Wednesday, March 03, 2021

The LuLac Edition #4,478, March 3rd, 2021



Our “Write On Wednesday” logo.

This last week the big news was the supposed takeover of the Luzerne County Election Board by the Trumpanzees. One County Councilman Steve Urban Junior took advantage of the system after voting against the certification o the recent election. He showed no love of democracy or common sense.

Another County Council member Kendra Rable stood on principle and resigned her post as the Vice Chair of the Luzerne County GOP. Here are two articles from the Times Leader outlining the person of principle and well, just the pathetic person trying to increase his small political stature  with a power grab.


Diamonds to Luzerne County Council Member Kendra Radle for taking a principled stand against the actions of County Councilman Stephen J. Urban and the county election board’s two Republican members. Stressing she remains a staunch and proud Republican, Radle stepped down as Luzerne County Republican Party vice-chair “with regret” out of concern that the party might support Urban the Usurper, who accepted what is almost surely an illegal appointment to be election board chair by said board members, Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt and Keith Gould. The two appointed urban despite unequivocal advice from solicitor Romilda Crocamo that such a move violated the county charter. “I can’t in good conscience support elected officials who feel they are above the law,” Radle said. Far from supporting Urban, the county party leaders should condemn him and the two board members, proving Republicans are “the party of law and order.”



Partisan doesn’t begin to describe it.

Try craven, or despicable, or repugnant. Certainly, shameless fits.

 Or better yet, let’s call it what it is: Utterly undemocratic.

County Election Board members Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt and Keith Gould — both Republicans — made a mockery of their solemn duties and turned Luzerne County election governance into an autocratic, lawless troika of self-serving GOP wingnuts when they ignored advice of an attorney paid to guide them and appointed County Councilman Stephen J. Urban as new board chairman.

To be perfectly clear, this has absolutely nothing to do with which party these three scofflaws belong to. Their action, and their mealy-mouthed, hubris-filled justification for the unjustifiable, would be reprehensible regardless of political affiliation.

 Everything about this screams “autocratic power-grab.”

 Gould and Dombroski-Gebhardt made the move without debate or even time for comment from anyone who might be watching the virtual meeting.

 They did it when the election board is down two members due to resignations over exactly this kind of partisan hatchet job, and knowing full well County Council will fill one of those seats, as required by the county charter.

They did it despite the fact that, last year, the election board itself agreed on a procedure to require that, if a chairman is appointed with only three members sitting on the board, all three must vote for that appointment.

They did it against the clear and unequivocal advice of Luzerne County Chief Solicitor Romilda Crocamo, who pointed out the county charter clearly (and we believe rightly) bars any county council member from sitting on the election board, declaring they understood the law better than the lawyer.

They did it as an end-run around the duly elected 11 county council members who rejected a proposal by Council Member Walter Griffith to change the charter so council members could sit on the election board.

They defied anyone who cares about the democratic and legal process to take them to court, setting the stage for a waste of taxpayer dollars to undo their egregious action.

In short, two unelected officials (four of the five seats are filled by county council, with those four picking the fifth member) decided they could ignore not only the law, not only the elected county council members, but every one of Luzerne County’s 210,000-plus registered voters.

 It doesn’t get much more anti-democratic than that.

Council Member Linda Mclosky Houck was absolutely right in calling for a special county council meeting as soon as possible to vacate the seats of Gould and Dombroski-Gebhardt under terms of the county charter which allows such action when appointed board members have “willfully and knowingly violated sections of the charter.” She also called for the other obvious action: Vacating the chairmanship seat brazenly usurped by Urban.

We call for one more action, though someone so ready to disregard the law likely lacks the compunction to do the right thing: Stephen Urban Jr. should resign from County Council. A person who willingly defies the legal advice of the county’s solicitor — going so far as to essentially dare someone to launch a court challenge against his election board appointment — has no place in government. —Times Leader





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