Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sarah Palin talks dirty to me

This is the first time I have ever heard Sarah Palin use a swear word.

"corrupt bastards."

Predictions: Home Rule Yes and some state legislature races

I have been doing an informal survey of office holders, fellow bloggers and other political watchers over the last few days and we pretty much agree on the following races.

The Luzerne County Home Rule Charter will win big. Unlike 2003 there has not been a very organized effort against it and people are so fed up with what has been going on for years that just has recently been exposed that they are willing to take a chance on another form of government. The charter is not perfect but the biggest objections about an elected county executive and council elections by district can be addressed in 5 years by amendment instead of going through the whole process of electing another commission and writing another charter.

The PA 14th Senate race will be won by John Yudichack(D). The district has an overwhelming Democratic registration and Yuddy has been a good state rep. I like Steve Urban (R) and think he has been a good county commissioner. The Libertarian candidate Betsy Summers will eat into his vote but even if she wasn't in this Yudichack would still win big.

In the 118th State Rep District incumbent Mike Carroll (D) will be returned for another term.
Carroll has pleasantly surprised me with his desire to overhaul the campaign finance laws (there aren't many) of Pennsylvania and reform the redistricting process. His opponent Terrance O'Conner likes to dress up in 18th century garb and stand in the bed of his pick up truck yelling into a bullhorn. Today is Halloween so O'Conner should fit right in. One of his campaign planks is repeal ling the sales tax on ammunition. It's hard to win an election when you make yourself into a cartoon character and a joke.

Karen Boback (R) will win big in the overwhelmingly Republican 117th District. I have to congratulate Richard Shermanski (D) for running a energetic campaign.

James O'Meara (R) is my favorite underdog in this cycle. He has stayed positive in his uphill challenge to unseat Eddie Day Pashinski (D). He came to every blogger event and he married a great girl. I have never cast a straight ballot so this is one Republican I will be voting for. Pashinski wins big.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Attack ads and polling

Negative advertising is nothing new as this clever video shows.

A tip of the tricorner to my FB friend and fellow Phils fan Karl for pointing this out.

I recently asked a longtime politico to put up a few positive spots reminding people why they should vote for his client and not just against the other guy. He said our "polls show that seniority and past accomplishments don't move the numbers this year. " Unfortunately that is probably true of any year. The truth is the negative ads work as my friend on the other side Dana recently lamented.

The campaign pollsters drive races these days and while you have to take any polling numbers released by a campaign with a grain of salt these polls are considerably more expensive and the methodology is more rigorous. If they tell their clients just what they want to hear and turn out to be terribly wrong future campaigns won't hire them. That is why I give more credence to polls conducted by the Dem outfit Momentun Analysis and GOP fav The Tarrance Group.

I don't really trust the public polls this cycle as polling is getting harder and more expensive to do as this story in my favorite magazine The Economist documents.

It is getting ever harder to work out what the American public thinks

The immediate problem is the rapid growth in the number of people who have only a mobile phone, and are thus excluded from surveys conducted by landline. About a quarter of Americans are now “cellphone-onlys” (CPOs) in the industry jargon, and this poses both practical and statistical difficulties... They often retain their telephone numbers, including the area code, when they move from state to state, so it is hard to know where they are. And it costs more to call a mobile phone in the first place.

Sure there creditable public polls such as Gallop and the Q Poll but much of the the rest of it is dime-store junk as Charlie Cook said.

Speaking of junk the Times Leader published a poll on Wednesday that it paid a company in Maine to conduct that came up with the opposite results of just about every other pollster. According to this rookie political polling operation Kanjorski is up 47-39% but just 2 weeks ago Barletta was leading by 2 points. I sure hope that they are right but I seriously doubt that there has been a 10 point swing in this race in just 2 weeks. In the 10th CD they have Marino up by the same margin as last time with a big undecided. Every other public and private poll that I have seen has Carney leading.

One candidate is not running negative ads and he just may win.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Kanjorski-Barletta debate post game

Again I wanted to post the video from WVIA but I can't despite the embed link on the website.

Congressman Paul Kanjorski defended his record and attacked Mayor Lou Barletta's management of the city of Hazleton.

They started off by sparring over the amphitheater to be built on a sludge filled coal strip that Kanjo said was being investigated by the FBI. Mayor Lou denied anything illegal was going on.

Barletta denied that global warming is man made and Kanjo said he put his faith in science. Barletta talked about a solar park that Kanjo said was a pipe dream. Mayor Lou hit that one out of the park recalling Kanjorski's ideas for an inflatable dam, people movers and monorails that never happened.


Kanjo said that the Mayor doesn't understand the law or the Constitution. He said that Barletta knew better and said some people might think that he proposed his famous ordinance for political purposes, "Now, I wouldn't be that crass to say that."

El alcalde Barletta luego relató la historia familiar de violencia en Hazleton causados por inmigrantes ilegales y cómo se fue a Washington para pedir ayuda sólo para ser arrancado por la Administración Bush.

Then they got into amnesty. Kanjo said he always voted against amnesty and it was a 'Damnable lie' that he voted for it.

More skirmishing about taxes. Kanjo said Barletta raised Hazleton property taxes by 70% and earned income taxes by 20%. Mayor Lou countered that Kanjo voted to raise taxes 150 times and Kanjo parried by explaining that in 20+ years he voted to raise some taxes and cut others. It's easy to cherry pick voting records.

Kanjo defended the Health Care reform bill rebutting every bogus argument against it.

Then Barletta said something really stupid. He said that this will end up putting health care insurers out of business because it will lead to a single payer system. Nothing in HCR will put the insurance companies out of business.

The post game press releases are always fun.

From the Kanjo camp:

Barletta Makes False Claims in Debate

WILKES-BARRE -- Mayor Lou Barletta made a number of false claims about Congressman Paul Kanjorski's record during the WVIA debate on Oct. 28, 2010. Read the facts below:

1. Barletta Claim: Paul Kanjorski voted for an $800 billion economic stimulus bill that resulted in the loss of 2.7 million jobs.

THE TRUTH. Lou Barletta wants it both ways. With one hand, he waves his finger to complain about the Recovery Act, but with his other hand Mayor Barletta accepts more than $50 million in stimulus assistance for Hazleton.

§ Lou Barletta criticized the Recovery Act, but had no problem accepting federal funding from the law. Stimulus funding is being used to support the Hazleton City Authority’s water-related projects ($15.3 million), the Greater Hazleton Joint Sewer Authority’s upgrades ($33.6 million), and the purchase of equipment for and the construction of the Hazleton Intermodal Facility ($1.5 million), among other things.

§ Money from the stimulus has also allowed the Hazleton Housing Authority to modernize residential units ($524,000) and increased the City of Hazleton’s Community Development Block Grant to improve local resources and create economic opportunities ($255,000).

§ Lou Barletta criticizes the stimulus, but under his watch, the City of Hazleton has the highest unemployment rate in the state. Once again, Lou Barletta is trying to blame others and divert attention from his failed job as mayor.

2. Barletta Claim: The Hazleton mine reclamation project is safe for the people of Hazleton.

THE TRUTH. Federal officials have raised concerns about the mine-fill material and the public is concerned about their safety.

§ Human exposure to the experimental materials being used to fill Hazleton’s mine land is a serious concern to the federal Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

§ In 2008, Barletta sold mine land to developers for $3 million when it was appraised for $8 million, resulting in a $5 million loss for the city of Hazleton (, 4/20/2010)

§ The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection attended a public meeting in Hazleton in August where citizens expressed concern for environmental and health risks of the mine reclamation project. (Standard Speaker, 9/1/2010).

§ The developers of Hazleton’s mine reclamation project had their offices raided by the FBI earlier this year.

§ The developers of the mine reclamation project donated $10,000 to Barletta’s 2007 re-election campaign for Mayor. (, 4/20/2010)

3. Barletta Claim: Paul Kanjorski voted for amnesty in the 1986 immigration bill.

THE TRUTH. Paul Kanjorski voted to oppose amnesty in the 1986 immigration bill.

§ During consideration of the 1986 immigration reform law, Paul Kanjorski voted to block amnesty for illegal immigrants (Roll Call #455).

§ Paul Kanjorski also voted for the 1986 comprehensive immigration reform law in order to create a new system of penalties for employers who knowingly hire or continue to employ illegal immigrants.

4. Barletta Claim: Paul Kanjorski voted for amnesty for illegal immigrants to allow them to stay in the United States.

THE TRUTH. Paul Kanjorski has consistently voted against amnesty for illegal immigrants.

§ Paul Kanjorski has been voting against amnesty for illegal immigrants for 26 years, while Lou Barletta just started to address the issue in 2006.

§ During consideration of the 1986 immigration reform law, Paul Kanjorski voted to block amnesty for illegal immigrants (Roll Call #455).

§ Paul Kanjorski has also strongly advocated for an enforcement-only approach, and helped introduce the SAVE Act which aims to remove the job magnet that draws illegal immigrants to the U.S. and to improve border and interior enforcement of our immigration laws.

§ An October 6, 2008 article from the Scranton Times-Tribune states “Both [Kanjorski and Barletta] oppose amnesty and pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants.”

5. Barletta Claim: Seniors did not get cost of living increases this year, but Members of Congress gave themselves pay raises.

THE TRUTH. Paul Kanjorski stands up for seniors and is working to ensure that they receive the payments that they deserve. He will soon vote for a $250 payment for seniors.

§ Paul Kanjorski has fought for years to pass legislation that would ensure that seniors get the cost of living increases they deserve. He helped introduce legislation that would create a seniors COLA to ensure that the cost of living adjustment for Social Security recipients more accurately reflects the costs that many seniors incur moving forward. (H.R. 2365, 111th Congress).

§ Congressman Kanjorski announced his support for a $250 one-time payment to compensate for the lack of Social Security cost of living increases this year, which the House will soon vote on.
§ The cost of living adjustment is based on inflation and determined by the Social Security Administration. This unprecedented situation is a result of economic conditions, not the result of Congressional action or inaction.

§ Congress has denied itself an automatic cost-of-living adjustment 8 times since 1994. Paul Kanjorski voted against Congressional pay raises for 2010 and 2011.

6. Barletta Claim: The health care reform law will cut $500 billion from Medicare.

THE TRUTH. According to AARP, nothing in the health care reform law will cut benefits for seniors. Lou Barletta is only continuing his desperate attempt to spread fear and misinformation to seniors.

§ The health care reform law works to reform Medicare Advantage by reducing overpayments to insurance companies whose bottom lines have greatly benefited from the program.

§ The law works to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse from Medicare Advantage, and then inject that $500 billion in savings back into Medicare. As a result, it will extend the life of Medicare by almost 10 years.

§ The health care reform law will, in fact, provide cost savings for many seniors.

§ Paul Kanjorski will continue to protect Medicare for seniors.

7. Barletta Claim: The health care reform law will allow for the federal funding of abortion.

THE TRUTH. No federal funding will be used to fund abortions in the health care law.

§ Paul Kanjorski is pro-life and supports the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding of abortion, and remains the law of the land. He also supported the Stupak amendment which ensured that no federal funding would be used for abortions in the health care legislation.

§ The President issued an executive order on March 24 which reaffirms that the health care reform law will not allow for the federal funding of abortion.

§ Paul Kanjorski worked to ensure that the high-risk insurance plan created for Pennsylvania residents under the new law will not allow for the federal funding of abortion. He specifically reached out to the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner to clarify this issue.

Barletta Claim: Kevin Cook, the CEO of Mercy hospital, said that the three hospitals are being sold in part because of the new health care reform law.

THE TRUTH. Kevin Cook recently told WNEP-TV, “I actually find it disappointing that a decision that we made that was in the best interest of the community has been politicized the way it has,” referring to the sale.

§ Unfortunately, Lou Barletta is purposely twisting the facts and knowingly taking Mr. Cook’s comments out of context, even after Mr. Cook clarified that the health care reform law is not the reason for the sale of the hospitals.

§ Paul Kanjorski has worked to secure $270 million total for the 11 local hospitals in Northeastern Pennsylvania over the last 6 and a half years for Medicare payments.

§ Paul Kanjorski helped obtain this funding because he understands the difficult financial situations that many area hospitals have faced and continue to face. He has worked to ensure that the hospitals receive the Medicare payments that they deserve.

§ Rather than helping to provide for his city, Lou Barletta raided his city’s pension fund, and a report published in July 2010 said that Hazleton’s pension fund was the most distressed pension fund in Luzerne County (Times Leader, 7/27/2010)


This one is my favorite because it cites an obscure local blogger.

From Lou Barletta:

During Thursday night’s debate, 26-year incumbent Congressman Paul Kanjorski said he voted against amnesty for illegal aliens, and said Lou Barletta’s statement that he (Kanjorski) supported amnesty was a “damnable lie.”

But the record proves Kanjorski absolutely voted for amnesty.

In 1986, Congress passed a major overhaul of immigration law, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. This law “granted amnesty to about three million illegal immigrants for the stated purpose of solving the immigration problem and securing our border. The enactment of the (IRCA) dramatically eroded border control not only by granting citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants but by encouraging millions more to enter into the United States illegally in the hope that they too would eventually receive legal status.” (“The New American” magazine, June 26, 2006).

The IRCA was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 15, 1986, by a vote of 238-173. Kanjorski voted for that amnesty bill, according to the same magazine article.

A search of the Congressional record shows Kanjorski voted for amnesty – twice. The votes were for the final House version of the IRCA (roll call vote #457, 10/9/86; source: 1986 Congressional Quarterly Almanac) and the final version of the IRCA after it was passed by the Senate (conference report roll call vote #469, 10/15/86; source: 1986 Congressional Quarterly Almanac).

Kanjorski is listed as voting for the IRCA amnesty bill in the book “Anatomy of a Public Policy: The Reform of Contemporary American Immigration Law,” which was written by Michael C. LeMay and published in September 1994. Kanjorski’s vote is listed in Appendix B: The Roll Call Votes Enacting IRCA. LeMay was professor and chairman of the Department of Political Science and director of the National Security Studies Program at California State University, San Bernardino.

A blogger who asked Kanjorski about his stance on illegal immigration in 2006 received a response that included this statement: “In 1986, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act with my support.” (, Aug. 3, 2006)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

10th CD debate recap

Tom Marino said Nancy Pelosi is a liberal and kept calling Chris Carney a liar although he couldn't say what he was lying about. Carney went after him about his letter of reference for Louis DeNaples when he was seeking a Casino license and when Borys asked him about it Marino simply refused to answer the question and changed the subject. Carney asked him to answer the question and Marino kept calling him a liar about his health care vote. He lied when he said Carney voted for TARP or just doesn't know his voting record. They both accused each other of running negative ads and Carney pointed out that Marino hasn't run one positive spot.

They were both disappointing with their responses about Marcellus Shale drilling. Carney asked Marino about his stance about the Frac Act but Marino didn't answer that either.

Carney said one the biggest obstacle to progress in the 10th CD is the political extremes and touted his ability to work across the aisle saying his Congressional staff is half Dems and half Reps. It's about working together.

Marino then riped into the stimulus and attacked Nancy Pelosi yet again. Carney asked him wanted what projects he wanted to take back. No response.

Marino said he wanted to eliminate the Department of Education (or maybe not) and Carney responded by criticizing No Child Left Behind because of it's emphasise on standardized tests the don't teach kids critical thinking.

Answering a question about the Susquehanna River Marino said we have the same amount of water that we have as we had a few billion years ago. I wonder how that will play with the fundy/creationist crowd.

Carney recounted how he got substandard military helmets previously made by prisoners are now made by companies in NEPA.

Marino went on another 91% voting with Pelosi, cut taxes, etc. rant that Carney rebutted by Carney saying that his opponent can only repeat talking points that he memorized from the internet and talks in platitudes.

Carney defended the health care bill after Marino said it was jammed down our throats by Pelosi and Reid. Carney said it was vote of conscience being a cancer survivor that realizes that everyone deserves the care he received and said he was lucky because he had insurance. Someone without insurance will eventually end up in the emergency room when it it's too late and will cost the rest of us much more than if it was treated from the beginning. The CBO estimates that the bill will save $1 trillion+ in the future.

Video at WVIA

Carney and Marino duke it out on WVIA

Carney focuses on DeNaples link

Carney, Marino argue their cases before voters

Campaign reactions.

Well, it looks like only one campaign is sending me press releases now. What's up Jason? I always published your stuff.

Marino dodges questions during debate

Pressed for answers from panel at WVIA debate, Marino goes silent, again

CLARKS SUMMIT -- Pressed by panelists about why he provided a casino reference for a felon when he was a U.S. attorney, Tom Marino continued to repeatedly ducked the question, denying the voters of the 10th District an answer about his years as a public official, first as district attorney and then as a U.S. attorney. Yet even as he remained silent on his controversial past, he claimed he was a “straight-shooter.”

“I’m a straight-shooter,” he told the public. “The truth is out there.”

Campaign spokesman Josh Drobnyk made the following statement: "Was he a straight-shooter when he said he had permission to give the reference for his felon friend, or when he said later that he never had permission to begin with? The fact is that Tom Marino is anything but a straight-shooter. He's willing to say anything to get elected."

Marino continued to falsely accuse Congressman Carney of voting to expand TARP. Congressman Carney voted against that measure. Marino also continued to changed his positions. Asked why he has advocated eliminating the Department of Education, Marino denied the charge.

“I said I would do away with education the way it exists now,” he said. Yet in May, he was quoted in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette as calling “for the elimination of the federal Department of Education."

"This debate continued to highlight the clear choice that voters face on Nov. 2. There is only one candidate in this race who has a grasp of the issues and vision for the future of the 10th District and that is Chris Carney."

Fact Check: Marino continues to lie about TARP expansion vote

Even after admitting "mistake," he repeatedly makes false claims at debate about Congressman Carney's votes

CLARKS SUMMIT -- Tom Marino's pattern of lying has not ended with his own career. He repeatedly lied at Wednesday's debate about Congressman Carney's voting record, even after publicly admitting that he had made a "mistake" in his claim that Congressman Carney voted for the Wall Street Bailout. In fact, Congressman Carney opposed the Wall Street Bailout every time the bill came to the floor -- against the wishes of Republican and Democratic Party leaders. Congressman Carney voted AGAINST the expansion of TARP, contrary to Marino's false claims.

"The information that I received said that he finally ended up supporting that. If he didn’t then that is my mistake," Marino told WKOK radio in Sunbury on Aug. 25.

Yet he continues to lie. He claimed in Wednesday's debate that Congressman Carney voted to expand TARP. Congressman Carney opposed the Wall Street bailout twice and voted against expanding TARP. He needs to get his facts correct once and for all.

"Tom Marino has demonstrated that he has no problem lying not only about his own career but about Congressman Carney's record as well," said Josh Drobnyk, campaign spokesman for Congressman Carney. "When will he learn to tell the truth?"


HR 3997
failed 205-228 on 9/29/2008
Roll #674 (
Congressman Carney voted against

HR 1424
passed 263-171 on 10/3/2008
Roll #681 (
Congressman Carney voted against

HJRes 3 (Resolution PREVENTING expansion of TARP)
passed 270-155
Roll #27 (
Congressman Carney voted in favor

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10th CD debate tonight

Incumbent Democratic Congressman Chris Carney takes on Republican challenger Tom Marino tonight at 7PM. You can watch it on WVIA.

Please give your reviews in the comments.

I don't believe this race is as close as the public polls are indicating. Carney has actually been running a positive spot this week.

Yuddy and Urban club each other in debate, Summers along for the ride

Senatorial smackdown

Urban, Yudichak fire off at one another in debate

Yudichak and Urban go after each other in 14th Senatorial debate

Watch it on WVIA

I wanted to embed it but kept getting an error

Ptolemy says Hi to Todd

Copernicus would understand.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Polls and predictions

I put up 3 polls on the sidebar tonight asking who you will think will win the races in the 10th and 11th Congressional Districts plus the Governor's race in Pennsylvania. I'm not asking who you are voting for but who you think will win. I'll add a few more polls on the competitive races over the next few days. My predictions will be posted next weekend but until then please feel free to give me your prognostications in the comments or even better send me a guest post. I expect my fellow bloggers will also break out their crystal balls.

Meet the candidate

Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett will hold a rally in Wilkes-Barre Tuesday as supporters unite behind his campaign for Governor.
WHAT: Rally for Tom Corbett for Governor
WHEN: October 26th, 2010
TIME: 10:00am
WHERE: Luzerne County Victory Office
41 South Main Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Demonstration on Public Square W-B Tues to inform Tom Corbett
WHO: Residents concerned about the effects of natural gas on the environment, health and community.

WHAT: Demonstration

WHERE: Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square

WHEN: Tuesday morning at 9:30 AM

WHY: To show visiting Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Corbett how concerned local residents are about natural gas drilling.

Inquirer Editorial: Onorato has the skills
SRS: Tom Corbett is owned by the natural gas industry. Who do you think he'll represent in Harrisburg if elected? ..."Now more than ever" applies once again. The future of our commonwealth is at stake, and for that very reason, on November 2nd, I'm voting for Dan Onorato for Governor.

And as a lifelong Republican American, I still have that right.

The Blogfather: I’ve compared the candidates, and I believe Dan Onorato to be the better of the two candidates. I like his track record, I like what he’s been saying, and I feel that his stated goals are more than reasonable, doable if you will. I also think he’d be more adept at creating jobs as well as creating incentives for employers to come here.

And I do not like the fact that Tom Corbett seems to be in the pocket of the energy companies lining up to drill every square foot of our area.

Congrats Tom Corbett: Republican PA Attorney General Tom Corbett achieved one of the rare feats in politics with his subpoena of the twitter account of the blog CasablancaPA. He united bloggers of all stripes in condemning the move. The reaction of Democratic bloggers was predictable but many PA Republican bloggers also thought that it was a boneheaded action. One thing about bloggers is that we close ranks when one of our own is unfairly attacked.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Big Dawg in Naticoke tomorrow

President Clinton to Participate in Rally for Kanjorski Tuesday

WILKES-BARRE -- The Kanjorski campaign announced today that President Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, will speak at a rally in Congressman Kanjorski's home town of Nanticoke on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 4:00 p.m. The rally will take place at the Greater Nanticoke Area High School.

"I am extremely honored to have President Clinton here to campaign for me again this year, and I look forward to bringing him to my home town," said Congressman Kanjorski. "Nanticoke is where I grew up, where I began my career in public service, and where I still live with my wife, Nancy. I look forward to having Northeastern Pennsylvanians from across the region join President Clinton and me in Nanticoke."

Under President Clinton's leadership, and with Congressman Kanjorski's strong support in Congress, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in United States history. These efforts resulted in unprecedented progress for America, including moving the nation from record deficits to record surpluses; the creation of over 22 million jobs - more than any other administration; low levels of unemployment, poverty and crime; and the highest home ownership and college enrollment rates in history.

During the Clinton Administration, Congressman Kanjorski was able to secure $250 million for the Wyoming Valley Levee Raising Project, which has saved Northeastern Pennsylvania from an estimated $1 billion in flood damages.

President Clinton visited Northeastern Pennsylvania in November 2008 to campaign for Congressman Kanjorski at Wilkes University. Congressman Kanjorski also campaigned in the area with President Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton, when she ran for president that year.

The public is invited to attend the rally in Nanticoke. More details are available below and at

· Address: Greater Nanticoke Area High School gymnasium

427 Kosciuszko Street

Nanticoke, PA 18634

· Doors open at 4:00 p.m., line to attend starts at 1:00 p.m.

· No tickets needed for the free event.

My Republicans friends are throwing a hissy fit over the venue.

Another Monkey adds:

In any event, this is to my knowledge the first time any President, current or former, has passed through Nanticoke's city limits.*

*It is possible that Richard Nixon threw up a bit while flying over Nanticoke after his 1972 post-Agnes visit to Wilkes-Barre.

Here is clip from President Clinton's last visit to Luzerne County.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kanjo responds to terrorists

In this image taken moments after the shooting, (from left foreground) House Pages Bill Goodwin, Paul Kanjorski, and Bill Emerson carry a stretcher bearing a wounded Member to a waiting ambulance. Photo from the Office of the Clerk.

I was recenetly talking with a DC type who reminded me of this incident.

On March 1st, 1954 the United States Capitol was under attack and five Members of Congress were shot....Future Representatives Bill Emerson of Missouri and Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania were among a group of Pages who helped to evacuate wounded Representative Alvin Bentley on a stretcher.

Currently representing Pennsylvania’s 11th District, Congressman Kanjorski (D) was 16 at the time of the shooting.

Home rule event tomoorow

My favorite radio talking head asked me to post this and I'm happy to oblige. Unlike some other people on WILK she is up front about her loyalties and biases, I can respect that. Plus she is a Red Sox fan, we'll get 'em next year.

If you are blogging, can you give a shout out to a:

Home Rule Forum
King's College
Monday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center
Third Floor Walsh Room

Sponsored by the King's College Pre-Law Society
Moderated by Dr. Jayne Klenner Moore, King's Professor of CIS
10 minute opening statement, then questions from the audience
Open to the public!

Featuring Jim Haggerty and Rick Morelli on behalf of Home Rule yes and Attorney Vito DeLuca on behalf of Home Rule no

Coordinated by Dr. David Sosar of the Political Science Dept.
Thank You,


If you are blogging?

The above pic is from the Arlen Specter airport rally in April with VP Joe Biden. (L to R) Attorney and past Judge candidate Joe Terrana, the lovely and talented WILK newstalk radio host Sue Henry and fellow blogger Steve Urbanski who writes SPPE who is talented but not lovely.

You will notice that they put them in a cage.

The 2010 World Series

I don't have a dog in this fight since the Phillies came up short and the team we love to root against (the Yankees) was eliminated. But I always put up a poll on the sidebar and I don't want to break a tradition.

Here is another view of the great American passtime.


By Mean Old Man

I’m fit to be tied over the fact that it is once again playoff/world series time in the prissy game of baseball!!! Ballplayers today are nothing but a bunch of glorified and overpaid panty wastes who couldn’t measure up to the players of my day---including my buddies and me who used to play after school or while playing hooky.

I remember one time when I was at the plate and my pal Gummo pitched a scorcher that came straight to my head and whacked me for a loop. I remember laying on the hard ground and the throbbing pain in my jaw and the taste of blood in my mouth. In fact, the blood was gushing out of it faster than Old Faithful. It was a nightmare and the pain was ripping me apart----IT WAS GREAT!!!

Because me and my pals knew the joy of the pain of good baseball; not like the sissy boys of today’s game.

And what about the fairy boot pitchers today. In my day we had guys like good ol’ Babe Ruth. The Bambino could go out all night and drink his tail off while playing winning hands at poker and get by on one hour of sleep yet still show up at the ballpark to pitch a great game, try that, Halladay!!!!

My old man used to take me to Yankee stadium (when it was a good year) and I got to see all of the greats play. Good ol’ Joltin Joe DiMaggio could hit with the best of them and dated great gals like Marilyn Monroe. I bet there isn’t a single panty waste in the whole National or American leagues who could even handle an hour with good ol’ Marilyn---now there was a dame!!! I remember once when Pops dragged me across the street after a game outside of the house that Ruth built over to the Stands bar. My old man was quite the consumer of alcohol, some in the neighborhood would go so far as to call him a drunk, but he was a real man as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, after drowning himself with about 8, 9 or 10 Ballentines, he dragged me out in the street for a whooping because I failed to catch a foul ball that some goofball Red Sock had hit toward us earlier. Just as he was about to give me the (deserved) beating of my life, out of the shadows comes the Babe. You know, they say that Ruth liked kids because he was an orphan or something like that, but it ain’t so; the Bambino saw my Pops getting ready to lasso me with his trusty belt and I was expecting to hear him protest at the horrible treatment this adult was about to give his son, boy, was I wrong!!!

“Give it to him good!” I heard Babe scream to my dad, “ He probably deserves it, anyway!” With that my pops cracked my back about four or five or six times and afterwards dragged me back to the bar with the Babe in tow.

To this very day, Babe Ruth is my favorite ball player because he knew that kids were to be seen and not heard and that most importantly a son should never disappoint his old man by missing an oncoming foul ball in a baseball stadium—glove or no glove.

The world series used to be an event, too!!! In my day you could catch the games in the afternoons, you didn’t have to stay up until 1, 2 or 3 in the morning to catch the bottom of the 9th. Try that today; because the entire game is all about money and not about the fans. Good ol’ Mickey Mantle used to sell used cars in the offseason. I’d like to see Derek Cheater do that. Hell, maybe I’m wrong, Cheater would actually do quite well as a used car salesman, he’s certainly given the fans a real snow job for the past few years!!! Damn!!!!!

And whatever happened to fighting in baseball???? IN my time there would be a dustup practically every game and sometimes more than one time. Players like the great Billy Martin wouldn’t take no gupp from nobody and they were glad to give a knuckle sandwich to some schmuck from Boston. Poor Billy got a raw deal, first from goofy Steinbrenner, who , like a woman, could never make up his mind and secondly from father time who ended his far too soon. I bet if Billy were here today, even as an old man, he could beat the crap out of any player in the majors. Hell, even I could do that, though!!!!

Baseball players today have it too easy and they don’t know anything about what the game is all about. I know some little leaguers who can out play these goofs---and that’s coming from someone who isn’t a fan of kids.

So, anyway, enjoy your dumb world series. Maybe the ghost of George Steinbrenner will come over and nag you like the little woman does. You prissy wimps probably would enjoy that. Go to Hell!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

No tax on Drillers

Rendell calls gas severance tax dead this year

An effort to enact a state severance tax on natural gas production during the past 18 months ran into a dead end Thursday amid a round of political recriminations. Gov. Ed Rendell pronounced the push to enact a severance tax on natural gas production dead this year - a tacit recognition that the legislative session is effectively over until January and his term in office ends that month too. Rendell said the unwillingness of Senate and House Republican leaders to negotiate in good faith on a compromise tax is responsible for the breakdown.

The argument that a tax on gas extraction will chase away the drillers is laughable as just about every other state has one. The natural gas market is a world wide market just like oil. The gas extracted in PA doesn't stay in PA but is put onto the world market so consumers in the Commonwealth are already paying a severance tax to other states. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center explains.

Across the country, 96% of natural gas is produced in states that have severance taxes. Pennsylvania, however, remains one of the only energy-producing states without one.

While some policymakers in Pennsylvania worry about the impact of a severance tax, studies in Wyoming, Utah and other states have shown that tax rates have little effect on natural gas production. Rather, drilling decisions are made based on the location of reserves and the expected price of natural gas.
This weekend, Pennsylvania will reach a new milestone - $100 million in revenue lost by the Legislature’s failure to approve a natural gas severance tax. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is tracking in real-time how much severance tax revenue has been lost since October 1, 2009 by not having a tax in place. View the Severance Tax Ticker here.

This is not surprising since we have the best legislature and candidates that money can buy.

The Money Game: Marcellus Shale Cash

It might seem odd that Kim Pegula, a self-described "homemaker" from Boca Raton, Florida, would donate $180,000 to help state Attorney General Tom Corbett become the next governor of Pennsylvania. ...To be sure, Ms. Pegula is no ordinary homemaker, but is responsible for an 8,000-square-foot, Tuscan-style estate in the exclusive St. Andrews Country Club that is currently on the market for $5.4 million... A study of reports filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State shows that in the 18-month period between January 1, 2009, and last June 30, drillers gave at least $751,762 to candidates-nearly triple their total of $276,802 for 2008.

One thing is very clear: the gas companies believe that their interests will best be served through the election of Republicans. Of the grand total of $1,028,564 contributed in 2008, 2009 and the first half of 2010, fully 82 per cent, or $843,884, went to Republican candidates.

Corbett accepted $311,803 in natural gas money
while his Democratic opponent in the Nov. 2 gubernatorial election, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, took $94,000. State Auditor General Jack Wagner, who lost to Onorato in the Democratic primary, received $26,250.
For the record, Corbett opposes taxing natural gas, saying it would hurt a fledgling industry.

If this wasn't bad enough SRS points out that they not only don't want to tax this activity but want taxpayers to subsidize it.

Bill proposes State funding for marcellus infrastructure

Our environment is being raped in slow motion and the perps want us to pay for the pleasure. The water in Dimock has been poisoned by the gas drilling but Cabot Oil won't accept responsibility for its actions. Instead of making it right for the families affected Cabot pours money into the coffers of friendly politicians that will help them to avoid paying for the damage they have done and will do in the future. Yes, $12 million to build a water pipeline to service 16 families is madness. Expect more madness in the near future. The question is who will pay for the madness?

117th Democratic State Rep candidate Richard Shermanski sent this statement:

Shermanski Declares Death of Severance Tax Bill "Offensive"

The failure of the Pennsylvania legislature to enact a severance tax in the state was called "irresponsible" by Governor Rendell. Richard Shermanski, candidate for the 117th district, would also call it offensive. Given Pennsylvania's budget struggles, leaving a $70 million hole in the revenue plans is bad - but the issue of safety is another matter entirely.

"I'm committed to making sure that gas extraction is done safely. How can we make sure it's safe? We must have monetary reserves on hand to make sure that we can quickly respond to a disaster on the scale of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill we saw just months ago. A tax will put in a position to do just that," Richard said earlier today.

Richard said that House Republican leadership and their loyal foot soldier, Representative Karen Boback, had been more concerned about making sure the corporate interests were assured of higher profits
than safety of Northeastern Pennsylvanians.

"Pennsylvania will be the only mineral rich state in the country without a severance tax. The argument that a tax here would force companies elsewhere is absurd."

As we progress into the next legislative session, it's imperative that we tackle this issue. I want to pass this tax so that our commonwealth can improve financially - and, by extension, the lives of the citizens in Northeastern Pennsylvania will improve financially. Richard also said, "That House Republicans would look out for these out-of-district corporations over the potential safety of the families in the 117th and elsewhere is simply offensive."

Home stretch for Home Rule

Read the Luzerne County Home Rule Charter at this link.

In our last poll I asked you if the home rule charter would be approved and it is a dead heat. Both sides are holding many events to persuade voters. The Yonk moderated an informational meeting with members of the study commission and WVIA had supporters James Haggerty and Rick Morelli and charter critics county Chief Solicitor Vito DeLuca and county Controller Walter Griffith debate the merits yesterday.

Even more events are scheduled. The details are on the pro and con websites.

Friends of Home Rule

Charter No

Most ballot questions (bond issues for fire companies, etc.) pass easily for some reason which is why I usually vote no but this one is different. Luzerne County has a habit of voting down progress such as the last home rule charter that Skrep and Vondy said was unnecessary because we could trust them. Before that a group labeled itself Taxes No defeated a bond issue that would have given us a bigger Arena.

Former State Representative Kevin Blaum was the driving force in building the arena and favors the home rule charter.

In 16 days you get to decide the future of Luzerne County government. Will voters choose to remain where they are – stuck in a ditch and mired in muck – or will they break free from the past, turn out in large numbers, vote YES enthusiastically and usher in a new era of professional stewardship that your children and grandchildren so richly deserve? It is up to you.

One thing is certain; those in control of Luzerne County government and the power, benefits and contracts it bestows do not want the system changed. They and their political supporters will be out in force come Election Day. No amount of wind or rain will stop them. They intend to defeat your new constitution and its professional council-manager form of government used so widely throughout the United States. If they get their way, this wonderful regional opportunity will be lost and tragic fiction will be reality.

My inbox has been flooded with anti-home rule opinions but not one pro missive. Here is an anti view and I welcome guest posts from those of you who favor the charter.


While the opportunity continues to be available, I would like to offer another "guest post".

I have written letters to the editor numerous times and the bell that I'm trying to ring right now is the Home Rule warning bell.

Aside from a finance career in private industry, I worked in government for over 20 years including federal, county and local government. This appointed manger situation is the most dangerous threat to the taxpayers that has ever faced us.

The appointed manager will be the now often quoted "mini king". The manager will be appointed, not voted on and he will have powers and authority that no government official ever had or should have. He can hire and fire with no oversight. He can move money from one department to another without oversight. He can make contracts up to $25,000 without oversight. He can do these things behind closed doors and without the requirement of doing so at a public meeting. There are other powers he will have but I'll just address these few.

Appointed, not elected. This means that the voters and taxpayers of Luzerne County will be controlled by a public official that answers only to himself and the Council majority who appointed him. Kinda reminds me of a Superintendent of Schools but without public oversight and much more authority.

Let's take a closer look at these powers:

Authority to hire and fire. Having the absolute authority to hire and fire, what is to stop this manager from selling jobs such as happened in the school districts? What's to stop him from hiring friends and family, not just his own but those of the Council majority? What's to stop him from firing people who are a political pain to the Council Majority? This authority will allow majority Council members to get family members hired and then have the luxury of standing up and saying, "I didn't hire my son (or daughter), I don't have a vote. That Council member is correct, he does not have a vote on the hiring of relatives but he absolutely does have influence over the manager his Council majority hires. The appointed majority will always be in a position of intimidation by the Council majority and he will dance to their tune to keep his high paying job.

Authority to move money within departments. This would be like the current commissioners taking money out of the Road and Bridge department budget and moving it to the Clerk of Courts department. How does the Road and Bridge department operate effectively? This authority alone is enough to destroy county government.

Authority to make No Bid contracts up to $25,000. Isn't that a sweet deal? One man can spend up to $25,000 and the elected Council will have no input or oversight. There is a term used in government that is used to avoid public bids, it is called "Bid Splitting". An example would be an anticipated year's cost of office supplies to be $40,000. Bid Splitting would be issuing a contract for $20,000 and later writing a second contract for the remaining $20,000. Thus, the manager just made a deal that required no oversight because he stayed under the $25,000 maximum expenditure for a single transaction. But even without the danger of Bid Splitting, the manager can spend up to $25,000 for any item regardless of value for dollar spent. This is a major step backward. Look at the number of purchases made in the county each year that is over $10,000 but under $25,000. You will find that the number of transactions are staggering and we will now make those purchases without benefit of public bids. Absolutely unbelievable and terrifying for the taxpayers.

Perhaps it is time for Luzerne County to operate under Home Rule but this proposed Charter is not the vehicle to get the job done. An Eleven member Council with NO minority representation is simply a bad form of government. How can we possibly elect enough people to change the direction of an 11 member Council? Right now, we have one county commissioner (minority) watching the actions of two county commissioners and to make a change we simply have to elect one new Commissioner to effect a change. We can't control our school boards of nine members so how do we control a county Council of eleven members?

If you like the way your School Board operates, you will love Home Rule.

Wil Toole

I'm back

After returning from California I had a few chores to do around the house, get over the jet lag and catch up on all the local political news of the past week. Now I'm tanned, rested and ready to dive right back in.

Home rule continues to be a hot topic and the 10th and 11th PA Congressional races are at the top of the lists of the most watched in the country. If the polling can be believed Joe Sestak is surging in his his race against Santorum. Dan Onorato is looking to scratch the 8 year itch and wild card Tim Mullen has the 120th State Rep race in a jumble with the help of Walter Griffith. Tarah Toohill had a funny ad that put Todd Eachus into panic pass mode. I just want to dispel any rumors that I flew to California on Robert Powell's private jet. Who the hell would let me on on a private jet or into a private club anyway? Finally, the big dog is coming to town to help out Kanjo.

I'll give you a full report on our adventures in San Diego over the weekend.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Air travel

We had uneventful trip to and from San Diego connecting in Chicago. I haven't flown in a long time and was expecting all sorts of hassles going through security but it wasn't bad if sometimes silly. Taking off my shoes and the 3 oz. liquid thing reminded me of the old saying "The Generals are always fighting the last war."

We flew Ameican Airlines there and back and all flights were either on time or landed early. We departed Avoca on a Braziilian made Embraer ERJ 145 that is a bit of a rough ride that had Mrs G's palms sweating. There was a 3 hour layover so we had a great lunch at Romano's Macaroni Grill. It was the best airport restaurant meal I have ever had and not expensive.

The 2nd leg was on a Boeing 737 which was more to our liking, the bigger the airplane the better the ride. My favs are the old Lockhead L1011, the 747 and the C-5 military plane. The C-5 is a comfortable if noisy ride.

The rental car company shuttle bus picked us up and we got a Suzuki SUV that had confusing controls and a GPS that had brain damage but we found our hotel. Returning the car the GPS was out of whack so I made about 14 wrong turns but eventually found the lot. I don't own a GPS or many of the other latest gadgets but I liked this thing although it is a threat to my ability to bore people with tales of my map reading skills. It was also in love with highways that for the most part I prefer to avoid.

On the way back we had curbside check-in with a gentleman that obviously enjoyed his job, he had a joke for every situation much like me. The trip back to the east coast took much less time because of the tail wind. We had a shorter time window in O'Hare this time and had to find the gate then grab some food. Mrs. G and her Mom were smart and went to McDonalds while I tried Burito Beach at the food court near the H gates. That was a mistake. It was an assembly line operation like Subway and the end product was uneatable and after a few bites I threw it in the trash. To complete the experience the people who built my burrito were very rude and it cost me almost 10 bucks for all this fun.

We left Chicago on another puddle jumper with jet engines that had a smooth ride in to Avoca.

(Photo by Gort) No copyright bullshit. Steal it you want just link back. More pics from the window at this link.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back in Pennsylvania

Barring a disaster that Mrs. G keeps worrying about we should be back home tonight.

The Saturday OT Commitee and Operatic Society is featured in this video.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Leaving California

All the leaves are brown and the skies are grey

On a jet plane

California politics

Former Governor Jerry Brown wants his old job back and is facing billionaire Meg Whitman. Why anybody would want the job puzzles me. I'm sure I will see some attack ads on the video advertising box at the hotel.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

SoCal weather

October can be iffy in our neck of the woods. The forcast for San Diego is high 60's or low 70's while we will be there.

Bite me Al Roker.

We all know that it never rains in southern California.

Greetings from cold and rainy San Diego

It's been raining since we got here with temps on the beach in the low 60's/high 50's. I told the bride and groom that our special gift was bringing them east coast weather. I just tried to do an update to the last post but this strange computer doesn't want to cooperate. It won't let me cut and paste or post links. So as much as I would like to blog the way I always do I just can't.

Maybe that is a good thing. More timed YouTube videos on the way until I get back.

Friday, October 15, 2010

120th State Rep race update

Another guest post. I got this as an email and the author agreed to let me publish it.

Dear Mr 42

I know your blog has been much about the congressional races as of late but I would like to point out one down ticket race that is intriguing, the Mundy v Goldsworthy v Mullin race. Put a fork in Mayor Goldswothy, he will finish a distant third. He might be a fine gentleman (I really don't know) but he likely wont even have a polarity in West Pittston given fellow Republican former council people there are involved so heavily helping Representative Mundy nor does he offer any real solutions.

It is the Tea Party favorite, Mr Mullin that is the fiercest challenge to the incumbent. Mr Mullin had over 2000 signatories on his petition and given the population of yards signs out there he is obviously a force. While he may seem to be quite from a less then informed perspective, he has a whisper campaign going that has gathered some steam. Yet this kind of campaign demands to be shown the light of scrutiny. I am sure if many of those who were angry as hell when he knocked on their door understood his philosophy, they might view him in a different light if they actually knew what it meant to vote for him.

In his web site he proudly exclaims that he has an almost lifelong association with the John Birch Society. Now if you were a person who paid little attention to such matters or were born after living through he sixties maybe you don't know what the JBS represents.
The JBS'ers are so outside the mainstream that they opposed the civil rights movement including the Civil Rights Act of 1964. So extreme that even noted libertarian Ayn Rand considered them "futile because they are not for capitalism but merely against Communism".

The Southern Poverty Law Center has them on their Patriot Group Watch List. Nor could William F Buckley marshal a single 'polysyllabic exuberance' for the group as he excluded them from C-PAC because he believed them to be racist. The JBS is so far outside of acceptable parameters they considered President Eisenhower a Communist and thought fluoride in the drinking water was a government plot.

Maybe it is clear that I support Ms Mundy as she has been incorruptible in her advocacy for hardworking families, health care and utility cost containment, regional economic development and defense of the environment as well as her real commitment to constituent service. Yet that is hardly my point. It is the duty of the media to bring the relevant issues to the public when it come to gathering information for the voters to base the choice for whom to vote. The choice is left to each voter but it is only an easy choice if the public is informed.

Now who's job might that be? Have we become so docile in our tolerance for such extreme views that any view is held at an equal level to the rational voices on either side. The newspapers have completely let us down as they profit by the conflict of our choices rather than by the solutions someone might bring to the table. So I ask you again why isn't such information being brought forth? Is that not the job of the bloggers to take on the extremist among us. Friedrich von Schiller once said "Against stupidity, the very gods themselves contend in vain". Becoming informed is the only known cure for stupidity (although maybe someday we can put something in the drinking water). Go to it my good man. Please enlighten us.


Bob McDonald, Kingston PA

Accommodations in San Diego

We will staying at the Ocean Villa Inn about 100 yards from the beach. But everybody knows that the best place to stay is the Hotel California. For what my doctors are telling me lately I just may check out soon. Very few male members of my father's family have made it past 60. Take my lifestyle and subtract 10 so my days are numbered.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Local Vet defends W-B VAMC, thanks Kanjo

I've asked a few friends to fill in for me while I'm traveling. If any of you, my dear readers, want to write something for the front page of Gort42 email your thoughts to


Recently I read a negative comment with regard to the service quality of the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center and Congressman Kanjorski.

From the early 1990's I only used the VA for treatment of my Glaucoma. I think my VA doctor is outstanding and he is my choice as a care giver. In a personal effort to not overload the VA services, I try to use my Medicare in private care as often as possible.

For several years I have been under treatment for arthritis by my private Rheumatologist. The first options were monthly shots that would cost me $1700. Not able to afford this monthly treatment, my private doctor arranged an intravenous treatment of Remicade given every 8 weeks and my total cost was $2.00. As of January, the pharmaceutical company increased my deductible from $2 to $300 and no explanation offered. A $300 deductible every 8 weeks was pretty tough so I asked the VA if they could help me. After the VA doctor ran the appropriate tests, he asked me if Remicade was my first choice and I explained the problem. He suggested what he believed would be the best treatment (Enbriel) for my condition which is a weekly shot I administer myself. What would have cost me $1,700/month now cost me $8.00 per month thanks to the VA. I have several friends who also use the VA and none of us have a complaint so for anyone to bad mouth the treatment veterans receive at the Wilkes Barre VA is totally off the wall.

I'm not alone in singing the praises of the VA, many benefit from it. Just a few short years ago, our local VA Medical Center was under attack and was in danger of being closed and moved elsewhere. Congressman Paul Kanjorski used his seniority in Congress to fight to keep the VAMC in Wilkes Barre just as he fought to keep the Tobyhanna Army Depot open which is now actually expanding. Twenty years ago, it was Congressman McDade's seniority that kept Tobyhanna from closing. For the people who scoff at Congressional seniority, all I can say is, you just don't get it!

Without the Wilkes Barre VA, I would be living a life of excruciating and debilitating pain.

Thank you Congressman Kanjorski and I'm sure I'm not the only veteran who appreciates having a VAMC in our back yard.

Wil Toole,
US Coast Guard veteran with 4 years of active duty sea service.

Off to San Diego

I haven't flown in years and I'm sure the security bullshit is going to piss me off. Sometime you have to wonder if the terrorists have a sense of humor. "Hey Abdul, I figured out a way to make all Americans take their shoes off." I didn't appreciate all the nonsense I had to through in Philadelphia a few years ago just to see something on the ground.

Anyway, I have always enjoyed flying. It's like riding the bus except you can drink. Many thanks to my Facebook pals for helping me out.

This is the one Rain Man

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Travel status

Me and Mrs. G are flying out to the left coast to attend a wedding so I will be offline for a few days. I may be able to hit a computer here and there but I don't expect to post anything. If I have time I will schedule a few YouTube videos about flying and California.

My friend Another Monkey cautions about revealing travel plans that let would be burglars know when you residence will be unoccupied. No worries there. The Gort42 Command Bunker will be guarded by our 4 legged burglar alarm and the the No Frack attack cat with help from a trio of friends that will double as their temporary housekeeping staff.

I will leave you with a poll on the sidebar. Will the Luzerne County Home Rule Charter pass?

Friends of Home Rule

Charter No

Read the charter here

Monday, October 11, 2010

Poll results

I didn't ask who you were voting for but asked who would win the PA-10th CD race. My polically savy readers responded 2 to 1 that Chris Carney would be reelected.

According to the polls this election is neck and neck.

Lycoming poll shows Carney, Marino in dead heat

U.S. Rep. Chris Carney holds a 43 to 40 percent edge over Tom Marino in the Lycoming College telephone poll, conducted Sept. 26-30. Given the margin of error of plus or minus 5.1 percent, they “are statistically tied,” said Jonathan Williamson, chairman of the political science department at Lycoming.

Sixteen percent of the 370 people who responded to political science students’ questions were undecided as to how they would vote Nov. 2.

Momentum Analysis recently polled the district and said Carney is leading by 8 points.

CLARKS SUMMIT -- A poll conducted for Congressman Chris Carney's campaign shows him with an 8-point lead over Tom Marino. The results of the poll, conducted Sept. 23-25, show Congressman Carney's strength in his campaign against Tom Marino and come as enthusiasm builds throughout northeast and central Pennsylvania for his reelection.

Attached is a poll memo from Momentum Analysis, which conducted the poll on behalf of Carney for Congress (PA-10). It shows the congressman with a 46 percent to 38 percent lead over Marino. Among respondents who had voted in at least four of the last six general elections, Congressman Carney's lead widens to 50 percent to 35 percent. In addition, half of the voters who know enough about Marino to form an opinion view him unfavorably. The poll surveyed 400 likely voters in the 10th District and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

"We're pleased to see the enthusiasm and momentum that we are feeling all throughout the District for Congressman Carney's campaign illustrated in this poll," said Josh Drobnyk, Carney for Congress campaign spokesman. "It has become increasingly evident that voters throughout the district want someone with honor and integrity representing them, not a candidate like Tom Marino, whose lack of ethics and overall incompetence we learn more about every day."

I trust this poll more than others. In 2006 Momentum Analysis final poll in the race predicted that Carney would win by 6%, he won by 6 points. In 2008 they had him ahead by 12% and he won by 13%.

Charlie Cook weighs in on polling:

Probably 90 percent of the public polling in statewide and district races is mediocre at best, and much of it is very close to worthless....My view is that most academic polling, as well as the polling sponsored by local television stations and newspapers, is dime-store junk.

The far more sophisticated polling is done by top-notch professional polling firms for campaigns, parties and major business and labor organizations. These polls are considerably more expensive and the methodology is more rigorous.

The Vice Pesident was in town today to support Carney.

Vice President Biden wraps up Scranton visit

Biden campaigns in area

I was polled!

I just got a call from a young lady that said she was working for the Tarrance Group and asked for me by name. I think this is first time I have been contacted by a Republican polling outfit. The questions were straight forward and the poor girl had to put up with my smart aleck answers. She read the questions then asked me chose from a list of responses but of course I had to ad lib.

The first question asked if I was likely to vote this November, that was an easy once since I have never missed an election since 1978. Do I support the Democratic agenda or favor a check on them? The Dems have done enough to check their own agenda by caving in to Senate Republicans. Favorable opinion of Lou Barletta and Paul Kanjorski, Yes to both. I like both gentlemen. Does Kanjo deserves reelection or is it time for someone new? I'll take the devil I know.

Have I heard about or seen anything about Lou Barletta's campaign? I explained that I'm a political blogger that has seen every commercial, read every news story and get press releases from his camp just about every day. I added that I go to his events when my schedule allows it and often had a beer with him afterward. Lou is a great guy and has one of the thickest skins of any politician I have ever met. I bash him on my blog but he doesn't take it personally so we discuss more important things like baseball and family.

Having heard about Lou Barletta am I more or less likely to vote for him? Less.

She finished with some demographic questions such as age, education and past voting habits.

Columbus Day

Saturday, October 09, 2010

The friends of Tom Marino

The hits just keep on coming.

Citizens Voice reporter Michael Sesak did some digging and came up with another questionable relationship that Tom Marino has with a convicted criminal. This should be a front page story.

At first I was not going to post this because I think most drugs charges are overblown but this guy served time in prison on weapon's charges in addition to the drug dealing thing and has a history of bizzare behavior plus Tom Marino tried to get his record cleared of a cocaine dealing charge.

A long rap sheet for ‘friend’ helped by Marino

Forget my commentary the story speaks for itself. For the first time ever I'm going to reprint in it's entirety a newspaper/blog story because I think it's that good.

By Michael R. Sisak / Staff Writer

A prominent central Pennsylvania car dealer once described as a “friend” by former U.S. Attorney Tom Marino has racked up an extensive rap sheet since leaning on Marino to have a cocaine dealing conviction cleared from his record more than a decade ago, court documents obtained by The Citizens’ Voice show.

Jay W. Kilheeney, an admitted drug addict and alcoholic, has been busted three times since Marino clumsily and unsuccessfully interceded in the drug case, in June 1998, and has been accused in protection from abuse petitions of leading a violent, vagabond home life.

Kilheeney, 46, of Williamsport, spent 33 months in federal prison on a 2002 illegal weapons possession charge, paid hundreds of dollars in fines to settle disorderly conduct and harassment charges in 2002 and 2009 and, following the weapons conviction, was barred by a state board from selling cars for five years.

At home, Kilheeney abused drugs, his family and the law — smoking marijuana daily, providing alcohol to his minor son, choking his girlfriend and running into the street naked — according to protection from abuse petitions filed in June and October 2008.

Attempts to reach Kilheeney and the attorney who represented him in his most recent criminal case were not successful. A person who answered the telephone at a business listed for Kilheeney on court records, Money Smart Financial Resources in Williamsport, said he no longer worked there.

The attorney, Michael Groulx, and the prosecutor in the case, A. Melissa Rosenkilde Kalaus, did not return telephone messages this week.

Marino, whose relationship with Kilheeney triggered concerns among colleagues as he transitioned into the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2002, has remained silent about the status of his relationship with Kilheeney and Kilheeney’s continued criminal behavior.

A spokesman for Marino, the Republican challenger in the 10th Congressional District, said he could not comment on “anything related” to Marino’s time as a prosecutor and would not confirm whether he and Kilheeney were still friends.

The spokesman, Jason Fitzgerald, said he did not see Kilheeney as “relevant to the campaign.”

“This race isn’t about Jay Kilheeney or Louis DeNaples or anybody else,” Fitzgerald said, referring to another felon in Marino’s universe of friends. “This race is about Tom Marino and Chris Carney and particularly it’s about the issues that are important to the people of the 10th Congressional District.”

Marino’s involvement in the Kilheeney case, while the district attorney of Lycoming County, appeared to bookend his controversial role, while U.S. Attorney, as a personal reference on DeNaples’ December 2005 application for a license to operate the Mount Airy Casino in Monroe County.

Marino’s opponent, U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, seized on the DeNaples endorsement as evidence of Marino’s poor judgment and questionable character, and news coverage of the race has focused on Marino’s shifting answers on whether the Justice Department authorized him to help DeNaples.

In September, after contending for months that he had clearance on the DeNaples matter, Marino told the Sunbury Daily Item he never asked for permission because the department permitted personal references as long as employees did not include their official titles.

The Allentown Morning Call reported last Sunday that Marino may have been mistaken and that his personal reference for DeNaples, convicted in 1978 for cheating the federal government of more than $500,000, may have been a violation of department guidelines.

The newspaper reported Marino’s resignation from office, in October 2007, came amid an internal Justice Department probe into “serious misconduct” surrounding the DeNaples reference.

Carney campaign spokesman Josh Drobnyk said Friday that Marino’s involvement with DeNaples and Kilheeney were “absolutely” relevant to the campaign and to gauging the “integrity and honesty” of Marino’s tenure as a district attorney and U.S. Attorney.

“(Marino) touts being tough on criminals when the truth is he was seeking to help clear the criminal record of a close friend who was a drug trafficker and has since been charged with multiple crimes,” Drobnyk said. “Tom Marino has refused to address basic questions about his record and continues to insult all of us by refusing to tell the truth.”

Marino’s drive to clear Kilheeney’s February 1992 conviction for delivering two grams of cocaine led him into the nebulous, unethical world of judge shopping, according to court records.

According to court records, Marino hand delivered an expungement motion to a judge relatively unfamiliar with criminal procedure, Dudley N. Anderson, a month after the judge who presided over the case, Kenneth D. Brown, refused.

Anderson approved the expungement in July 1998, but reversed himself when he learned of Brown’s previous decision to deny the request.

Anderson ordered all copies of his expungement order returned, but Kilheeney kept a copy and included it with personal letters of reference from Marino and a Lycoming County detective to obtain authorization from the Ford Motor Co. to open a dealership in Lock Haven, according to a report in the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

Had the expungement stood, Kilheeney would never have faced the felony weapons charge — possession of a firearm by a convicted felon — that landed him in federal prison for 33 months.

Shortly before he reported to prison, in November 2002, Kilheeney pleaded guilty to summary harassment and disorderly conduct charges for forcing his way into the office of a business associate, grabbing him and threatening to kill him.

In August, Kilheeney pleaded guilty to a summary disorderly conduct charge more than a year after a traffic stop in which police said he dropped his pants to his ankles, exposing his genitals and buttocks.

“You can strip search me right here,” Kilheeney said, according to police