The LuLac Edition #2198, September 16th, 2012
LUNCH AT THE COOL KID'S TABLE
I received a few reports last week that County Manager Bob Lawton sat down for a lunch meeting with County Council member Edd Brominski and Pat Solano, the long time power broker of the local GOP. A few of my Democratic friends were concerned because they didn’t want the County Council getting infected with partisan party politics and having the local GOP getting a leg up. (As if that can never happen!) Here are my thoughts:
1. It’s a free country and anyone can have lunch with anybody anywhere. But given the past sins of Luzerne County government, all sins might have been forgiven but rarely forgotten. Any thing out of the ordinary is under a microscope.
2. Edd Brominski having lunch with Lawton is one thing but having Solano there can be interpreted a few ways. Loyal Democrats will say that Solano’s presence there might be a signal that the more things change, the more they stay the same. But Brominski has always been a renegade Democrat who has always gone his own way. I mean that’s part of the charm of Edd Brominski. Remember, Brominski ran for County Controller in the 2009 primary in a field of five including the eventual winner Walter Griffith. So it is not unusual for Brominski to get Lawton and Solano together. In watching his career for over 35 years, I have observed that Brominski never really burned any bridges behind him. Although he did leave a few smoldering but still intact.
3. Solano was lauded in Governor Corbett’s victory speech as someone who was his key to victory. If you ask me, Solano gets too much political credit for events that were already set in motion. I was struck this summer by a few lines in the late Senator Charles Lemmond’s obituary that said Solano was a responsible party in the Senator’s first election to the Senate. Although it was a tough primary fight, was anyone really going to vote against an ex Judge with sterling credentials over a Resort operator from the Poconos? Although during the 70s he kept the Republican party alive in Luzerne County by cutting deals for jobs with the late Senators Martin L. Murray and T. Newell Wood. If not for his intercession, the GOP might have folded up. And there are those who argue that any political clout that Solano brought to the area did not benefit the regular Joes but the party soldiers and relatives who regularly kissed his ring. And make no mistake, those who didn’t paid huge political consequences.
All that said, with Tom Corbett in power and a GOP controlled House and Senate, it might have been a smart move to introduce Lawton to a “go to” guy in the power corridors of Harrisburg. As the old line about chicken soup goes, “it couldn’t hurt”. And who knows, maybe this was a social lunch. They might have been talking about football, a going away gift for Carolee Olenginski Medico or pointing out the best fall foliage tours for Lawton to take "The Mrs." on. But it is a development worth watching especially since Council members are urged to stay out of the Manager’s way in running the county.