The LuLac Edition #1958, February 23rd, 2012
Gus, the second most recognized and newly unemployed groundhog in the Keystone State.
GOP candidate in the 120th Legislative District, Aaron Kaufer. (See Media Matters article)
The Final Four, Paul, Romney, Santorum and Gingrich.
HEY RICK, GET YOUR ASHES?
I was struck by this e mail that I received from the White House today. Never in my adult life have I ever seen or heard of a President making a statement about “Ash Wednesday”. Can you imagine this coming from JFK’s office? To me this is nothing but a direct “shout out” to Rick Santorum and the people on the GOP right who insist that Mr. Obama is not a Christian.
Statement by the President on Ash Wednesday
Today, Michelle and I honor Ash Wednesday with Christians around the country and across the world. This is at once a solemn and joyous occasion, an opportunity to remember both the depths of sacrifice and the height of redemption. We join millions in entering the Lenten Season with truly thankful hearts, mindful of our faith and our obligations to one another.
SANTORUM’S ANGER PROBLEM
Rick Santorum is a sincere, engaging guy. He tells a good story. Much better and more authentic than Mitt Romney. Less professorial than Newt Gingrich. But sometimes Santorum gets too hot when he talks about religious issues. Our good friend, Joe B from the small visage of Palmerton sent this article by Michael Medverd that was in USA Today. Santorum’s anger when he discusses social issues are juxtaposed with historical trends in who we as voters pick to be our President. It’s always those with a sunnier personality.
Santorum's problem became obvious at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where I heard him deliver his pitch this month to 10,000 cheering right-wing activists. The moment should have represented a joyous peak in the former Pennsylvania senator's low-budget, underdog campaign. Just three days before, he had won a miraculous triple triumph in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado. But instead of conveying confidence and exaltation, Santorum wore an incongruously sour expression, surprising the festive crowd of mostly youthful admirers with a rambling message of gloom — if not doom. As his wife and six of his children stood, squirming, behind him, like uncomfortable props, the candidate scolded the assembled activists (and himself) over failings of the recent past. "As conservatives we lost heart," he sighed. "We listened to the voices who said that we had to abandon our principles and values to get things done."
His address, with its overtones of guilt and martyrdom, evoked recollections of his approach to televised debates where, despite mostly lucid and aggressive performances, he alone whined openly that he received less time and attention than his GOP rivals. It doesn't help Santorum's image as a self-assured winner that he lost his 2006 re-election campaign by a devastating margin of more than 17 percentage points.
Grouchy doesn't spell victory
In the past 80 years, through 20 election cycles over three generations, voters consistently selected sunny, confident presidential contenders and rejected nominees who relied on anger and indignation.
The only arguable exception occurred in 1968, when former vice president Richard Nixon won a close race against sitting Vice President Hubert Humphrey, described by admirers as "The Happy Warrior." Special circumstances, however, shaped the outcome. GOP handlers relentlessly promoted a "New Nixon" (who had purportedly mellowed and relaxed after eight years away from Washington) while third-party candidate George Wallace drew 13.5% of the vote with a bitter, racially tinged campaign that made even Tricky Dick look far less enraged and resentful in comparison.
In other races, annoyed and grouchy contenders might occasionally win nominations — as did Republican Barry Goldwater in 1964 and Democrat George McGovern in 1972 — but both of these self-righteous, sternly ideological U.S. senators got wiped out in crushing November landslides.
Modern-era trend holds
The most triumphant and popular presidents of the modern era —Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton— all connected with the public through their genial personalities and kindly, positive presentations. On the other side, most of the conspicuous losers — such as Tom Dewey in '44 and '48, Michael Dukakis in '88, Bob Dole in '96, John Kerry in 2004 — came across as gloomy, dour and negative.
On occasion, the same candidate can win as a reassuring nice guy and then lose later as a Gloomy Gus. That fate befell Jimmy Carter, whose smiling "Why Not the Best?" campaign of 1976 beat President Gerald Ford and the Republicans (with their dark connections to the Watergate scandal). Four years later, the president had morphed into "Mr. Malaise" after an infamous speech and a troubled presidency, and lost badly to the incomparably affable Reagan.
In the past presidential battle, the fierce, feisty John McCain (with his reputation for an explosive temper) stood little chance against the cool, collected, "No Drama Obama" with his utopian promises of hope and change.
In the 1930s, the progress of the news media age (with radio and talkie newsreels) allowed more direct, intimate access to the candidates, vastly increasing the impact of personality. FDR's thrilling, resonant voice, and his jaunty self-confidence in the face of the Great Depression and his own struggles with polio, helped him defeat four less ebullient GOP opponents.
The force of personality would almost certainly doom Santorum were he to challenge Obama as the GOP nominee. Though conservatives appropriately admire his dogged, faith-fueled, long-shot pursuit of the nomination, no one could associate the petulant Pennsylvanian with the politics of joy.
As Election Day approaches, voters begin to focus on the fact that the candidate they select will be part of their lives, for better or worse, for the next four years. With that long-term relationship in mind, voters feel no more attracted to dour candidates than single people feel drawn to morose mates. In an era when presidential power can provoke devastating, global war, the public naturally prefers to pick a chief executive of calm, predictable disposition.
In choosing presidents, the American people instinctively rally to "happy warriors." Unfortunately for Rick Santorum, grumpy warriors stand little chance.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
Gus, Pennsylvania second most famous groundhog has been grounded. You will no longer see the Gus commercials promoting the Pennsylvania lottery because the Corbett administration “has done in a different direction”. That’s state government speak for “we have to take care of our own”. Every eight years there is a new statewide advertising campaign for Pennsylvania Tourism. The reason is similar to the guys who get picked as Revenue Secretaries. Note the campaign contributions or the connections. Pennsylvania has what is called the Gubernatorial cycle. Since at least 1954, the Pennsylvania’s Governor’s mansion has changed parties every 8 years. We all know that. However, every 8 years since the mid 80s, the state’s advertising campaign changes. The PR Einsteins who helped Dick Thornburgh become Governor in 1978 (the fine folks at Ketchum Advertising in Pittsburgh came with with the historic slogan “You’ve Got A Friend In Pennsylvania”. After Robert Casey became Governor, the state’s advertising campaign “went in a different direction”. An east coast ad agency from Philadelphia coined the term “Pennsylvania….America Starts Here”. After 8 years of a Democratic regime, in comes Erie native Tom Ridge. Ridge and his administration get a western Pennsylvania ad agency and proclaim that “Pennsylvania Memories” become the new slogan. Ridge excitedly proclaims that “Pennsylvania Memories Last A Lifetime”. In 2003 in comes big city ex Mayor Ed Rendell. Rendell took a more focused approach target marketing specific seasons. One of his most successful ventures was “Cabin Fever Month” aimed at winter travelers. Rendell also promoted a visitpa.com web presence. The lottery advertising was a component of the agency efforts. An ad for the Lottery that transcended four administrations (Casey, Ridge, Rendell and Corbett ) was the guy buying lottery tickets and giving them out to friends and neighbors as a soft snow fell. There was a choir singing and he bestows these instant tickets on everyone from the mailman to the newsstand owner. Gus became a creation of an ad agency and played off on Punxsutawny Phil, the state Groundhog. When Rendell was campaigning in 2002, he made a promise that he would journey to the western Pa. hamlet to gaze upon Phil. (He went once but never came back again). Gus was premiered in 2004 (it typically takes ad agencies a year or two to get the projects out of the gate) and was a mainstay promoting lottery tickets for all holidays and statewide events. When Ridge was elected, those in the know realized Gus was on borrowed time. Because in the time honored traditions of both Pennsylvania politics and business, all knew the Corbett people were going to be “looking in another direction”. Bon voyage Gus. You had a hell of a run , not as long as the old guy buying Pa. lottery instants but pretty good nonetheless.
COMPLAINT AGAINST MELLOW
Wilkes Barre native, Gene Stilp, a well known state government watchdog filed a formal complaint against former Sen. Robert Mellow's campaign committee. Stilp criticized the Mellow committee of spending $740,000 in 2011 on lawyers for unspecified purposes. Stilp filed the complaint with the Department of State calling for an investigation into spending by Friends of Bob Mellow, the campaign committee for Mellow who retired from the Senate in November 2010. The Harrisburg watchdog is also a candidate for Congress in the 11th Congressional district on the Democratic side.
ELECTION BOARD MEMBERS
Michael Buffer from the Citizen’s Voice reports that The Luzerne County Board of Elections chose H. Jeremy Packard as the board's fifth member. County council appointed the other four members earlier this year. The board oversees the election process in the county.Packard last fall ran an unsuccessful campaign for county council as an independent. He is still registered as an independent, Director of Elections Leonard Piazza said. Packard is from Kingston. His term on the board is four years. During the campaign, Packard was perceived as running a very lackluster campaign. The other board members are as follows:
Thomas Baldino, Fairview Township, Democrat, four years.
Barbara Williams, Plymouth, Democrat, two years.
John Ruckno, Dallas Township, Republican, four years.
John Newman, Nanticoke, Republican, two years.
Len Piazza and his staff of ten run the election office.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum traded accusations about spending, taxes and congressional earmarks in the 20th debate of the topsy turvy race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Ron Paul made the statement that Santorum was a fake conservative who had voted for programs that he now says he wants to repeal. At first the odd a out seemed to be Newt Gingrich, former speaker but then he became a type of go between between the warring Romney and Santorum. Gingrich said he supported the earmarks that Romney had sought for the Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002, then accused Romney of observing a double standard by running television ads attacking Santorum for having voted for different earmarks.
The former Speaker said it was silly for Romney to take the position that "what you got was right and what he got was wrong." All four candidates talked cultural issues a bit and express concern and dismay over the high illegitimacy rate in the U.S. The Michigan and Arizona primaries are next Tuesday. The debate was on CNN.
ANOTHER MURPHY ENDORSEMENT
Later today, the SEIU Pennsylvania State Council, one of the Commonwealth’s largest and most influential labor organizations representing nearly 80,000 workers, will formally endorse Iraq war veteran and former prosecutor Patrick Murphy for Pennsylvania Attorney General. SEIU’s endorsement is based on Murphy’s history of fighting for working families and vision for an Attorney General’s office that protects the middle class from economic crime and defends the rights of all Pennsylvanians. The endorsement of SEIU, which is highly organized and politically engaged, gives Murphy a significant electoral advantage in the April primary.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Shadoe Steele this week has a guest many people have been waiting for on Saturday Night Live at the Oldies. Tune in when he interviews music great Paul Anka. Saturday Night Live at the Oldies can be heard from 7pm to midnight on WILK AM & FM with ABC News on top of the hour.
ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo will welcome Amy Betts from the Junior League of Scranton's Provisional class to their program during the week of February 27th. In an effort to promote family health the Junior League is promoting "Get Fit, Get Healthy", a Community Health and Fitness Fair to be held at Saint Stanislaus Church, at 530 East Elm Street in Scranton on Saturday, March 3rd. Ms Betts will outline plans for the free event on . ECTV Live. The program can be sen on Comcast Ch19 each day at Noon and Midnight with selected showings at 6pm.several days during the week.
This Week on Sunday Magazine…Brian Hughes speaks with Liz Hersh from the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, who discusses the HEMAP program and its effect on mortgage foreclosures in Pennsylvania.
Brian interviews Barb Sciandra from Leadership Wilkes Barre about that group's fundraising efforts to help the Wilkes Barre Free Clinic, and how you can help.
And Brian speaks with Dr Jessica White about the decline in children's dental health in the U.S., and what parents can do to change this.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on WSJR & 97BHT, 6AM ON 97.9x, & 6:30AM on Magic 93 & WARM 590 AM.
L.A. TARONE ON WILK
L.A. Tarone's Sunday Show from noon until 2pm welcomes State Senator John Yudichak this weekend. Yudichak will be on the show from 130pm to 2pm.
This week Tiffany Cloud’s Storm Politics program on WYLN TV is the GOP candidate for State Rep 120th District of PA, Aaron Kaufer. It is Kaufer’s first televised sit down interview and it will be a good one. Storm Politics can be seen on WYLN TV 35 Th 930p, Sat 5p, Sun 11a, Mon 830p, T 930p.
PCN AND SNARLIN’ ARLEN
PCN COMPLETES THE INTERVIEW PHASE OF ITS SPECIAL ORAL HISTORY FEATURING U.S. SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER
PCN, the Pennsylvania Cable Network, has just wrapped up a year’s worth of one-on-one interviews in preparation for the airing of “Arlen Specter: An Oral History.” The former U.S. Senator will reflect on his personal and professional life during a special five-part oral history series produced by the statewide network. The series is slated to begin on Monday, May 14.
In 1980, Specter was first elected to represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate as a Republican in 1980. A 30-year incumbent, Specter changed party affiliation in 2009 where in 2010, he lost his Senate re-nomination. He had successfully served five consecutive terms as U.S. Senator.
The Specter oral history series is the second such project for the statewide network. In December of last year, PCN produced a special oral history series with Pittsburgh native, Dick Thornburgh, former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Attorney General.
Jimmy Hoffa begins his 8-year sentence for attempting to bribe a jury……. The Red Guards return to schools in China…….The Queen Elizabeth Hall is opened in London……in Pennsylvania the GOP majority along with Governor Shafer propose a new budget highlighting education, expansion of the state parks program and completion of a study that would improve the quality of Pennsylvania roadways especially in rural areas……in Luzerne County, the County Republican organization begins drafting candidates for row offices. Sheriff Joseph Mock signs up for another term as the nominee for that office while Andrew Antolik is slated to run for County Treasurer in the primary…..and 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was a group out of Cincinnati called the Casinos. Their only hit reached the top ten all across the country and number 1. It was “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye”.
COMO PHOBIA (BE NOT AFRAID)