Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mother's milk PA 11th CD

The FEC year end campaign finance reports have been posted online. The 1st quarter 2010 reports will tell us more.

The Republicans

Chris Paige has $3500 cash on hand with no PAC contributions and raised $18,000 from individuals mostly from people outside of Pennsylvania. He kicked in $3473 of his own money for net receipts of $21,724.

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta loaned his campaign another $48,500 to bring his debt total up to $263,000 mostly owed to himself. He raised $49,000 from individuals and $17,500 from PAC's with a cash on hand balance of $52,330. Net receipts $119,480.

The Democrats

Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O'Brien raised $208,000 including loans from himself of about $2500 and PAC's chipping in $17,500. Individuals contributed $194,000 leaving a cash balance of $109,456.

It's not surprising that Congressman Paul Kanjorski has the biggest war chest with just under a million dollars cash on hand pulling in $233,000 this quarter. $111,00 from PAC's and $121,000 from individual contributions.

O'Briens camp has sent out some hard hitting press releases attacking Kanjo's support from financial PACs.


Longtime Kanjo spokesman Ed Mitchell dismissed O'Brien's number saying it came from "low hanging fruit."

"Let's see what he does in the next quarter."

He challenged the suggestion that contributions from Wall Street bankers and political action committees influence Mr. Kanjorski's decisions. Mr. Kanjorski led the fight for Wall Street reform and developed legislation to break up banks that get too large, he said. The legislation is meant to prevent the failure of large banks from damaging the nation's economy.

"Maybe he takes some of their money, but then he does what he wants to do for the people of the district," Mr. Mitchell said, noting several contractors who do business with the county contributed to Mr. O'Brien.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Goldsworthy taking on Phyllis in 120th

As first reported by Sights on Pennsylvania West Pittston Mayor Bill Goldsworthy will seek the Republican nomination to take on long time Democratic State Rep Phyllis Mundy in the 120th District that includes a big chunk of the west side of Luzerne County.

Mundy was unopposed in 2008 and faced token opposition from one of my favorite local cranks and talk radio fan John Cordora in 2006. After losing the GOP primary last year for Mayor of Kingston to Jim Haggerty on a platform of having a secret plan to fight crime Cordora backed the Democrat in the General Election. Now he is writing letters to the editor supporting Dave Madeira's bid for Congress.

Goldsworthy has been Mayor of West Pittston for a long time and won reelection last year by 280 votes. He is not happy about the latest budget debacle in Harrisburg because it hurt senior citizens and children's programs. “Many people served by these agencies were harmed.” He sounds like a compassionate conservative.

Then there is ambition “I will enter the race,” Goldsworthy said Thursday. “I’ve always considered running for state representative, but after the travesty of this past year, well, it just put me over the edge.”...“I just feel the time has come for me to run for this office.”

Phyllis welcomes the challenge

“I will run on my record and my dedicated service to my constituents,” she said. “I’ve always been very issue-oriented; I will continue to fight for the best interests of my district. I think if you ask any average citizen, they will tell you they are pleased with my record.”

Mundy has been a long time thorn in the side of Blue Cross and a champion of senior citizens.

There is a rumor that another Republican may get into the race. I hope so because this is a political blog that hates uncontested elections. Give me a horse race.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stepping on Marino's announcement

The State of the Union is going to get most of the attention on the national level so Tom Marino could have picked another day to make his announcement. His challengers for the 10th CD Republican nomination also made major announcements.

Madeira Announces Run for Congress

Dallas, PA, - January 27, 2010 - Entrepreneur and small businessman David Madeira will be officially announcing his bid for Congress on February 9th in a multi-county tour across the district that will include stops in Wayne, Luzerne and Union Counties. Madeira, a retired chiropractor, is running as a conservative Republican for the seat currently held by Chris Carney.

“Congressman Carney likes to wave his “Blue Dog” credentials;” says Madeira, “one year ago he voted for nearly a trillion dollar “stimulus plan” that not only brought no stimulus, but saw unemployment jump to over 10%[1]. Is this who we want representing us?” Madeira explains that understanding the timing of the vote is critical to understanding who Carney is. Before his election in 2008, Carney voted against a similar stimulus bill, trying to shore up Republican voters in his conservative district.
“Believe me”, added Madeira, “if the very unpopular Government Health Care plan Carney voted for was up for a vote in October of this election year instead of last year, Carney would have voted against it instead of for it. The voters are no longer fooled by these Washington games.”With a wealth of experience ranging from running his own chiropractic office and dealing with patients, insurance companies and government regulations, to participating in two startup businesses, Madeira brings real world experience to the 10th Congressional race. His time spent consulting for other conservative candidates and his involvement in community economic development resulted in many approaching him to run and represent the conservative values of the district.
"When Scott Brown was elected in Massachusetts to what he called 'the peoples' seat', Carney said it was a 'wake-up call'. I want to make sure he doesn't hit the snooze alarm like he did on the $786 billion failed stimulus bill, and that's why I'm running".

Malcolm Derk gets endorsements

State Senator John Gordner (R-27), State Representative Merle Phillips (R-108), and State Representative Russ Fairchild (R-85) announced today that they have endorsed the candidacy of Snyder County Commissioner Malcolm Derk for Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District.

"The change we need is the return of the peoples' faith in their government," Sen. Gordner remarked, "and Malcolm Derk is the kind of leader who can bring about that change."

Sen. Gordner, Rep. Phillips, and Rep. Fairchild have worked closely with Derk throughout his tenure as Snyder County Commissioner and during his prior service as a member and President of the Freeburg Borough Council.

Regarding his endorsement, Rep. Phillips said, "Malcolm Derk represents the new brand of Republican leadership - fiscal responsibility and small town values."

Rep. Fairchild added, "The Central Susquehanna Valley has a unique opportunity this year to make its mark in our nation's capital by sending one of our own to Washington - Malcolm Derk.”

“I am grateful to have the support of Sen. Gordner, Rep. Phillips, and Rep. Fairchild. These men of integrity represent the very best in public service and I cannot thank them enough. Their endorsement is a vote of confidence in my ability to faithfully represent the people of the 10th Congressional District, something that these men have done in their respective districts over the course of their careers," Derk said.

Derk has a web ad

Tom Marino for Congress

Former US Attorney Tom Marino did a 4 stop tour yesterday announcing that he is running for the Republican nomination for Congress in the PA 10th District. I missed his stop at one my favorite lunch spots in Kingston but the people who were there greeted him warmly. In another stop he gave his reasons for running against Chris Carney.

There are four areas we have to just attack immediately and bring this under control. Washington has to stop this ridiculous spending, this is just mind boggling. We’ve got to continue tax cuts, because you know something, the president can’t create jobs, the senators can’t create jobs, the congressmen can’t create jobs. You know who can create jobs? You people, with tax cuts with money back in your pockets expanding your farms, expanding your small businesses,” said Marino.

“We have to continue the tax cuts and make sure we downsize Washington D.C.”

The Dems are worried about this guy judging by the press releases I got today.

HARRISBURG: Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman T.J. Rooney today
released the following statement regarding the Republican candidacy of Tom
Marino in the 10th Congressional District as he launched his campaign bid
against U.S. Rep. Chris Carney:

"The last time Tom Marino was in public service, he cut and ran. When the
going got tough, Marino abandoned his responsibility to the region while the
‘kids for cash’ scandal was taking place right under his nose.

"No wonder he was quoted in 2007 saying that he doesn't’t ‘have the patience
to be a Congressman’. Marino doesn't’t have the patience for any kind of
public service."

Casino Marino


Only one election cycle removed from declaring he doesn’t “have the patience to be a congressman,” former US Attorney Tom “Casino” Marino has had a change of heart and is now running for Congress in Pennsylvania ’s 10th District. But with his longstanding ties to businessman Louis DeNaples, the same ties which played a role in ultimately leading to his resignation as a US Attorney, it’s clear that voters in Pennsylvania ’s 10th district will reject “Casino” Marino’s controversial past.

“Tom ‘Casino’ Marino’s candidacy represents nothing more than the unethical conduct that the 10th district rejected just four short years ago,” said Shripal Shah, Northeast Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The cloud of conflicts that surrounded Marino’s resignation, stemming from his longstanding ties to businessman Louis DeNaples, speaks volumes about Marino’s controversial past. He should fully expect his shady background to be rejected at the ballot box this fall.”

Tom “ Casino ” Marino resigned as US Attorney in 2007 under a cloud of controversy once it was discovered that he served as a reference on the gaming application of businessman Louis DeNaples. DeNaples, who was long under investigation for allegedly making campaign contributions in attempt to get a gaming license, later was also the subject of a grand jury probe into his ties to organized crime. Just weeks after resigning from the US Attorney’s office, Marino actually went to work for DeNaples as his personal attorney.


In September 2007, Marino resigned from his U.S. Attorney post shortly after Morning Call broke the story that Marino had served as a reference on the gaming application of a personal friend, Louis DeNaples, in 2005. DeNaples was a target in a state and federal investigation begun in 2004, which involved Marino’s office; DeNaples was under investigation for allegedly making campaign contributions to Governor Rendell for the purpose of winning a gaming license for his resort. In 2007, DeNaples was also the subject of a separate grand jury probe into his ties to the mafia. [Morning Call, 8/21/07]

In November 2007, just weeks after his resignation as U.S. attorney, Marino was hired by DeNaples as an in-house counsel. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/11/08]

In the fall of 2007, Marino was courted as a possible candidate against Representative Carney. Marino, however, told the Patriot News, "I don't have the patience to be a congressman." [Patriot News, 9/21/07]

Staement from Carney's office

“There will be plenty of time for politics down the road. Right now, Congressman Carney is concentrating on creating jobs in our region and listening to the people from all 14 counties. He is fighting for tax cuts for small businesses and the middle class and working to get area projects the funding they so badly need. Congressman Carney is proud of his bipartisan record in Congress and was flattered to have recently been approached by Sen. John McCain and other Republican leaders about switching parties. He believes, however, that his job is not about a political party. It is about doing the right thing every day for the people he represents.”

Madam Speaker, The President of the United States

Ever since I became interested in politics I always loved ceremony of the State Of the Union speech from the President no matter who was the occupant of the White House at the time. I have to admit that the Brits do it better with the Queen's Speech or the Speech from the Throne as it officially called. I won't do the play by play because there is plenty of other bloggers that did that and no matter what he said it won't change the minds of people on one side or another.

Some local reaction from candidates in the 10th and 11th Congressional Districts

Congressman Chris Carney

“The president offered a hopeful message about our country’s future and I credit him with seeking to inspire optimism. Our economy is showing signs of recovery and I have tremendous faith in the resilience of our working men and women. But we must give our businesses and organizations the tools they need to make bold decisions that will lay a foundation for the future and do so by coming together in a bipartisan manner. I will continue to do everything I can to support the increased growth of our businesses and help our local economy, whether it be through small business tax credits or the elimination of capital gains on small businesses. I am also proud to have fought tirelessly in opposition to the tolling of I-80, a move that would have disastrous consequences on our local economy.

I was pleased to host Austin Burke, president of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and a resident of Archbald, as my guest at the State of the Union. Mr. Burke knows all about being visionary. Rarely has a week gone by when we haven’t worked together to help get funding for an area business or business park. He is planning for northeastern Pennsylvania’s economic future in ways that should serve as a guide for others to follow.

While many families continue to struggle during this difficult economic climate, we must not forget about the sacrifices borne by our brave service men and women who are fighting on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq. We must not back down from the terrorists who threaten the security of our country.

I was disappointed the president did not discuss the failed Christmas Day bombing in greater detail and the steps he plans to avoid another near terrorist attack. Keeping our citizens safe is my top priority in Congress and we must feel confident that this administration has learned its lessons from the communications breakdowns and know that improvements are quickly being made.

Congressman Paul Kanjorski

“Tonight, President Obama spoke openly to the American people about the struggles we face and how we can improve the lives for everyone going forward. Now is the time to work together to address the complex problems that reach way beyond the partisan bickering that has too often overwhelmed real debate on the issues. As the President said, we owe it to the American people to move forward, create more American jobs, reform Wall Street rules, control excessive spending, and turn our economy around. I very much agree.

“During the past two years, far too many Americans have personally experienced the devastating consequences of the economic crisis. Since joining Congress, my top priorities have been job creation and economic development, particularly in Northeastern Pennsylvania. During these difficult times, I agree with the President that we need to enhance and expand efforts to generate more jobs.

“The Recovery Act has preserved jobs throughout the nation, but we can, and we must, do more, much more. With my support, the House has already passed the Jobs for Main Street Act to create more jobs here at home. We must also do everything reasonably possible to turn the tide of our economy and improve the well being of every American. I am committed to doing just that. As I have continued to stress, fixing our economy will not happen overnight, but I have faith that we will emerge from these tough times stronger than ever.

“As we work to create new jobs, more jobs, and better jobs, we must also take action to change the rules of Wall Street and rein in the biggest financial institutions which caused the current crisis. As the President stressed, reforming Wall Street is essential to preventing another economic crisis like the one we just experienced. In December, with my strong support the House passed a Wall Street reform bill. This bill included my amendment to limit the risk of financial companies by preventing them from becoming ‘too big to fail.’ The President’s remarks tonight only strengthened my resolve to enact into law a common-sense financial regulatory reform bill to better protect the financial security of every American and fundamentally change the way Wall Street operates.

“Finally, the President outlined his plan to address the looming federal deficit. Because I worked with President Clinton to turn a massive deficit into a sizable budget surplus, I know we can fix this problem. To reverse the vast deficit built up in the last 8 years, we must now make tough choices. By making prudent fiscal decisions and creating a bipartisan budget task force, as the President stated, we can once again work to reduce our budget deficit, focus on national priorities, and decrease spending.”

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta

“Is it any wonder we’re in the shape we are? I just watched the president and a room full of Washington politicians pat themselves on their backs for an hour. I’m not sure why they’re so happy. Like millions of Americans, I watched tonight’s speech looking for hope and solutions. What I saw was a pep rally and statements of the obvious. The House chamber was full of smiling politicians at the same time moms and dads are sitting around their kitchen tables worrying about how they’re going to pay their bills and make ends meet. I wasn’t hoping for a homerun tonight—just a good at bat. What we saw was a lazy fly ball. Tonight’s speech shows there is still a massive disconnect between the politicians in Washington and the residents of the 11th Congressional District. People here want smaller, more fiscally responsible government. They want to see meaningful reform enacted, not just hear lip service. They want to support programs that create new jobs, not new bureaucracy. They want common-sense solutions. They’re tired of the blank-check attitude of the career Washington politicians. More government programs and more spending are not the answer.”

Chris Paige

The President's impressive speaking abilities cannot hide the fact that he continues to defend the same tired old trope: the proposition that an omnipotent government can allocate our resources more efficiently than a free people acting through free markets. Whether it's increasing government spending or making our excessively complex tax code even more complex, the President seeks to allocate an increasingly large share of our resources through government programs. Ironically, he cites the experience of China and India in support of his call for bigger government, but those countries did not begin growing rapidly until they dramatically reduced the role of their governments in allocating resources.

The sad fact is the President Obama simply doesn't believe in our unique system of ordered liberty; instead, he prefers to govern as if the U.S. Constitution were an historical artifact of no practical significance. Our Founding Fathers did not create a limited government because they were insufficiently intelligent to create the virtuous omnipotent government that President Obama prefers; instead, they created a limited government because they were too wise to believe his platitudes about perfecting government through campaign finance laws, ethics reforms and bipartisan commissions.

In short, the President believes the American people cannot grasp the glories of his plans, but they have rejected his vision, and they, like me, are working to restore our freedom, which is the only path to prosperity. We don't need more clever presentations of 1970s style liberalism; instead, we need truly original thinking grounded in a firm understanding of traditional American values, and that's why I'm running for Congress.

I haven't received a statement from the other candidates yet.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ray Musto retiring

TL: State Senator Raphael “Ray” Musto (D-Luzerne/Carbon/Monroe) announced today that he will not seek re-election and retire from the Senate at the end of his current term.

"After nearly 40 years of public service to the citizens of the Northeast and seven terms serving the 14th Senatorial District, it is time to retire from the Senate," Musto said in a release.
Expect a crowded Democratic primary in the race to succeed him and maybe the Republicans might even find a candidate this time. He was unopposed in 2006 even after his vote for the 2AM pay raise. I'm looking forward to reading a recap of his career from our local political historian.

11th CD update

We will have to wait until the weekend for all the FEC reports to posted but Corey O'Brien sent out a press release today saying he has raised over $200,000 so far with $100K cash on hand. Congressman Paul Kanjorski had $800K cash on hand according to his last report and O'Brien's campaign manager claims that Kanjo will report he has over $2 million going into the spring. Lou Barletta's 3Q filing listed $6000 cash on hand with a debt of $263,000. Chris Paige's finances
will be known next week.

O'Brien is the first one on the air with a 30 second spot running on cable with footage taken from his 6 minute bio that is posted on his website.

Kanjo was on CNBC again and his debate with Ron Paul about Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is making the rounds.

Not to be left out Chris Paige has a web ad.

America's Mayor Lou Barletta hasn't posted any new videos since his announcement.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Marino in

From the inbox:

Tom Marino to Make Major Announcement

WILLIAMSPORT, PA – Tom Marino, former United States District Attorney in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, will make a major announcement about his political future in the 10th Congressional District at the following events on Wednesday, January 27, 2010:

10:00AM Young Men’s Republican Club
621 Washington Blvd
Williamsport, PA

1:00PM Pierce Street Deli
517 Pierce Street
Kingston, PA

3:30PM Pallman’s Farm
1511 Summit Lake Road
S. Abington Township, PA

6:00PM Ehrhardt’s Waterfront Resort
205 Route 507
Hawley, PA

The announcement comes on the heels of increased voter anger toward policies in Washington that have led to record levels of unemployment, spending that is best described as reckless, and a government run healthcare plan that raises taxes and reduces care and services to seniors.

*Please note that on Thursday, January 28, 2010, Tom will be touring Union, Bradford and Susquehanna counties to meet local voters and media organizations.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Eleven for Lieutenant Governor

With the addition of Luzerne County Commissioner Steve Urban to the race the Pennsylvania GOP can now field a football team in the primary for Lt. Governor. I think that Urban has been a voice of reason in Luzerne County and is the only commissioner candidate that I have voted for in the last 2 elections. He is opposed to a tax increase and wants cuts in personnel and programs to balance this year's budget.
From the TL:
After spending a decade in county government, the 57-year old said he’s
discovered there are some issues affecting counties across the state that cannot be fixed at the local level. He says they must be fixed at the state level.

“It is a position in the state where you can work day-to-day with the senators, be close to the representatives and try to get issues like this accomplished….I don’t think the state senators and representatives really listen to the county commissioners.”

Sounds good but the Lt. Gov doesn't really have a policy making role unless the Governor gives him or her some responsibility. Lieutenant governors preside over the Senate and cast votes to break a tie. They also serve as Chairperson of the Board of Pardons and the Local Government Advisory Committee of the Department of Community and Economic Development.

The legislators are the only ones that can change the law. Maybe some Republican or Democrat will be willing to take on Senator Ray Musto to address these issues.

The State GOP website has a list of the other ten candidates:

Carol Aichele

Campaign Web Site:

Chet Beiler

Jim Cawley

Campaign Web Site:

Russ Diamond

Campaign Web Site:

Nick DiFrancesco

Campaign Web Site:

Steve Johnson

Campaign Web Site:

John Kennedy

Campaign Web Site:

Jean Craige Pepper

Frank Rizzo

Joe Watkins

Campaign Web Site:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ted Yale for Congress

From the inbox:

Yale to Hold Kickoff Event for PA-10th Campaign

Pike County resident Ted Yale will be holding a meet and greet session with voters next week to formally kick off his campaign for U.S. Congress in the 10th district. He will first need to win the Republican primary in May before facing incumbent Democrat Chris Carney in the November election.

While he announced his candidacy in an early December letter to political leaders and activists in the area, this will be the first public event of the campaign. The meeting will be held at the Tom Quick Inn in Milford PA (411 Broad Street) on Wednesday the 27th at 5:00 PM. All are welcome to attend.

Yale is running as a fiscal conservative on a platform of limited federal interference and increased autonomy for state and local governments. He has attacked Carney's support of the congressional stimulus bill and the recent healthcare reform, two topics that could be a major liability for Democrats nationwide in November.

Despite the Republican edge in the district, which went to McCain in 2008, Carney is seen by many as a formidable contender in November's election because of his reputation as a moderate. Yale, however, disagrees: "Carney keeps trying to tell us that he is a 'blue dog' conservative Democrat. The fact is, he votes with Pelosi over 90% of the time, including stimulus and healthcare Carney is as liberal as anyone else in his party: there is simply no such thing as a tax-and spend conservative. Period."

He is also pushing voter contact as a key part of his bid. His Facebook page and campaign literature urge voters to invite him to their political clubs, churches, and community events. "I know I am the underdog here," Yale said, "the Democratic establishment will be throwing millions of dollars at this campaign. The only way to win will be to connect with voters one-on-one and at a community level."

Asked about his prospects, Yale was optimistic. "Pennsylvania voters aren't stupid. Carney got lucky in the past two elections, but when people see an opportunity to send a genuine conservative who really cares about them and their families to represent them in Washington, they'll take it. I know I would."

Friday, January 22, 2010

You Tube weekend

So much for a break.

Radio Daze

I don't listen to a lot of local talk radio anymore and missed much of the the latest manufactured controversy about Luzerne County Bureau of Elections Director Leonard Piazza posting a flippant remark on his Facebook page during office hours that may have taken a minute or two out his day. The afternoon shock jock of WILK decided to make this into a big deal after convicting Judge Chet Muroski of DUI a few weeks ago despite a lack of evidence. Sometimes he does a good job of exposing problems in the Luzerne County Government like Clerk of Courts Bob Reilly selling used cars when he should be in the office but jumping down Piazza's throat was stupid and unfair.
The Lu Lac Political Letter agrees that this is making a mountain out of a molehill and defame the character and work ethic of a good man.
I have found Leonard Piazza to be one of the most responsive people in our county government. Whenever I have asked him a question he has always got back to me in a few hours. He has been a good leader and manager and the best measurement of that is he has hired very good people to do the job. They keep their cool even when some candidate wanders into the office at 5 minutes to 5PM demanding all sorts of documents and keep them there for hours after closing time. Many times I have emailed or called him after business hours and he has always answered.
So I put this down to his usual bufoonery like backing Hillary for President then switching to McCain because Sarah Palin was on the ticket.

The President backs Kanjo

Or maybe he can be accused of plagiarism. President Obama backs Kanjo's proposal to break up banks that are 'too big to fail.'

The President said:

So if these folks want a fight, it's a fight I'm ready to have. And my resolve is only strengthened when I see a return to old practices at some of the very firms fighting reform; and when I see soaring profits and obscene bonuses at some of the very firms claiming that they can't lend more to small business, they can't keep credit card rates low, they can't pay a fee to refund taxpayers for the bailout without passing on the cost to shareholders or customers -- that's the claims they're making. It's exactly this kind of irresponsibility that makes clear reform is necessary.

Kanjorski's statement:

I applaud President Obama for joining me in working to end the era of reckless financial institutions that have become so large and interconnected that they could be deemed ‘too big to fail’,” said Chairman Kanjorski. “A year and a half ago, Congress took drastic, but necessary action, to prevent an economic disaster that would have severely affected every American and set back our financial system by decades. But, many of the financial companies do not seem to have learned their lessons from that harrowing experience. In November, I took the first action in Congress to prevent companies from becoming too interconnected and risky by introducing an amendment, which was included in the House-passed Wall Street reform bill, to prevent companies from becoming ‘too big to fail.’ Now that the President has put forward a similar proposal, I hope that we can work to enact Wall Street reform that will better protect every American and ensure that no single company can pose a risk to the entire economy. We owe it to the American people to make these ideas a reality.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dave Madeira for Congress

My friend and political sparing partner Dr. David Madeira is running for the Republican nomination in the 10th Congressional District to take on incumbent Democrat Chris Carney.

Madeira came in a surprising 2nd to Lisa Baker in the 2006 Republican primary for the 20th State Senate seat. My favorite memory of that race was the argument between Dave and Russ Bigus about who had shot the most animals in their lifetimes. He was looking at taking on Carney in 2008 but decided to back Chris Hackett's bid and took a top job in his campaign.
Madeira is a graduate of Bob Jones University and the New York Chiropractic College and practiced for 20 years even serving as President of the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association, but gave up being a back cracker for a business and political consulting gig.
After helping Hackett's campaign go down in flames he started a political blog and tells me that I was the inspiration (blame) for it because I had the audacity to opine that Chris Carney has been a good Congressman.
I talked with him on Monday and he accused Carney of deception and opposes the stimulus bill that kept us out of another depression. He opposes Health Care Reform calling it socialized medicine and has pledged to repeal it if he is elected. On his blog, Could we please have our country back now? , he is crowing about the election result from Massachusetts tonight. And he doesn't like earmarks. Good luck explaining that to every local government in the 10th district that needs a piece of pork to buy a new fire truck or put in new sewers because they are tapped out on the property tax.
Dave hasn't done the FEC paperwork yet so we don't have an official website but you can read his thoughts on his Facebook page and blog. Some other media coverage:

Lehman Twp. consultant is second GOP contender against Carney

Madeira promises an energetic challenge to Carney

Malcolm Derk is the only official candidate so far but Tom Marino is expected to get into the race and Political Pike points out that Ted Yale has announced on his Facebook page that he is running for the Republican nomination.

Madeira has promised me an interview in a few weeks. Send me your questions.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

PA State legislature

The Times-Leader today has another nifty graphic by Gary Visgaitis about the reelection intentions of our Luzerne County state legislators. State Senator Lisa Baker (R) is being coy but the rest of them all said they are running for another term. There has been some rumblings from various challengers such as Tarah Toohil saying she will take on Todd Eachus (D-116) in the Democratic primary but no Republicans have come forward yet in this or any other races. Eachus' problems in the Bonusgate scandal has been well documented by McGruff and others.

I think this is a test for Luzerne County GOP Chairman Terry Casey and Executive Director Renita Fennick to find viable candidates to run against Ray Musto(PA-14), Todd Eachus, Phyllis Mundy (120) , Eddie Pashinski (121) , Mike Carroll (118) , John Yudichak (119) and Jim Wansacz (114). If any serious candidates can be found, unlike the usual cranks, the back mountain big money boys should drop a few bucks to help them.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Barletta agrees to debate Paige

We interrupt our hiatus from politics to bring you this breaking news.

From Chris Paige for Congress Official Blog:

Meeting Barletta

On Thursday, I met Mayor Barletta for the first time. He's quite charming, and he's a gifted speaker. Most importantly, Mayor Barletta agreed to debate me at the University of Scranton in early February, so I hope and expect he'll keep his word! I'll keep you posted, but don't be surprised if he - or his advisers - back out.

This should be fun if it happens. I'm working to find out the details of the format and venue, etc. If the sponsors of the event will allow it I volunteer to be on the panel.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Call me

No, not the Blondie song although Debbie Harry can ring my bell any time she wants. I have said for a long time that I won't get a cell phone until someone staples one to my head. What the hell can be so important that you need to have one of these things glued to you ear all the time? I'm already hooked on the internet so I don't need to become the slave of another electronic device.

But if I was to get a cell phone this one is right up my alley.

Still dealing with some things more important than politics so I will go back to my castle to continue lessons on How Not To Be Seen .

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Need a break

Be back soon.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The judges

We have 2 new members of the Court of Common Pleas in Luzerne County. Bill Amesbury won both party nominations in May and Tina Gartley came in second on the Democratic side virtually ensuring their election in the fall. Yet another reason to get rid of cross filing in judicial and school board races in the primary when the fewest people vote. That is not a shot at Gartley or Amesbury as I think they are good people. It is a shot at the Wilkes-Barre Area School Directors who recently selected an accused criminal as Board President but that is another subject.

I will give props to our esteemed jurists for selecting the only Republican on the bench, Tom Burke, as the new President Judge. Burke just won his retention vote despite my urging of a no vote on him and PPO-2 on principle. My lawyer friends tell me he is one of the best people on the bench and will hopefully continue the efforts of Chet Muroski to clean up the mess. I still find it hard to believe that these guys didn't know what was going on in Ciavarella's courtroom. Muroski says he went to FBI about the shenanigans going on in the courthouse but Ann Lokuta was the only one to put it in writing. For her efforts Michael Conahan orchestrated a campaign to remove her from the bench that the Court of Judicial Discipline has upheld in an apparent case of CYA.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Seinfeld eggs

We had some leftover lobster from our New Year's celebration so I decided to make Seinfeld eggs. If you remember the episode it had to do with George Costanza getting revenge over the viewing of his 'shrinkage.' Since the Christmas display at the Luzerne County Courthouse will now include secular items I hope someone will erect a Festivus Pole next year that will undoubtedly result in another legal challenge.
I think that a celebration of Festivus would fit in well especially the The Airing of Grievances. Imagine a ceremony on the courthouse lawn were citizens could tell elected officials all of the instances where they disappointed him or her that year. The ceremony would end with The Feats of Strength were the Chairperson of the Commissioners as head of the county government (family) tests his or her strength against one participant of the head's choosing. Festivus is not considered over until the head of the family has been pinned to the ground. That would have been impossible when Greg Skrepnak was Chairman but I think that Michelle or Kathy could take on Maryanne.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Man of the Year

Martin Carlson

The former United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania was recently honored as "Government Lawyer of the Year" by the Pennsylvania Bar Association. His leadership of investigators from the FBI, IRS and other government agencies resulted in blowing the lid off of many of the criminal practices that have been normal in Luzerne County for as long as I can remember such as job selling and kickbacks for contracts. That is a set of crimes that would have not been possible to bring to light without the uncovering of the Juvie Brothers scheme of selling kids up the river. He is a career prosecutor who has been promoted to U.S. magistrate judge in Harrisburg, Pa and was succeeded in the office by Dennis Pfannenschmidt
who has continued the investigation. Mr Pfannenschmidt will be busy in 2010.

The Times-Leader named Luzerne County President Judge Chet Muroski Person of the Year. I can agree that Muroski has done many things to try to clean up this mess and restore trust in the courts but I can't get by the question of why it took so long. Talk of something being remiss in the courts has been out there for a long time. So far 3 judges have gone down with the rumor that a 4th will soon be charged. Let me ask you this, if you had a criminal or legal matter pending would you want your case heard in a Luzerne County Court?

The Newsmakers of the Year were the Juvie Brothers. Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella
got the attention of Michael Moore, the New York Times, the BBC, the CBS Evening News, ABC's 20/20 and even the TV drama "Law and Order."

Stephen Colbert complimented the Judges on their privatization efforts.

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This also made TPM's Golden Duke awards.

Best Scandal -- Local Venue

Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan not only took kick-backs for sending kids to a private juvenile prison facility where the state or local communities had to pay top dollar to house young delinquents but they sent kids to jail for the pettiest of offenses, good kids who had made minor mistakes, kids who had no business being sent to prison. A few examples make the point: as in their sentencing a 17-year-old for five months because he helped a friend shop lift a DVD from a Wal-Mart; sending a 15-year-old off for three months in their co-conspirators' juvenile camp for mocking a school official on a MySpace page; sentencing a 13-year-old weekend confinement for trespassing in a vacant building - the list is long but you get the gist. These two judges earned not less that $2.6 million running this kickback racket while ruining young lives for their own illicit gain before they were caught red-handed. For me, this local scandal pales all others nominees.