Monday, April 30, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2041, April 30th, 2012

Robert F. Kennedy, Junior. Kennedy co-hosts Ring of Fire, a nationally syndicated American radio program. He founded the Waterkeeper Alliance and is a professor of environmental law at Pace University School of Law. He is also a senior attorney for the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council. 


I’m not a big tweeter. I try to give short opinions on Twitter but looking after LuLac and not being on the scene of major events because of a limited schedule doesn’t permit it. But Twitter is a fascinating tool that one can mine for some pretty incredible nuggets. Take this one from the son of the late Robert Kennedy. If you ever have the opportunity to hear Robert Kennedy Junior in person, or watch him on TV, do it. Kennedy’s take on such subjects as energy, law and the environment, at least to me, are spellbinding. Yesterday, Robert Kennedy Junior tweeted on a historical even that is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year, the Cuban Missile crisis. 
Take a look at this: Robert F. Kennedy Jr‏@RobertKennedyJr 
On the day he died, Uncle Jack was planning detente w/ Cuba. 
Think about this. If JFK was planning détente with Cuba, what a different world this would be. Kennedy might have neutralized Cuba on a defense basis in terms of weaponry, might have lured them away from the Soviet Union and possibly could have brought hints of democracy to Cuba. That might have shortened Castro’s reign. Or it might have given Castro the chance to remain a leader but loosen his leash on his people. Castro was all about the deal. For all of his revolutionary rants, Castro was about Castro. In another area of what might have been, let’s take a look at the conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination. How ironic would it have been for the mafia to kill Kennedy (that’s one of the theories) when he was going to reach out to Castro and possibly in the long term restore commerce and tourism to the island nation. Wasn’t it the mob that benefited from those casinos and took a beating when Castro overthrew the previous regime? Or how ironic would it have bee for Castro to be behind the death of Kennedy when the man he was murdering was in fact planning to reach out to him? Kennedy knew Kruschev lost face and if a new regime took over (as it did in 1964 with Leonid Breshnev) they were not going to be generous with Castro in any way. They’d appease him, give him a few bones but not let him grow and prosper. Because of that, Castro had to rule with an iron fist. These are only conjectures but truly fascinating on the never ending story of what might have been had John Kennedy not been shot that day in Dallas. And this speculation comes from knowledgeable second generation members of the Kennedy family. Look for more discussion as we creep toward October in this 50th anniversary year of the Cuban Missile crisis.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2040, April 29th, 2012

"Write In" Ballot instructions. 




There were two write in campaigns on the spring primary ballot this past election season. In Lackawanna County, the GOP there staged a strong effort to get Ray Nearhood on the ballot in the 112th to oppose Kevin Haggerty. Haggerty displaced Ken Smith in the Democratic primary. Here’s a statement from the Lackawanna County GOP: Based on unofficial returns, Ray Nearhood was successful in his effort to secure the Republican nomination for Representative in the General Assembly for the 112th Legislative District. Mr. Nearhood released the following statement: “I would like to thank the hundreds of voters who took the time to write my name in for State Representative. I would also like to thank the many volunteers that helped make our write-in campaign successful. The results of today’s tabulation are incredibly encouraging. “Voters from across the district came together in support of my candidacy and to guarantee that they would have a choice in the November General Election. We all know there are many problems in Harrisburg. My work in the private sector, background in public administration, and real-world experience working with municipalities and counties across the Commonwealth uniquely qualify me to offer real, common sense solutions to those problems. “I look forward to the opportunity to discuss those solutions throughout the upcoming campaign season.” Nearhood has a herculean task against him in the fall. But at least the GOP made the effort and got a candidate slated. 
In Luzerne County, the situation of incumbent Karen Boback and challenger Mark Barrett was a little different. While Ken Smith had all that he could handle with a primary challenger in his own party, Boback was unchallenged in her primary effort. So when Democrat Mark Barrett started making noises about running an Independent write in, the advantages of incumbency kicked in for Boback. Almost overnight, a flyer and mailer was sent out instructing voters how to write in Boback's  name on the Democratic side. That was an easy task for some Democrats in the 117th given Representative Boback’s incumbency, her past relationships in the educational community and her husband’s very long and distinguished  business career in media sales. Because of that organizational outreach and name recognition, it was an easy sell for Democrats in the district to give Boback a vote as a write in. But the main factor was that Boback was not distracted by a primary challenger this time. Barrett mounted a grassroots effort that tagged the constituency that is the anti gas drilling coalition. He made a good push but many politicos say he started too late. Plus, he made an earlier attempt to get on the ballot before the primary but fell short. The Democrats in the 117th as well as other districts where there is a voter registration deficit have to start early if they have any hopes of challenging an incumbent, let alone trying to knock them off with a write in effort. My advice to minority parties in districts like this is start gathering your candidates resumes well before your Christmas parties in an odd numbered year. The incumbents are essentially running all the time and you need a head start just to stay competitive. President’s Day weekend is not the time to start organizing. 


We have to comment on the passing of Monty Evans. Evans was a well known area resident who was extremely popular. At one point, midway through the late Tom McLaughin's first term as Mayor, Evans' name was being bandied about as a possible challenger to the popular Mayor. McLaughlin's top aide, the late Bob Wilkie scowled at one meeting I attended saying, "We don't need a Mayor wearing a tuxedo driving a snow plow!" To my knowledge, Tom McLaughlin or Monty Evans never drove a snow plow but that was the type of recognition he had in the community. He was always active in building up a community. 
Evans had a bar in the 80s at Toby Creek on the way to Dallas. It became the place for politicos, social climbers, pretenders and contenders to gather. I had been there just a few times and always found it to be an upper class type Cheers type of joint. What I liked best was the ability to just meet and greet people you wanted to see and ignore the rest. Monty’s was also a judgement free zone. If one had 10 drinks and needed to be carted home by a cab or just ordered a diet coke (as was the case with me) no one made a comment. No judgements. Just good fun, conversation and if it was your wish, no one minding your business. Evans had a flair and I read in his Times Leader obit that his “Monty Says” column was “social media in its infancy”. That is a compliment that I’m sure Mr. Evans’ is enjoying somewhere in the afterlife. But then again, he always was ahead of his time.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2039, April 28th, 2012

Our "Interview" logo. 


With the recent flap over the Secret Service partying as they advanced the President’s visit in Columbia, as well as new stories circulating about the military and prostitutes, I tracked down a fellow that is a retired police officer who gave me some insight into this type of behavior. 
Q: You worked all cases but you spent two years in vice, right? 
A: Yes. Richmond, Virginia, early 80s. 
Q: They say prostitution is a victimless crime. Is it? 
A: Under the surface, certainly not. Women and in some cases men are reduced to selling their own intimate experiences. It gets so degrading as well as almost desensitizing that it takes a lot of their soul away. I run into some of the young girls who are now old girls and they have a certain sadness about them. When I see a few of the regulars I arrested, I get this sheepish look from them. So it stays with you. But on the surface, when we have bigger fish to fry in the criminal world, you tend to let vice slide down the priority list. 
Q: Then why have vice at all? Why not do what Nevada does and have everybody just rock and roll to their heart’s delight?
A: You need vice for protection. Protection of the patrons, the workers and the community. The community suffers because they lose their neighborhoods. Traffic gets screwed up, more petty crime and vandalism happens because you have more strangers in an area that is home to the 98% doing the right thing. The patrons are going to do what they’re going to do but you don’t want them hurt physically. You don’t want them ripped off either because then you got a frustrated person who didn’t get what they were looking for and was out the diaper money for the baby at home. So you might have an incident that escalates. Then you have the worker herself that looks at her job as a clerk in a grocery store would. Pay me, I’ll give you this. Don’t pay me, I’m going to do anything I can to get that money. Because money is part of my dignity, whatever dignity a poor soul can have selling their bodies. 
Q: What did you think of the Secret Service guy or guys who refused to pay? 
A: One stupid bastard if you ask me. Look at all the hell that he reigned down upon himself. I guarantee, (and I think you wrote this last week) if that guy paid, kept the little lady happy, this thing would have never, ever seen the light of day. 
Q: How about the military guys that allegedly threw the prostitute out of the car? 
A: In my estimation, as a former law enforcement officer, they are bigger criminals than the sex worker. They intended violent behavior. Why’d  they do that? 
Q: From the news reports I read, they didn’t want to pay the woman. 
A: Stupid bastards. I don’t condone prostitution, never did, never will but a deal, even an illegal one, is a deal. And while it isn’t right, a reneged deal leads to a more violent crime. Any cop will tell you they’d rather see a clean drug deal, a clean transaction go down where one sells, one buys, everybody pays than some flub in it. Then you got the wild wild west. 
Q: Do you think the punishment fit the crime for the agents and the military involved? 
A: Well, I’d bust them right down to nothing if it were me. But you know, they will bear a greater burden in the years ahead. They’ll look back on their lives, as well all tend to do now and think how truly stupid they were. Every man has regrets, a kiss not stolen, a road not taken, a dream never fulfilled. But no one wants to think they did anything so stupid and so unavoidable that it changed their life. That’s a mental punishment.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2038, April 27th, 2012

"Maybe I'm Amazed" logo.  


MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the shaking politicos heard on Wednesday morning, the day after the Matt Cartwright win for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 17th was actually the thundering herd trying to jump on his bandwagon. I’m sure there are many Democrats of the old guard who are saying, “We wuz with ya all the way Matty”. Perhaps Casey Evans and Tom Shubilla should try and challenge the Luzerne County Democratic leadership sometime soon. I wouldn’t bet against them. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that my buddy at Gort 42 actually wrote in my name for State Rep in his/our district. Mrs. LuLac and I celebrated 30 years of marriage on the 24th (Election Day) and she didn’t even do that. Thanks Gort. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the day after the election, Patrick Murphy supporters are asking fellow Dems to line up for Kathleen Kane. After supporting a stand up guy like Patrick Murphy, we’re now being asked to vote for someone who got per parking tickets fixed by a gal pal Magistrate? Uh…don’t think. David Freed has the pedigree to be a good Attorney General. And as for the fact that a Democrat will watch over the social issues of women, Pennsylvania is a moderate state and a life long Republican lie Fre4ed will not go “all Santorum” against women. I’ve voted for plenty of women in my time, but sorry, Kane is not able for me this time. Or ever. The “Waverly Princess” didn’t even have enough respect for voters of any sex in Luzerne County to give a response to the League of Women Voters newspaper insert. Patrick Murphy and David Freed did. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the highly touted Marco Rubio couldn’t even finish a speech he was giving the other day. Rubio had two lines left on his speech and had to ask for a staffer to retrieve a copy. I mean he couldn’t even remember the last 2 sentences? He couldn’t ad lib? He couldn’t say “God Bless America”? Inept. Another Palin but this time in Brooks Brothers. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that Mitt Romney admitted to a Politico reporter that had Jeb Bush entered the race for President, he (Romney) might not have. Bush would be a powerhouse with Romney and make Obama’s reelection very problematic. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that Nutella, a hazelnut chocolate based topping has to pay out 300 million dollars in a class action suit because they told consumers it was a healthy spread for toast and bagels in the morning. IT WAS CHOCOLATE!!!! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Yankee broadcaster Michael Kay made a mountain out of a molehill when he castigated on the air a couple who caught a ball at Rangers Stadium. Apparently there was a 3 year old baby crying because he wanted the ball. The baby’s mother told the couple bot to give the screaming brat the ball because she wanted to let him know at any early age that like Mick Jagger sang, “You can’ty always get what you want”. Kaye made such a big deal out of it that the kid got a ball, and Ranger jersey and the couple got grief. Now the couple wants an apology from Kaye and I think they’re right. He had no insight into the situation in the field and should have kept his big mouth shut. And as for the 3 year old ki’s parents who dragged him to the ballpark where he would not have the fainest memory of what went on, I say, “hire a babysitter”..
MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that the Space Shuttle Enterprise did a little fly over throughout the skies of New York City today before being permanently retired. The Space program was shut down by President Obama after promising Florida workers at NASA he’d keep it open. That’s one of the reasons I wrote in Hillary Clinton’s name for President in Tuesaday’s primary. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED… the effectiveness of the new Karl Rove ad attacking President Obama as “The Celebrity President”., The ad is very effective and enables the GOP to do what they do best, take a Democrat’s strength and turn it into a weakness. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……at just how pathetic this John Edwards trial is going to get. Edwards almost became Vice President of the united States in 2004 if not for Ohio. 
MAYBE I'M AMAZED........that what gets lost in the news about the loss of Bill Vinsko for the seat in the 11th, is the fact that  the Luzerne County voters gave him  71% of their vote. and that Carbon, Wyoming and Columbia all were well over 60%. He'll be back.  It was a good run.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2037, April 26th, 2012

"State of the World" flyer, click on it to enlarge for more information.
Ray Musto in 1971 when I first started campaigning for him.  


Before I give you a comment on Ray Musto’s proposed trial, let me preface that comment with a few things. When I was a Junior in high school, even before I could vote, I passed out flyers when Musto tried to gain his late father’s seat in the old 3rd District. He succeeded. When Musto  ran for Congress in 1980, I took photos of him during the campaign and defended his Pitston colloquialisms to other people as Musto debated other candidates for that special election. I voted for Musto in every State Senate election he ran in. All that said, it is time for Ray Musto to face the music. When news came that us to that he was being investigated by the feds, many people I knew were shocked and dismayed. There were echoes of “Say it ain’t so Joe” because Musto had always carried himself well in terms of his honesty and political and personal integrity. His corruption trial has now been postponed due to ill health. An attorney asked for still another postponement. This has to end. Musto and his lawyers have to do one of a few things: 
1. End this by making a plea.
2. Hold the trial. 
3. Have the trial and have the too ill Musto not attend. 
It’s been done. Musto, during one of these postponements was seen at Mohegan Sun having dinner. He defended his right to be there but it didn’t look good for an 81 year old man claiming to be seriously ill being out on the town at shortly after 11pm on a Friday night. (I can’t do it anymore and God bless Ray if he still could!) But the perception is not going to help Ray Musto’s legacy. The time to make a decision for better or worse is right now. Because this is a drastically different time than 1980 when Dan Flood went to trial, Ray Musto has more to lose in terms of his historical legacy. Another postponement is not only going to hurt him when and if he eventually does get to court but is going to make him the object of ridicule by the public he once served. For whatever his sins are, which are yet to be proven, the one thing the former Senator who served his district for nearly forty years does not deserve is ridicule. Pull the band aid off now Ray, get it over with. It’s time. 


If you are a Democrat, the recent election a few days ago sent a message: BE A DEMOCRAT. Don’t be a version of one, a middle of the roader who will try to compromise with people who refuse to compromise. Rank and file Democrats who turned aside Hillary Clinton as just another politician in favor of Barack Obama really wanted change. We didn’t want a President caving into the likes of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. And we certainly didn’t want a Congressman who straddled the middle in hopes of getting along to go along. And if we found that even the nicest guy in the world couldn’t manage his money and the smoothest, most handsome, sincere family man couldn’t find his diploma, we, the Democrats got rid of them. The modern day Democrat in both Luzerne and Lackawanna County is kind of like your wife’s college roommate who has been married 6 times. We heard it all before from suitors who took our hearts and then broke them. Finally in LuLac land, and maybe on the national level, there are no second and third chances for Democrats from Democrats. We’re fed up and angry. We want the Democrats we vote for to act and vote like Democrats. If we wanted something else, we’d become Republicans. 




U.S. Representative Lou Barletta released the following statement after the Primary Election results were known: “I would first like to thank everyone who voted for me today. The warm welcome I continue to receive in Northeastern, Central, and South Central Pennsylvania has been incredibly encouraging. “The people of the 11th District sent me to Washington to reign in out-of-control spending; cut excessive regulations; create a pro-growth, pro-jobs environment; and repeal Obamacare. They want a domestic energy policy that works and lowers prices at the pump. And, they want to make sure that the U.S. is secure from all threats. That’s why they sent me, that’s what I’ve been fighting for, and that what’s I will continue to fight for. “I would like to congratulate Mr. Stilp on his victory and I look forward to a lively and hard-fought campaign in the General Election. 


 That big cry baby who calls himself the Speaker of the House, but who in reality is the prized eunuch of the Tea Party, John Boehner is something else. Boehner is complaining that the President is traveling around the country speaking about the one year extension for student loans. The GOP is saying the President’s trip is political and he should be ashamed of himself. They also said he is violating election laws. That’s rich. This Republican Congress has done nothing to advance the programs helping middle class Americans and the future of this country, students. They have blocked every single effort by this administration because they don’t like the fact that Barack Obama is a Democrat and they are hysterical over the fact that he is a black man. How ironic that they call him out as being political when every single obstructionist tactic they have tried has gone against Obama. What weasels. 


Luzerrne County manager Bob Lawton says he has to study whether the County Detectives need a new 5 year contract loaded with incentives and a clothing allowance. Study it sir then make the right move. Eliminate the 5 year contract, put them on a as needed per diem. And have Walter Griffith monitor the spending very closely. The Detectives “assist” local police but don’t break cases. Replace the line item in the budget with more money for District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis to get more lawyers on her staff. It’s a no brainer. And you’re the guy that can make the decision. After of course you study it. 



Brian Hughes speaks with Deb Pollick of the March of Dimes about the Northeast 2012 March for Babies, coming up on Saturday May 20th at the Kings College Beltzer Fields in Wilkes Barre Township. Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Dave Jolley, author of the baseball book "A Good Cup of Coffee". And Brian speaks with mommie bloggers Vera Sweeney and Audrey McClellan about their "Mom's Guide to Getting Gorgeous", just in time for Mother's Day. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X, and 6:30am on Magic 93 and WARM 590 AM.  



This week Shadoe Steele presents Saturday Night Live at the Oldies from 7pm to midnight on WILK AM & FM with ABC News on the top of the hour. Steele’s guest this week will be Roxy Petrucci of the female rockers Vixen! 


ECTV Live will welcome Bill Lewis during the week of April 30th to discuss Pennsylvania passengers on the Titanic! 100 years after the infamous sea disaster, Mr. Lewis has published a book on Titanic survivors and victims who were bound for Wilkes-Barre. ECTV Live co-host David DeCosmo actually solved a 60-year-old Titanic mystery when he connected two survivors in 1972. One had saved the other's infant son. Lewis, DeCosmo, and Mae Thomas and Dolores Elias, who had family members on Titanic, recently offered lectures about the ship before the Luzerne County Historical Society and the State Museum in Harrisburg. ECTV Live is hosted by Judge Tom Munley and can be seen on Comcast Ch19 throuhout the week at Noon and Midnight with selected showings at 6pm several days during the week. 


Montreal, Quebec, Expo 67, a World's Fair to coincide with the Canadian Confederation centennial, officially opens with Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson igniting the Expo Flame in the Place des Nations. n Houston, Texas, boxer Muhammad Ali refuses military service......A few days later after the soft opening the Canadian government officials, Expo 67 opens to the public, with over 310,000 people attending. Al Carter from Chicago is the first visitor as noted by Expo officials.....Fidel Castro announces that all intellectual property belongs to all people and that Cuba intends to translate and publish technical literature without compensation.......In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Average Cost of new house $14,250.00 , Average Income per year $7,300.00, Average Monthly Rent $125.00 Gas per Gallon 33 cents Average Cost of a new car $2,750.00…and in Luzerne County, the races start to heat up for the office of District Attorney. On the Democratic  side, Stephen Teller is running unopposed but on the Republican side, Wilkes Barre Attorney Joseph Kasper is facing off against Blythe Evans Junior. Kasper has the backing of the County GOP but Evans was making serious inroads as the May primary approached….and 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in LuLac land and America was “The Happening" by the Supremes.
Como Phobia logo. 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2036, April 25th, 2012

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.



This Friday, former State Senator Bob Mellow will be sentenced in federal court. This past Tuesday, two sitting legislators were swept out of office by newcomers promising change. (The fact that the two losers had personal issues is another matter but as in the past, they could not count on their incumbency to weather the storm). House Speaker Sam Smith is already talking about trying to downsize the size of the State House and Senate. Using all that as a backdrop, I’m using an article submitted by a candidate running in the 120th District in the fall election. Aaron Kauffer makes some very good points and his article is the subject of this week’s “Write On Wednesday” 
Candidate contends legislators enjoy too many perks 
The recent scandal involving former Sen. Bob Mellow has Pennsylvania citizens outraged, and rightfully so. Too often we see elected officials abuse their power for personal gain, to the point where it is no longer a surprise, it is an expectation. These recent charges only highlight this issue. While Sen. Mellow was charged with conspiracy and improper use of taxpayer-paid staffers, he is not the only politician using our tax money for personal gain. People are outraged about his $140,000 per year pension, but all of our so-called public servants are receiving these absurd pensions and massive perk packages. It’s time for this to end. It’s a matter of principle and poor representation. This culture in Harrisburg must change, and it starts by addressing three specific areas. Per Diems. Our lawmakers receive a $163 bonus every day just for showing up to work. This can total up to $20,000 per year for each legislator. The money is supposed to be used to pay for food and lodging, but it’s often misused. Many public officials simply accepted full per diems regardless of their expenditures, giving self-serving legislators part of their “Walking Around Money” and leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. Our politicians eat lunch whether they’re at home or in Harrisburg. We shouldn’t be paying for their meals, period. Some people in our area wish they could earn $163 a day, let alone a bonus to supplement their pay. The whole per diem system must be scrapped. Health Care. Our lawmakers receive “Cadillac Health Care” benefits on taxpayer money. Although they used to get it free, legislators allege that they reformed the system. The truth is they now pay only 1 percent. I don’t consider that reform. It’s an appeasement, nothing more than politics being played with our money and our time. Increasing your premiums from zero to 1 percent isn’t a reform, it’s an insult. We expect real reform, not the perception of it. Automatic pay raises. Lawmakers receive automatic cost of living adjustments, which have been used to increase their salaries 75 percent over the last 17 years. With a single vote in 1995, our public servants ensured they would never have to hold an open vote to increase their salary ever again. No vote means no accountability, and no accountability means it’s easier to exploit the public. Now lawmakers kick back and relax as they watch their salaries increase while seniors see their Social Security rates stay the same for years. This is another example of self-service, not public service. Legislators are voted into office to carry out the will of the voters. Now I ask: Are you being properly represented when public servants pad their pockets with expansive political perks paid for by you? Sen. Mellow may have gotten caught for using legislative staff for personal gain, but our legislators have been using these perks for their own benefit for decades. It may not be illegal, but it certainly is immoral. It is an issue of principle, and we must stop these practices. We must hold our public officials accountable. This is why I am running for office. Our district needs a leader who will fight these outrageous and wasteful legislative perks. They are an insult to the citizens of our area and our first goal should be to stand up and say, “We are fed up. Enough is enough.” If elected, I will refuse the per diem, I will demand our legislators pay more for their health care plans, and I will fight to repeal the automatic COLAs. Right now, these practices show that our politicians do not answer to the voters the way they should. The connection between citizen and politician has gone from clear, to hazy, to non-existent. This must change and I am here to tell you that if I am elected, it will.  
Aaron Kaufer of Kingston is a Republican running for state representative in the 120th district.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2035, April 24th, 2012

Election Recap logo. 


This was a quiet primary election year in Pennsylvania. It was silenced all the more by the ending of the Republican Presidential race when Rick Santorum suspended his campaign. In the Republican primary to take on incumbent Bob Casey in the fall election, 5 candidates vied for the chance to meet the popular Democrat from Scranton. David Christian Sam Rohrer Marc Scaringi Steve Welch Tim Burns Tom Smith started out this multi field race. The number of candidates running was an indication of how the state GOP could not come up with a big name to take on Casey. Former Governor Tom Ridge was wooed unsuccessfully and there weren’t any other big name Republicans willing to give it a go. After a raucous campaign, the winner was Tom Smith who spent a great deal of money and ran a very aggressive campaign. The unendorsed candidate really gave a spanking to the Tom Corbett endorsed Steve Welch. 
The race for State Attorney General was a wild campaign waged by Scranton lawyer Kathleen Kane vs Patrick Murphy who has ties to Wilkes Barre. The winner will face off against David Freed, a Republican from Central Pennsylvania. Despite Murphy’s support in the Philadelphia area, Kane prevailed and becomes the first female nominee for Attorney General. In the race for Auditor General, where Jack Wagner is retiring, Frank Pinto took on the endorsed John Maher for the GOP nomination. Maher won and will face off in the fall against Democrat Eugene Despasquale was running unopposed. 
 Incumbent Democrat Rob McCord had no opposition but in the General election will face off against Diane Irey Vaughan. 
In Congressional races in LuLac land, the 11th District primary between Bill Vinsko and Gene Stilp was punctuated by politeness throughout. StiLp’s pink pig was everywhere as was Mr. Vinsko. But in the end the long term activism of Gene Stilp and his pink pig prevailed over Attorney Vinsko. One thing that hurt Vinsko was the fact that he was not from the District and even though we here in LuLac land know the new district is a stone’s throw away from his house, the fact that Stilp could say Vinsko was not a resident, made it an uphill battle. Stilp, a Wilkes Barre native will take on Lou Barletta in the fall. Stilp will give Barletta a run for his money. It will be interesting to see if Barletta agrees to a debate. If he does, it will be an incredible event. 
In the 10th Congressional District, Tom Marino romped to an easy renomination. He will most liely crush his fall opponent. Phillip Scollo of Dingman Township.
Matt Cartwright at his victory event.
In the 17th, a bitter race ensued between challenger Matt Cartwright and incumbent Congressman Tim Holden. Cartwright had a solid base of recognition in botn Wilkes Barre and Scranton. He also spent a great deal of money too. Holden touted his seniority and had the backing of all the political power brokers in the county. In the end though, Cartwright won for a number of reasons. He ran a smart campaign, toured the district’s major areas and hinterlands and had an easy going manner. Cartwright also did not shy away from his Democratic party beliefs either. But the real reason why Cartwright won is because the 17th was a merger of two old districts, the 10th and 11th. For over 60 years, those two districts in Lackawanna and Luzerne County were proprietary districts. It was known as a Scranton seat as well as a Wilkes Barre seat. With the combined district, those two cities who enjoyed the fruits of the labor of Dan Flood, Paul Kanjorski, Joe McDade and Don Sherwood, wanted “their Congressman” back. They got him tonight with the election of a NEPA local, Matt Cartwright. Cartwright will be opposed by Tea Party activist Lureen Cummings in the fall. 
 The State Representative races in Luzerne County were pretty much yawners. No one, incumbent or challenger had an opponent in the primary. The only challenge came in the 117th where Mark Barnett tried to mount a write in vote on the Democratic side to get on the ballot against Karen Boback the incumbent. Boback had 3741 votes and had a few write ins. Totals for Barrett’s effort were not available. The way the fall line up shapes up is this way, in the 119th, Democrat Gerry Mullery takes on Republican Rick Arnold, in the 118th and 121st Mike Carroll and Eddie Day Pashinski have no opposition in the fall, in the 120th Phyllis Mundy the Democrat faces off against newcomer Aaron Kaufer and in the 116th Republican incumbent Tarah Toohill faces off against Democrat Ransom Young. 
In Lackawanna County, in the 112th, incumbent Ken Smith and Kevin Haggerty faced off. The end result was that Smith’s tax problems, which he did not fix or could not articulate, did him in. Haggerty has no opposition in the fall and is on his way to Harrisburg. The 113th primary race between incumbent Kevin Murphy and challenger Marty Flynn got complicated. You would think an incumbent like Murphy would have received the endorsement of the Times but he didn’t. Plus Murphy had a problem with the fact that his educational credentials were questioned during the last weekend of the campaign. Despite his best efforts to get his paper work in, more than a decade after completing school, this did Murphy in. Murphy took office after questioning the per diems of Frank Andrews Shimkus and was a visible representative. Never in his wildest dreams did Murphy ever think he’d be tripped up by an issue of his past education credentials. The problem with Murphy was that no one believed his explanation plus the fact that he became fodder for jokes. When they start laughing at you in public life, you’re done. Flynn however ran a very organized grassroots effort with signs all over the district. Flynn had an undercurrent running and all he needed was an issue to explode it. The end result was Marty Flynn winning in a close race. And in the 115th, Ed Staback is going to be replaced by Frank Farina. Farina beat former Lackawanna County Commissioner Randy Castellani by less than 100 votes. The race between Castellani and Frank Farina got very nasty and ugly. Plus the two candidates seem to have done everything to give the nomination to each other. Farina’s arrest record was questioned and he did himself no favors by going on Steve Corbett the other day. But the fact that Castellani admitted to quitting as Commissioner really did not help his effort. Farina’s ads were produced by Bob Harper of Florida. Despite the inadequacies of Farina as a candidate, Harper is now 2-0 in recent elections with Farina and last year’s Stefanie Salavantis campaign for District Attorney in Luzerne County. 
A voter referendum in Hazleton passed allocating 1% of the school board budget to the Hazleton Public Library. The funding does not raise taxes, just guarantees a percentage of  money for the library. 
Those are the results…… on to the fall where the marquee race is going to be Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney. Romney, by the way, won the Pennsylvania primary today as well as contests in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware.

The LuLac Edition #2034, April 24th, 2012



Monday, April 23, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2033, April 23rd, 2012



I have been writing and publishing this blog/site since May of 2006. During that time, more than 350,000 people have visited this site every year. In a week, LuLac reaches roughly 3,000 people. I have written more than 2034 editions which are like little newscasts or newspapers for readers to seek out every day. In response to those editions, more than 13,020 have submitted comments, 12,000 people have had their comments posted. In all that time, LuLac has never offered an endorsement for any candidate. There have been very good friends of mine who have run for office. There have been people who have offered to pay me something for an endorsement. Others have asked politely. But to date, I have never used Lulac as an endorser of candidates. The reason why is even though I have strong (some say misguided and mean spirited) opinions, I always wanted to keep LuLac out of the arena of picking and choosing candidates. My job is to try to give you the facts and my opinion, your job,  is to study the many pages of opinion sand then act accordingly. I was not going to endorse anyone until I came home today and got a phone message from State Senator John Yudichak. Yudichak is a guy I respect and like. His message however was not what I wanted to hear. He asked that my family vote for “our friend” Tim Holden for Congress. I realize this is a robo call and Yudichak needed to do what he needed to do. But this “our friend” lingo set me off.  Tim Holden is not “our friend”. Friends don’t breeze into a new neighborhood and then blow back out again after a few rounds of drinks and a few pats on the back. Friends don’t refuse to debate legitimate opponents. That is an insult to the process. Friends don’t vote against a landmark piece of legislation that helps people with pre existing medical conditions, puts unemployed students and young people on their parents health plan for a bit longer and friends certainly don’t let people they care about file for bankruptcy because of medical bills. Friends put their political profiles in courage first, then their political career second. Not our friend Tim Holden though. Friends don’t be just one or two of a few Democrats who voted voted for the "Halliburton loophole" that lets hydrofracking companies pollute our water. Friends don’t vote to keep the Bush tax breaks that only benefit the 1%. Friends don’t resort to desperate, last-minute smears to try to save their job. The Democratic party has morphed into a type of middle of the road entity that has forgotten what being a Democrat is all about. We have people in Congress who would rather fight for the middle, safe ground  instead of what they truly believe in. They fight for the corporations and big labor and not the people who desperately need a leg up. In the 17th Congressional District, we need to send a message to the Tom Corbett Republicans who gerrymandered this district as well as the Republicans in Washington who have blocked virtually every proposal of this African American  Democratic President. We need to tell them that Tim Holden, like them, is not our friend. We need to tell them we don’t need any more friends who are going to screw the middle class out of what little they have left. Maybe in another place and another time, Tim Holden might have been acceptable. But there is a war on average Americans. In this new 17th, we have anemic Chambers of Commerce, we have high unemployment out of control, we have people hurting and hungry. To add insult to injury, we also have a government that wants to take away any safety net for the citizens that they inflicted this damage on. In this year, in this new century, in this time when the GOP is doing everything it can to put the final nail in the middle class coffin, Tim Holden might say he’s our friend,  but not the type I’d want in a war or street fight. For that reason, and that reason alone, I urge every Democrat to vote for Matt Cartwright. He understands what it is to be a Democrat, not a blue dog, not a get along to go along type but a full blooded Democrat that will fight for us the way FDR, Harry Truman, John and Bobby Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson fought for us. LuLac endorses Matt Cartwright. Time on the middle class is running out. We need ass kickers in Congress, not “friends”.

Nancy and Webster from WILK and Fox 56. 



Tune in tomorrow morning on WILK AM &  FM and Fox TV at 7AM when I join Nancy Kman and John Webster for an election day preview.
11th District Congressional candidate Bill Vinsko.  


Election Day 11th District Tour Bill Vinsko, Democratic Candidate for Congress, will be traveling throughout the 11th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, on Election Day, tomorrow, APRIL 24, 2012 for an Election Day 11th District Tour. Come have Breakfast with Bill at Biscotti Coffee Bar Café, 300 North Earl Street, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM. You can meet the candidate before you vote! Bill will then tour the 11th Congressional District going to various locations in the following counties: Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry, Northumberland, Montour, Columbia, Carbon, Wyoming and then Luzerne. Follow the 11th District Tour on Facebook at Bill and his wife Paula will be voting at Kistler Elementary School, Wilkes-Barre at 3:00 PM. After the polls close, Vinsko for Congress will be hosting an Election Night Thank-You Celebration at the American Legion, 23 West Broad Street, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania starting at 8:30 PM until 1:00 AM. Bill's family, friends, supporters and all residents of the 11th Congressional District are welcome to attend! If you have any questions, or for more information, please contact Brian Vinsko at 570.817.9579 or the Campaign Office at 570.970.VOTE (8683).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2032, April 22nd, 2012


Today there will be a rally for Congressman Tim Holden in the Greater Pittston Area. The event will be held at Valenti’s Restaurant in Exeter on Sunday afternoon. The thing that cracks me up about this rally is that political flunkies, lackeys and toadies will be there even though I bet 99% of them had no freaking idea who Tom Holden was until the Congressional District was changed. But the same tired old political hacks who got their kids and cousins jobs in government beat a hasty trail to the Holden door. They are not supporting Tim Holden because they care about America’s future, they aren’t supporting Tim Holden because they care about what he could do for the district and they aren’t supporting Tim Holden because he is going to give a crap about this area. They are supporting Tim Holden because they have their hands out and want something. Take a look at some of the photos of the people attending, I believe Joe Valenti will be there from Pittston He'll take a lot of pictures. Look at the faces…..the same sorry ass “political” people looking to feed at the Holden trough. Hysterical but truly, truly sad.
Karen Boback mailer targeted at Dems in upcoming primary. 


State Representative Karen Boback is waging a write in effort on the Democratic side in Tuesday’;s primary. Boback has no opposition in the fall against a Democrat and wants to keep it that way. Boback was first elected in 2006 when long time Representative George Hasay stepped aside. 


Casey Evans, long time Democratic activist has written a letter on behalf of Democrat Mark Barrett who is mounting a “write in” effort for the 117th seat. Barrett almost got the required number to get on the ballot but almost doesn’t count. Barrett is better known as “Duke from Dallas” a frequent caller to WILK Radio and a friend of local bloggers and progressives in this area. Here’s Evans’ letter: Democratic voters in the 117th District, please write in Mark Barrett for State Representative on Tuesday, April 24th! Due to the Supreme Court ruling regarding the redistricting plans that shifted the boundaries back to their 2001 borders so close to the petition due-date, Mark didn't have enough time to collect the amount of signatures needed for ballot access, despite an amazing push in the final days. He is leading a true grassroots campaign to get on the November ballot to represent the voters in the 117th! You may know him from radio call-in shows as "Duke from Dallas". He will have all party resources available for his run. An accomplished software developer, Mark will stand up to corporate lobbyists and the gas industry in Harrisburg, and be a stalwart and responsible leader for clean, safe drinking water and he will work to end loopholes that allow corporations to essentially do as they please with no oversight. He understands that when our students are doing well, our state is doing well, and while Tom Corbett aims to destroy our educational system by cutting it down to the bone, Mark will restore funding to our public schools. If you feel that Karen Boback has been unresponsive to citizens, running unopposed will make her even less so. She needs to be held accountable for her abysmal, Corbett-enabling record in Harrisburg. Her recent vote to allow Republicans in Harrisburg to supersede local zoning laws allows the gas industry to override the will of the people in communities across Pennsylvania for the sake of profit; that's just one of many issues where Rep. Boback has sided with special interests over the people she was elected to represent. She voted for Tom Corbett's disastrous budget two years in a row, crippling public education and further burdening local taxpayers. Essential PA services, like Adult Basic heath care & Medicaid, that help everyday Pennsylvanians, have been sacrificed on the altar of "deficit reduction" in order to give more tax breaks for corporations. Unbelievably, Boback even proposed raising taxes on seniors and low income families through new taxes on food, clothing, and retirement income, in order to eliminate taxes for wealthy property owners! We deserve better, and Mark is the right man for the job. Six years of Karen Boback is enough. So this Tuesday, please write in Mark Barrett for State Representative - he won't work for the gas industry, but he will work for YOU! Casey Evans 2nd District Chairman Dallas

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2031, April 21st, 2012

Attorney General candidates Patrick Murphy and Kathleen Kane.


The final weekend of the 2012 primary campaign is upon us and one of the most competitive races is between Scranton Attorney Kathleen Kane and former Congressman Patrick Murphy. For a position that involves the highest ethical behavior, this race has been down and dirty from the get go. Kathleen Kane has had multiple parking tickets fixed which gives the impression that she is part of the favored class. Her association with her husband’;s company, that is essentially bankrolling her effort has been questioned mainly because Kane Is Able Trucking allegedly doesn’t pay their employees all that well. 99% of the employers in LuLac land pay next to nothing for employees who show up every day and bust their asses to make them rich. Kane Trucking is no exception. Kane has been criticized for saying she prosecuted thousands of cases when in fact she might have tried 15 a year. The fact is most trials don’t go to court and lawyers routinely burn through them. If a lawyer got paid only when they went to trial, well, there’d be fewer lawyers. Murphy has been criticized because he does not hold a law license in Pennsylvania. He was a JAG lawyer in the military but it is said he did not take the PA bar and would be lost in a courtroom in the Commonwealth. Murphy has been criticized by the Kane camp because of his connections to the Dem,ocratic power base but it was Kane who got the big fish, former President Bill Clinton to endorse her. There is a You Tube video of Murphy doubting his own credentials that is making the rounds too. That can’;t help. Plus, Murphy’s law firm is now embroiled in a controversy in Wilkes Barre City where Patrick Murphy’s brother, J.J. the former City Administrator gained $8300.00 nor $300 an hour in consulting fees for a parking lot. Both of these candidates are beating each other up for a nomination that is worth both nothing and something. Since 1980, as I have repeatedly pointed out, there has been no elected Attorney General from the Democratic party. However, if lightning does strike and the Democratic nominee does become AG, two of the 4 elected Attorney Generals since 1980 became the nominee for Governor in the state. (Mike Fisher in 2002 And Tom Corbett in 2010. That figure might have been three out of four had Ernie Preate not faced charges during his run for Governor in 1994). On the final weekend, here’s what’s happening with this race. Kane got a big endorsement from the Philadelphia newspapers where Murphy is expected to be strong. The Kane campaign said, The Philadelphia Daily News today joined the Philadelphia Inquirer in enthusiastically endorsing career prosecutor Kathleen Kane for Pennsylvania Attorney General in the April 24th Primary Election. The two coveted endorsements mark a clean sweep of Philadelphia’s two major daily newspapers for Kane. In addition to the endorsements of Philadelphia’s newspapers of record, Kane also recently earned the high-profile endorsement of President Bill Clinton, who joined Kane at a “Get Out The Vote” rally last week in Montgomery County, which the Daily News editorial board noted in its glowing endorsement.“Kane, who has an impressive endorsement from Bill Clinton, has served as prosecutor in Lackawanna County for more than a decade. She specialized in sexual-abuse cases, public corruption and fraud cases, as well as murders, assaults and rapes,” the endorsement reads. “She makes her case that prosecutions should not be colored by political ambitions, and vows to prosecute crime regardless of political party. Her familiarity with the state’s court system will help. In fact, her focus on “crime” instead of “issues” won us over. She would push for more transparency in the chemicals used in fracking, and recognizes the perils confronting the state’s consumers, which get more complicated by the day.” “I am very honored by the influential endorsements of the Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer,” Kane adds. “Both newspapers cited my considerable experience as a primary factor in endorsing my candidacy. The challenges and demands of the Office of Attorney General require that it be directed by a prosecutor, not a politician, and I am grateful to the Daily News and Inquirer editorial boards for acknowledging it. These important endorsements, coupled with President Clinton’s incredible support, have given our campaign an undeniable sense of momentum in this final week before the Primary.” In an odd twist, the NE Eagle reports that Patrick Muprhy has received the endorsement of the Pennsylvania Chapter of NOW, the National Organization of Women. The PA National Organization for Women has officially backed Iraq war veteran and former prosecutor Patrick Murphy for Pennsylvania Attorney General. PA NOW highlighted Murphy’s strong and consistent record on women’s issues in their endorsement. “A War on Women is being waged across the country, and unfortunately, it’s come here to Pennsylvania. Women across the Commonwealth need an advocate in the Attorney General’s office who will stand up and fight for them. Patrick Murphy is the only one in this race willing to do what’s necessary to protect our rights and ensure full equality under the law,” said Julia Ramsey, President of PA NOW. “Patrick is a proven leader on women’s issue. “He is someone we know and trust. He’s 100 percent pro-choice and will refuse to enforce the unconstitutional mandatory ultrasound bill. He helped strengthen laws that prohibit gender discrimination in the workplace. He believes that all Pennsylvanians should have the same opportunities, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. That is the type of experience we need in an Attorney General.” “I’m honored to earn the support of the PA National Organization for Women. I’ve always been proud to stand with PA NOW and other women’s organizations to protect a woman’s right to choose and fight for equality. I will continue to partner with PA NOW to defend women’s rights, end discrimination in the workplace and fight for equality. ". With all the noise and fury, there is one guy waiting for the fighting Dems to face him in November, Attorney David Freed. He will most likely be the next Attorney General in the state despite this big fight between Murphy and Kane. In the primary contest though, I give it to Murphy  in a whisker. He'll do well in the suburbs of Philadelphia. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2030, April 20th, 2012

"Maybe I'm Amazed" logo. 


MAYBE I’M AMAZED………that as this election draws near, there seems to be an integrity gap for some of our candidates for State Representative in the land of the Lac. First off, there’s Ken Smith whose troubles we have chronicled. Then there’s his opponent Kevin Haggerty regarded by some as erratic. That’s the 112th. In the 115th, the successor to Ed Staback has become complicated. Frank Farina who was touted as a “ggod guy” by the Bob Harper ad agency now seems to have been arrested three times. Steve Corbett produced the Court documents while Farina joined him on the air today and the guy was utterly incredible. When one gets charged, arrested and goes to court, that’s something you never forget!! I was a witness in a few trials both civil and criminal and I remember everything. The scary thing is Farina didn’t seem to remember anything And as a politician failed miserably by not even telling a credible lie. His opponent is Randy Castellani who quit as County Commissioner because quite frankly he didn’t have Joe Corcoran pulling his strings. So do we want a "quitter" who says he was glad he got out while the getting was good or a "frat boy" who can't even remember the significance of being arrested? Then we have Kevin Murphy who says he completed the class requirements but didn’t receive a diploma. Did he flunk gym? Did he not pay a bill? The depressing part of this is that there are good citizens with wonderful credentials who won’t run because they don’t have the fire power or the political flunkies to do their bidding. Maybe if Lackawanna County would start electing woman as State Representatives, the citizens might be better off. At least in battle scarred Luzerne County, we do know Karen Boback, Phyllis Mundy and Tarah Toohil graduated from somewhere!! God save us! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..but not really that the investigation into the Tyler Winstead shooting has hit an impasse. There’s a story aching to be told here but details into this tragedy are moving slowly. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that people wonder why we have no jobs around here? Look at our Chamber of Commerce. They’re down to 4 staff members. Too bad the Chamber had a series of high paid CEOs that did little or nothing to bring industry here. It’s convenient to blame the recession but they sucked at economic development when times were good. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that poison ivy and poison oak are not an oak at all. They are part of the cashew family. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the Shenandoah School teachers are miffed that Tom Corbett is having a fundraiser in their hometown. Seems the Education cuts got twenty of them laid off and now they’re pouting about it. The teachers unions should wake up and realize that layoffs happen and their protections are not immune from a cost cutting Governor. Reality check folks, reality check! 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…… people who try and run away from police. What is the point? They are going to catch you. At least most of the time. You put others in danger by trying to drive through two counties and injuring a bunch of people. If you run, I think the cops have every right to just kill you dead. Just for aggravating every innocent bystander and police officer. 
 MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that the exit of the New York Yankees franchise has begun. Team President Kristin Rose who was nothing but a flunky put in by Mandalay quit this week. She used the old stand by line, “I want to be closer to my family”. So where’s her new job? Walmart? Did she open up a day care center? Try out for the police force? Nope, she’s working for Mandalay, the same company associated with the Yanks. Well at least they take care of their people insuring them of soft landings. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that my buddy L.A. Tarone just keeps on getting more and more calls 0on his Sunday show on WILK. People just love L.A. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that President Obama essentially killed the United States Space program after promising the workers in Florida that he was for them in the 2008 campaign. This is the candidate I’ll likely be stuck voting for but for a guy who is supposed to embrace science, this decision is really disgusting. It is incidents like this that make me so angry at the Democrats who turned their back on Hillary Clinton that year. I get sick thinking of normally intelligent political. operatives that had stars in their eyes like a little girl seeing her first “Barbie Doll” at Christmas. They feared the skirt and got an empty suit.
A working girl stiffed by U.S. Government workers. 
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the cheap government workers, Secret Service men didn’t want to pay this poor little girl the money she was asking. What, are they against women working their way through college in an unusual manner?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Lulac Edition #2029, April 19th, 2012

Is Paul Ryan anti American???


Representative Paul Ryan is a pro life faker. There, someone had to say it. This pipsqueak that talks about being oh so Roman Catholic and oh so American has a secret he is hiding from the American people. In his budget, which Mitt Romney will no doubt support, Ryan takes away pre natal care for immigrant women who do not have their citizenship, are waiting for their papers or are illegal. Now I’m sure there are enough people out there that will say we should not give health care benefits to illegals. Well, we already do and its called the Emergency Room. Hey, I’m all for treating them there and giving them a bus ticket out of town. But this prenatal thing is tricky. Because when you deny prenatal care to an immigrant woman on U.S. soil, you are denying health care to a prospective American citizen. That’s the law. Unless of course you want to declare the fetus living in the womb as a non citizen and therefore a non person. Then of course you are no longer pro life. Ryan says volunteer organizations  and churches should take up the slack and provide the prenatal care. With what? The feds are cutting money for programs for the poor as well as the states. Ryan wants to deny health care to the unborn children. I thought he was pro life? Doesn’t life begin at conception, right? Isn’t Paul Ryan by virtue of his oath as a Congressman required to protect and defend all U.S. citizens? Paul Ryan is a hypocritical lawmaker that tells you how much he loves God and how moral he is. Then he turns around and screws the very least of his brethren. 

Matt Cartwright, and incumbent Tim Holden, candidates for Congress in the new 17th. 


Tim Holden is a desperate man who wants to hold on to power. The former Sheriff has come out guns blazing against Matt Cartwright because he has grown accustomed to the place called Washington, D.C. But his desperation is starting to show. And because of that, Matt Cartright will become your next Congressman. Here’s the latest from the Cartwright office on the incredible attack ad Holden made on Cartwright, his client and the entire legal profession. Matt Cartwright had a client named Michele Kachurak, a young woman who underwent a hysterectomy and 12 rounds of increasingly harsh chemotherapy over eight months, yet never had cancer. A simple urine test made this apparent, yet the doctor did not make this known, allowing her continue the treatment. The ordeal made national news, because the same urine test led to other such women suffering life-threatening, needless treatment. Tim Holden references this case in his latest TV ad, implying that a campaign donation from the Cartwright law firm four years prior to the trial led to the jury verdict and that later criminal charges against the judge in an unrelated matter should be tied to Matt Cartwright. Holden later today said that he would suspend negative ads and only run positive TV spots until Election Day.
The late Dick Clark and his top ten list.


He was a part of 53 of the 58 years of my life. I remember watching Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Show in black and white when I was just a kid. I used to imitate the do wop groups in second grade when we changed subjects in class and got in a whale of trouble. Someone the word homonym sounded like a sound that would come out of the mouths of the Drifters or the Elegants. I bought Dentyne and Clearasil because he said so. My sister bought the Noxema and the latest teen shampoo. I breathlessly followed the top ten every week and compared it to the Mighty 590s and a homemade version I concocted with St. John the Baptist school mate Drew Wasko. Throughout high school and college, my viewing was less regular but not any more passionate. Clark’s foray into game shows was thoroughly enjoyed by members of my family’s older generation. Ever since I was 7, I pretty much hated New Year’s Eve. Why say goodbye what you know and then wildly celebrate the unknown? It never made sense to me. But I always spent the Countdown with Dick Clark. When the stroke happened and ignorant people said he should just shuffle off the stage, I saw his performance as a statement of courage to every person who was told they weren’t good enough or should just be quiet because they weren't perfect. Dick Clark died yesterday at the age of 82. He was part of our lives. Promoter, impresario, game show host and pitchman. Dick Clark was big. How big you ask? Tonight at 7PM on WVIA FM’s “All That Jazz”, George Graham, the non commercial radio guru of all time played a tribute to Clark. It was the original bandstand boogie. That’s big. 




Two weeks ago there was a stabbing on North Main Street in Wilkes Barre. There was a big alcohol party in the house that used to be owned by former Congressional candidate Donald Ayers, a chiropractor. (Ayers used to run against Flood regularly). The house is now filled with students. Neighbors told me there was a near riot in the streets. WBRE TV reported. Since then………..nothing. I wonder why.



This week Shadoe Steele’s guest on “Saturday Night Live at the Oldies is . Tune in from 7pm to midnight with ABC News at the top of the hour. Steele interviews Vicki Lawrence of "The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia" fame and then at 9PM, his interview with the late Dick Clark is featured. This is must hear radio this Saturday night!!! 


The University of Scranton has some exciting public events coming up at the end of April and Stan Zygmunt from the school's Public Relations Department will join ECTV Live hosts Tom Munley and David DeCosmo during the week of April 23rd to talk about those happenings! The program can be seen on Comcast Ch19 throughout the week at Noon and Midnight and at 6pm as scheduling allows. ECTV Live is now in its third year on Electric City Television.


Brian Hughes speaks with the Rev. Ronald Weeks from the Keystone Rescue Mission, located in Scranton & Wilkes Barre, about their work with the poor, and how you can help. Brian speaks with Dr. Lisa Glasser about having your children immunized from diseases. Magic 93’s Frankie in the Morning speaks with Megan Davis from the Wilkes Barre YMCA about their Healthy Kids Day Celebration next Saturday at the Y. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on Great Country 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X and 6:30am on Magic 93 & WARM 590 AM. 


The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) has announced its coverage for the upcoming state primary on Tuesday, April 24. The network’s LIVE coverage will begin at 8:00 p.m. PCN will have reports from the headquarters of key statewide races. The network will once again be partnering with the PA Business Council for election numbers throughout the evening. Several political experts will provide in-studio commentary and analysis of the election numbers. A list of guests scheduled to appear at the PCN studio during the network’s coverage is as follows: Tuesday, April 24: 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: TJ Rooney, Isenhour Rooney Strategies/former chair of the Democratic State Committee and Alan Novak, Novak Strategic Advisors/ former chair of the Republican State Committee 9:00 p.m.: - 11:00 p.m.: Chris Borick, director of the Institute of Public Opinion at Muhlenberg College 10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.: Charlie Gerow of Quantum Communications and Tony May of Triad Strategies Results from the state primary will be discussed during the LIVE PCN Call-In program at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25. Viewers can share their comments and questions by dialing toll-free at 1-877-PA6-5001. Callers will be able to speak directly to the scheduled guests including David LaTorre of LaTorre Communications and Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham. 


PCN pulls out the heavy hitters for a pre election roundtable. Check your local Cable TV listings or the PCN website. This week's guests are John Baer, from the Philadelphia Daily News, Jon Delano, KDKA TV and Heather Long (one of the LuLac "Women We Love" winners from 2011) from the Harrisburg Patriot.


 Greece is taken over by a military dictatorship led by George Papadopoulos; future-Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou political prisoner to December 25. An outbreak of tornadoes strikes the upper Midwest section of the United States (in particular the Chicago area, including the suburbs of Belvidere and Oak Lawn, Illinois, where 33 people are killed and 500 injured)......A group of young radicals are expelled from the Nicaraguan Socialist Party (PSN). This group goes on to found the Socialist Workers Party....After the launch of Soyuz 1: Vladimir Komarov becomes the first Soviet cosmonaut to die, when the parachute of his space capsule fails during Pennsylvania the Phillies get final approval to move out of Connie Mack stadium…… Wilkes Barre, the Elks honor Mine Secretary H. Beecher Charmbury. A whole host of politicos running in the 1967 election and who have plans for 1968 attend the event…..and 45 years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “Something Stupid” by Frank Sinatra and his daughter Nancy.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2028, April 18th, 2012

"Write On Wednesday" logo. 


Yet another very simple coincidence 

The Citizen’s Voice weighed in on the part time $300.00 an hour hiring of J.J. Murphy. With the upcoming Attorney General’s race as well as the past ethical actions of the Leighton administration, well let’s just say the connections here are staggering. And deserve to be repeated. From the April 15th edition of the Voice: It all must be a coincidence. Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton says he had nothing to do with former city administrator and Leighton ally J.J. Murphy landing a lucrative $300-per-hour consulting job with the city Parking Authority. Sure, Murphy is conducting research to determine if the authority should lease its garages and parking meters to a private firm - a study Murphy recommended to Leighton last winter. Just coincidence. And the fact that Murphy touted his brother's law firm, Fox Rothschild, to oversee the study? Come on, it's a coincidence. So Leighton reportedly pressures the semi-autonomous authority to hire Fox Rothschild, which turns around and hires Murphy? Just quit with the crazy conspiracy theories already. Leighton would never play such political games to benefit his political allies. And he'd do everything out in the open just to ensure there's no funny business. Like the time he hired his kids and all those other nice kids from his neighborhood in South Wilkes-Barre for city summer jobs without advertising them. The state Ethics Commission said that was OK because he had an underling do the actual hiring. Or the time he spent more than $14,000 in city money to install high-tech security systems at his house and Murphy's without any public disclosure. The state Attorney Generals' Office said no harm, no foul, and you know the city can be a dangerous place. Or the time he bought three fire engines with $860,000 from an anonymous donor, but told the press and public the money came from the general fund, community development money and the city's emergency services tax. Well, no body's been able to figure that one out, but those engines are still protecting you and your property, so don't be ungrateful. Anyway, leasing the garages and meters to a for-profit entity might be good for Wilkes-Barre's bottom line. And it would be awfully mean to suggest that the thousands of dollars in campaign cash Leighton got from Fox Rothschild would play any role in his, uh, urging the parking authority to hire the firm. Don't be such a cynic.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2027, April 17th, 2012

State Representative Ken Smith of the 112th. 


 Kevin Haggerty seems to be making some enemies in his race for State Representative in the 112th Legislative Race against incumbent Ken Smith. Haggerty has not been forthcoming about certain details of his life while Smith is playing the fiddle of sorrow and telling anyone who would listen how much he is debt and why voters should feel sorry for him. If I were a voter in the 112th, I'd take my chance on Haggerty. Here’s why: When Ken Smith owned his restaurant he played fast and loose with the lives and well being of his employees. This excerpt from the Scranton Times says it all; Those liens include unpaid sales tax at various times between March 2009 and June 2011, as well as the state personal income tax and unemployment tax the business withheld from employees from January 2010 through June 2010, but did not remit to the state. That means that when his employees who helped run his business went to do their taxes and collect, NOTHING WAS THERE. Much has been said about former Lackawanna County Commissioner Bob Cordaro who is now serving a jail term. Cordaro did wrong but to my knowledge, when Cordaro had private businesses, no employee was ever left holding the bag. Smith has not paid anything on loans or back taxes except on his own property. Here’s my question, how can the voters in the 112th elect a Representative so far in debt that in any other business he’d be considered a security risk? How can the voters put a guy in office who so mismanaged his finances that he is trusted with taxpayer funds? And finally, if any of the voters in the 112th had such outstanding loans, would they get a pass from the community? Kenny Smith should never be confused with George Bailey. His restaurant might have been a Scranton institution but it was a for profit business. A business supported by employees who deserved better than to have the well dry when they went to put their lives together after his business went under. Smith might be in debt, but he's making over $70,000 a year in tax payer dollars. Did his former employees land on their feet as well as he did? I think not. Ken Smith will tell you he’s a Democrat but man his actions are more like the Wall Street big business people that put themselves first and the little guy way down the line. Haggerty might have some question marks which he needs to address but he does not have Ken Smith’s record of irresponsibility. Smith might tell talk radio and his campaign events that he had bad luck in this economy......I get that. But he's not the only one. And I have yet to see what he brought back to his district that can tell voters he is worth keeping.


The Scranton Area postal workers are coming out for Matt Cartwright. A press release from the campaign states, The Scranton area’s local postal union, Local #101 of the American Postal Workers Union, threw its support behind Matt Cartwright today. The decision to endorse Cartwright’s candidacy comes following a unanimous vote of local membership “I am very pleased to accept the endorsement of the Postal Workers Union that represents the countless dedicated public service employees throughout my district,” said Matt Cartwright. “Their support is indicative of the widespread support my campaign has sought and received as we have worked to reach out to directly to the voters of the 17th District,” Cartwright continued. The Postal Workers endorsement was based upon Cartwright’s platform on job creation and retention for working class families and a pledge to ensure that the U.S. Postal Service does not impact local jobs as it seeks to reorganize. As Kevin Gallagher, President of Local #101, states in a letter announcing the endorsement, “We need someone who will fight for our Area and middle class families and to keep decent paying jobs in our Area... including the Scranton mail procession plant.” Matt Cartwright is a Democrat, running for Congress in the 17th Congressional District, which now includes parts of Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe and Northampton Counties, as well as all of Schuylkill County. Cartwright is running for Congress to bring jobs to Northeast Pennsylvania, and make sure that corporations and wealthy Americans pay their fair share of taxes.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2026, April 16th, 2012

Health Care Reform logo. 


Sunday I heard a former candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate say on L.A. Tarone’s weekend radio show that the Affordable Health Care Act will scare doctors away from practicing. That is wrong. Talk to most doctors and they’ll tell you that the most clean way to do business is with a single payer system. Doctors have to follow the rules and regulations of the Insurance companies. With Medicare, the government pays for 80% of care. 20% is not covered. If the patient does not have a supplemental plan to cover that percentage, they pay. The variety of plans that are out there now increase the overhead of docto’s offices. That hasn’t happened and will not happen because of “Obamacare”, it happens because of the regulations of the insurance contractors. In the 90s, there was a big scare in Pennsylvania about our state losing doctors. That hasn’t happened. But there is an inequity in the way insurance companies pay doctors. When I had my cancer surgery in 2008, the insurance carrier paid the doctor who essentially saved my life $1400! The Affordable Health Care Act is designed to adopt an 80/20 rule for insurance companies. That means they are mandated to pay 80% for patient insurance and claims and hold down administrative costs at 20%. You want to know the real reason behind the great opposition to the Obama Health Care law? Take a look at that 80/20 component and you’ll see the insurance companies weren’t happy with that 20% cap. And it is unfortunate that two years after the fact, people are still using scare tactics when it comes to health care for Americans.
11th Congressional Democratic candidate Bill Vinsko.  


11th Congressional candidate Bill Vinsko has received full treatment from The Wall Street Journal in his presumed race against Lou Barletta in the fall. Vinsko has to get through the Democratic primary against Gene Stilp but is considered the favorite. Here’s the press release from the Journal: Bill Vinsko is running for Congress to be the voice of the People. As the Wall Street Journal points out on its front page today, certain Republicans who are decision-makers on federal redistricting in Pennsylvania admit it was done merely to protect Lou Barletta From the Article written by Naftali Bendavid today: "[Republicans] began to focus on bolstering endangered incumbents...To help Mr. Barletta, GOP leaders shifted two Democratic-leaning cities, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, out of his district…GOP leaders took one wedge out of Mr. Barletta's 11th congressional district that Democrats say looks drawn specifically to exclude the home of Mr. Barletta's leading challenger, Bill Vinsko." "State Senate Republican Leader Dominic Pileggi makes no apologies for using redistricting to bolster GOP incumbents in [Pennsylvania]...He added that redistricting doesn't guarantee a winner in the fall. 'A lot depends on the quality of the candidates.’ The Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story today that perfectly illustrates how far the GOP leaders will go in order to cement their power in the U.S. House of Representatives so that they can advance an agenda that does not create jobs and hurts our seniors by gutting Medicare. Bill Vinsko was the first-declared Democratic candidate last July to represent Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District. He has never run for public office before and believes that Washington D.C. needs to start getting things done for all Americans. Representatives in Washington need to represent the public interest and not special interests. It is time for the people to have a say in their government. “This is a prime example of the extreme partisanship that has really hurt the United States and the people of Pennsylvania,” said Bill Vinsko, “Our campaign will bring back the voice of the people to Washington, and a fulfill a promise to protect Medicare and Social Security, not just for the Greatest Generation but for every generation that follows. I am also firmly committed to creating sustainable jobs and opportunities for all Americans. It’s time we elect people to Congress who have a plan for our future.” “Republican State Senator Pileggi and I are in complete agreement,” said Bill Vinsko, “Redistricting doesn’t guarantee a win because the quality and character of a candidate matters more to the people and I firmly believe that in this election the integrity of our campaign and the strength of our message will win the day with the people of Northeast and Central Pennsylvania.”

State Representative Phyllis Mundy and Congressional candidate Matt Cartwright. 


Matt Cartwright was feted at a great event hosted by State Representative Phyllis Mundy the other day. The event drew about 200 people I’m told and contained many committed Democrats who are rolling up their sleeves for the Moosic Democrat. Cartwright’s ads in the meantime have put him front and center as the Democrat running as a Democrat in the Democratic primary for the newly formed 17th Congressional District. Cartwright has had small events like this where died in the wool local Dems are coming out to lend his effort a hand.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The LuLac Edition #2025, April 15th, 2012

Mitt Romney doing a reverse Nancy Reagan on his wife Ann. (Photo AP)


When Obama political operative Hillary Rosen made the comment that Mitt Romney’s wife never worked a day in her life and therefore has no idea how a modern woman deals with everyday life, she must have been thinking of the 19 point spread President Obama has over the presumed GOP nominee. But a 19 point lead can evaporate in little time. The comments were both reckless and ironic. Reckless because Rosen was poking at a dangerous constituency with a stick and ironic because she herself is a working mother. The GOP was battered and bruised with women during this primary campaign. With Rick Santorum running around talking about his personal views on conception and Romney pointing to all the stuff his wife owns because of his wealth, most working women were in no mood to give the Republican party a vote. But the remarks by Rosen became a lifeline to the GOP among the women’s vote. The most hard charging, cold, hard edged business woman will always have a place in their heart (most anyway) for their own mothers. For years, women have defended their rights to be in the workplace which for many was a long, hard slog against sexism. But those same women have defended stay at home moms because they recognize that too is a hard job with little pay. Now a guy like Mitt makes it easy with three homes and multiple Cadillacs but the premise is the same. Raising kids is hard work. Most of the modern day working women I’ve come in contact with perform a delicate balance that is awe inspiring. But those women choosing not to work fill in the gaps in community volunteer posts that working mothers can’t participate in. For so long, women have been told what to do, how to think, how to feel. During the 70s a solidarity was built for women who were tired of those actions that made them feel “less thans”. Now that the fight is somewhat equal, women in the workplace are coming to defense of women who choose to stay at home. Notice how quickly Hillary Rosen  backtracked. She cancelled all appearances on the Sunday morning shows and if the Obama White House is smart, they’d distance themselves from her remarks. Attacking Ann Romney who made a choice, and the women’s movement always used to tell us it was all about choice, was really stupid. Ann Romney raised 5 sons and suffers from a pretty tough disease, multiple sclerosis. There are many who are Ann Romney supporters precisely because she does what nearly every wife does: make her husband look better and credible. I mean look at Mitt, the guy is pretty much a wooden character that doesn’t seem to have an authentic bone in his body. But look at the photos of them together. He obviously adores her and after 42 years is loyal to her. (Mitt is no Donald Trump amassing millions along with wives, women, trust me, like that aspect of his character!) This remark might not damage the Obama effort in the long run. But the road to 270 is going to be precarious for the President this fall. Any shift toward Romney among women will be huge. For every reason not to pull the lever for Romney, pro life, a dismal record of women executives at Bain Capital as well as the nods and winks he gave to the comments made by Santorum and Newt Gingrich during the primary, Hillary Rosen’s comments have opened up a small window of opportunity. The Democrats have been saying the GOP has a war on women. It’s kind of hard to make that case when a high level media adviser to the President comes out with a howitzer aimed at the very base of the Republican party. Every working woman I know is friends with a mother who has stayed at home at one point in their lives. Some temporary, some forever. Before any side opens their mouth, they better think of one thing, how it will affect the number 270.