Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lackawanna Judge Update

According to the Scranton Times, the race for Lackawanna County Judge has been whittled down to four candidates. Democrats Mark Walsh and Timothy Kelly have pulled their name from the race. That leaves Democrats James Tierney, Marg Bisignani Moyle, Magistrate John Pesota, and Republican Frank Casetllano in the race.

No word on who Walsh and Kelly will throw their support behind.

Walsh was from the side of politics that typically was against Democrat Mayor Chris Doherty. Tierney and Bisignani were of the camps that typically supported Doherty. Pesota, being a magistrate in the Dickson City area, really hasn’t weighed in on the Doherty administration. Walsh would be hard pressed to support Doherty’s people, perhaps he could support Pesota and not inflame his base.

There is also rumor that a current Judge in Lackawanna County could be promoted to a federal judgeship. That would create a situation where an appointment would occur to fill the vacated seat. Maybe Walsh is hoping for that appointment and will stay neutral in the race to increase his chances of receiving that appointment.

Kelly wasn’t really a political player. He seemed to seek the office without getting involved in the politics of it all. We couldn’t even speculate on who he would support.

Scranton Election Update

According to the Scranton Times, voters in Scranton will get a rematch for the title fight between Democrat Chris Doherty and Democrat Gary Dibileo. Dibileo has announced his intentions to seek the top spot in Scranton City government.

Dibileo stated that he will be focusing on a grassroots campaign. Doherty, will defend his positions as vigorously as he did in 2005. Questions about a Republican challenger still remain. Republican School Director Pat O’Malley’s name has circulated as a potential opponent for Doherty, but O’Malley has yet to commit.

Republican Chairman Paul Catalano had stated previously that he was talking with potential candidates but none seem to have materialized thus far.

In 2005, there were no Republican challengers to Doherty. This caused both Doherty and Dibileo to seek the Republican nomination via write-in votes while also trying to secure the Democratic nomination. Doherty narrowly won the Democratic nomination, Dibileo narrowly won the Republican nomination as a write-in candidate. In the General Election, Doherty was victorious. Dibileo stated in an interview that he was a loyal Democrat and that he would stay a Democrat. Some Republicans felt they were being used and started a “Concerned Republicans for Doherty” committee to funnel their support to Doherty. Dibileo was never able to channel Republican support behind his candidacy which likely contributed to his loss.

The Scranton Times, in its various interviews with Doherty, has still failed to ask him if he will serve a full term as Mayor of Scranton. It is widely held that Doherty has future aspirations to higher office and that he will likely seek higher office very soon. This would cause a situation where the President of Scranton City Council will assume the Mayor’s position and a substitute Council Member would be elected.

Depending on the outcome of the Council and Tax Collector races in Scranton this year, that could totally change the direction of the city.

A bit of background…Scranton City Council’s current makeup has three seats open in the 2009 election. One is Democrat Janet Evans, a frequent critic of Mayor Doherty. The two other positions open are Democrats Judy Gatelli and Democrat Sherry Fanucci. Both Gatelli and Fanucci are seen as Doherty loyalists. That leaves Democrat Bill Courtright, a sometime Doherty critic, and Democrat Bob McGoff, a Doherty loyalist.

Democrat Scranton City Council member Bill Courtright intends to seek the position of Scranton Tax Collector. This would create a vacancy in council and remove a frequent ally of Janet Evans from the equation.

If Courtright wins his position race for tax collector, Council will vote to appoint someone to fill the vacancy. In the event of a two vote to two vote tie, the Mayor would get to cast the tie-breaking vote. This would allow Mayor Doherty to maintain a 3-2 majority and allow his president of council to succeede him, should he win higher office.

If Courtright loses his bid for Council, Evans would only need to win one addition seat other than her own to take control of Council. If Courtright wins, she would need to bring two candidates for Council over the finish line with her to take control of Council.

This bit of intrigue assumes that 2009 will mirror 2005 and that the Republican Party will once again fail to run any candidates for Scranton’s mayoral and council races. Then again, if that occurs, none of these races will likely be over following the Primary. Democrats will likely seek write-in votes on the Republican line and use that as their second chance at maintaining their seat.

Scranton’s politics are nothing if not amusing.

Pallissery to Annouce for Controller

We have learned that another brave soul will enter the race for Luzerne County Controller. Republican Nanda Pallissery will announce on Tuesday, February 24th at the Luzerne County Republican Headquarters on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.

As stated in a previous post, this is an incredibly important position in and incredibly dysfunctional county government. We encourage everyone to pay close attention to the candidates in this race and select the candidate that can best navigate the troubled waters that Luzerne County finds itself in.

PMA, Carney, & Kanjorski

Two local politicians have made it to PMA’s bought and paid-for politicians list. And, as one might expect, our local boys have no intention of returning the money, according to the Scranton Times. At least, not yet.

Apparently Carney and Kanjorski are waiting to return the thousands of dollars they have received until the FBI investigation into PMA is finished. The investigation alone doesn’t seem to be enough for them to return the cash. The FBI investigation is focusing on whether PMA gave thousands of dollars of bogus contributions to PA Democrat Congressman Jack Murtha and other lawmakers. Presumably, the accusation is that the nearly $1.45 million in donations were to earn earmarks, of which there were many for PMA.

Since 1999, Kanjorski has netted $42,150 in contributions from PMA or its employees. Carney, has received $41,500 in contributions in the last two years alone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Luzerne Controller Race

Acting Luzerne County Controller A.J. Martinelli will probably not seek election to the Controller post. Most recently, Martinelli made the news by after suffering a wardrobe malfunction while exiting a vehicle during a sobriety check (according to the Citizen’s Voice.) It is probably safe to say that this virtually eliminates his ability to seek the office. There is always an outside chance since it is Luzerne County we are talking about.

A Republican has declared his intentions to seek the office. Ed Brominski, a former Luzerne County Commissioner will seek the position. The Citizen's Voice reports that Brominski recently changed parties to seek the Republican nomination at the urging of Republican Party leaders.

This is an incredibly important position for Luzerne County. A solid controller could have prevented many of the scandals that have frequented the dome.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Most Ethical Administration in History

Barack Hussein Obama admits he screwed up, according to Deutsche-Welle. The screw up statement is in reference to his appointments to his administration. The “most ethical administration in history” has had some serious ethical problems.

It all started with Governor Bill Richardson. Richardson was picked for Secretary of Commerce. He withdrew his nomination when it was learned that he was subject to a grand jury investigation into government corruption.

Tim Geithner, tapped to run Treasury, was a tax cheat. Mr. Geitner was informed that he failed to pay taxes on his annual income. He filed for the period that he was notified about but failed to file for the remaining period in which he knew he also didn’t pay. He only paid the back taxes after being subject to scrutiny.

You might also remember that Obama made a pledge that no lobbyists would serve in his administration. Well, he had to change the rules to appoint former Raytheon lobbyist Robert Gates and former Goldman Sachs lobbyist Mark Patterson.

Tom Daschle, selected to run Health and Human Services, failed to pay taxes on his limo and chauffer service. I guess you really cannot ask for a better example of a limousine liberal.

Eric Holder was selected for Attorney General. Holder was involved in the Clinton administration’s pardoning of terrorists, has a terrible second amendment record, and was involved in the pardon of tax cheat and international fugitive Mark Rich.

Nancy Killefer, picked to be Government Chief Performance Officer, withdrew her nomination after it was revealed that she failed to pay taxes on her “household help.”

Leon Panetta was selected to be CIA director despite having zero experience in the intelligence community. It was revealed yesterday by the Wall Street Journal that while he was not registered as a lobbyist, he probably should have been.

Now we have David Ogden be selected for Deputy Attorney General. Ogden is a former Attorney for the porn industry. He filed suits to allow porn in public libraries and even forced the Library of Congress to provide Playboy magazine in Braille. This one should get really interesting.

Martino, Fisichella Speak Out

In the most current issue of The Catholic Light, Bishop Joseph Martino and Archbishop Rino Fisichella confront the issues of reversing the ban on using US tax dollars to promote or provide abortions in foreign countries. The Mexico City Policy was enacted under President Ronald Regan, reversed by President Bill Clinton, reinstated by President George Bush, and now has been reversed again by President Barack Obama.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella specifically called Obama out, stating that his action demonstrates “the arrogance of someone who believes they are right, signing a decree which will open the door to abortion and thus to the destruction of human life.”

Bishop Joseph Martino, in a letter to Democrat US Senator Bob Casey Jr., addresses another related issue. It dealt with the Martinez amendment to the SCHIP bill. The Martinez amendment would have reinstated the Mexico City Policy. The vote failed in a 60-37 tally with Senator Casey voting against the amendment thus, allowing US tax dollars to be subjected to less stringent restrictions as it relates to abortion.

Bishop Martino stated to Casey “Your failure to reverse this vote will regrettably mean that you persist formally in cooperating with the evil brought about by this hideous and unnecessary policy.”