trending at the cost of Cope’s debate performance as a serious alternative. Reached at his home tonight, Sorick had this to say, “The e mail/letter is ridiculous. For some reason the Libertarians have decided since there is no reason to attack Lisa, they should attack the debate performance and me. This campaign sounds to me like a Leighton initiative, now I’m wondering just who is running the Summers campaign?”
Finally someone said the magic word: plant. For weeks the word on the street from politicos was that Cope was a plant. They pointed to her ambition to become a police woman and being on the Civil Service list. Conversely, the Summers campaign has not escaped that scrutiny either with people accusing Leighton of putting Summers in the race to divide it up.
I talked to both Lou Jasikoff and Frank Sorick. Jasikoff says that the debate performance is a crucial issue. That because of it, the Cope campaign is in a state of disintegration. Sorick says that Cope is well within striking distance and claims there are many undecided voters out there yet who are eventually going to come to the GOP. So to be fair to both men who are advocating for these candidates and to the candidates themselves who are sincere, I tried to find a video of the debate on LuLac but was unable to find one on line. I will however be asking a new poll question regarding undecided voters in the Wilkes Barre Mayor’s race. That might shed light on this debate between the forces.
I did not reach out the Leighton campaign because they most likely are just leaning back and watching this political steel cage match with great amusement.
Are you decided or undecided in Wilkes Barre Mayor's race.
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