Rated one of Pennsylvania's top blog/sites, the LuLac Political Letter delves into issues of politics on all levels (with special concentration on Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties: thus the name LULAC) and pop culture.
The LuLac Political Letter was also named Best Political Blog of the Year for 2014 by NEPA BLOGCON.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
The LuLac Edition #2004, March 31st, 2012
This Maryland resident is reported to be one of the winning ticket holders. (Satire: not accurate).
SPRING BLOGFEST REVIEW
Spring Blogfest is I the books and a good time was had by all. It was great to see my fellow writers, posters and good friends at Rooney’s in Pittston. Thanks to the Citizen’s Voice and WYLN TV 35 for stopping by and doing a story on the event. The project, like blogs keeps getting bigger and better every year and that is because the people who have blog sites take them as seriously as they do full time jobs and have a commitment to the truth as they see it. While I personally appreciate the support blogs have received from the so called “mainstream” media in this area, there is a long way to go for bloggers getting the recognition they deserve. When a political story breaks in the area or as it relates nationally, the same two Professors at Wilkes and King’s are asked for a comment every time. Why? In terms of political insight, they aren’t any smarter or articulate than anybody in that bar last night. The people who write the blogs are an enormous warehouse of information on all subjects ranging from cooking to geothermal nuclear warfare. I wish the media who now have blogs of their own, inspired by the local trend would utilize the talent that out there right now. It would improve your news product and give you ore variety of opinion. Not to mention opinion that is well informed and topical. (We’ll post photos from blogfest in future editions.) MEGA MILLIONS
I played the game. On my way up to WYLN TV 35 last night for Topic A, I stopped in my favorite convenience store in Drums, Pa. (The Citgo next to the Wendy’s) and bought two tickets. Plus a Coke Zero for Mrs. LuLac and a Third Base hoagie for us to split today for a snack. I’m happy to report that I was one of 33,884 PA players who matched 2 of 5 and the Mega Ball. Why do people play the big game? Precisely because it is the big game. No one wants to be left out, and if lightning strikes lucky, you want to be holding the winning ticket. According to the on line information, I won ten bucks which I am grateful for. My friend Joe Thomas from WILK said on his Facebook page that he’d make a very good rich person. So would I. I’d be the same guy that I am now, but less cranky. I’d most likely be busier than ever because I would set up a trust to give a lot of it away. When the Sunday Dispatch in Pittston was sold to Capitol Cities, the owner and publisher, the late Pidge Watson said something that I’ll never forget. When peppered by well meaning folks about how much he got for the paper, he said it was a fair price. Then he said “Money is a funny thing. If you have more than you really need, you get in trouble. A man can only have one house, he can only drive one car at a time, have so many clothes and can only eat and drink so much. Once you get past a million bucks, you get into dangerous areas. You spend not because of something you want, but you spend just because you can. Then you get into Michael Jackson territory when you’re buying llamas and corpses of people….just because you can”. I never forgot that and I believe that is the reason why I’d be a sane rich guy. But with my ten bucks, I’m going to have to resort to another quote from another wise man, this one, a fictional character, Tevye from “Fiddler On the Roof”, "Lord who made the lion and the lamb, You decreed I should be what I am. Would it spoil some vast eternal plan? If I were a wealthy man."
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Mitt Romney has a 49% disapproval rating among likely voters. That is nearly half of the voting population who essentially say you stink! Arlen Specter had a 40% disapproval rating and that was very hard to fight and come back from. Unless Romney makes a bold choice for Vice President, he is going to be toast. MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the GOP mainstream seems to be lining up behind Romney despite the misgivings. The latest nod came from former President George H. W. Bush. MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that the typewriter was invented 145 years ago in Milwaukee in 1867. MAYBE I’M AMAZED….. that it took a basketball legend, Magic Johnson to save the storied franchise of baseball, them bums, the Dodgers. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Attorney Tony Lupas was using the old walker when he went to federal court yesterday. Hey, I use implements like a cane but he looked like he could out run me in a footrace. MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that WBRE TV is finally going to simulcast its news product with WYOU TV. It will be two years that local news was jettisoned from Channel 22 after they virtually wrote the book on local news since TV started around here. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..at the total ignorance and stupidity that I hear and see concerning the Health Care law. The other day I heard a guy on Sue Henry that claimed to be a doctor from Hazleton who boohooed and said Obama shut his practice down. He also said that the Affordable Health Care Act was going to have doctors that were friends of Obama’s prosper and others would be left in the cold. When he started to talk about Nazis, that’s when I put on Dan Patrick. And then there was this gem from the Citizen’s Voice comment line: “This is a attempt to insure 30 Million undocumented immigrants and have the average taxpayer pick up the tab. Government is forcing individuals to become a part of this scheme or be penalized. We are losing more freedoms everyday this guy is still in office. Sad day for America if this becomes law”. What an outrageous lie. Where the hell does this dope come up with 30 million undocumented immigrants? Hey guy, there are 65 million women wearing mini skirts on any given day in Southern California. I’m saying it so it must be act! And where are we losing our freedoms every day? What border are we stopped at when we go to another state? Has anyone knocked on your door to inspect your home? Has anyone asked to see your proof of citizenship? Losing our freedoms? I am so tired of the ignorance that brings out the morons who feel compelled to share it with the rest of us. MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that when I go on Facebook or write about the positive aspects of the health care law, I get no response from the right wingers out there who think this will be the decline of America. I just don’t get it, they write a blank check to wage two wars but all of a sudden get religion on dollars and cents when it comes to health care. MAYBE I’M AMAZED….that Bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs has outlived moist of his country and western contemporaries. Scruggs was a mainstay on the rand Old Opry and became famous with his rendition of the Beverley Hillbillies theme song.
This week's special commemorative issue of Newsweek on the Beatles. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Newsweek has a special 11 dollar commemorative issue on the very first release in 1962 of the Beatles. It’s great. The very first release, “Love Me Do”. By the way, if you want to hear an excellent program on the Fab Four, tune in the Beatleed Hour on WRKC FM 88.5 every Friday night at 7pm.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..Pope Benedict XVI demanded more freedom for the Catholic Church in communist-run Cuba and preached against “fanaticism” in an unusually political sermon before hundreds of thousands at Revolution Plaza, with President Raul Castro in the front row. Later, the president’s brother, revolutionary leader Fidel, grilled the pontiff on changes in church liturgy and his role as spiritual leader of the world’s Catholics. Fidel drilling the pontiff on religion? They should have stuck to baseball. Darryl Hannah and Payton Leigh. Gort, Valenti, Jenkins and I are trying to raise airfare for these two to come to Blogfest tonight. A smiling Mike Stone and Megan Piper on his computer. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…….that Mike Stone, a senior at Tartan High in Oakdale, a St. Paul suburb, used Twitter to invite Megan Piper, an adult film star, to accompany him to the big dance, ie his Senior Prom. She was down with that - provided the teen would pay her airfare. Then school district officials got wind of Stone's plan and told him to try another date option. You have to love school officials, their answer to the kid, officially, you cannot bring a "non-Tartan student" to the prom without school approval. Oh there you go! That makes perfect sense. Meanwhile Piper who never went to her own prom wanted to go and the erstwhile teen is trying to raise the money for the porn star to visit. Only in America.
Bruce Simpson, member of the County Ethics Board and Controller Walter Griffith.
CHARTER FLAP OVER ETHICS
When the new County form of government took shape, one of the hallmarks of the Charter was the establishment of an Ethics Board that would rule on complaints received by the board. Sounds pretty straight forward doesn’t it? You have a body in place that hears a complaint, investigates it, acts on it and passes it on to the appropriate authorities. How hard is that? But only in Luzerne County can this become a big, overblown magilla. Here’s the scoop…..the Ethics Chair was out of town this past week as was the County Manager. Controller Walter Griffith then informed Ethics Board member Bruce Simpson that he was Acting Chair of the council. Simpson received a directive from the Chairman of the Luzerne County Council to turn over the Ethics Code work that had been done to date, as it was never the intention of Council to have the Ethics Commission write the code. That is plainly the job of the Council. On previous votes by the Commission, it was determined to ignore the requests of the Council for the work product in progress. Simpson complied with the directive of the head of the Luzerne County Government and turned over the draft Ethics document so that the council could do their job. They needed a few days to review what had been done to date in order to be better prepared for the Council work sessions scheduled for April 2, and 3. A message from the Vice-Chair of the County Council to the members of the Ethics Commission thanked the group for their work and welcomed further input as Council moved forward to approving the Code once formally present by the County Manager. Vice-Chair then went on to say, thank you, we have the document now and will begin our work on the document. Since the ACE Commission was formed to conduct investigations and issue findings, the Commission exceeded its mandate by tying up the Ethics Code beyond the requests to turn it over. The ACE Commission was never meant to write the Code or do a final document. In view of that message, Simpson, Acting Chair, canceled this weeks meeting of the three remaining members of the Commission as technically there was no lawful work for it to do. Both Griffith and the D.A. were informed of the Acting Chairs decision, with which Griffith objected and stated he would show up anyway. Since it takes three to make a quorum, no lawful business could be conducted.During this entire process, the Chair of the ACE Commission threatened to publicly censure Simpson if he turned over the document to Council. Remember, this is a document the Council is entitled too and not some secret report that they are not. Simpson feels that this is one of the problems of government today; a lack of cooperation between government entities. Since the mission statement of the Ethics Commission was not approved by the Council or the County Manager as written in the code, Simpson felt that there was no need to call a meeting before April 28th. Why is that date important? Since the code will not be passed until on or before April 28th, it isn't possible to gather to investigate anything until such time as there is a final code from County Council, the final drafter of the Code. Simpson has said that he will absent himself from any meetings since there is essentially no work to do. If you look at the County Charter section on the Ethics Commission, he is absolutely right. From the Charter: Section 9.02 -- PROCEDURE FOR ADOPTION. "Within four months after the effective dare of the Charter, the County Manager shall propose and submit to County Council an Accountability, Conduct, and Ethics Code for the County government consistent with the provisions, spirit, and purpose of the Charter. County Council shall adopt an Accountability, Conduct, and Ethics Code by ordinance with or without amendments within two months after its submission by the County Manager. If County Council fails to do so, the Accountability, Conduct, and Ethics Code as proposed by the County Manager shall stand adopted and shall become effective immediately. County Council may amend the Accountability, Conduct, and Ethics Code by ordinance." Controller Walter Griffith has gotten involved in this saying that Simpson was not designated as the acting Chair, even though there are two e-mails in which Griffith makes that conclusion. Griffith then threatened to commandeer any meetings Simpson will attempt to chair. But as mentioned here, Simpson doesn’t think there needs to be a meeting since there are no complaints and no work rules.Griffith I’m told is now petitioning to get Simpson off the Ethics Commission. Why? First he doesn’t want him as Vice Chairman, then the guy (Simpson) says there is no need for a meeting and now Griffith is doing an end run on the Ethics Board to get rid of a duly appointed member? C’mon guys, get out of the sandbox! I like Walter, I gave money to his campaign in 2009 for Controller in the primary when he was being ganged up by the sorry excuse of a political party that he belongs to. But I’m sorry Mr. Simpson and especially Mr. Griffith, there are bigger fish to fry than trying to have a debate on the Ethics Commission which has no complaints and therefore no work to do! How about tackling those audits so the next time an Attorney and crony of a Judge tries to over bill the county you at least notice it. Sheesh! DUH, I DUNNO!
The new District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis addressed the County Council the other night. It was an interesting insight into the way she thinks. Salavantis gave a report to the county council on her office’s finances and operations. The DA has a loss of $295,935 or 5 percent less than last year. Because of that shortfall, she can’t fill 5 vacant positions for badly needed prosecutors. So Council Chair Jim Bobeck asks whether Salavantis might consider not rehiring the overpaid county detectives in the DA’s office to come up with the money for the prosecutors. And according to the Citizen’s Voice, Salavantis said, “She attended the meeting to discuss "operations and finances" and was there "really not to discuss whether I should hire, fire or reallocate how my employees are run." I know the DA went to law school, college and high school. And she most likely got her education by making sure she passed her tests, or the tests mandated by her educational superiors. That answer proved what is a hallmark of this generation of twenty somethings, “If it wasn’t on the test or in the script, we’re not going off message”. Impressive politically but really sad for an administrator. WHAT A CREW!
I support the Affordable Health Care Act passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2010. Reluctantly. I think it doesn’t go far enough and wasn’t effectively communicated from the get go by the brain trust in the White House. I was a Hillary Clinton supporter and thought that she was the only Democratic candidate in the 2008 race with a set on her. And Obama, time and time again has proved me right. Yeah I know he killed Bin Laden and yeah I know he saved GM. But this team has to better communicate the reason why this bill is good. Before the freaking Supreme Court of the United States of America , this administration sent a Solicitor General that seemed shocked and surprised that he was arguing before the Supreme Court. When I was on the debate team at St. John’s in the early 1970s, I was told my the Debate Coach, Sister Mary Pio that a debate is won the day you frame an argument advantageous to your side. Why the government did not cite precedents I do not know. The Solicitor General could have said that as far back as the very first administration, more than 235 years ago the very first Congress (which included 20 framers of the Constitution), passed a law requiring shipowners to buy medical insurance for seamen. The law was signed by President George Washington. Congress followed this with a 1792 law requiring all able-bodied citizens to buy a firearm, and a 1798 law requiring seamen to buy hospital insurance for themselves. Today, there are a host of affirmative federal duties to buy things. For example, federal law requires corporations to hire independent auditors, and requires unions to buy insurance bonds in case their officers engage in fraud. You could say the federal duty was imposed on persons who are already engaged in some commerce. But that is also true of everyone subject to the health-insurance mandate, because all of us buy or sell something. And yet in each case, Congress required people to enter into commerce in a different market than the one in which they voluntarily operate, which is precisely what the health-care law’s challengers claim makes this mandate “unprecedented.” Just because the opponents say it is unprecedented, does not make it so! After listening to the audio tapes, I just think the administration should have had the Solicitor General go on the offensive in this matter instead of being scolded and manipulated by all of the Justices on the Court. Bad, bad strategy.
The remnants of the recently torn down Sacred Heart Church in Plains. Was the chair an usher's or a Bishop's? It doesn't much matter now dies it!
The old Sacred Heart Church in Plains as it stood for over 100 years.
SACRED HEART GONE
Well another Catholic Church has bitten the dust. Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, up on North Main Street in Wilkes Barre is gone. Demolished, Kaput. Leveled. The Church was over 100 years old and was part of the Parish Community of Plains which included St. Joseph’s in Hudson and Sts. Peter and Paul in Plains. The church was closed a few years ago, the siding was stripped off and now it is gone. Not a word from anyone about this. Why am I not surprised.
The outside of PNC Field in Moosic blocked off to traffic. This is the only construction we see going on.
Looks like you can’t even go into the Stadium at PNC Field in Moosic. The entry ways are blocked. Too bad the Brylcream Boys didn’t get a deal done with the Yankees so construction on the ballpark could have started now that we had this nice mild winter. I know, they’re too busy hiring their friends.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
OF PIES AND LOOPHOLES
With a pie in one hand and a list of tax loopholes in the other, Pennsylvania citizens delivered a message to state lawmakers this week — we can restore cuts that have hurt seniors, children and families without raising taxes. By closing loopholes and delaying tax cuts for corporations, lawmakers can enact a better budget. “Close the loopholes, grow the revenue pie, and make our tax system fair for all,” said Stephen Drachler, executive director of United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania and co-chair of Better Choices for Pennsylvania. “That way we can meet the needs of all our citizens and improve their lives." Better Choices for Pennsylvania, a coalition of organizations working for a responsible state budget, organized the “grow the revenue pie” event Monday, along with the faith community, and advocates for women, school children, college students, and people with disabilities. Volunteer pie deliverers stopped by each lawmaker’s office to drop off a pie and a handout that contrasts existing tax loopholes with funding cuts that could be restored by closing the loophole. In each case, additional revenue could help fund vital services without raising taxes. The handout shows, for example, that funding could be restored for education, colleges, General Assistance, and other health and human services by closing the Delaware loophole, delaying the planned phase-out of the capital stock and franchise tax, and closing other tax loopholes. After delivering the pies to lawmakers, several citizens gathered in the Capitol Rotunda to share their stories. One of them was Jake Fleming of Philadelphia, who said the small General Assistance benefit he received a few years ago saved his life. Fleming was homeless and sick in 2008. After 30 years of addiction, he decided it was time to get help. “I’ve been clean and sober for four years now,” he said. “I’m employed, I’m paying taxes, I’m supporting myself, I’m supporting my 14-year-old daughter.” Fleming said the Governor’s budget, which eliminates the General Assistance program, would be devastating for communities across the state. “Homelessness will skyrocket,” he said. “People seeking treatment in recovery houses and treatment programs will have nowhere to go.” Joseph Martin of Cumberland County found himself homeless last year. Thankfully, a friend gave him shelter while he got back on his feet, but even today his housing costs are close to half his income. “The citizens of the commonwealth need affordable housing available in their communities,” Martin said. “Without a safe and affordable place to live, recovery is hard to find.” More people will end up being hospitalized or incarcerated at higher costs, he added. Schuylkill Haven School District Superintendent Loraine Felker outlined the dramatic impact that state budget cuts for schools have had on her rural Schuylkill County district. “If the state doesn’t change its support for education right now, within three, if we’re lucky four, years, we will be totally bankrupt,” she said. “Education is our future, our students are our future. If we want to have a thriving state 20 years form now, we need to do right by our children now. And that means we have to educate them well.” Dr. Steve Hicks, President of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, raised concerns about budget cuts putting affordable college out of reach for more and more Pennsylvanians. Peg Dierkers, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and co-chair of Better Choices for Pennsylvania, summed up the coalition’s message: “We are here today asking our governor and our state legislature to increase the size of the funding pie. After five years of cuts, families can no longer afford education, get supports they need to go to work every day, to take care of their elderly parents.” Drachler added that it was important that Pennsylvania meet its moral obligation to the hungry and homeless, to people who are sick or disabled, to children and seniors by closing loopholes and funding the services that struggling families need. MEDIA MATTERS
Part 3 of Tiffany Cloud’s interview with Michael W. Cutler. Topic: illegal immigration and the ties to terrorism. Only on WYLN TV or live stream online WYLNTV.com. The show can be seen on WYLN TV 35 @ Th 930p, Sat 5p, Sun 11a, Mon 830p, T 930p. SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
This week the very best in oldies and rock music can be heard on WILK AM & FM. Tune in to Shadoe Steele’s extravaganza from 7pm to midnight with ABC News on the top of the hour. WOMEN TODAY
Liz Tolan hosts Women Today on WYLN TV 35. The show airs everyday at 10AM and is the only locally produced showed by, for and about women. But it’s okay for us guys to watch too. SUNDAY MAGAZINE
This Week on Sunday Magazine: On the 5th anniversary edition of Sunday Magazine. Brian Hughes speaks with Liz Ryan, founder of the Campaign for Youth justice and former prisoner Michael Lawson, who as a teen, spent 3 years in adult prison on whether teens should serve in adult prison. Brian speaks with Lucia Peregrim about her “Sound for Scoliosis” fundraiser. And This Week In Harrisburg looks at Women’s History Month, featuring comments from State Rep. Karen Boback, a discussion on the impact of Governor Corbett’s budget cuts on the State Police, and State Senator John Blake introduces legislation that would insure only licensed social workers can provide social work services in Pennsylvania. 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.
ECTV Live host Judge Tom Munley will enjoy a well deserved vacation during the week of April 2nd. Co-host David DeCosmo, who is just returning from a trip to Florida will take over the anchor seat for the week. He'll welcome representatives from the State Department of Transportation who'll be discussing road work and safety considerations as the Summer driving season approaches. ECTV Live is carried of Comcast Ch19 in the area and can be seen each day at Noon and Midnight with selected 6pm show ins throughout the week. DeCosmo hopes to use video recorded during his latest trip for additional segments of his Travel Time Series on ECTV. With the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic being marked in April, ECTV is also screening a special edition of People, Places, and Things telling of area people who sailed on the doomed ship.
WRKC FM 88.5 award winners, Pictured are are Paul Ofcharsky, Sarah Scinto, Sue Henry, Kelly Caloway and John Ensslin, president, SPJ. KING’S RADIO PEOPLE STAR
88.5 WRKC , King's College, was the recipient of three awards this weekend from the Society of Professional Journalists, Region 1. We received first for best newscast and sports feature reporting and third for best in-depth reporting. From the left are Paul Ofcharsky, Sarah Scinto, Sue Henry, Kelly Caloway and John Ensslin, president, SPJ.
Our 1967 logo.
President Lyndon Johnson signs the Consular Treaty. The treaty provides that the Soviet Union must inform the American consulate whenever the Russian government arrests a U.S. citizen--protection which American businessmen and tourists have never before enjoyed. This protective measure is clearly beneficial. American tourists in Russia outnumber Russian visitors to the U.S. 20 to 1, and the Soviet regime often capriciously arrests and detains Americans for ulterior motives. In return, the United States has agreed to grant all Russian consular officials immunity from criminal prosecution, an outlet that offending Russian officials have always had for all practical purposes. Arrests of Russian non-diplomatic personnel in the U.S. usually lead to retaliatory seizures of Americans in the Soviet Union and often to an exchange. The U.S. can still expel Soviet diplomats suspected of espionage, a penalty more swift than criminal prosecution…….In the city of Philadelphia, District Attorney Arlen Specter campaigns relentlessy for the GOP nomination for Mayor. The Democratic organization is behind incumbent James Tate for another term. Specter is criticized for running for the city’s top jonb midway through his first term as DA…..in Luzerne County, the scaffolding is finally removed from the rotunda of the building. The 1.5 million dollar renovation project is nearing completion…..and 45 years ago the number 1 song in America and LuLac land was “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” by the Monkees.
The Tokens revised an old Steve Lawrence song that got plenty of airplay in 1967.
This week a Wilkes Barre resident wrote a very thoughtful letter to the editor regarding the middle class in America. It is a great take on how those in the middle are being broken down completely by both big big business and heartless government. Editor: Our American history tells us that we got rid of our oppressors and as the years went by people from all over the world came to this beautiful America. There were very smart men who made laws to control these millions of people to make sure that their freedom and liberty was not taken from them. They worked hard to preserve the American way of living. Dictators in the past tried to take all of this but we stood united. Our young men fought and shed blood to preserve our beautiful America. While we were working hard we were creating a middle class of people. We were able to buy a home, send our children to school, take a vacation, invest extra money, buy a car, etc. Our government stepped in when there were labor abuses such as mining, factory sweat shops, working hours and safety conditions, etc. But when these money mongers were making so much money they hired CEOs to run their companies. These CEOs made millions of dollars in bonus money and the looked for any loophole they could find such as keeping money overseas to avoid taxes and sending work overseas to keep profit margins higher and higher. However, there was one obstacle in their way which was the middle class. Oh boy, we could make lots of money on this middle class. There was no corporate social responsibility. Banks, mortgage companies, appliance companies, Wall Street frauds, the housing market, department stores, supermarkets, hospitals, realty companies and oil companies went sky high. I could go on an on. These credit card companies made a fortune. How many times have you heard this remark? "Oh, put it on the card and we will take care of the paperwork." These money mongers had no conscience. Not to mention any names but one president said the following: "Instead of Social Security why not put your money in the stock market?" Wow! Well, we Americans were thrown to the dogs. Greed, debt and dishonorable leaders of our America tore us down. The poor and middle class and the rich are all Americans. But I think there was a backlash. They didn't realize that hurting the middle class, which is the backbone of the nation, would hurt our country. Greed overpowered common sense and the CEOs were exposed with ridiculous bonuses of millions per year. I wonder if a man's life is measured in dollars and cents. How many lives were ruined? I guess money is their god and they don't care who they hurt. Today you have a president who is trying to put a loaf of bread on the table and they are blocking him every which way they can. Give this guy a chance. The president is trying to get us back on track again. He didn't get us into this mess and please don't be racial about our president. We are all made of flesh and blood. Color means nothing. It is what is in your heart that counts. Remember we are a country of many races. No man is an island. Like the man said: Freedom and justice for all and don't forget liberty. That's American and I love it. Dan Pistone Wilkes-Barre
I’ve always been a milestone guy. I think if you stop counting, you stop caring. Your stats are a reflection of who you are, how you play the game, how you work the project. Today, LuLac is presenting its 2,000th edition. Bloggers call them posts but I’ve tried to resist that since starting this site in May of 2006. Every day we try to give you an Edition. A recap of political and pop culture news in our corner of the world. Our goal is to give you a mini newscast or editorial piece every day. Hopefully it will be news you can use, disagree with, get angry over or better yet, have a discussion with someone about something I wrote. We’ve been told some of our editions are too long and wordy. Some days, there’s a lot of news. If you want to keep track, use the scroll button or get out a pencil. Some days, there’s just nothing but the anger and fury. But most days, especially here in LuLac land, the things we write about are so incredibly unbelievable, that I sometimes feel I’m in some type of 60s induced haze. As my good friend Shadoe Steele constantly says, “You can’t make this stuff up”. How true. A huge thanks to all of my readers and posters, to the many friends I’ve met along this journey and to the fine folks who constantly support me in this endeavor. (You guys know who you are! Thanks!) Now we’re past 2,000. As that great American philosopher Ferris Bueller once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”. With the help of our readers and providence, we’ll keep looking around at all of this delicious political garbage……so none of us will miss it. On to 3,000!
Patrick Murphy and Kathleen Kane, candidates for State Attorney General. In the end, will the nomination be worth anything? ENDORSEMENTS FLYING
MURPHY VS KANE AG RACE
Patrick Murphy and Kathleen Kane are duking it out for the race for Attorney General. It is getting to the point that these are dueling endorsements. Iraq war veteran and former prosecutor Patrick Murphy issued the following statement after earning the endorsement of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, which represents 900,000 working families: "I'm honored to earn the support of so many hard working Pennsylvanians. My dad was police officer for 22 years, so I grew up in a union household. And I understand that working families are struggling right now. There is a clear contrast in this race. I've always fought to defend the rights of workers to organize for better wages and working conditions, and as Attorney General I will continue to protect workers and the middle class. But my opponent has refused answer questions about her company's fiercely anti-union positions. Pennsylvanians need to know that their Attorney General will always fight for them. My record is clear. Unfortunately, my opponent's is not.” Murphy said. Clear record or not, Kathleen Kane got the nod of one of big kahuna of the Democratic Party. Former President Bill Clinton said he’s for the Scranton area attorney. Clinton said, "The first elected office I ever held was Attorney-General, so it's a job I know something about. The Attorney General can have an enormous positive impact, so it’s important to elect someone who understands how to use the office and the legal system to protect and advance the lives of Pennsylvanians. Kathleen Kane would make a great Attorney General. She's smart and tough. She's prosecuted more than 3000 cases, protected senior citizens, and put child molesters and violent criminals behind bars,” remarked President Clinton. “Kathleen is a great Democrat who understands that an Attorney General's job is to stand up for consumers and people. I'm proud to endorse my friend Kathleen Kane and I hope she'll become the first woman ever elected Attorney General by the people of Pennsylvania." "Pennsylvania has always been Clinton Country,” said Kane, “so I am energized by the President's endorsement and the momentum it provides my campaign. Moreover, it's an honor to be endorsed by President Clinton, someone who demonstrated the right kind of leadership for Pennsylvania and America. Kane and Murphy are going hammer and tong in this race. Let’s just hope the final outcome isn’t a Pyrrhic victory. The office which first became an elected one in 1980 has never gone to a Democrat. Never. CARTWRIGHT MEET AND GREET
Matt Cartwright for Congress will hold a CONNECT with MATT night at the Polish American Club on Friday, March 30,2012 from 5PM to 7PM. The club is located at the corner of Gibbons and (97)Martin Street in the Hudson section of Plains Township. This event is being hosted by Eileen Sorokas and Tom Shubilla. The public is invited to attend. There will be free refreshments and food.Here's one of Matt's messages:
Convicted State Senator Jane "Mean Girl" Orie. “MEAN GIRL” CONVICTED
Republican state Sen. Jane Orie, accused of using her state-funded legislative staff to perform campaign work for herself and a state judge who’s her sister, was convicted Monday on 14 counts of theft of services, conflict of interest and forgery and likely will be forced from the Senate. Orie, acquitted of 10 other counts including perjury and election code violations, declined to comment after the verdict but appeared to be shaken. Her attorney, William Costopoulos, said after leaving the courtroom “I can tell you we’re disappointed, and there’s no positive spin I can put on it.” Ya think????? A LIBERAL'S SOLUTION
Liberals get a bad rap. We are depicted as mealy mouthed purveyors of socialized bleeding heart clap trap where the victims are always right and always misunderstood. I'm all for feeding the poor and giving people a leg up. I'm all for first and second chances. After the second chance, I'm not that liberal. Did you hear about that guy Allan Randall who went to a grocery store in broad daylight and ate a chicken, opened a drink, ate an apple which he shared with his kids and then threw the bones in a lobster tank? I’m sure you did. I’m sure you also heard he almost ran over a policeman and a store employee and both he and his wife were driving a car with a suspended license. What should be done about this: 1. Put the kids in protective custody. 2. Put him in jail, even if its for retail theft and give him the max. 3. After getting the kids settled in a foster home, evict the couple from the public housing. They have a car but no license to drive it. They have kids but put them in danger. They damage the reputation of a good store and contaminate product. Give both parents a $100.00 bill and a bus ticket to Mississippi. Put a flag on their personal information so that they will not be able to collect any type of welfare/food stamp benefit in the state of Pennsylvania. Problems solved. Drivers with valid licenses safe, kids in a better environment and these sorry sad sacks out of our lives.
Blogfest logo and promo. BLOGFEST-2011 SPRING EDITION
Northeastern Pennsylvania Bloggers will be hosting the 5th semi-annual Blogfest at Rooney's Irish Pub, Friday March 30th at Rooney's Irish Pub, 67 S. Main St., Pittston, PA 18704 starting at 6PM. This is an informal gathering of bloggers, candidates for office, elected officials and anyone interested in politics or blogging. There is no charge for admission. For more information please visit http://gort42.blogspot.com/, , http://nepablogs.blogspot.com/ , http://www.pittstonpolitics.com/news.php?NewsSectionId=1or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570-823-4508. Since it's inception 2 years ago Blogfest has been described as the best political event of the season. No speeches are allowed and the rule is agree to disagree but don't be disagreeable. Many local and statewide candidates will be attending.
MURPHY GETS MORE NODS
Five of Pennsylvania’s largest labor organizations representing nearly 300,000 working families endorsed Iraq war veteran and former prosecutor Patrick Murphy for Pennsylvania Attorney General. The Pennsylvania State Education Association, AFSCME Council 13, AFSCME District Council 47, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals and the United Mine Workers of America District 2 have all officially endorsed Murphy’s campaign. Murphy is now backed by dozens of Pennsylvania labor organizations that represent a total of more than 600,000 members. Labor leaders cite Murphy’s strong record of fighting for working families in their endorsements. “Coming from a union household Patrick Murphy knows the importance of protecting working families,” said AFSCME Council 13 Executive Director David R. Fillman. “And as an Iraq veteran, he knows the value of good leadership and public service.” “Working families in Pennsylvania can trust Patrick Murphy to stand up for them because that’s what he’s always done,” said PSEA President Michael J. Crossey. “Patrick has the leadership and experience to protect the middle class and the rights of workers. He is a friend to educators and we are ready to mobilize our members to get him elected.”
When I worked at Rock 107, getting parking tickets in Scranton was the worst. Plus, the Parking Authority staff during that time, (this was during one of Jimmy Connors' terms ) were the rudest, laziest, mouthiest human being you ever would come into contact with. But when I got pinched for a ticket, I paid it. Not so it seems with State Attorney General candidate Kathleen Kane. The Kane Is Able heiress apparently ran up 15 parking tickets and then got them fixed. Or eliminated. The Magistrate? Scranton Magistrate Alyce Hailstone. My friend Gort 42 reports that the tickets were written between 1998 and 2001 and the dismissals happened between 2002 and 2009. In one case a ticket was written 3/12/99 but wasn't dismissed until 7/9/09, over 10 years. Kane fought a traffic ticket for ten years? This was no Magistertsal adjudication for 10 years? This really smells of cronyism and favoritism. If any one of us had that outstanding parking ticket for so long, we’d be arrested. One then has to wonder about the integrity and the efficiency of Hailstone’s office. A spokespersonfor Kane explained it this way, "Of the 15 parking violations noted, 11 were undeliverable, meaning the issuing entity had a bad address for Kathleen. After a certain period of time, if the issuing entity does not deliver the parking citation to the correct address, the citation is dismissed. The other four tickets in question were simply dismissed, presumably because there were mechanical problems with the parking meters." Wish Webster and I had such luck with faulty meters when we worked in Scranton and had to park on Penn Avenue every morning!!! And the others were undeliverable because of a bad address? Was this rich attorney of means homeless that she didn’t have an address? If it was a bad address, was it forgery on the part of the Scranton Parking Authority? How do you get a “bad” address? And finally, was this person, now a candidate for Attorney General just thinking that perhaps she was above the law of the average person? Just asking.
An apt message as Rick Santorum signs an autograph for a political fan. SANTORUM DOMINATES LOUISIANA
Rick Santorum won the Louisiana primary Saturday, solidifying his support among conservatives in the Deep South as he faces a tough next couple of weeks in state competitions that are predicted to favor frontrunner Mitt Romney. The former Pennsylvania senator won 49 percent of the vote, with Romney coming in second with 27 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in third with 17 percent and Texas Rep. Ron Paul finishing last with 6 percent. The statement also mentioned Romney was "very pleased" to receive over 25 percent of the vote, as it allowed him to win some of the state's delegates. Only 20 of Louisiana's 46 delegates were awarded in the primary, as most of the others will be selected at the Louisiana state GOP convention in June. Romney picked up five of these delegates, raising his total of 568. Santorum grabbed 10 and now has 273. The candidates now head into April 3 contests in Maryland, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. The key contest is expected to be in Wisconsin, which has Swing State status, with Maryland and the District largely Democratic territories. In addition, Santorum is not on the District ballot. Santorum has now won 11 states, while Romney has won 20 states or territories. Gingrich has won two states, while Paul has not won any.
Matt Cartwright talks with a supporter at an event in Luzerne County. In the background you can see Democratic operative Bob Caruso and County Council candidate from '11 Eileen Sorokas.
Matt Cartwright at the opening of his campaign office in Wilkes Barre. CARTWRIGHT OPENS OFFICE
Matt Cartwright, the local Democratic candidate for Congress in the 17th district has opened an office In downtown Wilkes Barre. The office is located at 15 Public Square, and can use all the volunteers they can get. Cartwright is associated with the Munley Law Firm in both Scranton and Wilkes Barre. He has been a fixture on local TV doing “The :Law and You” segment on WYOU and WBRE TV. Plus Cartwright has a vision to represent the new 17th district as a Democrat’s Democrat.
LUPAS BACK IN TOWN
Apparently Attorney Anthony Lupas is back in town at his Plains Township home. However the local Sheriff’;s Department is having a heck of a time serving him with papers regarding a Ponzi scheme he allegedly used to bilk victims out of their life savings. Luzerne County’s poor man’s Bernie Madoff cracked the door open for a WNEP TV reporter the other day but hasn’t let anyone in as of post time.
The Affordable Health Care Act's second anniversary. IT’S NOT OBAMA CARE
I really think the Affordable Health Care Act opponents are really doing a disservice to the country by calling the Health Care measure passed in 2010 Obama Care. What that characterization does is completely muddy the intentions of the bill. For those who are saying Obama care will bankrupt the country, take away our freedoms or have governmental tribunals make life and death decisions, let me say say that those statements are dead wrong. The Affordable Health Care Act will do the following: Creating new coverage options for individuals with pre-existing conditions. As of the end of 2011, 4,567 previously uninsured residents of Pennsylvania who were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing condition are now insured through a new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created under the new health reform law.There is the misconception that those with pre existing conditions want free health care. THEY DON’T! They just don’t want to not have the option to buy insurance. When I worked at Blue Cross, if you had no prior coverage before and had a pre existing condition, you could buy individual insurance. You could get treatment for that condition but the insurance company would not pay for it in the first year. Now people can buy insurance. Plain and simple. Removing lifetime limits on health benefits The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits – freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits.How would you like to battling cancer or have a catastrophic injury and be told that you hit your spending limit? Sarah Palin’s ridiculous comment on government death panels had a kernel of truth. Insurance companies that imposed that million dollar limit were the wielders of that death sentence. Providing better value for your premium dollar through the 80/20 Rule Under the new health care law, insurance companies must provide consumers greater value by spending generally at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care and quality improvements instead of overhead, executive salaries or marketing. If they don’t, they must provide consumers a rebate or reduce premiums. This means that 3,421,000 Pennsylvania residents with private insurance coverage will receive greater value for their premium dollars. Health Care Insurers will now have to use 80% of their monies for health care. Not for CEO salaries of millions of dollars a year, not for surpluses and not for administrative costs. The 80/20 rule ensures that the Health Insurers use premium money for what is intended, to pay claims of its insured. For an area that bitches about other people’s higher salaries, and the political corruption, you’d think they might understand the 80/20 rule. Making prescription drugs affordable for seniors Thanks to the new health care law, 247,686 people with Medicare in Pennsylvania received a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. In 2011, 235,820 people with Medicare received a 50 percent discount on their covered brand-name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole. This discount resulted in an average savings of $662 per person, and a total savings of $156,108,903 in Pennsylvania. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole. The Drug Act for seniors was paid for with a government credit card. There was no talk of CBO estimates and how it would drive up the deficit because it was passed by a Republican President and a Republican Senate and House. And it screwed the elderly anyway because of that donut hole. The Health Care Act will close that donut hole forever by 2020. Yet I hear deluded senior citizens bitching about Obama Care and how their freedom is at stake. Please. Scrutinizing unreasonable premium increases In every State and for the first time under Federal law, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more. Pennsylvania has received $5.3 million under the new law to help fight unreasonable premium increases. Insurance companies raise premiums because they can. Usually the Insurance Commissioner is in bed with the Insurance carriers. Even under the supposed liberal Rendell administration, rate increases from the insurance companies sailed through. And do you ever notice how rate increases for places like Blue Cross are just under 10%? The Blues in the state justify why they need the increase but others do not. This oversight is for when the Blues won’t justify it and the others just ask for it and get it. The big thing with the argument against the Affordable Health care act is the mandate. That people will be forced to buy health insurance. We are told that this is an impingement on our freedom. “Gad dummit, I’m an Amurikan…..you cants tells me what to do!!!” You have to buy auto insurance. You have to vaccinate your kids for school. You have to get a permit to fix your house. You have to get a license for your dog. Those are just a few of the things government requires you to do. Why is there such an opposition to health care insurance? Here’s why. Americans want the very best health care in the world….but they don’t want to pay for it. A mandate gives people an opportunity to become insured. If they refuse, they get taxed. A friend of mine went for years without health insurance. He got into a horrible accident and was treated at an emergency room. He had no money to pay for any of it. Guess who paid for his care? WE DID! He was so irresponsible in not providing insurance for himself that we all paid. Why shouldn’t there be a tax on those who willfully are irresponsible? A Health Care mandate will not intrude any more on your freedom than any other regulation or law of the land that is currently on the books. But this issue was so full of demagoguery that it was shameful. And for those political geniuses that want to repeal Obama care, let me ask these two questions. How the hell you going to do that and what is your alternative? Do you really want to kick young adults off their parents health insurance? Should seniors have to pay more for prescription drugs? Is holding Insurance companies feet to the fire socialism? Do they want to outlaw coverage for pre-existing conditions or let insurance companies set a lifetime limit of coverage that would result in a death sentence for some people? Do you want insurance companies to just keep on piling up surpluses, having management garner huge salaries while people try to eke out a premium? What is the difference between an insurance company denying your claim because it is not a covered benefit or Sarah Palin saying there will be death panels? Same thing. If you can’t pay, you either find the money, go into debt or die. People talk about government intrusion into health care and how everyone wants their own doctors to make their decisions for them as patients. Fair enough. But the health insurers employ medical directors (yep Doctors you see in TV commercials) that generally side with every argument of the entity that’s paying them, not the premium holder. Isn’t a health insurance company hiring a medical director a clear conflict of interest for the doctor and the entity? You bet. This coming week the Supreme Court will hear arguments against the Health Care Bill. The individual mandate most likely will be struck down because of all the cry babies making an issue out of it. But I believe the rest of it will be upheld. Personally, I think the health care bill did not go far enough. There are good things in the bill but there should be a more reform. 1. A public option that Americans can choose. It would pay 80% of all costs. Enrolling in the public option would require purchasing a 20% supplemental policy sold by health insurers. 2.A comprehensive dental and vision plan. Same thing. 80/20. With these two options, the insurance pool would increase. But the required 20% supplemental plans would make more money than the insurance companies ( who fought the public option and Medicare in 1965) busier than ever. 3. There would be no state to state competition. There would be Blue Cross of America, Aetna of America, etc. There would be a standardization of rates, claims and services. 4. A 5 cent charge on everything you buy in America would pay for it all. It’s simple. It’s easy. But the problem is we’ve been making it hard for decades that when we see simple and easy…..we just don’t want to accept it. The Affordable Health Care Act though was a good start. I was around in 1965 when Medicare was passed and I heard my parent’s friends saying that this was socialized medicine, that old people were going to be put to death, that our freedoms would be gone. It didn’t happen. And when “Obama Care” as you call it starts to ramp up, all of those who demagogued it, refused to offer a solution and demonized it are going to look like first class jackasses. Which is ironic because their party symbol is an elephant. Happy Anniversary Affordable Health Care Act. To quote Joe Biden, “You’re still a ****ing deal”.
MAYBE I’M AMAZED……..that the GOP race is now getting down to the wire. No one likes Mitt Romney as a probable nominee. If past is prologue, let me point out that in 1992 no one was crazy in the Democratic party for a guy named Bill Clinton. He was boffing a big haired hairdresser (with all due respect to hairdressers everywhere, especially Jessica at Holiday!!) he thanked a Government official for keeping him out of the service and was running against a bonafide WWII hero that dispatched the Iraq government in a very short war. Plus his opponents were Jesse Jackson (that year’s Ron Paul) a retired one term Senator Paul Tsongas (this year’s Newt Gingrich) and a left wing California former Governor, Jerry Brown who never apologized for anything left leaning (this year’s Santorum). Yet with all that damage, he won. That guy’s name was Bill Clinton. MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Judge Richard Caputo, a Clinton appointee recused himself from the Bob Mellow case. I’m wondering the reason behind that. MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that if you want to buy it for $115,000 there is a 1/8 scale replica of the 1961 version of Yankee Stadium. Hammacher Schlemmer is selling it in case you’re interested. MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that Franklin Roosevelt was related to 5 Presidents by blood and 6 by marriage. By blood: Theodore Roosevelt, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Ulysses Grant, William Henry Harrison. By marriage: Benjamin Harrison, James Madison, William Taft, Zachary Taylor, Martin Van Buren and George Washington. Don’t forget, he married his cousin. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that a liberal media interest group is going on the attack against Rush Limbaugh. Media Matters is spending at least $100,000 for two advertisements that will run in eight cities.The ads use Limbaugh's own words about student Sandra Fluke, who testified at a congressional hearing that contraception should be paid for in health plans. Limbaugh, on his radio programs, suggested Fluke wanted to be paid to have sex, which made her a "slut" and a "prostitute." In return for the money, he said Fluke should post videos of herself having sex. Under sharp criticism, Limbaugh later apologized. This will do nothing but increase Limbaugh’s rating and embolden his fans. It will also make him “the victim, a role I’m sure he will play to the hilt. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that the Luzerne County Council is actually having negotiations with the detectives who made $100,000 last year. Why can’t they just ignore them and maybe just reduce their salaries or get rid of them outright. The contract is expired, the detective made no effort to work with the county on the budget, so why keep them? If a contract expires, is there any law that says you need to reopen it? Having never been in a union and coddled in the workplace, I don’t know. MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that a Wilkes Barre woman drove her husband to a home on Gardner Avenue while he was caught in the act of burglary!! She had a baby in the car with her. The woman was not charged but the husband sure was and was wanted in other break ins in the city. These are tough times for people but lock this guy up now. MAYBE I’M AMAZED……that in Florida, a young black man was killed (actually he was a 17 year old kid) by a Crime Watch operative who made a 911 call saying the kid was dangerous. The kid was carrying a phone, an Ice Tea and eating a box of Skittles. The person of interest, even though he admitted to following the victim to a 911 operator (which is enough probable cause to arrest him for murder) still has not been apprehended by the police department. Why? Even though it’s Florida, land of Disney’s Orlando and thong wearing chicks in Miami…..Florida is still the south. And big bellied police chiefs trump 17 year old black men talking to their girl friend every time. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that “Mad Men” returns After a long 17 months. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Wilkes Barre City Council can’t find any other city resident who can sit on the Planning Commission besides former Human Resources Director Christine Jensen. Really? There is no one else in the city? C’mon guys. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Tim Tebow was told “you’re our guy in 2012”. Then along comes Payton Manning and John Elway, director of Football Operations falls in love with Manning and says “see ya” to Tebow. By the way, do you know what John Elway was after playing football and before he was Director of Football Operations? A used car salesman. MAYBE I’M AMAZED…..that Wilkes Barre City Council still doesn’t get it. They muzzle citizen input and pretty much have little or no regard for the people they are supposed to serve. But the people to blame are the voters of Wilkes Barre that overwhelmingly vote for Democrats. If Mussolini was resurrected and ran as a Democrat in Wilkes Barre and Jesus Christ was on the GOP ticket, Il Duce would route JC himself. Only in Wilkes Barre! MAYBE I'M AMAZED.......that Oswald the Rabbit is finally being shown on the Disney lot and sets. Oswald was the precursor to Mickey Mouse. The story behind the story is even more interesting. Oswald was co-created by Disney before Mickey, but he was lost in a 1928 contract dispute with Universal Studios. Oswald hopped back to Disney in 2006 when CEO Bob Iger brokered a deal that sent sportscaster Al Michaels to Universal-NBC. NBC was trying to get Michaels out of his ABC/ESPN Monday Night Football contract and used Oswald as leverage. So Michaels got a ton of money but was essentially traded for a carton archive since the Disney family wanted the original icon back home.
Kevin Haggerty, candidate for State Representative in the 112th.
HAGGERTY ON THE MOVE
Drove through the 112th District of Scranton today and saw a lot of Kevin Haggerty signs for State Representative. He is facing off against incumbent Ken Smith and my reports tell me he is within striking distance.
If you listened to Steve Corbett yesterday on WILK (and don’t send me comments bashing him or the station on this situation because you’ll just be wasting your time) you heard that Corbett was “irked”. He was not happy because no one from Senator John Blake or State Representative Sid Kavulich’s office was giving him any satisfaction regarding the staffing issues. Corbett wanted to know how many of Mellow’s staffers were on Blake’s payroll. He also wanted to know about the associations Sid Michaels Kavulich had when he was the media master for the Pennsylvania Senate Democrats. Legitimate questions to be sure. But according to the talk show host, he got nowhere with any of his inquiries. In Blake’s office, a staffer told him the Senator himself would address that issue. There was no word from Kavulich. A few things here: even if Blake kept some of Mellow’s staff, why won’t he admit it? Mellow’s staff was one of the most well oiled in terms of constituent service. I had a personal experience with them. I was an out of district resident that needed a recommendation from the Senator for a job I really wanted. I walked into the District office on October 27th, presented my case, was told it didn’t matter that I didn’t live in the Senator’s district and was told I’d be hearing something back. On October 29th, I received a copy of the letter that Senator Mellow forwarded on to the company in question. To me, that’s good constituent service and if Blake had retained staffers from Mellow’s office, he should just say yes and give that as a reason. As far as whether any of those staffers, if they were kept, had any dealings with selling tickets for Mellow’s big bash, all Blake’s people would have to say is, “I don’t know”. Because in reality how could they? Kavulich’s role prior to becoming a mediocre State Representative in the Senate certainly can’t be linked to anything Mellow was charged with. Kavulich was the TV guy that set up those infomercials politicians run at your state tax dollar expense. WYLN TV 35 runs tons of them to fill gaps in programming. So, why the silence? The overwhelming reason is that they are part of the inbred Pennsylvania political system that puts damage control over candor. These guys are so programmed to not make a mistake that it turns out that’s all they do. Blake and Kavulich were part of that system. They weren’t outsiders by any stretch of the imagination. If Mellow didn’t see trouble on the horizon and bail or Jim Wansacz didn’t over reach and think he was State Senate material, Blake and Kavulich would still be staffers at the state level. By not talking to a guy like Corbett, both are proving the point of many voters, that they were just two lackeys who knew when to keep their mouth shut, lucked into their current positions and were rewarded by the politicos they served as staffers. It might have been nice if they talked to anybody about any Mellow connections, real or imagined. But political lackeys were never known for candor or courage.
Former Speaker John Perzel. Those aren't french cuffs he's wearing. PERZEL SENTENCED
Former Speaker of the Hose John Persel is heading off to jail. He joins at least a few other Pennsylvania Speakers of the House who went from Capitol Hill to the big house. Perzel was sentenced to two-and-a-half to five years in a state prison, to pay fines totaling $30,000 and to make restitution of $1 million for leading an effort to use public funds and resources to build a high-tech campaign machine. If you ever looked up the word arrogance in the dictionary, it would most likely have a photo of John Perzel next to it. Not today. A contrite Perzel told the court today that "I have embarrassed myself... my family, my friends and the people of Pennsylvania, and for that I am truly sorry. They gave me a great honor and I've disgraced them, and I'm very sorry for it." Perzel was one of the big players in the Ridge/Schweiker and Rendell years in Harrisburg. Each Governor, no matter the affiliation had to kiss the ring of the Speaker. Now Perzel joins the chain gang. AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
YOUR AUDIT-MY AUDIT
Walter Griffith the Luzerne County Cpontroler said he wants to save money and won’t recommend an audit of Attorney Angela Stevens billing practices. Griffith instead said he’ll wait for the audit, paid for by Stevens’ firm to come back. Then he’ll compare what she offered as well as what he thinks he’s looking at. On the surface this does have some justification. Stevens' audit will come back in 10 days and the county should not shell out money for its own audit especially if there are plans, (are there plans????) to investigate Stevens’ billing practices. I mean what’s the big deal with an audit? Why pay for an independent audit when the accused person is giving you their version of the facts? You let a jail official spend $9,000 bucks in a strip club a few years ago and that passed muster but an independent audit is too much money? Another reason to love this place. By the way, Stevens’ law firm is running ads in the local newspapers with the tag line: “Problem/Solved”. I bet she hopes this will be the case for her audit. In the meantime, Griffith ran on a pledge to do audits. How’s that working out for you Walt?
COUNTY HIRING POLICY
The County Council sat down the other night and are trying to figure out a hiring policy that makes sense. Council members agreed to prohibit the county from hiring family members of county judges and magisterial district judges. Never fear, those people can be dumped off at Luzerne County Community College. The Citizen’s Voice’s Mike Buffer reports that The home-rule charter requires anti-nepotism restrictions on hiring a parent, spouse, child, brother or sister of a county official. Council Chairman Jim Bobeck said he wanted to expand the types of relatives to include cousins and step relatives "given the history of this county." This is admirable on Bobeck’s part but unrealistic. Right now the only person in the County that is not a cousin to anyone is County Manager Bob Lawton. Maybe we can import one for him.
Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.
ROMNEY’S BIG “GET”
Jeb Bush, the former Florida Governor has endorsed Mitt Romney for President. The Republican establishment has started to coalesce around Mitt Romney in earnest on Wednesday, with Jeb Bush and other leading Republicans pressuring Rick Santorum to leave the race after a thumping in the Illinois primary. The endorsement from Bush, the son of one president and the brother of another is huge. He had stayed out of the race for months, and some party elders publicly had urged him to become a candidate as Romney struggled to close the deal with the conservative base of the party. However, Bush refused, and yesterday he made his preference in the race known after Romney's double-digit Illinois victory.
State Senator Bob Mellow will be sentenced on April 27th in Philadelphia. That news came last night. I’m betting 6 months suspended. MEDIA MATTERS
Storm Politics, WYLN TV, Part 2 of Tiffany’s 4 Part Series with Michael W. Cutler on immigration. Part 2 covers illegal immigration + the ties to US unemployment. If out of the viewing area, livestream online WYLNTV.com. After all 4 parts air on tv, this entire series will be downloaded to WYLN TV's website for view at your convenience. The show can be seen on WYLN TV 35 @ Th 930p, Sat 5p, Sun 11a, Mon 830p, T 930p.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Shadoe Steele hosts the very best in rock and roll this Saturday from 7pm to midnight on WILK AM &FM. ABC News is at the top of the hour. SUNDAY MAGAZINE
This Week on Sunday Magazine…Brian Hughes speaks with Steven Pontecorvo from MetLife and Cindy Hounsell from the Women’ Institute for a Secure Retirement about the “life insurance gender gap”, showing that women have far less life insurance than men. Brian speaks with Dr. Ozlem Soran from the University of Pittsburgh discusses a new non-surgical treatment for heart disease patients that involves squeezing the patient’s legs. And highlights from a labor rally held earlier this week at Nay Aug Park in Scranton, commemorating the 2nd anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X and 6:30am on Magic 93 & WARM 590 AM.
ECTV Live hopes to help you get into spring with some tips about gardening. Host Tom Munley says the program scheduled for the week of March 26th will feature Penn State Master Gardener, Donna Zagrapan from the Lackawanna County Penn State Extension Judge Munley will be joined by WILK Radio news personality Paula Deignan who will be co-hosting the program while DeCosmo is on vacation. As usual ECTV Live is aired on Comcast cable Ch19 each day at Noon and Midnight with several 6pm showings scheduled during the week
Our 1967 logo.
10,000 gather for the Central Park Be-In........Pope Paul VI issues the encyclical Populorum Progressio....A 13-day TV strike begins in the U.S. In 1967, AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) members call the union’s first national strike on March 29, 1967, after negotiations breakdown over staff announcer contracts at owned-and-operated stations in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles and over first-time contracts for “Newsmen” at networks and owned-and-operated stations. Since AFTRA adhered to a bargaining principle that no general agreement exists until all Codes and Contracts are acceptable, the 13-day strike involves all 18,000 members in more than 100 locations across the country. Agreement is reached on the outstanding issues at 8:05 pm, EST, on Monday, April 10, 1967—just in time to allow broadcast of the annual Academy Awards program live from the Santa Monica Auditorium........in Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Hugh Scott reaffirms his support of the Vietnam War saying that to pull back now would give the Viet Cong a pre mature victory. Scott a Republican says that President Johnson is doing the best he can under the circumstances. Scott’s Democratic colleague, Joseph Clark disagrees with Scott and calls for a withdrawal from Vietnam....in Scranton, mid way through his first term Scranton Mayor James Walsh urges City Council to improve the facilities at Nay Aug Park pointing to the upcoming summer season where Scrantonians would be using the pool at the park and 45 years ago this week the number 1 song in LuLac land was “Dedicated to the One I Love” by the Mama’s and Papas.
Location: Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Political analyst for WBRE TV's Pa. Live program and post election commentator for WBRE TV's Eyewitness News Daybreak show. Author of the book "A Radio Story/We Wish You Well In Your Future Endeavors" and "Leges Vitae" "26 Rules of Life" and the new novel, "Weather Or Knot". The blog editor also writes various news articles and columns as well as upcoming literary projects. The blog editor was a frequent guest on WYOU TV'S INTERACTIVE NEWSCASTS when political issues were discussed on the national, state and local level. Yonki was a weekly panelist on WYLN TV 35's Friday Topic A program. He also appeared on the Hazleton, PA. station on Election Night doing coverage and did special projects and stories for WYLN TV 35's 10PM Newscast "Late Edition".