Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Meet the 119th State Rep District candidates
Democrat Gerald Mullery hopes to fill his shoes in the 119th and has a meeting planned today at Mil & Jims Parkway Inn, 24 W. Kirmar Ave., Nanticoke starting at 7PM.
I spotted a sign at the Plymouth Kielbasa Festival that said GOP nominee Rick Arnold will be at Happy Pizza in Plymouth, Friday, September 10th at 6PM. I'm not sure if this is a go because it's not listed on on his website or Facebook.
The Libertarian candidate Brian Bergman doesn't have any events listed this week on his website or Facebook page but will be at the NEPA Libertarians Monthly Meeting Sunday, September 19th,
2pm at Grotto Pizza in Edwardsville.
Note to the candidates, send me a reminder of your upcoming event and I will plug it.
Update: The Rick Arnold camp confirms that he will be at Happy Pizza on September 10th and also has a shindig scheduled for Sunday, September 26, 2010 from 4-6 at the Alden Manor in Nanticoke.
Visit his website for the details.
To keep track of all upcoming local Republican candidate events visit the calendar page at the Luzerne County GOP website.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Kanjo on the air
I asked the Barletta camp for a response:
Two months from the election and Kanjorski is leading with a negative commercial? That shows how desperate he is.
If Kanjorski wants to debate taxes or unemployment, we'll be happy to – oh, that's right, he refuses to debate or hold town meetings with his constituents.
Kanjorski has voted for the biggest job-crushing and tax-hiking bills in history – Obamacare and Cap and Trade.
Kanjorski continues to offer nothing to the voters of this district. There’s no reason to re-elect him, either by his actions as a congressman or in his commercials, so he's trying to smear Lou Barletta.
Lou Barletta received the Governor's Award for Fiscal Responsibility and Best Management Practices and was selected as the Best Mayor in Pennsylvania by his peers in 2008. Lou was re-elected as mayor with 90 percent of the vote. Who is a better judge of Lou Barletta's job as mayor - the voters of Hazleton or a career Washington politician?
Shawn M. Kelly, Communications Coordinator
Lou Barletta for Congress
Saturday, August 28, 2010
No Frack cat
Friday, August 27, 2010
Kanjo has another big idea
TL: Kanjo promotes security school
CV: Kanjorski says training facility could bring 1,000 jobs to NEPA
The press releases
Congressman Paul Kanjorski: 8/26/10: Kanjorski Announces Potential Project to Build Federal Training Facility in NEPA That Would Bring 1,000 Jobs to Region Print
Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta: Lou Barletta vows to fight Kanjorski's dangerous plan to bring 500 explosions a year to region
The Lu Lac Political Letter: "POTENTIALLY" BIG
Sights on Pennsylvania: El gasto Porky Kanjorski de nuevo
Thursday, August 26, 2010
121st State Rep happenings
Incumbent Democrat Eddie Day Pashinski has been out front on the drilling issue lately supporting a moritorium and attending Gas Stock. O"Meara also talks sense on this issue.
Yesterday I received a newsletter from Pashinski telling me what a great guy he is. This was probably paid for with taxpayer funds because the website on it directs you to pahouse.com/pashinski and the email listed is email@example.com. It's chock full of reminders such as reminding me to get a colonoscopy, take a walk at lunch and encouraging seniors to apply for the rent rebate. It also covers his greatest hits, the scrap metal law and dental assistant bill.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Singing the Blues in Hindi
Highmark sending work to India, seeking buyouts
Top Pittsburgh health insurer Highmark Inc. has notified employees that it will be off-shoring some of its technology work to India, and is simultaneously asking for buyouts among its tech workers and analysts...We anticipate this new [India Delivery Center] contract will not only provide additional flexibility in adding or reassigning staff, but more importantly help keep our projects within budget," a Highmark official said, in an announcement on the company's intranet site...
The move rubs many the wrong way in that Highmark is paying overseas workers with premium money that largely comes from Pennsylvania companies and policyholders, and also from American taxpayers, since so much of Highmark's business is tied to Medicare, Medicaid and military benefits.
From former Blue Cross employee The Yonk:
Highmark and the Blues aren’t just any insurance company. They are home town products with member dues that come from employers, employees of those companies, senior citizens who buy Medicare Supplement plans as well as working people who buy individual plans. All of that money comes from Pennsylvania taxpayers.
Here’s a key paragraph in the story that sums it up:
As a homegrown nonprofit that operates at the pleasure of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and the state Insurance Department, Highmark and other Blues claim a charitable mission and, in return for that charitable work, receive a variety of tax breaks from the state and the city. People outside the company, as well as inside, question sending work -- and, in effect, jobs -- to India.
I asked 120th State Rep Phyllis Mundy, who is a big favotite in the Blue Cross board room, for her take:
Well, so much for the Blues' "Social Mission" unless they believe that social mission should extend to India.
Honestly, Gort, sometimes it overwhelms me. So many issues and problems. One step forward and two steps back.
I will check with the Insurance Commissioner and the House Insurance staff as to what, if anything, can be done.
Perhaps the only real solution is to make the Blues go for profit and take away their tax exemption. At least then the 2% premium tax could be put toward a
Sunday, August 22, 2010
By the time I got to Gas Stock another million gallons of water were gone
State Reps Phyllis Mundy and Eddie Day Pashinski worked the crowd along with 120th District Libertarian candidate Tim Mullen. I understand why none of the local Republican hopefuls showed up but the absence of other Democratic candidates and officeholders was disappointing. I did catch Jay Sweeney the Green Party PA-111th District candidate's speech.
Anyway, there were a few dozen vendors with continuous music on the band stand and a pavilion were people had the chance to sound off. There was several hundred people milling about when I got there and a few thousand wandered in and out throughout the day. Not a bad turn out for a one time event on the same day as the Tomato Festival.
Some Bloggers and others walked the 10 miles from Nesbitt Park starting at sunrise. I passed on that opportunity. Kudos to Don, Herb and Mark and those who went along for the walk. Dr. Scholl's can use you people in a commercial.
Gene Stilp was there wearing a straw hat and he bought along a few of his inflatable toys.
I ran into Michelle Boice who has been very active in opposing drilling anywhere near Harvey's Lake and Lou Jasikoff flying the Libertarian Party banner and many other old and new friends.
Both local newspapers sent reporters and photographers and the TV stations showed up as we were leaving.
Here are the links from the local media:
Reflections on Gas Stock
Anti-drilling event attracts interest outside NEPA
Singing the blues about shale at Gas Stock concert
There were many petitions to sign opposing various aspects of this slow motion rape of our environment but the cynic in me knows that the signatures of 10,000 citizens carries less weight than the one signature on a campaign contribution check.
Friday, August 20, 2010
...the DNC's first television ad directly related to the midterms.
"This fall, America faces a big choice: Do we continue to move forward like the Democrats are doing? Investing in education for every child, manufacturing right here at home, clean energy powering a new economy. Do we put Main Street ahead of Wall Street; do we hold big business accountable when they've gone to far? Or do we go back to the same Republican policies that got us into this mess?" the spot reads before fading to audio of Bush proclaiming "you can't get fooled again."
The event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at Nanticoke’s West Side Park in the 300 block of West Grand Street.
Republican nominee Arnold is opposed by Democrat Gerald Mullery (who has rarely been heard from since the primary) and Libertarian Brian Bergman.
On Saturday 117th state Rep Democratic challenger Richard Shermanski invites you to breakfast in Drums. He is taking on GOP incumbent Karen Boback.
The big event on Saturday is Gas Stock.
Festival- Rally– Concert
Sat. Aug. 21, 2010 from 10 AM to 6 PM
Luzerne County Fairgrounds
State Route 118 Lehman, PA
Sunday you can meet and greet 120th State House Republican hopeful West Pittston Mayor Bill Goldsworthy at Bo Brothers, Wyoming Avenue, Wyoming. Libertarian candidate Tim Mullen plans on knocking on more doors that day. They are taking on Democrat Phyllis Mundy.
Goldy and Phyllis have been debating debates on my last post.
I'm sure you will be able to find some of the politicians mentioned here and many others at the Pittston Tomato Festival.
Update:Attorney General Tom Corbett, Republican candidate for Pennsylvania Governor will participate in the Pittston Tomato Festival Parade Saturday morning and will make a stop at Luzerne County Republican Headquarters, 41 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, at 2 p.m.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Pashinski on gas drilling
Thank you for your message related to the proposed gas drilling in Plains Township. I too have grave concerns about the entire operation and I am engaged in conversations with a wide variety of people who are involved and active with this issue. I have gone on record to support a temporary moratorium on all gas drilling in Pennsylvania until we can provide the necessary safeguards and regulations for this industry. I believe we must proceed cautiously and adroitly to provide an atmosphere to create jobs and economic development, without sacrificing our natural resources, our pure water and our lifestyles. Over time I will be talking with several Plains Officials to better understand the situation and determine the appropriate action. I thank you once again for actively participating in the democratic process and I encourage you to continue to uphold your responsibility as an American citizen by exercising your right to speak.
Eddie Day Pashinski
121st Legislative District
I wonder what prompted this?
Tow-truck drivers looking to haul off cars illegally parked in private and public lots will face added scrutiny under an ordinance discussed Tuesday by city council, requiring companies to be licensed and conform prices with a city-mandated list.
"We're just trying to protect our residents from some possibly unscrupulous practices," said council Chairman Bill Barrett, who pushed for the law. "It's a business, and we're mainly focused on the non-consensual part."
If approved, towing companies would register with the Code Enforcement Office and pay $300 for a license, which would be renewed annually, according to a draft of the ordinance. There would be five classes of vehicles, ranging from less than 5,000 pounds up to 80,000 pounds, with maximum fees covered under the law.
It would also forbid the towing of a car unless the property owner signs a form authorizing the removal of that specific vehicle. If they violate the ordinance, a tow-truck operator risks a fine between $300 and $600 or the loss of their license.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
120th State Rep race update
Mundy proposes keeping gas wells away from floodplains
Previously she called for a moratorium on new wells and points to our neighbors in the state of New York for being leery of gas industry.
Mundy is the primary sponsor of House Bill 2609, which calls for a one-year moratorium on issuing new natural gas well permits in Pennsylvania. State Reps. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, and Karen Boback, R-Harveys Lake, have signed on as co-sponsors.
Both of her opponents, Bill Goldsworthy (GOP) and Tim Mullen (Libertarian), have given statements to this blog about drilling that I think give mixed messages. They don't want to stop it or tax it but declare their concern for the environment.
It would be great to hear all 3 candidates debate this plus other issues and Bill Goldworthy has proposed just that.
Goldy challenges Mundy to three debates
Mundy agreed to his debate challenge as she has always done in past elections. She wants one of them to be the traditional League of Women Voters forums. After that one is booked I like Joe 's idea of a kitchen table debate with local bloggers. I think we will be fair and balanced.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The Ground Zero Mosque
Another manufactured controversy from the people who claim to defend the Constitution but don't want it to apply to people they don't like. The cries of ignoring the will of the American people misses the point that the Bill of Rights is not subject to a vote.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
The whole idea of the 1st amendment is to protect unpopular minorities or ideas.
I was very proud of my President yesterday when he said something that is not popular but is right:
"Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country."
"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances...This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."
The people who are objecting to the Muslim Community Center in Manhattan say it's OK to build Mosques but not in this place. This Daily Show clip shows otherwise. Staten Island, Tennessee, Wisconsin and even California have people objecting to a Mosque being built in their neighborhoods. True Americans all.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Municipal Land-Use Hearing Update|
This press release from Lou Barletta greatly disappointed me. He has done his best to midi gate the "I hate Mexicans" charge because of the illegal immigration ordinance and I don't think Lou is a racist but he is a political opportunist.Lou Barletta strongly opposes Ground Zero mosque
I like the historical analogies about the Dome of the Rock and Cordoba. Maybe they should hit the books again and document how many churches Constantine built after military victories.
Barletta is jumping on the national GOP bandwagon on this issue that has nothing to do with Hazleton or the 11th Congressional District.
The initial reaction from the Kajorski camp has been weak, I hope they do better in the coming days.
Ed Mitchell said "we don't have stance on it" and suggested Barletta should focus on Hazleton's financial issues.
Stand with the President Paul.
Gas Stock Saturday
No Fracking - Drilling!!
Artists, musicians, speakers, & storytellers will gather Sat Aug 21 10 AM
at Luzerne County Fairgrounds
to entertain and inform residents of NEPA
about Marcellus Shale gas drilling and the risks posed.
Join us for fun and facts in a family-friendly environment.
Be part of NEPA's Community Event of the Year!
Concert - Rally - Festival at the Luzerne County Fairgrounds in Lehman, PA
Sat. Aug. 21 starting at 10 AM
I'm looking forward to seeing the Associates perform.
You can start the day by having a hearty breakfast with 117th Democratic State House candidate Richard Shermanski.
Kayak Dude will be walking from Nesbitt Park to the fairgrounds and is asking for company. I hope he wears proper blogger attire.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Happy Babe-Elvis Day
As we pass through another summer without enough holidays I want to remind everyone of my proposal to make August 16th a day of celebration.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I am disappointed that Mr. Carney would use his wife’s health condition to hide the fact that he refuses to address where he stands on abortion.
Carney: Foe lacking in human decency
He called out his Republican challenger in the 10th District, Tom Marino, for making statements last week that insinuated Carney used his wife’s breast cancer surgery as a reason to duck placing his name as a co-sponsor on a bill that would have prohibited taxpayer funds being used for abortions. Marino made the claims, Carney said, at a time he was restricted from commenting...“My priority in the time leading up to Jen’s surgery on July 30 was my family,” Carney said. “The way that Tom Marino has carried out this latest attack, repeatedly attacking on this issue when he knew the circumstances, demonstrates he is bereft of basic human decency. It is gutter politics of the worst kind and it has absolutely no place in our community.”
A few years ago Steve Spurier referred to our beloved football coach as "Saint Joe" in a derogatory way and he had to apologize.
Dissing Joe Pa will not win you any votes.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Back from the beach
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Off to the beach
If anything newsworthy happens let me know in the comments. While we are at the beach the only TV we watch is the weather channel and baseball. No news, no internet and no newspapers.
See you in a week.
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Skrep gets 2 years
Shock, tears and a vow to survive
Former Luzerne County Commissioner Greg Skrepenak showed up in court yesterday to receive his sentence for being a crook clutching a bible. The last few days his lawyer has thrown out all sorts of weak excuses why he shouldn't go to jail.
Go Easy On Me, Judge. I’m Really Likeable, And My Knees Hurt
Judge Richard Conaboy didn't buy any of it and gave him the longest sentence to date in Corruption Junction.
The reaction from his fellow Bond Brother Todd Vonderheid:
“I have no comment.”
The $70,000+ worth of bribes to Skrep must have played a part of the reckless spending and borrowing spree that Skrepenak and Vonderheid went on after they were elected after they helped shoot down the last Home Rule proposal. Trust us, they said.
That worked out well.
Friday, August 06, 2010
Commander Carney reports for duty
Washington, D.C.—Congressman Chris Carney (PA-10) reported today for active duty at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, where he will serve through Aug. 8. One of only four Members of the U.S. House of Representatives currently serving in uniform, Congressman Carney joined the Navy Reserve in 1995. He was promoted to the rank of Commander in 2008.
“Congressman Carney is proud to serve our country in uniform in the Navy Reserve,” said Josh Drobnyk, Congressman Carney’s communications director. “The congressman’s service requires that he report for multiple weeks of Reserve duty every year, a commitment he takes very seriously.”
A former intelligence analyst, Congressman Carney is the only Navy officer and only Member of Congress who serves as a Combat Mission Commander for Predator and Reaper Missions in Afghanistan. He will be involved with the Predator Missions in Afghanistan while on active duty. He was activated for Operations Southern Watch, Nobel Eagle, and Enduring Freedom.
While in uniform, Congressman Carney and his staff will not be able to comment on political matters. All of Congressman Carney's offices in Pennsylvania and Washington, DC will remain open to assist constituents.
Carney always lives up to his military obligations unlike some others.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Does Lou Barletta prefer Lipton or Tetley?
The group is urging local reporters in 30 districts to press House Republican candidates and officeholders to specify whether they will join Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Loco Gringo) Tea Party Caucus...Today's DNC push comes on the heels of the DNC's release of a document laying out what it says are the plans of the "Republican Tea Party," among them repealing the health care bill, privatizing Social Security, ending Medicare in its current form, extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and abolishing the Departments of Education and Energy. They call the 10-point platform the "Republican Tea Party Contract on America."
The Republicans being targeted include Lou Barletta.
Si el alcalde de Hazleton hace a Washington le sumamos al llamamiento Michelle Bachmann de una caza de brujas de los miembros anti-estadounidense del Congreso?
President Clinton coming to Scranton
President Clinton, who served from 1993 to 2001, was the first Democratic president to be awarded a second term in six decades. Under his leadership, the United States enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. His administration resulted in moving the nation from record deficits to record surpluses; the creation of over 22 million jobs; low levels of unemployment, poverty and crime; and the highest home ownership and college enrollment rates in history.
WHAT: Joe Sestak for Senate Rally
WHO: U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak with President Bill Clinton
WHEN: Tuesday, August 10 at 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Scranton High School Gym, 63 Munchak Way, Scranton, Pa. 18508
Those interested in attending must RSVP and should call the campaign’s Scranton office at (570) 983-2280.
BTW, can anyone recommend a good beach read? I'm looking for a funny novel.
GOP Family Picnic
Harteis Farm, Dallas Township
The outing is to be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7, at Harteis Farm in Dallas Township....This is a great chance to meet the candidates, catch up with friends and enjoy a summer day at a beautiful site. Gerry Harteis has again graciously offered his lovely horse farm for this annual event.
I attended last year and enjoyed it very much. I hope Moses is still around to greet the guests. It would be interesting to see if Prothonotary Carollee Medico-Oligarchy and Art Bobbouine make an appearance.
Update: Bob Sypniewski informed me today that Moses passed away. He also had some choice words about Carolee. I will be talking to him after I get back from the beach and will give you a full report.
On Sunday NEPA PrideFest 2010 will be held at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre
Sunday · 12:00pm - 6:00pm
Location F.M. Kirby Park
301 Northampton Street
NEPA PrideFest brings together the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community with supporters and allies from the Greater Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, and Poconos region of Pennsylvania.
I would like to see who attends both events.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Another bogus attack from Marino about abortion
“I am deeply troubled to hear that taxpayer dollars will be used to fund abortions in Pennsylvania. This is only further evidence that the Executive Order that was signed by President Obama, and supported by liberals in Congress like Chris Carney, is a total sham” said Tom Marino, the Republican candidate for Congress in the 10th District."
Q: Will all legal abortions be covered by federally subsidized health insurance policies in state "high-risk pools"?
A: No. The Department of Health and Human Services says the only abortions covered will be those in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is endangered.
That is consistent with the Hyde AmendmentTL: Carney said Marino released his comments out of desperation as Marino shows his true character.
"It’s not what the people of the 10th District deserve,” Carney said. “As every independent fact checker has confirmed, there is a strict prohibition on public funding for abortion. Tom Marino knows this and yet lies anyway. He should be ashamed of this kind of deceptive and misleading attack.”
Yesterday Marino sent out another press release on this issue.
Williamsport, PA – One week after it was revealed that federal dollars would be used to pay for abortions in Pennsylvania, Congressman Chris Carney has still refused to sign on as a cosponsor of legislation which would ban Congress from using taxpayer funds for abortion.
HR 5939, sponsored by Congressman Chris Smith (Republican – New Jersey), would codify the pro-life Hyde Amendment. As of this morning, the legislation was cosponsored by 18 Democrats, including 3 from Pennsylvania; Carney was not one of them.
I asked Carney's ace press flack Josh Drobnyk about it and he said he will sign on as a cosponsor when Congress reconvenes after the August recess.
TL: House Resolution 5939 was introduced last Thursday and listed a bipartisan lineup of cosponsors, including U.S. Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, D-Nanticoke, and two other Pennsylvania Democrats.
The reason Carney didn't sign on to it Thursday night when it was introduced was because he was on his way back to PA to be with his wife as she underwent surgery. I'm sure the Marino camp didn't know anything about Jennifer's illness so I'm not going to beat them up about the timing of their latest attack.
Since Marino is just about broke I can't blame him for trying to get all the free media he can on a wedge issue. But I have to ask when are these Republican candidates going to start talking about solutions to our problems instead of trying to reignite the culture wars of the last 40 years ?
Marino has help on the way to help him raise money.
House Minority Leader John Boehner will be in the area August 14th for a fundraiser for Marino according to pa2010.com. I don't have the details yet so help me out people. The last time he was in NEPA it was a private affair to support Chris Hackett.
Get well Jen
“I returned home to Pennsylvania before Congress recessed last week to be with my wife, Jennifer, who is being treated for breast cancer and was undergoing surgery on Friday. Consequently, I was not present for votes and other legislative business Thursday evening, July 29, and Friday, July 30. Jennifer wanted to keep the news of her illness as private as possible until after her surgery because of the stress involved. Jennifer is doing very well. Her cancer was caught early and at this point her prognosis is excellent. We truly appreciate her doctors and the highly professional and compassionate care they have so far provided. We cannot stress enough the importance of early detection, routine check-ups, and the power of prayer.”
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Petrilla backs Shermanski
The Shermanski for State House Campaign is excited to announce our latest endorsement – this time from a prominent figure in Luzerne County Politics. Chairwoman Maryanne Petrilla has expressed her confidence in Richard’s ability to lead in the local community and in Harrisburg. “As the chair of the Luzerne County Commissioners, Maryanne has a feel for the communities in the 117th district more than most, and that’s what makes me so excited to accept her endorsement,” Richard stated.
Maryanne Petrilla has been a positive force for Luzerne County and a leader in our area for
years. Prior to her service at the county level, she served as Butler Township Manager for over a decade. Richard is proud to have the support of a leader with so much public service and community involvement.
Official statement from Richard on the endorsement: “With this endorsement, we can continue to grow as a campaign. I look forward to working with Maryanne and other leaders from
throughout the 117th as we work to bring jobs back to Northeastern PA, improve our schools
throughout Pennsylvania, and protect our environment from dangerous drilling practices.”
Shermanski is running against incumbent State Rep Karen Boback.
Libertarians make the cut
14th District Senate candidate Betsy Summers needed 1063 and got 2279. Brian Bergman's goal in the 119th State House District was 389 signatures and he too filed almost twice the minimum with 625. Tim Mullen's number just blew me away. Mullen has been working hard going door to door on the west side needing 436 signatures and was able to convince 2279 of his neighbors to sign his petitions. Remember that the Democratic and Republican state house candidates only need 300 signatures to get on the primary ballot. Signatures don't necessarily translate into votes but the Lib's have to be happy with these results and the Republican candidates should be worried. I doubt they will mount a challenge to the petitions but anything is possible. The local GOP's best signature challenger in the past, Liz Sichler, has other worries.
Links to candidate websites.
Steve Urban (R)
John Yudichak (D)
Betsy Summers (L)
State Rep 120th
Phyllis Mundy (D) incumbent
Bill Goldsworthy (R)
Tim Mullen (L)
State Rep 119th
Rick Arnold (R)
Gerald Mullery (D)
Brian Bergman (L)