Thursday, January 29, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2826, January 29th, 2015

 Rob McCord during the 2014 campaign for Governor. (LuLac archives).
Rob McCord announced that he would resign as State Treasurer in two weeks. This might have caught some by surprise but not me. After his loss to Tom Wolf in the primary and the election of Mr. Wolf in November, McCord hit a ceiling in statewide politics. He couldn’t go after the Auditor General job of Eugene DePasquale without precipitating another primary donnybrook. The candidates who are lining up to take on Pat Toomey are formidable, namely Josh Shapiro from Philadelphia and Former Congressman and Admiral Joe Sestak. Plus he did not acquit himself well in the spring of 2014. He seemed angry and combative, even desperate in his attacks on Mr. Wolf. By lunch after I had heard the news I figured McCord was going to go into private business, get a big payday and then regroup in the next few election cycles. Defeated politicians with support (which McCord had in the primary statewide, only a few were with Tom Wolf) usually take a break and come back stronger than ever.
Later in the afternoon on the way home I then heard news report that there might be a possible investigation into McCord by the feds for theft of campaign money and other funds. Now this is alleged and is a report by WPVI TV (Channel 6) out of Philadelphia. The sources are anonymous and this is still a developing story. But the close proximity of the two stories would be a hell of a coincidence. It will be interesting to see if the alleged problems were before the 2014 election or center on it. More on this as it develops. I violently took exception to McCord’s behavior during the 2014 campaign but as State Treasurer McCord was visible and effective. It would be a shame if this possible investigation clouds those achievements.

 Bob Cordaro and A.J. Munchak when they were riding high on the heels of bringing the Yankees to Lackawanna County. (Photo:
I have had the opportunity to see Bob Cordaro in action. The first time I saw him was in 1988 when he made an attempt to unseat Congressman Joe McDade. Then in the 90s I’d see him come into the old WARM Building to oversee his radio stations WKQV AM and FM. He was a guy always in charge. As a Minority County Commissioner he made the case of what he could do in the majority. When he was County Commissioner he never ran away from a fight. So when he and A.J. Munchak went on trial I was stunned to see Cordaro confident but combative. I was told by close friends that he had the top defense lawyer and that “alls well will end well”. Well…………it didn’t. He was sent up the river for 11 years. I was not in the Courtroom but followed the case closely.
WILK’s Steve Corbett has outlined the way his defense attorney William Costopoulos conducted the defense. Corbett has been explaining the court documents. The Times Tribune said in a headline that “Cordaro guilty”. So it is the talk of the town. But here’s what I wonder. (And this was brought up by the papers and Steve Corbett) why was Al Hughes given what seemed to me a pass at the trial? When Mr. Hughes took the stand (as well as other local entrepreneurs who did business with the county) Hughes said he gave Cordaro $10,000 a month. I wondered where did a funeral director get that kind of loot? And if he was the most productive undertaker in the Lac, why didn’t anyone ask Hughes for a look at his accounts? To me Hughes was the bag man. You check out how much money of his own the bag man has or doesn’t have. It is my meager experience that bagman’s aren’t leaders but followers. Cordaro’s new Attorney Brian Kelly in this appeal asked the same question. Why did anyone not think to ask to see the Hughes accounts?
Finally this is another thing that nags me too. If Cordaro is so smart a guy, why did he hire Costopoulos in the first place? Typical mindset of this area. We have tons of qualified lawyers in this area and he picks Mr. Flash who seems his only contribution to the defense effort was keeping the seat warm next to Mr. Cordaro. Whether Cordaro’s college roommate can pull the former Commissioner out of this is still open to question, but at least he has a fighting chance. In the meantime, I wonder how A.J. Munchak is doing these days.


After Hillary Clinton lost the nomination to President Obama in 2008 I was considering seeing if I could live with John McCain as a possible President. His stance on Foreign Policy, his heroism as well as his straight talk impressed me. When talk was rampant that he might pick Tom Ridge as his Veep, I was more intrigued. Then he picked Sarah Palin. (That didn’t sway Mrs. LuLac, she voted for McCain anyway). McCain joins Senators who ran for President as distinguished Senators in their later years. McCain seems to enjoy that role with great abandon. Check out John today as he took on protestors at a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting when they called former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger a war criminal.


Saw on TV the other night that the Luzerne County Council hired Sharon Lawrence as the Interim County Council Clerk. Lawrence was my old boss years ago and brings professionalism, organization and an even disposition (she’ll need it) to the job. We wish her well.

Joseph Spagnuolo. (Photo: Times Leader).
Joseph Spagnuolo, has announced his candidacy for Magisterial District Judge in District 11-3-08 serving Plains Township and Laflin Borough.
The Times Leader reported that the candidate said, “There is nothing more important to me than the safety and well-being of my family, friends and neighbors,” Spagnuolo said. “I am running for Magisterial District Judge in order to directly impact the safety and security of all residents. When elected, I will work with the local and Pennsylvania State Police to safeguard the quality of life in our neighborhoods by sending a strong message that crime will not be tolerated on the streets where I was born and raised.”
Spagnuolo is certified as a prospective Magisterial District Judge by the Pennsylvania Minor Judiciary.
The district’s seat will open with the announced retirement of district judge Diana Malast.

District C Wilkes Barre Council candidate Beth Gilbert. (Photo: Gilbert campaign).
Wilkes-Barre City resident Beth Gilbert announces she is seeking the District C seat of Wilkes-Barre City Council in the upcoming 2015 election.
Gilbert's campaign will center around her involvement with the city as a volunteer, student, resident, former junior city councilwoman and dedication to improving her community.
A lifelong resident of Wilkes-Barre city, Gilbert is a junior at Wilkes University where she majors in Political Science and International Studies with minors in Women's Studies and Policy Studies. She is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, a Political Science Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Pi, National Society of Leadership and Success and the International Studies Club.
Gilbert is also a prospective intern to the mission of Rwanda with the United Nations in New York City for summer 2015.
A former student of Heights Murray Elementary School, Gilbert graduated as Distinguished Scholar from G.A.R. High School in 2012 and served as Mantle Orator for her class. Gilbert previously served several sessions on Junior City Council for the City of Wilkes-Barre during her tenure at G.A.R. High School. Demonstrating her commitment to the city of Wilkes-Barre since a young age, Gilbert was an altar server for Holy Trinity Catholic Church in the Heights for seven years, culminating in receiving the Bishop's Youth Award which honors youth who demonstrate excellence in parish and community life.
In addition to her many accomplishments thus far, Gilbert has volunteered with Valley Santa, Key Club, Building Bridges and Wilkes-Barre city clean up days. She has garnered accolades for her civic dedication winning the James P. Fisher Leadership and Commitment to Action Award and placing 2nd in the statewide Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities Essay Competition with her essay on a renaissance for the city of Wilkes-Barre.
Gilbert hopes to restore the public trust in a city that thrives with potential. "My age is what sets me apart in this campaign. I am young, and therefore I am not hampered by previous political issues that have faced our community," said Gilbert.
Gilbert's primary goal for her role on council is to foster communication with other cities and municipalities in order to implement successful solutions in the city of Wilkes-Barre.
Gilbert, 20, is a junior at Wilkes University, where she has achieved Dean's List every semester, and will graduate in 2016. She currently resides in the Heights section of Wilkes-Barre.
A press conference is being planned for mid to late February 2015.

Congressman Matt Cartwright. (LuLac archives).
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has seen Matt Cartwright explain the role of a Congressman. But last week, released its 113th Congressional Legislative Scorecard covering Members of Congress’ records during the 113th Congress. Among the categories scored were Working with Senate, Bills Introduced, Leadership Score, Powerful Co-Sponsors and Government Transparency.
Cartwright’s rankings amongst the entire U.S. House of Representatives (441 Members):
1st for Working with the Senate
2nd for Total Number of Cosponsors
4th for Total Number of Bills Introduced
Cartwright’s rankings amongst U.S. House Democrats (207 Members):
1st for Bipartisan Bills Introduced
2nd for Leadership Score
Cartwright ranked 1st amongst all U.S. House Freshman (84 Members) in the following categories: Working with the Senate, Cosponsors, Bills Introduced, and Bipartisan Bills Introduced.
“I will always support a good idea – no matter what side of the aisle it comes from. I am looking forward to continuing my work on behalf of northeastern Pennsylvania to solve problems and get results, not score political points,” said Rep. Cartwright
At a time when the narrative surrounding Congress is often about the gridlock and lack of action, Cartwright has played a leadership role in a freshman class that came to Washington two years ago, intent upon improving Congress’s record and image.
During the 113th Congress, Cartwright introduced 57 pieces of legislation which aim to solve issues affecting seniors, veterans, and employers such as Tobyhanna Army Depot throughout the 17th congressional district. Of the 57 bills introduced, 30 were bi-partisan and together the 57 bills netted over 1,500 co-sponsors. Three times, Cartwright’s legislation was enacted into law as part of larger bill packages. A separate bill passed the House unanimously, but was not voted on in the Senate.
“I'd like to point out that much credit for this legislative work belongs to my superb legislative staff in Washington: Legislative Director Jeremy Marcus, Senior Legislative Assistant Mae Stevens, Legislative Assistant Shelby Boxenbaum, Legislative Correspondent Stephen Coffey, and Legislative Fellows Erik Brun, Sarah Nasta, and Amy Nabel. Without their tireless efforts, none of this work would have been possible,” said Cartwright.
Also Cartwright was named Vice Chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition earlier this week.
Cartwright said, “I’ve been working on these issues since day one, and I can’t wait to use this position to reenergize the conversation around climate change. From keeping dangerous pollutants out of our air and waterways to making plans to address extreme weather, there’s so much we can do to tackle the dangers of climate change – if we act now. My colleagues in SEEC and I will be hard at work making sure these important issues are heard in the House.”


This week on WYLN TV 35’s
Storm Politics, your blog editor hosts Tiffany Cloud’s “Storm Politics”. Show times are on WYLN TV 35 THURS @ 9:30 PM • SAT @ 5 PM SUN @ 11 AM, MON @ 9:00 PM • TUES @ 4:30 PM.

WILK's L.A. Tarone continues to heat up the airwaves on WILK in his 7pm to 9pm slot. L.A. from reports I've heard is doing well in the ratings. But the long time smoker is now endorsing e cigarettes from a local concern. So with Tarone now, when there's fire there won't necessarily be smoke!


This Week on Sunday Magazine
An encore of Brian Hughes December interview with David Adler form the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation about open enrollment to sign up for health insurance in Pennsylvania. The deadline is Feb 15!
Magic 93"s Frankie in the Morning speaks with Steve Poremba from Mohegan Sun Arena about the big events coming to the arena in 2015.
And an encore of a press briefing held in December by the Pa. Medical Society about the flu epidemic in Pennsylvania.
Sunday Magazine, Sunday morning at 5am on NASH-FM, 93.7, 5:30am on 97BHT, 6am on 97.9X & Sports Radio 590, WARM and 6:25am on Magic 93.


Cold weather! Perfect for the annual Clarks Summit Festival Of Ice! ECTV Live hosts David DeCosmo and Rusty Fender will hear all about this year's Festival from Gail Rees as the program airs during the week of February 2nd. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast cable channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is broadcast several times each day throughout the week. Regular scheduled air times are during the Noon hour and Midnight with additional airings on selected days at 6pm.


Tune in to Sue Henry's "Special Edition" this week as Sue recaps the week's news. Special Edition is heard Saturdays and Sunday on these Entercom stations, WILK FM Saturday at 2pm Sunday at 6 am on Froggy 101 Sunday at 7 am on The Sports Hub 102.3 Sunday at 7 am on K R Z 98.5 Sunday at noon on WILK FM 103.1.


Want to hear some great parodies on the news? Tune in to WILK Radio at 6:40 and 8:40 AM on Mondays. As Ralph Cramden used to say, “It’s a laugh riot!”


Tune in Wednesdays on WILK Radio for Karel on the Street. Hear some of the funniest and heartwarming comments on the issues of the day on Webster and Nancy with Karel Zubris.


Every Wednesday at 5PM, Steve Corbett shines the light on a Public official with his “Somebody’s Watching Me” segment. Corbett picks an alleged public servant to eye ball and observe. Batten down the lawn furniture in the driveway and that e mail machine. There is nowhere to hide when “somebody’s Watching”. Wednesdays at 5 on WILK’s Corbett program.

Our 1965 logo.


Boston Celtic center Bill Russell misses all 14 shots in loss to Philadelphia Warriors led by Wilt Chamberlain….Pud Galvin elected to baseball Hall of Fame…..Martin Luther King Jr. & 700 demonstrators arrested in Selma Alabama…..King and Ralph Abernathy led a march of about 250 people to the Selma Courthouse to protest slow voter-registration. Both King and Abernathy were arrested and spent five days in jail. During that time Malcolm X visited Selma. Although he did not meet with King, he wished his best to King through King's wife before departing to engagements elsewhere.
Journalist and T.V. Newsman Peter Jennings, 26, becomes anchor of ABC's nightly news. Here are a few of Jennings' early broadcasts...

The State funeral of Sir Winston Churchill at St Paul's Cathedral, London turns out to be the largest state funeral until Pope John Paul II's in 2005…

in Pennsylvania former Governor David Lawrence advises that even though he respects the work done by Governor Scranton, he will support the Democratic candidate who will follow Scranton who according to State Law could only serve one term…in Wilkes Bare City Mayor Frank Slattery says that the city is ready for any winter event…..and fifty years ago this week the number one song in LuLac land and America was “This Diamond Ring” (a song co written by Leon Russell) by Gary Lewis & the Playboys.


At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so how about all the local ass kissing politicos in this area that hugged and kissed mccord??? makes the wolf-ites seem very, very smart.

At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonk, thanks for bringing up poor A.J. He was along for the ride to the top and the ride to the bottom with Bobby C.

At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw you on TV with Ms. Cloud. Good job. I think you guys work well together.
On nother media note, I heard your friend Sue Henry with a caller today discussing Ms. Gilbert. A woman totally trashed the young woman as not being in the real world because she was so young. How ignorant.
Look at the young people who did make a difference. The one thing that ran through my mind is this, women will be the first to slap down another woman who aspires to something better.
Sue did a job of evening out this silly nonsense from this silly caller.
Also, glad you gave note to the Churchill funeral. 65, great year.

At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCord did nor impress on TV but in person he was great. Hope things work out well for him.

At 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good points about Cordaro and Munchak. One has to wonder why he picked this guy when he might have had others to give him better advice. Hell, he gave himself better advice!!!


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