Monday, December 28, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3103, December 28th, 2015

(in countdown form)


Philadelphia did itself proud when the city of Brotherly Love hosted the visit of Pope Francis. The Pope said Mass at various events for World Family Day and was his usual hit. Security was tight and many people expecting to see the Pope in person actually had to see him from a jumbotron. But those who went had a very good experience. Philadelphia spending nearly 8 million dollars for the visit was shining as the best little brother city New York ever had.
So hey, if Philadelphia was good enough for the Pope to visit, how come it isn’t for the Pennsylvania Society?


Ray Tonkin fought to keep the seat he's held for seven years and won as a Democrat by 500 votes in the Pike County DA race. Helped by the campaigning of the late trooper Bryon Dickson’s mother, Tonkin beat his foe Kelly Kelly Gaughan. The voters of Pike County and Tonkin essentially got a do over and ensured that the Frein trial would have an uninterrupted transition.


The Lewisberry, PA team of York County won a 3-2 victory over Pearland, Texas, on Saturday for a berth in the Little League World Series championship game before a record announced crowd of almost 46,000.
Krauss drove in Braden Kolmansberger, who had walked and moved to third on Jaden Henline's one-out single.
Cole Wagner struck out 11 batters over 5 2/3 innings and hit a home run for the undefeated Red Land Little League team, which draws from Lewisberry and several other towns that are just a two-hour drive from Williamsport and 70 miles north of Baltimore.
Lewisberry played undefeated Tokyo for the World Series championship but lost in a high scoring game.


Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky has had his pension restored. Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ordered the state to restore the pension of the former Penn State assistant football coach. Sandusky’s pension was taken away three years ago on the day he was sentenced to prison on child molestation convictions.
The Court ruled unanimously that the State Employees’ Retirement Board wrongly concluded Sandusky was a Penn State employee when he committed the crimes that were the basis for the pension forfeiture.


This year, Pennsylvania, the governor and state lawmakers battled over creating the state's first-ever severance tax. Drilling for natural gas – and oil, to a lesser extent – has ramped up in Pennsylvania in recent years.
The efforts to increase taxes on growing drilling activity in the Commonwealth have been resisted by the oil and gas industry. There are some that think a severance tax will smother a potential energy boom just out of the womb. .
Two states, Pennsylvania and Ohio are responsible for 83 percent of the increase in U.S. natural gas production since 2009, according to federal statistics.
Government forecasters predict the Marcellus Shale formation, which runs under eastern Ohio and much of Pennsylvania, will yield up to 147 trillion cubic feet of natural gas by 2040. And the Utica Shale formation, a few thousand feet below the Marcellus, may be even more promising.
But the battle over a severance tax was one of the sticking points in the budget. And believe it or not, in addition to Governor Tom Wolf, Governor John Kasich of Ohio wants a tax too. How ‘bout that!!


Democrats celebrated a clean sweep of three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, locking in a majority on the state's highest court for at least a decade that could help shape the legislative redistricting that will follow the 2020 census.
The winners of the seven-way race were Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty and Superior Court judges David Wecht and Christine Donohue of Allegheny County.
The losing GOP candidates were Superior Court Judge Judy Olson of Allegheny County, Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey of Bucks County and Adams County Judge Mike George


Hundreds of pages of pornographic e-mails that state Attorney General Kathleen Kane says will exonerate her -- became public on this summer.
Exactly two weeks after holding a press conference where the Scranton-native pushed for their release the state Supreme Court acted. Some of the emails contain nude or scantily-clad women. They had previously been under court seal.One document from Kane's attorneys says two former state prosecutors, who were peddlers of pornography, triggered the grand jury investigation against her.
The e mails keep on coming but many political observers say they will have little impact on her fate as AG.


Tom Wolf took office this year with a type of bare bones Inaugural. He named a diverse Cabinet, but ran into an issue with his pick for State Police Commissioner when the person he named wanted to wear the uniform even though he did not serve in the Pa. State Police.
But that was nothing compared to the road block he faced with the State Legislature as he tried to pass a budget. You have to wonder at Christmas morning breakfast in the Wolf house this year whether his wife or one of his kids might ask him, “You spent 10 million dollars for this?”


2015 was not the best of years for Kathleen Kane. Elected to the office of Attorney General as the first elected woman, Kane was riding high. As a matter of fact, this 2012 Women We Love Award winner was riding high. But In August 2015, Kane was arrested and charged with multiple offenses, including two counts of felony perjury, and obstruction of justice. In September 2015, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania suspended Kane's license to practice law, the first such occurrence for a Pennsylvania attorney general.. Her e mail saga now complicated by her sister passing dubious e mails as well as her continuing legal battles will flow into 2016 and beyond.


The State Budget Stalemate had to be one of the most frustrating stories of the year. The Governor wanted to make a stand in his first year and refused to budge on certain concessions. The House and Senate were at odds like they were in the Tom Corbett days but this time they had a Governor who was standing firm. An unholy alliance happened between Democrats who were pressured by union and GOP House members on a bill that would give new employees an option to take a 401 k pension instead of one supported by the taxpayers.
As this is being published, the Governor has the House version and is making a decision as to whether he should sign it.
Sources: Scranton Times,, Penn Live, AP, LuLacPolitical Letter.


At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“You spent 10 million dollars for this?”

I'm trying to figure out how he ever made that much money. If his incompetence at being governor is any indication may be time to investigate just how legitimate his business success was.


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