Monday, February 29, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3157, February 29th, 2016

Congressman Lou Barletta on CSPAN this afternoon (Photo: CSPAN).

The House of Representatives today unanimously approved bipartisan legislation to address the rising costs of disasters in the United States, reduce the toll of future losses, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster assistance capabilities and programs.
The FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 1471) was introduced in the House by Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman Lou Barletta (R-PA), Subcommittee Ranking Member André Carson (D-IN), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), and Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
H.R. 1471 authorizes FEMA programs that help reduce the loss of life and property and speed recovery for those impacted by disasters. The bill also requires an assessment of trends in disaster losses and recommendations that will result in the reduction of losses and increased cost savings.
“The FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act has two primary goals: to help save lives, and to save taxpayers money,” Barletta said. “While we are making FEMA more responsive, we’ll also be examining why the cost associated with recovering and rebuilding following disasters continues to increase. I have travelled to different areas of the country, hearing from local people about their experiences in disaster relief, and I believe our study of rising costs will be critical to the efficient use taxpayer resources in responding to catastrophes. If we can get a handle on rising costs, we will be better able to meet the needs of victims of future disasters.”
“This legislation provides much needed protections for emergency responders, as well as provides greater clarity of FEMA’s programs for state, tribal, and local governments,” said Carson. “As a former first responder, I know the peace of mind that this legislation will provide to disaster responders, because this bill is critical to helping them better serve the needs of communities during a crisis.”
“Disaster losses and costs have been on the rise in recent years, and the FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act provides a path to reducing future losses, reducing costs, and helping communities recover more effectively from disasters,” Shuster said.
“This bipartisan FEMA legislation will support the first responders who protect us, save lives by encouraging wildfire mitigation and earthquake warning systems, and clarify reimbursements to state and local governments dealing with disasters,” DeFazio said. “I thank my colleagues for passing this legislation, and urge the Senate to take it up as soon as possible.”
Summary of the FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 2015
· Commissions an assessment of trends in disaster losses—their causes and amounts—and recommendations that will result in the reduction of losses and increased cost savings
· Provides the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) additional direction and authorization for key programs that help reduce the loss of life and property and speed recovery for those impacted by disaster, including authorizing FEMA through FY 2018, consistent with current funding levels, and authorizing the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Response System through FY 2018 and clarifies liabilities and compensation issues related to participants in the system
· Raises the Public Assistance small projects threshold to $1 million to reduce administrative costs, expedite assistance, and help communities recover more quickly
· Establishes rates to reimburse states and local governments for the administrative costs incurred to implement disaster recovery projects, and provides a fixed cap to avoid uncontrolled administrative costs
· Reinstates a 3-year statute of limitations on FEMA’s ability to reclaim funds based on an agency change in policy determination after an applicant has already spent the funds on projects previously determined to be eligible
· Clarifies mitigation activities related to wildfires and earthquakes
Click here for more information about the FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 201

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3156, February 27th, 2016


Hillary Clinton Saturday night. (Photo: CNN).
Hillary Clinton got vindication tonight in South Carolina from her 2008 loss to Barack Obama. In that race the Clintons were on the ropes as the black Democratic community went to the Junior Senator from Illinois. But this year, Hillary Clinton trounced Berne Sanders by a 75% to 25% or thereabouts.
Clinton gave a rousing victory speech and seemed poised to sweep the majority of races on Super Tuesday. While these southern states traditionally don’t go Democratic in the fall, (as predicted by LBJ when the Civil Rights Bills were passed in the 60s) these early primaries build up delegate leads that are hard to erode by challengers. Plus there were some stunning numbers from the night. With blacks over 65 Clinton got 96% of the vote. The win gave her a big push toward the critical month of March. Clinton congratulated her opponent but then advised that the race was going national. Apparently that was lost on MSNBC’s increasingly annoying Rachel Maddow but I’m sure someone explained it to her.
The other day Clinton sat down a spell with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. Here’s part of that interview:

Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (Photo:
Well okay, an ex Governor but a Governor nonetheless.
Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer gave a thumbs up for Donald Trump. She joins Chris Christie, New Jersey's governor, and Paul LePage, Maine's governor. What sealed it for her was Trump’s stance on immigration. Brewer herself had been a lightning rod while in office. Her statement followed: “For years I pleaded with the federal government to do their job and secure our border. Today, we can elect a President who will do just that - Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump will secure our borders, defend our workers and protect our sovereignty. Mr. Trump will stand for our law enforcement, our police and our immigration officers. Mr. Trump will actually enforce the rule of law." (AOL News)

The LuLac Edition #3155, February 27th, 2016

  Trump and Christie, the Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone of 2016. (Photo: NBC)
Friday Donald Trump had a big announcement at a news conference. Trump got the endorsement of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. People in the Trump camp are excited because in a way it gives his run a tad bit of gravitas. To date there were very few elected officials to back him. But is the Christie imprimatur a big help? Here's my take:
1. Just what part of Christie's huge Presidential vote totals will help propel Trump to the nomination?
2. How will the blustery Governor of Joizee with the bum credit ratings give Trump anymore than what he has to offer in the issues department? 
3. Like Richard Gere in "An Officer and A Gentleman", Christie has "Nowhere To Go" and Trump seems to be his only option for any type of relevance.
Christie's endorsement comes on the heels of Marco Rubio growing a set in the Thursday night debate against Trump. Christie camped out in New Hampshire in late '15 and was rising in the polls until the Rubio campaign hit him hard. This is Christie's payback.
There will be two groups thrilled with this development, Bullies and loudmouths from New York and New Jersey. Keep that bridge open so they can have easy access to and fro. 
But these two need a campaign song, how about yabba dabba doo????

Cheryl Tiegs. (Photo: Zimbo).
That TV idiot, Dr. Oz landed in the middle of a Face book fury between former super model Cheryl TIegs who said the Sports Illustrated plus size model Ashley Graham did not promote a healthy body life style. Like so many lemming like Americans Tiegs got her cue from Dr. Oz who said that by putting Graham on the cover of SI, the magazine was promoting an "unhealthy" life style for women. Yet that body type represents 67% of American woman. Tiegs who has been an advocate for older women really missed the mark on this. She has since apologized to Graham for her comments and that's a good thing. But it doesn't change the fact that millions of Americans follow Dr. Oz and eat up his dictates like the sermon from the mount. Tiegs just proved that even a famous person buys into this guy's act. And that should just stop.

Lexii just two Sundays ago on WALN TV 137.
We send our sympathies to our friends at WALN TV and radio down in the Lehigh Valley this week. For those in the Wilkes Barre Area and Service Electric TV broadcast area, The Happy Jack Burns Sunday night show always had co hosts who would interact with audience members as the show was broadcast live. One of the most popular co hosts was "Lexii". She passed away this week and we send our prayers and support to her family and the entire WALN TV family. Here's her obituary.
Alexandria “Lexii” Aurelia Cramsey, 20, passed away Sunday, February 21, 2016. Born in Allentown, she was the daughter of Gina Cramsey of L. Macungie, John Cramsey of Zionsville and step daughter of Kim Cramsey. Lexii was the First WALN Party Channel girl. As a professional model, she worked with three agencies in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Mexico and also was a ballet dancer.
Survivors: parents, brothers John J., Matthew and Dakota, maternal grandparents Larry and Jeanne Bloch, loving cousins and extended family.
Services were 12:00 Noon, Friday, February 26th.
Contributions, can be made payable and mailed to Trexler Funeral Home, Trexler Funeral Home, 1625 Highland St., Allentown, 18102 in memory of Lexii to defray final expenses.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3154, February 25th, 2016



 Hillary Clinton. (Photo: CBS News).
I saw the clip where Hillary Clinton was asked by CBS' Scott Pelley as to whether she will tell the truth as President. Clinton answered truthfully. Clinton told Pelley she has “tried in every way I know how” to be straightforward and honest with the American people. That statement prompted the CBS reporter to ask Clinton about her track record. "I've always tried to" tell truth to American people”. Pelley and then others went nuts saying that Clinton couldn’t answer the question. People started their hand wringing about honesty and lying. Jesus, have we learned nothing?
Look, Presidents,  like people,  LIE. Sometimes a leader needs to lie. Not Richard Nixon lying but shading of the truth to subdue an enemy, to promote the greater good and to get things done. And if you think a President never lied to the American people about policy, then why didn’t the GOP get Roe Vs. Wade overturned? C’mon If we are sooooooooooooooooooo self righteous about giving her truth serum, let’s consider our own lives. We lie every day.
“Does this dress make me look fat”?
"Isn’t this the most beautiful baby you’ve ever seen?”
"My son is surely going to get into Harvard after he gets his scores up in his Junior year, right?"
"Read my lips, no new taxes". 
"Sure my wife knows". 
Hillary Clinton is being held to such a ridiculous standard of truth that it is laughable. Her answer that “I’ve always tried to tell the truth to the American people” is the truth. As a citizen, that’s all I expect. Everyday, every one tries to do their best in their jobs and in their family life. You always try to tell the truth. That’s all one can expect of a human being. Even Presidents.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandovol. (Photo: The Guardian)
The very fact that Mitch McConnell has said he won’t even bring an Obama nomination to the floor is emblematic of how Washington has broken down in the last 8 years. To not even bring a vote to someone YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW is juvenile and not reasonable. The Democrats can in a General Election on this pig headed stupidity.
Meanwhile there are reports that the President via Harry Reid is looking at Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican and former federal judge, for  consideration for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Consider this, if the President nominated a Republican it would do two things. 
Telegraph that he has always been reasonable and willing to work with the GOP. It will cement his legacy as a victim of GOP legislative thuggery of the highest order. 
The second thing it will do, if run correctly, is maybe get back the Senate. Key seats can be had in blue states and in other places by appealing to the unreasonable record of no by the GOP controlled Senate.
I hope the President nominates him because he can pull a political power play that would get him a nominee, get his successor a new Senate and something for historians to stew over as to who the true statesman was and who the shallow charlatans of no were.

 Governor Tom Wolf (Photo:
Governor Tom Wolf made an announcement today concerning his health. Here is a message we received on the LuLac e mail machine.
Frances and I recently learned I have prostate cancer that was thankfully detected early after a regular checkup revealed abnormalities.
I am very thankful that my doctors caught this cancer quickly and have worked with me to plan a treatment schedule that will address my medical issues and allow me to serve the people of Pennsylvania.
These treatments do not present any impairment to my ability to perform my duties as governor.
And while prostate cancer can be a serious disease, it has a nearly 100% survival rate if detected early, which is one of the reasons why I decided to make my diagnosis public.
It wasn't luck that caught this at such an early stage -- it was a regular checkup with my doctor.
Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. The majority of cases are detected in men aged 65 or older. Depending on health history, all men aged between 45 and 50 should have a conversation with their doctor about beginning regular screenings.
I'm 67 years old -- just above the average age for prostate cancer -- and I've been getting screenings as part of my regular checkup for years.
I encourage everyone in Pennsylvania to make sure they schedule checkups with their doctors and to learn more about screening guidelines so early detection and treatment can be possible.
Here's a helpful article from the American Cancer Society on the regular screenings men and women should get:
American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer
As your governor, as a husband, and as a father of two wonderful daughters, I promise to keep fighting for increased access to healthcare for all Pennsylvanians and increased awareness on the importance of routine checkups and screening.



Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement following Governor Tom Wolf’s announcement that he is being treated for prostate cancer.
“Our Party may battle on policy issues with Governor Tom Wolf, but we join him in his battle against prostate cancer,” Gleason said. “On behalf of the entire Republican Party of Pennsylvania, I want to offer Governor Tom Wolf our thoughts and prayers and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Congressmen Lou Barletta and Matt Cartwright (Photo: WNEP).
U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright applauded final congressional passage of legislation he co-introduced and championed, the Eric Williams Correctional Protection Act of 2015, which will permanently extend the availability of pepper spray to all federal correctional workers and providing training for those workers under Bureau of Prison guidelines.
"The senseless murder of Officer Eric Williams underscored the dire need for safer work environments in our correctional facilities,” said Rep. Cartwright. “I am proud of my colleagues in the House and Senate for recognizing the need to adequately protect those men and women who put their lives on the line each day to keep our communities safe, and for honoring Officer Williams' sacrifice with common sense reform that will help protect others in the future."
This afternoon, the House unanimously passed the Eric Williams Correctional Protection Act. The bill passed the Senate in the same form on December 16, 2015, so the measure will now go to the president for his signature.
Since the tragic death of USP Canaan Correctional Officer Eric Williams in 2013, Cartwright has worked to expedite and expand the pepper spray pilot program to include all correctional officers, including unit staff, cafeteria, and administrative workers in housing units. The pilot program has since expanded to six additional medium security institutions as a result of these efforts.
The legislative effort championed by Congressman Cartwright to permanently extend pepper spray to all federal correctional workers was supported by the National Association of Police Organizations, the Council of Local Prisons, and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and was found by the Congressional Budget Office to have no cost to taxpayers.
Congressman Lou Barletta, also took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to urge support for supplying pepper spray to federal corrections officers through legislation named for Nanticoke native Eric Williams, an officer at the U.S. Prison at Canaan who was killed by an inmate in 2013. The Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act passed the House by a voice vote in the form of a senate bill sponsored by Sen. Pat Toomey (PA). Barletta was a cosponsor of the House version from Rep. David McKinley (WV-1), along with Rep. Tom Marino (PA-10), Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-17). The bill now heads to the president’s desk for his consideration.
During the legislative course of the bill, Barletta met with Eric Williams’ parents, Don and Jean Williams, who now help lead an organization called Voices of JOE. The letters of J-O-E stand for Jose Rivera, Osvaldo Albarati, and Eric Williams, three former corrections employees who were targeted and killed because of their positions in the prison system.
Barletta’s entire statement on the floor of the House of Representatives is as follows:
Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act.
First, let me explain the title of the bill.
Eric Williams was a constituent of mine from Nanticoke – a Senior Correctional Officer at the U.S. Prison at Canaan in Waymart, Pennsylvania, which is just outside my district.
On February 25, 2013 – that’s three years ago tomorrow – Eric Williams was working in the prison when he was suddenly attacked by an inmate.
The inmate knocked Officer Williams down a flight of steps.
He then stabbed him more than 200 times with a homemade shank.
That inmate is now charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder of a U.S. corrections officer … and possessing contraband in prison. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Needless to say, at the time of the attack, Officer Williams was unarmed.
Now, it makes sense that officers don’t carry firearms into areas where inmates could gain access to them. But this bill tells the Bureau of Prisons to supply pepper spray to prison officers, or other employees who could be involved in emergency situations with inmates.
If Officer Williams had been equipped with pepper spray three years ago, he might have been able to defend himself against that cowardly, ambush-style attack. And perhaps he’d be alive today. This will give correctional officers that fighting chance that Officer Williams did not have.
I have had the privilege of meeting with Eric Williams’ parents, Don and Jean. They’re now part of an organization called “Voices of JOE.”
The letters of J-O-E stand for Jose Rivera, Osvaldo Albarati, and Eric Williams.
They were killed because of their jobs in the correctional system.
For them, Mr. Speaker, and all of our correctional officers who risk their lives every day, I urge support for the bill.
I yield back.


ECTV Live hosts David DeCosmo and Rusty Fender continue their focus of area Saint Patrick's events during the week of February 29th. Jamie Hailstone will be their guest as he outlines plans for this year's Saint Patrick's Parade in Scranton. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast Channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is aired several times daily throughout the week.


This week's guest is Kevin Young from PAWsitively for the Animals. You'll hear the program Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on The Game Sports Radio 1400/1440 am and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River.



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.


The Doo-Wop Sock Hop can be heard every Sunday night from 6P to 9P on “105 The River (104.9 FM) Host is the incomparable Bobby V.


Our 1971 logo.
Secretary General U Thant signs the United Nations proclamation of the vernal equinox as Earth Day…..Evel Knievel sets a world record and jumps 19 cars in Ontario, California……Governor Shapp says that the state income tax passed earlier in the year will get the state out of its budget deficit… Wilkes Barre construction begins on what will be the Wyoming Valley Mall and 45 years ago the number one song in LuLac land a nd America was I Hear You Knocking by Dave Edmunds, a remake of a 1950s tune by Gale Storm. Fats Domino also did it too.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3153, February 24th, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3152, February 24th, 2016


Donald Trump won by a two to one margin over both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in the Nevada caucus last night. To date it was the most convincing win for the business mogul. There is now speculation that with both Rubio and Cruz fighting each other instead of Trump, the billionaire may very well have a path to a sweep on Super Tuesday.
Even this guy might be warming up to Trump if that happens.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3151, February 23rd, 2016


The polls/caucuses close tonight at 10PM Eastern time for the Nevada GOP results. Donald Trump seems to think he will win but his runner ups Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz won’t cry uncle.
Nevada is one of the most transient states in the county with people coming and going. There will be more participants than 2012 but a good indicator is that many will be first time goers. Clark County, the most populous of the counties in the state will be one to watch. 


Former Congressman, Governor and Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge. (Photo: Newsmax)
Tom Ridge was a backer of Jeb Bush even before Bush decided to run. Ridge has had a very good history and working relationship with the Bush family going back to his days in Congress during the 1980s.  But another person Ridge worked with closely in Congress with was John Kasich. So it comes as no surprise that Ridge went against the GOP grain today (a bunch of GOP politicos jumped on the Rubio bandwagon) and endorsed Ohio Governor John Kasich. Kasich's campaign said that Ridge would also be a national co chair for the Ohio Governor. 
Ridge has said that Donald Trump is an embarrassment to the party and said if Trump was the nominee, he, (Ridge) may not vote in the General Election.                                       


If you weren’t listening to NPR this morning, you missed one hell of an interview with a Jeb Bush major donor. Jamie Wareham was interviewed by Steve Inskeep and it was dynamite. This points to the way that sometimes a candidate that is a front runner is burdened and not served well by so called staff. Here’s part of that and the link to NPR.Org at the end of the article.
"I think the campaign was winnable, and we lost," Jamie Wareham, a Washington, D.C., lawyer, told NPR's Steve Inskeep on Tuesday. Wareham donated more than $40,000 to Right to Rise USA and helped the group rake in cash from other donors.
Questions abound about whether it was the campaign, the superPAC or, as is usually the case, the candidate himself who was to blame. Bush has been criticized for being too slow to respond to a campaign that was different from the one he — and almost everyone else — expected. No one foresaw the political force Donald Trump would be, and Bush — and every other candidate, for that matter — had difficulty knocking the seemingly underqualified Trump off stride.
Above all, Bush seemed to be the victim of a Republican Party that may be fundamentally changed from the one that elected his father and brother president. But Wareham still felt, maybe wished, the campaign could have done something, anything to change the dynamic.
"I hoped there would be a change at the top when in the early, midsummer it was clear we had the wrong people leading the campaign," Wareham said, referring to when Trump began his rise.
Wareham put the onus on campaign manager Danny Diaz, who joined as campaign manager in the summer of 2015. "He lacked the temperament," Wareham charged. "His major accomplishment prior to being hired was losing the Ken Cuccinelli campaign in Virginia. So he had no successful experience. Though he did have experience."
Cuccinelli was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for governor of Virginia in 2013. Diaz, a veteran hand of four presidential campaigns and a former Republican National Committee communications director, certainly has more experience than one failed race.
Though he has never run a presidential campaign, and only a few have run successful ones, he helped elect Republican Govs. Doug Ducey of Arizona and Susana Martinez of New Mexico. He also became known as a "fixer" on Senate campaigns, helping elect Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois.
A former campaign operative familiar with the situation accused Wareham of having an ax to grind. "Within the campaign, James Wareham was well-known as a malcontent who routinely sowed problems and required significant levels of handholding," the former operative said.
The operative added that Wareham "became largely intolerable when his personal friend — the campaign's previous chief operations officer — was dismissed for subpar performance. Wareham represents everything that's wrong with politics, someone whose self-anointed importance drives their every action and decision."
NPR reached out to Wareham for response.
"Sadly, this type of sophomoric, self-possessed intemperance is illustrative of the atmosphere Mr. Diaz created inside what was supposed to be a joyful campaign," Wareham said in an email. "My views are anything but personal. Indeed, they are shared by dozens and dozens of loyal Jeb supporters who for many months held their tongues out of concern they might possibly harm Gov. Bush. Mr. Diaz always seemed to think the campaign was somehow about him. In the end, it largely was because the candidate who is, by far, the most qualified person to run this country in such hazardous times is no longer in the race, in large measure, because of Mr. Diaz's incompetence."
Here’s the link:

Congressman Lou Barletta. (Photo: LuLac archives).
Congressman Lou Barletta, introduced a resolution authorizing the use of U.S. Capitol Grounds for the 35th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service and the National Honor Guard and Pipe Band Exhibition. The memorial service, sponsored by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police and its auxiliary, will take place on Sunday, May 15, 2016. It will mark the beginning of “Police Week,” which is an annual event drawing as many as 40,000 law enforcement officers, their friends, and family to the nation’s capital. Barletta introduced the resolution in his role as Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management.
“The sacrifices of our peace officers, and the sacrifices of their families, should not be forgotten,” Barletta said. “These officers risk their lives every day to protect our communities and their bravery and selfless services shall not be overlooked by a grateful nation.”
Five law enforcement officers from Pennsylvania lost their lives in the line of duty in 2015. They were:
John James Wilding, Scranton Police Department
Eric A. Eslary, Ligonier Township Police Department
Paul John Koropal, Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, Investigative Division
Lloyd E. Reed, Jr., St. Clair Township Police Department
Robert Frances Wilson III, Philadelphia Police Department
The event was begun in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, who signed a proclamation designating May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which the date fell as Police Week. The service itself began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporter of law enforcement. Over the decades, the event has grown into National Police Week as it exists now. For more information on National Police Week and the official events surrounding it, please visit

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3150, February 21st, 2016


Trump (Photo:
Donald Trump now has won two primaries in two of the most different regions of the country. His win in South Carolina, following New Hampshire gives him more electoral credibility than ever. But with wins comes the daggers. Right now in the wake of this win, Trump has a big target on his back. Especially since he captured all fifty delegates in the state.
Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz can crow all they want about being an alternative to Trump but both have their issues. Cruz is seen as too conservative and unlikable. Rubio is seen as likable but a Republican version of Barack Obama. One term Senator, pretty much a lifetime public servant with a light resume.
The exit of Jeb Bush was the end of the Bush dynasty. At least for a while. There are a gaggle of grandchildren running around but Jeb’s campaign is the end of a Bush era that began in 1980 when Ronald Reagan chose “The Ambassador” to be his Vice President. Bush was classy in defeat and certainly sent signals that he wanted a nominee that wasn’t Trump. Never said it but listen to the speech and see what I mean. His candidacy was the wrong one at the wrong time. He might have been better off trying in 2012 instead of this year.
Nevada is next for the GOP but the next big deal is going to be Super Tuesday where there are 12 states across the nation up for grabs. That’s a lot of delegates. If Trump picks at least 8 of the 12 states off, you will see an effort to stop Trump from getting the nomination. The PACs are going to be coming after him and if Rubio doesn’t win a primary and Cruz doesn’t improve, look for another entrant to ride in and try to stop Trump.
There is a heart and soul battle for what the GOP will be in the next twenty years. The primary elections of Trump have basically repudiated the moderates, the neo cons as well as the Tea Party followers. Trump has scattered all three wings by his smart campaign but also by pointing out that all three segments of the party failed the voters in governing. The fireworks have already begun.


Hillary Clinton (Photo: New York Magazine)
Hillary Clinton won a convincing win in Nevada. Clinton is battling a challenge from Bernie Sanders who says he will fight on. The next battle ground state is South Carolina next Saturday night. What, you might say, I thought there was a primary tonight??? Well yes but the South Carolinians vote in two different weekends. Patrick Hussion of WYFF Channel 4 says that Greenville County elections officer Conway Belangia said each party sees benefits in having their own day for voting in the primary. "It provides each political party with their own special day. It's their day in the sun," he says. Belangia says South Carolina benefits from two primary dates because no other state primaries will be competing for the national limelight on those days.
It’s the south, what can I tell you.
Clinton will be battled by Sanders but I think she can count on support she didn’t have in 2008 from minorities. Sanders is getting support but in my opinion it will not overcome her strength in South Carolina. Like Trump she will benefit from Super Tuesday and the big calendar. It’s looking good but she needs to ask some more pointed questions. Bernie Sanders says he’ll pay for every kid to go to college by taxing Wall Street investors. Okay so that means Sanders will impose a tax on stock transactions. Does he realize the implications that will have for regular folks that have annuities, IRAs and 401ks? Not all people who buy stocks are Wall Street insiders!
It is easy for Sanders to be against everything when he can’t tell you how the hell it works. Clinton has to make the point that Bernie has to be more specific on just how the hell he would reform everything. That’s her challenge because Bernie is selling Popsicles in his campaign and Hillary is selling Granola bars. Bernie knows more people would like a Popsicle than health bar. Now is the time to get him to be more specific.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3149, February 20th, 2016


Former Wilkes Barre Area School Board member Lou Elmy in happier days. (Photo: Times Leader).
Right before the election when Lou Elmy was running for Council against Tony Brooks in Wilkes Barre District B, I had a conversation with a local Democrat when we were reviewing the race a few days before the voting. She said, “Sometimes it’s better to have a bad Democrat than a good Republican”. At that time Elmy was being criticized for hiring his family and just being an inarticulate flunky who had been dining at the public trough for years. Then there was the issue of signs in the campaign which everybody involved in politics has to deal with at some time or another. If you have signs, you expect some of them to be stolen or vandalized. His campaign finance reports, again he wasn’t alone in having issues.
However the news that Elmy was charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possessing a firearm while being a habitual drug user according to the Times Leader and The Citizen’s Voice. The drug charge carries a fine of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison. Elmy was placed on administrative leave from the Luzerne County prison where he worked as Counselor. According to reports there may be more to this story especially if any of his personal charges might be related to his role in the prison.
This is ironic because last year Elmy ran on a platform to keep the Wilkes Barre neighborhoods from “the out of control drug trade”.
What is astounding to me is the press coverage. You get a former School Director and political crony and relative of formerly indicted officials and no front tabloid page? Really? Elmy is of course proven innocent until he is judged. (His hearing is on March 2nd). But right now there are serious questions about a prison counselor who had interactions with inmates on a daily basis. Residents want to know if Elmy’s personal battles of drug use might have blended into his work life.
Elmy’s arrest just might trigger an investigation into the entire Prison including Work Release and other aspects of how the facility runs. Division head Alan Nesbitt told the press that federal authorities have not informed prison officials of any allegations linked to Elmy’s prison employment. The key word there folks is “informed”. The feds aren’t here to check out the oysters at Kevin’s or the Hockey at The Arena.
More to come.

I saw this story on Face book this week and it outraged me right from the very first sentence. From Greene County, Pennsylvania. An inmate, a lifer stabbed a prison guard not once, not twice, but 12 TIMES and no charges were filed. Now as you read the story you’ll see that the guard had no life threatening wounds and he did not die. But that is not the point. After the brutal murder of Nanticoke’s Eric Williams by a permanent resident there should be more than a shrug of the shoulders by prison authorities if an employee is attacked.
I get the fact that the inmate is never going to be released.
I get the fact that pieces of crap like this have essentially nothing to lose.
But maybe they should lose something. Like maybe a cot. Like maybe a meal.
Or perhaps a conference with some prison guard’s families who unlike the guards may or may not have weapons.
This is still another example of why we need the death penalty in a two year window. A life sentence should not be a license to main or kill.
While this incident in Greene County had a somewhat positive outcome, the next time it may not.
Just as the family of Eric Williams. Here’s the story:
The inmate who stabbed a corrections officer at SCI-Greene nearly a dozen times in November will not be charged.
State police Trooper Daniel Barnhart, who investigated the Nov. 19 stabbing, said they decided against filing charges after speaking with Greene County District Attorney Marjorie Fox and the injured corrections officer.
Barnhart said the inmate’s life sentence for murder was also a leading factor against filing charges since he will not be released from prison. Neither the inmate nor the corrections officer have been identified.
Fox declined to discuss the incident except to say “nothing will be filed at the present time.”
The inmate ambushed the guard in the pod area of the general population B-Block and used a shank during the attack that lasted for nearly a minute. The corrections officer suffered 10 cuts and lacerations, most of which were superficial wounds, although one cut to the back of the head required stitches, police said.
The guard subdued the prisoner and other correction officers were able to come to his aid to restrain the attacker. Investigators did not release a motive for the attack at the prison in Franklin Township.
The guard was taken to WHS-Greene hospital where he was treated and released.
Tracy Shawley, the assistant to the SCI-Greene superintendent, said Tuesday the officer is “doing fine” but still has not returned to his post following the attack.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3148, February 18th, 2016


So when the Super Bowl ended, I was wondering just what in the hell was going to replace that contact sport. Seems like it is the 2016 Presidential race. There are Saturday night debates replacing the old time fights on TV. Saturday night there will be an honest to God election. The Republicans will square off in their primary.
A week later there will be another election. Yep the Democrats square off. South Carolina is a pivotal state for both parties. This will truly test the strength of Mr. Trump, will indicate if John Kasich can stay alive and is of the utmost importance for Jeb Bush to win, place or show.
On the Democratic side it will be the test of Hillary Clinton’s firewall against Bernie Sanders. This primary saved George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000 and gave Barack Obama a win against Hillary and Bill.
Of all the primaries so far, this will be worth watching. So DVR “Doc Martin” and watch it Sunday.


So today Donald Trump said the Pope as a religious leader should not question his (the candidate’s) faith. The Pope made his remarks on the way home from his recent trip. The Pontiff said that Mr. Trump’s views on building a wall and immigration were not necessarily Christian. Trump pounced and don’t think for a minute that was not aimed at the Evangelicals in South Carolina.

Attorney General candidate Joe Peters (right) with his son Max and Dad Gene. (Photo: Peters website).
To answer the question,  he is the latest candidate to step into the fray to succeed Kathleen Kane as Attorney General. I’ve known Joe for about 15 years but for those of you who don’t know him, here’s a little background from his campaign.
Joe Peters rose from street cop to serving Presidents Clinton and Bush 43 as a leader in the efforts to combat drug trafficking and battle international terrorism. Joe oversaw the country’s 26 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) programs and their budget of $250 million, and he represented the White House with police, prosecutors, governors, mayors and non-governmental organizations.
As a Federal Prosecutor, Joe’s accomplishments include the convictions of Philadelphia Mob Boss “Little Nicky” Scarfo, his underboss, and 16 mob soldiers. This trial, conducted by Joe and four other Federal Prosecutors, resulted in one of the most significant Mafia family convictions in U.S. history. As a result, he received the United States Department of Justice’s John Marshall Award. The Associated Press called Joe and his fellow prosecutors the “Modern Day Untouchables.”
Joe has presented to law enforcement officials from around the world, and has trained military and civilian personnel in Panama and consulted with law enforcement in Italy, the UK, Dubai, Kuwait and Qatar.
A native of Lackawanna County, Joe has devoted his career to public service, and served for more than 15 years in the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, rising from an intern to become the state’s top drug prosecutor. In the White House he served as Assistant Deputy Director for State & Local Affairs in the Drug Czar’s office.
Currently Peters works with national and international law enforcement organizations on terrorism and related intelligence and prosecution issues. Joe’s expertise on these issues have been recognized by Fox News, CNN and television networks as far away as London and Italy which have asked for his expert on-air commentary. Additionally, for many years, Joe hosted his own radio show, “Tough Talk with Joe Peters.”
Joe graduated from King’s College and later the Dickinson School of Law. He is a member of the E. B. Jermyn Lodge #2 Fraternal Order of Police and has been honored by the PA Chiefs of Police Association by being named a Life Member. He is an associate member of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association and a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, where he sits on its Terrorism Committee.
Joe is the oldest of five children of Gene and Peg Peters and is the proud father of his son Max; his father served two-terms as a GOP Mayor of Scranton. In 2004 Joe was the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania Auditor General.


Congressman Lou Barletta (Photo: LuLac archives)
Congressman Lou Barletta made this comment on the death of Justice Scalia this week. “I am saddened by the loss of Antonin Scalia, one of the great conservative legal minds this nation has ever produced. As the first Italian-American member of the high court, and also a Catholic, he was a strong role model for countless others like me in this country. He was a strong family man, married to his wife Maureen since 1960, and the father of nine children. Showing his trademark wit, he often joked that he was comfortable on the court because he was experienced in working with groups of nine. His voice and legal acumen will long be missed. May he rest in peace.”


The Keystone Progress Summit ( opens this tomorrow with a U.S. Senate candidate debate featuring John Fetterman, Katie McGinty and Joe Sestak.
On Saturday, February 20, Keystone Progress will also hold an Attorney General candidate debate featuring John Morganelli, Josh Shapiro, and Stephen Zappala.
Ritchie Tabachnick, the chair of the board of debate host Keystone Progress, predicts that “Our debates will be the most insightful and interesting debates of the year. Our questions will not be the questions you have heard at other events.”
Questions will be posed by members of the audience and by representatives of progressive organizations including labor unions, environmental, women’s and civil rights groups.
The debates are part of the annual Keystone Progress Summit (, Pennsylvania’s largest gathering of progressive activists. The Summit attracts hundreds of activists for inspirational speakers, educational workshops, trainings, parties and other events.
The debates feature candidates who will be on the ballot in the April primary. Invitations were sent to Republican candidates who either declined or did not respond. Invitations were also sent to incumbent Attorney General Kathleen Kane but her announcement the other day made that moot.
U.S. Senate Candidates Debate
Friday, February 19, 6:00 PM
Hilton Harrisburg, 1 N. 2nd St., Harrisburg, PA
Harrisburg Ballroom
Attorney General Candidates Debate
Saturday, February 20, 4:15 PM
Hilton Harrisburg
Pennsylvania Ballroom



When I had the privilege to work for Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, one of the things I was very proud of was the way the company communicated with its members and the public via advertising. Straight forward, friendly and easy to understand. Highmark put a new ad this week called “The Chair”. The voice over says all the right things but the optics of a chair being torn apart is visually off the mark. In a way the guy tearing apart the chair gets your attention but the script is overshadowed by the action. At the end the chair is paired down to the bare essentials which says to me that health care insurance companies do the minimum for you. I know, I know, the guy looks like he’s going out for a run but the ad really misses the mark. This ad has been around but I just caught it the other night. Just my humble opinion as a former media representative.


Time to begin wearing the green on ECTV Live! Hosts David DeCosmo and Rusty Fender will welcome Sarah Donahue to the program to outline plans for this year's Saint Patrick's Parade in the city of Pittston. 

This year's Parade is scheduled for Saturday, March 5th. ECTV Live can be seen on Comcast channel 19 (61 in some areas) and is aired several times daily throughout the week beginning with the Live program on Monday, February 22nd., at Noon.


This Week on Sunday Magazine
Brian Hughes speaks with registered dietitian and nutrition expert Lisa Katic about 5 easy ways to jump start your healthy New Year's resolutions.
Magic 93's Frankie in the Morning speaks with Bill and Carolyn about "Bowl For Kids Sake" to benefit Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Northeast Pa.
And an encore of Brian's January interview with thought leader, Dr. Tracey Wilen on hiring
trends for 2016.
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.?


Taxes are the topic this week with Bill Lazor, CPA. Tune in Sunday morning at 6 on 94.3 The Talker; 6:30 on The Game Sports Radio 1400/1440 am and 106.7 fm; and at 7:30 on 105 The River


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.


The Doo-Wop Sock Hop can be heard every Sunday night from 6P to 9P on “105 The River (104.9 FM) Host is the incomparable Bobby V.


Our 1971 logo.
The US, UK, USSR and others sign the Seabed Treaty, outlawing nuclear weapons on the ocean floor..... The United States Emergency Broadcast System is accidentally activated, on WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana, causing some Radio and TV stations to interrupt normal broadcasting in anticipation of a national emergency requiring the President to address the population....Mississippi Valley tornado outbreak: Nineteen tornadoes rage in the American state of Mississippi, killing 123 Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schweiker states that there has to be more progress in ending the Vietnam Scranton petitions circulate for the 1971 off year elections with the Democratic team of Patrick Mellody and Edward Zipay up for re-election.....and 45 years ago this week the number one song in Lulac land and America was “Lonely Days” by The Bee Gees.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3147, February 17th, 2016


Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.
Grateful for those preserving and promoting Wyoming Valley history

Our friend Kathleen Smith passed this letter regarding her thoughts on preserving and promoting Wyoming Valley History. Here's her letter she sent to me. THe letter was published online at the Times Leader website too.
So wonderful to see two prestigious organizations – the Northeast Pennsylvania Genealogical Society and Hollenback Cemetery Association – working together to further benefit historians and genealogists by preserving records and family history in our area.
As a member of several historic preservation societies and lineage societies, I am delighted to know that there are groups and individuals dedicated to preserving the rich history of our area.
Kudos also to Tom Mooney, the Times Leader’s “Out on a Limb” columnist, for always keeping us informed of events and milestones such as this!
Kathleen Smith

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3146, February 16th, 2016

 Attorney General Kathleen Kane. (Photo: AP)
Well the magical political run of Scranton native Kathleen Kane ended today when the embattled Attorney General said she would not run for re-election. She told a news conference that she loved public service but lived her sons even more. Kane said that although there were strides made in her office, she wanted to spend time with her family.
The Democrats running against her seem to breath a sigh of relief. Three candidates are vying for the seat. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro and Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli are going after the seat. Morganelli is a former AG nominee who lost to Tom Corbett.
Montgomery County prosecutors charged Ms. Kane with perjury, obstruction of justice last August in a case of alleged political retaliation.

 Joe Peters (Photo: LuLac archives)
Attorney Joe Peters has entered the race for Attorney General. When peters’ old boss was saying “see ya” Peters was saying to Pennsylvania voters, “How do you do!!!??” Peters, a former federal and state prosecutor and deputy director in former President George W. Bush's Office of National Drug Control Policy, has said he is the best choice to restore faith and confidence to the state's top law enforcement position. Peters has been running a social media campaign to generate support and apparently has enough started a signature drive to get on the ballot. He will be opposed by State Senator John Rafferty. Here’s his website:


Donald Trump and John Kasich have filed for the delegate Rich Pennsylvania primary. This gives you an indication that both Trump and the Ohio Governor are playing long ball. It is significant that both these candidates feel Pennsylvania will be relevant.


State House Chambers (Photo:
Take a look at all the seats for State Representative in the Lu. No primary opposition. Free rides for every one. Very few of them will have significant opposition in the fall. "Ob  la di, ob la da, life goes on......."

Monday, February 15, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3145, February 15th, 2016

The late Antonin Scalia (Photo: CNN)
The death of Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was both saddening and shocking. Scalia was a mainstay of the Supreme Court. He was very controversial in his comments but that was offset by the brilliance and logic of his opinions. While he was against every decision I agreed with, most notably The Affordable Care Act, I respected Scalia’s ability to make his case. After his death, the eloquence and artistry of his arguments are juxtaposed against the ignorant comments of political experts (aka talk radio callers) who have used his death to promote the stupidity of their views gleaned from talk radio. (I’ll get to that later).
Scalia was always one to rattle the cages and he took great delight in being a contrarian. My good friend former Scranton Mayor James McNulty always says that “Timing counts only in love and politics”. Scalia’s demise was timed exquisitely for this rough and tumble election year. If there are pearly gates you can bet that Scalia is taking great delight in the timing of his departure from this life. One can imagine him expounding on the ramifications his death inflicted on those contemporaries he regarded as intellectual inferiors when he was alive.
The best thing anyone can be said about their life’s work is whether it was consequential or not. Scalia’s service to the Court was that and then some. He will be regarded as one of the most influential Justices in the history of the Court. Not bad for a kid who came from the streets of Trenton, New Jersey.


I was shocked and dismayed at the swift reaction to the death of this good man. I mean the body wasn’t even cold when Mitch McConnell said that there was no way the President should nominate a successor. (To Old Forge’s Frank Scavo, it was McConnell not President Obama who brought this up first. But I’m sure Frank and his Conservative crazies will next blame the President for killing the Justice.)
The national media was no better allowing the GOP candidates to pounce. Then there was the misinformation about the lame duck so called rule that said a President leaving office could or should not appoint a Justice. Some fool to Corbett’s show talked about “The Lyndon Johnson Rule”. There is no LBJ rule NOR is there anything in the Constitution that says anything like that.
Let’s look at the Johnson thing. Arthur Goldberg was a Supreme Court Justice. Johnson pressured him to take the position of UN Ambassador opening up a lane for his friend Abe Fortas to be confirmed as an Associate Justice. That was July 26th, 1965. Not 1968. My late Professor from King’s Dr. Donald Buzinkai said he could never forgive LBJ for talking Goldberg off the court).
Johnson in 1967 appointed Thurgood Marshall the first black person to be on The Supreme Court after Tom Clark retired. When Earl Warren announced his retirement, Johnson elevated Fortas to be the Chief Justice and Homer Thornberry to take his place. Johnson fought hard for the nominations but the liberalism of the Warren Court and a coalition of Southern Democrats who were pissed at LBJ for the Civil Rights legislation and Conservative Republicans stalled it. The Vietnam War, Civil rights, and Johnson’s cronyism with Fortas pretty much did the nominations in. THERE WAS NO LBJ rule or precedent.
Anthony Kennedy was picked by President Reagan after Robert Bork was repudiated by the Democratic Senate in 1986. Bork was the Nixon Solicitor General who became Attorney General after Richard Nixon in 1974 fired two AG’s on the same night. Bork was no angel and the nomination of Bork by Reagan was just as fool hardy as Johnson’s of Fortas. Reagan needed a compromise choice and it was Kennedy. Ironically Reagan’s other picks, Sandra Day O’Connor and Kennedy were centrists unlike Scalia.
So before you swallow what the “know everything” loudmouths of talk radio start telling you, check the facts. Or talk to someone like me who was there when it happened!

Sri Srinivasan. (Photo: American
If I had the ear of the President and I do not, I’d advise him to not pick Loretta Lynch but instead pick Sri Srinivasan, age forty-seven of D.C. Circuit. The child of immigrants from India, Srinivasan grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, the hometown of Bob Dole and Arlen Specter. He served under Sandra Day O’Connor and is not a fire breathing liberal. The President has done his part to increase the Court for women, now it’s time to expand that to recent immigrants. Plus this is the best political choice. How can the GOP already in the doghouse on immigration say they won’t even bring this man’s nomination to the floor?
This silliness that a political party that won the Presidency should wait is just plain stupid. The next President, D o R will have plenty of opportunities to replace 81 year old Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 77 year old Anthony Kennedy and 75 year old Stephen Breyer.
President Obama was elected twice, let the man do his job.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3144, February 14th, 2016

I finally got a chance to get to the Luzerne County GOP’s “Lincoln Day Breakfast” yesterday. More than a hundred hearty souls scoffed at the single digit numbers and cold winds and made their way to Genetti’s in Wilkes Barre for a fine breakfast and exchanging of politics, opinions petitions. The last few years a surprise event for my birthday (2014) and a work commitment (2015) kept me from the event,  but am I glad I attended this year.
The room was festooned with signs from every national Presidential candidate. Even the Santorum and Fiorina signs were in play albeit away from the head table. Chairman Bill Urbanski just days from his appearance on CNN near anchor Don Lemon had the event running smoothly along with Co-Chair Lynette Villano who put the breakfast together. Plus the elected GOP fire power was on hand. Former County Council Chair Rick Morelli was there along with current members Harry Haas, and Gene Kelleher. Luzerne County DA Stephanie Salavantis was on hand and two DA’s from others areas, Shane Scanlon and Robert Klein also made the trip.
Former Mayor Joe Yannuzzi was at the event along with Wilkes Barre City Councilman Tony Brooks who gave the Benediction before things started. Jim O’Meara he of the Lackawanna County Commissioners office was there as always as well as a few delegate candidates I ran into. Paul DeFabo, Rich Adams, and Carol Drewniak. There were many more I missed and didn’t connect with.
The star of the breakfast had to be former Commissioner Red Jones. Jones was in fine form and met many former supporters and friends. The former Commissioner and I talked about Harry Truman, Reagan as well as the new Council form of government. Red wasn’t digging the new Council form saying the 11 elected seemed to be arguing way too much. Red was one busy guy though meeting and greeting his legion of friends.
The program was swift but informative. Tony Brooks gave an inspirational opening prayer but not before telling the group that Wilkes Barre City Council said no to any new taxes. Brooks said that taxpayers in Wilkes Barre could not handle the burden given the aging population. Brooks said that Republicans,  even in a Democratic dominated body can send their message about taxes and efficient government.
Dr. Bill Lewis gave a fascinating connection of Luzerne County’a political relationship with Abraham Lincoln. Lewis joked that Party Chair Bill Urbanski was the only person who owned Lewis’ book on the subject matter. Well I have to tell you after Lewis’ presentation I’m sure there will be a few more takers on his work.
Congressman Lou Barletta said that he was amused that Donald Trump was saying he was the first one to speak about illegal immigration in the United States citing his involvement in that issue since 2006-2007. Barletta also spoke about his work on a Government subcommittee that has saved over 2.9 billion dollars in savings just by relocating government offices to more efficient headquarters. Barletta said that he didn’t care who won the GOP nomination and remarked that any one of those running would be better than Secretary Clinton or Senator Sanders.
The keynote speaker was Senator John Rafferty who is the endorsed candidate for Attorney General. Rafferty was an Assistant AG under Ernie Preate and Tom Corbett. Rafferty made a very unique pledge saying that he wanted two terms as AG eschewing any run for higher office. Rafferty said his reasoning was that’s how long it would take to undo the damage done by the Kathleen Kane administration. Rafferty told the group that in three years Kane undid the 32 year work of administrations that ranged from Leroy Zimmerman (the first elected AG) to Tom Corbett.
Rafferty along with state officials Karen Bobeck of the 117th, Aaron Kaufer of the 120th and Senator Lisa Baker of the Senatorial 20th really expressed their disappointment with Governor Tom Wolf and the budget impasse. While Dr. Bobeck was critical but polite in brief remarks, Kaufer and Baker’s disappointment in Wolf was on steroids. Kaufer who actually got a bill passed in his first term in office outlined Wolf’s education stance saying that the local school districts would not see the money that was promised. Kaufer said the bulk of the money would be going to Philadelphia and that he was not elected to represent those districts but his own. Baker took  major issue with the Wolf image citing that the campaign image did not necessarily transfer into how he is running things now. Baker cited the recent situation with her husband’s position and how he was dispatched months short of retirement. Baker said that even though she was not running she would lend her support to all candidates in this very important election.
Efficient as ever,  the event ended at 10:40AM and people went away red hot on the sub freezing day to work for their candidates in 2016.
Lincoln the first elected Republican President( who despite the reverential ascension history has given him) was quite the political tactician. On this cold day, Abe would be loving this burn of the Luzerne County GOP!
The GOP team. First row: Representative Aaron Kaufer, Congressman Lou Barletta, County Chair Bill Urbanski, State Senator John Rafferty the keynote speaker, State Representative Karen Boback and State Senator Lisa Baker. 
Second row: Pat Umbra, Dr. William Lewis, Glenn Geissinger candidate for Congress in the 17th,  my old classmate from King's College Attorney Bob Davison, Ed Warkevicz, Executive Committee member, David Bologa, Lorri Vandermark, Secretary to the Executive Committee Ron Ferrance, Vice Chair Lynette Villano,  Wilkes Barre City Councilman Tony Brooks and District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis. 
Ron Ferrance, Senator John  Rafferty and Arena Board Authority member Alex Milanes. 
Congressman Lou Barletta with Chair Bill Urbanski. (Photo: Jim O'Meara, Sr.) 

State Representative Aaron Kaufer giving the GOP side of the budget impasse. 
Two younger elected officials getting advice from Red Jones are pictured above. Northwest School Director Randy Tomasacci and Wilkes Barre Councilman Tony Brooks sit with Mr. Jones.