Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More fun with reassessment

The CV has an article telling you why it should be delayed. And the TL has one saying why it shouldn't. It was originally scheduled to be completed this year just in time for the new tax rates to hit in the spring of 2007. Gee, what else is scheduled for the spring of 2007? That's right, the primary election for Luzerne County Commissioners. I guess spending another $700,00 to put it off until 2008 is no big deal. You don't want to confuse people or make politicians justify their decisions in an election year. What the hell, they already borrowed over $7 million to do this, what's a few hundred grand more "to get it right." If it goes on longer they can float another bond.

Just add it to the debt they have piled up for this, to renovate the Penn Plaza Building, remodel the River Common, give golden parachutes to 100+ county employees (and hire them back as consultants), to meet payroll the last 3 years and a few other things that escape me at the moment. I can't wait until the election of 2007 when we can take away their (our) credit card. I feel like a victim of identity theft.

Don't look up

A new music venue is opening in Edwardsville and A Flock of Seagulls is one of the first acts booked. I'm a sucker for 'has been' 80's bands and I'm looking foward to seeing this one.


The walls still need painting. The floors need sweeping.The green room, where performers will lounge and get ready for their shows, still needs to be furnished.And a deadline is looming large. The Spitfire Theatre is set to open this Friday with Richard Lewis, a top-name act in stand-up comedy, as its first headliner. Spitalik, 35, a former stand-up comedian whose flame-eating act earned him the nickname “Spitfire,” is accustomed to the spotlight. But he isn’t free with jokes at the moment. The owner of the new business concedes he’s staking “a lot” on a belief that he, Edwardsville, other area business owners and the region will benefit from the mid-size entertainment venue he’s creating at the revived Gateway Shopping Center.....

He already has bookings into November. Among them are national acts like The Knack and A Flock of Seagulls, as well as local bands. Entertainment will vary from pop to country, jazz to swing.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A challenge

My blog buddy Above Average Jane has issued a challenge or asked a question, depending how you look at it.

We in the blogosphere write and comment a lot on what we want from candidates and elected officials. Things are seldom a one way street however; other than voting, what is our part of the bargain? What should we be doing during campaign season? If our candidates are elected, then what? Do we just sit around until the next election? I asked Joe Hoeffel this question in the most recent interview and he gave this answer
Q.: In the bargain between elected officials and voters, what are the responsibilities of each?A.: Great question with a simple answer. Voters must stay informed, and officials must stay honest.What do you think? Are we making a bargain with candidates? If so, what is our part? If you have your own blog and are interested, write on a posting on this topic sometime next week and let me know when your posting is up. I’ll compile a list of all of them on Friday. If you don't have your own blog, leave a comment on this or another participating blog. Let's see what we can come up with.

I'm working on my response. But if anyone wants to weigh in on this I will be happy to post it. Toss me an email or put it in the comments.

10th CD update

“You can’t be proud of this congressman.” -former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland

CLARKS SUMMIT-Mr. Cleland, a decorated Vietnam veteran who lost his legs and part of an arm in the war, spoke to about 45 people at the Clarks Summit VFW. He endorsed Mr. Carney, of Dimock Township, Susquehanna County, because of his “honor and integrity” and “family values.” He talked about Mr. Carney’s war experience as a lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve, saying Mr. Carney had a unique perspective on the war in Iraq that could help if he is elected. “We have the chance to get someone better than what we have here,” Mr. Cleland said. “Don Sherwood has not represented this area and its values.”

I picked up something interesting from the vote count in Wyoming County according to the Wyoming County Press Examiner:

In contested races locally, outside of the 20th Senate and 117th House races, there were few surprises, except that a number of observers were surprised at the strength of Kathy Scott in her Republican Primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood's 10th District seat. District wide, Sherwood garnered 56 percent of the vote to Scott's 44 percent. In Wyoming County, Sherwood had 67.8 percent of the Republican vote compared to Scott's 30.5 percent, and the rest given to write-ins.However, the 2,579 votes that Sherwood did receive were down by 863 from the 3,442 votes he received two years ago in the Republican Primary, when he was unopposed. Last week's showing suggested some voter upset over Sherwood's admitted relationship with a woman not his wife that ended last year but led to charges of physical abuse. Those charges were settled last November out of court.

The CV and the Scranton Times had a story about how Kathy Scott almost pulled it off:

She doesn’t think it was an accident. She did not improvise. She had a plan. Seasoned politicos question the role played by Scott’s $12,000, classic grass-roots campaign based out of her Williamsport home, but she said she thinks her hard work and election savvy helped her almost topple a sitting Republican congressman in the sprawling 14-county 10th Congressional District.

I like Kathy Scott. She was almost a giant killer. If she decides to run for office in the future I will consider helping her. She concentrated on the so called super voters. I'm one of them but I don't live in her district. So now the choice is easy:

Click on the image.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Pennsylvania Republican civil war

Perzel rousing ire in party faithful

When Mark Harris was born, John Perzel was wrapping up his third term in the state House.
But Harris - a self-styled Reaganite who upset a longtime Republican House incumbent this month - showed no deference when asked about the future of the powerful speaker of the House.

"John Perzel has to go," Harris, 21, barely of legal age to serve in Harrisburg, told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh the day after his primary win. "He is out of touch with the rest of the Republican Party. I think he is out of touch with the rest of the state of Pennsylvania."....

One House Republican compared Perzel (R., Phila.) and his leadership team to "George Custers. I have some major concerns with those who led us into this ambush, with those who led us into this slaughter, with the George Custers who led us into this massacre," said Rep. Will Gabig (R., Cumberland), who fended off a GOP primary challenger.

"The question now is do we continue with the same people who got us here and hope for the best in November, hope more people don't get their heads taken off, or do we make changes?"

If the Republicans keep a majority and Perzel survives as speaker you can expect Mark Harris (if he wins) to be the junior member of the special committee on tire recycling.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Senate race

There is an old rule to politics, the challenger doesn't win the the election, the incumbent loses it. Every thing I have seen so far is like Santorum wants to lose this election. He calls attention to his house in Penn Hills. Every story about it leads with the fact that he doesn't live there. Dumb. I 'm sure anyone who reads this site is aware of all the controversey.

If Rick was a Conservative I could respect him. He's not. He has been travelling around the Commonwealth handing out pork checks to every local government he can find.

What happenened to the Republican Party I grew up with?

Remember them? The party that wanted to balance the budget and keep the government out of your life.

It's more government in a weird way.

Friday, May 26, 2006

There are other candidates

Libertarian Meets Signature Requirement for November Ballot in a Single Day

Lower Providence Twp. - In another aftershock of the anti-incumbent earthquake, PA Clean Sweeper James Babb, the endorsed Libertarian challenger for State Representative in district 157, has collected the necessary signatures to be on the ballot.
Pennsylvania election law requires third-party and independent candidates to collect 466 signatures from district voters to qualify for the ballot in district 157. Although 55% larger than the major party signature requirements for their primaries, Babb's requirement was easily met in a single day at the polls Tuesday. The Babb for Pennsylvania volunteer team completed the task months before the August 1st deadline. Registered Republicans and Democrats who showed up to vote in their primaries gladly filled page after page with their signatures.
"Now voters in our district will have a true choice in the fall." said Babb. "Many voters in our district are concerned about the never ending tax hikes and runaway spending authorized by incumbent Carole Rubley. I look forward to debating these issues at the earliest opportunity. I want to know why she keeps taking more and more of our hard-earned money."
Babb's platform includes a pledge to personally read all legislation that he votes for, and cite the exact clause in the Pennsylvania constitution that authorizes any new law he supports. He also pledges to pursue the repeal of all existing laws not explicitly authorized by the constitution. He advocates common sense, free-market solutions instead of expanded government power.

It's Memorial Day weekend and vets support vets

Former Sen. Max Cleland to speak at Carney event

Former Sen. Max Cleland will be the guest of Christopher Carney, Democratic candidate for the congressional race in the 10th Congressional District, for a Memorial Day campaign event at 5 p.m. on May 29 at the Wyalusing Municipal Park, the Bradford County Democratic Committee has announced.

Max Cleland is a decorated Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for valorous action in combat, including the Battle of Khe Sanh. On April 8, 1968, Cleland lost two legs and an arm in a grenade explosion, and he today serves as an advocate for all veterans. He was the administrator of the United States Veterans Administration under former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

The way this man was smeared by his opponent in his re-election bid still sticks in my craw. A chickenhawk bastard who never served a day in uniform put his picture next to Osama's. Well, where is Osama?

He went to Vietnam. He didn't get a place in the National Guard or had an anal cyst or received 3 deferments because he "had other priorities." I urge my readers in the wild north to go out and say thank you to this true American Hero.

The full schedule is at Carney for Congress.

The Governors race

From Political Wire: Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) has opened up a huge lead over challenger Lynn Swann (R), according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll. Rendell currently tops Swann 52% to 34%, an astounding 21-point gain for Rendell since April’s poll. These numbers represent Rendell’s largest lead to date in his bid for reelection.

Rapid Edward will motoring up I-81 at the speed of light to attend an event in Wilkes-Barre tomorrow. He will still be late.

CV: Gov. Ed Rendell will be the guest speaker at a Memorial Day service Saturday at 6 p.m. in front of the Vietnam War memorial on the Luzerne County Courthouse lawn. The Luzerne County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee is hosting the event in Wilkes-Barre.

Has anyone seen Number 88 in the area? He just bailed out on an event in Williamsport that pissed off the organizers so he can get his picture taken with Tom Ridge instead. And they raised $15,000 for him. As West Branch Manufacturers’ Association Executive Director Michael J. Sharbaugh said, "It’s hard to understand. It makes you wonder, if he were going to be governor, would he keep his commitments?"

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Cell phones

Some of my friends are celebrating the elimination of an antiquated tax on telephones. For most people it will mean a couple of bucks and will increase the deficit. It would be nice if they came up with a way to cut spending in an equal amount. I may be wrong but I think cell phone customers will benefit the most. Good for them.

I hate cell phones. What is so important that you have to be glued to one of these devices? You turn into a dog on a leash and can't even use the excuse that you weren't home when somebody called. I have been out for dinner where 3 of the 4 people at the next table have all been yelling into the things. A few days ago I'm trying to watch a ballgame at my local pub while some idiot was searching for the perfect ring tone. I left. I have had many close calls while driving when some jerk had one of them glued to their ear. It's just a matter of time before I get clobbered. When I ask why some one has a cell phone, the most common answer is in case I-my wife-girlfriend-kid-Aunt Tilly break down. How often does that happen?

I would not cut taxes on cell phones, I would increase them! Pennsylvania has a lot of Nuisance Taxes. This is one of the biggest Nuisances in my life.

Hugo's house is sold

Who would want it? I guess if you live in New Jersey next to oil refineries and toxic waste dumps a few bodies in the back yard is no big deal.

WNEP: The home where accused murder Hugo Selenski lived sold Thursday morning at auction.
The place in Luzerne County went to a New Jersey couple for $160,000. The home comes with a notorious past. It was the backyard of the home near Dallas where the remains of five people turned up three years ago. Selenski lived there with his former girlfriend.
The government seized the property during the probe "because of its connection to illegal activity," according to Luzerne County District Attorney Dave Lupas.
Selenski has a new address. He is in prison on murder charges.

The DA that couldn't get a conviction is upset about all the attention.

TL: “Rather than just glorifying that this was the property that Mr. Selenski lived in and making light of what may be unearthed or uncovered in the back yard. … Dead murdered, human beings were dug up from that property. That’s fact,” District Attorney David Lupas said. “People need to know that.”

Lupas is unsure if his office will get a slice of the proceeds.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Carney's chances improve

It's good to see one of the local papers catching up with what this and every other blog has been reporting for over a week. The combination of people waking up to the incompetence of the Bush administration, Sherwood's outrageous behavior and the throw the bums out mood of the people of Pennsylvania has made this a competitive race.

TL: Democrat Chris Carney's chances of upsetting U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood have improved, according to two nonpartisan sources that analyze congressional campaigns.

The Cook Political Report and Congressional Quarterly report the 10th Congressional District race is now competitive, but still give the Republican from Tunkhannock an edge.....The Cook Report changed its assessment of the race from Likely Republican to Leaning Republican. CQ changed its assessment from Republican Favored to Leans Republican, noting Sherwood's tepid primary showing against political neophyte Kathy Scott in last week's election.

The four-term congressman reported spending more than $350,000 in the seven months on a primary campaign against Scott, a little-known challenger from Williamsport.
Scott didn't file a campaign finance report before the May 16 election because she raised and spent less than $5,000 in campaign money. Yet she captured 44 percent of the Republican vote.

"This mediocre performance underscored the political damage done to the congressman by a sex scandal and emboldened Democrats who think they can pull off a big upset in a conservative-leaning district that usually is a Republican stronghold," Congressional Quarterly reported May 17.

"Forget Waldo! Where's Hoffa?"

All these years of jokes about NFL players doing touchdown dances on top of Jimmy Hoffa in the Giants Stadium endzone may go out the door. He may be in Michigan.

MILFORD, Mich., May 23 — The most popular items on the menu at the Milford Baking Company these days are the 95-cent "Hoffa cupcakes" featuring a green plastic hand reaching up through chocolate icing and candy sprinkles designed to resemble dirt....In fact, agents are preparing to begin the next phase of their search for Mr. Hoffa, which commenced a week ago. Workers from a local demolition company said they were asked to arrive Wednesday to start tearing down a 100-foot horse barn.
The barn stands over the spot where an F.B.I. informant, now in prison, claims he saw Mr. Hoffa buried in 1975, rolled up in a rug. A large tent was erected on Monday to house the horses that will be displaced by the excavation.
The dig on the farm, about 30 miles northwest of Detroit, is the most extensive search for Mr. Hoffa's remains since he disappeared 31 years ago from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant 17 miles east of the farm.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fun with Rick

All the attention today has been about Santorum's radio ads complaining about some sort of made up invasion of his privacy. He cares about his privacy but he doesn't care about the privacy of anyone else. Just a side note, his first media buy doesn't say why you should vote for him, but he says the other guy is a bum.

A tip to KP for this gem from York Blog:

It shouldn't have come as any surprise. Santorum has some odd views about privacy - mostly that people have no right to it.

Which, when you think about it, is an awfully weird thing for a person who calls himself a conservative to believe.....

To sum up, Santorum thinks people do not have a right to privacy. And he thinks that the government collecting our phone records is not a violation of whatever privacy we can expect to have, which is none, as far as he's concerned.

It's kind of confusing.

So I called Santorum's office. I thought someone there could try to straighten this out.

But then, I figured, if Santorum doesn't think the government collecting all of our phone records violates our privacy, he certainly wouldn't mind giving me all of his phone records so I could analyze them and put them in the paper.

I'm sure his phone records are a lot more interesting than mine. I only call for pizza now and then. He's probably calling lobbyists and fundraisers and, maybe, 1-900 numbers to phone lines where you can talk dirty to Rin Tin Tin.
I got his communications director, Robert Traynham, on the phone. Traynham offered a clarification. He said he thought his boss was speaking in the context of the government asking the phone companies to hand over records of every phone call made in America.

OK, but he did say it wasn't violation of privacy. So I asked Traynham if I could have records of all of his boss's phone calls.

He didn't understand the question.

I tried explaining, saying that since Santorum doesn't think it's an invasion of privacy, he wouldn't mind releasing records of his phone calls.

Traynham said, "Not at this time."

And then he said it was "a trick question," asking whether Santorum was planning to let everybody see his phone records.
I didn't think it was a trick question.
He did.

And he thought it was a "leading question."
And then he said he wouldn't "dignify" my questions with answers.
That happens to me a lot.
So from this, we can conclude a few things.

Either Santorum doesn't really understand the meaning of the word "privacy."
Or he thinks he's entitled to it, while you're not.

Joe Leonardi for Congress

I got a press release from the Leonardi campaign. Kanjo never sends me anything. It's a heads up about a LTE that will probably not get published in the local rags:

Leonardi for Congress
228 Main Street Dupont, Pa

(570) 718-1511

Dear Editor: On Saturday I spent the morning in Scranton to support our local Veterans. The Armed Forces Day Parade is a long-standing Scranton tradition which, being a veteran myself, I whole heartedly support and appreciate. I was saddened by Saturday’s low spectator turnout. The outstanding women and men of the United States Armed Services, who volunteer their lives to protect both our freedom and democracy, deserve not only to be remembered, but celebrated. I've talked about the formation of a NEPA Volunteer Corp., and once implemented, the volunteers will make Armed Forces parades and memorials a top priority. Among those priorities will be to ensure the continued existence of the Scranton Armed Forces Day parade. We live in an era in which those who oppose war can protest war, yet not protest those heroic individuals who fight in it. I am confident that all members of our community share my pride in our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. During the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, I am optimistic everyone can find a way to recognize the sacrifices and contributions the brave members of the United States Armed Forces engage in on a daily basis.Finally, I want to thank WYOU for their coverage of the parade.

Thank You,

Dr. Joseph F. Leonardi,

Republican Candidate,U.S. House of Representatives PA District 11

Let's just wait until after the election, wink-wink, nudge -nudge

CV: Luzerne County officials are running out of time to implement the first countywide reassessment and an upcoming meeting should determine whether approximately 160,000 property owners have new tax rates in effect for 2007.

Maybe I'm just cynical but if you read the stories in papers about the ongoing reassessment Todd and Vondy are dragging their feet on this. They are raising all sorts of objections to delay the new property values being implemented which might result in many people having to pay more property taxes until 2008. Even if it means paying 21st Century Appraisals more to extend the contract.

The primary election for commissioners will be in 2007. A plus is they are trying to blame Steve Urban for the delay.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Fun in the Senate race


Somebody looked into the windows of some house that Rick Santorum owns but doesn't live in and he goes ballistic. He doesn't live there and the place is empty.

This is the best little Ricky can do.

Read Santorum Blog

Beer in PA

Tip to Lou's List for pointing this out. Anheuser-Busch has bought out Rolling Rock and will close the local brewery. In the future the rocks will be made in New Jersey.

PITTSBURGH-But news that Rolling Rock will be leaving Latrobe, a town of about 9,000 people, spells trouble for the local economy and has upset residents who have seen generations of local people go to work at the brewery.
Tom Marflak, Latrobe's mayor, called the move "an injustice for the city."
"It goes without saying how disappointing it is to hear the news that Rolling Rock will no longer be brewed in Latrobe," he said. "It goes beyond just the brewery."
He said the sale could lead to a rise in unemployment or the relocation of families. If the plant closes, he said, taxpayers would pay a price.

Boy this global economy is just great. A few years ago Anheuser-Busch wanted to buy Yuengling but Dick Yuengling wouldn't sell. He realized that they would just take the recipes and close the local bottling plants. Now Yuengling is one of the fastest growing beers in the country! He realized he could have become a very rich man but he would have damaged his town and put his workers out in the street. The advantage he had is that it is a privately held company. Thank you Richard L. Yuengling jr., your head and heart are in the right place.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

No Decision yet

The numbers are bouncing all over the place in the 118th State Rep race. The district includes northern Luzerne County around Pittston and a part of Monroe County.

WILKES-BARRE - Luzerne County officials on Friday conducted a 14-hour count of Tuesday's primary election returns, and the official vote count erased some votes officials say were erroneously added during Tuesday's unofficial count of paper ballots.
As a result, Arthur Bobbouine, Luzerne County chief deputy sheriff, went from winner to runner-up in the Republican primary for the state House 118th District seat.
Maureen Tatu, a Chestnuthill Township supervisor in Monroe County, appears to have won by 11 votes. According to the unofficial vote count, she trailed by 20 votes. Tatu's vote total now stands at 818. Bobbouine's total is 807.

This one is headed to a recount.

In the 117th Karen Boback is the apparent winner. I know James May mounted a write-in campaign but I have not seen the final numbers.

Boback edges out Carroll for GOP race for Hasay seat

Trouble under the Mohegan Sun

My little town that will have to deal with all the problems that the slots will bring gets the least amount of money in the deal. And the operator of the place is objecting to paying.

CV: The state’s 2004 gaming law set forth a tax rate of 55 percent on gross slot revenue: with 34 percent going to the state for property tax relief; 5 percent going to tourism and economic development; 12 percent to horse racing; and 4 percent split between the host community and host county. Yet sections in the gaming law add some complexity to the equation. It entitles Plains Township, as host to the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, to 2 percent of the gross slot revenue or $10 million, whichever is greater, but then limits the local share to half the host community’s 2003-2004 budget as a guard against a financial windfall. Based on its reading of the law, the MTGA concluded Plains’ share would be about $2.2 million, or half the township’s 2003-2004 budget. Some are now questioning whether the difference between $10 million and a host community’s budget limitation should also be paid by the slot operator to the host municipality or county, which would force the MTGA to pay about $8 million more a year.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Should Bush be impeached?

This started out as a comment at Another Monkey. But I got carried away.

Should Bush be impeached? The short answer is yes. The long answer gets a little more complicated.

The Constitution in Article II Section 4 says The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

To impeach a President a majority of the House of Representatives must return an indictment and the charges must be tried in the Senate presided over by the Chief Justice. A conviction and removal requires a two thirds vote of the Senate.

No matter what happens in November, two thirds of the Senate will not vote to remove this guy. Not that he doesn’t deserve it, but what will it get you? If Bush is removed Cheney becomes President. Or if he is disqualified it goes the Speaker of the House then the President Pro Tem of the Senate and if they decline we could have Condi Rice as President.

The problem is not only Bush but the people around him. What has happened to my country when there is a debate if torture is a good thing? American citizens are being held without recourse to the courts? The US is operating secret prisons all over the world and the government is collecting phone records of everyone in the country.

Believe it or not this country has been through worst times than 9/11 and the government didn’t punish the people. When I was growing up President Johnson had to send the 82nd Airborne into Detroit to stop rioting. President Lincoln led us through a civil war. In the 70’s a group called the Weathermen set off bombs in the Capitol. But the government didn’t overreact.

The Congress must re-assert it’s oversight authority.

This argument must be settled in an election.

Back to normal at the Luzerne County Courthouse

Things have been quiet lately on the Commissioner front. You knew it couldn't last.

Skrepenak, Urban hurl the insults

Minority Commissioner Stephen A. Urban, who is the commissioners’ reassessment liaison, said Thursday he has everything under control, and the only hindrances have come from majority commissioners.

He’s particularly angry at Commissioner Greg Skrepenak for his statement that Urban hasn’t made sure commissioners are informed.
“Can you honestly stand up there and lie to the people and say nobody is keeping you informed?” Urban asked. “I’m appalled that he can lie to the public. Either he’s spending too much time at his dad’s bar and not working or his high-paid staff isn’t keeping him informed.”

“You put some responsibility on his shoulders, and he can’t handle it,” Skrepenak said. “He can talk about all the memos he wants. The fact of the matter is, he’s never around the courthouse until anyone leaves. He’s a sneak. I’m simply trying to protect the public and taxpayers who simply don’t understand what’s going on.”

Mischief maker

The source of the last minute attack ad that appeared in the Citizens Voice on Monday has been identified as City-Wide Towing owner Bob Kadluboski. It turns that the ad violated the election code by not identifying who paid for it.

CV: The advertisement was extremely critical of two candidates — optometrist Brian O’Donnell and Luzerne County Clerk of Courts Bob Reilly — who ran unsuccessful campaigns for the Democratic nomination for state representative in the 121st Legislative District. The bottom of the advertisement identified it as a “paid political ad not authorized by any candidate.”....We regret we made a mistake and it’s never going to happen again,” Citizens’ Voice Publisher Scott Lynett said. “We make our best efforts to ensure all ads are factually accurate.”O’Donnell and Reilly said Thursday they might take action against the person who placed the advertisement, identified by the newspaper’s advertising director Mark Altavilla as City-Wide Towing owner Bob Kadluboski. Altavilla also admitted the paper made a mistake by publishing the anonymous ad.Kadluboski declined comment Thursday, but hinted he may say more at a press conference he is planning.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Some thank you's

First Paul Stebbins :

"A Campaign Reflection"

First I would like to Congratulate John C. Cordora for his victory in the 120th District Republican Primary. Second, I would also like to congratulate Joe Chacke III for his showing also. It was an honor to be a part of this race. They always say hindsight is 20/20 and it really is. The armchair quarterbacking on the Wednesday after elections has probably already begun. I want the 1089 supporters that voted for me to know that your support was greatly appreciated. I also want you to know that this is not the end of the road. My volunteers and I put our hearts out there in this race. There isn't a better group of volunteers that I could have found. I want to thank them for their hardwork. It's always toughest to write your feelings after an election (if you lost). I want people to know that I have my head held high and a smile on my face. There aren't too many 26- year- old candidates in state races that gather 1089 votes (24%). The message was out there and 1089 people believed. I want John C. Cordora to know that I look forward to helping him in his quest to defeat Phyllis Mundy. I want you all to know that I am greatly appreciative for your support. I will see you again.

Joe Chacke:

Unfortunately yesterday I was unsucessful in my bid for the Republican
Nomination for State Representative. We had a strong 2nd place showing,
but that provides little consolation. Congratulations to Mr. Cordora.
I also want to thank the voters of Forty Fort where I received an
overwhelming majority of the vote. At most polling locations in Forty
Fort I received 80-85% of the vote. Unfortunately, At almost all
Kingston polls I came in 2nd to Cordora. I guess the residents of
Kingston preferred a hometown guy and never really considered the
issues. I wish Mr. Cordora well, but I cannot support his candidacy
because we just disagree on too many issues. Maybe a third
party candidate will pop up. If not, I look forward to working with
Representative Mundy for two more years. Also, best wishes
to Paul Stebbins who did well.

A message from Dr. Rick

Dear Friends,

I have been asked by many more people than who I thought frequented the site why I gave up blogging and deleted the blog. The answer can be found below...

I would like to thank everyone who contributed in some way to the success of the ACU. Unfortunatly, due to the added pressure of finishing school only a year away and for future political reasons, I have decided to forego blogging. I knew this when things I wrote started to sound the same to me.

I will continue to read the local blogs and occasionally add a post or 2 but nothing like I used to. Hopefully, my ideas and thoughts will be remembered and will impact on future endeavours positively.

I know this may come as a shock to many, especially those of you who think I just like reading my own material or hearing myself talk, but I have toyed with this notion for some time. It was my intention to stop blogging whenever I was done helping out with the Stebbins campaign.

Hopefully, in the future I can have the support of the blog community when I decide to do whatever it is that I decide to do. But until then, It's been fun.

Thanks for your support and interest,


Fallout from the 10th CD results

The big liberal blogs now have this race on the radar.

Atrios: Sherwood (R-Accused Mistress Choker) Survives Primary

MyDD: PA - 10 Sherwood Narrowly Escapes Strangulation at the Polls in Primary

That Liberal Blog: Republican adulterer Don Sherwood wins GOP nomination

Non Partisan CQPolitics has upgraded this to a competitive race:

As a result of Sherwood's tepid primary showing, has changed the rating of the Pennsylvania 10 race to Leans Republican from Republican Favored. The new rating suggests Sherwood still has an edge in the race, but that an upset is a stronger possibility; it also places Pennsylvania 10 among the three dozen most competitive House races in the nation this year.

And Max Cleland is coming to town. From a press release:

Clarks Summit, Pa.-Over Memorial Day weekend, former U.S. Senator Max Cleland will visit the 10th District of Pennsylvania to campaign with Chris Carney. As a Captain in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, Max Cleland was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for valorous action in combat, including action during the battle of Khe Sanh. On April 8, 1968, Cleland lost two legs and an arm in a grenade explosion. In his home state of Georgia, Cleland ran for and was elected to the United States Senate in 1996.

Local Blogger news

Dr. Rick has decided to stop blogging at The American Check-up. In fact he deleted it. I will miss you Rick, we had some great discussions.

Bill Fitzpatrick will graduate from Kings College on May 21 and continue his education at Catholic University. He is threatening to keep up on local issues at My Take. Congratulations Bill!

Norton is MIA since Saturday. Keep an eye out for a broke down VW microbus. I hope 20th Senatorial will be back, it's a fun read.

The W-Bkeeper is still in shock over Tuesday's results but promises to be back.

Another Monkey is still going strong after 2 years and likes NPR but not the religious right.

The Blogfather is celebrating his candidate's victory. So am I.

And Jennifer Wade covered the election all night.

It's Casey vs. Santorum

I have to admit I was surprised Bob Casey received 85% of the vote. I thought Chuck Pennachio would do better than 9%. If it wasn't for bloggers he might have even done that well. It goes to show that you still have raise enough money to get on TV. Money is something Casey and Rick Santorum will not lack.

I found this interesting, 22,000 more Republican primary voters cast a ballot for Lynn Swann than Santorum.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Nearly 22,000 Pennsylvania Republicans who voted for Lynn Swann as the GOP nominee for governor withheld their support from U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum in Tuesday's primary.
Both candidates were unopposed. Swann, the former Pittsburgh Steelers star, received 574,276 votes, while Santorum, who is seeking a third term in the Senate, drew 552,559, according to unofficial totals compiled by the Pennsylvania Department of State that were 99 percent complete Thursday....But political observers say the disparity in the primary vote is a bad sign for Santorum. Democratic strategists view Santorum, the Senate's third-ranking Republican, as vulnerable partly because of his ties to President Bush, whose approval rating is sagging.
"For that many voters to go in and deliberately push the button for one candidate and not the other in uncontested races does raise some eyebrows about why voters made that choice," Christopher Borick, a Muhlenburg College political science professor, told The Patriot-News of Harrisburg for a story Thursday.

Michael Young, managing partner of Michael Young Strategic Research, called it "an ominous indicator for Santorum."

120th District results

Cordora , John GOP 2,319 47.40 %

Chacke , Joe GOP 1,484 30.34 %

Stebbins , Paul GOP 1,089 22.26 %

TL: “Phyllis Mundy will face the strongest challenge of her career,” Cordora said Tuesday night.
Mundy was unopposed for her party’s nomination.
Cordora entered the fray in July, buoyed by widespread public outrage about legislative pay raises. Mundy was among the lawmakers who voted to increase their own salaries between 16 and 34 percent. The raises were later repealed.
But, Cordora says their differences go much deeper.
“I’m pro-life, and anti-gay marriage. I’m a real Ronald Reagan Republican,” he said. “Phyllis Mundy is a self-serving liberal who has become out of touch with the mainstream of her constituents.”
Cordora said he’s confident the other Republican candidates will back him.

Phyllis responds: Known for her battles with Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Mundy plans to fight to keep the seat.“I have always found that a campaign is a good time to reflect on what I have accomplished and what I want to accomplish in the next term. A campaign every other year also keeps me close to the people I represent,” Mundy said. “My little army of volunteers and I are looking forward to a vigorous campaign. I have worked very hard and accomplished a great deal both here at home and in Harrisburg. The campaign will give us an opportunity to highlight those achievements. We know how to win. We have done this many times before. ““And I am looking forward to an in-depth discussion of the issues and challenges facing my constituents, the district and the region,” Mundy said.

This Cordora guy is something. Abortion, gay marriage, the ghost of St. Ronnie and yell liberal at your opponent. It sounds like he listens to too much talk radio. As far as having the backing of his opponents, he should read Joe Chacke's website.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Kathy Scott for Congress

I want to give my heartfelt thanks to the people of District 10 who voted for me, believed in me, and supported the need for changes in Washington. My gratitude also goes to my family and friends who gave me their continual love and support.

I am, of course, disappointed in the outcome of my race against the incumbent Don Sherwood for U.S. Congress, District 10. The election results, however, indicate it was a close battle, and I am proud that I ran an honest, low-budget campaign without taking any PAC or special interest money. It was a one-person campaign committee, with no staff to help. I hope I can serve as an inspiration to others to continue to fight for government accountability to the people, not to the money of special interest groups.

Campaigning door-to-door these past three months has been an incredible experience. I wish I could have gotten to more doors than the 3,000 I visited because I met so many wonderful, well-informed people who, like me, love our country but are worried about the direction it is headed.
What worries me is the large number of hard-working people who are struggling to make ends meet and whose problems and needs are not being addressed by our government. I hope that Don Sherwood and other members of Congress will take note and help this large un-represented group in our district and our country.

Lisa wins

The anti-incumbent mood didn't make it to the 20th Senatorial District. Lisa Baker won the Republican nomination to succeed Charles Lemmond, R-Dallas . She got hit by Haggerty and Bigus about working for Blue Cross but stayed positive. She won every county including Luzerne. Dr. David Madeira came in 2nd which shows that if you run on principle you will connect with people. Haggerty came in third.

A happy Day

With longtime Democratic insiders Brian O'Donnell and Bob Reilly running against each other there was an opening for an outsider. Eddie Day Pashinski filled that opening. He is now the Democratic nominee to succeed to replace Kevin Blaum as the 121st District Represenative. But a few insiders were at his victory party.

CV: Tonight starts the beginning to get ready for November,” Pashinski told a cheering crowd, which included Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton, Council Chairman Tony Thomas Jr. and City Controller Bernie Mengeringhausen. “It is unbelievable what all of us went through to get to this point.”

The Republican nominee, Christine Katsock, is no pushover. She has detailed positions on just about everything. She gave Tom Leighton a run for his money in the W-B Mayor's race.

This is a weird year anything can happen.

Throw the bum out

"There's a perfect storm of events shaping up. Americans can no longer afford partisanship. This is about good government."- 10th CD Democratic nominee Chris Carney

CHINCHILLA U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood, stung by a strong showing Tuesday by a political novice, noted that he was hurt by “an anti-incumbent wave,” his much-publicized affair and allegations of abuse made against him by his former mistress....
Sherwood said voters are clearly frustrated with the federal government – and his conduct.
“Certainly it had an effect,” he said of the allegations by his former mistress. “People weren’t happy about that. I’m not happy about that.”
“People are dissatisfied” with the government overall, he added, speaking at a celebration at the Ramada Inn in Chinchilla, near Clarks Summit. “The voters sent a message that they want more and I got that message.”

A Republican incumbent in a supposedly safe seat saying that people want more government? His whole campaign is that he knows how to bring home the bacon? Somebody has to pay for all that pork. Oh, I forgot, the Republicans don't pay for anything they just borrow more money.

This was the biggest surprise of the night. In one of the dumbest political moves ever Sherwood sent out a mailer attacking an opponent by name that almost no one had ever heard of. That did more to raise her name recognition than anything she did.

Don Sherwood (I) [(R)]

Kathy Scott [(R)]

A word about Kathy Scott. It took guts to get in this race and she surprised everyone. Thank you Kathy.

History is made by those who show up

"It's a bloodbath"- G. Terry Madonna, Ph.D., a noted analyst of Pennsylvania politics

Pay raise dooms top senators

Senate President Pro Tempore Robert C. Jubelirer (R., Blair) and Majority Leader David J. Brightbill (R., Lebanon) - who together have served 56 years in the Senate - were defeated in two of the most costly legislative races in history....At least a dozen other incumbents appeared headed toward defeat in what would mark the largest legislative turnover in a primary in more than 30 years.

Locally: If there was a single local race where voter outrage over the legislative pay raise was likeliest to turn up Tuesday, it was the one involving Democratic state Rep. Fred Belardi....
He was the only incumbent Lackawanna County state legislator facing a challenger. Although Fred Belardi might still be around for a fall rematch if he won a Republican write-in candidacy, Democrats showed their dismay with the 14-term representative from the city’s Hill Section and nominated restaurant owner Ken Smith, of Dunmore, to be their candidate for the 112th Legislative District seat.

PHILADELPHIA - Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly who lost during the primary election. Some races remain too close to call.


David J. Brightbill, R-Lebanon, majority leader.

Robert C. Jubelirer, R-Blair, president pro tempore.

House of Representatives:

Gibson C. Armstrong, R-Lancaster.Roy E. Baldwin, R-Lancaster.Fred Belardi, D-Lackawanna.Teresa E. Forcier, R-Crawford.Dennis E. Leh, R-Berks.Stephen R. Maitland, R-Adams.Frank J. Pistella, D-Allegheny.Kenneth W. Ruffing, D-Allegheny.Paul W. Semmel, R-Lehigh.Thomas L. Stevenson, R-Allegheny.Peter J. Zug, R-Lebanon.

Who won the 118th?

Mike Carroll was the clear winner of the Democratic nomination for retiring state Rep. Tom Tigue's 118th Legislative District. The Republican side is not so clear. The TL says:

Arthur Bobbouine, 30, Luzerne County chief deputy sheriff, bested Maureen Tatu, a registered nurse and Chestnuthill Township supervisor, by 20 votes with 37 of 37 Luzerne County precincts and all eight Monroe County precincts reporting.

But the CV is calling it for Maureen Tatu. The PA Department of State website has the unofficial totals:


The official count is Friday. In the past a race this close would prompt a recount by opening the lever machines and double checking the totals. I don't know how a recount with the newfangled electronic beasts will work.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Rapid Edward on the Public square tomorrow

From an email:

This week, I am officially kicking off my re-election campaign with a 4 day, 9-city "Progress for Pennsylvania" tour and I want you to be there. On Wednesday, May 17th, I will be in Wilkes-Barre at Public Square (between Market and Main Streets) for a 12 noon rally. I hope you can join me and I encourage you to bring your friends and family.

Wanna bet he will be late.

Joe Leonardi for Congress

Editor, the Record:

Our area was graced by the presence of Congressman Paul Kanjorski, taking credit for more “progress” to our area. It is an election year and we will probably see more of the same, but we have to look closely at exactly what the “product” is that he takes the credit for delivering. In case of emergency, “Wall Street” will function from our area. What makes him think that if a bomb detonates in New York City that there wouldn’t be another strike here? Not to mention the burden mentioned on our school systems, open the floodgates, and make it a city. I can hardly navigate the area by the hospital and ESU now. How will this affect the Hospital Emergency Plan? Residents need to draw the line with their vote, and become involved in what is happening here. Keep in mind there are strong business interests involved and it will not be easy. But not impossible.Are you going to sit back and watch our area be homogenized? Are you getting sick watching our area be raped? Do you feel you have no power? Your power is your vote, and whether you moved here yesterday or 50 years ago you count. Ask our local officials and see what federal cuts have done to our state and county. We no doubt will see Mr. Kanjorski here and there where the press is, but where was he when we needed him the past 24 years? There is another choice. Vote Dr. Joseph Leonardi for Congress.



Just voted

Me and Mrs. G stopped by our local voting place on the way home from work. On the way in there were only 2 poll workers which is unusual in a hot local contest. We got cards for O'Donnell and Pashinski but none for Hayward or Reilly. In fact Hayward didn't even have a sign planted in the grass. There were no signs for the statewide candidates either. We had to wait in line behind about 10 people which is rare. So we pushed the buttons on the screen for our choices and the thing didn't blow up. I still don't like it, I would rather use a paper and pencil or pull a lever instead of using a $3000 machine. But we're stuck with them now. Like you, I await the results.

Monday, May 15, 2006

For what it's worth

I don't think endorsements count for much. In the contested elections tomorrow I have my picks. So here it goes and you can argue with me.

US Senate: I will vote for Chuck Pennachio, Casey wins

Lt. Gov.:Valerie McDonalds Roberts, CBK wins

10th Congressional District: Kathy Scott, Sherwood wins. But it will be closer than you think.

20th Senate: Carl Sutton, Lisa Wins

121st State Rep: Eddie Day Pashinski, O'Donnell wins

120th: Paul Stebbins, too close to call

118th: R-Jim Spinola, who knows
D-Red O, Mike Carroll wins

117th: Roll the dice

What to look for tomorrow night

Tip to GrassrootsPA for the cartoon.

If the Legislature leaders get knocked off tomorrow it will show the people have had enough. Pay raises in the middle of the night, ever growing spending and the lack of property tax reform after 30 years of talking about it. Watch the returns for Jubelirer, Brightbill and Veon.

Three legislative leaders in dogfights

Bush sending the National Guard to the Mexican border; Bush sent the National Guard to Iraq; Bush sending the National Guard to Mars

WASHINGTON - President Bush is ordering as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to increase enforcement at the Mexican border, part of a $1.9 billion drive to tighten security and win conservative backing in Congress for a broad election-year overhaul of the nation's tattered immigration laws.

The National Guard is being sent here, there and everywhere. Is the National Guard some sort of inexhaustible source of manpower that can be thrown at any problem that is politically pressing? Does anybody actually listen to this guy anymore?

I'm watching PCN's pre-game on tomorrows election and will switch to the Red Sox game on ESPN when it's over. John Micek of the Morning Call is giving his take but won't make predictions.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The last West Wing

What a great TV show. They are showing the first one tonight , followed by the ending of the series. I will tape it and hopefully have a review tomorrow.

120th Disrtict

Brian O'Donnell raised a big chunk of money and gave most of it to Ed Mitchell to run his media campaign. Bob Reilly stopped giving away drug cards and put up signs all over the place. Jim Hayward has been going door to door. Eddie Day Pashinski is the wild card in this.

Who's going to win? Order of finish and the point spread.

20th Senate District predictions

The TL endorsed Lisa Baker today. Norton did an Undorsement.

So will Lisa Baker's Blue Cross ties help or hurt? Jim Haggerty went negative late which tells you something. Russ Bigus has been pounding Baker for weeks in the papers when he is not busy arguing with David Madeira.
The one Republican candidate has stayed out of this nonsense is Carl Sutton. The winner will face Democrat Bob McNamara in the fall.

Same questions. Who would you vote for and why? Order of finish and the point spread?

Bigus took a poll

And Bigus is ahead.

CV: Bigus’ campaign called 1,500 Republicans in the 20th District. His poll indicated Bigus had a slight lead over Baker, 27 to 26 percentage points. Haggerty came in third place with 17 percentage points, but neither Madeira nor grassroots candidate Carl Sutton had any measurable percentage points, Bigus said.Baker’s campaign hired Virginia-based Public Opinion Strategies to do some polling, but the results were not released to the public. “The only poll that really counts is the one that occurs on Tuesday,” Baker said.

President Al Gore on SNL

This is flying all over the internets. You have to like it when any politician makes fun of himself. That Liberal Blog has the transcript.

Watch the video at YouTube.

Who will take on Phyllis?

The TL highlighted the 120th District race on Saturday. The candidates are:

Joe Chacke

John C. Cordora

Paul J.M. Stebbins

Who will/would you vote for? The order of finish and the point spread.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

118th Legislative District

On Friday the TL had profiles of all the candidates in the 118th State Rep District race.

On the Democratic side we have Michael Carroll, the chief of staff for Rep. John Yudichak, D-Nanticoke, lives in Avoca. Bar owner James “Red” O’Brien and home inspector Terry Best are both from Pittston and serve on the Pittston Area School Board.

Two Republican candidates live in Chestnuthill Township in southern Monroe County. Maureen Tatu is a registered nurse and township supervisor. James Spinola is an architect with offices near Allentown.
The lone Luzerne County Republican candidate, county Chief Deputy Sheriff Art Bobbouine, is from Pittston.

Another race I don't have a lot of info. Who would you vote for? The order of finish and the point spread.

Keep your pets indoors until Wednesday

From GrassrootsPA:

GrassrootsPA has learned that the Humane Society of Lebanon County has launched an investigation into a potentially politically motivated killing of a family cat. The pet cat belonged to a family very closely linked and associated with Republican candidate for State Senate Mike Folmer (48th District.)Thursday afternoon, on WHP's Bob Durgin show, it was verified that a formal investigation is being launched by the Humane Society of Lebanon County. The family cat was found dead by one of the family members after she returned home from running a few errands. The owner noticed a barrage of newly placed Brightbill signs up and down her neighborhood, which were not there prior to when she left. According to Durgin's comments on his show, this sounds to him like intimidation by the Brightbill campaign.

117th District prediction

This is one that I have no idea. The candidates are:

Gene Stavitzski

Karen Boback

Stanford E. Davis

Michael McCormick

Edmund Sichler

Tim Carroll

James May

The pay raise

WILK has a primary election special today. Every challenger is against it and every incumbent is against it. They're all a bunch of liars. If I could vote to give myself more money I would do it. So would you.

Who are these guys?

Everything is going right for the Phillies after another slow April. This week we saw them win a game against the Mets on a bottom of the ninth dribbler that the pitcher threw away. Then they win a a rain shortened game. These things don't usually work in the Phils favor. Young phenom Cole Hamels had 7 K's in 5 innings before being lifted for a pinch hitter last night. He didn't get the decision but they won the game.

Democratic Senate race

The Democratic race to face Pennsylvania's biggest embarrassment has come down to the wire. Bob Casey is the heavy favorite to win the nomination. Chuck Pennachio has built a grassroots network and says what's on his mind. Alan Sandals may split the anti-Casey vote.

Who would you vote for? The order of finish and share of vote.

Diebold sucks

Problem With Electronic Voting Machines?

There is a potential problem with new electronic voting machines that will be used in Tuesday's primary election.
Ten counties in our area will use touch screen machines made by Diebold Election Systems. They are: Schuylkill, Carbon, Northumberland, Bradford, Sullivan, Pike, Tioga, Lehigh, Lycoming and Union Counties.
Black Box Voting, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization, claims to have discovered a flaw in the machines' security system. The group claims hackers could possibly use the machines' software to rig an election. The warning was also sent to other states using the machines.
Election officials in Pennsylvania say they have already taken measures to secure the voting machines.

Video and flash demonstrations of the iVotronic Voting System (not Diebold) are at the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections site.

Predictions for the 10th Congressional District

Will the hub bub over the rub sink Don Sherwood? Or will a little help from the heavy hitters pull him through? Chris Carney's polling shows him within striking distance in the fall. And Sherwood's campaign won't release their internal polling. Must be bad news or they would tell everyone about it. Can Kathy Scott pull off the unthinkable? I think it is interesting that Sherwood doesn't have a campaign site.

So if you're eligible to vote in this race who do you vote for? If you're not in the district who would you pull the lever, er, touch the screen for? Include the point spread.