Rated one of Pennsylvania's top blog/sites, the LuLac Political Letter delves into issues of politics on all levels (with special concentration on Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties: thus the name LULAC) and pop culture.
The LuLac Political Letter was also named Best Political Blog of the Year for 2014 by NEPA BLOGCON and most recently David Yonki was named Best Blogger of the year 2015 by the publication Diamond City.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
The LuLac Edition #1883, December 31st, 2011
Happy New Year logo.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
I don't know anyone except maybe one of the 6 people elected to Judge or Stefanie Salavantis who thought this was a perfect year. Most people I've talked with have either not had jobs, jobs that paid them less than a few years ago, had ill health or had property destroyed from the flood. So let's can this bitch of a year and hope that 2012 will be just a tad more generous in spirit to all of us. In my 2006 book, "Legis Vitae/DavidYonki's 26 Rules of Life", one rule that I didn't chronicle should have been. It applies to how I feel at New Year's every year as the new day dawns: "Expect the worst....but hope for the best". HAPPY NEW YEAR. NEW YEAR'S 1951
Jennifer Rogers is sworn in as Judge at a ceremony at the Courthouse on Friday.
WILK's Shadoe Steele.
NEW ERA BEGINS
For the first time in many a moon, the Luzerne County Judiciary is going to be fully staffed. Friday saw the swearing in of 6 new Judges. Mike Vough, Joe Skaroksky Junior, Lesa Gelb, Fred Pierantoni, Richard Hughes and Jennifer Rogers all took the oath of office. These new Judges will in effect have the opportunity to serve into the middle of this century. The new team joins Tina Polachek Gartley, Bill Amesbury, Dave Lupas and President Judge Tom Burke. We wish them luck and success.
SALAVANTIS SWORN IN
The new District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis was sworn in Friday. There was some confusion as to where and when she was supposed to get the oath. (See what happens when you don’t put Bob Harper on retainer?) Anyway, she’s now the youngest DA in the history of Luzerne County and is making $168,000 a year.
PRIBULA INTERIM MANAGER
Tom Pribula, the former Finance Director of the County is the interim County Manager. Pribula takes the job while the new County Council works out negotiations with a new County Manager. I don’t know if he applied but Gerald Cross would be an excellent choice. Pribula is getting $2,000 a week, a lap top and cell phone. He was not interviewed or considered for the top job. We wish him luck. WHERE’S ROMEO?
For many years Shadoe Steele was on ‘KRZ FM. Last year the powers that be decided that some character “Romeo” should be on ‘KRZ from 7 to midnight. Steele moved his popular program to WILK AM & FM to huge successes. So the other day I’m watching PA HomePage and I see this pantload manager from Entercom saying that yes indeed Shadoe Steele’s Oldie Show would be broadcasting live from 6 to midnight on all of the Entercom Stations including ‘KRZ. So let me get this straight, Shadoe is back on ‘KRZ for New Year’s Eve? Where or where art thou poor Romeo? On syndication. Shadoe Steele and his program are a local institution. Glad to see the management understand that………at least for a week.
10. ENDING OF ADULT BASIC: Thousands of people lost their Health Insurance in 2011 when the Adult Basic program ended.
9. HOME RULE EXPANDS: Home Rule Study Commissioners were voted on in both Nanticoke and Pittston. Voters opted to review their options with Home Rule Study Commissioners. 8. STAYING THE COURSE: Two cities in Luzerne County stayed the course and re-elected their Mayors. In Wilkes Barre Tom Leighton was re elected to a third term and in Hazleton Joe Yanuzzi won a term in his own right. Yanuzzi was appointed after Lou Barletta went to Congress. 7. LACKAWANNA COMMISSIONERS: Mike Washo retired from his job as County Commissioner opening up the process. Corey O’Brien and Jim Wansacz, once primary foes united and won election along with minority Commissioner from the GOP Patrick O’Malley. The day after the election, Lackawanna County residents were hit with a huge tax increase. 6. NEW JUDGES: Six new Judges are elected in Luzerne County. In the spring primary Joe Sklarosky Junior, Mike Vough, Fred Pierantoni, Lesa Gelb and Jennifer Rogers win dual nominations. The GOP candidate Dick Hughes is supposed to face off against Molly Hanlon Mirabito. Hughes polls ahead of double winner Gelb but in the end in the general election, Hanlon Mirabito loses by 500 votes. The new Judges join Tom Burke, David Lupas, Tina Polacheck Gartley and Bill Amesbury on the bench. 5. CONAHAN SENTENCING & PLEA: If he had not annoyed Judge Kosik, Mike Conahan might have been half way through a 7 year jail term from his original plea agreement. Conahan was sentenced to 17 and a half years in August and expressed regret for his actions. He is serving his jail term in Florida. 4. NEW COUNTY COUNCIL: In the primary, each party elected 11 candidates. On the Democratic side, 33 vied for a seat while 16 Republicans sought the office. 49 ran but in the end, 11 prevailed. The winners of four-year terms are: Morelli, Democrat; Stephen A. Urban, Democrat; Jim Bobeck, Democrat; Tim McGinley, Democrat; Edward A. Brominski, Democrat; and Republican Stephen J. Urban. The winners of two-year terms are: Republican Harry Haas, independent Rick Williams, Democrat Elaine Maddon Curry, Democrat Linda McClosky Houck and Republican Eugene L. Kelleher. 3. MUNCHAK/CORDARO CONVICTED: Lackawanna County Commissioners Bob Cordaro and A. J. Munchak are convicted of taking bribes. Their sentencing was pushed forward to 2012. The convictions come after a federal investigation. 2. CIAVARELLA VERDICT: Former Judge Mark Ciavarella is convicted and sentenced to 28 years in jail. Outside the courtroom there was much drama. Here’s how the verdict developed on the Friday before President’s weekend.
1. FLOODS OF 2011: This story effected everyone. Homes in West Pittston, Jenkins Township and Shickshinny and other parts of our area are still not back on track. Wilkes Barre and Kingston were spared but other areas got hit badly.
10. RICK SANTORUM: It takes a rare breed to run for President and not many Pennsylvania politicians have tried it. In the last century two Governors, Scranton and Shapp made runs for the top job. Santorum a former Senator has established a beach head in Iowa and has run a campaign that touts his family values credentials. This top story of 2011 will bleed into 2012 if Santorum garners some success in Iowa. 9. FLOOD OF 2011: The state takes a big hit when flood waters hit in the late summer of 2011. Governor Tom Corbett puts the state in emergency mode and tours the affected areas. 8. REDISTRICTING: The Pa. House and Senate, under the control of Republican majorities redraw the Congressional districts. It gives the GOP a leg up by trying to shore up Republican strong holds. The state has a huge Democratic registration. 7. 911 COMMEMORATION: In the middle of a vast stretch of grassland in western Pennsylvania, poet Robert Pinsky read out 40 names to a somber and silent crowd. After the poet said each name, two large bells were chimed. Former presidents, state officials, bereaved relatives, artists and members of the public gathered Saturday to open a 1,500-acre national park on the outskirts of Shanksville, in honor of the 40 passengers and crew members who died on United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001. Former Presidents Bush and Clinton attended the event along with Vice President Joe Biden. 6. CORBETT BACK SURGERY: Governor Tom Corbett went under the knife for back surgery. Control of the state was given to Ltn. Governor Jim Cawley. Corbett has recovered nicely. 5. MACELLUS SHALE DEBATE: The debate over a Marcellus Shale tax or assessment still goes on in the state. The legislature is close to putting together some sort of assessment but in deference to the Governor aren’t going to call it a tax. 4. ON TIME BUDGET: Pennsylvania passes an on time budget. It was the first one since 2002 and the document even contained some cuts that reduced its size. Also for the first time in ten years. 3. INAUGURATION OF TOM CORBETT: Tom Corbett takes over the reigns of state Government and becomes the state’s 46th Governor. In his first six months as Governor, Tom Corbett passed an on-time budget for the first time in nine years. Governor Corbett closed a $4.2 billion deficit by controlling state spending while not raising taxes on Pennsylvanians. Also, Corbett passed historic tort reform that safeguarded Pennsylvania’s small businesses and signed property tax reform that put spending control back in the hands of Pennsylvania’s taxpayers. 2. JOE PATERNO OFFERS TO RESIGN/THEN GETS CANNED: I always thought they’d have to carry out Joe Paterno on a slab. That’s the way I thought he’d end his time as Penn State coach. That was not to be. Paterno was forced to resign in the wake of the sex scandal that enveloped the Penn State University. Paterno at first wanted to dictate the terms of his resignation, asking the board of trustees to let him coach the rest of the year. In a hastily called meeting, they said no and fired him. Paterno’s sacking was met with protests from Penn State fans and students. It was revealed he is suffering from cancer and broke his pelvis in a fall in early December. Not the way we envisioned JoPa going out. 1. PENN STATE SEX SCANDAL: The Penn State sex abuse scandal refers to allegations that former Pennsylvania State University football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted or had inappropriate contact with at least eight underage boys on or near university property. After an extensive grand jury investigation, Sandusky was indicted on 42 counts of child molestation dating from 1994 to 2009, though the abuse may date as far back as the 1970s. Per the findings of the investigation, several high-level school officials were charged with perjury, suspended, or dismissed for allegedly covering up the incidents or failing to notify authorities. In the wake of the scandal, head football coach Joe Paterno was dismissed from his position and school president Graham Spanier was forced to resign. Sandusky has denied the allegations. This will be a story that will continue into the next decade.
10. OCCUPY WALL STREET: Protests across the nation focused in on the inequality of economic stress on the middle class. People with nothing left to lose chose to camp out in tents at very public places. 9. CONGRESSIONAL SEX SCANDALS: Give a boy a toy and he’ll find a very unconventional use for it. Congressman Anthony Weiner’s career went up in smoke when he started sending photos of himself to women he met on social network sites. He would have been better off if he stuck with an old fashioned flip phone. 8. CONGRESSWOMAN ATTACKED: U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and an aide killed earlier this year when an assailant opened fire in an area where the Democratic lawmaker was meeting with constituents in Tucson, Arizona. A federal Judge and the grand daughter of former big league manager Dallas Green was also killed. A mentally incompetent non entity was charged with the killings and attack. Giffords is making her way back after the attack appearing in a surprise appearance before the U.S. Congress. 7. LIBYA INCURSION: President Obama did not commit many troops to the Libyian effort but did channel U.S. support. The United Nations Security Council passed an initial resolution on 26 February, freezing the assets of Gaddafi and his inner circle and restricting their travel, and referred the matter to the International Criminal Court for investigation.In early March, Gaddafi's forces rallied, pushed eastwards and re-took several coastal cities before attacking Benghazi. A further U.N. resolution authorised member states to establish and enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, and to use "all necessary measures" to prevent attacks on civilians.The Gaddafi government then announced a ceasefire, but failed to uphold it. On 16 September 2011, the National Transitional Council was recognised by the United Nations as the legal representative of Libya, replacing the Gaddafi government. MuammarGaddafi remained at large until 20 October 2011, when he was captured and killed attempting to escape from Sirte. The National Transitional Council declared the liberation of Libya and the official end of the war on 23 October 2011. 6. GOP PRESIDENTIAL RACE: One of the on going news stories of 2011 was the Republican race for the person who would face off against President Obama . Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty dropped out after not registering in the straw poll. The field was tempted and teased by Sarah Palin, Chris Christie and Donald Trump. Michele Bachman, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry, all had their crests while Rick Santorum appears to be getting one now. Jon Hunstman is still waiting. Meanwhile, Congressman Ron Paul continues to be the mystery man. Paul has great grassroots support and might win Iowa. But can the national media and GOP take him seriously as a nominee? And if not, will he run as a third party candidate? Paul may be the most intriguing politico of 2012. 5. IRAQ WAR ENDS: President Obama brought the troops home at the end of this year. The long nonsensical war in Iraq which costs nearly 5,000 lives finally ended. Shortly after we left, the good citizens of Iraq promptly started blowing each other up again. 4. THE RECOVERING ECONOMY: The jobless rate is at about 8 and ½ percent and economic growth is slow. The Republicans whine that the rich can’t invest without tax breaks, the Dems want to know where the heck are the jobs. A new title is born for business people who blame the government for over regulating them, they are now called “Job Creators”. Bow down and kiss their feet. 3. DEBT CEILING: The U.S. Government has been raising the debt ceiling every year since the Reagan administration. This year the House Republicans decided to fight it and nearly brought the government to its knees. In the process we lost our credit rating and people’s opinion of Congress went into the single digits. And yet they continue to fiddle while this country is stuck in low gear. 2. REVOLT IN EGYPT: The 2011 Egyptian revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of December 2011. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil disobedience, and labour strikes. Millions of protesters from a variety of socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Despite being predominantly peaceful in nature, the revolution was not without violent clashes between security forces and protesters, with at least 846 people killed and 6,000 injured. The uprising took place in Cairo, Alexandria, and in other cities in Egypt, following the Tunisian revolution that resulted in the overthrow of the long-time Tunisian president. On 11 February, following weeks of determined popular protest and pressure, Mubarak resigned from office. The revolt in Egypt has opened the door for more instability in the Mid East. 1. BIN LADEN KILLED: Osama bin Laden, hunted as the mastermind behind the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil was killed. The president called the killing of bin Laden the "most significant achievement to date" in the effort to defeat alQaeda. "Justice has been done," Obama said. And then some. The little piss ant who killed more than 3,000 Americans in the New York City in 2001 cowered in his compound while U.S. Special forces shot him in the head. Bin Laden was located at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which was monitored and when the time was determined to be right, the president said, he authorized a "targeted operation." "A small team of Americans carried out the operation," Obama said. "After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body." DNA testing confirmed that it was bin Laden and then in a ceremony too good for anyone of his stature, his sorry remains were buried at sea where presumably his remains made many shark violently ill.
These were some of the political, music, sports and pop culture icons to pass away in 2011. Mark Ryan, 51, British musician (Adam and the Ants). Bernard O'Brien, 96, American politician, member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1965–1980). Charlie Callas, 83, American comedian and actor (Silent Movie, Switch). Jack LaLanne, 96, American fitness and nutritional expert, pneumonia. Sexy Cora, 23, German pornographic actress, complications from breast enlargement surgery. Gus Zernial, 87, American baseball player (Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox), heart failure Sargent Shriver, 95, American diplomat and politician, Ambassador to France (1968–1970), Vice Presidential nominee (1972), complications from Alzheimer's disease Roy Hartsfield, 85, American baseball player (Boston Braves) and first manager of Toronto Blue Jays, complications of liver cancer. Georgia Carroll, 91, American fashion model and actress (Yankee Doodle Dandy). In 1943, Carroll joined Kay Kyser's band, known as the "Kollege of Musical Knowledge", as a featured vocalist. Capitalizing on her good looks, she was given the nickname "Gorgeous Georgia Carroll", probably as a joking reference to the professional wrestler George Wagner, who used the name "Gorgeous George". As a member of Kyser's band, Carroll appeared in three films: Around the World, Carolina Blues, and most notably the Second World War-era "morale booster" Thousands Cheer which gave fans a chance to see Kyser and his band in Technicolor. Kyser's band has a featured performance near the end of the film, with Carroll delivering a key solo interlude of the Arthur Freed/Nacio Herb Brown standard, "Should I?" In 1945, Carroll married Kyser and made no further film appearances, retiring from performing in 1946.
Cookie Gilchrist, 75, American football player (Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos), cancer. Margaret Whiting, 86, American pop singer ("A Tree in the Meadow", "Moonlight in Vermont"), natural causes. Howard Wallace Pollock, 90, American politician, U.S. Representative from Alaska (1967–1971). Dave Sisler, 79, American baseball player (Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds), prostate cancer. Tom Cavanagh, 28, American ice hockey player (San Jose Sharks), blunt force trauma. RyneDuren, 81, American baseball player (Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees). Anne Francis, 80, American actress (Honey West, Forbidden Planet, The Twilight Zone), pancreatic cancer. Jane Russell, 89, American actress (The Outlaw, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), respiratory illness. Duke Snider, 84, American Baseball Hall of Famer (New York Mets, San Francisco Giants). Rick Coonce, 64, American drummer (The Grass Roots). Ollie Matson, 80, American Hall of Fame football player (St. Louis Rams, Philadelphia Eagles), complications from dementia. Joe Frazier, 88, American baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals) and manager (New York Mets). Gino Cimoli, 81, American baseball player (Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates), heart and kidney complications. Betty Garrett, 91, American actress (On the Town, All in the Family, Laverne & Shirley), aortic aneurysm. Kenneth Mars, 75, American actor (Young Frankenstein, The Producers, The Little Mermaid), pancreatic cancer. Joanne Siegel, 93, American widow of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, model for Lois Lane. Chuck Tanner, 82, American baseball manager (Pittsburgh Pirates) and player (Los Angeles Dodgers), after long illness. John Paul Getty III, 54, American heir and kidnapping victim, grandson of J. Paul Getty and father of Balthazar Getty, after long illness. Woodie Fryman, 70, American baseball player (Detroit Tigers, Montreal Expos). RenéVerdon, 86, French-born American White House Executive Chef, leukemia. Elizabeth Taylor, 79, British-American actress (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Cleopatra, Butterflied 8), heart failure. Dorothy Young, 103, American actress, assistant to Harry Houdini. Warren Christopher, 85, American diplomat, Secretary of State (1993–1997), complications from kidney and bladder cancer. Ferlin Husky, 85, American country music singer, heart failure. Jean Smith, 82, American baseball player (All-American Girls Professional Baseball League). Hugh Martin, 96, American songwriter ("Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas") and film composer (Meet Me in St. Louis), natural causes. David S. Broder, 81, American journalist (The Washington Post), complications from diabetes. Patricia Brennan, 66, Australian feminist and clinician, advocate of women priests, cancer. Phoebe Snow, 60, American singer-songwriter ("Poetry Man"), brain hemorrhage, Hubert Schlafly, 91, American engineer, co-inventor of the TelePrompter. Madelyn Pugh, 90, American screenwriter (I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, The Mothers-in-Law) and producer (Alice). William A. Rusher, 87, American columnist, publisher of National Review (1957–1988). Sidney Harman, 92, American businessman and publisher (Newsweek), acute myeloid leukemia. Eddie Joost, 94, American baseball player and manager (Philadelphia Athletics, Cincinnati Reds). Gil Robbins, 80, American folk singer (The Highwaymen) and actor, father of Tim Robbins, prostate cancer. Larry Shepard, 92, American baseball manager (Pittsburgh Pirates) and coach (Cincinnati Reds). Andy Robustelli, 85, American Hall of Fame football player (Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants). Jeff Conaway, 60, American actor (Grease, Taxi, Babylon 5. Harmon Killebrew, 74, American Hall of Fame baseball player (Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals), esophageal cancer. Barbara Stuart, 81, American actress (Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.). Mel Queen, 69, American baseball player (Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) and pitching coach (Blue Jays). Jack Richardson, 81, Canadian record producer (The Guess Who). J. Donald Crump, 78, Canadian commissioner of the Canadian Football League (1990–1991). Odell Brown, 70, American jazz organist and songwriter ("Sexual Healing"). Jackie Cooper, 88, American actor (Skippy, Our Gang, Superman) and director. Sada Thompson, 83, American actress (Family), lung disease. Ruth Roberts, 84, American songwriter ("Meet the Mets"), lung cancer. Gaye Delorme, 64, Canadian musician, heart attack. Peter Falk, 83, American actor (Columbo, Murder, Inc., Pocketful of Miracles, The Princess Bride). Fred Steiner, 88, American television composer (Perry Mason, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone). Mike Mitchell, 55, American basketball player (Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs), cancer. JoséPagán, 76, PuertoRican baseball player (San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates), Alzheimer's disease. Eleanor Dapkus, 87, American baseball player (All-American Girls Professional Baseball League), breast cancer. Papa Joe Chevalier, 62, American sports talk radio host, stroke.The talk show host came to Lackawanna County Stadium and did his show live when Bob Cordaro owned an FM all sports radio station in the 90s. John Henry Johnson, 81, American football player (San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers) and Hall of Famer. Elmer B. Staats, 97, American public servant, Comptroller General of the United States (1966–1981). Amy Winehouse, 27, British singer-songwriter ("Rehab"), accidental alcohol poisoning. Tom Aldredge, 83, American actor (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire), lymphoma. Lil Greenwood, 86, American vocalist (Duke Ellington Orchestra). Edson Stroll, 82, American actor (McHale's Navy), cancer. Stroll played Virgil, he’s the sailor on the right in this video.
Dick Williams, 82, American baseball player and manager (Oakland Athletics), Hall of Famer, ruptured aortic aneurysm. Wes Covington, 79, American baseball player (Milwaukee Braves, Kansas City Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies), cancer. In an 11-year career, Covington was a .279 hitter with 131 homers and 499 runs batted in, with a .337 on base percentage and a .466 slugging percentage in 1,075 games. His best season came in 1958, when he posted career numbers in average (.330), home runs (24) and RBI (74) Covington also was one of a handful of major leaguers to have played for four different teams in one season, after he played for the Braves, White Sox, Athletics and Phillies in the 1961 season. Following his baseball career, Covington moved to Western Canada and operated a sporting goods business. He later became an advertising manager for the Edmonton Sun newspaper, a position he held for nearly 20 years. In addition to his duties with the Sun, he was involved in youth charity work in the Alberta capital. When the Edmonton Trappers joined the Pacific Coast League in the early 1980s, Covington returned to baseball as a promotions consultant and special ambassador for the club. In 2003, at the invitation of the Braves Historical Association, Covington returned to Milwaukee for the first time in 40 years. Covington was regarded as something of a recluse but came back to Milwaukee for this reunion. Jack Layton, 61, Canadian politician, Leader of the Official Opposition (2011) and New Democratic Party (2003–2011), cancer. Jerry Leiber, 78, American songwriter ("Stand By Me", "Hound Dog", "Jailhouse Rock", "Kansas City"), cardiopulmonary failure. Don Chandler, 76, American football player (New York Giants, Green Bay Packers). Hugh Carey, 92, American politician, Governor of New York (1975–1982) and U.S. Representative (1961–1974). Peter Gent, 69, American football player (Dallas Cowboys) and author (North Dallas Forty). Dolores Hope, 102, American philanthropist, widow of Bob Hope, natural causes. Norma Holloway Johnson, 79, American federal judge, first African American woman to serve as a district court chief judge, stroke. Eleanor Mondale, 51, American television personality, daughter of Walter Mondale, brain cancer. Charles H. Percy, 91, American politician, Senator from Illinois (1967–1985), Alzheimer's disease. Frances Bay, 92, Canadian character actress (Happy Gilmore, Blue Velvet, The Middle). Kara Kennedy, 51, American television producer, daughter of Ted Kennedy, heart attack. Malcolm Wallop, 78, American politician, United States Senator from Wyoming Mickey Scott, 64, German-born American baseball player (Orioles, Expos, Angels). David Utz, 87, American surgeon, removed Ronald Reagan's prostate, heart failure. Robert Pierpoint, 86, American broadcast journalist, complications from surgery. Roy Smalley, Jr., 85, American baseball player (Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Braves, Philadelphia Phillies). Roger Williams, 87, American pianist (Autumn Leaves), pancreatic cancer. IngvarWixell, 80, Swedish opera singer. Tom Wicker, 85, American journalist, heart attack. Karl Slover, 93, Slovak-born American actor (The Wizard of Oz). Diagnosed at an early age with pituitary dwarfism, Slover was barely two feet tall by his eighth birthday. Dwarfism was not a family trait; his father stood six feet six inches, and his mother was just a few inches shorter. Slover's father went to great lengths to make Slover taller, including taking him to Hungary where doctors fixed stretchers to his arms and legs. When Slover was just nine years old, his father sent him to work for a traveling midget show based out of Berlin, Germany. After working with the show for several years, Slover moved to the United States where he joined another traveling show. It wasn't long before Slover began appearing as midgets in films like The Terror of Tiny Town, Block-Heads, Bringing Up Baby, and They Gave Him a Gun. Slover was working in Hawaii when his circus manager sent him to Hollywood, where 'little people' were needed for an upcoming film called The Wizard of Oz. At the age of 21 and standing just 4 feet 4 inches, Slover played the parts of four munchkins in the movie; the first trumpeter, a soldier, one of the sleepy heads, and was among those who sang "Follow the Yellow Brick Road. William Aramony, 84, American charity executive. Was head of United Way of America in the 80s. Joe Frazier, 67, American boxer, World Heavyweight Champion (1970–1973), liver cancer. Václav Havel was a Czech playwright, essayist, poet, dissident and politician. A Nobel Peace Prize nominee, he was the ninth and last president of Czechoslovakia (1989–1992) and the first President of the Czech Republic (1993–2003). He wrote more than 20 plays and numerous non-fiction works, translated internationally. Andrea True, 68, American adult film star and disco singer, heart failure.
Hal Kanter, 92, American screenwriter, director and producer (Julia), complications from pneumonia. Matty Alou, 72, Dominican Republic-born American baseball player (Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals), diabetes. Bob Forsch, 61, American baseball player (St. Louis Cardinals), aneurysm. Christiane Legrand, 81, French jazz singer. Dan Frazer, 90, American actor (Kojak, As The World Turns), cardiac arrest. Patrick V. Murphy, 91, American police chief, New York City Police Commissioner (1970–1973), heart attack. Slim Dunkin, 24, American rapper (1017 Brick Squad), shot. Harry Morgan, 96, American actor (M*A*S*H, Dragnet), pneumonia. Dobie Gray, 71, American singer ("The 'In' Crowd", "Drift Away"). Barbara Orbison, 61, German-born American record producer and music publisher, widow of Roy Orbison, pancreatic cancer. Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders and the first Commissioner of the American Football League. He was 81. Margo Dydek, a 7’2 center for women’s basketball, she was nicknamed Ppynch after a cake from her native Poland. She was 37 and had a heart attack giving birth to her third child. Randy Savage, WWFWrester, he was 58. Known as “The Macho Man”. John Mackey, 69 Baltimore Colts wide receiver. He made 5 pro bowls and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992. Dan Weldon, 31, 2 time Indy 500 winner was killed in Las Vegas at the racing season finale. Marty Marion, 93, St. Louis Browns infielder. Won the MVP for the ’44 season where the Browns won their only championship. Bubba Smith, 66, TV star, and Baltimore Colt icon. Paul Splitdorf, 64, won 166 games in 15 seasons with Kansas City Royals. Clifford Parker "Cliff" Robertson III (September 9, 1923 – September 10, 2011) had a film and television career that spanned half of a century. Robertson portrayed a young John F. Kennedy in the 1963 film PT 109, and won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the movie Charly. On television, he portrayed retired astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the 1976 adaptation of Aldrin's autobiographic Return to Earth, played a fictional character based on Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms in the 1977 adaptation of John Ehrlichman's Watergate novel The Company, and portrayed Henry Ford in the 1987 Ford: The Man and the Machine. G.D. Spradlin one of Hollywood's most prolific character actors, Spradlin has portrayed presidents (Andrew Jackson and Lyndon Johnson) and senators, as well as preachers, doctors, major generals, naval commanders, colonels, an admiral, a sheriff, a police chief, a CEO, and Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. Didn't begin acting until his 40s, after serving in World War II in China with the Army Air Force. He worked as an attorney for Phillips Petroleum, then made his fortune as an independent oil producer. Served as director of John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign in Oklahoma, and also ran, unsuccessfully, for mayor of Oklahoma City in 1965. He started acting after taking his daughter Wendy to audition for a production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". He ended up taking a role in the play himself. Spradin played the sexually active Senator Geary in Godfather 2. Nick Ashford, 70, was one-half of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson that penned elegant, soulful classics for the likes of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye and funk hits for Chaka Khan and others. One of his biggest hits was with his co wroiter and co star, wife Valerie called “Solid”. Dorothy Rodham: 92, Dorothy Rodham made occasional campaign appearances with her daughter during Clinton's unsuccessful Democratic presidential bid in 2008, and she helped the former first lady raise money to retire her campaign debt. She also made trips with the Clintons during their years in the White House, including a 2000 visit to India and a 1998 trip to China. Vasil Alexyev, 69, world class weightlifter who was featured on the opening of ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Nick Charles, CNN’s first sports anchor, his coupling with Fred Hickman made CNN number 1 in Cable Sports until ESPN came along. He died of bladder cancer. Kim Jong-il, 69, funny looking dictator who loved movies, sports and atomic weaponry. Andy Rooney, CBS News icon. Rooney was a war correspondent, transitioned from writing for the camera to being in front of it. He was a wild man in an age where conformity ruled. James Arness, you grew up with Jim Arness. His Gunsmoke shows were a staple of our youth. Gunsmoke lasted twenty yesars on CBS. David Nelson, Ricky’s older brother, he had an acting career, managed the Nelson family affairs after everyone died, was the last surviving member of the Ozzie clan.
Clarence Clemmons: Sax player for the E Street Band, he could’ve been a football plsayer but chose music. He had only one chart hit but it typified how we feel about those passing away in 2011, one way or another, you were a friend of mine.
Our 2011 edition of “Women We love” has some pretty topical and news worthy picks this year. “Women We Love” is a feature that LuLac started a few years ago. We make our picks based on the number of comments we get, non published and published, the e mails generated by a particular female in the news, the buzz generated by the person or intriguing facts that we just can’t ignore. That said, here’s the 2011 edition of “Women We Love”. MOLLY HANLONMIRABITO: Even though she just missed being a Luzerne County Judge by less than 550 votes, Molly has enhanced her stature as an honorable officer of the court who impressed mightily on the campaign trail. Mirabito’s race was supposed to be a head to head match up with GOP barrister Dick Hughes but she wound up facing off with dual nominee Lesa Gelb for the 6th spot on the County bench. In losing, Luzerne County lost an accomplished prosecutor that would have been a great Judge. However, because of that thought, it is said that Mirabito has a bright future in legal and political circles because of the way she conducted herself in this latest campaign. ATHENA FORD: Ms. Ford is a frequent e mail contact of mine. She is a community organizer in the Philadelphia area for the Pennsylvania Health Access Network. PHAN is an organization that keeps an eye on health care issues in the state of Pennsylvania. PHAN also monitors any shenanigans the health care insurers in the state might try. PHAN also was instrumental in fighting for more people enrolled in the children’s insurance program and fought vigorously against the ending of the Adult Basic program in the state. Ford is a ball of energy and presents these community issues passionately and regularly to Keystone State residents. KRISTEN MULLEN: A seasoned photo journalist, the Citizen Voice’s Kristen Mullen is an award winning photographer. Mullen is a ubiquitous presence in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She might show up at a political meeting, a forum, debate, school meeting, PTA get together, athletic event, you name it, you see her acrobatically positioning herself to get the best shot of her photographic prey. On location, she is habitually pleasant and is a fine representative of her paper and her trade. Whenever I see her at an event, and she takes my picture, magically I’m 10 years younger and 8 pounds lighter. Ya gotta love that!!! HEATHER LONG: A regular on PCN’s “Journalist’s Roundtable” Heather Long impresses with her knowledge of state wide issues as well as her dead on assessments of the political powers that be in the state Capitol. Long’s “Our Views and Yours” in the editorial section of the paper is widely read and regarded by Central Pennsylvania readers as well as state wide on line followers. TRISH HARTMAN: Just a few month’s ago, this Philadelphia area native was anchoring the weekend news on WNEP TV. She is now the night time co anchor with Scott Shaffer and rarely makes a miscue. Hartman also covers stories when off the anchor desk putting together informative and efficient packages that inform 16 viewers. An avid runner, Hartman participated in the Steamtown Marathon this fall. LIZ RANDOL: 2011 was a big year for Liz Randol. She burst on to the political scene and ran for the job of Lackawanna County Commissioner. Randol nearly made it coming within a few votes of unseating incumbent Corey O’Brien. Randol wisely rejected trying an independent run in the general election and instead made her presence known appearing at various events and keeping her political profile high. Randol was once Chief of Staff in the Lackawanna County Commissioner’s office. If you couple that knowledge with her obvious political skills, you just now Liz Randol has a future in Lackawanna County politics. And people, if you don’t want her in the Lac, we’ll gladly take her in Luzerne County. ANNE RICHARDS: When the Penn State scandal broke, this young lady stepped up big time to give her age demographic’s view of the unsettling events in State College. Appearing on PCN’s “Journalist’s Roundtable”, Richards was articulate, knowledgeable and presented her views very well. Richards is a staff member and co anchor of the widely respected “Centre County Report”. MANDEE MARIE: You may or may not be familiar with Happy Jack Burns polka broadcasts on WALN Digital Cable Radio out of Allentown. But if you are, you know an integral part of his broadcasts are “The Party Channel Girls”. The newest addition came in the form of Mandee Marie who co hosts with Happy Jack every Sunday evening. Jack and the other Party Channel girls, Layla and Vicki attend various community and charity events in the Allentown/Bethlehem area. Mandee Marie is one of the trio’s brightest add ons. WALN broadcasts can be seen on SERVICE ELECTRIC HD Channel 137 in the Wilkes Barre area. HILLARY CLINTON: She now is being mentioned as a possible Vice President on a 2012 ticket. Talk about a turn of events. But I don’t think Barack Obama will allow that to happen since his substantial ego will not make allowances for a Clinton to bail his butt out. As Secretary of State she has proven herself to be tough on the world stage, articulate and passionate. Watching her work is a type of sideshow that provides an insight into what type of President she might have been. Or maybe a preview of what is to be. Clinton might find herself in a situation where something might finally come to her….long after she stopped searching for it. KATHLEEN PARKER: Parker’s syndicated nationally by The Washington Post. and is a regular guest on television shows like The O'Reilly Factor and The Chris Matthews Show. Parker describes herself politically as "slightly to the right of center. Parker is the author of Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care (New York: Random House, 2008). A columnist since 1987, she has worked for five newspapers, from Florida to California, and is the 1993 winner of the H.L. Mencken writing award presented by the Baltimore Sun. She has written for several magazines, including The Weekly Standard, Time, Town & Country, Cosmopolitan, and Fortune Small Business. She also serves on the Board of Contributors for USA Today's Forum Page, part of the newspaper's Opinion section. She is also a contributor to the online magazine, The Daily Beast. The Week magazine named her one of the nation's Top Five columnists in 2004 and 2005. .Parker is reasonable, thoughtful, easy on the eyes and a broadcast survivor. She had a show on CNN with former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer. LARA LOGAN: Logan is the chief foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News, and a correspondent for CBS's 60 Minutes. Logan made news this year when she was covering the uprising in Egypt. Logan and her CBS crew were arrested and detained for one night by the Egyptian Army on 3 February 2011, while covering the Egyptian Revolution. She said the crew was blindfolded and handcuffed at gunpoint, and their driver beaten. They were advised to leave the country, but were later released. On 15 February 2011, CBS News released a statement that Logan had been beaten and sexually assaulted on 11 February, while covering the celebrations in Tahrir Square following Hosni Mubarak's resignation.. CBS 60 Minutes broadcast an interview with her about it on 1 May 2011; she said she was speaking out because of the prevalence of sexual assault in Egypt, and to break the silence about the sexual violence women reporters are reluctant to report in case it prevents them from doing their job. .]She said the incident involved 200–300 men and lasted around 25 minutes. She had been reporting the celebrations for an hour without incident when her camera battery failed. One of the Egyptian CBS crew suggested they leave, telling her later he heard the crowd make inappropriate sexual comments about her. She felt hands touching her, and can be heard shouting "stop", just as the camera died. One of the crowd shouted that she was an Israeli, a Jew, a claim that CBS said, though false, was a "match to gasoline". She went on to say that they tore off her clothes and, in her words, raped her with their hands, while taking photographs with their cellphones. They began pulling her body in different directions, pulling her hair so hard she said it seemed they were trying to tear off chunks of her scalp. Believing she was dying, she was dragged along the square to where the crowd was stopped by a fence, alongside which a group of women were camping. One woman wearing a chador put her arms around Logan, and the others closed ranks around her, while some men who were with the women threw water at the crowd. A group of soldiers appeared, beat back the crowd with batons, and one of them threw Logan over his shoulder. She was flown back to the U.S. the next day, where she spent four days in hospital. That my friends in an intrepid reporter in the true tradition of CBS News. JENNIFER LEARNES ANDES: Anything you want to know about Luzerne County government, anything you know about Luzerne County government was most likely gleaned from an article written by Jennifer Learnes Andes. Throughout the corruption trials earlier this year, Andes was there with her lap top giving Times Leader readers a minute by minute account of the court proceedings. Observing her work, I was struck by the fact that it seemed like she never took a break. I saw her bantering back and forth with Defense Attorney for Mark Ciavarella, Al Flora. A week later there was a detailed story about how Flora was going to try to run the Public Defender’s office after the trial ended. The old time reporters would love her work ethic, head down, ear to the ground and tons of accurate and informative stories that any writer or reporter would give this ultimate compliment to: “I wish I wrote that”.
TIFFANY CLOUD: You see her on TV for WYLN’s “Storm Politics”. Her show is informative and on point. But Tiffany Cloud (and she will never admit this) has fast become a power broker in Luzerne County politics. In the last two years, she has helped plot and nurture two upset candidacies that have shaken to the core the old boys network. She virtually ran Tarrah Toohill’s 2010 upset against the still invisible Todd Eachus and became one of the biggest cheerleaders for young Stefanie Salavantis who became the Luzerne County District Attorney. In future years, I predict Cloud will be bringing forth more strong candidates that will bedevil the Democratic establishment and revitalize the Luzerne County GOP. Some people think Storm’s power comes from the Interview table she presides over on the Hazleton based TV station. Not so, sources tell me her political plotting comes off the laptop on the kitchen table. Revolutions usually start unnoticed and undetected. Look to this one to be for a silent but powerful force in NEPA politics in the next decade.
NANCY KMAN: Nancy Kman is the big cheese at WILK News/Talk Radio. A fellow cancer survivor, sometimes I think that Kman and I are the only two progressives left in this part of the world. Doing double duty as a manager as well as an on air host, this mother of two puts that experience to good use managing the sometimes rambunctious and boisterous children of WILK. Think of the people she works with in the morning, Webster, Tarone, Brown, Steele and Thomas. Between the 5 that’s over 150 combined years of broadcast experience, not to mention broadcast egos. I mean we aren’t even getting into the rest of the crowd she has to manage during the remainder of the day. Nancy K keeps the train on schedule and even if at times it looks like someone will derail it, she manages to put it back on track and more or less on time. You gotta love her for that!
MONICA MADEJA: Monica Madeja is the co host of the popular WBRE show Pa Live which replaced Oprah. Monica has anchored and reported the news on WBRE serving with distinction during the great Flood of 2011. Madeja took a lot of crap this year on a message board that dealt with the news media. That board was shut down due to all types of bad internet behavior. Madeja essentially ignored the inane criticism and went about her business of being a good reporter and commentator. Her new show with Dave Kuharchick highlights her knowledge of the area and obvious talents.
Attorney Jim Bobeck, currently under attack by Steve Urban Senior.
The late Roberto Clemente.
Our 1972 logo.
“IT WHAT HE DOES”
The Luzerne County Council is not yet seated but the fighting is going to start. Most political observers felt that the fight for the Chairmanship would be between Attorney Jim Bobeck and Rick Morelli. After all, both have served on the Transition Committee in terms of equal time as well as longevity. One is a Democrat, one is a Republican. One is from Hazleton, one is from the Greater Wilkes Barre area. In any other county, this would be a battle of the titans. But remember folks, this is Luzerne County where one has to uncover the layers of the colossal governmental onion that sometimes is sweet and sometimes stinks. Morelli and Bobeck know that in order for this new government to work, they have to move in a new direction. Thus Morelli’s admission that he’d take the number 2 position. I mean this makes sense, the two guys that have been there the longest in forming this new government should have a stake in it in terms of a leadership position. But again this is Luzerne County, Outgoing Commissioner and incoming Council member Steve Urban Senior told Bobeck that he was uncomfortable with him Bobeck) serving on Council and even being the head of it because of Bobeck’s father running “Step By Step”, an agency funded by the County. For those of you unfamiliar with “Step By Step”, it is an agency that manages group homes and takes care of people with mental and physical challenges. They pay their caregivers a hot $8.00 an hour to take care of these individuals in need of help. (I know, I know, 8 bucks an hour to virtually hold the lives of disabled adults in that big paycheck….but that’s how we treat “those people” here in Luzerne County!) But I digress. Urban also brought up the fact that Bobeck works as a master in certain cases in the county court system but that is by rotation. Urban claims that this is a terrible conflict of interest and that Bobeck should be shown the door. Bobeck has been front and center on all of these dealings since assuming a role in the forming of this new government. All of a sudden Urban notices this and makes a big stink putting on his “tax payer protector hat”. Why now? Tim McGinley is the reason why. McGinley has also expressed an interest in the Chairmanship. McGinley is one of the most connected people in Luzerne County. Look at the resume, when he finished one job as a school teacher, he fell into another one as a principal at Valley West. When that was through, he slid into an administrative position at CEO. His tentacles reach into every department under the Courthouse and beyond. Urban, realizing this, (notice he never brought up an issue about anyone else) starts to discredit Bobeck, You can bet that Urban wants to get on the good side of the old political pro and not the young kid. I mean if this throwing of mud by Urban works, watch what he gets when the new government gets up and running. Ed Brominski was so disgusted he walked out of the meeting, such is his distaste for the man (Urban) and his methods. Brominski should realize that Urban has no loyalty to anything or anyone except the business of being Steve Urban. A few months back a disgruntled Republican told me about some of the stunts Urban pulled when he was with the GOP. The man was angry but rather than condemnation, there was just resignation. In a phone conversation with the man about the latest “Urban legend”, he simply said, “It what he does”.
NEWT AND THE COURTS
So Newt Gingrich wants to call out the Federal Judges for some of the decisions they make. Newt along with Michele Bachman want to haul the Judges before Congress to explain themselves and their decisions. If you ask me, Newt is 12 years too late. I’d love to hear the explanation of the 2000 Supreme Court that handed over the Presidency to George W. Bush.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
This week Shadoe Steele broadcasts live at 6PM from downtown Scranton for his “Saturday Night Live” program. The broadcast is part of Entercom’s New Year’s Eve celebration.
This week Tiffany Cloud has an encore presentation of her interview with Congressman Lou Barletta. Storm Politics can be seen on WYLN TV 35 THURS @ 9:30 PM • SAT @ 5 PM • SUN @ 11 AM, MON @ 9:00 PM • TUES @ 4:30 PM.
On New Years Day, featuring my interview with State Senator John Yudichak, who discusses his first year in office, and topics ranging from the September floods and redistricting to jobs, gas extraction and state store privatization, and a summary of the top local news stories of 2011. Sunday Magazine airs 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.
ECTV Live will begin it's 2012 program series the week of January 2nd with Pam Rogers as the guest. Ms Rogers is founder and publisger of "northeast Pennsylvania Family magazine (formally Today;s Child). Hosts Judge Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will be examining the magazine's efforts to serve as aFamily Resource Guilde for people throughout the area. ECTV Live can be seen on Concast Ch19 and is broadcast each day at Noon and Midnight, with several additional showings at 6pm on seleced weekdays.
The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) will chase away the post-holiday blues with its popular annual week-long coverage of the Pennsylvania Farm Show starting Saturday, January 7 at 12:00 p.m. This year, PCN will air LIVE coverage of the butter sculpture unveiling. The first-hand look at this year’s creation will air at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 5. Throughout the week, PCN will provide round-the-clock coverage. New to the show are exhibits like the barn display with Penn Ag Industries and the Butterfly House. Both will be featured by PCN as they make their debut at the show this year. These highlights and many more farm show favorites make up the network’s extensive coverage of the event which encompasses over 100 hours of network programming in just one week. This is the 19th year that PCN will move its operations from the Camp Hill studios to the Farm Show. During the week, PCN devotes its programming schedule to this agricultural showcase which puts a spotlight on Pennsylvania’s largest industry. This year’s coverage is being underwritten, in part, by the Pennsylvania Pork Producers Council, Penn Ag Industries, Pennsylvania Egg Farmers, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the Pennsylvania Treasury 529 College Savings Program.
The bones of Martin Bormann are identified in Berlin………Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 crashes into the Everglades in Florida, killing 101 of 176 on board……Roberto Clemente dies in a plane crash off the coast of Puerto Rico while en route to deliver aid to Nicaraguan earthquake victims. He got hisd 3000th hit in the 1972 season. Here's the at bat and the hit.
An extra leap second (23:59:60) is added to end the year…Pittsburgh Mayor Pete Flaherty issues a proclamation mourning the death of Roberto Clemente…….in Luzerne County, Democratic power house Joe Tirpak says he intends to take on incumbent Controller Steve Yanoshak in the upcoming 1973 election…..and 39 years ago today, the number 1 song in Lulac land and America was Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain”.
The following short piece came from a Vietnam era combat veteran. The war is over! Recall a young girl named Jessica Lynch? Of course you do. She was a “reluctant hero” of the war! The Army made a big story out of her heroism and her rescue. Jessica Lynch played along, some. She was seriously injured, confused and being pressured by military superiors to be something she wasn’t. She knew the truth and she was uncomfortable. Eventually most of the story came out. The rescue was not exactly “the raid on Entebbe”. In the initial action where she “fought like a tigress, or so we were told, ”She never fired her gun! She was incapacitated. Bottom line is she went thru hell, she served honorably and I hope she is doing well today. The fantasy was the Army and the Administrations work. An attractive wounded, young American White Female was great spin in a fantasy war that employed a sales and promotion team that eventually gave us “Mission Accomplished!”! What I want to know is this, The commanders and soldiers watching the initial action that night, in infrared light, saw the image of a “slight built soldier” fighting like a madman. A slight built male soldier was identified. A good case was made that he was the Hero. Who was he? Is he alive or dead? What decorations did he receive for his actions, which were deemed exceptional enough to declare mistakenly that Miss Lynch was a hero? I never saw any follow up on this story. It fits well with this war and let us know we were being lied to right down to the reason for war! The staged downing of Saddam's statue was a fabricated over the top piece of 1940s Hollywood as well! Saddam is dead, that’s good. Turmoil will soon prevail in Iraq and a large number of fine young Americans are gone, never to come home. Others were horrifically wounded. Was it worth it? And who was the Hero, one of many who we never heard of?
Former Senator Rick Santorum. Will Iowa bless his Presidential aspirations?
CAN RICK DO IT?
Every GOP 2012 Presidential candidate has had their moment in the sun. Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachman, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain all have had their boomlets. The only two not getting that opportunity are Jon Huntsman the former Obama appointed ambassador to China and our own Rick Santorum. Santorum who once stood very close to the Republican power structure was roundly defeated in 2006 by Bob Casey Junior. Casey had to be put into the race kicking and screaming but despite that, he quickly dispatched Santorum. In Iowa the former Senator has camped out there since he made his announcement last year. The question week one week from Iowa is this, can he pull off a good showing there next week? Consider this: 1. There are 45 percent of Iowa Republican voters still undecided. 2. Santorum has been touted as the sleeper candidate by none other than 2008 Iowa caucuses winner Mike Huckabee. Huckabee has some influence with religious conservatives and has no great love for Mitt Romney. 3. He has relentlessly campaigned in the state, hitting all 99 counties and moving his family out there. He has held 350 campaign events in the past year. Santorum has been everywhere. 4. His debate performances have been consistent, crisp, professional, no flubs. Plus he is not afraid to tout his conservative credentials. 5. Plus, and this might be key in a state like Iowa where the voters want their fannies kissed at least three times a day, he has given them in a campaign what they want. Face to face, old style meet ups, sometimes even one on one events that the other candidates have not had the time or inclination to do. 6. Santorum is a “live off the land” candidate that has not spent much money but has a message that resonates with this type of voter. If Santorum finishes third, it would catapult him into the top tier. Not that he’d win the nomination but a third place finish would be as good as Pat Robertson’s in 1988. Even a fourth place finish in high teen double digits would keep his momentum going. One week from Iowa, the very fact that national pundits aren’t writing him off entirely is good news for the Santorum for President camp.
As we enter 2012, we are asking our readers to pick our feature year. In Thursday’s edition, we always feature a year in history. You pick, we’ll report on it in 2012. WHAT YEAR WOULD YOU LIKE LULAC TO FEATURE IN 2012 AS PART OF ITS HISTORICAL FEATURE? 1. 1967. 2. 1976. 3. 1980. When you vote, your vote will only count once. After your vote, LuLac will close out. Click here to take survey
Location: Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Political analyst for WBRE TV's Pa. Live program and post election commentator for WBRE TV's Eyewitness News Daybreak show. Author of the book "A Radio Story/We Wish You Well In Your Future Endeavors" and "Leges Vitae" "26 Rules of Life" and the new novel, "Weather Or Knot". The blog editor also writes various news articles and columns as well as upcoming literary projects. The blog editor was a frequent guest on WYOU TV'S INTERACTIVE NEWSCASTS when political issues were discussed on the national, state and local level. Yonki was a weekly panelist on WYLN TV 35's Friday Topic A program. He also appeared on the Hazleton, PA. station on Election Night doing coverage and did special projects and stories for WYLN TV 35's 10PM Newscast "Late Edition".