Friday, January 04, 2013

The LuLac Edition #2321, January 4th, 2012

Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty.  (Photo: Times Tribune).


For all of the his third term as Mayor of Scranton, Chris Doherty was vilified as the person who drove the city into a tail spin of financial trouble. He was criticized for his inability to work with Council or even meet with them. But when Doherty made his announcement that he would not run for a fourth term, all of a sudden there was instant nostalgia for Doherty. Pundits as well as residents remembered Doherty as the Mayor who helped develop the downtown, put it on the national map by interfacing with pop cultural phenomena like NBC’s “The Office” as well as his national appearances on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with Chris Matthews. He was elected President of the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities (PLCM) in 2006[. In 2008, Doherty received the PLCM Distinguished Community Service Award, the Local Government Award for Excellence, and was inducted into the Keystone Society for Tourism. Also during the Presidential year of 2008, when Northeastern Pennsylvania was a swing state, Doherty hosted fundraisers at his home for Hillary Clinton in the Pennsylvania primary and then later on in the General Election for Vice President Joe Biden and Barack Obama too. Because Pennsylvania was pivotal that year, Doherty’s events were covered by the national and state wide pres. Doherty was recognized by the United States Conference of Mayors in 2008 for his efforts to protect the City’s tree canopy5 In addition, he serves as a member of the steering committee for the Mayor’s Innovation Project, a learning network of America’s mayors dedicated to efficient government. He supports a woman's right to abortion. Doherty tipped his toes in the water for the 2010 Democratic nomination for Governor but ran for Bob Mellow’s seat in the 22nd District Senatorial primary. John Blake won that seat. Doherty’s name was bandied about for Congress but he never made the run. The Mayor says he will return to private business. Doherty’s family had a huge religious artifacts company started by his father. James Doherty was a Scranton City Councilman who served in that capacity for 16 years. Doherty’s great, great grandfather is baseball Hall of Famer Hughie Jennings. Doherty is handful of Scranton Mayors that have served three terms. James Hanlon and Jimmy Connors were the other two.
The Talker,  WNEP TV’sand Scranton Cultural Center's  Joe Peters. (Photo, Times Tribune.)


With speculation abounding on the Democratic side about who will run, former Councilman Bill Courtright comes to mind, maybe this just might be an opening for the moribund Republican party of Scranton to surface. In the last 11 Mayoral elections, 6 have been won by the Republican standard bearer. If a candidate has strong name recognition, high visibility as well as roots in Scranton, he or she can be a viable GOP candidate. Gene Peters did it in 1969 and 1973, Vietnam War Veteran David Wenzel did it in 1985 and Jimmy Connors did it in 1989, 1993 and 1997. These three men had bipartisan support which transcended the Republican label. There are those who feel that if Connors had stayed a Republican, he might have won a fourth term. (Doherty beat him in the 2001 Democratic primary). A name being mentioned is Joe Peters, the son of Eugene Peters. Peters began his career as Scranton police officer then went on to law school. After law school, he was a Pennsylvania executive deputy attorney general, director of the state bureau of narcotics investigations, was a special federal mafia prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice and served in two White House administration - two years for President Clinton and two years for President George W. Bush. Joe worked on issues involving terrorism, homeland security, organized crime and global drug trafficking. Joe is involved with radio and television commentary for FoxNews and other media, including London TV's "Good Morning Television" program. Currently he is the host of "Tough Talk with Joe Peters" on 94.3 FM radio, and he has done a considerable amount of private and government counter-terrorism consulting, which has taken him to places such as Qatar, Dubai, Italy and Kuwait. Joe’s goal for the Cultural Center is to expand the facility's reach to more diverse audiences and support local film making talent by possibly introducing an independent film festival or hosting workshops for the public and local colleges and universities. In 2011 he was named to the high profile position of Executive Director of the Scranton Cultural Center. Peters ran for Statewide office in 2004 and has the media savvy, the political heritage and chops to make a run. Plus, with politics being cyclical, maybe after 12 years of Democratic rule, Scrantonians might pick a candidate not of party but of personality. Connors was a fusion candidate getting as much Democratic support as he did from the Republican party. Joe Peters can do the same thing. All he needs to do is make sure the God awful Republican party in Scranton doesn’t screw this up for him or for that matter the city.
17th District Congressman Matt Cartwright. (Photo, Cartwright for Congress).


Congressman Matt Cartwright, PA-17, was selected as a Democratic Freshman class President this morning by his fellow Freshmen Democrats. Cartwright will serve alongside Rep. Joaquin Castro, TX-20, during the current year and Rep. Michele Lujan Grisham, NM-01, and Rep. John Delaney, MD-6, will serve as co-presidents for 2014. “I am honored to have been chosen by my fellow freshmen representatives to serve as a class President for 2013. I am excited to lead this historically diverse freshmen class,” Cartwright said. “It is imperative that as a freshmen class we work together with our fellow freshmen on the other side of the aisle to tackle the unprecedented challenges that face our nation.” Cartwright was sworn in on January 3, 2013. The 17th Congressional district represents portions of Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton counties and all of Schuylkill County. 
Sources: Doherty awards, Wikipedia, Peters Cultural Center activities, Scranton Cultural Center. 


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