Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blogger/Candidate Meetup September 17th postgame

The picture above is from Another Monkey who raised the question on what to call this semi-annual event. I probably created some confusion by posting it as a Blogger/Candidate Meetup on the blog but created a Facebook event page titled Happy Hour-Fall Edition then sent out a promo email refering to it as the Mega-Meetup. Joe Valenti tagged it Blogfest which appeared on the sign outside Rooney's. Beer Summit was suggested by the Blogfather who was MIA and many people were asking about him.

We had another great turnout and expect the spring event to be the best one yet when all the local offices are on the primary ballot. National and state elections are not as nearly intense as the local ones and primaries have all the activists more fired up than the general election.

Gene Rooney and his staff did an outstanding job like they always do taking care of our need for beverages and really good food.

Me and Mrs. G got there early and the first one in the door was 117th State Rep Candidate Richard Shermanski and Bob Caruso. This was real treat for me because I haven't seen Bob since we both worked for different candidates in the 1976 Presidential primary then organized a Young Democrats chapter in Luzerne County with a lot of help from State Senator Marty Murray. We shared some great memories like the time Jimmy Carter came to town and we lost Kevin Blaum in Mountaintop and the future Mayor of Boston, Tommy Menino, didn't know what a CMP was.

Luzerne County Commissioner and PA Senate 14th District hopeful Steve Urban worked the crowd all night as did the Libertarian candidate Betsy Summers. Lackawanna PA 20th Senate District Republican nominee Frank Scavo was there with his lovely wife and he didn't get into a shouting match with Bart Simpson. Another Lackawanna county candidate was Republican Theresa Kane who is running against longtime State Rep Ed Staback in the 115th. She was accompanied by Scranton Tea Party activist Lauree Cummings.

My 3rd favorite Congressman Paul Kanjorski showed up with a posse that included Joe Terrana, his COS Karen Feather and Nicole Giambusso and stayed well into the night. For some reason they all wanted to know how I learned to speak Polish. Lou Barletta didn't make it but his press guy Shawn Kelly made the rounds. Él estaba muy emocionado cuando le dije que si el alcalde Lou gane las elecciones voy a empezar a referirse a él como el congresista Nelligan.

118th Republican candidate Terrance O'Conner walked in the door dressed up in his 18th century garb but I didn't get a picture before he changed. He said he lost his bullhorn

I asked State Senator Lisa Baker what she thought her margin of victory would be and we recounted the 2006 race when Dave Madeira and Russ Bigus got in to that argument over who had killed the most animals. She confided that she ran into a deer around that time that totaled her car and was going to put out a satirical press release saying she was the only candidate that got a deer that year but demurred.

Hoping to win the 119th Rick Arnold (R) and Gerald Mullery (D) mixed it up with the crowd. 121st Republican candidate James O'Meara is a great guy and I just recently learned that he married a girl that I had a crush on in high school. Small world.

From the courthouse Solicitor Vito DeLuca made it as did Controller Walter "the hump" Griffith. I think Mary Jo was blushing when the wags were busting on him.

All 3 120th State Rep candidates attended like they always do for my events, thank you. In this cycle I have had the most contact with them and I'm sort of like the Will Rogers of the local blogosphere since I have got to know and like all of them. Whoever wins the district will be well represented. West Pittston Mayor Bill Goldsworthy (R) tells me he is good shape and is keeping an eye for yard signs for Tim Mullen in Democratic areas. My 1st or 4th favorite State Represenative Phyllis Mundy (D) has an energetic young staff including Omeed Firouzi who is running the show and is still in high school! Omeed, when I was your age I could only dream of such things. After I got some experience I was instrumental in sinking more than one candidate's aspirations when they were dumb enough to make me the campaign manager or field director. The difference is you have a great candidate and I never did. Libertarian Tim Mullen continues to impress me. The number of signatures on his petitions and actualy being able to open an office is impressive for a 3rd party candidate. He brought some his supporters including the head honcho of the local Libertarians, Lou Jassikoff, who sends out a great email everyday.

Speaking of third parties the Greens didn't show up but Renee was flying the banner of the Pirate Party, arrgh.

Radio personality Dr. David Madeira brought his "oldest daughter" and other radio guys in attendance were Duke from Dallas and Bible Buck. The mad drummer and special Gort42 correspondent Austin Smith jones Ford deSoto was in the crowd and talked policy with Harry Haas. My pals David Baloga and Zen always light up a room. I finally got to meet Luzerne County elections honcho Lenny Piazza and thanked him for all the help he has given me over the years.

A couple of our local bloggers that concentrate on national issues should write up this event. But as I told Kanjo the beauty of blogging is that you don't have an editor or a deadline although Mrs. G and Renita are pretty good editors and I welcome all the help I can get.

Big Dan's site moves so fast I can't keep up. He looks taller on the internet. It was great to meet Mrs BD who does great work with the Fresh Air Fund . Chris NovoRockey used to post about local stuff but has gone full tilt to the dark side on national issues. Just remember that Colbert married his hand.

People kept asking me before and during the gathering what are the rules for the event.

There are 3 rules.

1. No Speeches

2. You must wear clothes even it is warm.

3. Agree to disagree but don't be a disagreeable.

One of my favorite moments from this night is when Chris Hackett and Dan Mueser shook hands and spent a few minutes chatting. I'm sure you remember that they had a knock down drag out primary in 2008. Dan gave me some credit for driving that race and he said he wanted to get together during it but his press guy kept jerking me around.
Vito said it best:

"You should do this more often! It was probably the most stress-free 'political' event I have ever been to. It was so refreshing to meet people from all parties and discuss issues at such a casual affair. In addition to typical politics, I had the opportunity to engage in conversations about gas drilling, home rule, college football, and how my three boys believe it is their Constitutional right to maintain a messy bedroom. Great job Gort!

Maybe we should call this event The Rodney King Get Together.

The bloggers report

Another Monkey




Pittston Politics

Loreley's Musings

More photos at this link.


Joe said...

Sounds like a great event, but i must admit Blogfest brings to mind modern day hippies camping with their Ipads!

D.B. Echo said...

I have to say, these get-togethers are the lowest-stress, most comfortable gatherings I've ever seen in bars. I think the only people who felt out of sorts were a handful of bar regulars who were wondering what the hell was going on!

WVW: trimpf

Th BlogFst ws a trimpf.

Anonymous said...

Bob Carusso wow run as far away from that nut as you can. He looks so much like Beetlejuice its scary. I know this is a pro Ed Mitchell and Kanjo blog so read this. Thats the problem with Kanjo his possee is made up of people that voters can't stand Terrana the pirranha and Paul Minime.

TiredofLuzPolitics said...

Saw some photos from one of the other blogs no wonder why you guys have blogs you have faces for radio and not tv. Im voting for Paul Kanjorski because Joe Terranna is backing him. Please run for Judge Joe we can use an honest man like you on the Luz County bench.

Gort said...


I've alway said I have a face made for radio. Thanks for the compliment.

Joe T is a great guy, I voted for him last time and will again if he decides to run.

Wade said...

Someone must have said Beetlejuice 3 times and Bob Carusso showed up

BrettFavre said...

That chick Michelle is really hot in that photo with crazy Joe Valenti on his blog. Thats the only reason to only look at his blog with his bad writing and horrible ads on there.