Sunday, May 31, 2009

Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry

I ran to the store for a few things to prepare tonight's dinner. I somehow got carried away to the tune of $180. As I explained to Mrs. G we don't have to buy chips n' dip for months.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Renee Butts for State Represenative

At a campaign event for GOP Controller candidate Bob Sypniewski a few weeks ago Renee Butts announced that she will be seeking the Republican nomination for the 118th State Rep District seat held by Democrat Mike Carroll.

Renee is a resident of Laflin and graduated from Coughlin High School in Wilkes-Barre. She got a BA in English from Kings College and her Masters from Wilkes University. Her hot issues are reducing property taxes, cutting wasteful spending in Harrisburg and opposes tolls on I-80. She wants to crack down on puppy mills and has a Husky named Reagan. Butts made a short speech emphasizing that she wasn't going to run away from the area like so many people who have aspirations to be a teacher but don't have the political connections to get hired. She said she will stand and fight.

She should have a website up soon. I asked her for a statement on her candidacy:

My name is Renee Butts and I am running for State Representative for the 118th Legislative District. I will cut wasteful government spending and thus lower taxes. I shall encourage more businesses offering more desirable jobs to come to our area to help combat the brain drain. I will make some changes in our state that will benefit the taxpayers.
I have been an active member of Voice of the People USA since 2007. We have spoken out for legal immigration, spoken out against drugs and crime in our communities, spoken out for free speech, and spoken out vehemently against wasteful government spending. Pennsylvania ranks 44th in the country for personal income growth. I'm hoping to better this deplorable statistic.
I have also worked for Luzerne County Commissioner Steve Urban. He has been a mentor and role model to me.

I have also volunteered at His Resting Place Maternity Home to tutor a woman residing there as well as teaching a free creative writing class. I have been closely involved with the my father, Bob Butts, in his Kindness Grant program. Among the Kindness Grants we have distributed, we have given to Wyoming Seminary Lower School to promote empathy among students and also we gave a Kindness Grant to an animal shelter to save a Siberian Husky with heart worms.

I have taken education courses at Wilkes University and completed my student teaching at Pittston Area. I am well-aware of the wasteful spending of school districts, the rife nepotism, the problems within our educational system, and also the struggles of working parents to be there for their children.
I possess a BA from King's College in English/Writing and an MA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. Cee Kay Auto is our family business. I am in touch with the struggles facing business owners and their employees.
I will, if the people choose me, hold monthly town hall meetings - each in a different area of the 118th - to address the concerns of the taxpayers and to keep them informed of what is taking place in the PA House. I am hoping that we can work together to revitalize Pennsylvania.

She has experience speaking to a crowd like this address to the anti-immigrant group Voice of the People in May 2008.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Looking to the fall

Luzerne County Judge

I think it's safe to say that Bill Amesbury will be the top vote getter for 1 of the 2 seats up for grabs by virtue of his nomination on both sides of the ballot. So the race is between Republican nominee Dick Hughes and Democrat Tina Gartley. Hughes has rock solid support on the GOP side and has broad appeal throughout the county. Even a trendy lefty like Carl Romanelli backs him. It still will be hard for him to overcome Gartley's advantages such as snagging the Democratic nomination in a county that has almost a 2 to 1 edge in Democratic registration and the feeling that there should be a woman on the Court of Common Pleas. About the only thing that can sink her is if she or a member of her family is tied to the Juvie Brothers.

Register of Wills

Two woman are vieing for this row office in the year of the woman. Dottie Stankovic has always been independent of the the local Democratic Party but the disgust with the local Dems just might make this a close race. The Republican nominee is Gina Nevenglosky


This is another match up of 2 female candidates. Former GOP Prothonotary Carolee Medico-Olenginski romped to victory in the primary and will probably cruise to an easy win over first time candidate Democrat Nancy Bellas. Carolee back in the Courthouse, this will be fun.


Long time pain in the ass Walter Griffith won the Repubublican nomination and will face off with Bob Morgan in the fall. I think that Walter has been a "pain" in a good way like Steve Flood was when he was Controller. Let's just hope that he ignores nasty blog posts about him and stays out of the fray.

Wilkes-Barre Area School Director

Christine Katsock was the top vote getter on both sides of the ballot and should finally get elected to something. I haven't checked but people tell me she changed her registration to "D". Either way I'm voting for her. The only incumbent to hold on was Lynn Evans which is not surprising in this enviroment of investigations and indictments. Harry Haas won a spot on the GOP side and it looks like he will competing with former W-B Councilman Phil Latinski.

My view

Vote Repubublican in Luzerne County

Enough is enough. Throw the rascals out.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Contracts at the cube

FBI seeking documents from LCCC

LCCC has received criticism in the last year for the way the board of trustees handled the awarding of contracts when Ross Scarantino was chairman of LCCC’s Board of Trustees.

Scarantino, Pittston Area School District’s superintendent, agreed to plead guilty to federal charges May 20 for receiving money for supporting a contractor seeking work with the school district.

No bid contracts are nice when you can get them.

Former Pittston Area School Director Tony Rostock got a mere pitanance of $30,000 to do some landscapping at LCCC.

Precept Associates received a nice premium to oversee the construction of a building and Intellacom got $130K+ to install spy cameras before they were fired because they didn't fulfill the terms of the contract. The Pittston Area School District also paid Intellacom $300,00o for a survallience system and the Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Tech School hired them when Brian Dunn and Jim Height were on the board. Dunn and Height are also facing charges of accepting bribes. I'm certainly not accusing Intellecom or any other outfit of wrongdoing but I do find it interesting that they are mention in just about every story about local school officials taking bribes.

In more LCCC news former Dean Peter Moses is collecting unemployment compensation while awaiting trial on theft and receiving stolen property charges.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Carney's cookout

Congressman Carney will be manning the grill again this year!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

12:00 PM to 4:00 PM

ElkLake American Legion in SusquehannaCounty on Elk Lake Road in South Montrose.

I hope you and your family can join us as we honor our nation's fallen heroes and thank our veterans and their families.

For more information, or to let us know you plan to attend, please contact my Clarks Summit District office at (570) 585-9988.

Now he thinks he is Boss Tweed

I have to like John Cordora because he is a Blogger's dream. Cordora is like our own local version of Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann.
If you want someone to say something that is bat shit crazy he is your guy.

In 2006 he won the Republican nomination for State Rep in the 120th District. He ran a stealth campaign and came out ahead of 2 very attractive candidates. In the general election against Phyllis Mundy he got blown out and then blamed his loss on Lynette Villano and the Luzerne County GOP. His top issue was gay marriage.

In a news release, Cordora also attacked Mundy for supporting "abortion on demand, higher taxes, gay marriage and all the other liberal garbage."

In the recent primary election he was a Republican candidate for Mayor of Kingston saying he had a secret plan to prevent crime. It had something to do with putting a large spotlight on top of the new fire station on Wyoming Ave. that projects the image of a winged mammal that calls a Caped Crusader into action. He claimed to have visited thousands of homes in Kingston and found agreement that Jim Haggerty was a lousy Mayor. On election day he got a whopping 254 votes.

Now he is backing the Democrats.

TL: “I’m going to make sure I deliver at least 500 votes to (mayoral candidate Stephen) Radzinski and (council candidates) Barry Adams and Curt Piazza,” said Cordora.

Let's do the math. He gets 254 votes in a town that is still leading in Republican registration and then promises 500 votes for the Dems after he gets clobbered in the primary.

Everytime I hear someone say our problems in Luzerne County are a result of voting in Democrats all the time I think of him. I agree that one party dominance is not healthy but our local R's have to recruit some serious candidates

More John Cordora fun is in my archives.

I just like this picture

From Charlie Parker

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'll take my ball and go home

Pittston Mayor Joe Keating quit after he lost the primary election to newcomer Jason Klush. Keating claimed his surprise resignation was not about " sour grapes"

but said "I can not be effective in that short time period … However, the voters have seen they do not like the direction in which Pittston City has taken.”

He was hired to a job until January 2010 and instead of throwing a shit fit because he lost the election Keating should do it. has the lowdown

A Northwest Area School Board member did something similar.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kanjo said the CIA lied to him

Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently said about the CIA "They mislead us all the time'' in regards to being briefed on the torture techniques like waterboarding that were being used on prisoners in US custody. The usual Republican suspects were shocked and appalled that that she would accuse an intelligence agency that uses disinformation and has a long track record of lying to Congress and the American people of being less than truthful. Does anyone remember the Church Commission? John Boehner and Newt Gingrich are leading the charge demanding an investigation. Bring it on.

Senator Arlen Specter pointed out that "The CIA has a very bad record when it comes to honesty."
... Specter spoke of the CIA's role in the Iran-Contra affair, "Director Casey appeared and gave perjurious testimony to the Committee." He added that the CIA's deputy director had prepared Casey's testimony and that he, "Came within a hair's breadth of being prosecuted by an independent counsel."

And there is this Walter Brasch article from September 2007 via FDL's Emptywheel

"a god-damned lie"

In a town hall meeting in Bloomsburg, Pa. this week [leading up to September 3, 2007], Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a 12-term congressman, said that shortly before Congress was scheduled to vote on authorizing military force against Iraq, top officials of the CIA showed select members of Congress three photographs it alleged were Iraqi Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones. Kanjorski said he was told that the drones were capable of carrying nuclear, biological, or chemical agents, and could strike 1,000 miles inland of east coast or west coast cities.

Kanjorski said he and four or five other congressmen in the room were told UAVs could be on freighters headed to the U.S. Both secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and President Bush wandered into and out of the briefing room, Kanjorski said.

Kanjorski said it was the second time he was called to the White House for a briefing. He had opposed giving the President the powers to go to war, and said that he hadn't changed his mind after a first meeting. Until he saw the pictures, Kanjorski said, "I hadn't thought that Iraq was a threat." That second meeting changed everything. After he left that meeting, said Kanjorski, he was willing to give the President the authorization he wanted since the drones "represented an imminent danger."


Several years later, Kanjorski said he learned that the pictures were "a god-damned lie," apparently taken by CIA photographers in the desert in the southwest of the U.S.

Down With Tyranny has more about the CIA

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Christine finally wins one

Christine Katsock was the top vote getter on both sides of the ballot for Wilkes-Barre Area School Director. I first met her a few years ago when she was running for school board when she knocked on my door and gave us a sponge with her name on it. We still have it. I guess some people don't read the newspaper because Jim Height got 731 votes.

The results (vote for 4)


Christine Katsock 4,319

Robert M. Corcoran 3,639

Phillip B. Latinski 3,431

Lynn Evans 2,866

Harry Haas 2,415

Thomas F. Malloy 2,109

Michael Desiderio 1,971

Jim Height 550

Write-In 650


Christine Katsock 1,599

Harry Haas 1,064

Robert M. Corcoran 1,010

Lynn Evans 924

Phillip B. Latinski 765

Michael Desiderio 631

Thomas F. Malloy 536

Jim Height 181

Write-In 202


As predicted Carolee ran away with the Republican nomination for Luzerne County Prothonotary.

Carolee Medico-Olenginski (R) 10,901 58%

Walter Mitchell (R) 7,957 42%

On the Democratic side:

Nancy Bellas (D) 14,802 49%

Gerald Mullery (D) 8,532 28%

Alfred Akulonis Jr. (D) 6,864 23%

Sugar Notch

My pal Mario Fiorucci snagged the Democratic nomination for Mayor and will face off in the fall against Republican William A. Davis. He may also have won one of the nominations for town council. Did I miss the State of the World get together this year?

This may take a day or two to figure out. (vote for 4)

Yvonne M. Pelchar 110

Dominick Panetta 110

Mario Fiorucci 109

Herman G. Balas 99

Patrick J. Evans Jr. 99

Dolores Gegaris 81

Write-in 3

Luzerne County Controller

Walter Griffith Jr. (R) 5,327 29%

Edward Brominski (R) 3,992 22%

Alice Coffman (R) 3,490 19%

Nanda Palissery (R) 2,989 16%

Robert Sypniewski (R) 2,526 14%

This result somewhat surprised me. I thought Brominski would finish last. It looks like people have noticed that Walter has been involved in local government for a long time and has been looking out for the interest of the taxpayers. Democrat Bob Morgan was unopposed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Amesbury hits a double

Wilkes-Barre Magistrate Bill Amesbury was the top vote getter on the Democratic ballot for Luzerne County Judge and came in 2nd on the GOP side virtually assuring he will be hanging out on the 3rd floor of the Courthouse next January. To the surprise of many (not me)Tina Gartley grabbed the other Democratic nomination. To the surprise of no one Dick Hughes was the top vote getter on the Republican side.

The race was remarkably free of rancor and most of the candidates stayed positive. The only exception was Dan Zola's robocalls and sensational direct mail pieces.

Complete Luzerne County returns are on the county website. Once again Leonard and his staff have done a great job.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm way behind

The CPU failure screwed up my coverage of the primary. I wanted to put more polls up but this is the election that has my interest.

Vote on the Sidebar


I'm not sure what is going to happen tomorrow. With 17 candidates in the race for 2 spots on the Court of Common Pleas who knows what the result will be. I still haven't decided who I'm voting for.

I can predict that Bob Morgan will be the Democtratic nominee for Controller. On the Republican side I have no idea who will win. Bob Sypniewski, Alice Coffman, Nanda Palissery, Edd Brominski and Walter Griffith have run great campaigns.

What the hell is a Prothonotary?

I think that Carolee wins this race on the GOP side. President for Life of the breakaway Republic of Bear Creek Village Walter Michell has run a sprited campaign but Carolee has the name recognition.

On the Dem's side Al Akulonis has a few bucks and has been on TV but Nancy Bellas is a woman in the year of the woman. My vote goes to Jerry Mullery.

The year of the woman

I don't know how many people have told me that they are tired of the old boys network and will be voting for female candidates this election just because they are women. That bodes well for Judge candidates Tina Gartley, Jennifer Rogers and Molly Hannon. In the Prothonotary race Carolee Medico-O will be looking at a good night. She might face off against Democrat Nancy Bellas in the fall. Alice Coffman just may benefit from this sentiment in the GOP Controller's contest and surprise everybody.

Helen Reddy I Am Woman

Melinda Doolittle - I'm A Woman

SmoJoe's Cafe - I'm a Woman key

Height hits a low

CV: Jim Height, the former Wilkes-Barre Area School Board president who resigned abruptly last week, has been charged with allegedly accepting $2,000 in cash for supporting a contractor's attempt to obtain business from the Wilkes-Barre Area School District.

Like we didn't see this coming after he quit the race last week. The 2 grand charge is the one that the US Attorney can prove at this time. My sources tell me that there are a lot more revelations to come about Height and others.

The indictment

The plea

Sunday, May 17, 2009

You pick em

From the email:

How about a friendly wager on the Luz Cty Judge race. You pick the top three finishers on each side and the bottom three. I do the same. We value place finishes 1 to 17. Lowest total score on top finishers wins. Highest total score on bottom finishers wins. Ties are broken by vote totals.

Do it people

Another problem

I just loaded IE8 and it doesn't work. Error messages all over the place. I hate computers. Over to Firefox.

Quincy has taken an interest in current affairs

He reads the papers but then is so upset about the latest Luzerne County nonsense that he rips them apart. He also shredded my letter from M. Carlson.

A week without a computer

It has been both frustrating and liberating not having an intertubes machine for the past week. It was frustrating because I do so many things online like manage my checking and brokerage accounts and of course keep up with the latest political news. It was liberating because of wasting 2 or 3 hours a day staring at a monitor I accomplished a bunch of stuff on my honey do list. Mrs. G said to leave the thing in the shop.
The technical problem was a heat sink failed that resulted in frying my video card. The good folks at Custom Computers in Kingston ordered the parts, installed them , gave it a good cleaning and made sure the thing wasn't haunted by worms or Trojan Horses, etc. Bob Sr., Steve and the crew have been great to work with over the years. Whenever I have had a problem or question I pick up the phone and call across the river instead of the other side of the planet. I highly recommend them.
Checking my snail mail I found that I did get an official looking letter from a Mr. Carlson but Quincy got a hold of it before I read it and tore it to shreds. If it's important I'm sure he will send me another. If he really wants to get a hold of me he should contact me by email. The USPS is so 18th Century.
I was planning to finish the interview series with Republican Controller candidates Alice Coffman and Walter Griffith but the computer failure put the kibosh to that. My apologies to both. Walter has been a hot topic in the local blogosphere because of an incident that happened many moons ago. I've known about it for a long time but didn't think it was relevant. Another blogger thought it was despite my urging to leave it alone and now he is experiencing the blowback. Walter made the mistake of engaging in the comments of that post despite the counsel of me and several other local internet scribes to just ignore it.
I wanted to put up some polls on the various races this past week and still will. So here we go.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another Luzerne County scandal

No, not the Jim Height thing. I'll get to that when my intertubes mimeograph machine comes home from the hospital. A friend let me use his computer tonight to address the rampant speculation surrounding the Bucks for Bloggers controversy.

Local bloggers target of FBI probe

I have been flooded for requests for comment since this story broke a few days ago and got picked up by other news outlets.

FBI investigating PA Bloggers

Against the advice of my attorneys I will admit to one weekend stay at a hunting cabin on a swamp near Noxen owned by a Luzerne County elected official and that Saturday I was taken for a ride in a rowboat by a prominent local attorney. I think the boat's name was Rigged Jury. We were doing some fishing and he advised me that saying a Hail Mary would help me catch a few carp. To the best of my knowledge I have not received a target letter but I haven't checked the mail since last week. Any other inquiries about the Cash For Comments allegations should be made to the law firm listed below.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Please stand by

My computer has some serious hardware and software issues so I'm going to be out of action for the next few days.
I ask for the patience of my regular readers and the people who find Gort42 by accident. We hope to resume regular programming by the end of the week.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

All kinds of problems

My computer machine seems to have brain damage. I'm going to take it into the store that I bought it to get an exorcism. I may be offline for a few days

No video

No pictures

Got to fix this

The greeter

This guy met everyone as they got of the car.

His name is Moses.

And he wants a belly rub

Campaign event

It's hard to keep track of who is running for what but somehow I keep it straight.

I had a chance to drop by Bob Sypniewski's gathering yesterday at his horse farm in Dallas, the place is beautiful. I wish I could make make it to more things with the other candidates but my work schedule doesn't allow it. This work thing screws up every summer and plays havoc with the baseball season every year but that is another story.

I assured everyone there that most Bloggers don't have devious hearts despite what has happened in this past week. I can't speak for lawyers. There were a few lawyers there but I but I didn't feel the need to put my wallet in a safe place unlike the last time I was in a room full of them.

After mulling around for a bit the Emcee Dave Madeira took over. One of things I have learned is don't get in the way of Dave and a microphone. It's almost as dangerous as getting trampled by Rapid Edward on his way to the buffet table.

A few people that I spotted and spoke to the crowd included Luzerne County Commissioner Steve Urban, past and future Prothontary Carolee. Judaical hopefuls Jennifer Rogers and Tom Marsillio.

Plus some breaking news, more about that later.

Pictures at my Facebook Page

Mother's Day

A guest post
A Mothers Day Message by Mean Old Man
I'm fit to be tied that the once sacred holiday, Mother's Day is still being celebrated despite the fact that today's Moms are nothing but a gang of prissy spoon fed subversives!!!

Mothers today have it too easy and they have no idea what being a real Mom is all about.
When my dear ol' Mom married Pops way back in the day, she knew that she was signing on for a whole new life. Mom would get up an hour before dawn, pound out the yeast to make a loaf of bread, run the clothes through the trusty wringer washer (not those stupid "easy" automatic washers they have today), stoke the coal furnace and mop up the floor---all in one hours time!!! Try that you Barbie doll Moms of today!!!

Today's Moms want their cake and they want to eat it too! My stupid son Harlan's wife is an accountant--can you imagine that? I don't know about you, but letting women control money is like giving the fox the run of the chicken coupe. I don't need to get into the details. I remember being over their goofy house one time and she asks me if I want to stay for dinner; she told me they were having meatloaf and mashed potatoes---a meal fit for a real man. SO, I am wandering in the kitchen and I notice that the stove is not on and I can't smell anything but her French bordello perfume. I asked her what time dinner was going to be---midnight?? She then proceeded to open up the freezer and plopped out five Stouffer's TV Dinners---Meatloaf, of course. Well, you could have knocked me over with a damned feather!!! Anyway, after about ten minutes in the microwave, we had our meatloaf, and let me tell you, I'm not one to complain, but I wouldn't feed that garbage to my bulldog Titus!!!

In my day Mom spent the day cooking and cleaning---not going off to some accounting job to satisfy her career urges. Sometimes Pops would come home with a deer and it was Mom's job to cut it up and prepare it for the ice box. Sometimes she would nick her fingers or her arm and she would bleed like a gopher. She would bandage herself up and go right on with the cutting because her family was depending on her. Sometimes the cut would become infected and swell up like a basketball; the pain would be so intense that her tears could fill a lake. It was horrible, depressing and degrading for her---but she loved it!!! Because she was doing her job, the job that became hers the day she agreed to marry Pops. Back then, marriage was a real partnership. Pops worked all day and Mom stayed at home and did her few jobs and afterwards could spend the rest of the day in the lap of luxury.

Moms today can't cook, can't sew, can't do the wash, and don't know a damned thing about raising kids!!! I don't know about your family, but it appears to me that my grandkids are raising "their" Moms. The kids today tell the parents what to do and are snippy and brazen.
I remember when I was a boy and we were at the dinner table and my dunce of a little brother Chuck threw a spoonful of potatoes at Mom. She was facing toward the stove so she thought that I had done it. She howled like a wolf and flung a ladle straight for my head; needless to say she hit a bulls eye (if she were born a man, she could have given Sandy Koufax a run for his money). I remember crying and trying to tell Mom that it was Chuck and not me that threw the potatoes, but ol' Mom would have none of that. She immediately sent me to my room and apart from going to school I spent the next week up there and without any food except for a little bread and water to keep me alive. I can still see the snicker on that lug Chuck's face when Mom kicked my butt (literally) up the stairs. I never liked my brother Chuck, he was a kid ahead of his time, since Mom and even Pops always liked him best. When he graduated high school they put him through college. When I finished the 8th grade, I was told to get a full time job or head out the door!! I had the last laugh, however; Chuck married some hussy who took him for every dollar he had. He spent the rest of his life drinking like a fish!! See what happens when your parents kiss your butt. RIP Chuck, you deserve that much; and I do kind of miss those times we had together as kids (especially when I would lock you in our rat infested basement).

It seems to me that Moms today just have kids for the hell of it, because all their girlfriends are doing the same. They have no appreciation of family values or morality. Their idea of family values is to gather the kids in the car and take them to see some stupid movie like "Free Willy", not going to church because that would be too boring. IN my day all the women made it to church every Sunday, it was their duty to keep a connection to God in the family. But, not anymore-----damn!!!

I could go on and on about how useless today's Moms {?} are, but why bother?? So, all you liberal, working Moms, have a Happy Mother's Day. As for me, I'll be spending my Sunday morning watching the Three Stooges on the ol TV'er, waiting for the missus to come home from church to serve me venison stew along with her champion biscuits on the side. Afterwards, when my stupid sons and daughters in law come over with their offspring, I'll retire upstairs to my makeshift den with a couple bottles of Steg, lighting up a Lucky, and listening to the soothing sounds of Eddie Fisher singing "Oh My Papa" on the ol' victrola.

Happy Mother's Day. I hate you all!!!!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

YouTube weekend

This fits with the news

The Psychedelic Furs - Heartbreak beat (live Palma, Spain)

The Mother's Milk of Politics

The TL has a rundown of the money raised by the Row Officer candidates so far for the May Primary Election. The Luzerne County election website doesn't have the full reports available online yet but I'm sure Leonard will make sure that they are posted soon.

Relatively speaking the candidates have raised modest amounts of money with large chunks coming from the hopefuls themselves.

One of the fat wallets that is a little lighter that I spotted in the article is Dan Meuser, of West Pittston, Harveys Lake and other places. Meuser is the former president of Pride Mobility and lost the 2008 10th CD GOP Primary to Chris Hackett. He dropped a thousand bucks on Walter Mitchell and Nanda Palissery each.

In the Controller's race Luzerne County Republican Party endorsed candidate Nanda Palissery has the most bucks.

Total: $7,460
From the candidate: $4,255
Spent: $4,109
Cash on hand: $3,350
Big donors: Dan Meuser $1000

The other candidates

Edd Brominski

Total: $3,775
Candidate: $2500
Spent: $2,762
Cash on hand: $1,013
Big donors: ?

Alice Coffman

Total: $4,479
Candidate: ?
Spent: $3,550
Cash on hand: $928
Big donors: ?

Walter Griffith

Total: $1,680
Candidate: $1,145
Spent: $2,825
Cash: 0
Big donors: ?

Bob Sypniewski

No information available

There is only one Democratic candidate in the race for Controller which disappoints me. I hate unopposed elections.

Bob Morgan

Total: $6,840
Candidate: $263
Spent: $4,772
Cash: $2,067
Big donors: Arlene Pasonick $1,000, Robert Stella $900

The thing to remember is that money can flow into this race at the last minute and we will not know about it for months.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Debit card scandle fizzles

Via McGruff

Back in December Terry Moran-Besecker reported in the Times Leader that the Secret Service completed its initial investigation into the Luzerne County Debit Card probe. The I-Team is reporting it has information that no charges will be filed in that case. While the government acknowledges mismanagement on this issue it appears the actions do not give rise to criminal charges.

As far I know if you use the company's (County) money to pay your personal expenses and not declare it as income is tax evasion. Let's hope the Secret Service report is released to the public even if charges are not filed. Only in Luzerne County can the people involved in this not be fired, at the least. When called to account the abusers of this privilege paid back the county for their questionable expenses although I haven't read of an audit that has documented it.

As Steve Urban once said "We have a jail full of people who wish they could just pay it back."

Debit Cards

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Heartbreak Ridge

To the disappointment of some of the few Republicans in Pennsylvania and nationally that are not willing to keep driving the party's bus off the hard right cliff former PA Governor Tom Ridge announced he will not run for the GOP Senate nomination in 2010.

After much speculation, former Gov. Tom Ridge today announced that he would not seek the GOP nomination for Senate next year.

In a statement, Ridge said he had been heartened by the support and encouragement he received from within the party and that it had been a difficult decision for him. He expressed a desire to still be involved in the party’s development.

Blogger News

On a sad note Keystone Politics is no more. Greg has been a great blog buddy since I started this site and has oftened linked to my posts. I will look for him to start a new venture.

Union Township Supervisor Republican candidate Billy Allred has a libertarian streak and shares his thoughts at PRE-brief: Politics, Religion, Economics - All Discussed Briefly

My friend Randy had helped me with some technical issues in the past. He's another conservative Republican that disagrees with me on just about everything but he is a fellow blogger and we all help each other out. Free speech is free speech. He took a break but is now banging on the keyboard again at PennPatriot.

I predict that will be a must read for everybody, everyday if you haven't already figured that out. Hey Dan, when I hang up this gig you may need a NEPA correspondent.

Newspapers are failing across the country and the latest victim is Allentown's The Morning Call.
They recently laid off a bunch of staff but thankfully the author of Capitol Ideas wasn't one of them. On a side note, Jane thinks John needs to buy a comb.

Then there is that internet hooligan from the North End of Wilkes-Barre who almost gave me a heart attack when I read; And with that, my last ever post on the formerly expansive electronic pages of Wilkes-Barre Online… The Blogfather was my inspiration to start Gort42. He was only one writing about local issues a few years ago when I was (wasting) spending my time commenting on blogs that cover national issues. He didn't follow through with that threat but moved to a new platform; Circumlocution for Dummies. Years of posts about Wilkes-Barre and other stuff can be found at Wilkes-Barre Online which will always remain on my blogroll.

I really need to update NEPA Blogs with some of this stuff or maybe DB or Michelle will take care of it.

And a happy 3rd Blogiversary to the YONK!

The Lu Lac Political Letter

Home Rule shindig

As a matter of policy I don't plug candidate fundraisers or any other fundraisers, the exception is for what I consider worthy local causes or groups. See Off topic. Luzerne Home Rule is a nonpartisan organization that meets that test.

Kingston Fundraiser Dinner

Thursday May 7, 2009 @ 6:30PM Kingston American Legion 386 Wyoming Ave

Come join us at the Kingston American Legion for a fun-filled fundraising event! Dinner and drinks are included in the ticket price as well as entertainment. Your ticket also gets you free entry into our prize drawing. Tickets are $20 a piece and are available online by visiting our events page.

This may well be your last chance to see so many GSC candidates congregated together like this- use this to become an informed voter! In addition, candidates for other countywide offices will be there as well. Hope to see you- it’s sure to be the most fun candidate forum in Luzerne County! Did we mention that we’ll be having food?

I wish I could make it but this work thing always gets in the way of my fun. Give me reports in the comments or toss me an email if you go. Pictures would be great.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Will Specter pull a Lieberman


Arlen Specter vs. Toomey, Luksik, Ridge, Sestak, Torsella, Lamb, Watkins and a cast of thousands.

About the only people I have heard that are happy about the possibility of Arlen Specter winning another term in the US Senate are the talking heads on cable TV news, the top brass of the PA Democratic Party and this guy.
I have never have been a Specter fan but always enjoyed how he had a way of pissing off my republican friends and annoying my fellow Democrats.
Just a few highlights from his career that have rubbed me the wrong way in addition to his voting record, there are more. He came up with the single bullet theory to explain the murder of President Kennedy when he was working for the Warren Commission in 1964. We all believe that one. He voted "Not Proved" in the Senate trial of President Clinton after he was impeached by the House of Representatives invoking Scottish Law. That was not an an option and his vote was recorded as not guilty. He should have voted to convict or acquit not invent some third way. He also wanted to stick his nose into the NFL. His treatment of Anita Hill (she's a liar) in the Supreme Court nomination hearing of Clarence Thomas inspired me to work for Lynn Yeakel. We came close in that one only losing Wayne County by 20% instead of 40% and statewide by 3%.
Penn Patriot has the Republican take and The Pennsylvania Progressive thinks that PA Democrats can do better.
So the question is will Arlen Specter see all this opposition from the base of both party's and try to run as an independent? He said he wouldn't but who can believe anything he says now.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Juvie Brothers update

When you're right, argue the facts. When you're wrong, argue the law.

WILKES-BARRE – Attorneys for two juvenile treatment centers contend that the kickbacks paid to two former judges were related to favorable rulings they issued in other civil cases, not for the placement of children in the facilities....Marsha Levick, an attorney with the Juvenile Law Center, which filed one of the four suits, said Monday she’s confident the evidence will show that payments made to the judges were directly related to placements in the detention centers, and not some other kickback scheme.
“(You) are not going to make a profit by running a private child care facility if you have empty beds,” Levick said. “The connection between any sort of kickback and Ciavarella’s ability to keep beds filled is inescapable.”

The lawyers for the owner of PA Child Care, Greg Zappala, wants to disqualify attorneys for the Juvenile Law Center because they have been "government informants.”

Levick on Monday called the allegation “laughable.”
It’s so incredibly stupid I almost don’t want to dignify it with an answer,” Levick said.

PA State Rep won't answer blogger

Roberta Biros of Mercer County Conservatives recently sent an email to 3 of her local state representatives about some technical provision of a bill related to tolling of I-80. None of them answered her email which didn't surprise her but one of them sent her a letter saying he wouldn't answer her email because she is a political blogger and asked that she no longer contact him via his official email address. Dick Stevenson is the Republican State Representative for the 8th District in the PA House.

This guy just doesn't get it. If one of the local papers in the area asked him the same question I would wager that he would respond even though they also write about politics. Bloggers are part of the media now and will be even more important as newspapers across the country continue to fail. Her question was not about politics but policy.

I don't usually email our local Luzerne County tribunes of the people but when I do I usually get a response no matter what the subject.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Bob Reilly is a used car salesman

This is both funny and infuriating.

For weeks WILK's Steve Corbett had heard rumors that long time Clerk of Courts Robert Reilly was selling cars as a side job at a Wilkes Barre Twp car dealership. Nothing wrong with supplementing your income. We’ve all done that at one time or another. But apparently Reilly was selling cars during the hours he was supposed to be administering the Clerk of Courts office. The intrepid Corbett called the auto lot at 10:26AM and got Reilly on the blower. After a brief conversation, Reilly told the radio host he’d call him on the air at 5:06PM later that afternoon and explain what was going on. Needless to say, the call never came.

He is spending his/our time at Nationwide Car Sales on Mundy St. behind the Mall next to the defunct Ground Round. Go say Hello.

A few year ago I would stop by a local beer distributor on a weekday afternoon to pick up a few adult beverages and spotted Reilly working there.

The subject of work hours has been a hot topic in the Luzerne County Controller race.

At the recent LWV forum at Wilkes University the only Democrat in the race, Bob Morgan, was noncommittal on spending 8 hours a day in the office. “I think we sometimes get too focused on the idea that we’re there from a certain time to a certain time. The reality is: Can you do the job? Do you have the ability to do the job?”

Republican Edd Brominski said he was retired so he had nothing else to do and cited his experience as a Democratic County Commissioner claiming he would be in the office 7Am until 11PM if necessary.

Nanda Palissery said he finds the question about whether or not he will be a full-time controller “offensive” and said he will be in the office when needed.

Water Griffith said he wasn't offended by the question and committed to being in the office 8:30M-4:30PM and later every day. “For $38,000 a year, which is probably double what a normal citizen of this county makes, if I can’t commit to you to be in that office every single hour that you would be in your job, then shame on me.”

Bob Sypniewski also said he will show up for work saying; "You put me there to serve. How dare me then on your time do my business?”

CPA Alice Coffman also wouldn't commit; “Will that mean I’m in that office everyday eight hours? I’m not going to sit here and promise that to you, because I don’t think that that is likely.

Walter sent along this guest post on the subject.

Dear Gort42,


I would like to write in regarding the story about Bob Reilly " Luzerne County Clerk of Courts" and his ability to have a job as a Automobile salesman in addition to his County Row Office.

Mr. Reilly is a disgrace to the County Row Officers and the taxpayers for his behavior and he should immediately quit his job as a salesman or County Row Officer. This is the same person that has stated "on the record" that his job requires more money from the taxpayers and he has demonstrated that he isn't even on the job "Full Time". This is the same person that used the County Taxpayers money to fund a lawsuit against the taxpayers to stop the Clerk of Courts budget because it was not enough funds for his office.

The Luzerne County Courthouse has had its time in the sun for to long for all the wrong reasons, and this is just another case of the abilities of a few, that tarnish the entire beauty of the wonderful building that will be celebrating its 150.year's of existence.

My time has been spent the past 3 years trying to hold the elected officials of this County accountable to the taxpayers, by attending County Commissioner meetings, and asking for accountability and transparency in government, when all the rest of the candidates that have now come on the scene have been silent.

The County Commissioners have never held anyone accountable for their abuse of power in government in the past, and I as a taxpayer advocate, have been trying to have them do this since attending the first meeting regarding the issue of the Debit Card abuser's in which I call the "magnificent seven".

The taxpayers of Luzerne County should and must have elected officials that are "Full Time" and should not accept anything less, and this can be accomplished by instituting a policy in personnel that requires everyone to "Log In" and "Log Out" and show mileage for all travel to designate their time out of the office.

I have been asking for the use of a " Badge Scanner" or "time Clock" to verify the attendance of all County Employee's and I feel with the abuse of this type with Mr. Reilly it is long over due for the taxpayers.

I, as a taxpayer advocate, the past three years in the County, and the past 7 years in the City of Wilkes Barre, have taught me several lessons about our government regarding our Elected Officials like Mr. Reilly and Ms. Moran, as well as a few others, that feel they are above the same rules of employment as the people they supervise, and that is that we, as taxpayers, are always being taken advantage of by a few people in government that can get away with it, and we need people to always be there asking questions and holding our government accountable.

I, as your taxpayer advocate, have attended the meetings at my own cost, and have been a taxpayer advocate for the taxpayers of Luzerne County on many issues that concern abuse of power by the elected officials. I spoke out for the taxpayers regarding the "Debit Cards" and tried to have the "Abuser's" fired for their actions, however the Commissioners chose to turn their heads and wink and nod at this type of corruption.

I, as a your taxpayer advocate, represented everyone in the County. at my own cost, regarding the court case to borrow over 16 million dollars because of the Commissioners reckless spending and was successful in having the courts rule in the taxpayers favor to lower that to 5 million.
The reason for my bringing this to light is because at election time, we always seem to see candidate ask for the taxpayers confidence and vote, and then we never hear from them again after the election. I have demonstrated that I will always be there for the taxpayers "AT MY OWN EXPENSE" because I truly care about them and its not about myself or the money.

I vow to all the taxpayers that I will be a " FULL TIME" Controller, and that means that I will be in the office at the same times that I expect my staff to be there, and I will lead by example. I will not abuse the taxpayers like Mr. Reilly or Ms. Moran or the others that are pledging to be "FULL TIME" just to get elected and then "Thumb their noses" at the taxpayers once they are elected. I will be the right person for the job and will not pay a vendor for work if they don't follow the contract like what happened with 21st Century and our botched reassessment for the profit of our corrupt officials.

I would like to conclude by saying that there are several people that are professionals running for public office, and are asking for your support to get the votes required to win the election on May 19th.I would suggest that each taxpayer ask this one very important question on election day and that is " Where were these people that are asking for our vote when we needed them when our elected officials were abusing their power and our money" ?

Walter L Griffith Jr
Candidate for Luzerne County Controller

YouTube weekend

This one is for Brig. Gen. Jack D. Ripper.

He drove me nuts playing this song over and over.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Blogger/Candidate meetup today

At Mark's Pub starting at 4PM til ....... 1287 N Washington St, Wilkes-Barre (map it).

It's supposed to rain. A good reason to spend the day indoors.

A few candidates for local office and present office holders are threatening to show up.

Luzerne County Controller

I'm a bit behind on the coverage of this race.

The Leauge of Women Voters had a forum with all the candidates for Luzerne County Controller at Wilkes University on Tuesday. Finding the room it was being held was like trying to navigate a maze and once in there the HVAC system was making a loud humming sound that made it hard to hear what was going on.

The candidates are Bob Morgan, the only Democrat; and Republicans Bob Sypniewski, Alice Coffman, Nanda Palissery, Edd Brominski and Walter Griffith

I'm not going to do the play by play because other media outlets covered it already.


CV County controller candidates vow to fight cronyism

TL Controller candidates vow to be watchdog

OVC has the best write up of the event Controller Debate

The highlight of the night was Bob Sypniwski saying there was too many attorneys in the courthouse and didn't want a lawyer running the Controller's office because they are part of the "good ole boys network." When Nanda got his turn he stood up and asked with open arms

" Do I look like I'm one of the good ole boys."

It brought the down the house, all 30 of us.