Monday, April 7, 2014

Region Most Miserable in PA

The people that make up the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area are among the most miserable souls in all of these United States, according to Gallup.  The survey, dubbed the State of American Well-Being, was started eight years ago and collects information from  physical and emotional health to financial security and many issues in-between.  178,000 surveys were completed nationally, yielding these results.

This region, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, is dominated by Democrats.

Democratic Scranton has been financially distressed since the 1990's and its all-Democratic government just made yet another installment of a tax-smackdown on its residents.  Unions are threatening to take city assets and businesses are fleeing Scranton like rats on a sinking ship.  Democratic Wilkes-Barre is in better financial shape than Scranton (which really isn't saying much) but leads the region in murders and is apparently so incompetent, they cannot even operate gas pumps correctly.

Taken together, this Democratic region also boasts the highest unemployment in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Financial mismanagement of government and the sky-high taxes it necessitates will destroy any local economy, given enough time.  Corruption will hasten the process and further diminish any faith people might have in their leaders, which certainly has occurred in this region.  It is difficult, if not impossible, to expect the residents of a region to feel good about the situation they find themselves in.  The question is when will their level of misery be high enough that they actually do something about it by rejecting their present leaders and the ways of the past for fiscal hawks that won't waste their money or raise their taxes so their economies can begin to grow again?


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kathleen Kane Imploding

In case you live under a rock, Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane is under major fire for her decision to shut down a sting that snared Philadelphia officials.  The Democratic House Minority Leader has responded to the allegations suggesting that, if it is true that the House members in question accepted "gifts" without reporting them, they should correct their reporting mistakes.

Sure, that's what they were, reporting mistakes.

And, unbelievably, the penalty for their "reporting mistake" is a $250 fine or, if the lack of disclosure was intentional, its the amount they accepted plus $250.

Compounding the issue and the criticism, Democrat Kane lawyered up and went to talk or rather, had her lawyer talk, with the folks that published the story on the investigation.

The rhetoric used by Kane in explaining her decision has provoked the District Attorney of Philadelphia, the lead investigator in the case, and the supervisor of the investigation to issue blistering responses.  The last one, the supervisor, also threw down a "face me" challenge to Kane, calling for her to debate her decision fully and publicly.

To top it off, Kane's office has shed its third press secretary in 14 months. That's not to suggest separation had anything to do with the current crap-storm that is swirling around the AG's office.  In fact, there isn't much of an explanation at all about what caused the separation.  The optics are just terrible having all of this coincide with the separation.

The good news is that, while the Democratic Attorney General and her press office can't seem to get out of their own way, Republicans are responding to the allegation of corruption of Democratic officials in Philadelphia.   Republican Senator Lisa Baker has announced plans to introduce legislation to impose an absolute ban on cash gifts to lawmakers.

This initiative taken by Republicans to right a wrong, while Democrats talk about fixing "reporting mistakes" made by their members, clearly demonstrates the bold contrast between the level-headed leadership and responsive government that Republicans offer the people of Pennsylvania with the dysfunction and excuses offered by the Democrats.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Crime-Fighting Ninja Mayor Strikes in Scranton

Steve Corbett of WILK News Radio broke a serious story surrounding the Scranton Saint Patrick's Day Parade recently.

According to Corbett, a fight broke out in Scranton on Parade Day (shocking, I know) and, despite a police officer being present, Democratic Bill Courtright a.k.a. Mayor Sho'Nuff saw fit to get physically involved and restrain the alleged assailant.



Not too long ago, an unfair labor practice was filed over the Chief of Police, Officer Dan Duffy, making an off-duty drug arrest. That was an off-duty police officer making a bust, while he was out of the union, yet still doing the job of a police officer.  This is a civilian, also not a member of the union, arguably also attempting to do the job of a properly trained police officer.

Will another unfair labor practice suit be filed now that Democratic Mayor Bill Courtright is playing cop?  Probably not, Mayor Sho'Nuff is the union's guy in Scranton and even the unions must understand that Scranton taxpayers surely cannot afford another lawsuit.

But, lawsuit or not, Mayor Sho'Nuff should leave the police work to the highly trained, Act 120 certified, and liability insurance covered law enforcement professionals.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Willful Blindness, Lazy, or Something Else?

In today’s Scranton Times-Tribune they got around to reporting on the challenge to Lee Morgan’s petitions that was reported here on March 19th.

Remarkably, the story stated the following:
Mr. Flynn and Mr. Morgan, who live in Scranton, filed petitions seeking the Democratic nomination for the 113th state House District seat, which Mr. Flynn won in 2012. No Republican filed. If Mr. Morgan is thrown off the ballot, Mr. Flynn would have no Democratic or Republican opposition, although someone could mount a write-in vote campaign for the seat. 

Fellas, there is a Republican in the race. How does a reporter write about a race, presumably using the Department of State website that lists all the candidates AND the challenges that may be filed against them, and miss the fact that there is a Republican in there?

It’s easy to see why many would argue that the Scranton Times-Tribune is more the local propaganda arm of the Democratic Party than a newspaper when stuff like this happens.

The Scranton Times-Tribune should immediately update their online edition to correct their negligence and run a correction in tomorrow’s print edition that states that, despite their claim to the contrary, there is a Republican challenger to Marty Flynn, his name is Marcel Lisi, and the paper would like to apologize to Mr. Lisi and the electorate for failing to actually research a race before writing about it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Petition Challenges

Circulating nomination petitions are a regular part of a campaign.  Without the requisite signatures and proper filings, candidates may not be granted ballot access.  The laws governing ballot access are both direct and specific.  The myriad legal decisions modifying them can be difficult to navigate. 

Volunteers and in many cases the candidate will circulate these petitions gathering signatures from other members of their political party that reside in the district for which they are seeking office, asking that the name of the candidate be placed on the ballot.

This occurs over a three week period.

Because of the inevitable errors that will occur when having volunteers gather signatures from these electors, campaigns typically get more than are needed - sometimes even two or three times more than the minimum - to guarantee their candidate's name is placed upon the ballot.

This process also gives a campaign the opportunity to test its grassroots strength.  Particularly since there is a very short period of time to gather said signatures.


According to the PA Department of State, the following candidates from NEPA or running statewide have had their petitions challenged at the time of writing:

  • Robert R. Guzzardi, Republican candidate for Governor
  • Joseph V. Paterno Jr., Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor
  • Lee Briane Morgan, Democratic candidate for 113th State Representative

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ethicsgate?

Political activist Gene Stilp is at it again.  This time, he raises a concern brought forward in this forum in December of 2013.

Mr. Stilp's complaint takes ten actions dealing with the practice of State Legislators using taxpayer funds as an "incumbent protection program."  In essence, he alleges State Legislators are using taxpayer funds to communicate with voters in areas in which they do not represent and will not represent until and unless they are successful in their 2014 elections.

Stilp calls for an investigation by the Office of Attorney General, Department of Revenue and Internal Revenue Service.  He also filed a complaint with the PA State Ethics Commission, put in several right to know requests, and made a call to correct this action legislatively.

As was made clear in December, these expenditures are questionable at best and raw expenditures of taxpayer funds to influence an election at worst.  There are occasions when a legislator may incur an expense outside of their district based on their committee assignments, on fact finding missions, or other ventures which enhance their current district or make them a more effective legislator but these instances of expenditures outside of their district are rare occurrences.

No member of the legislature should be dispersing taxpayer funds into an area they do not currently represent unless they can demonstrate a clear benefit for their current constituents.

h/t: KeystoneReport

Monday, March 10, 2014

Businesses Flee Democratic Scranton

Last week, two business began pulling up stakes for neighboring communities taking 300 jobs with them.  Democratic Mayor Bill Courtright doesn't believe it's because of the threat of tax increases or Scranton's inability to govern itself efficiently.

Sure, Bill.  Keep telling yourself that.

Scranton has been and remains, a mess.  This mess has been perpetuated by Scranton's continual desire to maintain the status quo of one party rule.  With the exception of one city which recently busted that cycle, every Act 47 Distressed Municipality in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is dominated by Democrats.

You get the government you vote for, Scranton.  If you keep voting for Democrats that have no problem raising taxes, raising fees, and borrowing money they can never hope to pay back, don't be surprised when they do exactly that and leave you with the bill.  Those aren't sound economic principles.  In fact, as the Act 47 designation has clearly demonstrated, that type of governance leads to only one thing, bankruptcy.

Moody's said last year that Scranton faced bankruptcy and it is that type of environment that most businesses would seek to avoid.  Don't be surprised if businesses continue to jump ship, taking their jobs with them.