Tuesday, October 31, 2006
New Leaked Rasmussen Reports: Casey 55% Santorum 42%. ALSO: Rendell 56% Swann 38%
NOTE: According to Politics1.com, the new Rasmussen Reports Gov and Senate Race surveys show the above figures.
If the polls can believed we are looking at an historic blowout election in PA and across the country. About time people woke up and reject the slash and burn politics of the last 6 years. The Republicans aren't interested in governing but in winning. The thing they don't understand is that if you govern well we all win. All their efforts to divide us have failed. We are better than that. You can't keep playing off blacks against whites, born here or not and get into peoples bedrooms. The only thing they offer is fear. Fear of terrorists, Democrats, people who are different and the future.
The Congress has raided the treasury to benefit the few at the expense of the many. The United States Armed Forces have been put into the impossible position of occupying a country who's people don't want us there and there is no end in sight. The Constitution is "just a goddamn piece of paper." The Congress has given in to every demand of the executive and hasn't fullfilled it's oversight duty. Time to change the Congress.
This country has been involved in a debate on whether torture is a good thing? People are kidnapped on American soil and spririted off to foreign lands because our laws say you can't break their heads open. The prisons like Gitmo and Abu Ghraib that we know about are a disgrace. US citizens can be wiretapped without judicial or congressional oversight. The writ of habes corpus has been suspended in violation of the Constitution.
Is this President Reagan's City on a Hill?
Sunday, October 29, 2006
“I could bump into him on the street and not know who he is,”- state Rep. Todd Eachus, D-Butler Township
More payraise politics.
Challenger accuses incumbent of saying he deserved pay hike. Eachus denies that, calls foe weak on ideas.
I wasn't aware that Todd Eachus even had an opponent and after reading the 2 write-ups in the local papers I doubt if most people did.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
The Voice said Pashinski is a man on a mission who has passion and intensity and dismissed Katsock without explanation. The TL took a little more critical view of Eddie Day. He wants studies, commissions and task forces to address the issues before he makes up his mind. In other words he's clueless. For all the criticism she takes no one can say that Katsock doesn't know the issues. Agree with her or not she knows what she wants to do.
Rush, You ignorant slut.
I've been falling behind on the local state house races this week but hope to catch up over the weekend.
In the 20th Senatorial District Luzerne County's version of Princess Sparkle Pony Lisa Baker had a debate with "I'm not that" Bob McNamara. Where's Norton when you need him?
In another debate, this one for the 119th House District, John "Yuddy" Yudichak took time out from his Paul Kanjorski death watch to smack around that old naysayer Ed Sieminski.
The upcoming election in November is crucial to our country and our soldiers overseas. George W. Bush and the GOP claim they support our troops, but are they telling the truth? Watch the ad and then on November 7th elect the candidates that truly support our troops.
BUSH'S 2007 BUDGET BREAKS PROMISES TO VETERANS
Friday, October 27, 2006
Sherwood spent around $400,000 in the primary against an opponent nobody had ever heard of and only got 56% of the vote. His contributions are drying up forcing him to dig into his own pockets and bring Bush in to raise money for him. The latest polls show only 58% of Repuplicans plan to vote for him and he's trailing Carney by 9% overall in a district that went 60%-40% for Bush in 2004. I think he should save his money for his well deserved upcoming retirement.
Carney campaign spokeswoman Kyra Jennings said: “The average annual income in the 10th District is about $36,000, It shows how out of touch Sherwood is with the working families of this district that he has this much of his own money to put into his campaign.”
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Just in time for Halloween 120th District Republican candidate John Corora has joined the internet age. He is running hard on the pay raise that Phyllis Mundy voted for.
During my political involvement as a non-paid activist over the years I have never heard the outcry for change as I have in this year's statewide races.
My opponent, incumbent Phyllis Mundy, was one of the state legislators who voted in favor of the largest self-pay raise in state history, a 16-34% increase.
Speaking of Halloween. Does he resemble Vincent Price?
The new Keystone Poll in the 10th CD has more good news for Chris Carney. After all the negative ads and false charges from the Republicans he maintains his lead over our joke of a congressman Don Sherwood. A visit from Bush may have brought in more cash but hasn't helped the Tunkhannock Strangler. Bush only gets a 36% approval rating in the district and an incredibly low 35% say Sherwood deserves reelection. The only solid backing is from self described Christian Fundamentalist who back him 55%-33%. I guess they never read the 10 Commandments.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
WILKES-BARRE - U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood said ads that say he took congressional pay raises while opposing increases in the federal minimum wage are lies...."The ad that I took a large pay raise, they have two of them, one of them said I voted for a large pay raise," Sherwood said. "The other (that) said I took a large pay raise while I wouldn't raise the minimum wage is absolute bull----."
He recently began airing a TV spot calling Chris Carney a liar. I've been screaming for a response to that ad remembering what has happened to other candidates that didn't respond to false attacks. Sherwood's campaign and allies have also been sending out direct mail pieces trying to tear down Carney. But the accusations in the mailers aren't exactly true. In fact they're full of lies and two of the groups cited as sources have objected.
TL: A nonpartisan political research group sent out a notice Friday that the state Republican committee inappropriately used its research in a negative campaign flyer aimed at Democrat Chris Carney...Project Vote Smart received a copy of the flier from a Tunkhannock resident and issued a press release refuting their involvement in the Sherwood's campaign ad.
AARP: Ad "wrongly attacks" Carney: In a letter sent to its members, a nonpartisan advocacy group warned that a televised campaign ad "wrongly attacks" Democratic resentative candidate Chris Carney by suggesting he might raise taxes and cut Social Security benefits.
Then there is this lunacy. (h/t Capitol Ideas)
Voters in Pennsylvania's rural, conservative 10th Congressional District received an unlikely mailing earlier this month accusing a former Navy lieutenant of helping start the Iraq war.
Quoting a 2004 article, "Lie Factory," that appeared in Mother Jones magazine and relied on interviews with a former Pentagon analyst turned White House foe, Karen Kwiatkowski, the mailing highlights Christopher Carney's role in a small intelligence analysis shop inside the Pentagon before the Iraq war. The top of the mailing warns voters, "Chris Carney failed our nation once." "Don't give Chris Carney a chance to FAIL us again," the next page says...In an interview yesterday, Mr. Carney told the Sun: "It is kind of ironic that a Republican is accusing me of starting the war. I am backing off my support for the war. I am unhappy with the preparation and the planning, like a lot of Americans."
And all this time I've been blaming Bush. I'm glad the Republicans cleared that up for me.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
The latest from Hugoland.
WILKES-BARRE – The attorney for double homicide suspect Hugo Selenski filed court papers Monday asking a judge to dismiss the charges, arguing prosecutors had not presented sufficient evidence in support of their case.
Attorney John Pike said prosecutors had not presented “any evidence whatsoever” that proves Selenski killed pharmacist Michael Kerkowski and his girlfriend, Tammy Fassett, or that Selenski committed several other offenses, including robbery.
To continue to hold Selenski would violate his right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, Pike argues.
Lisa Baker is a Republican from Lehman Township in Luzerne County. She is a candidate for Pennsylvania Senate in the 20th District against Democrat Bob McNamara.
Governor Ed Rendell is a Democrat from Philadelphia. He is seeking re-election against Republican Lynn Swann. An interview with Swann doesn't appear.
Joe Leonardi is a Republican from Dupont in Luzerne County. He is a candidate for Congress in the 11th District against Democratic incumbent Paul Kanjorski.
Chris Carney is a Democrat from Dimock in Susuquehanna County. He is a candidate for Congress in the 10th District against incumbent Republican Don Sherwood.
Senator Rick Santorum is a Republican from Penn Hills in Allegheny County. He is a two-term incumbent seeking his third term against Democrat Bob Casey. Casey is nowhere to be seen.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Bush is speaking now and is saying the Republicans will keep taxes low and protect the country. He said he was Sherwood's 2nd choice to campaign for him but sends Laura's love and that he read Carol Sherwood's letter and was touched by it. I almost cried. Now he's fearmongering. Same old stuff. "Fight them over there or we will have to fight them over here. We have to be right 100% of the time," blah, blah. He defended torture, trashing habeas corpus, wiretapping and the Patriot Act. He just said he knows what Osama thinks, he must talk to him a lot. On Iraq we must wage war to ensure world peace (Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia) and endorsed Joe Leiberman. It would dishonor our troops if we withdraw from Iraq before victory is achieved-he didn't define "victory." Now he is trying to make Nancy Pelosi into a bogeyman and repeated the lie that the Democrats want to wait to be attacked before doing something about terrorism. He invoked God, Elvis and his Dad. My teeth are starting to hurt.
Military leaders, not Congress, must decide when American soldiers return home from Iraq, U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood said Monday.
If the United States abandoned the effort in Iraq, terrorists would see it as a sign of weakness, he said. But the brunt of the war’s sacrifice is being borne by members of the military and their families, said Mr. Sherwood, R-Tunkhannock Township.
“We’ve got to broaden the pain somehow.”
What the hell does that mean? When I hear the Republicans accuse anyone who wants to get out the mess that they have made in Iraq as wanting to "Cut and Run" it makes my blood boil. What's the strategy Sherwood and Bush favor, "Stay and Die?"
BAGHDAD, Oct. 18 -- A roadside bombing and other attacks killed 10 American troops across Iraq on Tuesday, the U.S. military reported Wednesday, making it the deadliest day of combat for U.S. forces in 10 months....Tuesday's deaths, along with the death of an American soldier in Baghdad by small-arms fire on Wednesday, brought the number of total U.S. troop fatalities for October to 70, including 67 killed in action.
In other campaign news Chris Carney matched Sherwood's fundraising in the last quarter. And Carol Sherwood sent a letter to voters of the district that said Carney's ads were cruel to her family. Give me a break. Ask the 3,000 families who have lost a loved one in this war what cruel is. Your family values husband was playing house with a young girl for 5 years and then got rough with her. Ask her what is cruel. And today Mr. Family Values and Culture of Life is coming to town to try to save his hide.
I spotted this at Sherwood For Congress.
Congressman Don Sherwood with Congressman Mark Foley hanging out during a taxpayer-funded trip to exotic Uruguay in 2005. (Yes, it's a real photo.)
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Admission is $350 a person. A picture with the president costs $2,500 a person and $5,000 a couple.
Another Monkey drives the route everyday.
The past few weeks have been a season of construction delays along my commute on Interstate 81. We began with "emergency bridge repairs" several weeks ago and have now carried on to "sign inspection", which caused this morning's commute to be about 75 minutes long instead of the usual 40-45 minutes....Worse delays are probably coming on Thursday, when the hugely unpopular lame-duck occupant of the office of the President of the United States will be in the area to lend his support to the hugely unpopular incumbent Congressional Representive for the 10th Congressional District of Pennsylvania.
Add this latest gem to Rick Santorum's greatest hits.
Santorum defends Iraq war
Santorum used the analogy from one of his favorite books, J.R.R. Tolkien's 1950s fantasy classic “Lord of the Rings,” .....
“As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else,” Santorum said, describing the tool the evil Lord Sauron used in search of the magical ring that would consolidate his power over Middle-earth.
“It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S.,” Santorum continued. “You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States.”
“You have to really question the judgment of a U.S. senator who compares the war in Iraq to a fantasy book,” said Casey spokesman Larry Smar. “This is just like when he said Kim Jong II isn't a threat because he just wants to "watch NBA basketball.' ”
In other news from Middle Earth it seems $20 million of TV ads and a steel cage match that was billed as a debate hasn't helped.
Pennsylvania Senate: Santorum Trailing by 13
With just a few weeks to go until November 7, Senator Rick Santorum's chances of securing reelection fade a bit more every day. The latest Rasmussen Reports election poll finds that challenger Bob Casey, Jr. has a thirteen point advantage, 54% to 41%. That’s the same margin we saw in our last survey.
When leaners are added, Casey leads by twelve, 55% to 43%. Leaners are those who don’t initially commit to voting for either candidate but express a preference when asked a follow-up question.
The race remains in the "Democrat" column in our Senate Balance of Power summary.
Article I Section 9
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
This Act resembles a few others in our history:
The Alien Enemies Act
The Sedition Act
...and of course the McCarthy period of the 1950s.
Two marines were killed by insurgents in Anbar Province on Sunday, the American military command said, and three American soldiers died a day earlier in a bombing in southern Baghdad, bringing the total number of American troop deaths in Iraq this month to at least 53.
U.S. deaths in Iraq:
As of Monday, at least 2,774 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,207 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.
Another violent day in Iraq today, with killings throughout the country. Ten people were killed in a spate of shootings in the predominantly Shiite city of Basra. Among the victims were four college students and a prominent doctor. Five Iraqi soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb was detonated as their convoy passed in Karmah, west of Baghdad. And in Balad Ruz, northeast of Baghdad, police say gunmen stormed into the house of a Shiite family and shot dead a mother and her four sons and injured the father. In all, at least 32 people were killed today.
WILKES-BARRE – In his low-budget, low-profile run at the 117th District seat in the state House, Democratic candidate Fred Nichols Jr. is relying heavily on two strategies: a plan to lower taxes and fresh publicity tactics.
At an editorial board meeting on Thursday, he introduced what he called a “historic” fundraising vehicle, where a $10 donation buys contributors a sheet of paper that rewards their contribution with valueless “campaign stock.”
But, Nichols’ Web activity has dragged him into controversy in the past. In 2002, he resigned his position as chief of police in Shickshinny 11 months after an online personal ad featuring him brandishing a handgun was revealed on TV news.
The main problem he sees in the district is skyrocketing school and property taxes. He supports a legislative bill that would eliminate school, property and nuisance taxes in exchange for increasing the real estate transfer tax by 2 percent, replacing local 0.5 percent income taxes by raising state income tax by 0.5 percent, and lowering the sales tax one percentage point to 5 percent, but broadening it to cover almost all purchases.
He faces Republican candidate Karen Boback in the Nov. 7 election.
The Times-Leader is doing it's roundup of the the local races and it was Luzerne County's dean of legislators turn.
Just a note about the pic. Ray Musto is also on the ballot this year and the local Republican Party couldn't even find someone to run against him. Like most political junkies I absolutely hate unopposed elections. I think it's sad that in this year with all the outrage over the pay raise they couldn't find somebody to run for state senator. DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty has worked in the White House and has been a player in the battles over the environment all over the world. Expect to hear her name again.
Back to Phyllis. She has a been a good legislator for our area and has the good fortune of representing a relatively prosperous area of the Wyoming Valley. She has been a leader on finding real solutions to health care problems not just mouthing nonsense about blaming lawyers for the all the problems in the system. She also has a solid record on the environment. The only black eye is the pay raise and her defense leaves something to be desired.
Some highlights from the TL interview:
Phyllis Mundy gives three reasons why voters in the 120th state legislative district should reelect her to a ninth two-year term in the state House of Representatives.
"Seniority, experience and knowledge," Mundy said....Mundy said her 16 years as a lawmaker has her in line to be a chairperson of a committee...."Seniority means a lot and I have many unfinished projects, like flood control and the 8th Street Bridge replacement, just to name two," Mundy said.
Mundy defended her support of Act 44, which passed in the middle-of-the-night on July 7 that gave lawmakers and judges a 16 to 34 percent pay raise.
She did admit, however, that she underestimated the emotions of people about the pay raise.
When the state Supreme Court ruled on Sept. 14 that the General Assembly violated the state constitution by allowing the midterm pay raises, Mundy said state lawmakers are now the lowest paid among four of the 50 states that have full-time lawmakers.
Underestimated the emotions and lowest paid? How about taking responsibility, apologize and move on.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Democrat Chris Carney launched just such an ad recently in his campaign against Don Sherwood, the four-term GOP congressman from Pennsylvania's 10th District.
“Chris Carney has forgotten more about national security than Don Sherwood will ever know,” - Sen. Joe Biden.
Mr. Biden, a Scranton native and six-term senator, is the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Mr. Carney is a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve and served as a senior terrorism and intelligence adviser at the Pentagon after the Sept. 11 attack.“If you think I know anything about what I’m talking about in national security, I’m telling you this man knows as much as I know about this stuff and he ain’t even there yet,” Mr. Biden said. “This is the real deal.”
TT: Congress must take a stronger role in overseeing the war in Iraq, including recognizing that troops should not remain there indefinitely, Chris Carney told members of the Times-Tribune editorial board on Wednesday.
“The American public has figured out ... the bankruptcy of this Republican philosophy,” he said. “This administration has no vision. It has an ideology; it doesn’t have a plan.
”Whether it’s the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina or pedophilia, no one in power has been held accountable, Mr. Biden said.
The 2 local papers have had the editorial board meetings with Rep. Paul Kanjorski and Republican challenger Dr. Joseph Leonardi.
WILKES-BARRE – U.S. Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski foresees the day when sailboats will glide on the Susquehanna thanks to an inflatable dam. Floating trains propelled by electromagnets will speed cargo and freight between Northeastern Pennsylvania and New York City at 200 mph. Wall Street firms seeking satellite offices that can keep money moving after a terror attack will help create hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs in the region.
We all know about the dam but the floating train is new to me. The Wall Street West iniative is worth exploring.
“We’re talking about billions in investment and hundreds of thousands of jobs. If you don’t want that, don’t vote for me.”
Maybe. The last time I talked with Leonardi he asked a good question. "Why would you advertise your backup? It's like putting a bullseye on Stroudsburg."
Kanjo still refuses to debate his opponent and even insulted him.
“That’s like taking some guy off the street who wants to call me names for an hour,” Kanjorski said.
As a voter I find that insulting. He's not some guy off the street, he's the Republican nominee for the 11th CD. What the hell Congressman, you like to toot your own horn so defend your record in a debate. I think the voters deserve that.
In Leonardi's interview he hit hard on ethics. And not just his opponents:
TL: And he was scathing in his criticism of House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s initial reaction to reports that GOP Congressman Mark Foley had inappropriate Internet communications with a former House page. Hastert blamed Democrats, alleging they had leaked the communications that led to Foley’s resignation.
“I was offended by the way the Speaker of the House came out,” Leonardi said. “The speaker should have taken responsibility the day it happened.
He has little money but that can be a virtue.
CV: Leonardi said one benefit of not having a big war chest is that he can’t be accused of doing things for people who supported him financially.
The Kanjo family business suffered another setback this week.
WILKES-BARRE – After receiving millions of dollars in federal contracts, a research and development firm headed by the nephews of U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski has just $14,100 in assets compared with $1.34 million in debt, according to bankruptcy court records.
Cornerstone Technologies LLC owes money to a wide variety of creditors, including the Office of Naval Research for a contract the firm did not complete. The federal agency had been a key source of revenue for Cornerstone, awarding it four contracts worth $9.3 million from 1999 to 2002.
Leonardi said: “I don’t think you go into public services to benefit your family or yourself. It’s to benefit the community.”
Saturday, October 14, 2006
He did meet with the TL editorial board. Here are some choice quotes:
"Voting for the pay raise, it’s similar to robbing a Turkey Hill"
“Phyllis Mundy is in the political fight of her life.”
"The pay raise is the issue that will ignite the voters to the polls.”
“Future pay raises, never!” Cordora said. “I would sign a contract to be kicked out if I vote or accept a pay raise.”
Cordora said he is opposed to gay marriage, saying he would vote against such legislation “all the time,” and believes the minimum wage should be equal to annual cost of living increases.
“I’m a conservative but I’m very sympathetic to social issues,” Cordora said.
The most radical change was PennPatriot shutting down his opinion based blog and starting up a new venture. VoicePA is a collection of views from all over Pennsylvania about PA politics with a conservative tilt but includes other opinions. His coverage of the Senate debate has been widely circulated by the Santorum campaign. Good job Randy.
Patriot News reporter Brett Lieberman's Pennsyltucky Politics has a new brighter home that now lets you comment on his posts.
Matt Best has also moved into a new neighborhood and is promising to add more bells and whistles to Courage of Conviction.
The project has already slipped by a year and now another agency wants to get involved. How about letting me sign off on this since I'm sure I'm going to get screwed?
The Press Enterprise Thu, Oct 5, 2006 (no link, they charge you to read their website)
Incumbent State Rep. David Millard says he won't debate Democratic challenger David Slavick this fall, and Slavick is using the opportunity to question how effective Millard can be in the state Capitol. Millard says he feels his voting record, his door-to-door campaigning and his availability during office hours give voters enough chances to answer questions about his political stances. But Slavick says debates also show skills a legislator should have. In the state House, you must speak persuasively at a moment's notice and "have the ability to think on your feet," he said. "It seems to me that Mr. Millard is not comfortable talking about the issues in a forum he hasn't created himself," Slavick said.
There might be other reasons Millard is avoiding facing his opponent in public.
BLOOMSBURG - Rep. David Millard has paid the state a $4,500 penalty because he attested to the accuracy of a fire association's financial reports, something that only certified public accountants are legally permitted to do.In addition to serving as president of The Bloomsburg Firemen's Relief Association, Millard was paid up to $1,200 a year to prepare its financial records for audit.
What do the locals think of his ducking a debate:
Since he's been in Harrisburg less than three years, it's arrogant of Millard to assume the posture of the well-known incumbent who dismisses a debate as unworthy of his time.
Millard says he's been meeting voters on his own terms. But that's why debates are interesting and valuable; they give voters a chance to see how a public official thinks on his feet in a situation he doesn't control...
Millard may think that ducking a debate strengthens his chances in November; maybe it does.
But on the downside, it creates the impression he is unsure of himself and afraid of a challenge.
Above Average Jane interviewed David in August. He has an interesting life story, has been all over the world and even worked on economic development in the Balkans. He has some creative ideas for central PA.
BEAR CREEK TWP. — Republican Maureen Tatu and Democrat Mike Carroll are vying for retiring Rep. Tom Tigue’s seat in the 118th district. Democratic incumbent John Yudichak is running for his fifth consecutive term in the 119th district against Republican challenger Ed Sieminski.
The discussion was about giving seniors property tax relief. Seniors aren't the only people who pay property taxes but they are the most likely to vote.
Yudichak touted bills he voted for to help seniors with property taxes. He said that legislation he supported that will go into effect in 2007 will relieve property tax burden up to 90 percent of his elderly constituents.
But Sieminski said the bill does not affect enough people, and overall property tax reform is needed.“What you hear is typical, which is dancing around the issue,” he said. “The issue is property tax reform, which affects many aspects of our society.”
Carroll urged voters to be patient, while Tatu said that sales taxes could relieve the burden on property taxes. She said sales taxes geared toward tourism industries, like the new casinos expected to open throughout the state in the next few months.“Property tax reduction will not be done in one fell swoop,” Carroll said. “It will be done in steps.”
Friday, October 13, 2006
I just watched some of the Santorum and Casey debate. I haven't seen anything this out of control since I was in Jr. High. As predicted Rick came out swinging and Casey gave it right back. They kept interrupting each other and kept saying "he didn't answer the question." The candidates were so close to each other they were almost touching. At times it got so heated I thought they were going to start throwing punches especially when Rick went after Casey's family. They called each other a liar and crook and often got off topic.
I doubt if many minds were changed by this show as most voters didn't watch. Who wants to watch politicians when the baseball playoffs are on TV? We'll see what the headlines are tomorrow but the initial reaction around the blogs are predictable. Rick's cheerleaders say he won and Casey's supporters thought Santorum came off as a raving lunatic.
My wife gave up on it after about 10 minutes asking "do we have to vote for one of these guys?"
I thought it was fun.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Expect some fireworks from Rick although it may not matter. I don't think there are many people who haven't made up their minds on this one.
BFS: The latest Rasmussen Poll gives Casey a decided 13-point advantage over the floundering Santorum reelection bid a scant month before the election.
RP: Republican Senator Rick Santorum continues to be the nation’s most vulnerable incumbent and has lost ground once again to Democratic challenger Bob Casey, Jr. Casey now leads the race, 50% to 37%. If undecided voters leaning toward a candidate are added to the mix, Casey leads 52% to 39%.
We are now shifting this race from “Leans Democrat” to “Democrat” in our Senate Balance of Power summary. Santorum is the only Republican incumbent to have his re-election chances rated weaker than “Leans Democrat.”
Almost no progress on Luzerne County reassessment has taken place since Commissioners Greg Skrepenak and Todd Vonderheid opted in June to delay placing new assessed values on the county’s 164,500 parcels despite the potential tax impact on every county property owner.
The delay has increased the cost of completing the project and remaining work may have to be re-bid.
Sorry, English only. Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta (center) is back in the news. He was interviewed by 60 Minutes and was in Pittsburgh for a nativist rally Tuesday. And if you answer your phone when a strange number appears on your caller ID you just might hear his sweet mechanical voice on the other end telling you about that great protector of America Rick Santorum.
Barletta records message urging voters to support Santorum
BY ELIZABETH SKRAPITS
In an approximately 60-second recorded message, Barletta identifies himself and says, "As you know, our city has been overrun by illegal aliens, leading to increased crime. Residents of Hazleton and the overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians want secure borders now, but without rewarding amnesty to the more than 13 million who entered our country illegally."
This guy is carrying more water for Santorum and just may drown in it. Before this year he was perceived as being a friend of the Spanish speaking community in Hazleton. But elections have a way of trying men's souls. Why unite when you can divide? Sowing fear wins elections or so Dubya has taught us. Mr. Barletta you have let yourself become a tool of a desperate politician.
In July, The Citizens Voice uncovered the fact that Santorum campaign staffer Eric Miller created and registered Barletta's Web site, www.smalltowndefenders.com at the request of Santorum's deputy campaign manager Luke Bernstein. There has been speculation Santorum or his campaign is behind Barletta's ordinance. Barletta flatly denied it.
We all believe that Lou.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
WILKES-BARRE – A Pennsylvania House candidate says she strongly supports reducing state government, even if it results in losing the seat she’s been trying to fill for years.
“We can’t continue on the road we’re on,” said Christine Katsock of Wilkes-Barre. “We can’t expect to increase spending and have taxpayers pick up the bill.”
She said she’s also in favor of reducing “perks” for state legislators, including the $600 housing allowance and the $400 car allowance, saying the annual salaries for the representatives are “more than sufficient.” Six-member staffs should also be reduced to three, Katsock said.
Katsock, 37, supports a plan to fully eliminate property taxes by shifting all school taxes to a sales tax. She said she wants sales taxes reduced from 6 percent to 5 percent across the board, but she wants more items taxed, such as pantyhose and gum.
The most interesting thing she had to say: Katsock also said TV drug commercials should be limited, stating that such ads encourage viewers to take prescription medications they might not need.
I think we're all sick of pill ads. Take a pill for your arthritis, allergies and love life, etc. Mixed in with one for a lawyer who will sue if they don't work. Topped off by an ad telling kids not to take drugs. I'm not sure what can be done on the state level to stop them.
Her opponent, Eddie Day Pashinski, has a new TV ad.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Okay, this is rich. It's the clash of Republican sex scandals. Republicans across the country are running from Speaker Hastert and NRCC Chair Tom Reynolds. But, not Don Sherwood. He wanted them. But, Hastert and Reynolds don't want to be seen with him. The toxic leaders are dissing the even more toxic Choker.
President Bush is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser for Sherwood on October 19th. Will the Prez appear for the Choker? Or will Bush drop him just like Hastert and Reynolds did?
PennLive: Jake O'Donnell, a spokesman for Sherwood, said Monday that an Oct. 18 event with Hastert was only tentatively scheduled and was canceled mostly because Sherwood had another major event the next day.
Pressure from Sherwood's Democratic opponent was a factor in the decision by Reynolds, the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, not to appear at an event Thursday with Sherwood, O'Donnell said. A Republican campaign spokesman disputed that assertion and cited other events as the reason....NRCC spokesman Ed Patru said Reynolds had events in his own district that led him to drop out of the Sherwood fundraiser.
"Mr. O'Donnell is not in a position to know why the event was canceled," Patru said. "He was clearly out of the loop on this one."
Chris Carney's reaction:
Clarks Summit, PA – After repeated calls by Chris Carney to keep members of the “Foley 5” out of the district, fundraisers for Don Sherwood with House Speaker Dennis Hastert and NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds were cancelled yesterday.
“I was extremely disappointed that Congressman Sherwood had even planned to bring the GOP leaders at the heart of the Mark Foley scandal into our community,” said Carney. “These cancellations underscore just how important values are in this race. The people of the 10th district deserve a representative who will make them proud, not someone who continues to embarrass them by his own actions and the company he keeps.”
“The Republican leadership finally seems to be learning from its own mistakes. After they covered up Mark Foley’s disgraceful behavior in order to keep their power, they understand that they need to jump ship when it comes to supporting Mr. Sherwood,” said Carney Spokeswoman Kyra Jennings. “Reports even show that it was Congressman Reynolds who called for the cancellation – at least the NRCC Chairman finally got how inappropriate his visit would be, even if Mr. Sherwood is blind to the fact that these fundraisers go against the values of his own district.”
Monday, October 09, 2006
Don Sherwood came through his sugery OK. On the 2nd day they pulled out all the neddles and tubes. On the4th day they pulled him off his nurse.
That's unfair. We all hope that Don Sherwood has a healthy retirement. He should be able to watch his grandchildren grow up, so he can eventually date their freinds.
The CV still does a better job of covering the local candidates than the Times-Leader. Some highlights of Monday's Political Scene.
Mike Morreale must be running for re-election in 2007. He has an event this Thursday.
The Luzerne County Treasurer has taken some couragous stands.
He broke with the powers that be and voted to reform the county pension fund. It worked, the latest reports I have read say that the fund is doing better than ever. This is a man that has taken the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and lived through it. Mike will always have my vote. He's got Balls.
Yuddy will be collecting accolades in Mountaintop and raising a few bucks. I haven't heard much from his Republican oponent Ed Sieminski.
Joe Leonardi also got a mention. We have gotten one after another Kanjo nepotism story, enough already. Maybe I'm just naive but it seems to me you should put your friends and family as far away from your public duties as you can.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
The magic and joy.
A Big Fat Slob said...
From the beginning I thought that the Tigers would be the toughest team for the Yankees to handle -- particularly, but not only, because it was a five-game series. Their lineup is deceptive. I did expect the Yankees to prevail, but would not be as surprised if they lost this round, as I would have had they lost to the As or Twins in the next. Apart from the talent the Tigers have on the field, and the amazing talent in their ancient manager, the Detroit-New York rivalry is one of the most over-looked rivalries on sport. Look back over the last ten or eleven years of Yankee dominance, with only limited exception, no matter how poorly the Detroit team was doing in any given year, they always played the Yankees tough.In this series, they outplayed the boys from the Bronx in all but Game Two. Unlike Game Three in which the Yankee lineup was simply overmatched and out thought, in Game Two the Yankees offense beat themselves. I only watched two and a half innings of Game Four, but it was enough for me to see that the Yankees were beating themselves again. They were both too aggressive and not aggressive enough -- they were pressing at the plate, trying to do things TO the ball instead of doing what they could with the pitch. This overaggression was alternated with hesitantcy to take advantage of mistakes. The Game Four play of the Yankees reflected the combination of their rolling over in Game Two and their spanking in Game Three. A team with an all star at every position, gold gloves all over the place, and a lineup in which even guys on the bench could be a top-four batter on most other teams, appeared to have lost confidence. I thought, and still do think, that the Mets and the Yankees are the two best teams in baseball this year and that the most exciting World Series would have been to see these two match up.But the best teams over a 162-game schedule need to win 11 more, in three short series, after they win their 95 or so games. That the most talented teams have not won, nor often made it to, the World Series since the advent of the Wild Card is not an indictment of the post season set up. It is just a reflection of the fact that the post season measures teams in a much-different way than the regular season. To have a successful year (as the Yankees and other winners define it) means that your team needs to excell in both the marathon and the sprint versions of the baseball race. That is the magic and joy of baseball and one of the factors that make it more reflective of real life than any other sport.
Now that the Yankees have turned into the Atlanta Braves-win the division every year, lose in the playoffs-someone has to pay. Since you can't fire the players the manager has to go. Sad really, I always thought that Torre was the perfect fit for the Bronx Zoo. A laid back guy who never blamed his players and always took responsibility. Some politicians could take a cue from him. The Yankee fan blogs are all over A-Rod today or A-Hole as they like to call him. If they don't want him I can think of a National League team located a little south of NYC on I-95 that could use a 3rd baseman.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
h/t to Chris for this one.
BUTLER, Pa. (AP) — A transsexual woman convicted in the castration death of her husband is accused of making death threats to a prosecutor.
Tammy Felbaum, 48, on Friday waived her right to a preliminary hearing in Butler County before District Judge Peter Shaffer. Felbaum faces a host of charges, including terroristic threats, assault by a prisoner, aggravated harassment by a prisoner and retaliation against a prosecutor.
"All this will come out even if it has to be at my 1st degree murder trial. ... You have to know I'm coming for you ... I'm your god and your days are numbered," Felbaum wrote in a letter to Butler County Assistant District Attorney B.T. Fullerton, according to an affidavit.
U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter knows firsthand the type of headaches caused by traffic congestion on Interstate 81. Specter was in Luzerne County to announce another $875,000 in federal funding for construction, design and engineering on the estimated $900 million project to widen Interstate 81 through a 33-mile portion from Clarks Summit to Nanticoke. The latest $875,000 allocation increases the federal government’s commitment to $8.75 million. It will take a collaborative effort by federal, state and local officials to find ways to continue to increase funding for the project, Specter said.“This is a big important project for Northeastern Pennsylvania, the state and really the nation,” Specter told a crowd at the NEPA Alliance headquarters in Pittston Township. “There’s nothing like riding on I-81 to really understand the problem. I’m determined to see this interstate widened.”
Widen the highways, pave more farms. Not a cent for mass transit. But Amtrack lives on subsidies but highways don't?
The biggest national security problem that the US faces is dependence on oil. We build more highways that encourages more cars/trucks. So we need more oil. Even Dubya acknowledged that we are addicted to oil. He should know. When our supply is threatened, like any addict, we do violence. Unless you are willing to commit to never ending war other ways to fuel our economy must be found.
If we didn't need oil who would care if Iraq invaded Kuwait or Iran. If we didn't need oil the greatest country on earth wouldn't be jerked around by a bunch of minor powers. President Carter warned us about this problem almost 40 years ago but nobody listened. Time to wake up.
Friday, October 06, 2006
CV: They also split on their views of legalized gambling, and the property tax relief that’s supposed to follow. Carroll seemed to take a wait-and-see approach about any perceived societal ills, saying safeguards were included in the gambling bill that could substantially help homeowners’ pocketbooks. Tatu predicts less tax relief than advertised will be generated, many social problems will occur and said she is opposed to the expansion of gambling to table games like blackjack.
I like it when people agree with me. This whole gambling thing is going to create more problems than it will solve.
As usual a blogger gives you a better rundown of what happened than the papers. David Yonki was there.
I don't know anybody who wouldn't like more police in their towns. But the devil is in the details. How do you pay for it?
John Yudichak, who has served as a state representative for eight years, said he's seen this type of session held only one other time - to address property tax reform.
One proposal that got a majority vote would add 10,000 new police officers across the state, with the stipulation that counties would have to chip in toward the cost. It would be the first time that counties would provide ongoing funding for municipal police, the state said.
Counties would apply for grants and pay a 30 percent match, while the municipality would kick in 20 percent. Priority would go to high-crime municipalities or rural municipalities with fewer than 10 police officers.
10,000 new cops sounds great but a 50% match is not realistic. Where is Luzerne County going to come up with money to fund this program when the commissioners have to borrow money every year just to meet payroll? What happens is the program expires and towns and counties are faced with the choice of balancing the budget or laying off policemen. Historically police protection has been a shared responsibility of state and municipal governments, don't add another layer of bureaucracy.
Also approved were proposals to create a new state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and to allocate $5 million in state general funds dollars to address emergency waiting lists for residential addiction treatment.
Luzerne County never has enough money to cover treatment demands, which means some poor or uninsured residents must try to obtain scholarships from providers or wait until treatment funding is available, said Mike Donahue, the county's drug and alcohol director.
The risk: The addicts sometimes change their mind when they're put on hold.
Battling drug addiction is the key to putting a dent in crime, said state Rep. Todd Eachus, D-Hazleton.
Government funding to treat drug and alcohol abuse continues to shrink, while many employers have eliminated treatment for drug and alcohol addiction and mental-health illnesses from their insurance plans - a problem he's tackling as a member of the House insurance committee.
It's tough nut to crack but locking up people hasn't worked.
Trading Votes for Pork Across the House Aisle
For more than a decade, Representative John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania has operated a political trading post in a back corner of the House of Representatives....“Whether they get what they want in the bill or they get the votes they are looking for, nobody ever leaves completely disappointed,” said Representative Paul E. Kanjorski, a Pennsylvania Democrat often found in what is known as the Murtha corner.....Mr. Kanjorski, the Pennsylvania Democrat, said he had help on “8 to 10” projects, including a $9.5 million deal four years ago for research by a firm partly owned by his nephews. In an interview, Mr. Kanjorski said his relatives “just happened to be the only people who would take responsibility” for developing the technology, which involved using water jets to pulverize materials. He said he recently gave Mr. Murtha a pair of high-tech disease-resistant socks made with silver fibers by a company in his district. After padding around in them, Mr. Kanjorski said, Mr. Murtha was so pleased that he agreed to an earmark to buy them for soldiers.
Kanjorski responded in the TL: “My comments to the New York Times regarding Congressman Jack Murtha’s effectiveness in the U.S. House of Representatives emphasized his interest in helping his colleagues better serve their districts. His power is derived from his ability to reach workable compromises with members of very disparate backgrounds, not his ability to deliver earmarks. I am disappointed that the story failed to fully reflect the extraordinary legislative talents of my friend, Jack Murtha, which has helped his district and has helped my district.”
Leonardi's stance is simple. "NO NEPOTISM - If you are related to me, No Government Job or Contract."
This Sunday the 4th District Republican Committee has an event for Leonardi. The details are here.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Former Staffer Says He Alerted Hastert's Office
A longtime chief of staff to disgraced former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.) approached House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's office three years ago, repeatedly imploring senior Republicans to help stop Foley's advances toward teenage male pages, the staff member said yesterday.
The account by Kirk Fordham, who resigned yesterday from his job with another senior lawmaker, pushed back to 2003 or earlier the time when Hastert's staff reportedly became aware of Foley's questionable behavior concerning teenagers working on Capitol Hill.
"The fact is, even prior to the existence of the Foley e-mail exchanges, I had more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest levels of the House of Representatives, asking them to intervene when I was informed of Mr. Foley's inappropriate behavior," said Fordham, who was Foley's chief of staff for 10 years.
Fordham is the fourth person to indicate that Hastert (Ill.) or his staff was warned about Foley's questionable behavior months or years before the six-term lawmaker abruptly resigned Friday, after ABC News published lewd instant messages that the lawmaker had sent to former pages.
TL: House Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio will appear this evening at a $25-per-head fundraiser at the Montdale Country Club in Lackawanna County. And House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois is scheduled to make a similar appearance on Oct. 18 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Clarks Summit, according to Lackawanna County Republican Party Chairman Paul Catalano.
h/t to The All Spin Zone for the graphic.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
As hard as I am on Don Sherwood at least he had the decency to apologize for his actions. Thank you sir.
The ruling, in a one-sentence order, was good news for the Bob Casey campaign, which had feared that Mr. Romanelli's presence on the ballot would siphon votes from the Democrat. For the same reason, it was a blow to Sen. Rick Santorum and to the Republican donors who had funded the petition drive that sought to establish the Green hopeful's access to the November ballot.
And he is stuck with a $90,000 legal bill. I wonder if the Republican moneybags that financed his petition drive will pony up to pay his lawyers? Sorry, silly question.
Run for President. Run for Senator. But if you don't run for and win races for school board, city council and state rep you guys are going nowhere.
Another local radio veteran and newpaper columnist writes about his life in Wilkes-Barre. Tom Carten is the producer of WRKC's Radio Home Visitor. He doesn't get political but tells you about what is happening on North Franklin St. and at Kings College. Check out Things at King's.
I've seen a few other local blogs pop up about local politics but the authors seem to put up a few posts and then lose interest. I'll keep an eye on them and highlight them if they statrt to update regularly. If any local bloggers out there want to be noticed and join the discussion contact me or Another Monkey. We are happy to add you to NEPA Blogs.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
With all the bad news for the Republicans in the last few days I expect the the Administration to try to change the subject. The Foley thing, repeal of the 4th and 6th admendments, The NIE that says the war has created more terrorists than existed before and Woodward's book. Legalizing torture, etc.
A couple of super secret fundraisers are scheduled for the Tunkhannock Strangler.
Just remember that a vote for Don Sherwood is a vote for Denny Hastert. The leader of a party that can't keep a 16 year old boy safe, let alone the country.
The debate will be shown in full twice on PCN on Thursday 9:00 pm and Sunday at 5:00 pm. So tune-in if you cannot make it in person!
A part of
The Center for the Study of Community and the Economy
An outfit I've never heard of but the results are interesting. It's a poll so let's look at it. The bottom line is Representative Don Sherwood, the Republican incumbent in the 10th congressional district, trails Democratic challenger Christopher Carney 38 to 47 percent.
Sherwoods negatives are toxic. Only 37 percent viewed the congressman favorably, while 48 percent viewed him unfavorably and 16 percent offering no opinion or indicated they did not know enough to rate him. 41 percent viewed Carney favorably compared to 17 percent who viewed him unfavorably and 42 percent of respondents offered no opinion or did not know enough to rate the Democratic candidate.
Almost 50 percent negative. I'm surprised its it's not higher. A general rule to politics is if your negatives are above 40% you're done. Sherwood is only pulling 60% Republican support while Carney has the support of 80% of Democrats. And Carney has the support of 26% of Republicans. A little over 14% say they are undecided. Usually the undecided break for the challengers in the end.
City tow truck driver charged for ramming car
...Bob Kadluboski of City-Wide Towing rammed his tow truck into a Honda Accord police linked to a Sept. 7 stabbing, injuring the driver and causing the vehicle to hit a police car, according to charges filed Monday....After ramming the car, police said Kadluboski boasted, “Like the Honeymooners, bang boom to the moon … She wasn’t going to get away.” Short of being praised, Kadluboski was credited after a similar incident in March 2005. He rammed a car fleeing a shooting at a city bar and detained two suspects until police arrived.Wilkes-Barre police Capt. Donald Crane said there’s a “fine line between when to help and not to help,” and police believed Kadluboski crossed that line.
TL: Kadluboski, 50, of New Frederick Street, is charged with three counts of simple assault and one count of criminal mischief, all second-degree misdemeanors, and a summary offense of reckless driving. The charges, filed Monday, will be served upon him via mail.
He also the source of an illegal ad before the May primary. Haven't heard much about that since it happened.
Sounds like a catch-22. Sorry about the headline.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
CV: A poll released last week by Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University showed the Democratic challenger had the support of 51 percent of likely voters, compared to 39 percent for the Republican incumbent — a 12-point gap. A Quinnipiac poll conducted in mid-August had Casey’s ahead by half that number. What gives? Quinnipiac pollster Clay Richards chalked it up partly to a spate of negative ads the Santorum camp has been running against Casey. He said the ads have backfired and underscored Santorum’s reputation as a polarizing figure.“In the end,’ Richards said, “Senator Santorum’s worst enemy is Senator Santorum.”
2 Polical Junkies has a rundown that reinforces my opinion. The more Santorum goes negative on Casey the more he reminds people of why they don't like him. The steady stream of ads that accuse Casey of being a crook have backfired. What a brilliant stratergy.