Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Barletta is running again

Borys is reporting that Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta will try to knock off long time Democratic Congressman Paul Kanjorski in the Pennsylvania 11th District. This will be his third try to win the seat. I got an email from the Luzerne County GOP telling me that he would make his announcement on his website but when I try to go there I'm getting all sorts of error messages and requests for passwords.

You try it

Here's the video

Reaction from Kanjorski spokesman Ed Mitchell:

“Hearing that Mr. Barletta is running for Congress again reminds me of what Yogi Berra said: This is like deja vu all over again.’ Having been rejected by the voters twice, I guess Barletta is looking for strike three and you’re out.

“The Congressman is busy reforming the financial industry, bringing jobs to the district and providing for affordable health care that protects Medicare. He also remains a champion for preserving Social Security, so we have no further comment at this time.”

And Republican candidate Chris Paige:

So, the real question is why would we believe that Barletta can win this race? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results, and expecting Barletta to win after losing so many times before is just plain nuts.

Democratic primary challenger Corey O'Brien:

Earlier today, Hazleton's Republican Mayor Lou Barletta announced his candidacy for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District. Despite higher taxes and rampant crime in Hazleton, Mayor Barletta will - for a third time - run for U.S. Congress and attempt to return us to the failed Republican policies of George W. Bush.

Our district needs new Democratic leadership to stave off Lou Barletta in 2010 and to keep PA-11 in Democratic hands. As a Lackawanna County Commissioner, I worked to balance three budgets without raising taxes, instituted a Code of Ethics which prohibits me from even accepting a cup of coffee from a county vendor, and replaced our fleet of inefficient, gas-guzzling vehicles with hybrids.

We need a Congressman with executive-level leadership experience and a long-term vision for the future of the district. A Congressman who has balanced budgets during difficult economic times, while still finding ways to invest in our communities. A Congressman who will focus on finding ways to create jobs, improve educational opportunities, restore confidence in our elected officials, and promote energy independence.


Stephen Albert said...

I got the password thing as well...maybe proof of citizenship is required before they give you a password.

Anonymous said...

stumbling, bumbling web site, much like the Mayor himself.

Anonymous said...

The new Republican Party needs a new view on life. Barletta brings a terrible city management experience to the table and you can bet that any Latino voter will eager to vote against him.

On another note, Carolle has hired super Sam as her solicitor, what will Walter do now? Apparently, no Luzerne County tax paying attorney is qualified by Carolle"s standards. Well, the taxpayers wanted change and all they got is the same old bullshit!

Professor Milburn Cleaver, OPA said...

There is an old adage, students, that "three times is the charm", and this shall ring true for Mr. Barletta in 2010. The American people have have tired of their courtship with Mr. Obama and the new socialism, and the 11th district voters view Mr. Kanjorski as one of the courtship's main chapperones. This also applies to Mr. Carney. As Mr. Obama enjoys an approval rating that is in the sewer compared to his predecessors at this time of his term, one can only surmise a huge swing to the GOP next year. Students, the question is not whether Mr. Obama has failed but the exact depth and ramifications of his failure on the future of free enterprise and the American way in general. As an optimistic person myself, I do heartily believe that we shall bounce back beginning in January of 2011 when we will finally have a congress that will not rubber stamp every irresponsible spending bill that is presented to it by the President. The final touch will be in 2013 with a Republican fiscally responsible, and defensively determined leader for our nation. It will take a long time to completely recover from the mess that the Obama Administration and the Democratic congress have thrown on we and our children and generations yet unborn, but we will recover. In the words of Ronald Reagan, "Government has grown beyong the consent of the governed." This too shall pass. Class Dismissed!!!

Anonymous said...

Professor, your tenure is hereby recalled. You may reapply after compleltion is two or more common sense courses.

Austin said...

Nice one Stephen.

Corey O'Brien responded with yet another email asking for donations. He linked the Mayor to the economic hardships of his city and the failed policies of the former President. He did not take a stand on immigration or anything.

I don't know why he has an email list. He doesn't answer any questions, say anything relevant or concrete, he justs asks for money.

There are a few different campaigns that I have offered to volunteer for and are yet to take me up on it but ask for money every day. Lucky for me I don't have any of it.

Gort said...


I've asked O'Brien for a statement but he has not responded. He stopped responding to my emails and phone calls shortly after he announced he was running. I don't know what I did to piss him off.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Lou,
Race baiting rhetoric.
Unconstitutional ordinance causing increase debt in Hazelton.
Running budget deficits.
Crime increasing.
Businesses decreasing.
Taxes increasing.
Is he trying to out democrat Kanjo?

Thomas Borthwick said...


You didn't do anything to piss him off. It's just easier for him to be non-committal. He responds to nobody.

It's just a sign of his illegitimacy.

Stephen Albert said...

I guess Lou believes that, having saved Hazelton from the "great brown-skinned, Spanish-speaking horde", he's ready to move on to save the rest of the 11th Congressional District. Good luck with that one.

Personally I think he's better off waiting for a more suitable opening...say if a Grand Dragon position were to open up at a local Klavern.

Seriously, the LAST THING Republicans need is someone who could be perceived as being a racist. Talk about distraction from the real issues...I'm sure Ed Mitchell is probably hoping Barletta wins the GOP primary.

Anonymous said...

Abraham Lincoln lost two major elections before becoming one of the best Presidents of this country. The three strikes rhetoric of Kanjo is laughable!

The R's will take back Congress. Old man Kanjo vs. the kid O'Brien will splinter the Dems. Thanks for that, guys!

And Paige will get zero support from Republican committees--we all know he only changed from D to R recently...he's a set up guy from the Dem's trying to force Lou to spend $ in the primary. Paige and the hedge fund he represents...laughable!

McGruff said...


What time were you directed to go to the website?? The press release stated 10AM. You probably hit their lockdown since your post is 4:25 in the morning. Unresponsive to Gort's request???Hmmmm let me think about that one..

Once again people who don't know what they are talking about.

The ordinance hasn't cost Hazleton one red cent. Donations have been paying the bills..geez when will you peeps get off that bandwagon.

Business decreasing?? Has anyone asked the City how many new Hispanic business licenses were issued just this past year? Has anyone asked how many new businesses opened just this past year?? how can you make such an unsubstantiated claim? about your Democrat Maryann Petrilla..what she raising?? How about Kanjorski and Obama??

Three strikes is more laughable coming from Kanjo's camp especially when he lost three times before becoming Congressman.

There are more racist comments on this post than one could imagine yet they want to call Barletta racist.. Wow..brown skinned Spanish speaking Horde...where did you learn that??? you know how many Hispanics are married by the Mayor?? Why would you want to? It would take the steam out of your engine.

One final comment on the racist crap. Barletta's grandson's last name is Hernandez...but why would anyone bother to ask?? Were you being racist by automatically thinking it was an Italian surname?

Stephen Albert said...

Racist? Let's look at that in a bit more detail.

Assume that Mr Barletta's ordinance was legal...that landlords would have been required to obtain proof of legal status or face a $1000/day fine.

Now if a landlord had an apartment to rent and had two possible Hispanic...which would the landlord more likely rent to, assuming all other factors being the same? Play it safe and rent to the non-Hispanic or take the chance and rent to the Hispanic?

Look, Mr Barletta could himself be Hispanic, but that doesn't change the impact of his legislation.

Lou Barletta could have made a name for himself a fiscal conservative who cut taxes and made government more efficient. Instead, he decided to pursue a crusade against illegal immigrants simply my was easier.

Maybe he isn't a racist...maybe instead he's just a political opportunist who found a niche issue to differentiate himself from his peers; either way, pick your poison.

Anonymous said...

More democrats and corruption please. Hail luzerne county!!

Big Dan said...

What about the millions he cost Hazleton taxpayers with his illegal immigration folly? How come no one ever talks about that? Has that been erased and I don't know about it?

Also, this reminds me of Gov Ridge, who spent more time lobbying for something else (getting in the Bush administration) than doing his job. Barletta seems to me to care more about becoming a congressman than taking care of Hazleton which is his job.

I'd be really pissed if I lived in Hazleton, and owed all this tax money for Barletta's 5 minutes of fame and had to watch him continuously campaigning to become a congressman rather than paying attention to Hazleton.

Hey! That's fine with me! I don't live in Hazleton!

Big Dan said...

Also, wasn't Hazleton's population one of the only ones booming around NEPA until Barletta started the illegal immigration crap?

Herself said...


I don't know if Corey's unresponsiveness is necessarily a sign of his "illegitimacy" or in other words, lack of viability, as a candidate--it's probably more of a case of his campaign catching up on or not being at full capacity with communications as yet--either they haven't been in the race long enough to be running smoothly with rapid response and interview requests yet, or there is a lack of resources, or there are concerns about message control for some reason. I'm not trying to stick up for O'Brien or make excuses for him, that's just my objective speculation. That said, an effective campaign can be seen as a sign of the candidate's leadership potential. We'll have to keep watching to see how Corey does with developing his campaign.

I don't really have a dog in this Kanjo/Corey primary contest yet, I just know Barletta needs to be defeated for a third and, may God help us, a final time. Any Mayor who tries to pass unconstitutional ordinances would be a terrible and toxic lawmaker on the federal level, considering the fact that he apparantly either doesn't care about or doesn't understand the law, our lawmaking process, or our Constitution.

Big Dan said...

What about that huge tax bill for Hazleton taxpayers? Did that go away or something? How come no one talks about that? wtf??????

I'd be RIPPING if I lived in Hazleton!

Anonymous said...

Can someone show me the jobs Mitchell says Kanjo is bringing to the area? Please? Anyone?

Stephen Albert said...

I question Paul Kanjorski's effectiveness as a legislator, I question his "too big to fail" rant, and there are a few reasons to be suspect of his ethical conduct as well. ALL THE MORE REASON to be pissed that the best the GOP can do is Lou Barletta.

Thomas Borthwick said...


While normally I would agree with you, I choose "illegitimacy" on purpose. Either he doesn't respond because he wants to insulate himself from potential reactions or he doesn't respond because he doesn't know. Both reasons are very, very bad.

In terms of communications, he has a "new media director" whose job is supposed to be to help answer questions. Corey has been relatively certain since April that he would run, that should give him enough time to form opinions. Beyond that, most human beings have opinions anyway, whether they are political or not. Corey's remain a secret.

You're more forgiving than I am. I'm not a fan of asking a politician questions and not getting a response, particularly when they are knocking on doors, sending me e-mail requests for money, and driving around in a bus with their face painted on it. How can he run without either knowing or sharing what he stands for?

It makes no sense, hence my choice of words.

McGruff said...

Big Dan,

Where do you get your information from? Look at the enrollment figures for all schools located within the boundaries of the City of Hazleton? There has been a dramatic increase every year including this one. People aren't leaving they are coming to Hazleton.

Huge tax bill?? The figures printed in the Standard Speaker were off by a factor of 10. The tax bill is increasing at a rate of $88.20 not $882.00 as published. The Speaker did a retraction in print but not online.

On the issue of how much money the immigration case is costing more time....first the Hispanic side has put in an exhorbitant amount that has NOT BEEN APPROVED BY ANY JUDGE. Secondly the costs borne so far have been paid by Small Town Defenders, not the City of Hazleton...You won't know how much if any on what the case will cost Hazleton until it the results of the present appeal and the petition to the Supreme Court. So quit making suppositions sound like facts.

McGruff said...

On the issue of the constitutionality of the law, Munley can be overturned so don't hang your hat on his decision. We won't know consitutionality until the final conclusion. Remember the Connecticut case of the white firefighters. Sonia Sotamayor was overturned and they were vindicated. But then again why would anyone want to deal in facts.

Anonymous said...

Munely will not be overturned and the plantiff's legal fees will at the very least double. That money which will be awarded will not be covered by the donors, It is going to come from the tax payers of Hazelton.
A fucking 1st grade student is aware that law pertaining to immigration are under the laws of the federal gov't, not a small city.

Anonymous said...

its all smoke and mirrors with Barletta. dont know how much this lawsuit will cost the city, dont know how much the legal fees will be if they lose, dont know, dont know, dont know. all the while Barletta is looking to get out of town. be the Mayor, and time for his supporters to stop making excuses, but then again they are RICH CITY GUYS>.......

Herself said...


I reckon then that you are banking on the case going to a judge in a higher court who won't apply the law correctly because he, like our friend the Mayor here, doesn't understand the Constitution and separation of powers between the branches of gov't and between the local, state, and federal levels--that is a depressing thought, that we would have a judge on the court reviewing the case who is willing to disregard the constituional law he or she is supposed to interpret because of politically ideological, or God forbid, racist reasons.

On a tangent--it offends me that so many conservatives are so defensive of the Constitution and claim that liberals don't respect it, yet then they go ahead and are willing to trample over it or tear it asunder when they happen not to agree with it or they don't like how it is working for them. I also am offended when conservatives accuse liberals of not understanding or not reading the constitution (as two teabaggers accused me over the summer outside of a Carney town hall). Some conservatives like to demean and defame all liberals as being unpatriotic, irreligious, anti-capitalists who want to undermine the Constitution somehow. Well I read my Constitution and my bible frequently and those are two reasons why I am a liberal.

McGruff said...

A f--king 1st grade student would know that businesses must obey the federal law and can face local sanctions for not doing so...but then again we are back to facts. Rob a bank which is a federal offense and I guarantee the local police arrest you under the federal law. Show me one local ordinance dealing with robbing banks... Rob a pharmacy..federal offense..local police again...but then again those are facts...

McGruff said...

Why don't you look up the Valley Park Missouri business law? It was written by the same attorney who did Hazleton's law. It was upheld by the 8th District Court. The landlord portion was struck but the business section upheld...evan a 1st fkin grader can read.

Anonymous said...

Hazelton wasn't enforcing a federal law, they were creating laws designed to usurp federal laws. there is a difference, but you Barletta racists are all the same.
and yes i know lou likes hispanic people

McGruff said...

How about the Arizona law that upheld by an appeals court? Same law written by same lawyer..

but then again these are facts...class dismissed.

Stephen Albert said...


Enforcement of Federal Laws is delegated to state and local law enforcement for things like robbing a bank. HOWEVER, Federal Law specifically limits the role of state and local law enforcement when it comes to matters of immigration enforcement (see among other citations). As I understand it, state and local law enforcement can participate in enforcement activities, BUT ONLY AT THE INVITATION OF Federal authorities. Why? Among other things, immigration issues end up being impacted by treaties that the Federal Government has with other sovereign nations (this was also pointed out in Judge Munley's opinion), so having state and local agencies acting unilaterally in enforcement activities could end up causing much international issues.

With all due sound like a reasonable are simply wrong on this particular issue. Note that I actually (probably) agree with you about illegal immigration as a concept...I think illegal immigration is a slap in the face to all who got here legally...but the difference is that I've not let my personal opinion on the issue cloud my reading of the law.

Big Dan said...

So, McGruff, YOU are going on record here, as stating that Barletta's 5 minutes of fame illegal immigrant Lou Dobbs things cost the Hazleton taxpayers ZERO money?

Yes or No

Once and for all:

Yes or No

Big Dan said...

McGruff: all experts said Barletta would lose that case, and he forged ahead anyway and...guess what? Lost it!

Don't rewrite history: everyone said Barletta would lose the case, and lose it he did, and it cost a lot of money.

And please provide proof that it cost the taxpayers of Hazleton ZERO dollars, I don't believe it.

If you show me proof, I'll believe it.

Big Dan said...

I clearly remember experts in the papers and on the radio saying the precedents were set already for this type of thing, and he would lose. And the egotistical Barletta didn't listen.

McGruff said...

Big Dan,

What I am on record of saying is this as fact. The first round was a loss for Hazleton. The opposing side(s) put in for legal costs many of whom know they will not be reimbursed. It was a bully tactic to try to scare Hazleton. No judge can decide what costs will be accepted or denied until the case is decided on the next step and possibly ultimately by the Supreme Court. Up until this point all legal costs have been borne by the Small Town Defenders. Not one cent of Hazleton taxpayer money has been spent on any legal proceedings to date. If the experts were right how do you explain Valley Park and the state of Arizona?

McGruff said...

Mr. Albert.

Immigration law and its creation is the right of the federal government. However, Hazleton did not write law nor enforce the law per se. What the ordinace does is make sure that businesses are conforming to the law just like they must conform to OSHA and other types of federal laws. As long as they are in compliance they will receive their license to do business in the City of Hazleton. Hazleton does have the right to issue business licenses without question. If a business is found to hire illegal aliens by not having the proper paperwork on file, the I-9, then it is subject to sanctions. That is not enforcing immigration law per se, it is enforcing a requirement of the federal law that is incumbent upon each and every business. No I-9's, no license. That is not usurping federal law as the other poster claims, it is making sure as a business owner or corporation the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed.

Remember that I-9's are needed for all colors of skin, all nationalities, all people. That makes it a non-discriminatory requirement. Don't have your proper paperwork on file and lose your license,not a complicated concept and definitely sound in law.

If you read Munley's opinion he was biased before the trial began. He used the bench to make his political statement. Aren't we possibly about to see the same with Joseph Cosgrove who is an outspoken opponent to the death penalty. I never believe that judges don't use the bench to make points at times.

McGruff said...

Headlights and taillights are on your car due to US DOT regulations as part of the United States Vehicle Safety Standards. If they are not operating properly do they need to call ICE to stop you from commiting your illegal act. Hell no. The local police pull you over and can cite you for the infraction.

Likewise the ordinance does not deport the worker, nor the business owner or corporation. You lose your license. And you don't get it back until you agree to be in compliance with a requirement of its issuance, that you agree to abide by all federal, state, and local laws.

McGruff said...

Big Dan,

If you don't believe me 570-459-4910. That is the Mayor's office. Call and ask for the City Administrator. Ask your question. Get the answer from the horses mouth. If you don't believe her ask for the City Council Clerk. She will also answer you..

McGruff said...

State House to take up citizenship verification bills

McGruff said...

By the way that bill is being introduced by a Democrat

Stephen Albert said...

McGruff...I give you credit for persistency...all be it misplaced.

Your statements (complete with tons of Heritage Foundation logic interwoven) about Hazelton's laws not being all that different than I9 enforcement miss the point: namely that the Federal Government delegated this action (I9 enforcement) to businesses. The Federal Government could also choose to, for example, set up a similar delegated system for landlords to check citizenship of prospective tenants, but the simple fact is that they have not.

It's all window dressing though McGruff, as the central point is this: Why did Lou Barletta choose to go on an anti-illegal immigrant crusade when there were so many other pressing issues out there in the first place? Hazelton's tax base was erroding before the illegals arrived, and its cost of providing municipal services was too high well before the the modern day version of the "Know Nothings" reared their ugly heads. If Mr Barletta were a true fiscal conservative, why wouldn't he make those kinds of issues his priority in office? Seriously, why? Come on McGruff, even you have to ask your self that same question.

Why do I think Lou Barletta went on his crusade? Because ripping on illegals was EASIER than solving Hazelton's REAL problems. Illegals represent an easy target. In my book that makes him, at best, an opportunist. At worst, it makes him a racist. As I said earlier, either choice is bad.

Anonymous said...

how much does Barletta pay you to do this?
and what is in it for you, an appointment to an authority board? take any trips on taxpayers money?

Lou doesn't have the votes to pass his budget, his hand picked council in January will have to put up the tough tax increase vote.

his financial plan, sell the water authority and build a solar farm. IT DOESN'T SHINE IN HAZLETON even on the brightest day!!

Come to think of it. LOU isnt bright either. LOL

Anonymous said...

McGruff we all know the Mayor likes latinas. you don't have to defend him by telling us how many he married.

McGruff said...

Mr. Albert,

A question for you. Outside of what you read in the media have you actually reviewed the City of Hazleton actions at City Hall to validate your accusations? Did any member of your family die at the hands of illegals??? Why don't you ask Derrick Kichline's family how it is? Three kids without a father, the illegal who shot him cost the city HALF of its budget to investigate. He was found to have been arrested 8 times before this homicide.

The following week gang members threatened the lives Hazleton police officers. They made the claim they were going to kill a COP. So is that enough to warrant attention or would you want an officer to lose his life?

During the FUNFEST parade a known gang member followed Barletta's motorcade for the entire length of the parade. The following year a gang member brandished firearms at FUNFEST.. Do Mr.Albert...tell me when you would have enough if you were Mayor?

When Barletta stood up against illegal aliens it wasn't a popular movement, it wasn't easy; and he was by himself.

Other issues: How about the Pine Street Project where energy efficient homes replaced decayed factory buildings and received two national awards? How about downtown renovation that has occured and continues to occur? How about mine reclamation? How about 9 new officers hired? How about the just announced effort to get cameras mounted throughout the City to monitor high crime areas? And soon an announcement will be made that will solve the financial woes of the City.

Our school district ESL program budget was $50,000.00. It is now over $2 million.

To Anon: I get paid NOTHING from any government entity nor any political figure for my time. Gort, are you getting paid? Mr. Albert are you getting paid? Big Dan, how about you?

What a ridiculous question and some potentially libelous statements to boot. You make your statements because those are the people you hang around with, sucking at the taxpayer trough, not me.

On the issue of the budget. Two of the three council members who voted against the budget were defeated in election. The third is complaining because he was paid $3,800.00 as a councilman but was receivng over $12,000.00 in health insurance as a very part time member that he was not entitled to. But why would you tell these people that. It wouldn't be telling the truth on your part, would it? Yes, there will be a significant tax increase but it will be very temporary. Of course the other choice is to layoff police which is something you would LOVE to see.

McGruff said...

Here is the link to the fact that the Kichline murder investigation cost Hazleton HALF its budget on page 7. You can read the description of the crime on page 16.

As a matter of fact take the time to read that document and look at all the criminal cases cited by the City as a need to address the issue.

Page 8- Why people keep labeling him a racist when he was clear it applied to all illegal aliens. The press and others are the ones who make it a Hispanic issue.
Mayor Barletta spoke at this City Council meeting and made the
following statement: “The Illegal Immigration Relief Act is intended to deter and
punish any illegal immigrants in the City of Hazleton, whether they are from
Eastern Europe, Latin America or the Far East.” (Tr. vol. IV, p. 225). “If you are
in this country illegally….illegal is illegal. It does not matter where you come
from.” Id.