Saturday, May 17, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2658, May 17th, 2014


There are a few State House races that are up for election this Tuesday and I thought I’d give you a brief run down on each of them. We start in reverse order and start with the mundane and end with the ridiculous.


Edwardsville Councilman Gary Mack and Eileen Cipriani discuss the issues. (Photo: Citizen's Voice)
Eileen Cipriani vs. Gary Mack: When the popular multi term Representative retires and gives a prospective candidate a chunk of her campaign committee money, you know that is a pretty clear signal. Democrats in this district who were thinking of running like Attorney Laura Dennis and Exeter Mayor Cassandra Coleman quickly saw that handwriting on the wall. Dennis has a very good law practice and Coleman is working for the Wolf campaign. So Eileen Cipriani long time West Wyoming  Council member entered the fray as the front runner. She was joined by Edwardsville Councilman Gary Mack. Both have enviable records of service bringing professionalism to small town governments that were formerly controlled by hacks. But the edge has to go to Cipriani because of her money lead and ground game.


Incumbent Gerry Mullery shakes hands with foe Tony Bonomo. (Photo: Citizen's Voice)
Gerry Mullery is a popular guy in Nanticoke. No one has a bad word to say about him. Tony Bonomo is a popular guy in Hazleton. No one has a bad word to say about him. These two nice guys face off in Tuesday’s primary in a restructured district. Like the merged 117th in the Lu and the 112th in the Lac, this district was a result of the Legislature kicking the can down the road. Mullery has his strength in Nanticoke, Bonomo has his in Hazleton. Mullery brings a gregarious incumbency punctuated by superior constituent service. There are people in his district who have changed party registration to the Dems because they felt guilty of even being registered by the opposite party. That how good Mullery’s office is.
Bonomo a three term school board member has said he ran because of the cuts he saw in education during the last few years. Mullery favors a severance tax on gas drillers, Bonomo thinks a tax  would raise the prices for consumers. Mullery says the Legislature should be reduced but Bonomo says there should be cuts across the board. While Bonomo will pull a good vote in the new section of this district, Mullery gets the edge. Both are nice guys but sadly one will finish last.


Dr. Davis Haire. and incumbent Representative Karen Boback. (Photo: LuLac archives).
State Representative Karen Boback has been serving in the State Legislature for 4 terms. For whatever reasons Republicans have always wanted to knock her off and frankly I see no reason for it. Boback has compiled a record of fighting tax increases, good constituent service and keeping her finger on issues important to voters. She is the only state Representative I know who gives out her home phone number on the stump.
She is opposed by Dr. Davis Haire a Tunkhannock Eye Doctor who thinks he can do better. Haire has taken Boback to task on Legislative per diems but she fired back with what she takes as a Legislator. There are press releases flying, ads responding to ads and just a very tough atmosphere in a district that is loaded with Republicans. This race has boiled down to who is the true Conservative in the race. That’s all well and good but voters in that district want a Representative that can get things done, not meet some litmus test of political philosophy. I see Boback prevailing but having a tad more difficulty in the General against Democrat Laura Dixon as a result of this fight.


State Representatives Kevin Haggerty, Frank Farina and former School Director Bob Munley. (Photos Times Tribune).
If there is a political hell for voters and candidates alike, it is the newly formed 112th District in Lackawanna County. Incumbent Kevin Haggerty won the seat in 2012 by beating incumbent Ken Smith. The collective candidacies of Haggerty, Frank Farina the current 115th District Representative and Bob Munley are making people gasp and pant for the return of tax deadbeat Smith.
This whole race is a circus and the three candidates running are totally unworthy of the voters in the district.
Let’s start with Bob Munley. A four term School Director of the Valley View School District, Munley stepped in because he saw an opportunity. But it appears that the Munley campaign is having difficulty finding its voice. Munley needs to articulate why he wants to be the Representative and so far saying he’s better than Farina and Haggerty is not going to cut it.  Especially since Munley’s education credentials were in question. Munley's campaign came on like gangbusters but right now there seems to be a break in the action. A challenger going after two incumbents needs to go full throttle at 95 miles an hour. For whatever reason, the Munley momentum has stalled.
Frank Farina stuck a bank for a loan, and has taken to using his little kid in a radio commercial that is truly horrendous. Farina should be grateful he benefited from the Mid Valley Miracle the last time out beating former County Commissioner Randy Castellani in that primary.
Kevin Haggerty who is earnest and is the only Freshman legislator that actually got two bills through the House (it is Republican controlled) H.B.s 128 and 131, which would allow firefighters, police officers and non-uniformed employees of Scranton to immediately purchase military time toward retirement.
You would think that is a good thing but Haggerty is his own worst enemy. Haggerty in his attempts to defend himself has come off as desperate and shrill. He would be wise to not engage. Normally I don’t give that advice but Mr. Haggerty does not engage well.
Who will win this mess? Munley despite his questionable staff choices in this race just might win. If Munley does win, it will be interesting to see who will actually run his local offices. But don’t count out Haggerty. Farina has a good ground game and that might propel him. If you ever wonder why politics is a bloodsport here in LuLac land, you only need to look to these three questionable candidates fighting to the death.
Either way, all the candidates are flawed. The people of the 112th deserve better. And one more thing on this race, the post mortem on this one is going to be a beaut. The person here with the least baggage is Haggerty. He has declined to give the reason why he left the military.  That's not a crime. Farina, like Smith couldn't manage his own finances and expects voters to believe he can manage a budget. Munley's education credentials are dubious.
In the meantime one of these guys will win. What the people of  the the new 112th will gain from that is open to debate. 


At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct analysis on the train wreck that is the 112th. Is this the best we have?

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Coal Cracker said...

Cipriani is West Wyoming, not Swoyersville

At 11:21 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Cipriani is West Wyoming, not Swoyersville

At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonk, when will you finally reach out and take on the position of campaign manager or at the very least, the campaign strategist/publicity manager? They need you and you are most qualified. Go for it!

At 11:26 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

in response
Yonk, when will you finally reach out and take on the position of campaign manager or at the very least, the campaign strategist/publicity manager? They need you and you are most qualified. Go for it!


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