Monday, October 31, 2011

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.

OPPOSITION DIVIDED

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.

POLL

Are you decided or undecided in Wilkes Barre Mayor's race.
If you are undecided, who are you leaning toward, Cope, Leighton or Summers?
Click here to take survey

The LuLac Edition #1816, October 31st, 2011

Red Light Cameras coming to a city near you?

LULAC POLL

A few weeks ago, we here at LuLac took a poll on a few races in the 2011 Election. We’ll release the poll results tomorrow. Today I am going to go over the methodology of the poll. I’m doing that today because tomorrow the only thing people will read are the results. A few words about the poll:
1. It is not scientific. In order to do that, you have to have 400 respondents. We had 172. But I believe with that number it is a representation of public opinion.
2. Only one vote can be recorded on a computer. The only exception is that if you open up two separate browsers and find LuLac on say, FireFox and Internet Explorer, you can vote twice. But there can’t be multiple voting for one candidate. That promotes, at least to me, a fair representation.
3. The votes are unanimous like the posts. So LuLac has no interaction personally like a phone poll would have.
4. Since LuLac covers both Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties, people not necessarily in the voting district can vote. Like someone in Archbald can make an opinion on the Wilkes Barre Area School Board race as well as someone from Ashley opining on who would win the Lackawanna County Commissioners race. Also if someone is reading this in Hong Kong, they can voice an opinion and mess with us, but I’m betting those occurrences are few and far between.
5. LuLac readers might have an interest in one segment of the election than the others. In the spring poll, Charlotte raup supporters gave her a big majority in the poll. That proved that Raup had more LuLac readers than Leighton did. So you have that going on too.
So there are the nuances of the poll. I wanted to make it clear that the data is raw. That said, I think because of the way the mechanism is set up, no one candidate can stack the vote. Is it accurate? In the primary Charlotte Raup was beating Tom Leighton 2 to 1. The primary results told a different story. But looking at the results so far, I can honestly say that the data this fall will be interesting to compare on Election Day. Look for it tomorrow.

COUNTY COUNCIL ENDORSEMENT

The Times Leader endorsed the following candidates for Luzerne County Council. They are:
James Bobeck, Elaine Maddon Curry, Harry Haas, Gene Kelleher, Mike Lacey, Tim McGinley, Rick Morelli, Jeremy Packard, Steve A. Urban, Rick Williams and Jane Walsh Waitkus.
Some are no brainers, others I’m trying to wrap my mind around. 5 Democrats, 3 Republicans and three Independents. Okay then.

GELB RALLY

The Committee to Elect Lesa Gelb Judge will host a rally with the candidate on Saturday, November 5th from 2-4 PM at The American Legion in Kingston. The Legion is located at 386 Wyoming Ave.
Volunteer materials will be distributed to all poll workers. The event is free and open to the public, and food and refreshments will be provided. Anyone wishing to volunteer in the final days of the campaign is encouraged to attend.
Anyone with questions regarding the event can call 570-288-7022 or e-mail contact@lesaforjudge.com for more information.
Where: American Legion, Black Diamond Post 395
386 Wyoming Ave
Kingston, PA 18704
When: 2-4 PM
Saturday, November 5th
Lesa Gelb is a candidate for the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas. She has been a practicing attorney in Luzerne County for twenty-five years and has served on and led the boards of numerous civic and non-profit groups. In an attempt to rekindle the electorate’s faith in their judges, she is not accepting contributions from attorneys. More information about Lesa’s candidacy can be found at lesaforjudge.com.

RED LIGHTING A BAD BILL

Many motorists in the state are asking that the bill authorizing red-light cameras(SB595) be pulled, or at least not advanced to a floor vote. This passed the Senate and got referred to House Transportation. This bill will inflict serious harm upon the residents of the state, despite claims to the contrary. The bill, which was supported by Senators Yudichak and Blake is going to go to the House, unless you speak up. Here are a list of reasons why this thing is a bad idea:
1.Most tickets are for a non-complete stop while turning right on red(legal to turn.) This is NOT a safety issue at all.
2.Why not extend yellow duration on current lights? This is shown to reduce almost all “runnings”, as they are unintentional? People do not blow through lights on purpose, the yellow is too short.
3.Why not synchronize lights so you do not get a red on every block AND all yellows are of the same duration on a road?
4.Sensors can tell if a car is in an intersection, so won't change until clears.
5.Can use all-red interval, to clear cars from intersection.
6.Countdown timers can be used to tell time from yellow to red.
7.Cars get stuck in intersections taking left or right turns, plus they have to slow down significantly and cover more distance than going straight through.
8.Many tickets are for just barely going through, not 5 seconds after the red.
9.Can have view blocked by a large truck.
10.This will cause much unneeded stress, which is bad for safety.
11.There is an incentive to do this for revenue purposes. Why no community service or charitable contribution for a fine?
12.There is an incentive to make “short yellows”, or specifically shorten one yellow on a street where a camera is located.
13.Rules of evidence do not apply at the first appeal, which is REALLY abridging a driver's rights. The state is really looking to get sued here.
14.The bill defines what is discoverable later in court and also what is “right-to-know.” Also a good lawsuit here. You cannot even defend yourself!
15.You get a ticket weeks or months later for out-of-state people, so how is this legal? You cannot remember it or realistically fight it. If from outside the area, you are home and cannot look at the scene. Due process?
16.Owner cited, not driver.
17.With rental cars or business cars, you will just be billed and cannot appeal.
18.PARALLEL ticketing, in that a cop ticket has different penalties than a camera. YOU CANNOT HAVE DIFFERENT PENALTIES FOR THE SAME VIOLATION, based upon enforcement method.
19.Even if you claim this is for safety, if a person gets a ticket 1-3 months after an incident, won't they drive recklessly until then? A cop can issue a ticket on the spot to change behavior NOW.
20.There have been widely reported cases of incorrect tickets being issued.
Rear-end collisions go up with cameras, as people slam the brakes or floor it. Many people will do crazy stuff, such as refuse to take a right on a red, stop if a truck is in front of them, refuse to take a turn if they could get stuck in an intersection, etc., for fear of tickets. This will cause more crashes, road rage, and traffic backups. Unconstitutional, as not accused by person and cannot confront in court. Incorrect tickets issued. Heavy lobbying from camera makers. As you see here, much of this is questionable regarding legality.
THE COMMONWEALTH RUNS THE RISK OF GETTING SUED HERE, due to knowingly doing something which will likely cause crashes. Also, if a person's rights are not respected, the state will get sued. Not just state court, but federal too. In federal civil rights cases, the guilty party must also pay legal expenses when they lose, I think. If the state must pay for multiple defenses for various parties in various courts, and there are compensatory damages, punitive damages, and possibly ticket refunds, voided contracts, etc., this could go into the millions. The state should prioritize here and look for job growth, such as a law to ban employers who refuse to hire unemployed people, especially if out of work for awhile.
This proposed law seems to be a sham, which will likely cause crashes, cost the state a FORTUNE when they are sued, and seems to be exclusively for revenue. PLEASE DO NOT MOVE THIS FORWARD AND SCRAP THE CAMERAS WE HAVE RIGHT NOW. Ban future camera usage.
Other areas are REMOVING cameras, why would we put them in? Well, we here in LuLac land do everything ass backwards so I'm not surprised by this. Contact your local State Representatives and get this thing cancelled. Pennsylvania moves at a glacial pace for any type of change, why rush this through? MONEY. I'm sure the good Senators got campaign funds from the companies owning the camera systems. `

MEAN GIRLS

From Newswatch 16, three Bloomsburg University students were arrested and charged with beating a former team mate and student. It happened during Home Coming weekend and if you think they were three out of control burly football players with testosterone overflowing, you’re wrong. They were 3 women athletes. I’d use the term student athletes but that would be an exaggeration. Thugs don’t come equipped with a only an X chromosome these days, the Y's are catching up.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1815, October 30th, 2011


Political Endorsements, an American tradition.

LEIGHTON ENDORSED

The Times Leader endorsed Mayor Tom Leighton for a third term. The Leader touted his revitalization of the downtown as well as his command of the issues regarding city government. In a nutshell, this is what the newspaper said:
“Regrettably, the recent accusations hurled at Leighton, some unwarranted, could detract from the fact that he is far and away the most qualified – indeed, the only qualified – candidate in this race. His two opponents seem well-intentioned but lack basic understandings of how, for instance, state government mandates and union contracts can dictate city operations. Consequently, their campaign proposals tend to be unrealistic.”

MUSTO CARROLL GETS NOD

Incumbent DA Jackie Musto Carroll received the endorsement of the Times Leader. Musto Carroll has been under severe attack by the Republicans for her supposed lack f action in the Kids for Cash scandal. The GOP tried to say Musto Carroll wasn’t doing her job and took one tiny component of her tenure and blew it all out of sensible proportion. The bottom line is this: U.S. Attorney Peter Smith would not have her standing next to him at a Press Conference when the scandals were being discussed. The Times Leader very nicely put to rest the notion that Musto Carroll did not care about kids with this following narrative on their endorsement.
Musto Carroll oversaw reforms in the wake of the “kids-for-cash scandal,” for which even former critics have commended her, she said. The office appointed two assistant district attorneys for specialty training and agreed to vacate thousands of juvenile cases. The county also established Youth Aid Panels – a diversionary program intended to keep certain misbehaving youths out of the courtroom but hold them accountable for criminal acts.
During Musto Carroll’s term, the office also tallied these accomplishments: Opened a Child Advocacy Center in Wilkes-Barre, for cases involving children who allegedly have been physically or sexually abused; established special units within the office to address cases involving, for instance, elder abuse and domestic violence; and established a “precious metals database” to help stop the sale of stolen goods at pawn shops.
Musto Carroll also has been responsive to calls for cost-cutting and fiscal responsibility. In search of new revenue sources to support the office’s work, she has collaborated with the county’s grant writer as well as implemented fees for people who complete the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program and the Bad Check Program.”
Similarly the Citizen’s Voice in their endorsement of Musto Carroll seemed to echo the same sentiments. The Voice said Musto Carroll made her case and reiterated what I have been saying all along that the two disgraced Judges fooled and intimidated just about everyone in even minor opposition to them. Politicos in the know told me that Conahan was still settling scores from the early 1990s when he was in his last year as a sitting Judge. The Voice, like the Leader commended Salavantis for a rough and tumble campaign. But made the point that Musto Carroll would be a better choice.
Salavantis mounted a write-in campaign for the GOP nod, saying she could not allow Musto Carroll to cruise to re-election without addressing the actions, or inaction, of her office while two county judges conspired to reap kickbacks for jailing juveniles in for-profit detention centers.
We believe Musto Carroll has adequately made her case in that regard.
While the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice concluded that Musto Carroll, as first assistant district attorney in 2004-2007 "demonstrated no initiative, interest or concern with what was occurring in juvenile court," it also concluded she took affirmative steps to fix the system after the scandal broke on her watch in 2009.
If Musto Carroll failed to connect the dots that linked disgraced juvenile court judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr.'s "zero tolerance" policies to the millions in secret kickbacks he and former judge Michael T. Conahan received, she had a lot of company at the courthouse.
It is telling that federal prosecutors, when announcing their racketeering prosecution of Conahan and Ciavarella, invited Musto Carroll to the press conference and thanked her for her office's cooperation.
Musto Carroll's role in clearing the records of thousands of juveniles sentenced by Ciavarella, while ensuring that victims in those cases were awarded proper restitution, won similar praise from Berks County Senior Judge Arthur E. Grim, who was appointed by the state Supreme Court to review those cases.”

JUDICIAL ENDORSEMENT

The Times Leader endorsed 6 out of 7 candidates running for Judge. The big news is who they did not endorse. The paper’s editorial board left off dual nomination winner Attorney Lesa Gelb. Gelb has been a constant presence on the campaign trail. She has been relentless in attending events, meetings And every public venue available to her. Newspaper endorsements are nice to have but they by no means insure an election. The political landscape is strewn with the newsprint of endorsements of candidates that went down to defeat by a much ;larger entity than an editorial board, the voters. Anyway, the newspaper endorsed Molly Hanlon Mirabito, Jennifer Rogers, Richard Hughes, Michael Vough, Fred Pierantoni and Joseph Sklarosky. The paper said, “Our endorsement board decided on these six, not only because of their legal expertise, but also because of their comportment and communication skills. Those characteristics, we think, will translate into an ability to control a courtroom, while also maintaining respect for its varied occupants: plaintiffs, defendants, witnesses, lawyers and jurors. In turn, that conveys fairness – the bedrock of the justice system.”

LULAC POLL RESULTS

The LuLac poll results will be released on Tuesday, one week before Election Day.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1814, October 29th, 2011


Our "Sound Off Saturday" logo.

SOUND OFF SATURDAY


This week we’ll feature three more County Council candidates who responded to our LuLac Edition of October 4th. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the candidates who responded, Rick Williams, Edd Brominski, Blythe Evans, Kathy Dobash, Eileen Sorokas, Rick Morelli, Tim Mullen, Harry Haas, Charlie “Bible Buck” Hatchko and Salvatore “Sal” Licata.




Harry Haas, Republican candidate for Luzerne County Council.

HARRY HAAS-REPUBLICAN

1. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT OUT OF BEING A COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER?
My name is Harry Haas, and I want our government to match the excellent quality of life we have here in Luzerne County rather than be a hindrance to it.
2. IT’S A BIG COUNTY, WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES AS AN ELECTED MEMBER?
My top three priorities:
a. Hire the most experienced and principled county manager.
b. Shrink the enormous county debt.
c. Restore decency to public office in Luzerne County by working collegiality with my peers and serving with humility.
3. ARE YOU WILLING TO SET ASIDE YOUR PRIORITIES FOR THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE COUNTY?
I don't think that any of these three are contrary to the good of our county.
4. TELL ME YOUR IDEA OF AN IDEAL COUNTY MANAGER.
Ideally, our county manager will come with prior managerial experience in a large county or metropolitan area. The manager will have a college degree in public management or similar educational background. This executive must strive to fulfill the vision set by the county council, yet he must also be independent enough to lead in his own right--and even raise objections to--the council's perspective about which steps to take. Above all, and the most difficult to ascertain before hiring, he must have integrity beyond reproach.
5. WOULD YOU SACRIFICE YOUR RE ELECTION FOR A TOUGH DECISION?
I already have a career and am not looking for one in county government. My plan is to help get our Home Rule government off to a good start and then offer my chair to another.
6. ARE YOU WILLING TO RAISE TAXES IF THERE ARE NO OTHER OPTIONS?
Yes, but there are many other options...
7. DEFINE ETHICS FOR ME.
Ethics means "loving God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself," because you take your selfishness and your self-aggrandizement out of governing. Isn't that what we're all searching for in our political leaders: selfless public service? My success as a councilman hinges on this question.
8. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS A LEADER, FOLLOWER OR A PERSON OF FLEXIBILITY?
I'm a man of flexibility. My training as a historian is to see people and events from all different perspectives. Thais training has allowed my worldview to be less rigid and more flexible. Nevertheless, this work will require a combination of all three traits: I have a set of priorities for our county, and I live by a code of principles that qualifies me as a leader. However, there will be times where I will have to follow the will of the council majority even when I disagree with the decision.
9. WHAT SPECIFICALLY DO YOU SEE THE ROLE OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT BEING?
County government is the level of government that most affects our daily lives. Therefore, the role of county should help--not hinder--our daily pursuit of happiness. County government should be efficient that we may be more efficient at work in the community; it should be more fair that we might not be jealous of our fellow citizens but kind; it should not rob the private sector and municipal government of duties that they naturally perform better such as business development and entertainment venues. Anytime county government can save money or increase quality of service, that is its proper role.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate,
Harry Haas
www.HarryHaas.com


Charlie "Bible Buck" Hatchko at one of the Commissioner's meetings in 2010. (Photo from Times Leader).

CHARLIE “BIBLE BUCK” HATCHKO-AMERICAN INDEPENDENT PARTY

WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT OUT OF BEING A COUNTY COUNCIL MEMBER?
Principles over politics is my main theme and agenda for Luzerne County government. My name is Charlie Bible Buck Hatchko and I am the only candidate who has attended over 40 Home Rule Government Study Commission Meetings and Home Rule Transition Committee Meetings. Hearing and studying testimony of every County Row Office, asking questions regarding the operation of County Row Office Holders After interviewing human services and receiving documentation regarding their operation and budgets, I believe that my decisions based on truth, probity, and integrity will enhance and make better Luzerne County Government.
Morals and ethics regarding the best for Luzerne County and I will always base my decisions off of what is best for the people and most importantly the tax-payers of Luzerne County. Fiscal integrity is extremely important with the monumental debt in Luzerne County. The elimination of political favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism.
THE LUZERNE COUNTY COUNCIL MANAGER---The appointment of the most honest, most qualified, moral, ethical and non-political experienced manager. Political expediency is the ruination of America. Political expediency means what is right for a political party, not what is truth and justice for everyone. Remember Discipline Counts! If one can rule his own life, one can rule others with integrity in governmental service. Government leaders are public servants. If one serves in truth, probity, and honesty, one becomes an efficient leader. One who is self-serving truly lacks good servant leadership, and then comes crime and corruption. Some of the County Manager's duties-- To implement the Codes: Ethics Code, Personnel Code, Administrative Code. to create truth, probity, honesty, accountability, and responsibility in government, and eliminate political favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism and to have rules that are administered justly and fairly for all Luzerne County employees. Fiscal integrity and balancing the budget without losing services should be his or her goal. rime and corruption has plundered the image and integrity of Luzerne County. We need change!
Budget: Luzerne County's astronomical debt must be eliminated. Look at the City of Harrisburg Penn. We must find a way to consolidate, cut expenses along with find ways to increase revenue. The goal is to have an efficient government. Find
ways to help bring in more business--employment-- and revenue to Luzerne County. Call for a hiring freeze for Luzerne County Correctional Facility. I presented factual information at the last Prison Board Meeting--Oct. 18th-on this subject.
Why--To prevent privatization of Luzerne County Correctional faculty and make it more efficient.
Transparency is needed to show the actions and voting record of the Luzerne County Government County Council on a Website. Therefore the voters of Luzerne County can see and evaluate the performance of an elected member of Luzerne County Council.
ARE YOU WILLING TO SET ASIDE YOUR PRIORITIES FOR THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE COUNTY?
No my main priorities are based on Biblical principles and Christian virtues based on truth and probity. I will never support legal positivism, laws that are legal but violate the moral law of God. Legal positivism could be seen in NAZI Germany--in the inhumane killing of Jews back then. It was legal by the German Law. Government authority must be based on moral law with God its first choice and final end. Changing minor political priorities for the betterment of Luzerne County I would do, but not if it violates ethics, morals, and just laws. I have written over 100 Biblical Articles in small newspapers in Lackawanna and Luzerne County. Approx.-- 25 in the Hazelton area back in 2001 and 2002 in a free newspaper called ABB--Area Bargain Buyer.
Lackawanna County News and Old Forge News in Lackawanna County--back in the late 1990's. At Kings College Ecumenical Breakfast--sponsored by the People of God Community back in approx--1991 to 1992--I was one of the speakers on Christian Issues such as Repentance-Justification--Faith--Evangelization--etc. I am an International Internet Biblical Writer out of one of Canada's biggest Websites, based in Ottawa Ontario--Canada.
The new Luzerne County Council Manager must have good moral qualities, and experience in the running of government. Ethics and morals are extremely important. Political expediency is the ruination of American morals. A political expedient County Manager's
actions can be detrimental to the running of Luzerne County Government.
WOULD YOU SACRIFICE YOUR RE ELECTION FOR A TOUGH DECISION?
Absolutely! I would never violate moral laws or support degenerate and re probative actions. Every economic decision depends on whether it protects or undermines the dignity of the human person and the common good of the family--county--state or nation.
ARE YOU WILLING TO RAISE TAXES IF THERE ARE NO OTHER OPTIONS?
I would make every possible attempt not to raise County Taxes--Consolidate different offices. The only way I would raise Taxes is to prevent Bankruptcy of Luzerne County Government. Fiscal integrity is extremely important and I would call for Department heads to provide fiscal responsibility and moral integrity.
DEFINE ETHICS FOR ME.
Making just, righteous, and good moral decisions. Ethics can be described as the study of a just moral standard of conduct and moral judgment. With the crime and corruption in Luzerne Count government, let me emphasise that I was absolutely the most vocal candidate against corruption speaking out on WILK RADIO --STEVE CORBETT --Program for years my Biblical -philosophical, and ideological positions against the horrors of crime and corruption. Attending Pittston Area School Board meetings--Luzerne County Commissioner meetings and using free radio dialogue shows actions and not words. Faith without works is dead.
Consistency of morals and actions is extremely important
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS A LEADER, FOLLOWER OR A PERSON OF FLEXIBILITY?
I see myself as a person of flexibility, and a leader. I want to work with the other candidates toward a common goal that would be beneficial to Luzerne County. One man is not a Island. I also want to be a County Council member who listens and makes rational decisions and takes advice from my fellow County Council members who strengths are greater than mine in specific areas is where I would consider myself a follower or person of flexibility. On Collective Bargaining and Prison issues I would consider myself a leader. My objectives are moral and economic justice for the people and tax-payers of Luzerne County. Remember the statement! One must know their limitations. There is no I in team--therefore it is essential elected County Council members must work in harmony.
One must remember that pride is the reservoir of all sin. (Proverbs 16:18) Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
WHAT SPECIFICALLY DO YOU SEE THE ROLE OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT BEING?

My estimation and definition is absolute fiscal integrity and moral certitude of one in authority in county government. This person is
to deliver the needed services to the residents of the county in the most honest and efficient manner possible. Everyone understands that they have to pay property and different County taxes. In fact regarding Home Rule--Present Controller Walter Griffith--Attorney PJ Best and myself petitioned the Commissioners back in 2010 put Home Rule on the ballot. Let me emphasise we needed change.
Fiscal integrity with the outstanding debt in Luzerne County government is extremely important. The main efficient cause of one in political authority is to make sure that their tax dollars are being spent efficiently, ethically and not wasted! It is also critical that the taxpayers trust and are fully aware as to how their tax dollars are being spent! Honesty and integrity, and fiscal integrity are what makes the County efficient--Moral certitude over crime corruption and political manipulation is my agenda. Justice is the key to life. Good discipline based on good morals and ethics brings forth credibility and good moral choices needed for good government. Loyalty towards truth and probity will bring forth change needed in Luzerne County government.
100 Words --Why Elect Me?--My campaign is based on Biblical principles and Christian virtues. I will not envision a better community,
but work diligently to help design and create better government. To implement and foster and promote humanitarian efforts and programs, honest and sincere community development. It is my commitment to a responsible and dedicated Luzerne County government. We need a capable administration, sound tax structure and viable budget.
The highest use of government capital is not just to make money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life through honest community development programs and improved social services. Government policies must be directed to the common good of all people in Luzerne County. (Proverbs 11:3) The integrity of the upright guides them. (Proverbs 13:6) Righteousness guards the man of integrity. (Proverbs 14:34) Righteousness exalts a nation.
Elect Charlie Bible Buck Hatchko --Last on the ballot--First in your hearts.
God Bless You--God Bless America--


Democrat/Working Families candidate for Luzerne County Council Sal Licata. (Photo: Pittston Dispatch).

SALVATORE “SAL” LICATA-DEMOCRAT

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your questions.My name is Salvatore Licata. I reside in Pittston City, have lived there all my life and own a home with my wife of 38 years, Cynthia. I am retired high school teacher and coach. I worked in the Pittston Area School District for 35 years.I want to become a member of the new County Council because I believe it is the duty of a citizen to get involved in public service. The strength of this belief has led me to volunteer my time as a public servant on various public and private organizations for almost 37 years in the Greater Pittston area and Luzerne County. I want to continue this service to my community and if I am able to gain the trust of Luzerne County voters and am fortunate enough to be elected to the new County Council I will be a strong advocate for all the citizens of our county as I have been to the people of the organizations I have served in the past.
My first duty as a County Council member will be to work with all other Council members, the new Manager and all other Department Heads and workers to ensure that our government runs efficiently and effectively for the benefit of all county citizens. In doing this, I believe citizens of Luzerne County will regain the lost trust in government and our county will become a better place to live, work and raise a family.
A priority of mine will be to represent all county residents and provide them with a county government that is responsive to their needs. I will not waiver in trying to accomplish this. Although I am a member of the Working Families Team, if elected I will represent all families in the county. The family unit has always been the foundation of Luzerne County and I will strive to work for the benefit of all.
The ideal County Manager must be a leader. This person must have the experience, qualifications, training and abilities necessary to do the job. The person must be a proven problem solver and a motivator who is able to listen to, work with and get the most out of the other county workers.
I am not afraid to make tough decisions. I have made and will continue to make decisions based on what is best for the organizations I served in the past and if elected, all the citizens of Luzerne County in the future. If making the proper decision to solve a problem our county faces causes me not to be elected or re-elected, I will make that decision and have no regrets.
It is disingenuous for a candidate to say I will never raise taxes. No candidate knows what problem or disaster will arise or what decision is necessary to rectify that issue. If the only recourse is to raise a tax, then as an elected leader, it is something that must be done.
Simply stated, ethics is the process of doing what is right. Not something that is right for me but what is right for all the citizens of Luzerne County.
I have always viewed myself as a leader. I am a person that not only leads but has the ability to listen to and work with others, examine what is said and act accordingly to make the best decision possible.
The role of county government is to provide its citizens with the most efficient and effective services necessary to maintain the quality of life that these citizens deserve, want and expect from their government.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1813, October 28th, 2011


"Maybe I'm Amazed" logo.

MAYBE I’M AMAZED


MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that more than 200 people showed up for that forum the other night at Wilkes College. That shows there is citizen interest in this election.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……at the size of this upcoming Election Day ballot. Voters should really study hard and figure out who they are going to support.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that in talking to Council candidate Edd Brominski I see that he most likely has forgotten more about county government than the people who have been studying this deal now for over a few years.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Bob Cordaro pulled a legal rabbit out of his hat and at least got his Halloween sentencing continued.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that up until last night, this World Series might have been remembered for the bad phone line to the Cardinal bullpen than anything else. Why not just run one of the players down to the dugout and pass the message the old fashioned way, face to face, pre Alexander Graham Bell.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the young Republicans of Luzerne County, those on and off the reservation should know better than to explain a mini controversy to WILK’s Steve Corbett. He’ll ask the questions they should have asked themselves before they picked up the phone.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the people at Wilkes College only had one microphone for the big Forum the other night. Wilkes has a college TV station and various auditoriums. Plus they have a Communications program. They couldn’t spare a microphone?
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that the guy who won 4 million smackers at the Anthracite Newsstand was back the next day buying more lottery tickets. Really? Don’t tell me gambling can’t be addictive.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Rick Perry who fashions himself after Ronald Reagan (and what Republican doesn’t) decided to step away from the debates because of poor performance. We knew The Gipper and Rick Perry is no Ronald Reagan. Just what we need, another Texas Governor as President with a low IQ. George Bush’s saving grace was that he loved baseball.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski. Posed with adult film star Bibi Jones posting multiple pictures on Twitter posing. The short blond was sporting Gronkowski's Patriots jersey in the images and the tight end was shirtless in one of them. There is nothing sexier than a good looking woman wearing a football jersey. (Especially if it’s yours!) But after all the Charlie Sheen garbage earlier in the year with Bree Olson, you have to ask, “What was this guy thinking”?
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that people are questioning the actions of the Wilkes Barre Police when a person was wielding a gun (albeit a pellet gun) and aiming it at them. My theory is the guy wanted to do one of those “cop by suicide” deals you see on Law and Order. When a guy points a gun at you and he does not desist after being told to, he gets what he gets. That said, I saw his family on TV recounting his mental health issues and I feel for them. I just wonder who is going to foot the health care bill for this guy because I’ll bet my ass he doesn’t have Blue Cross or Geisenger PPO.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the longer I live, the more I appreciate the sport of baseball. In Game 6 of the World Series, the Cardinals were one strike away from elimination. Both teams battled back in a seesaw of leads in the game. The third baseman, David Freese, who made a crucial error redeemed himself and tied it once. Then in the 11th hit a home run to win it 10-9 and bring it to Game 7. To those who say baseball takes too much time, I say baseball is timeless in the most classical sense. On to Game 7 later tonight! And that my friends is truly amazing!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1812, October 27th, 2011

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT



2011 Wilkes Barre Mayor's Debate featuring Betsy Summers, Lisa Cope and Tom Leighton. (Photo from Times Leader.)


Pope Benedict XVIth.


Our 1972 logo.

WILKES BARRE MAYOR’S FORUM

The three candidates for Mayor of Wilkes Barre squared off Wednesday night at Wilkes College for a debate/forum hosted by the Times Leader. Each candidate gave their pitch as to how they would lead the city. Challengers Lisa Cope4 and Betsy Summers advocated better services for the neighborhoods, an end to nepotism as well as greater fiscal transparency. Mayor Leighton predictably did what incumbents usually do. He touted his accomplishments in the last 2 terms referring to the revitalization of the downtown, the good credit rating the city has due to his leadership as well as future projects that need to be completed. Leigthton said that he would like more time to finish the good work that was started. This forum was not a tea and cookies affair with the ladies taking second place. Betsy Summers slammed Leighton on the state of the city neighborhoods and sarcastically stated the Mayor needed to tour those areas to see the problem first hand. Cope savaged the Mayor on the nepotism issue as well as the lack of transparency in city government. Cope also outlined a plan to make sure absentee landlords lived up to their responsibilities and said as Mayor she would confiscate their business licences until they put their properties up to code. But what got the candidates ginned up as well as those in attendance was Leighton’s stance on the security system installed in his house in 2004 as well as one put in then City Administrator J.J. Murphy’s home. Leighton said he had every right to protect his family against physical threats and as he was in the middle of the statement, various residents in the audience said loudly that he should personally pay for it. Prior to that, the three candidates responded to questions about the Hotel Sterling, the tax base, as well as recreational facilities in the city. The consensus was that the beleaguered Leighton did well under pressure and responded to the heat in an even keeled manner. Leighton will not budge on the security system issue saying that it was needed to protect his family. Summers was intense in her presentation that a change was needed and read her thoughts with visibly clenched hands. Lisa Cope, sporting a new hair cut inexplicably did not make a closing statement but thanked the Leader and Wilkes for sponsoring the Forum.
Will this one and only meeting have an impact on the Mayoral Election? The fact that there was no coverage of it on local TV will only allow voters who weren’t there to see what the News stations present. But more than 200 people showed up for this event. That is huge because attendance at these things typically never top 100. Obviously there are people interested in this race. If those 200 talked to 20 friends about it and they in turn did the same that can translate into a high turnout. That turnout may not be kind to the incumbent. The people who are behind Leighton are going to say he was brilliant. Some will say like all leaders he has some flaws but that the city should not be entrusted to the two candidates being offered by the GOP(Lisa Cope) and the Libertarian party. (Betsy Summers). After the heat of this debate one thing is still certain, there are 3 camps of politicos pushing their respective candidate for the Mayor’s chair. The vote will be split three ways. The victor will be determined by how many voters defect from Tom Leighton and the Democratic party. It is possible for Leighton to be beaten but that will only happen if voters pick only one of the two challengers overwhelmingly as the alternative. If that happens the win will be razor thin. If that does not happen and Cope and Summers evenly split, Leighton will be re-elected by a plurality, not a majority. All that said, there are still 13 days before Decision Day. And that my friends is a lifetime in politics.

MAYORAL QUOTES

The Citizen’s Voice Andrew Staub had an article in their paper yesterday interviewing the three candidates for Mayor. What struck me were the following quotes:
Mayor Tom Leighton: “We've come a long way, and it's taken 7½ years to build up," he said. "If the wrong person sits in the mayor's seat, what has been done over 7½ years can come crumbling down within a week." A week Mr. Mayor? I mean you’d have to have some dandy incompetent to destroy it all in a week.
Lisa Cope: "I'm not exactly sure what to do," Cope said, "but I think we can try to give them some sort of initiative to move back to the city." This was in regard to enticing people to move back to the city. Never, ever say I’m not sure what to do, even when you don’t. It’s politics not truth or dare.
Betsy Summers: "”If we have low taxes, maybe we can work on encouraging more of a community effort to keep our city clean”. How can lower taxes keep a neighborhood clean? People in Wilkes Barre and NEPA are slobs. You clean up your area and some slob comes and drops their McDonald’s bag and wine bottle in your driveway. Look at those spring clean ups where scouts bag garbage on a Saturday and by Sunday night someone’s davenport is on the side of the road. Great community spirit but a little naive. We live among slobs of all ages and government can’t do anything about it.

A ONE AND A TWO…..

So we’re hanging out going over our day this afternoon. The dog and Mother in Law are squared away and all of a sudden the phone rings. The voice on the other end asks, “If the Election were held today, would you vote for #1. Stefanie Salavantis or #2. Jackie Musto Carroll. So even though I’ve met Stefanie Salavantis and think she’d make a great DA maybe in two or three decades, I pressed #2. The phone then reverted back to its original message and questioning. So I revert back to my original answer and not satisfied, it asks the question again. That’s when I hung up. The poll call reminded me of one of my crazed old girlfriends, if they didn’t get the answer they wanted, they just kept asking the same question again and again.

O’BRIEN/WANSACZ ADS UP

If you are following the political commercials in LuLac, last week we referenced GOP candidate Bill Jones’ spot running on the tube. This week the O’Brien/Wansacz team has two spots up that revert to the age old staples of political advertising. The first features playful kids watched over by politico adults assuring you that if you elect them, your kid’s future will be just as bright as the chosen one’s brood. (Note the black and white shot to emphasize the previously bitter primary rivals breaking bread together). The second spot is the Diner shot. With the fabled “Glider Diner” as a backdrop, an old codger and a young un look at the TV while O’Brien and Wansacz look soulfully into each other’s eyes like two guys thrown together in a foxhole and talk about, what else, the future? As a political junkie, I love the commercials and this time of year. Here are the spots:




THE LIBERAL POPE


So how about Pope Benedict siding with the Wall Street occupiers? The basic sentiment’ behind the protests is in line with Catholic social teaching and the new document on global finance. That was issued on Oct. 24 by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. A debate over the authority of the document, and the requirement (or not) of Catholics to support it, is now being articulated by prominent Catholic writers and scholars.
The document calls for
A “world political authority” to manage “the growing interdependence between states and regions of the world becomes more and more obvious as well as the need for answers that are not just sectoral and isolated, but systematic and integrated, rich in solidarity and subsidiarity and geared to the universal common good”
A “central world bank” that regulates the flow and system of monetary exchanges similar to the national central banks
Many conservative Catholics writers, who often defend the Vatican against critique, have suggested that the council either lacks the authority to compel Catholics to support it, or that the media is misrepresenting the full vision of the document. Meanwhile, liberal Catholics who tend to emphasize the church’s teachings on social justice are heralding the document as proof of the church’s solidarity with global economic protests and those who are suffering during this time of economic downturn.
So like everything with the Roman Catholics, the teachings, even of the Pope are open to interpretation. The Conservatives who hail the papacy for preserving birth control, and sanctity of life are wary. The liberals who want women ordained and priests to marry are absolutely thrilled that the ermine Prada ward robed Benedict is really a left wing hipsters in a Pope Pius XIIth throwback uniform. Interesting times in the world I’d say.

MEDIA MATTERS

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

"Saturday Night Live at the Oldies" Halloween weekend show 10/29/11 at 8 PM EDT features interview with Charles "Tex" Watson of the Charles Manson 'family' from Mule Creek State Prison Ione California serving a life sentence, in 1st ever phone chat - 2-years to arrange. Watson murdered actress Sharon Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger and 3-others August 8th 1969 in Benedict Canyon where the infamous scenario "Helter Skelter" was coined. You can hear Saturday Night Live At the Oldies this Saturday from 7pm to midnight on WILK AM and FM with ABC News on the top of the hour.

STORM POLITICS

This week on WYLN TV’s Storm Politics, three candidates for Luzerne County Council chat with Tiffany Cloud. Jane Walsh Waitkus, Tim McGinley and Gene Kelleher. Storm Politics airs on WYLN TV Thursday 9:30pmp, Sat 5p, Sun 11a, Mon 830p, Tues 900p.

L.A. TARONE SHOW

L.A Tarone’s guest this week on WYLN TV 35 is current Luzerne County Commissioner MaryAnne Petrila. The L.A. Tarone TV show can be seen on WYLN Thursday 9:30PM, Saturday 12:30PM, Sunday 8:30AM, Monday 9:30PM and Tuesday 8:00pm.

ECTV

ECTV Live Host Judge Tom Munley will welcome Veterans advocates Joe Albert and Joseph Sylvester as guests for the week of October 31st. Along with co-host David DeCosmo they'll be discussing Veteran's Day and services available to those who have served in the Armed Forces. The program airs daily at Noon and Midnight on Comcast Ch19 in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

SUNDAY MAGAZINE

1972

Following a visit to South Vietnam, U.S. National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger suggests that "peace is at hand."……….The Airbus A300 flies for the first time…….The Black September group hijacks a Lufthansa Boeing 727 over Turkey, demanding the release of 3 comrades still held for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games......President Richard Nixon approves legislation to increase Social Security spending by US$5.3 billion in the Commonwealth U.S. Senator Hugh Scott says that the foreign policy of a McGovern administration would be a disaster for the country and called for the re-election of President Nixon……….and in Luzerne County Flood Victims Action Council advocate Min Mathesson continues to hold weekly meetings with flood victims to make sure there are no crime problems where flood victims are housed in mobile home parks. Mathesson also calls for inspection of the heating units of the government supplied trailers as winter sets in………….and 39 years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1811, October 26th, 2011

"Write On Wednesday" logo.

WRITE ON WEDNESDAY


365 by Jack Buck

As the baseball season winds down, tonight might be the last game of the World Series, I thought a poem written by baseball legendary broadcaster Joe Buck would be appropriate. Not known widely as a poet, this work is a reminder of why baseball fans love the game, every day of the year.
When someone asks you your favorite sport
And you answer Baseball in a blink
There are certain qualities you must possess
And you're more attached than you think.
In the frozen grip of winter
I'm sure you'll agree with me
Not a day goes by without someone
Talking baseball to some degree.
The calendar flips on New Year's Day
The Super Bowl comes and it goes
Get the other sports out of the way
The green grass and the fever grows.
It's time to pack a bag and take a trip
To Arizona or the Sunshine State
Perhaps you can't go, but there's the radio
So you listen-you root-you wait.
They start the campaign, pomp and pageantry reign
You claim the pennant on Opening Day
From April till fall
You follow the bouncing white ball
Your team is set to go all the way.
They fall short of the series
You have a case of the "wearies"
And need as break from the game
But when Christmas bells jingle
You feel that old tingle
And you're ready for more of the same.
It will be hot dogs for dinner
Six months of heaven, a winner
Yes, Baseball has always been it.
You would amaze all your friends
If they knew to what ends
You'd go for a little old hit.
The best times you're had
Have been with your Mom and your Dad
And a bat and a ball and a glove.
From the first time you played
Till the last time you prayed
It's been a simple matter of love.