Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's a gas,tax

The PA House of Representatives finally got around to passing a Severance tax on the Marcellus Shale drillers that are in the process of creating a slow motion environmental disaster in Pennsylvania.

TL: The Pennsylvania House on Wednesday approved a bill that would impose the state’s first-ever tax on natural gas extraction, advancing a plan to split the proceeds among the state’s general fund, environmental programs and local governments....The 104-94 vote was a major step toward collecting revenue from the drilling boom in a wide swath of the state that overlays the Marcellus Shale gas formation.

What Does Severance Tax Mean?
A tax imposed on the removal of nonrenewable resources such as crude oil, condensate and natural gas, coalbed methane and carbon dioxide.

But they came up with a convoluted formula on how to use the proceeds as this chart from the Commonwealth Foundation documents. This should be a lot simpler with money going into the general fund and the remainder being dedicated to the DEP to deal with the inspection, regulation and inevitable clean up operations from this activity. But just like the slots money that was sold as a way to reduce property taxes our salons in Harrisburg look on this as another pot of gold to be spread around.

Predictably, Republicans are objecting as their world view seems to be there should not be any taxes on businesses of any kind. Nobody likes paying taxes but as a wise man once said "Taxes are the price we pay for civilization." I think the Yonk would agree with that.

The industry has no problem spreading around campaign cash instead of paying taxes. Since 2001 they have dropped $3 million into political campaigns and spent another $5 million for lobbying.

According to the website Marcellus Money, the top recipients of driller campaign cash during the past decade include: Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett ($372,000), Lt. Gov./Senate GOP leader Joseph Scarnati ($117,000), Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell ($84,000), Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato ($74,000).

Local lawmakers receiving contributions include Senate Minority Leader Robert Mellow, D-Peckville ($7,000), Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Lehman Township ($1,500), Sen. John Gordner, R-Berwick ($1,300), House Majority Leader Todd Eachus, D-Butler Township ($1,250), Rep. Ed Staback, D-Archbald ($500), Rep. John Yudichak, D-Nanticoke ($250) and Rep. Karen Boback, R-Harveys Lake ($250)

Boback gave back the money. Good for her.

The production of gas from the Marcellus Shale has exceeded the expectations of the industry itself so these warnings that a tax on them will drive them out of the state is nonsense. The gas is under our feet and if they want it they will pay a fair premium to the people of Pennsylvania.

Another milestone

I just noticed that I have written over 3,000 posts. Thanks for hanging around with me for these last 5 plus years.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tom Marino admits he's been lying for months

Marino changes story

Tom Marino, Republican candidate for Congress, has changed his story six months after he told a Wilkes-Barre talk radio reporter that he had gotten permission from his superiors in the U.S. Department of Justice before lending his name as a reference for a convicted felon who was seeking a casino license...He also denied that he had ever claimed that he received, or could provide, written authorization from the Justice Department allowing him to give a personal reference to former casino operator Louis DeNaples.

Two weeks ago his campaign sent out a press release saying he had written authorization from the DOJ that the department refuted.

Digging his hole deeper he then said that WILK loudmouth Steve Corbett was a liar:

“The radio personality made it up. There is no letter,” Marino said.

Listen to the radio interview at this link.

Before this broke yesterday the CV Politics Blog reporter Mike Sisak had this exchange with the Marino camp about the spokesperson for the Justice Department saying there is no record of any letter giving Marino the OK to give Louis DeNaples a reference.

Marino's press flack actually said: You have our statements, this is a non-story.

The response from Sisak: Actually, for some reason at this point in the race, this IS the story, and these questions are still unanswered:



IS THERE ANY EVIDENCE (documents, notes, telephone records, e-mails, anything at all) TO CORROBORATE THAT PERMISSION WAS GRANTED?


Carney's mouthpiece put out out a statement that I think was unnecessary but I'll publish it anyway just to be fair and balanced. If your opponent is imploding you should sit back and watch.

CLARKS SUMMIT -- Five months after Tom Marino told a radio host that he had received authorization from Justice Department superiors to serve as a reference for a felon under investigation by Marino's own office, Marino now says that he never asked for permission from the agency. The Sunbury Daily Item, which reported the news today, also reported that Marino now says "there is no letter" to prove he received permission and he claims WILK radio host Steve Corbett "made it up."

Marino's latest statements contradict what he told Corbett in a live interview on April 28. It also reverses his own statement to the Associated Press Sept. 17, when Marino said he had been in touch with DOJ about releasing "documents that would end this matter" but was not authorized to make them public.

A full timeline of statements and events is provided below.

"Another day, another lie from Tom Marino," said Josh Drobnyk, Carney for Congress campaign spokesman. "Tom Marino is spinning a tale of lies to the public and it has become clear he will say anything to get elected. He said live on the radio in April that he went to his Justice Department superiors before providing the personal reference for a felon under investigation by his office and was satisfied with their response. Now he says he never sought their permission. He said just days ago that there were agency 'documents' that would end this matter. Now he says 'there is no letter.' How can the public trust Tom Marino when he continues to insult them with so many lies?"


Sept. 28, 2010: Marino says he never asked DOJ anything, accuses Steve Corbett of lying

Marino tells the Sunbury Daily Item that he never asked for permission from DOJ to provide reference to felon under investigation by Marino’s office and that WILK's Steve Corbett lied about having been promised a letter.

Marino on Monday said he never asked for permission from the federal agency because it was understood he would be allowed to provide personal references to anyone as long as he didn’t use his job title or attempt to promote individuals on his staff.

He also denied that he had ever claimed that he received, or could provide, written authorization from theJustice Department allowing him to give a personal reference to former casino operator Louis DeNaples.

“I did it all the time,” he said, of providing personal references. ....

In that interview, Corbett asks:“Did you have to tell any of your supervisors that you were acting as a reference?” “Yes,” Marino said.

“And did you?” “Yes,” Marino said.

Corbett then asked Marino what the response was from the Department of Justice, and Marino replied that “it was nothing out of the ordinary.”

Following that exchange, Corbett said he followed up the interview by asking Marino’s staff for written documentation that Marino had received permission to serve as a reference. Corbett said a Marino staffer promised to get him that documentation but never did.

On Monday, Marino said there was never written authorization from the Department of Justice.

“The radio personality made it up. There is no letter,” Marino said.

Corbett stands behind his reporting.

Sept. 23, 2010: Marino campaign says Marino never referred to specific document

Marino’s spokesman tells the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice that Marino never referred to a specific document.

He never refers to a specific document regarding a specific issue.

Sept. 18, 2010: Marino campaign says it doesn't recall referring to specific document

Marino’s spokesman is reported telling the Williamsport Sun-Gazette that “it's unclear there was any single document regarding authorization to serve as a reference” in the first place.

Now, Marino spokesman Jason Fitzgerald said it's unclear there was any single document regarding authorization to serve as a reference for DeNaples in the first place.

"I don't recall Mr. Marino ever referring specifically to a document from the Department of Justice that gave him permission to give a reference," he said.

Sept. 17, 2010: Marino says he's contacted DOJ about documents

Marino says he’s contacted DOJ about releasing documents “that would end this matter” but been informed they “are confidential and are the property of the Department.”

Marino statement: “I have been in communication with the Department of Justice concerning the release of documents related to my service as United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The Department of Justice General Council has informed me that these documents are confidential and are the property of the Department. The Department of Justice General Council explained that even though I am a former U.S. Attorney, I am bound by security and ethics provisions of federal law associated with my past service. While I am confident that the release of certain documents would end this matter, I understand the sensitive nature of these documents and the important role that the Department of Justice has in keeping us safe. As a former U.S. Attorney, I will abide by the laws of this land and the polices of the Department of Justice, without question.”

Sept. 16, 2010: Marino says he can't release documents

Marino says he has not been given approval by DOJ to release documents.

Marino statement: I have not been given approval by the Department of Justice to release documents regarding my tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Aug. 25, 2010: Corbett says he's been waiting four months for promised letter from Marino

Steve Corbett writes on his blog that he’s been waiting four months for a supposed letter that Marino promised him after his appearance on the program that Marino says will prove that he had permission from DOJ to serve as a reference for a felon who was under investigation by Marino’s office.

May 2010: Marino campaign tells Corbett he has letter

Tom Marino's campaign tells WILK's Steve Corbett that Marino has a letter for him from DOJ that will prove he got permission. Marino never gives it to Corbett.

April 28, 2010: Marino tells Corbett he vetted reference and got all clear from DOJ

Tom Marino tells WILK’s Steve Corbett that he “vetted” the reference with DOJ and got the all clear

Corbett: "Did you have to tell any of your supervisors that you were acting as a reference?"

Marino: "Yes."

Corbett: "And did you?"

Marino: "Yes."

Corbett: "And what was their reaction?"

Marino: "It was nothing out of the ordinary."

Corbett: "So are you saying that it is not extraordinary for a United States Attorney to act as a personal reference on a gambling application for an admitted federal felon?"

Marino: "The way you are putting it, you are putting it in the most negative terms."

Corbett: "Did you have any pangs of conscience that that might not be ethical?"

Marino: "No, because I checked it out, vetted it and was satisfied with the vetting process."

Jan. 2008: Marino goes to work for felon

Marino works for the felon for whom he provided a personal reference, making $249,999.96 a year.

Oct. 2007: Marino resigns

Marino leaves office.

Sept. 21, 2007: Marino announces resignation

Marino announces resignation, which takes effect Oct. 12, 2007.

Aug. 24, 2007: News breaks that Marino will resign, Marino denies that he'll step down

The Allentown Morning Call reports that Marino will resign, three days after story breaks about his withdrawal from probe and the reference he provided.

Aug. 21, 2007: News breaks that Marino served as reference for felon under investigation by his office

The Allentown Morning Call breaks news that Marino had served as reference on felon’s casino application and was forced to withdraw from probe.

Jan. 2007: Marino discloses to DOJ he gave reference

Marino discloses relationship with felon to the Justice Department and is ordered to withdraw from the investigation into felon.

Nov. 2006: Marino's name on list of prosecutors to be fired

Sampson places Marino's name on another list of targeted prosecutors.

Sept. 13, 2006: Marino on firing line at DOJ

D. Kyle Sampson, the chief of staff to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, places Marino's name on a list of U.S. Attorneys the department "should consider pushing out."

Jan. 2006: Marino "problem" attorney, according to DOJ

A Justice Department official includes Marino on a list of "problem" prosecutors and tells a colleague she is "not sure about" him.

Dec. 2005: Marino writes reference letter

Marino writes personal reference for the casino application of a felon who is under investigation by his office.

2004: Federal investigation into felon begins.

2002: Tom Marino sworn in as U.S. attorney for Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Tom Marino has been unavailable for press interviews since this story broke and even his website is down. He is not only a liar but a coward who will not face the press. Expect him to show up on FOX News to tell us Nancy Pelosi is a liberal in the near future.

There is a newer Carney attack ad up but it's not on YouTube yet. This one is playing defense:

Love the Foster Grants

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Malcolm is not in the middle

Middleburg, Pennsylvania – Snyder County Commissioner and former U.S. Congressional candidate Malcolm Derk formally endorsed Tom Marino for U.S. Congress today at a press conference in front of the Snyder County Courthouse. Derk was surrounded by several area residents and elected officials.

"I am proud to endorse Tom Marino for Congress. Throughout the Primary Election, Tom Marino and I became close friends. We share the same core principals of lower taxes, fewer government regulations, less government spending, and a strong national defense. I am confident that he will take those common sense conservative values to Washington D.C. as our next United States Congressman. I have no doubt that he will make us proud" said Derk.

"Commissioner Malcolm Derk is a fine public servant. I am proud to call him a friend and am honored to have his endorsement. As Snyder County Commissioner, he has been a tireless advocate for lower taxes and smaller government. I rely on his advise and greatly appreciate his support" stated Marino.

"As your next United States Congressman, I will help the private sector create family sustaining jobs, reduce government spending, eliminate excessive regulations, cut taxes, support an national energy plan, and work to repeal the Obama/Pelosi/Carney Healthcare Bill" added Marino.

Monday, September 27, 2010

PA-10th and 11th Congressional District polls

On Sunday the Times-Leader published polls of the 10th and 11th CD races that they paid for from some oufit in Maine that I never have heard of that has a track record of consumer research but as far as I can tell is new to the political arena. The thing that jump out at me was the small sample size, only 221 voters in the 1th and 197 in the 10th with an margin of error (MOE) of about 7%. With that small number of responses I think the MOE should be much higher. The methodology is suspect as it was a push button telephone poll.

The results

11th CD

Respondents said that if the election were held now, 43 percent would favor Republican Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta and 32 percent would vote for Kanjorski, the 13-term incumbent Democrat. Undecided voters were reported at 25 percent.

I have a really hard time believing that 25% of likely voters haven't made up their minds in this race.

In the 11th District, 221 voters were polled – 42 percent Democrats and 42 percent Republicans. Even though the 11th District has a 57 percent to 31 percent Democratic edge!

My friends over at Pure Bunkum pick over the quotes from Ed Mitchell in the TL. I like this one.

“Last week, The Times Leader polled in the lieutenant governor’s race even though Pennsylvanians don’t vote for lieutenant governor separately. He or she runs with the governor candidate as part of a team. The TL hasn’t any credibility in the polling business and should just stick to printing papers.”

10th CD

This one is even more suspect.

Of the 197 registered and likely voters polled in the 10th District, 51 percent are registered Republicans, 33 percent are registered Democrats and 14 percent said they were a member of a third party or unaffil

The last time I checked the district was 49% Republican, 41% Democrats.

Forty percent chose Tom Marino, a former U.S. Attorney from Lycoming County; 36 percent said Chris Carney, a two-term representative from Susquehanna County; and 24 percent were undecided.

Reading all these TL polling stories in Sunday's newspaper a couple of things came to mind. First of all I want to say that Richard Conner is a local hero for rescuing the Times-Leader and keeping the 2 newspaper market alive in Wilkes-Barre (unlike most of the country) but I think you got your pocket picked, Rich. Next time hire a more experienced company. The second thing is the TL reporters that had to write up this poll in a bunch of different stories had to bite their tongues (fingertips) or the editors clipped it to death. They are pro's.

Another poll from a more experienced firm came out today. More on that soon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


This is just a small part of Mrs. G's shoe collection.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Barletta ad

I like it. Before you all faint because I said something nice about El alcalde Lou Barletta or his campaign let me explain.

I've been watching these things since 1972 and I think I have an idea on what works. This one works because Lou is looking right into the camera and states his case. Very few politicians can do that without "coming across as shifty eyed"- to steal a line from the movie The Candidate

I certainly disagree with his assertion that we will never get out of this mess while Paul Kanjorski is still in office. We are in this mess because the actions of the previous administration with the help of a Republican Congress that cut taxes more than they should have and couldn't say no to a new spending program or fund the wars. They ignored the laws of this country regarding the regulation of Wall Street, Oil and Gas Companies, Agriculture and many other industries.

They never cut spending and will not in the future despite what they say.

Do you really want to go back to that?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Meet the candidate

Republican US Senate candidate Pat Toomey will make an appearance Saturday at the
Luzerne County GOP Headquarters, 41 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre at 4:30 PM. Sorry, the Penn State game starts at 3:30 so I will be occupied.

If you answer a knock on the door in Avoca or Duryea tomorow morning it just might be Congresman Paul Kanjorski. He has been doing more of these type of events lately.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Marino almost got fired before he quit

Reading the press reports today it has become clear that not only is Tom Marino a liar but his superiors in the Department of Justice thought he was incompetent.

Marino's effectiveness questioned

A senior Justice Department official recommended firing Marino in September 2006, saying he "perceived that Marino was not leading his office," according to the report, which has taken on fresh relevance as the Republican challenges Democratic incumbent Chris Carney in the 10th Congressional District.

D. Kyle Sampson, the chief of staff to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, subsequently placed Marino's name on a list of U.S. Attorneys he said the department, "should consider pushing out," based on "problems" he learned about in summer 2006, according to the report.

You can read the report at this link.

The only thing that saved his tail was the Justice Department didn't want to piss off Senator Arlen Specter.

REPORT: Political ties kept Marino from termination

A report timeline shows that Marino was recommended for termination weeks after he provided a personal reference on a gambling license application for a convicted felon who was under investigation by Marino’s office.

Marino and one other attorney were removed from the list “not because anyone disagreed with the removal recommendation...because both were believed to have the political support of their home-state Senators and the judgment was made not to risk a fight with the Senators over the proposed removals,” according to the report.

This seems to be different than the dismissal of other US Attorney's at the time who were booted for political reasons by Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and Karl Rove. Why Karl Rove was making personnel decisions at DOJ is a subject that has been covered by many other bloggers at the time. Instead of getting rid of him because he wouldn't toe the party line like they did to the others they just thought he was a putz.

Tom Marino continues to be Chris Carney's biggest asset in this election and the Carney camp let him have it in a press release:

CLARKS SUMMIT -- This morning, news broke in the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice and the Scranton Times-Tribune about a Department of Justice report that provides searing evidence that Tom Marino was unfit to serve as U.S. attorney and was recommended for firing before his abrupt 2007 resignation. The report shows that Marino was singled out for firing just weeks after he had provided a personal reference for a convicted felon who was under investigation by Marino's office.

The following is a statement in response to the news from Josh Drobnyk, campaign spokesman for Congressman Chris Carney (Pa-10):

"The facts speak for themselves. The report from the Justice Department makes it clear that Tom Marino lacks the essential qualities that people on all sides of the political spectrum deserve in an elected official: leadership, integrity and competence. This Department of Justice report states in no uncertain terms that Marino failed to lead his office. He has lied about the controversial reference he provided for a convicted felon who was under investigation by his office. And it is now clear that he lied about his record at as U.S. attorney. The question that he must answer is what else is Tom Marino hiding? It is time for him to truthfully account for his record and stop deliberately misleading the public."

Marino's mouthpiece did his best to minimize the damage.

A spokesman for Marino's Congressional campaign, Jason Fitzgerald, dismissed the revelations in the Justice Department report as another distraction in a race that has centered more on missteps and personal defects than social issues and policy positions.

"We're really not going to play in the mud on this stuff," Fitzgerald said Wednesday. "Those claims are totally without merit. Tom Marino was a distinguished prosecutor."

He also added that Nancy Pelosi is a liberal.

After talking with Chris Hackett and Dan Meuser last Friday I keep thinking what if those guys had held off running until this year.

Marino timeline

2002: Tom Marino is sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Middle District of Pennsylvania, which includes Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Harrisburg.

2004: Federal authorities launch an investigation into allegations Dunmore businessman Louis DeNaples used a middleman to make campaign contributions to Gov. Ed Rendell.

December 2005: Marino serves as a personal reference for DeNaples' application for a license to operate the Mount Airy Casino in Monroe County.

January 2006: A Justice Department official includes Marino on a list of "problem" prosecutors and tells a colleague she is "not sure about" him.

September 2006: Marino makes private decision to resign, does not set specific date.

September 13, 2006: D. Kyle Sampson, the chief of staff to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, places Marino's name on a list of U.S. Attorneys the department "should consider pushing out."

November 2006: Sampson places Marino's name on another list of targeted prosecutors.

January 2007: Marino discloses relationship with DeNaples to the Justice Department and is ordered to withdraw from the investigation into DeNaples.

Sept. 21, 2007: Marino announces resignation, which takes effect Oct. 12, 2007.

January 2008: Marino starts working for DeNaples, earning $249,999-per-year as the full-time counsel for his non-casino interests.

Weather Alert

This item in yesterday's TL caught Mrs. G's eye and ire. She watches the Weather Channel too much.

W-B Career & Tech Center OKs support and service contracts

Other agreements approved included $2,669 to Accu-Weather Inc. for advanced weather warnings for the 2010-11 school year

We are bombarded by weather news from local TV and radio so why do these clowns decide to pay for information that is available for free? Which begs the question "how many other school boards are paying for free information'?

I blame Al Roker.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

PA-11th CD update

Congresman Paul Kanjorski's just put out a new TV ad that has a great message; Say Yes to Kanjorski

Kanjo is trying to pull jobs to the area like he has always done and Lou Barletta resisted this project from the beginning citing the noise it might create. Boom.

A few days ago I confessed to helping out a Republican primary state house candidate a few years ago with my advice for whatever it was worth. A GOP hopeful in another race figured out I was helping his primary opponent and called me out about it. It was easy, I had access to your opponent and your press guy kept jerking me around.

Now I will give advice to GOP 11th CD candidate Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta. Maybe not, because the only advice I can give him would be in the past tense. Skip the immigration ordinance although it is your claim to fame. Don't reject Kanjo's latest big idea out of hand. Welcome the initiative and point out that most of his previous big ideas have not panned out, people movers,dams on the river, monorails, Wall Street West, high speed trains, etc... the list is endless.

The 30 second attack ad

Kanjo released a new ad and the Realtors have a spot up supporting him. The NRCC has an attack ad running but America's Mayor is not on the air yet. The 60 Plus Association has a spot running all over the country including the PA 10th and 11th Districts that is so full of shit that I won't link to it. For all the technological advances of the last 40 or 50 years the 30 second TV ad is still the most important thing in a campaign.

Health Care Reform kicks in tomorrow

My view of HCR is that it didn't go far enough but this is a good start. We are are the only advanced country in the world that looks at health care as a business instead fo an obligation. There has to be a way for the richest country on earth to find a way to take of our people when they get sick without bankruppting them.

The White House press office is kind enough to send me press releases everyday so I thought I should post one of them. This one reminds us of all the good that HCR will do:

On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. The landmark new law will put into place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will hold insurance companies accountable, lower health care costs, guarantee more health care choices, and enhance the quality of health care for all Americans.

On September 22, President Obama will mark the upcoming six month anniversary of the law’s enactment by meeting with Americans from across the country who will benefit from the new law and celebrate the implementation of the Patient’s Bill of Rights that was included in the Affordable Care Act.

Additionally, the Administration will release state-by-state reports detailing the impact of the Affordable Care Act and a revamped website – -- which includes information on the impact of the law and stories from Americans in all 50 states who are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act. Some of the participants whose stories are highlighted on the new website will include:

•Dawn Josephson, Dawn Josephson from Jacksonville, FL, who can now live with the security of knowing that her new insurance policy can’t exclude coverage for young her son who recently had eye surgery.
•Gail M. O’Brien from Keene, NH who was previously uninsured and diagnosed with high grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Gail is enrolled in the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that will pay for her treatments and is responding very well.
Details on the Patient’s Bill of Rights and examples of how the Administration has already delivered benefits of the Affordable Care Act to the American people are included below.

A New Patient’s Bill of Rights

On September 23, critical new consumer protections in the new law – a Patient’s Bill of Rights -- begin to take effect. The Patient’s Bill of Rights puts an end to some of the worst insurance company abuses, and puts consumers, not insurance companies, in control of their health care. These new protections include:

Ban on Discriminating Against Kids with Pre-Existing Conditions:

Before reform, tens of the thousands of families had been denied insurance each year for their children because of an illness or condition. Starting September 23rd, plans cannot discriminate against kids with pre-existing conditions. In 2014, no one seeking coverage can be discriminated against because of a preexisting condition. Up to 72,000 uninsured children are expected to gain coverage by banning insurers from refusing them coverage due to a pre-existing condition. Coverage for up to 90,000 children will no longer exclude benefits because of a pre-existing condition.

Ban on Insurance Companies Dropping Coverage:

Before reform, insurance companies could cancel your coverage when you got sick and needed it most because of a simple mistake on your application. Starting September 23rd, insurance companies are banned from cutting off your coverage due to an unintentional mistake on your application. Approximately 10,700 people’s coverage, whose coverage is dropped each year because they get sick or make a technical mistake on their application, will be protected under the new law.

Ban on Insurance Companies Limiting Coverage:

Before reform, cancer patients and individuals suffering from other serious and chronic diseases were often forced to limit or go without treatment because of an insurer’s lifetime limit on their coverage. Starting September 23rd, insurance companies can no longer put a lifetime limit on the amount of coverage they provide, so families can live with the security of knowing that their coverage will be there when they need it most. Up to 20,400 people who typically hit their lifetime limits on the dollar amount that can be spent on coverage, along with the nearly 102 million enrollees who have policies with lifetime limits, will no longer have to worry about hitting their benefits caps. The use of annual dollar limits will be restricted, and in 2014will be banned completely. By 2013, up to 3,500 people will gain coverage as a result of the ban on annual limits that insurers impose on nearly 18 million people today.

Ban on Insurance Companies Limiting Choice of Doctors:

Before reform, insurance companies could decide which doctor you could go to. Starting September 23rd, if you purchase or join a new plan you have the right to choose your own doctor in your insurer network. Up to 88 million people will benefit from the provision that protects primary care provider choice by 2013.

Ban on Insurance Companies Restricting Emergency Room Care:

Before reform, insurance companies could limit which emergency room you could go to or charge you more if you went out of network. Starting September 23rd, if you purchase or join a new plan, those plans are banned from charging more for emergency services obtained out of network. Up to 88 million people will benefit from this provision.

Guarantee You a Right to Appeal:

Before reform, when insurers denied you coverage or restricted your treatment, you were left with few options to appeal. Starting September 23rd, if you purchase or join a new policy, you will be guaranteed the right to appeal insurance company decisions to an independent third party. Up to 88 million people will benefit from the new appeals process provisions by 2013.

Covering Young Adults on Parent’s Plan:

Starting September 23rd, young adults will be allowed to remain on their parent’s plan until their 26th birthday, unless they are offered coverage at work. Up to 2.4 million young adults, up to 1.8 million who are uninsured and nearly 600,000 who purchase coverage in the individual market, could gain coverage through their parents.

Covering Preventive Care With No Cost:

Starting September 23rd, if you join or purchase a new plan, you will receive recommended preventive care with no out-of-pocket cost. Services like mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, pre-natal and new baby care will be covered and insurance companies will be prohibited from charging deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance. Up to 88 million people will have access to preventive care with no out of pocket costs.

Six Months of Progress

In addition to implementing the Patient’s Bill of Rights, the Obama Administration has worked to deliver other benefits of reform to the American people. In the last six months, the Administration has:

Fought Waste, Fraud and Abuse: The Affordable Care Act includes robust new tools that will help fight fraud and protect taxpayer dollars. Using these new tools, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has pledged to cut Medicare’s error rate (the percentage of claims paid inappropriately) in half by 2012. A proposed regulation that implements the first round of Affordable Care Act policies to combat Medicare and Medicaid fraud was issued on September 17.

Helped Fight Premium Increases: The Affordable Care Act also includes critical new resources and authorities to crack down on unjustified rate hikes. Today, 46 states are using resources under the new reform law to pass or strengthen premium rate review laws which will have a significant impact on keeping year-to-year increases in premiums low. In a number of states (California, Massachusetts, Maine) regulators have already reviewed and rejected these proposed increases. We expect this pattern to continue. The Administration has also been working on rules that require insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care instead of overhead, salaries or administrative expenses, in 2011. If they fail to do so, they will be required to provide rebates to consumers.

Offered Support for Small Businesses: Under the Affordable Care Act, up to 4 million small businesses nationwide could qualify for a small business tax credit this year, which will provide a total of $40 billion in relief for small firms over the next 10 years. Small businesses have been notified of these tax credits and can make plans knowing the credits will help bring down their health care costs.

Helped Make Prescription Drugs More Affordable: More than 1 million seniors who have fallen into the prescription drug coverage gap known as the donut hole have received $250 rebate checks. The checks are the first step toward closing the donut hole in 2020.

Launched a New Website to Make it Easier to Find Coverage: On July 1, the Administration launched is a new, easy to use website that helps consumers take control of their health care and make the choices that are right for them by putting the power of information at their fingertips. The website is the first of its kind to bring information and links to health insurance plans and other coverage options to one place, making it easier for consumers to learn about their insurance options. The site includes extensive, easy to understand information about patients’ rights, how to navigate the current insurance market, and how the Affordable Care Act will help them. A Spanish language version – – was launched on September 8, and additional pricing information will be added on October 1.

Started Covering Individuals With Pre-Existing Conditions: On July 1, the Administration announced the establishment of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Program to provide coverage for eligible Americans who have been uninsured for six months because of a pre-existing condition. Coverage started in 47 states by August, and will be provided in all states by the end of September.

Provided Employers Support to Cover Early Retirees: On August 31, the Administration announced that over 2,000 employers and unions across all fifty states had been approved to receive help to pay for their early retirees’ health care through the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program. This program will help many older Americans, who are not yet eligible for Medicare, continue to have quality affordable coverage through their employer

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Marino hits the air

PA-11th CD Republican candidate Tom Marino released his first ad today. Normally a challenger's first spot is a warm fuzzy bio piece but this starts out accusing Chris Carney of lying about the fact that Marino is a liar then gives a quick summary of his background and finishes with him being a tough prosecutor who is going to "take on the crowd in DC." It's painful to watch.

The ad does not say how Carney is lying; found Carney’s ad on the subject to warrant a fact-checking score of Squeaky Clean.

The Carney camp responded.

CLARKS SUMMIT -- Tom Marino's trail of lies took a new turn today, a day after an independent Ad Watch by declared Congressman Carney's television ad "squeaky clean," the first ad to receive its highest rating, in asking Marino for the supposed letter he claims to have received from the Department of Justice.

Marino, in his first TV ad, calls Congressman Carney a liar -- without saying how. It is the latest effort at deception by the Marino campaign, which has yet to answer what has become a central question in his campaign: Where is the letter? Marino's campaign in the spring said it had a letter that would prove Marino received permission to provide a personal reference for a felon who was under investigation by Marino's office when he was a U.S. attorney.

In the space of the last four days, Marino's campaign has gone from claiming that "there are documents that would end this matter" to hedging whether there is any letter at all, telling the Williamsport Sun-Gazette they "don't recall" if there were documents to begin with. The truth is that Tom Marino can't say specifically what's being lied about because he is caught in his own web of lies.

"The truth hurts and Tom Marino seems intent on trying to run away from it," said Josh Drobnyk, campaign spokesman for Congressman Chris Carney. "Where is the letter? There's a simple question that Tom Marino continues to hide from. It has become increasingly obvious that Marino made up the supposed letter and now he's trying to hide behind his lies. If Tom Marino isn't straight with us now, what will he be like in Washington? The public deserves higher standards than Marino's trail of unethical behavior."

Later in the day, wrote that "With boss under fire, Marino aide hedges on DOJ letter's existence."


...Now, Marino’s campaign appears to be retreating from the situation and hunkering down, hoping to ride out any fallout and shift the focus back to incumbent Democrat Chris Carney. To that end, Marino campaign’s itself implied to a local newspaper late last week that the much-talked-about letter might not exist.

“I don’t recall Mr. Marino ever referring specifically to a document from the Department of Justice that gave him permission to give a reference,” spokesman Jason Fitzgerald told The Suz-Gazette.

To add to the fun the Dems have a new attack sight up:

What is Tom Marino Hiding?

This is the successor to their spring effort:

The Unvarnished Truth on Tom Marino

Supposedly the NRCC is going to drop $500K into this race but that announcement was made before Marino's campaign imploded over this letter thing and yelling at people.

They can use a lesson on how to do a positive ad:

This week's events

121st Republican State Rep candidate James O'Meara is having a Wing Thing tonight at
Dan's Keystone Grill, 162 Union Street, Plains, PA 6-8 PM

The 120th District hopefuls are busy

Tomorrow you can find GOP candidate Bill Goldsworthy at Gober’s Art Deco Lounge, Schooley & Wyoming Ave., Exeter 7-10PM

Incumbent Democrat Phyllis Mundy will be at the Fox Hill Country Club, Thursday, September 23 from 5:30 to 7:30

On Saturday Libertarian Tim Mullen has a shindig at Grandaddy's Cafe, Vaughn and Buckingham St. in Luzerne 7:00-10:00pm

116th Republican challenger Tarah Toohill is hosting an old-fashioned 1950s Sock Hop on Wednesday at Byorek's Knotty Pine Restaurant, North Church St. (Route 309) Hazleton 6-9PM. Incumbent Todd Eachus doesn't have anything on the calendar this week but you can join him in Harrisburg next month.

Friends of Home Rule, a political committee in favor of the proposed home-rule charter for Luzerne County, is planning a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Hoyt Library in Kingston

In the 119th there is a South Valley Mixer to meet/greet Republican Rick Arnold on Sunday at Alden Manor. 4-6 pm, Middle Road in Nanticoke.

Also on Sunday the 4th and 6th District Republicans have gettogethers. You can read the details on the Luzerne County GOP website.

Finally GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett will be at the American Legion Post 609, 320 Lee Park Ave., Hanover Township on Thursday

Monday, September 20, 2010

NRA endorses Carney

Fairfax, Va.--


During his tenure in Congress, Chris Carney has demonstrated a proven and consistent commitment to our Second Amendment rights by voting for legislation to restore self-defense rights in our nation’s capital, as well as signing the pro-gun congressional amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting our individual right to keep and bear arms in the historic Heller case. He also signed the pro-gun congressional amicus brief arguing that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that protects all Americans in the McDonald case...

Chris Carney’s commitment to preserving our Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage has earned him an “A” rating and endorsement from the NRA-PVF.

“We ask all gun owners and hunters in Pennsylvania’s 10th District to vote Chris Carney for Congress this November 2nd.”

Tom Marino also picked up a key endorsement from the National Association of Undertakers
Tom Marino's opposition to Health Care Reform and his habit of putting his foot in his mouth while shooting himself in the foot ensures we will be very busy said spokesperson Lucrezia Borgia


OLD FORGE PENNSYLVANIA. Two October dates are set for debates between Democrat candidate John Blake and Republican candidate Frank Scavo. Both are in contention for the State Senate seat of Robert Mellow, District 22.

The first debate, sponsored by the League of Women voters of Lackawanna County, will be held on Tuesday, October 12Th at 7:00 pm in the Pearn Auditorium (2ND floor) in the University of Scranton's Brennan Hall on Madison avenue. This will be a taped interview and air on ECTV.

The second debate, sponsored by WVIA, TV 44, is Tuesday, October 26Th at 7:00 PM. The debate will be held at the WVIA TV 44 studios and air live the same night. Seating is available for this live debate and can be reserved by calling the candidates or WV IA prior to the debate date.

"I applaud the League of Women Voters of Lackawanna county and WVIA TV for offering their forums for this critical election. I also believe the two debates will show the sharp distinction between the Harrisburg insider mindset versus that of the non governmental, private sector conservative approach to government. With recent defeats of the establishment candidates, the outlook for change here in Northeast Pennsylvania is at a peak, and the best it has ever been" stated candidate Scavo.

Frank Scavo
State Senate candidate, District 22

Sunday, September 19, 2010

You Tube weekend

I have my doubts, this guy is so polished he can't possibly still be in high school. This is like the Danny Almonte Little League scandal a few years ago.

Take a look

Blogger/Candidate Meetup September 17th postgame

The picture above is from Another Monkey who raised the question on what to call this semi-annual event. I probably created some confusion by posting it as a Blogger/Candidate Meetup on the blog but created a Facebook event page titled Happy Hour-Fall Edition then sent out a promo email refering to it as the Mega-Meetup. Joe Valenti tagged it Blogfest which appeared on the sign outside Rooney's. Beer Summit was suggested by the Blogfather who was MIA and many people were asking about him.

We had another great turnout and expect the spring event to be the best one yet when all the local offices are on the primary ballot. National and state elections are not as nearly intense as the local ones and primaries have all the activists more fired up than the general election.

Gene Rooney and his staff did an outstanding job like they always do taking care of our need for beverages and really good food.

Me and Mrs. G got there early and the first one in the door was 117th State Rep Candidate Richard Shermanski and Bob Caruso. This was real treat for me because I haven't seen Bob since we both worked for different candidates in the 1976 Presidential primary then organized a Young Democrats chapter in Luzerne County with a lot of help from State Senator Marty Murray. We shared some great memories like the time Jimmy Carter came to town and we lost Kevin Blaum in Mountaintop and the future Mayor of Boston, Tommy Menino, didn't know what a CMP was.

Luzerne County Commissioner and PA Senate 14th District hopeful Steve Urban worked the crowd all night as did the Libertarian candidate Betsy Summers. Lackawanna PA 20th Senate District Republican nominee Frank Scavo was there with his lovely wife and he didn't get into a shouting match with Bart Simpson. Another Lackawanna county candidate was Republican Theresa Kane who is running against longtime State Rep Ed Staback in the 115th. She was accompanied by Scranton Tea Party activist Lauree Cummings.

My 3rd favorite Congressman Paul Kanjorski showed up with a posse that included Joe Terrana, his COS Karen Feather and Nicole Giambusso and stayed well into the night. For some reason they all wanted to know how I learned to speak Polish. Lou Barletta didn't make it but his press guy Shawn Kelly made the rounds. Él estaba muy emocionado cuando le dije que si el alcalde Lou gane las elecciones voy a empezar a referirse a él como el congresista Nelligan.

118th Republican candidate Terrance O'Conner walked in the door dressed up in his 18th century garb but I didn't get a picture before he changed. He said he lost his bullhorn

I asked State Senator Lisa Baker what she thought her margin of victory would be and we recounted the 2006 race when Dave Madeira and Russ Bigus got in to that argument over who had killed the most animals. She confided that she ran into a deer around that time that totaled her car and was going to put out a satirical press release saying she was the only candidate that got a deer that year but demurred.

Hoping to win the 119th Rick Arnold (R) and Gerald Mullery (D) mixed it up with the crowd. 121st Republican candidate James O'Meara is a great guy and I just recently learned that he married a girl that I had a crush on in high school. Small world.

From the courthouse Solicitor Vito DeLuca made it as did Controller Walter "the hump" Griffith. I think Mary Jo was blushing when the wags were busting on him.

All 3 120th State Rep candidates attended like they always do for my events, thank you. In this cycle I have had the most contact with them and I'm sort of like the Will Rogers of the local blogosphere since I have got to know and like all of them. Whoever wins the district will be well represented. West Pittston Mayor Bill Goldsworthy (R) tells me he is good shape and is keeping an eye for yard signs for Tim Mullen in Democratic areas. My 1st or 4th favorite State Represenative Phyllis Mundy (D) has an energetic young staff including Omeed Firouzi who is running the show and is still in high school! Omeed, when I was your age I could only dream of such things. After I got some experience I was instrumental in sinking more than one candidate's aspirations when they were dumb enough to make me the campaign manager or field director. The difference is you have a great candidate and I never did. Libertarian Tim Mullen continues to impress me. The number of signatures on his petitions and actualy being able to open an office is impressive for a 3rd party candidate. He brought some his supporters including the head honcho of the local Libertarians, Lou Jassikoff, who sends out a great email everyday.

Speaking of third parties the Greens didn't show up but Renee was flying the banner of the Pirate Party, arrgh.

Radio personality Dr. David Madeira brought his "oldest daughter" and other radio guys in attendance were Duke from Dallas and Bible Buck. The mad drummer and special Gort42 correspondent Austin Smith jones Ford deSoto was in the crowd and talked policy with Harry Haas. My pals David Baloga and Zen always light up a room. I finally got to meet Luzerne County elections honcho Lenny Piazza and thanked him for all the help he has given me over the years.

A couple of our local bloggers that concentrate on national issues should write up this event. But as I told Kanjo the beauty of blogging is that you don't have an editor or a deadline although Mrs. G and Renita are pretty good editors and I welcome all the help I can get.

Big Dan's site moves so fast I can't keep up. He looks taller on the internet. It was great to meet Mrs BD who does great work with the Fresh Air Fund . Chris NovoRockey used to post about local stuff but has gone full tilt to the dark side on national issues. Just remember that Colbert married his hand.

People kept asking me before and during the gathering what are the rules for the event.

There are 3 rules.

1. No Speeches

2. You must wear clothes even it is warm.

3. Agree to disagree but don't be a disagreeable.

One of my favorite moments from this night is when Chris Hackett and Dan Mueser shook hands and spent a few minutes chatting. I'm sure you remember that they had a knock down drag out primary in 2008. Dan gave me some credit for driving that race and he said he wanted to get together during it but his press guy kept jerking me around.
Vito said it best:

"You should do this more often! It was probably the most stress-free 'political' event I have ever been to. It was so refreshing to meet people from all parties and discuss issues at such a casual affair. In addition to typical politics, I had the opportunity to engage in conversations about gas drilling, home rule, college football, and how my three boys believe it is their Constitutional right to maintain a messy bedroom. Great job Gort!

Maybe we should call this event The Rodney King Get Together.

The bloggers report

Another Monkey




Pittston Politics

Loreley's Musings

More photos at this link.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

You Tube weekend

This is for Phyllis

You're going to be my number ONE

Tom Marino is a Liar

Yesterday afternoon I got this press release from PA 10th CD Republican candidate Tom Marino:


Williamsport Pennsylvania- Tom Marino issued the following statement in response to media questions regarding Department of Justice documents.

“I have been in communication with the Department of Justice concerning the release of documents related to my service as United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The Department of Justice General Council has informed me that these documents are confidential and are the property of the Department. The Department of Justice General Council explained that even though I am a former U.S. Attorney, I am bound by security and ethics provisions of federal law associated with my past service. While I am confident that the release of certain documents would end this matter, I understand the sensitive nature of these documents and the important role that the Department of Justice has in keeping us safe. As a former U.S. Attorney, I will abide by the laws of this land and the polices of the Department of Justice, without question.”

The problem is there are no such documents supporting Marino's claim that he received permission in writting when he was a United States Attorney to give a reference to Louis DeNaples a reference when he was applying for a Casino License.

Just after that poped up in my inbox this hit the wire from the AP:

ALLENTOWN — A U.S. Justice Department source says the department has no record that former federal prosecutor Tom Marino received permission to serve as a personal reference for a businessman seeking a state casino license, as the now-Republican candidate for Congress has claimed.

PR from the DCCC:

“The fact that Tom ‘Casino’ Marino has spent the past five months lying about his past only proves how unfit he is to serve Pennsylvanians. These lies have come to define ‘Casino’ Marino’s career and it’s clear that he simply can’t be trusted in any capacity, let alone in Congress.”

And the Carney campaign pounced.

The Associated Press made clear today that Tom Marino received absolutely no permission by the Department of Justice to serve as a reference for a convicted felon. It is now clear that Tom Marino lied about having been authorized to give the reference even as the felon was under investigation by Marino's office. There was no letter showing that he had such authorization. What else is Tom Marino hiding? Tom Marino has abused the public trust at a time when ethics and character matter most."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Hour today

The next blogger/candidate meetup will be tonight at Rooney's Irish Pub 67 S. Main St. Pittston, PA 18704 starting at 5PM. There is big bar area with tables off to the side and plenty of free parking across the street where the Tomato Festival is held.

It looks like we will have another good turnout. Just about every PA State Senate and State House candidate and/or supporters in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties will be attending. That includes Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Pastafarians. We will have at least 2 members of the 111th United States Congress as our special guests along with a few people who want to replace them and representatives from the statewide campaigns. I have some definite maybes from the hopefuls themselves.

Our political bloggers from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties will be there along with our readers, commenters and people who are just interested in local politics. The public is invited.

This is an informal mixer with no speeches scheduled. There is no charge for admission.

This event is sanctioned by the Northeast Blogging Council and the Saturday OT Committee and Operatic Society.

Our last mega meetup was a huge success that got some great local press coverage.

Candidates meet the faces behind the screen names

The great thing about an event like this is that we can talk politics and agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

President Obama backs Kanjo

This just showed up in my inbox:

Paul Kanjorski for Congress

In just 20 months, this movement has accomplished a tremendous amount.

But we couldn't have done it without the Democrats in Congress who were willing to take a stand and fight for policies that would move America forward.

And with so much still left to be done, and too many families struggling to get by, we need to keep America moving forward -- which means I need you to support Paul Kanjorski for Congress.

Just like in 2008, you can make the difference this year.

You can go door to door to ask folks to support Paul. You can make calls to voters in your area, and make sure they get to the polls. And you can spread the word about the importance of voting for Paul Kanjorski to your family, friends, and neighbors.

Click here to join Paul's campaign.

With so much at stake right now, we cannot afford to let up -- for one minute or one election.

With your help we developed our Vote 2010 strategy -- and with your help, we'll make sure to send Paul Kanjorski to Washington to fight for you and your district, Pennsylvania's 11th.

If Republicans win in November, their agenda is simple: take us backward to the failed policies of the last decade.

They would seek to repeal all the work we've done, and try to stop us from doing more.

They'll fight to repeal health insurance reform that is ensuring a family with a sick child doesn't worry about an insurance company denying them care when they need it most.

They'll do everything they can to repeal Wall Street reform that puts you, the consumer, first and prevents big banks from irresponsibly gambling with our savings ever again.

And they'll work to block our efforts to jump-start a clean-energy economy, reform our broken immigration system, and get more Americans back to work.

We cannot let that happen, and that's why we all need to fight to get Paul Kanjorski to Washington, to keep America -- and Pennsylvania -- moving forward:

Sign up to show your support for Paul:

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Carney slams Marino in new ad

If your keeping score this is the third TV spot from Congressman's Chris Carney reelection campaign. The first 2 were positive spots that you can view here. His Republican challenger Tom Marino is not on the air yet and may not have the money to do any TV after reporting only $11K cash on hand as of June 30th. I'm sure that his fundraising has picked up since then but looking at his last FEC report most of that is probably going to various consultants. I'm sure he will get some outside help but so far the NRCC hasn't spent any money on his behalf.

That being said the only 2 polls released in this race so far that have come from Republican outfits shows that he is ahead. Carney's campaign polled the district in June and has surely done so since but unlike the last 2 cycles they have not released the results. They might be worried because this ad goes after Marino's relationship with Louis DeNaples who is famous for owning a junk yard, bank, landfill, all the former watershed land of PG&W, a casino and who knows what else. He may even own my blog.

Here is the ad:

From Wiki:

Louis A. DeNaples is a prominent Scranton, Pennsylvania businessman, best known as former owner of the Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania. In January, 2008, DeNaples was charged with four counts of perjury due to his suspected ties to the Bufalino crime family when applying for a Pennsylvania state gambling license.[1] The charges were later dropped in April 2009 after DeNaples agreed to turn over legal control of Mount Airy Casino resort to his family.[2] DeNaples is owner or invested in several businesses, including DeNaples Auto Parts, Inc., Keystone Landfill Inc. and is Chairman of the Board of First National Community Bankcorp, Inc.[3]...

In 1978, DeNaples pleaded no contest to a conspiracy charge of defrauding the government of $525,000 in contracts relating to the cleanup and recovery of the City of Scranton in the aftermath of Hurricane Agnes. Prosecutors claimed DeNaples plotted with three county employees to falsify records to obtain $525,000 in federal reimbursements.[4] He was subsequently fined $10,000 and was placed on probation for three years. Four people, including James Osticco, a Bufalino crime family underboss were convicted in 1982 of jury tampering in DeNaples fraud trial. [5]

In 2001, as part of a federal gambling investigation, four informants make mention of a relationship between DeNaples and current leader of the Bufalino crime family, William D'Elia. The informants alleged DeNaples made payments to D'Elia for undisclosed work and paid the crime boss protection money. [5]

The Carney camp sent out a press release yesterday reinforcing this message:

CLARKS SUMMIT – Congressman Chris Carney today called on Tom Marino to release a letter he has promised to make public surrounding the controversial reference he wrote as a U.S. attorney on behalf of a convicted felon. Tom Marino claims that he has a letter that shows he was authorized by the Department of Justice to give the personal reference despite an ongoing federal investigation of the felon at the time. The unethical decision by Tom Marino has yet to be fully explained, despite repeated questions from reporters in northeast and central Pennsylvania.

"The controversial ordeal illustrates Tom Marino's career-long lack of judgment and integrity," said Carney for Congress campaign spokesman Josh Drobnyk. "Tom Marino should stop hiding and release the letter. He said he had permission from the Department of Justice to serve as a personal reference for a convicted felon back when Tom Marino was a U.S. attorney. He said he would provide proof in writing of that permission. But he has yet to do just that. Where is the letter? The people of northeastern and central Pennsylvania deserve a straight answer on this and, instead, all they are getting is the run-around from Tom Marino. Families deserve to know the truth."

Here's what we do know. In 2005, while Tom Marino was a U.S. attorney in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, he wrote a personal reference for a casino application of a convicted felon who was under further investigation. Marino resigned in disgrace two years later and promptly went to work for the felon, making $250,000 a year. When asked about the matter in a radio interview in the spring, Tom Marino said he had notified the Department of Justice about the personal reference and had been given the department's permission. He later told the radio host that he would provide a letter from the Department of Justice showing he was authorized to provide the character reference. More than four months later, he has still not released the letter.

Reporters have tracked this story for years:,0,878720.story,0,4810885.story,0,4798885.story,0,6567497.story

The Marino campaign responded by reminding everyone that Nancy Pelosi is a liberal:

Williamsport, PA – Following a negative and misleading ad released by Chris Carney, U.S. Congressional candidate Tom Marino issued the following statement.
“Chris Carney should be ashamed of himself for attacking my character and ethics in his latest negative ad. He is trailing badly in the polls and has grown increasingly desperate. He wants to talk about anything other than his liberal voting record.
For 18 years I protected the people of this region, first as Lycoming County District Attorney, then as United States Attorney for the Middle District. As a prosecutor I put away murderers, child molesters, rapists, drug dealers, and organized crime figures. For Chris Carney to question my integrity is outrageous.
If Chris Carney wants to talk about associations, why doesn’t he explain his close association with Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi? He has voted with Nancy Pelosi over 91% of the time. He has been a part of the Obama/Pelosi team that has allowed unemployment to hit double digits, the national debt to double, and Medicare to be cut by 500 billion dollars. He joined Pelosi in voting for bailouts and the governments run health care. It’s Chris Carney that owes the hard working people of this district an explanation.
While Chris Carney and his liberal cronies continue their negative personal attacks, I will focus on the issues that are important to the people of the 10th District. I will talk about my plans to create private sector jobs, eliminate excessive regulations, reduce government spending, cut taxes, and repeal the Obama/Pelosi/ Carney Healthcare bill”.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Local blogger Joe Valenti of Pittston Politics has had some adventures lately. A few weeks ago he made a request under the open records law for some documents from the Wyoming Area School Board and recently learned that the documents he requested had been shredded. I'm surprised that the local newspaper reporters haven't picked up on this yet because they do read the blogs.

Joe has also been subpoenaed in a case involving the Pittston Area School Board and he made a great video in response to that and the Wyoming Area open records officer. He is now digging in the dumpsters of all the Pittston and Wyoming area schools. Good luck.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What the Frack

News about gas drilling has been hot and heavy the last 2 days.

Congressman Paul Kanjorski announced that he has secured a cool million in federal funding to start an Energy Institute run by Wilkes U, King's College and the Earth Conservancy.
The institute will provide research about natural gas drilling's impact on the local community and environment, help with problem solving for issues that arise, and enhance public outreach efforts in order to promote safe and environmentally responsible drilling in the Marcellus Shale that could aid in significant local economic development, he said in a press release.

I asked Kanjo about his position on the Frac Act introduced by Senator Casey but he was noncommittal.

The argument in Harrisburg has moved from if there should be a severance tax to how much it should be. The Republicans want 1.5% and Rapid Edward wants 5 %. I think it should be a lot higher along with Tim Mullen's idea of requiring the drilling companies to post an environmental bond. Dan Onorato is beating up Tom Corbett on this issue. A new Penn State study looks at the tax issue. I know many of my friends don't trust anything coming out of PSU on this issue after the last fiasco but it is worth a read.

Kayak Dude is reporting there are tiny bubbles of methane in the Susquehanna River.

Scott Cannon of Video Innovations has produced a short film featuring Dr. Tom Juinta of the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition and State Reps Eddie Day Pashinski and Phyllis Mundy. Some of it is "what if" these things blow up in our back yards but those "what if's" are serious concerns. The damage the heavy trucks will cause is indistibutable.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Under attack

My computer has been attacked by the same hackers that did it a few weeks ago. I'm trying to fix it.

It's attacking through Internet Explorer but Firefox still works, these people should be dealt with severely.

I shall be contacting every law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the internet tomorrow.

Security Suite is the culprit again.

The protection software has been ineffective so far.

Gotta get a MAC

It's in Firefox too.


IE7 is totally shut down as well as my protection software. Firefox is still working with a lot of hiccups but I can't post. Off to the shop tomorrow.

I know that the law is way behind what is going on online and for the most part that is a good thing but there has to be a legal remedy for what this company is doing to me and many other people.

Saturday, September 11, 2010



Nine years ago, the United States of America suffered an unprecedented national tragedy.On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 individuals from across our Nation and from more than 90 others, lost their lives in acts of terrorism aimed at the heart of our country. The Americans we lost came from every color, faith, and station.They were cherished family members, friends, and fellow citizens, and we will never forget them.

Yet, against the horrific backdrop of these events, the American
people revealed the innate resilience and compassion that marks our Nation.When the call came for volunteers to assist our heroic first responders, countless men and women answered with a massive rescue and recovery effort, offering hope and
inspiration amidst tremendous heartbreak.Today we remember those we lost on that dark September day, and we honor the courage and selflessness of our first responders, servicemembers, and fellow citizens who served our Nation and its people in our hour of greatest need.

Throughout America, patriotism was renewed through common purpose and dedicated service in the days and weeks following September 11. Many joined our Armed Forces to protect our country at home and abroad; others chose to serve in their own neighborhoods and communities, lending their skills and time to those in need.Fences and boundaries gave way to fellowship and unity.

In the wake of loss and uncertainty, Americans from every corner of our country joined together to demonstrate the unparalleled human capacity for good. To rekindle this spirit, I signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act last year, which recognizes September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. I called upon every American to make an enduring commitment to serve their community and our Nation. The response to that appeal has been inspirational, and last year more than 63 million Americans volunteered in their communities. I encourage all Americans to visit, or for Spanish speakers, for more information and resources on opportunities for service across America.

By any measure, these myriad acts of service have strengthened our country and fostered a new wave of active and engaged citizens of all ages and walks of life. Americans should be particularly proud of the example set by our Nation's young people, who came of age following the horrors of September 11, yet still believe a truly patriotic idea: that people who love their country can change it. Through selfless acts for country and for one another, patriots in every corner of our Nation continue to honor the memory of those lost on September 11, and they reaffirm our charge to reach for a more perfect Union.

By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as Patriot Day, and by Public Law 111-13, approved April 21, 2009, the Congress has requested the observance of
September 11 as an annually recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2010, as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. I call upon all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States to display the flag of the United States at half-staff on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance in honor of the individuals who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.I invite the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and interested organizations and individuals to join in this observance.I call upon the people of the United States to participate in community service in honor of those our Nation lost, to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. eastern daylight time to honor the innocent victims who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks of
September 11, 2001.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States
of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.