Saturday, September 06, 2008

Blood Splatters on Barletta - Campaign in Jeopardy

With the murder of Luis Ramirez a Mexican Immigrant seen as the logical conclusion of the anti immigrant rhetoric of Hazleton Mayor Larry Barletta Republican insiders worried about congressional campaign. Did the verbal attacks of small town neo-fascist Larry Barletta drive teens to murder? Knowledgeable political operatives are concerned that Barletta is a one issue candidate and his one issue is rapidly going south.

4th Pa. teen charged in killing of immigrant

Sat Sep 6, 12:15 PM ET

POTTSVILLE, Pa. - Authorities in Pennsylvania say a fourth teenager has been charged in the fatal beating of a Mexican immigrant.
Schuylkill County prosecutors charged the teen in juvenile court Friday with aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation and other offenses. His name and age are not being released.

Three others are charged as adults in the July attack in the town of Shenandoah on 25-year-old factory worker Luis Ramirez.

Homicide charges are filed against 16-year-old Brandon Piekarsky and 17-year-old Colin Walsh. Eighteen-year-old Derrick Donchak faces aggravated assault and other charges.

A local school district has agreed to provide Piekarsky and Walsh with 12 hours of in-home education per week while the case against them is pending.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

McCain's Secret Weapon

Pro Gun, Pro Tobacco, Pro Alcohol, look at the image and tell me what you see. When was the last time you saw a possible VP in a shot like this.

Wow! They Spelled My Name Right

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's an election year

So a few new political blogs have popped up.

The Really Pissed Off Republican

A place to blast liberals without using our handguns because we need no more gun control legislation out there.

The Empire of the Mind

The Empire of the Mind is a blog covering politics and news of all varieties. We hope to provide you, every day if all goes according to plan, fresh analysis of the day’s important news by a variety of contributors from diverse backgrounds. Empire’s contributors may be highly opinionated or attempt to be neutral; in any case, we will always try our best to provide insightful and thoughtful analysis. Most of all, we hope you’ll find our shenanigans informative and enjoyable to read. Stop by often and visit, we’ll be here!

Right Wing Wiz Kid

Opinionated, Hard-Hitting Right Wing Conservative News And Observations. If You Are A Left Wing Liberal You WILL Be Offended! If Your Are Looking For Politically Correct Observations, You Won’t Find Them Here. Political Commentary With No Spin, The Kind You Don’t Get From The Mainstream Media. Politics, Congress, Global Warming, Gun Control, The U.S. Military Are Just Some Of The Topics That Will Be Covered. With an Occasional Touch Of Humor To Relieve The Stress.

Pa GOP Insider

Written by former Republican Committeeman Barry O'Connell

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Lou Barletta Linked to Cocaine Dealers

Lou Barletta Linked to Cocaine Dealers
Barletta contributors questioned
By Borys Krawczeniuk
Published: Sunday, August 3, 2008 4:09 AM EDT
Staff Writer

The list of contributors to Republican congressional candidate Lou Barletta includes two brothers who were once entangled in a southern Luzerne County cocaine-distribution ring but are now prominent businessmen there.

Paul and Neal DeAngelo, the owners of DBiServices Inc., each gave Barletta $1,000 on March 28.

In 1994, Paul DeAngelo was sentenced to 18 months in jail for his role in the Empire drug ring, which operated in the late 1980s. He was released in 1995.
see also:

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dirt on Corbett is Coming Out

First the DeNaples money and now questions about State Staff versus Campaign Staff. Corbett is beginning to unravel. JBOC

AG strives to separate job, re-election

Staff Writer

Lebanon Daily News

HARRISBURG — As he prosecutes the high-profile “Bonusgate” case accusing state officials of campaigning on the public dime, Attorney G eneral Tom Corbett is seeking re-election himself. And one man has played a key role in both the attorney general’s office and the=2 0Corbett campaign: Brian Nutt, the attorney general’s chief of staff, is now his campaign manager. Nutt went on unpaid leave last month from his state job to manage Corbett’s campaign in his race against Democrat John Morganelli. But Nutt also assisted at political events for Corbett throughout his first term in office, state records show. Nutt is one of several staffers who work closely with Corbett in the attorney general’s office and have done at least some political work for their boss during his first term, according to an analysis of campaign-finance records by the Lebanon Daily News. Kevin Harley, the attorney general’s director of communications, has also helped the Corbett campaign, along with both of Corbett’s executive assistants and two top aides in his office of legislative affairs, records show. Some attorney-general staffers traveled to political events and were reimbursed for lodging and meals. Some bought stamps or office supplies for the campaign. None of those staffers is accused of wrongdoing, and Harley said the attorney general makes it clear to employees that all campaign work must be “completely separate” from
their jobs. Campaign work on som eone’s own time without government compensation is perfectly legal. In Bonusgate, Corbett charged 12 Democrats in a far-reach ing case that claims House staffers regularly did campaign work in their state offices and top officials used a taxpayer-funded bonus scheme to=2 0reward aides for their political work. The situation in Corbett’s office reveals more about the culture of the Capitol, where certain government employees juggle state jobs with political activity for their boss. Some politick regularly; others do it only on occasion. Harrisburg activists say it illustrates the gray area that exists throughout state government between state work and campaign work. Some say that Corbett, a Republican and potential governor’s candidate in 2010, has set a bad example by tapping his chief of staff to run his campaign while pursuing Bonusgate. Activist Gene Stilp said Corbett could further undermine people’s confidence in state government after controversies such as the 2005 pay raise and scandals such as Bonusgate. “This is not showing good judgment,” Stilp said. “He has to be squeaky clean, and this isn’t squeaky clean.” “A right way to do this” Harley said only a handful of aides who hold executive-level jobs do campaign work in their spare time. The attorney general’s office has roughly 800 employees. In separate interviews, Harley and Nutt drew a sharp contrast between the allegations levied against House Democrats and the campaign work by certain attorney general staffers. “There’s20a right way to do this, and a legal way, and that is what’s being done (in the attorney general’s office),” Harley said. 0D He said the attorney general awards no bonuses or comp time and requires staffers who take leave to campaign to submit a letter promising they will use no state resources for political work. Staffers who are on leave, like Nutt, also don’t get state health or pension benefits. Nutt, who lives in Hummelstown, is an experienced political hand who also managed Corbett’s first campaign in 2004. He said he took over as campaign manager this year after beginning his unpaid leave. Nutt said many of the events for which he was reimbursed by the campaign in past years were dinners with political figures that should not have been billed to the taxpayers. One was a trip to Colorado with Corbett to a meeting with Republican attorneys general. “That’s not really campaigning. It’s the inevitable kind of thing that obviously takes place when you’re in elected office,” Nutt said. Activist Eric Epstein of said Nutt’s leave of absence for the campaign underscores the need for an assessment of staffing levels across state government to determine how many positions aren t needed, Epstein said. “If you can take a leave from your job for six months, how much value do you bring to the job in the first place?” he said. Nutt disagreed, saying his absence does not hamper operations in the attorney ge neral’s office because others are working longer hours without extra pay to cover for him. His chief-of-staff duties are being spread out among several top aides, namely First Deputy Attorney General William Ryan Jr. “It is a relatively short amount of time, and for the greater cause of what Tom Corbett stands for myself and some other people are willing to make sacrifices,” Nutt said. Campaign checks Corbett’s office has been looking into illegal campaign activity in the Legislature since February 2007 after news reports appeared about secret bonuses to select staffers. A grand-jury report accompanying the Bonusgate charges traced the use of taxpayer-funded bonuses for campaign work to 2004 in the House Democratic caucus. Meanwhile, Nutt and other Corbett aides were helping their boss at political functions from time to time, records show. Corbett took office in January 2005, and since then Nutt received 14 checks from the campaign reimbursing him for expenses, records show. Nutt racked up $7,361 for meals, lodging, parking and other unspecified expenses for the Corbett campaign between January 2005 and February 2008. Rebekah Myers, an executive assistant to Corbett, was reimbursed by the campaign for buying office supplies and stamps, among other things. The Lancaster County resident re ceived seven reimbursement checks totaling $1,126 from the campaign during Corbett’s first term. Like Nutt, Myers has taken unpaid leave fro m her state job. She has been off the state payroll since April. Harley, also a Lancaster County resident, received four reimbursement checks from the campaign totaling $4,229 for lodging and unspecified expenses. He received all four between January 2005 and December 2007. Annmarie Kaiser of Harrisburg, director of legislative affairs for the attorney general, was reimbursed once this year for campaign travel. She received a check of $382 in March for lodging. Andrew Paris of Etters, York County, is a legislative liaison who works under Kaiser and received three checks totaling $402 for unspecified expenses between September 2005 and May 2007. Karen Mitchell, another executive assistant to the attorney general, received one reimbursement check from the campaign for $17.91. The Lemoyne resident received a check for unspecified expenses in September 2005. Calls left for Myers, Kaiser, Paris and Mitchell were not returned.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Hackett is putting on a rather pathetic show.

Desperate for a chance to register with the voters Hackett is putting on a rather pathetic show.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Desperate Hackett Begs for Debates

Hackett is so desperate for attention he has even proposed a debate on Immigration. Word is that he wants his former housekeeper an illegal immigrant herself to act as moderator. INS has yet to approve that

Hackett Challenges Carney to Eight Debates

Gort42: Who belongs to the Westmoreland Club?

Gort42: Who belongs to the Westmoreland Club?

McCain Snubs 10th Pa Voters

The voters in the 10th congressional district picked Chris Hackett as the lesser of two evils. So what does McCain do? McCain sides with the loser (a veritable one man crime wave) to snub the Republican Congressional candidate.

Some people think McCain is deliberately bipartisan with his legislation. The truth is that most Republican legislators hate McCain so much it is easier to get Democrat Co-Sponsors.
Seen on Gort42:

"Who belongs to the Westmoreland Club?

Westmoreland Club site of $250/plate McCain event

Dan Meuser is bringing GOP Presidential candidate John McCain to Wilkes-Barre on July 23 and it's an invitation only event. "

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Chris Hackett OpposesTax Dollars Spent in the 10th

Chris Hackett Opposes Tax Dollars Spent in the 10th. Hackett wants our tax dollars spent in some other congressional district. In one of the dumbest moves since on Sherwood beat up his girl friend Hackett wants to decrease spending in the 10th congressional district. Pa. voters know more tax dollars are taxed in the district then spent here.

Chris Hackett for Congress, a damn fool post

Seen on

This was in the Times-Leader a few days ago but I'll take sloppy seconds. Any candidate for any office is welcome to post on my front page.

Rep. Carney's spending politics as usual
-Times Leader 1/24/2008

Recently, our local congressman, Chris Carney, was featured on the front page of USA Today. Why did he win such attention? Evidently, Carney received more spending earmarks than any other first year member of congress. He was proud of this dubious “achievement.” The taxpayers of northeast Pennsylvania shouldn’t be.

Here’s how the pork spending game works in Washington . Each congressman asks the Democratic leadership for “earmarked” money for projects back in their home district. Incumbents like Carney who expect tough reelection races get the most earmarks. Then each congressman can try to impress voters by bragging about the funding they “brought home.” Sounds good so far, but there’s a catch – and it’s a really big one.

In order to get that very modest level of funding for local projects, Carney had to vote in favor of projects everywhere else. Here’s a small sample of things Carney voted to waste our tax dollars on this year: rodent control in Alaska ; olive fruit fly research in France ; a bike trail in Minnesota ; a zoo in Illinois ; a post office museum in Las Vegas . Altogether there were some 9,000 earmarks in this year’s spending bills, and we ended up spending $28 billion more than in the President’s budget. While this pork spending game makes for nice press releases from Congressman Carney’s office, it’s a terrible rip-off for taxpayers.

In addition to spending Pennsylvania tax dollars on wasteful and unnecessary projects like the Mule and Packers Museum in California , Chris Carney’s approach to Washington deal making illustrates other fundamental problems with our nation’s finances. When there are 9,000 pork projects in the budget, and almost every congressman has a tiny piece of the action, the system creates all the wrong incentives. It’s set-up in a way that encourages accounting gimmicks, budget secrecy, and misallocation of resources. In short, it places special interests over the national interest, and it’s placing our children and grandchildren further into debt.

Unfortunately, the pork spending game is a bipartisan affair. When Republicans were in charge of Congress, they had a disgraceful record of funding things like the infamous Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska – a $200 million project that served a town of just fifty people. Several corruption scandals were linked directly to the earmarking process, and there are former congressmen who are now serving time in prison because of it.

In 2006, many Democrats, including Chris Carney, were elected based on promises to change the way Washington operated, and in particular to change the corrupt earmarking process. When Speaker Nancy Pelosi rams a massively bloated spending bill through the House with 9,000 earmarks in it, it’s obvious that nothing has changed.

Not all earmarks are wasteful, and not every project is tinged with corruption. But how can you tell which ones are which? For example, liberal Congressman Charlie Rangel from Harlem , the powerful Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, has a $2 million earmark this year that names a building in honor of himself. That’s right – apparently once you’ve been in Washington long enough it no longer strikes you as arrogant to use tax dollars to name a building after yourself. Outrageously, Chris Carney voted in favor of this pork. What’s our congressman doing spending $2 million in tax dollars on the Charlie Rangel Building in Harlem ? Perhaps Carney thinks that’s a good use of Pennsylvania tax dollars. Perhaps it was a trade-off in exchange for Rangel’s support for Carney’s projects. Or maybe the fact that Rangel’s political committees gave $16,000 to Carney’s election campaign has something to do with it. To be clear, I’m not accusing Carney of corruption. I am saying that after only one year in Washington , Carney has become fully immersed in a system that corruptly and wastefully spends our tax dollars.

It is critical to America ’s financial future that we get off Washington ’s wasteful spending track. The best thing to do is replace pork-spenders like Carney with fiscal conservatives in Congress. But short of that, there’s another thing taxpayers should insist upon. Most pork projects simply don’t pass the smell test. No congressman wants to be clearly on record voting for fruit fly research in France instead of funding for our troops or veterans. Part of Washington’s pork spending game is that the politicians roll together all the pork in one giant bill and tell freshman like Carney that he has to vote for the whole thing in order to get his local projects. If, instead, we switched to a merit-based system, and every pork project was voted on individually, most of them wouldn’t pass. If Chris Carney could achieve that one simple reform of the process, then he would not only deserve to be on the cover of USA Today, he would also deserve the taxpayers’ thanks

-- Chris Hackett is a Really Stupid candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania ’s 10th District

Friday, February 29, 2008

Meuser still lives in 11th District, not 10th, petitions show

Meuser still lives in 11th District, not 10th, petitions show
Dan Meuser, a Republican candidate for the 10th Congressional District seat, has filed nomination petitions that show he continues to live outside the district.

But in a statement, Meuser, who lives in Shavertown, Jackson Township, Luzerne County, said his fulfillment of plans to move into the district to a home in Harveys Lake is only being held up temporarily by renovations to the new home. Jackson Township is in the 11th Congressional District.

Meuser said he used his Jackson Township address on the petitions to comply with state law.

“After doing a little research, we learned that this address needed to reflect where my family spends the predominance of their time,” Meuser said. “Therefore, as my renovations are taking a little longer than expected at Harveys Lake, we decided to use the old address on the petition to fully comply both with the letter and the spirit of the law.”

Meuser said he hopes to move “in the near future” and would vote in Harveys Lake in the April 22 primary election.

When Meuser and his wife, Shelley, bought the home for $535,000 in September, he said they would move there shortly.

The U.S. Constitution requires congressmen to live within a state, but does not require residency within a district.

Meuser was one of three Republican candidates to file petitions to challenge Democratic Rep. Chris Carney, D-Dimock Township.

The others are Davis C. Haire of Meshoppen Borough in Wyoming County and Chris Hackett of Kingston Township in Luzerne County. No other Democrats filed petitions.

In a statement, Tom Whitehead, Haire’s campaign manager, said the residency issue symbolizes Meuser’s campaign.

“There aren’t too many people in this district who can afford a second house for half a million dollars, especially one purchased for the sole purpose of trying to legitimize a candidacy for Congress,” Whitehead said. “At the end of the day, Davis Haire is the only one who’s actually grown up in this district, the only rural conservative Republican in the race, and the only Republican candidate who can win the general election.”

Mark Harris, a spokesman for Hackett, said Hackett was surprised Meuser hasn’t moved, but declined to comment on the residency issue.

“We’re not going to get into telling the people of the district where Dan Meuser should live,” Harris said in a telephone interview.

In the other local congressional race, Republican Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta and Democratic Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski were the only people to file to run for the 11th District seat Kanjorski has held since 1985. Political activist Kurt Shotko of Scranton has announced plans to run as an independent, but the petition filing deadline for third-party candidates isn’t until Aug. 1.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New York Times Quote, "Mr. Scranton is a weirdo!"

The Nation

Recalling the Maharishi and Carville’s Killer Ad

Published: February 10, 2008

WITH his high-pitched giggle and his gentle ways, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is not someone you would expect to be used as a blunt-force weapon in a political campaign.

But, used he was, to great effectiveness, in Pennsylvania in 1986. The story is this.

The Maharishi, who died last Tuesday, was the man who introduced transcendental meditation to the West. The Beatles were his most famous disciples, but another was William W. Scranton 3d, who went to Europe in 1970 to study TM.

Mr. Scranton came from a wealthy and renowned Pennsylvania political family. He went to Yale where he used drugs “recreationally,” protested the Vietnam War, and sported long hair and a beard.

After meeting the Maharishi, Mr. Scranton became a life-long proponent and practitioner of transcendental meditation and returned home to pursue a more conventional career in politics, serving two terms as lieutenant governor.

Then Mr. Scranton ran for governor. He was a formidable candidate, a moderate Republican in the days before that was an insult.

His Democratic opponent was Robert P. Casey, the state’s former auditor general, who had run for governor three times before and lost.

Mr. Casey brought in James Carville to run his campaign and ramp up the aggression level. It was a big break for the “Ragin’ Cajun,” the most important campaign he had handled to date.

Mr. Carville was itching to make Scranton’s baby boomer habits an issue, but feared it could backfire — among boomers, for one.

In mid-October, Mr. Scranton scored a strategic coup. He announced that his campaign was pulling all negative ads, promised to run no more, and challenged Mr. Casey to do the same. Mr. Scranton took the lead in the polls.

The move flummoxed the Casey camp. Then the Scranton campaign made a fatal misstep. It sent a mass mailing to Republicans that featured a letter from the candidate’s father. A second brochure that harshly attacked Mr. Casey was also included.

Scranton aides said the piece was sent out by mistake, but a copy got into Mr. Carville’s hands. It gave him the opening to use what came to be known as the “guru ad.”

The TV spot featured sitar music, pictures of the young, long-haired Mr. Scranton, a mug-shot like photo of the long-haired, bearded Maharishi and a sneering mention of transcendental meditation. Though the exact words were never used, the message was clear: Mr. Scranton is a weirdo!

The ad was timed to air the Saturday before Election Day, too late for the Scranton camp to respond. Mr. Carville chose not to run it in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh media markets, fearing a backlash in the state’s two major urban areas. Instead, he made a big buy in central Pennsylvania, hoping to undercut Mr. Scranton’s support among that region’s conservative Republicans.

On Election Day, Scranton won in the state’s conservative heartland, but by a lower margin than expected.

Out of 3.3 million votes cast statewide, Casey defeated Scranton by a margin of 79,216. A victory of 2 percent.

The political consensus was that it was the “guru ad” that did Bill Scranton in.