Friday, October 29, 2010

Kanjorski-Barletta debate post game

Again I wanted to post the video from WVIA but I can't despite the embed link on the website.

Congressman Paul Kanjorski defended his record and attacked Mayor Lou Barletta's management of the city of Hazleton.

They started off by sparring over the amphitheater to be built on a sludge filled coal strip that Kanjo said was being investigated by the FBI. Mayor Lou denied anything illegal was going on.

Barletta denied that global warming is man made and Kanjo said he put his faith in science. Barletta talked about a solar park that Kanjo said was a pipe dream. Mayor Lou hit that one out of the park recalling Kanjorski's ideas for an inflatable dam, people movers and monorails that never happened.


Kanjo said that the Mayor doesn't understand the law or the Constitution. He said that Barletta knew better and said some people might think that he proposed his famous ordinance for political purposes, "Now, I wouldn't be that crass to say that."

El alcalde Barletta luego relató la historia familiar de violencia en Hazleton causados por inmigrantes ilegales y cómo se fue a Washington para pedir ayuda sólo para ser arrancado por la Administración Bush.

Then they got into amnesty. Kanjo said he always voted against amnesty and it was a 'Damnable lie' that he voted for it.

More skirmishing about taxes. Kanjo said Barletta raised Hazleton property taxes by 70% and earned income taxes by 20%. Mayor Lou countered that Kanjo voted to raise taxes 150 times and Kanjo parried by explaining that in 20+ years he voted to raise some taxes and cut others. It's easy to cherry pick voting records.

Kanjo defended the Health Care reform bill rebutting every bogus argument against it.

Then Barletta said something really stupid. He said that this will end up putting health care insurers out of business because it will lead to a single payer system. Nothing in HCR will put the insurance companies out of business.

The post game press releases are always fun.

From the Kanjo camp:

Barletta Makes False Claims in Debate

WILKES-BARRE -- Mayor Lou Barletta made a number of false claims about Congressman Paul Kanjorski's record during the WVIA debate on Oct. 28, 2010. Read the facts below:

1. Barletta Claim: Paul Kanjorski voted for an $800 billion economic stimulus bill that resulted in the loss of 2.7 million jobs.

THE TRUTH. Lou Barletta wants it both ways. With one hand, he waves his finger to complain about the Recovery Act, but with his other hand Mayor Barletta accepts more than $50 million in stimulus assistance for Hazleton.

§ Lou Barletta criticized the Recovery Act, but had no problem accepting federal funding from the law. Stimulus funding is being used to support the Hazleton City Authority’s water-related projects ($15.3 million), the Greater Hazleton Joint Sewer Authority’s upgrades ($33.6 million), and the purchase of equipment for and the construction of the Hazleton Intermodal Facility ($1.5 million), among other things.

§ Money from the stimulus has also allowed the Hazleton Housing Authority to modernize residential units ($524,000) and increased the City of Hazleton’s Community Development Block Grant to improve local resources and create economic opportunities ($255,000).

§ Lou Barletta criticizes the stimulus, but under his watch, the City of Hazleton has the highest unemployment rate in the state. Once again, Lou Barletta is trying to blame others and divert attention from his failed job as mayor.

2. Barletta Claim: The Hazleton mine reclamation project is safe for the people of Hazleton.

THE TRUTH. Federal officials have raised concerns about the mine-fill material and the public is concerned about their safety.

§ Human exposure to the experimental materials being used to fill Hazleton’s mine land is a serious concern to the federal Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

§ In 2008, Barletta sold mine land to developers for $3 million when it was appraised for $8 million, resulting in a $5 million loss for the city of Hazleton (, 4/20/2010)

§ The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection attended a public meeting in Hazleton in August where citizens expressed concern for environmental and health risks of the mine reclamation project. (Standard Speaker, 9/1/2010).

§ The developers of Hazleton’s mine reclamation project had their offices raided by the FBI earlier this year.

§ The developers of the mine reclamation project donated $10,000 to Barletta’s 2007 re-election campaign for Mayor. (, 4/20/2010)

3. Barletta Claim: Paul Kanjorski voted for amnesty in the 1986 immigration bill.

THE TRUTH. Paul Kanjorski voted to oppose amnesty in the 1986 immigration bill.

§ During consideration of the 1986 immigration reform law, Paul Kanjorski voted to block amnesty for illegal immigrants (Roll Call #455).

§ Paul Kanjorski also voted for the 1986 comprehensive immigration reform law in order to create a new system of penalties for employers who knowingly hire or continue to employ illegal immigrants.

4. Barletta Claim: Paul Kanjorski voted for amnesty for illegal immigrants to allow them to stay in the United States.

THE TRUTH. Paul Kanjorski has consistently voted against amnesty for illegal immigrants.

§ Paul Kanjorski has been voting against amnesty for illegal immigrants for 26 years, while Lou Barletta just started to address the issue in 2006.

§ During consideration of the 1986 immigration reform law, Paul Kanjorski voted to block amnesty for illegal immigrants (Roll Call #455).

§ Paul Kanjorski has also strongly advocated for an enforcement-only approach, and helped introduce the SAVE Act which aims to remove the job magnet that draws illegal immigrants to the U.S. and to improve border and interior enforcement of our immigration laws.

§ An October 6, 2008 article from the Scranton Times-Tribune states “Both [Kanjorski and Barletta] oppose amnesty and pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants.”

5. Barletta Claim: Seniors did not get cost of living increases this year, but Members of Congress gave themselves pay raises.

THE TRUTH. Paul Kanjorski stands up for seniors and is working to ensure that they receive the payments that they deserve. He will soon vote for a $250 payment for seniors.

§ Paul Kanjorski has fought for years to pass legislation that would ensure that seniors get the cost of living increases they deserve. He helped introduce legislation that would create a seniors COLA to ensure that the cost of living adjustment for Social Security recipients more accurately reflects the costs that many seniors incur moving forward. (H.R. 2365, 111th Congress).

§ Congressman Kanjorski announced his support for a $250 one-time payment to compensate for the lack of Social Security cost of living increases this year, which the House will soon vote on.
§ The cost of living adjustment is based on inflation and determined by the Social Security Administration. This unprecedented situation is a result of economic conditions, not the result of Congressional action or inaction.

§ Congress has denied itself an automatic cost-of-living adjustment 8 times since 1994. Paul Kanjorski voted against Congressional pay raises for 2010 and 2011.

6. Barletta Claim: The health care reform law will cut $500 billion from Medicare.

THE TRUTH. According to AARP, nothing in the health care reform law will cut benefits for seniors. Lou Barletta is only continuing his desperate attempt to spread fear and misinformation to seniors.

§ The health care reform law works to reform Medicare Advantage by reducing overpayments to insurance companies whose bottom lines have greatly benefited from the program.

§ The law works to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse from Medicare Advantage, and then inject that $500 billion in savings back into Medicare. As a result, it will extend the life of Medicare by almost 10 years.

§ The health care reform law will, in fact, provide cost savings for many seniors.

§ Paul Kanjorski will continue to protect Medicare for seniors.

7. Barletta Claim: The health care reform law will allow for the federal funding of abortion.

THE TRUTH. No federal funding will be used to fund abortions in the health care law.

§ Paul Kanjorski is pro-life and supports the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding of abortion, and remains the law of the land. He also supported the Stupak amendment which ensured that no federal funding would be used for abortions in the health care legislation.

§ The President issued an executive order on March 24 which reaffirms that the health care reform law will not allow for the federal funding of abortion.

§ Paul Kanjorski worked to ensure that the high-risk insurance plan created for Pennsylvania residents under the new law will not allow for the federal funding of abortion. He specifically reached out to the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner to clarify this issue.

Barletta Claim: Kevin Cook, the CEO of Mercy hospital, said that the three hospitals are being sold in part because of the new health care reform law.

THE TRUTH. Kevin Cook recently told WNEP-TV, “I actually find it disappointing that a decision that we made that was in the best interest of the community has been politicized the way it has,” referring to the sale.

§ Unfortunately, Lou Barletta is purposely twisting the facts and knowingly taking Mr. Cook’s comments out of context, even after Mr. Cook clarified that the health care reform law is not the reason for the sale of the hospitals.

§ Paul Kanjorski has worked to secure $270 million total for the 11 local hospitals in Northeastern Pennsylvania over the last 6 and a half years for Medicare payments.

§ Paul Kanjorski helped obtain this funding because he understands the difficult financial situations that many area hospitals have faced and continue to face. He has worked to ensure that the hospitals receive the Medicare payments that they deserve.

§ Rather than helping to provide for his city, Lou Barletta raided his city’s pension fund, and a report published in July 2010 said that Hazleton’s pension fund was the most distressed pension fund in Luzerne County (Times Leader, 7/27/2010)


This one is my favorite because it cites an obscure local blogger.

From Lou Barletta:

During Thursday night’s debate, 26-year incumbent Congressman Paul Kanjorski said he voted against amnesty for illegal aliens, and said Lou Barletta’s statement that he (Kanjorski) supported amnesty was a “damnable lie.”

But the record proves Kanjorski absolutely voted for amnesty.

In 1986, Congress passed a major overhaul of immigration law, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. This law “granted amnesty to about three million illegal immigrants for the stated purpose of solving the immigration problem and securing our border. The enactment of the (IRCA) dramatically eroded border control not only by granting citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants but by encouraging millions more to enter into the United States illegally in the hope that they too would eventually receive legal status.” (“The New American” magazine, June 26, 2006).

The IRCA was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 15, 1986, by a vote of 238-173. Kanjorski voted for that amnesty bill, according to the same magazine article.

A search of the Congressional record shows Kanjorski voted for amnesty – twice. The votes were for the final House version of the IRCA (roll call vote #457, 10/9/86; source: 1986 Congressional Quarterly Almanac) and the final version of the IRCA after it was passed by the Senate (conference report roll call vote #469, 10/15/86; source: 1986 Congressional Quarterly Almanac).

Kanjorski is listed as voting for the IRCA amnesty bill in the book “Anatomy of a Public Policy: The Reform of Contemporary American Immigration Law,” which was written by Michael C. LeMay and published in September 1994. Kanjorski’s vote is listed in Appendix B: The Roll Call Votes Enacting IRCA. LeMay was professor and chairman of the Department of Political Science and director of the National Security Studies Program at California State University, San Bernardino.

A blogger who asked Kanjorski about his stance on illegal immigration in 2006 received a response that included this statement: “In 1986, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act with my support.” (, Aug. 3, 2006)



Anonymous said...

"...Then Barletta said something really stupid. He said that this will end up putting health care insurers out of business because it will lead to a single payer system. Nothing in HCR will put the insurance companies out of business."


Insurance companies are making massive investments in information technology to deal with HCR. Those costs will kill some companies. Child-only plans are already being dropped by some carriers.

HCR will certainly kill some carriers. It take money out of our wallets as well. Just got my yearly benefit enrollment package. My premiums are up. Not much, but up just the same. HCR is cited as the reason. If I can't afford the plan I have now, I can ratchet down to a crappier option with higher deductibles.

You can't create coverage for 30 million people out of thin air without doing damage. And remember, that is coverage ...not health care. And you're forced to buy it. The IRS will see to that.

Lou is right. HCR will kill some companies. It will also drive up costs. And some corporations may drop coverage altogether, choosing to pay fines that will be less than the cost of offering health care coverage.

You can't put lipstick on this pig and make it pretty. This is what you get when you pass something to learn what's in it.

We've been served a heaping plate of socialism. How does it taste so far? Like half-baked, overpriced government.

Anonymous said...

Kanjorski stated that seniors will not be afftected 1 bit b/c of the HC law? Explain taht to the seniors who don't know what they are paying next year b/c they can't figure out the new formulas passed by Kanjo or those seniors who no longer have Medicare Advantage b/c Kanjo did away with it under the HC law. Also can he explain why he voted for a bill that lumped student loan reform in with it despite his knowing it would cost jobs in his district?

Professor Milburn Cleaver Ed.D said...

Students, after viewing last night's debate, and I hope you all took the time to do so (though I highly suspect you had better things to do such as view some reality show tripe or the latest Jackass film) I can come to only one conclusion.
The young Mr. Barletta displayed a combination of intelligence, wit and saavy charm as opposed to the fickle octegenarian Kanjorski.
Mr. Kanjorski should not have even ran for another term given the state of his performance.
Students, I can only conclude one thing: That Lou Barletta will be the next congressman from the 11th congressional district.
Class dismissed!!!

Anonymous said...

Nice that you listed facts, like they ever have anything to do with an election