So this is your chance to sound off before the big day, tell me why your guy will win and by how much. The polling I've seen still shows a big undecided block.
Paul Kanjorski has been successful in bringing home the bacon over the years. Every time you drive down River Street you see the levee system that has been able to prevent another Agnes disaster and the Earth Conservancy has been successful in the reclamation of mine-scarred lands. This week he came through with federal help to renovate Coal Street park in Wilkes-Barre and money to help out General Dynamics in Scranton and countless other projects. The question is will people remember his accomplishments or will Cornerstone and Mexicans matter more.
Lou Barletta's campaign has been all about illegal immigration. I used to like Lou Barletta until 2006 when Rick Santorum needed an issue in his doomed reelection campaign and got Mayor Lou to propose a ridiculous law that tried to make landlords and others into immigration agents. It didn't take a constitutional law scholar to figure out that a small town in Pennsylvania can't usurp the powers of the Congress and a federal judge agreed. The case has been appealed and if Hazleton loses the city is on the hook for a big legal bill. Lou said the city may have to float a 20 year bond to pay off the legal fees, maybe he should run for county commissioner. I think it was one of the most reckless things that I've ever heard of a local official doing. I also object to a politician trying to find scapegoats for his problems. That's been tried before with disastrous results.
With all that said I think this will be a nailbiter. Challengers don't win elections, incumbents lose them and Kanjo has had plenty of missteps such as his interview on CBS when he talked about free money and said Congress has it's own rules. But in the end this is an overwhelming Democratic district in a Democratic year. Kanjo wins a close one.
Kanjorski - Barletta debate highlights
The Lu Lac Political Letter has the best recap of the debate that I have read. I thought Kanjorski had the best line of the night when asked about Cornerstone he said (paraphrase) 'if I had done anything illegal don't you think that the Bush Justice Department would have nailed my ass to the wall by now.' The whole debate is available on WVIA's website.
12 hours ago