Monday, March 31, 2008

Meet the candidate

James May will host a press conference condemning teacher strikes tomorrow:

In attendance will be Northwest Area School Board members; Kathryn English, President of the PA Club for Growth; community leaders; and affected parents and students.

WHERE: Directly across the street from teachers' strike in Shickshinny, PA

WHEN: Tuesday, April 1, 2008, 9:00 AM

No word if the Boback Duck will be there

Comcast does something right

CN8 has the Phillies game on our local cable feed. This is the one game of the year that is on a broadcast station in Philadelphia and I usually have to find a local watering hole with a satellite package to watch it. But today it's on channel 10. Thank you Comcast.
J-Roll led off the game with a double and scored on a sac fly hit by Pat Burrell. It's now 2-0. The Nats have a player named Lastings Milledge who was on the Mets last year. Gotta love the name, it's right up there with Mrs. G's favorite Vladimir Guerrero and NASCAR legend Dick Trickle, who should be driving the Viagra car.
Milledge hit a 2 run homer to make it a 6-2 Nats lead.
Chase Utley just hit one out and the score is 6-3. MVP! MVP!
The catcher just drove in a run to make it 6-4 and the Nats brought in Ray King to pitch. He's been around forever.
J-Roll smacked one out to tie it in the 7th inning.
JC Romero put them down in order in the 8th.
Just to give me a heart attack the Phils brought in Tom Gordon to pitch in the 9th. Lastings Milledge beat out an infield single and started all sorts of chaos. Gordon gave up 4 runs in the 9th. He used to be good.
Nationals 11 Phillies 6

Another view of Opening Day


By Mean Old Man
I’m angrier than Mark McGwire at a Maris family reunion over the way the American pastime of baseball has been prissied up by the commie liberals!!!
In my day we had real baseball players; guys like Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig, and later on the ol’ Mick. These were red blooded American players who knew how to play the game, not like today’s sissy players. The Babe would be out all night drinking and carousing and would wake up in the late morning with a hangover the size of Texas but he didn’t complain;—he went out to home plate and whacked a few out of the ballpark for some sick little tyke. And Ol’ Joltin’ Joe, there was a man; not only did he have Marilyn Monroe (the real American sex symbol—take that commie Britney!), but after dealing with her beauty and her whining all night long he could come to ol’ Yankee stadium and play the game of his life!! I’d like to see goofy Derek Cheater do the same. Damn!!!!
Kids today have it too easy and they don’t know what the game is about. In my day we played baseball after school and we would get our head bashed in by a few of the better players. The blood would be dripping from our noses and our foreheads and our hands would be swollen along with our knees. Sometimes we couldn’t even cry the pain was so bad---and we loved it!!! Not like the little twerps of today with their subversive video games. Hell, they wouldn’t even know a baseball if you threw it in their wimpy little face!! What happened to my country!!!!
And the pros are such little babies; they can’t even play a real game unless their all shot up with steroids. And still they get their butts kissed by the owners except for the last “real” player, good ol’ Pete Rose. There was a MAN for ya; and don’t talk to me about his gambling—every guy needs a little distraction from life and he didn’t ever bet against his own team either!!! If the Hall of Fame is good enough for the likes of Ty Cobb then ol’ Pete should be in there too-- pronto!!!
So all you prissy baseball fans enjoy the day. I’m sure you’ll be sitting in front of the ol’ TV’er today with your bottle of Zima rooting for your favorite drugged out team. As for me, I’ll be sitting in my trusty wooden chair, watching an ol’ VCR tape of the great Gary Cooper portraying Lou Gehrig in Pride of the Yankees, popping open a Steg and smoking a Lucky. That’s my opening day, that’s’ my America!!!
To hell with modern day baseball and to hell with all the people who read this site!! I hate you all!!! Happy Opening Day.

Opening Day

It's the first day of baseball season. Sorry, the games in Japan don't count in my book- The first pitch should always be in Cincinnati. The Phils open up with the Nationals at the vault today at 3pm. Last night the Nats opened in their new ballpark and Dubya was given a warm reception when he threw out the first pitch.

Via Big Dan

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Life, the universe, everything

There was a ton of political news today and there is no way I can write about it all.

I gave you the details about the Prez candidates coming to Wilkes-Barre but had to skip some other stories such as Skrep making more excuses on why the law wasn't followed.

Meuser and Hackett continue to rip into each other because there is almost no policy difference between them and they come acrross as parroting the usual Republican talking points. I haven't heard an original idea from either of them. The Times-Leader homepage has a video of the last debate. I don't know what is more fun, watching this or going to the dentist.

Swastika's were painted on the synagogue on S Franklin St. I hope they catch the sick F**ks that did that.

Another Kanjo nephew got a government grant but it's not clear if this was an earmark or went through the normal appropriation process.

And the Boback Duck made his debute.

I spent the day working around the yard and getting my tax information together. A few years ago I achieved one of my goals in life, I could no longer do my own taxes. Buying and selling stocks, the different treatment of dividends and depreciation of commercial property put the task out of my reach. I could buy turbotax and bone up on the IRS regulations but I don't have the time. Plus I like the idea of having someone (a CPA) who does it for a living looking over things .

As the sun set my bride's stomach started growling. Mrs. G had a bunch of Red Lobster gift cards from XMAS and drug me there. We had a great meal and the waitress was from Hazleton and said she graduated with the Obama girl. I told the waitress she was prettier and she was. Beauty is such a subjective thing. The most beautiful woman I've ever seen in my life is my wife.

See you tomorrow.

Barack Obama in Wilkes-Barre

On Tuesday, April 1st Barrack Obama will host a town hall meeting at Wilkes University's Marts Center, 274 South Franklin Street (between Ross St. and South Street).

The doors open at 9:45 am and the program will begin around 11:30 am.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Senator Bob Casey endorsed Barack Obama

This should clinch it

Both members of the Luzerne County Republican Committee are backing Karen Boback for reelection as State Rep in the 117th District. This should assure her a primary victory over James May since this bunch has such a stellar track record. In the last county election they were able to lose every single contest.
I keep hearing a rumor that Chairwoman Lynette Villano will be stepping aside soon but I can't confirm who will be taking over this dynamic organization.

Chris Hackett on the radio

Sue Henry interviewed Pennsylvania 10th CD candidate Chris Hackett on WILK about his Zoey Baird problem.

Click Here to listen.

Hillary in Wilkes-Barre

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at 12:30 PM - 3:30 PM

King's College, William S. Scandlon Physical Education Center
150 N Main St Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705

YouTube weekend

Multi-media Markie of Merritville aka Wilkes-Barre Online is at it again. He put together another video of most of our local scribes with screenshots of our sites and some extra pics.
All set to a Mothers of Invention song and Michelle was included this time. An added bonus is some pictures of the Yonk's harem.

You're probably wondering...

YouTube weekend

My blog buddy Jacq suggeted this one

Life is beautiful.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Chris Hackett has a Zoey Baird problem

They're everywhere.

After beating up Dan Meuser for the past week because Pride Mobility employed a few illegal immigrants a decade ago it has been revealed that Chris Hackett had one working in his home until last week. Like Zoey Baird he did not withhold Social Security or other payroll taxes and did not turn her in to the Feds.

Congressional hopeful says he discharged housekeeper after learning her status.

“People who hire help like housekeepers or yard workers generally don’t check if they are legally allowed to work in this country,” Hackett said. “Dan Meuser’s company got fined and the truth is that you only get fined if you knowingly hire illegal immigrants. I think that’s an important point here.”

Meuser’s campaign reacted strongly to the news about Hackett.

“Chris Hackett and his campaign have spent weeks attacking Dan Meuser, all the while concealing Hackett’s real record on illegals,” said Meuser campaign spokesman Eric Wallace. “Chris Hackett has displayed a pattern of hypocrisy throughout this campaign that the public is getting to see firsthand regarding this issue. It’s only a matter of time before Hackett brings his negative and hypocritical campaign to the airwaves, despite his promise to run a positive campaign.”

Anticipating this bad news I received this press release yesterday afternoon from the Hackett camp.


Medicare Kickbacks, Software Piracy, Outsourcing Jobs At Issue

Dallas, PA – During the course of his campaign for Congress, Dan Meuser has repeatedly made an issue of his company’s business performance. By all accounts, Meuser’s company has been successful and is a significant employer in Pennsylvania, and he is to be commended for that.

However, Meuser seems to think the failings of his business are out-of-bounds for public discussion. He’s wrong. Voters deserve to know the truth about any illegal or otherwise questionable business practices.

Medicare Kickbacks

· Official testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance on April 28, 2004, indicates that Dan Meuser’s company “agreed to pay $80,000 to resolve its liability for violations of the kickback provision of the Civil Monetary Penalties Law.” The testimony of Dara Corrigan, Acting Principal Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, goes on to cite that “In Pennsylvania, an OIG investigation revealed that, through a marketing program, Pride Mobility Products Corporation, a manufacturer of power wheelchairs, scooters, and lift chairs, solicited and received monthly payments from supplies in return for referring sales leads to those suppliers.” The official testimony also states, “in addition to the payment under the settlement agreement, the company was also required to adopt and implement certain compliance measures.” (See attached testimony).

Questions: Will Dan Meuser release the terms of the settlement agreement in this Medicare kickback scheme? How else can voters know the extent to which Meuser’s violations harmed taxpayers who fund the Medicare program and seniors who depend on it?

Software Piracy

· Just last year, Dan Meuser’s company paid an enormous $380,000 fine to settle a software piracy case with the Business Software Alliance (BSA) (see “Software Group Ready to Levy Fines Against Pittsburgh’s Pirates,” Pittsburgh Business Times, 7/9/07).

The BSA notes that “Software piracy is against the law, costing millions of dollars in tax revenues and lost jobs. In 2005, the United States lost $6.9 billion as a result of software piracy (see Business Software Alliance press release, “BSA Issues an Alert to Pittsburgh Businesses,” 5/1/7). The Citizens Voice reported that Meuser’s company was fined for “unauthorized use of Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft, and Symantec software,” (“Pride Pays Organization for Using Pirated Software,” The Citizens Voice, 6/30/07).

The Pittsburgh Business Times further noted on June 6, 2007, that “fines [for software piracy] can range anywhere from $5,000 into the millions, but average around $35,000.”

Questions: Why was Dan Meuser’s company forced to pay a software piracy fine that was more than 10 times the average size? Will Meuser release the legal records of this case that explain the full extent of the theft?

This race is starting to resemble the Democratic Presidential contest. The 2 candidates have very few policy differences so contrasts must be made in other ways.

Where is the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator?

Cornerstone Technologies is back in the news. The company is in bankruptcy and the court is looking for some assets to sell to pay off some of the debts. The only thing of any value that has been identified is a Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator, also know as a high-pressure pump. But nobody can locate it.

Congressman Paul Kanjorski has taken a well deserved beating over the way this company was funded because some of his relatives were the owners. He won't do that again.

Tomorrow we can expect Lou Barletta to blame the situation on this illegal alien.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Committee meeting

The next meeting of the Saturday OT Committee and Operatic Society is scheduled for this Saturday 4PM at Marks Pub 1287 N Washington St, Wilkes-Barre (map it). Pope George Ringo has extended an invitation to all.

Debating debates

In the Pennsylvania 117th State Rep race incumbent freshman Karen Boback has said she is too busy to debate her Republican primary opponent James May. The League of Women Voters (LWV) offered some dates and Boback said she couldn't make it because the House was in session on those days and said she was too busy on every other day in the next month to face her opponent. The LWV President Jane Manganella offered to schedule the debate on any day that Boback could fit it in and I'm sure that May would agree to it. Boback suggested the League of Women Voters give candidates more notice about scheduling debates.

A TL editorial asks:

... it’s hard to imagine that Boback – a freshman legislator – couldn’t pull herself away early on one of those days to make the trip home from Harrisburg for an evening debate.
Somehow, U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama manage to crisscross the nation to campaign and discuss issues, yet the federal government continues to function in their absence.

Why not do it on a weekend? According to Boback's website she has only 2 weekend campaign events on the schedule. Saturday March 29th she is having dinner and Sunday April 6th you can join her for cocktails. I was hoping to make the latter event but missed the RSVP date.

So that leaves open 3/30, 4/5, and every other weekend after that.

I was looking at the invitation to Boback's dinner on her website and wondered if you can use the official logo of PA House of Represenatives on a campaign fundraiser invitation. I don't know if this allowed but I'm not an election lawyer. It probably is OK since the only campaign laws in PA deal with keeping third party's off the ballot and there are no contribution limits in PA but at least they have to disclose it.

If Boback and May can free up their schedules I would be happy to organize a debate on any weekend. We could get the fair and balanced Yonk to moderate and a few of our local excellent political reporters to ask some questions. Your Humble Narrator would of course decline to be part of the panel.

Meet the Candidate

Congressman Chris Carney, Williamsport Mayor Gabe Campana, and Lycoming County Commissioners Jeff Wheeland and Ernie Larson are coming together for a check presentation this Thursday at 11AM at the Mayor’s office in Williamsport.

“Our offices worked together to secure federal funding for both the Church Street Transportation Center and the Regional Water System for Muncy Industrial Park,” said Congressman Carney. “Working with Mayor Campana and the Lycoming County Commissioners—including Jeff Wheeland, Ernie Larson, and Rebecca Burke—we will see that additional federal investments continue to come back to our community.”

Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 11AM
Mayor Campana’s office, 245 W. 4th St, Williamsport

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pa 10th CD debate tonight

Chris Hackett and Dan Meuser will hold a public debate at 7 tonight at Tunkhannock Area Middle School.

In other 10th CD news the Meuser camp is saying the INS documents about the fine Pride Mobility paid for hiring illegal immigrants have gone the way of some White House emails.

Pride Mobility’s lawyer says the records were deleted as part of a routine file-clearing

According to the FEC Dan Meuser dropped another $250,000 of his own money into the race bringing the total to $849600.

On this subject I just got an email from Chris Carney's campaign:

As of this week, both of our opponents have triggered the millionaire's amendment. This means they are each financing their campaigns with hundreds of thousands of dollars from their personal fortunes.

Congressman Chris Carney has been adamant that Pennsylvania's 10th District is not for sale, and he is committed to being an honest and independent leader for our district. But we are competing against corporate millionaires who are trying to out-spend each other for a vanity run at Congress...with your help we will send a clear message that our votes and our values are not for sale.

Vote magnet Rick Santorum was stumping for Meuser in Willamsport yesterday and he got another big "endorsement."

The Mean Old Man backs Meuser

I'm happier than Bill Clinton on a speaking tour without Hillary that our Sainted Sen. Santorum has endorsed the fine young Mr. Meuser for the congressional seat now held by the insurgent Carney!!! I just wish that I could live in the 10th district so that I could cast my vote for this patriot entepreneur but that's okay since I will be able to cast my ballot in the 11th for the great Mr. Barletta!! Just in case the heathens who read this commie rag are expecting me to say something bad about Mr. Meuser's opponent Mr. Hackett--don't hold your breath!!!
These are two fine young and wealthy men, who earned their money the old fashioned way--providing jobs to the community and gaining experience at the same time!!! And don't be telling me about the hiring of the illegal aliens either! Hey, I don't like it anymore than the next guy-but I'm sure that Mr. Meuser had a good reason. Maybe the lazy democrats in the area didn't want to work--probably too busy collecting a welfare check courtesy of LBJ!!! And it was only 3 workers anyway so if Carney wants to prove it was more put up or shut up!!!
I realize that Carney is afraid of running against Meuser in the fall, but why does he have to stoop so low as to blame all of his attacks on Dan on Mr. Hackett?!?!?!
We wouldn't even be in this mess if the subversives hadn't framed a wonderful and moral leader like Mr. Sherwood and managed to steal his congressional seat as well as his reputation. We all know that that blondie was straight out of Hollywood central casting c/o Oliver Stone anyway!!! Damn!!!!
And look at the way they set up our great Senator Santorum--a great career ruined by false innuendos from the likes of the conniving Gort and his blogging buddies. Double Damn!!!
So I call on all great Americans to support Mr. Meuser for the GOP nod so that we can go forward in the Fall and restore the 10th district seat to a man of morality, humility, integrity, and character (just like when Mr.Sherwood had held it). We blew it two years ago, but let's do our Sainted Senator a good turn and Vote Meuser!!!!

More voters

About 6,000 filed paperwork to register to vote or change parties for April 22 primary.

And this just in Luzerne County.

Monday’s batch included roughly 3,000 applications that stemmed from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s registration drive, he said....“I have not seen a voter registration drive that netted 3,000 applications,” said Luzerne County Election Bureau bureau director Leonard Piazza...“We’re just bombarded.”

Statewide, the rush to be a Democrat or just sign up for the first time is on.

Inky: According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, 19,639 new voters signed up in the period between March 10 and 17, the latest statewide data available. Of those, 14,256 registered as Democrats.
Also, 29,060 people changed their party affiliation to Democrat in just those seven days.
That increased the total number of eligible Democrats to 4,044,952, an increase of 4 percent from last November.

Some thoughts on this.

I think it is great that more people may be voting in a primary than ever before. The Obama campaign has done more to get people into the process than anything I've ever seen so don't trust the poll numbers. This is the most important Democratic Primary since 1976 and if Hillary wins she goes on, if Barry wins it's over.

Rush was encouraging Republicans to switch their registration to the Democrats to vote for Hillary in our closed primary. He calls it Operation Chaos. I know of one person who switched but the result may be differnet than what Rush wanted. We will see how many people switch back after the Prez primary.

How will this impact the Republican primaries?

Locally, the 117th State Rep race is hot and the 10th CD contest that has been the focus of this blog. Will the party shopping affect these races?

Hillary HQ opens in W-B

From PB: The presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. is set to open an office Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre. The office, next to Quiznos Sub on South Main Street, is located on the same block as the local office of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., which officially opened on March 16.

Let's hope this will be as much fun as the O'Bama opening. There is a rumor that Hillary may be in W-B to do a ribbon cutting in the next few days.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Meet the candidate

Former United States Senator Rick Santorum has endorsed Dan Meuser’s candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 10th Congressional District and will today campaign in Williamsport on his behalf.

WHERE: 33 East Restaurant
33 East Third Street, Williamsport , PA 17701

WHEN: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
6:15 PM- Program Begins (approx.)
7:00 PM- Media Availability (approx.)

Congressman Paul Kanjorski (PA-11) will make an announcement at the Luzerne County Treatment Court graduation tomorrow at the

McGowan School of Business
Burke Auditorium
King’s College
Wilkes-Barre, PA

Wednesday March 26, 2008 at 12 p.m.

Later in the day he will make some remarks at a public meeting led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the current study evaluating designating Cherry Valley as a national wildlife refuge.

WHERE: Monroe County Conservation District
8050 Running Valley Road
Bartonsville, PA 18360

WHEN: Wednesday March 26, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.

Meuser and Hackett trigger the Millionaires' Amendment

The Millionaires' Amendment is a provision of the McCain–Feingold Act that is designed to level the playing field if someone is able to spend large amounts of their own money in a federal election. If someone drops $350,000 of spare change into their own house campaign the contribution limits are tripled for the opponent and the national and state party's may make unlimited coordinated expenditures on behalf of the candidate. This won't affect the Republican primary but may impact the General Election.

From the FEC filings it appears that Dan Meuser has spent $599,600 of his own money in the race and Chris Hackett has kept pace opening his wallet for $592300.

In other news an astute reader pointed out a typo on Meuser's website. In a section on Protecting 2nd Amendment Rights Bullet No. 5 "Protect Hunting and Conservation Efforts... Programs such as the Fish and Wildlife Refuse System, the Migratory Bird Treaty Reform Act of 1998, and ...

Note that the correct term is the "Fish and Wildlife REFUGE system."

Refuse/Refuge, it's all the same to the Republicans. Why let a few birds, animals or people get in the way of making money.

The Pennsylvania Progressive is reporting that the Meuser campaign may have violated one of the rules of Project Vote Smart citing this press release.

Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any partisan activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.

The local media has a pre-debate roundup:

Meuser, Hackett trade barbs before their debate

News from the race for Congress in the 10th District

And Hackett has a new TV ad on the air

"Next Generation"

Monday, March 24, 2008

Meet the candidate

March 24, 2008

Mayor Lou Barletta, who will be running against Congressman Paul Kanjorski for the Northeast Pennsylvania 11th District seat in the US House of Representatives, will speak at the West End Republican meeting Tuesday at Ye Olde Saylors Inne, Saylorsburg.

And The Pennsylvania Progressive has video of Congressman Paul Kanjorski calling today for a doubling of federal Community Development Block Grants.

4,000 dead in Iraq

Skrep's ethics

State Ethics Commission pointed to two sections of the ethics law that could apply to Commissioner Greg Skrepenak

Sports tickets, beach houses and much more.

Meet the candidate

Congressman Paul Kanjorski (PA-11) will be in Hazle Twp today at the Humboldt Industrial Park North at 10Am. Congressman Kanjorski and Luzerne County Commissioners’ Chairwoman Maryanne Petrilla will speak at the event.

Chris Hackett has a Wayne and Pike Meet and Greet tomorrow Tue Mar 25 7-9Pm at Bennoco's in Hamlin (Rte 590).

The next edition of the Great Debate between Chris Hackett and Dan Meuser will take place Wed Mar 26 7pm – 9pm at the Tunkhannock Area Middle School. After the events of the past week this should be fun

A request. I can't make this meeting so if someone wants to write up an objective account of the encounter I will be happy to post it. A transcript would be great.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Boback ducks debates

From a PR:

This afternoon the James May Campaign was informed that Karen Boback has rejected a request by the non-partisan League of Women Voters to debate the issues important to the voters of the 117th District. The League had proposed the dates of April 7, 8, or 9 as possible options. ... James had agreed to any one of the three days. Boback could not attend on those days, but then rejected any and all further dates for a debate due to "a previously-booked heavy campaign schedule".

Tom Ryan for Mayor of Scranton

I usually don't wander north of the border but this guy caught my eye thanks to Politics in NEPA.

His website is lacking specifics but has an amusing video and asks what his campaign slogan should be. The choices are:

  1. Babies should be born in hospitals...not prisons.

  2. I will find Paul Sorvino's movie.

  3. Scranton, it's better than Throop.

  4. Tom Ryan, because Scranton needs him.

Unless I missed it Doherty Deceit has not mentioned him and Scranton-At-Large has been speculating about other possible candidates to run against Mayor Chris Doherty.

A YouTube video tells us more about him or maybe not.

Vote for Tom Ryan! Coming soon to Scranton PA

NEPA Blogs

Me and local internet psychoanalyst DB Echo of Another Monkey fame have been busy listing all sorts of local blogs covering many different subjects. In addition to politics people are writing about religion, life in Scranton, high schools and life, the universe, everything.

Check out NEPA Blogs then visit our local scribes. If you are an especially nice person leave a comment for our new additions to the local blogosphere. Everybody likes comments.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

YouTube weekend

Easter edition

Jesus Christ Superstar (2000) Gethsemane

If you ever attend one of our committe meetings you might be treated to a rendidition of this song by Gort and The Rain Man.

Kanjo: Hazleton's pork was left in the oven

S-S: "I brought into Hazleton City millions of dollars of federal grants that have never been used, and I find it incredible that, over all these years, with millions of dollars of grants, we have some of the conditions that I see on Main Street in Hazleton,” said Congressman Paul Kanjorski...“Instead, nothing’s been done in eight years. I can’t understand it."

I find it hard to believe that Hazleton or any other town around here would sit on any federal funding. Most grants/earmarks/pork has an expiration date to use the money or return it to the Treasury. The Standard-Speaker asked Kanjo's office to compile a list of federal grants he helped secure for the city over the years and a quick check by the S-S says that Kanjo helped secure funding for at least 6 projects in Hazleton worth at least $2.5 million since 2000.

Barletta said he was insulted by the remarks and gave Kanjorski a cartography lesson, it's Broad St. not Main St. And he listed some of the development projects the city has accomplished since he became Mayor claiming that Kanjorski wasn't any help with the projects.

Both campaigns also said the other guys shouldn't be saying bad things during Holy Week.

Below we see Mayor Lou looking for cancelled checks from the grant money that Kanjo said was never spent.

YouTube weekend

Easter weekend edition.

The TL is reporting that an employee of the Luzerne County Treasurer's will be arrested for stealing money. Two employees of the Recorder of Deeds were previously caught with a hand in cookie jar and one of them was given a draconian sentence of house arrest while the other is awaiting sentencing. This in addition to the no bid arrangements at the prison that have been in the news. Laws are alleged to have broken in those sweetheart deals but I doubt if any one person will be fingered as the culprit.

The Courthouse should be our Temple but You have made it into a den of thieves

YouTube weekend

The fifth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war was this week. The US won the war in about 2 weeks and now our troops are mired in an occupation with no end in sight. I haven't posted a video from Ava of Peace Takes Courage for a long time, so this is fitting.

5 Years Too Many

Friday, March 21, 2008

Another State of Emergency

The Luzerne County prison board plans to declare a state of emergency to buy food. It has come to light that the prison has bought more than $856,000 worth of groceries through a no-bid contract since 2006. I was shocked to read that Commonwealth Foods, the company that sold the supplies to the jail, is owned by a friend of Commissioner Greg Skrepenak.
And Perugino’s Market of Kingston also sold the prison more than $535,000 of produce since 2004.
A county policy calls for sealed bidding of purchases expected to exceed $7,500 annually, and state law requires sealed bidding for purchases that exceed $10,000. The prison board say they need time to implement a system for bidding the items and the inmates still have to eat.
A few months ago there was another flap over commissary goods being bought from another friend of Skep's. Anybody see a pattern?
Commissioners Maryanne Petrilla and Stephen Urban have questioned whether that contract was piecemealed – the illegal practice of breaking large contracts into smaller ones to avoid bidding regulations.
On top of this a company has double billed the county for the 2nd time in 3 years for work done at the prison
I listened to Commissioner Maryanne Petrilla yesterday on WILK say she wasn't aware of the situation because she's only been in office for 3 months but all the bills had to be approved by the county controller when she held that position.
In October the prison board declared a "state of emergency" to build a fence and we all know about the Adventures of the well travelled Deputy Warden Sam Hyder.
In more good news the Secret Service investigation of the debit card abuse has been delayed and authorities are investigating the possible theft of several thousands of dollars from the Luzerne County Treasurer’s office.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Meuser accuses Hackett of fishing expedition

From a press release:

Another Day Another Negative Attack From Chris Hackett

Hackett Campaign Calling Former Employees of Meuser In Hopes Of Launching More Negative Attacks

For the second day in a row, Chris Hackett has shown that he isn’t interested in keeping his promise to run a positive campaign as he had his campaign manager calling former Pride Mobility employees trying to find information to use in his continued negative campaign.

On the day Dan Meuser officially entered the race for Congress, Chris Hackett told the Times Leader:

“I would like to congratulate him on his decision to run for Congress. I look forward to a positive campaign and primary.” (Times Leader, October 10, 2007)

In an email to Dan Meuser (see attached), a former Pride Mobility employee said that a man identified as George Farrell (Hackett’s Campaign Manager) called and left a message for him last week. The man returned the call the following day, and Farrell began asking him questions about his time at Pride Mobility and other potential negative attacks. Farrell also, stated that he was calling other former Pride employees seeking any information he could use.

“Chris Hackett should be ashamed of himself and should denounce the actions of his campaign manager,” Meuser campaign manager Eric Wallace said. “After promising to run a positive campaign, Chris Hackett has shown once again that his campaign is desperate.”

“We should save Chris Hackett a little time and energy,” Wallace continued. “Pride Mobility and Dan Meuser have a reputation for doing what’s right and taking care of their employees. That’s why they have been named one of Pennsylvania’s best places to work and have grown from 20 employees to over 1,000.”

“Having your campaign manager calling to harass former employees of Dan’s is not only useless, but it is below the pale,” Wallace said. “If there was any doubt Chris Hackett and his allies were about to launch a negative campaign, those doubts are gone as he uses questionable practices to try and find mud to sling.”

“Hackett can not match Dan’s business experience and conservative credentials. He is losing in grassroots support, petition signatures, fundraising and endorsements and as a result has turned to dirty political tricks that the people of the 10th district reject outright.”

As we discussed, I received a phone call from a man identified as George Ferel (not certain of the spelling) last Friday. I returned the call on Saturday, during which I was informed he represented a Mr. Hackett who was running for Congress and asked if I would answer a number of questions surrounding my time at Pride Mobility Products. The questions would relate to "Illegal Immigrants" and "Outsourcing". He mentioned that they were trying to confirm statements that you had made on these topics. I declined to answer due to my current job's restrictions pertaining to any political activity. I also asked who gave him my number and he did not reply.
Feel free to call should you need any additional information.

Walter N. Quade

Local Teamsters back Best

Teamsters Local 229 officially Endorses PJ Best for State Representative in 118

Pittston, PA March 19, 2008.

Notification was received Wednesday morning regarding an unprecedented primary endorsement of PJ Best from the Teamsters Local 229. While the union typically endorses a candidate, the endorsement does not typically occur until the general election in November. "I'm honored that the Teamsters Local 229 valued my position against I-80 tolls and turnpike privatization enough to receive a primary endorsement," PJ stated in response to his endorsement. "I promise to work non-stop for the people of the 118th district."

PJ's campaign platform is strong on repealing the toll on I-80 and preventing privatization of the turnpike as well as fighting hard to eliminate property taxes that his opponent promised relief of in 2006.

For more information on PJ's position regarding the toll, please visit and for all information visit

Best is running for the Democratic nomination in the 118th District against incumbent freshman Mike Carroll.

Meuser's campaign says Hackett broke his promise

Hackett Starts Negative Campaign Against Dan Meuser

Breaks promise to run a positive campaign as his campaign gets desperate

With a little over a month to go before Election Day, Chris Hackett broke his promise to run a positive campaign by attacking Conservative Republican Dan Meuser with a misleading letter from a supporter and in a press release.

On the day Dan Meuser officially entered the race for Congress, Chris Hackett told the Times Leader:

“I would like to congratulate him on his decision to run for Congress. I look forward to a positive campaign and primary.” (Times Leader, October 10, 2007)

After months of trailing Dan Meuser in fundraising, grassroots organization, and endorsements from national leaders like Senator Rick Santorum and Lou Barletta and local leaders in every county, Chris Hackett has broken his promise by launching a negative campaign.

Hackett supporter, Mark Zimmer launched a ridiculous and negative attack attempting to misrepresent an immigration issue at Dan’s company more than 13 years ago. That attack was followed by a negative press release that quoted Hackett’s campaign manager attacking Dan personally and negative comments by Hackett’s deputy campaign manager in area newspapers today.

In a letter prompted by Zimmer’s attacks, Pride Mobility chief counsel disputed the misrepresentations contained in Zimmer’s letter attacking Dan Meuser and Pride.

“The fact is that more than 13 years ago 3 illegal aliens defrauded Pride Mobility by providing our business with false identification.” Pride Chief Counsel Joe Burke said. “The assertion that there were more illegal immigrants is absolutely false.”

“Pride took responsibility and assured employment verification practices were immediately improved, so that a similar circumstance could never happen again. Contrary to Attorney Zimmer’s speculation, Pride never paid a $41,000 fine, in fact we paid a $23,000 settlement of administrative costs for the 3 illegals and additional records of American workers who were legal citizens, but did not have the additional identification required by the I-9. That is the sum and substance of the entire matter.”

“We continue to devote essential resources to assure that our employee hiring practices are of the highest caliber. Included among our innovations were the establishment of employee background checks, substantially increasing the number of skilled professionals devoted to human resources, personal interviews and the new BASIC PILOT Program.” Burke said.

Campaign Manager Eric Wallace said. “Chris Hackett’s ploy for political gain will not silence Dan Meuser. Dan will continue to speak out on behalf of small businesses and workers in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania and fight to prevent illegal aliens from victimizing our economy.”

“Chris Hackett finds himself losing this campaign by every measure and now he is beginning what looks like is going to be more than a month of unsubstantiated negative attacks,” Wallace said. “The people of the 10th District deserve better than Chris Hackett’s negative campaign.”

“Chris Hackett should have kept his word to run a ‘positive campaign and primary”. We will continue to talk about the issues like Dan’s experience of creating jobs, advocating for seniors as well as his conservative principles and we will aggressively defend ourselves against Hackett’s negative campaign. ”

The CV Politics Blog

Citizens Voice reporter Michael Sisak now has a politics blog on the website. To find it you have click on Online Extras, then blogs from the dropdown box and then blogs again. That's a lot of clicking. We all know that newspaper circulation has been declining as more people find news on the web and newspapers are adapting in an attempt keep readers.

Other papers have some of the most popular blogs in PA and the country. Two of my favorites are Pennsyltucky Politics written by Brett Lieberman of the Patriot News and Capitol Ideas authored by Morning Call reporter and PCN TV star John Micek.

I met Mike last week and welcome him to our world. In his day job he covers what is going on in the local political scene like President Clinton's visit to W-B.

Clinton visits W-B to support ‘best candidate’

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bill Clinton is running late

I don't know how many times I heard that in the 92 and 96 campaigns.

CV: Officials at Coughlin now say former President Clinton's speech in Wilkes-Barre will be delayed. The event was scheduled for 3:45 p.m., but now officials say the doors will open at that time.

Dignitaries, including Mayor Tom Leighton, have begun to line up on the side of Coughlin to gain entrance to Clinton's speech. The line of people waiting to get in has backed up to Union Street.

Because of a prior commitment I can't make the event. This work thing gets in the way of a lot of stuff. If anybody out there is going please leave a report in the comments and email me any pictures.

McCain blows off Barletta


On his website Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta said "I am very troubled by his decision to decline my offer."

I bet he is. Now he will have to find another way to get on TV.

The Dam is done

Kayak Dude is happy.

County deflates inflatable dam

The 20-year-old plan for an inflatable dam across the Susquehanna River from Wilkes-Barre to Larksville is officially dead in the water.
The Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority deflated the dam plan Tuesday by voting 4-1 to accept the Feb. 14 rejection of the county’s application for a federal permit. The authority could have appealed the decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the dam would not comply with the Clean Water Act...“It’s time to move on,” said County Commissioner Greg Skrepenak...County Commissioner Maryanne Petrilla was the only authority member who supported an appeal of the Corps decision. “I’m not ready to throw in the towel,” Petrilla said.


“I can certainly understand the decision of the Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority not to appeal the permit rejection by the Army Corps of Engineers. It could be a lengthy and expensive process with an uncertain outcome. As I told the County Commissioners, I support their decision.

“While it is personally disappointing to me that it now appears the inflatable dam will not be constructed, I am looking forward to the completion of the other aspects of the riverfront development this fall. I am proud of the work we have done with the Luzerne County Commissioners over many years to ensure the successful completion of the Wyoming Valley Levee Raising Project which provides flood protection for more than 150,000 people.”

Admistrative fee

That's how Dan Meuser described the fine that Pride Mobility got hit with for employing illegal immigrants. The company paid $23,000 after a few years of negotiations with the ICS. The original fine was over $40,000 but they jawed it down. He says that only 3 employees were involved but when you look at ICS website they cite 4 hires and 58 I-9's violations.

Bob and kar, I'm not anti-Dan. I just wish he would have bothered to talk to me before we got into the nitty-gritty. Probably not his fault.

Meuser fires back

From the Meuser campaign:

Chris Hackett has broken his promise to have a “positive campaign and primary” as reported in the Times Leader. He realized he could not match Dan’s experience creating and protecting family sustaining jobs, advocating for seniors and working to elect conservative Republicans. This is just the first installment of Chris Hackett's negative campaign to misrepresent the facts for political gain”, said Eric Wallace, Meuser’s Campaign Manager.

Dan Meuser said, “As we have said all along, we hired three illegal aliens who presented us with false identification. During the review undertaken by the INS, they believed additional records of American workers were incomplete as required with the I-9 form. We agreed to the $23,000 fine to take responsibility for all of the records, but again only three were illegal aliens. Pride was determined to make this the first and last time they would be victimized by false identification and thus implemented criminal background checks, personal interviews and the new federal government’s Basic Pilot Program. As your congressman, I will continue to communicate my experience to small businesses and workers in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania and to help prevent more illegal aliens from victimizing our economy and taking our jobs.”

Eric also added this:

Over 20 years ago, Pride Lumber and Manufacturing was a small furniture manufacturer with 20 employees. Over the last 20 years, Pride has grown to be the leading manufacture of mobility products in the world. In the course of growing from a small family business, Pride has employed over 10,000 people and has produced over 3 million products that make a real difference in people's lives. Currently Pride Mobility employees over 1,000 residents of Northeast and Central PA, has over 250 positions that pay over 50,000 a year, has a minimum starting salary that is 2 dollars higher than the new minimum wage, provides healthcare benefits to its employees and is consistently rated by the PA Business Journal as one of the best places to work in Pennsylvania. Any attempt to distort the outstanding record of Pride Mobility Products is simply for political purposes.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Carney campaign shoots back

The allegation:

As a candidate for Congress in 2006, Candidate Carney filled out a Project Vote Smart survey that said he supported an immediate citizenship for illegal aliens if they paid their back taxes, leaned English, and gained employment (see attached).

Candidate Carney's plan would amount to amnesty for those who came here illegally. It also lacked any kind of touch back provision or fine, making it even more liberal than the recent bill considered by the Senate to grant amnesty

Here's what Chris Carney actually wrote:

Border Security is National Security. As a counterterrorism expert, I am extremely concerned about our porousborders. I do not support amnesty - we cannot reward illegal behavior but we need to provide a way for illegals to earn citizenship by paying back taxes, learning English, and obtaining gainful employment. Mr. Meuser's staff left out the phrase "I do not support amnesty - we cannot reward illegal behavior" and instead inserted immediate citizenship, which is not in the section Rep. Carney wrote at all. They purposely omitted the phrase "I do not support amnesty" and inserted his own phrase "immediate citizenship."

Our problems are not Black and White

A More Perfect Union

Barrack Obama talks about race.

Barrack in W-B

Barack-in' the Paradise

Pride Mobility for Congress

What a Firestorm. This Pride Mobility hiring illegal immigrants controversy has all 3 campaigns firing off press releases left and right. Chris Carney and Dan Meuser both called into Corbett on WILK this afternoon. I'm trying to keep up and will post stuff as I get it.

The problem Mueser has is that his campaign slogan seems to be Pride Mobility for Congress. So every problem the company has had in the past becomes fair game for his opponents. People that I know that work there tell me it's a great workplace and they have been recognized as one of the best places in PA to work.

This is just the beginning of the airing of the dirty laundry. There is a pending sexual harassment lawsuit and the company was sued over a fire that killed a man in California that they settled because the plaintiff could prove that the company was aware of problems with the batteries in the machines that caused in fires that burnt down houses and resulted in other deaths.

TPM Cafe: Meuser's company has settled a contentious lawsuit over the death of an elderly man using their wheelchair, in which plaintiffs alleged that a defective battery caused a fire. From the Monterey County Herald, January 9, 2007: "Had the case gone to trial, according to court records and statements in court, jurors may have heard evidence that Pride Mobility was aware of at least 18 other fires in its wheelchairs and scooters with identical battery packs since 2002. Ten of those fires destroyed dwellings and five were fatal." (From Nexis).

When, if, this thing about hiring illegal immigrants blows over the Medicare fine will come into play.

The Medicare OIG fined Pride $80,000 for a kickback scheme.

What's next?

If they only took this guys advice.

Meuser responds to Carney but not to Hackett

Carney Wrong About His Promises and Record on Illegals

As a candidate, Carney called for amnesty

As a Congressman he has voted against securing our borders

Congressman Chris Carney lashed out today with negative attacks on Conservative Republican Congressional candidate Dan Meuser. The problem with Chris Carney’s rhetoric is that it doesn’t match his campaign promises or his record as a Congressman.

As a candidate for Congress in 2006, Candidate Carney filled out a Project Vote Smart survey that said he supported an immediate citizenship for illegal aliens if they paid their back taxes, leaned English, and gained employment (see attached). Candidate Carney’s plan would amount to amnesty for those who came here illegally. It also lacked any kind of touch back provision or fine, making it even more liberal than the recent bill considered by the Senate to grant amnesty.

Congressman Carney has voted against securing our borders time and time again, despite his tough on immigration rhetoric back at home. Congressman Carney has voted with his party’s leadership rather than the values of his district.

Congressman Carney’s record on securing the borders:

· Chris Carney voted against increasing funding for border security.
(House Roll Call 471) June 15, 2007

· Chris Carney voted against full funding for the construction of the border fence as mandated by Congress.
(House Roll Call 490) June 15, 2007

· Chris Carney voted against prohibiting taxpayer funding for cities that harbor illegal immigrants or "sanctuary sites". (House Roll Call 485) June 15, 2007

“Congressman Carney can attack Dan Meuser all he wants, but the fact is that Dan Meuser is committed to securing our borders and protecting our economy from the drain of illegal immigration,” Eric Wallace, Meuser for Congress campaign manager said. “Candidate Carney supported a more liberal amnesty proposal than Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, while Congressman Carney voted against securing the borders.”

“Chris Carney talks like a moderate and votes like a liberal, and that’s why the people of the 10th District are going to elect Dan Meuser, a conservative Republican, to Congress in November.”

Former DA says Meuser's numbers don't add up


Ex-Wayne County DA casts doubt on Meuser claims;
Research documents show far broader and intentional violation of immigration laws;
Meuser called upon to release legal documents

Dallas, PA – Today, former Wayne County District Attorney Mark Zimmer, raised serious questions about the account Dan Meuser gave of his company’s violations of immigration law in a recent Scranton Times article.

In the March 7, 2008 article entitled “Meuser firm fined in ’97 over illegals,” Dan Meuser is quoted as claiming that the hirings were “unintentional” and the result of “phony identification,” and limited to only three illegal aliens. Meuser repeated those claims in a debate that took place yesterday (see CitizensVoice.Com, “First Meuser-Hackett debate focuses on conservative values,” March 18, 2008).

In a letter to Meuser (attached), District Attorney Zimmer outlined two salient points about immigration law. First, employers can only be fined if they knowingly hire illegals. Second, at the time, the fine for a first offense was limited to a maximum of $2,000 per illegal alien. Meuser’s company was fined $41,000, suggesting significantly more than three illegal hirings.

In his letter, Zimmer went on to cite a report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) about the case against Meuser’s company. The CIS report indicates that Meuser’s business was fined for 58 instances of continued violations of immigration laws, which is defined as “The continued employment of an unauthorized worker after the worker’s unauthorized status came to the attention of the employer.”

This degree of pervasive violation of the law would represent 39% of the entire workforce of Meuser’s company at the time; and indeed, the $41,000 fine is the second largest illegal alien employment fine on record for a Pennsylvania manufacturing company. Zimmer concludes his letter by asking Meuser to release all legal documents pertaining to this case.

CIS sanctions database has the details.

Meet the candidate

Congressman Paul Kanjorski (PA-11) and staff from his office will provide assistance to senior citizens and disabled veterans throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania who have questions about receiving payments from the economic stimulus package.

Wednesday, March 19 –
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Wilkes-Barre Senior Citizens Center
5 East Market Street (just off of Public Square)
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Thursday, March 20 –
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Hazleton Senior Citizens Center
24 E. Broad Street
Hazleton, PA 18201

Chris Hackett has a meet and greet in Wayne County tonight.

Tue Mar 18 7pm – 9pm South Canaan Twp building on Rte 296

Congressman Chris Carney has announced his next Listening Tour Town Hall Meeting at 5:00PM on Wednesday, March 19th at the Clarks Summit Fire Station at 321 Bedford St.

Carney slams opponents

From a press release:


Clarks Summit, PA—Congressman Chris Carney is setting the record straight after Dan Meuser sought to distort Rep. Carney's record and position on illegal immigration in the Sunbury Daily Item (3/16):

"Dan Meuser is flat out lying about my position on immigration and my record securing the border. My opponents can talk about border security, but I've been to the border, I've been on patrol with border guards.

"These attacks are negative distortions on my record were a vain attempt to hide my potential opponents' hypocrisy on immigration. Just last week, I stood up to House Leadership and joined over 170 of my colleagues to push for action on the SAVE Act, so we can provide nearly 8,000 new border patrol agents.

"Leadership does matter, as my opponents like to say. But the people in this district judge leadership by the consistency of actions, not just words on the campaign trail. Dan Meuser's company was fined $41,000 for his hiring of illegal immigrants, one of the biggest fines in Pennsylvania history, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. Meuser should be ashamed, trying to spin his own company's actions breaking the law into his soapbox for illegal immigration. By his own admission, Chris Hackett's company sponsored the president of Mexico to come to Pennsylvania, but then also publicly campaigned against the visit.

"Like the Administration, my opponents only pay lip-service to border security and immigration reform. I've lead hearings to ask the tough questions about why the Administration has failed to secure our borders—and we've taken action to assure taxpayer dollars are not wasted on technology that doesn't make our borders any more secure.

"My opponents talk tough, but their actions suggest phony leadership. The people of the district tell me they want to see illegal immigration stopped, and I'm working hard to make that happen.

Barack Obama in Scranton

What a charmer he is.

Obama speech in Scranton, St. Patrick's Day.

Pennsylvania 10th CD Republican debate

I missed the latest version of Lincoln/Douglas tonight but I was able to listen to it courtesy of WKOK. The beginning and end suggested it was well attended. If you were there give me some feedback. How many people were there? Your take on the candidates? Were there any fights?

I listened to the replay and thought both gentlemen did well. Dan Meuser started out sounding a bit nervous and tripped over his words by talking too fast just like any New Yorker. Chris Hackett said some things that require another listen to be sure that is what he meant.

The Susquhanna U College Republicans did a great job of putting this event together. I've asked them and the Daily Item, WKOK and the campaigns for a transcript before I critique it. I always want to be fair and balanced. Dittos. Plus I don't want to have to listen to it 5 more times to get it right.

The early review from our friend kar said Mueser carried the day. Imagine that.

The CV write-up.

The Daily Item.

Monday, March 17, 2008

President Clinton coming to Wilkes-Barre

Former President Bill Clinton will visit W-B on Wednesday, 3:45-6:45pm at the Coughlin High School, 80 N Washington St.

Pennsylvania 10th CD debate tonight

The Susquehanna University College Republicans will host the 10th Congressional District Debate between candidates Chris Hackett and Dan Meuser tonight at 7:30pm.

If you can't make it to Selinsgrove you can still listen. Just click on WKOK.

Patrick Murphy for O'Bama

I read your blog.-Congressman Patrick Murphy

Chants of "Obama-08, Be part of something great" filled the air outside the Wilkes-Barre HQ of the Barrack Obama Presidential campaign before yesterday's St. Patrick's Day parade. At least 100 volunteers buzzed in and out of the building handing out balloons and green O'Bama stickers to passers by. U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy made a short speech pointing out that nobody gave him a chance of winning his seat in 2006 and many felt the same way about Obama last summer which inspired the crowd to respond with a round of "yes we can."

He spoke of his time in Iraq as an Army Captain.

TL: He is an Iraq War veteran who served in Iraq often patrolling an area in Baghdad known as “Ambush Alley.”
“As a former captain in the 82nd Airborne Division, I know that he has what it takes to be our commander-in-chief. As a congressman, I know he has the legislative chops to make the positive change that we need in our country, both at home and abroad.”

He challenged the Wilkes students in the room to catch up with the turnout from Kings College. He's a Kings alumnus and brother of W-B City administrator J.J. Murphy. He said that this is the year that is proving the old lament that young people don't vote wrong.
When I introduced myself as a local blogger he asked what site? When I told him he replied "I read your blog. It keeps me up to date on what is going on in Luzerne County." I guess I'm more popular than I thought.

The cardboard cutout of Obama was popular with picture takers. Here's one with Obama delegates Steve Rothstein and Rita Boyle.

There was much smaller contingent of Hillary supports and they were just as enthusiastic

I've posted more photos on my Facebook page.