2-10-2006 Force multiplier


force multiplier--A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.

I‘ve spent the past 24 hours Googling myself near dizzy, but I’m certainly not complaining. Not so many years ago we were limited to asking acquaintances or co-workers what they knew about the political newcomers who happened to throw their hats into the local political ring. These days, immediately after Joe Blow announces his intentions to run for a particular political seat, all we have to do is Google long and hard enough to ascertain whether he seems like a stand-up guy, or if he’s the same guy who once molested a little league team’s furry mascot. In these respects, I love the internet.

According to the latest news reports, the ranks of the folks hoping to replace Kevin Blaum in Harrisburg have thinned out quite a bit. Leonard Piazza has opted out. Kathy Kane has decided against such an undertaking. And so has Bill Vinsko. As of this moment, the following people are still being mentioned as possible candidates:

Tim Henry: Wilkes-Barre City Solicitor.

Mike McGinley: 10-year veteran of Wilkes-Barre City Council.

Bob Reilly: Luzerne County Clerk of Courts.

Christine Katsock (REPUBLICAN): Church organist, policy wonk and “taxpayer activist,” who has run for the school board, city council, mayor and Kevin Blaum’s seat.

Brian O’Donnell: 2-year veteran of the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board and local optometrist.

Kevin Greenberg: Public relations professional and charter school proponent.

Jim Williamson: President of the Class of 2007 at Princeton University majoring in politics.

J.J. Murphy: Wilkes-Barre City Administrator.

How ‘bout if we put these possible candidates through the World According to Mark test? Ready?

Tim Henry: As I stated yesterday, he lacks name recognition and would need to raise and spend some significant monies to get his name out there in advance of the May primaries. Time is not on his side and he’ll likely opt out.

Mike McGinley: He is the member of city council that I know the least about. He’s served on council for a decade, but rarely makes his voice heard and practically never proposes any new legislation. At least, not any that I can remember. I fail to see what his major selling point to the voters could be, so I wouldn’t give him much for his chances of succeeding Blaum.

Bob Reilly: He’d have a difficult time convincing people that he will work well with others to further along Wilkes-Barre’s cause with the following incident just begging to be turned into sound bites in advance of the election. Read on:

From GrassRootsPA.com:

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Luzerne County Polling Spat Caught On Camera

WNEP:

A Luzerne County elected official was caught on camera causing a commotion at a polling place on election day. Now police are citing the Clerk of Courts with harassing a county commissioner's son.

It happened Tuesday at a polling place in Wilkes-Barre around 5:00 p.m. Newswatch 16 reporter Bianca Barr and photographer Ben Rice were there for an different election related story when they spotted the confrontation.

You know, the best thing for you do is get your a-- out of here. Oh, call your father, call whomever you want to call," yelled Democrat Clerk of Courts Robert Reilly. "Call your father right now. You're a punk!"

Reilly was yelling at Stephen Urban, son of Republican County Commissioner Steve Urban right outside the polling place. Young Urban was working as a Republican poll watcher at the school. He said he and Reilly got into a disagreement earlier in the day over voting rules, then, Urban said, a similar disagreement happened with +Reilly's wife.

From WNEP.com:

Official Cited for Polling Place Incident

if (document.layers) {document.write(' It happened Tuesday at a polling place in Wilkes-Barre around 5:00 p.m. Newswatch 16 reporter Bianca Barr and photographer Ben Rice were there for an different election related story when they spotted the confrontation.

You know, the best thing for you do is get your a-- out of here. Oh, call your father, call whomever you want to call," yelled Democrat Clerk of Courts Robert Reilly. "Call your father right now. You're a punk!"

Reilly was yelling at Stephen Urban, son of Republican County Commissioner Steve Urban right outside the polling place. Young Urban was working as a Republican poll watcher at the school. He said he and Reilly got into a disagreement earlier in the day over voting rules, then, Urban said, a similar disagreement happened with +Reilly's wife.

Both of those incidents happened inside and away from our camera. "You don't intimidate anyone here. We'll see when the vote comes out who wins," Reilly continued.

The public display went on for at least 15 minutes. "Don't you fight with my wife. You don't have the balls to fight with me," Reilly said.

Urban said little to Reilly but did call police. Reilly taunted him as voters watched. "Pick on my wife. Go ahead. You're an a--hole," he yelled.

Wilkes-Barre police officers came and talked to Reilly and others, then sent Reilly citations for harassment and disorderly conduct Wednesday.

Newswatch 16 asked Reilly to comment Tuesday night.. He wouldn't. He also did not answer calls made to his home Wednesday afternoon. Reilly and Commissioner Urban have been seen involved in shouting matches at courthouse meetings in the past.

This time with Urban's son there are citations.

Now, I realize I’m but a nonsensical pawn in the game of life and politics, but I fail to see how any elected official capable of such a regrettable public display can hope to be the next guy to represent the 121st Legislative District. If I was running against him, I’d have a field day on WILK with all of that.

Vote for me: I can vote without starting a ruckus at the polls.

Christine Katsock: She knows the issues, but book smarts pales in comparison to meaningful experience in the public and private sector. I would not vote for her, but I do have to give her some serious credit. If it wasn’t for her efforts, I shudder to think about how many Democrats might have run unopposed in this area in the past. The effectiveness of the Republican Party in this county can be summed up in one word: pathetic. But Ms. Katsock has proven herself to be a political warrior. She’ll no-doubt win the primary on the Republican ticket and then get spanked in November.

Brian O’Donnell: While it may be inherently unfair to some degree, I fail to see how serving on a school board qualifies anyone for anything else. The money comes down the fedrule pipeline and the various and sundry school boards spend it. Every year the education spending increases, and every year the school boards run their districts in the red. Nearly every year they raise taxes and then turn around and trumpet the great job they’re doing come reelection time. Now, why is it again that I should vote to put an automaton in Kevin Blaum’s soon-to-be-vacant seat?

Kevin Greenberg: I know nothing about the guy other than what the Google results made me aware of. He’s definitely very, very involved in his community, and it sounds as if he’s got some established political connections as well. Maybe he hires political consultant extraordinaire Ed Mitchell and wins. I dunno.

Jim Williamson: Kudos must go out to any 21-year-old who would bother to get involved in his community to such a degree, but in Luzerne County, he’s got no chance of winning. Sorry, but there it is. Mr. Hoi Polloi has spoken.

J.J. Murphy: The first time I met this guy was at the Wilkes-Barre Municipal Golf Course during the run-up to the Leighton/McGroarty primary showdown. He walked up to me, shook my hand, smiled widely and said: “Gee, I feel as if I know you.” I shook his hand and asked “And you are?” When he told me who he was, I couldn’t help but to crack up. And so did he.

Simply put, after McGroarty hired him to act as a liaison between the city’s colleges and the administration--I freaked. I was incensed. The way I saw things, Murphy’s previous accomplishments and whatnot mattered not. All that mattered to me was the former mayor was spending even more money we didn’t have to smooth over the complete mess he had made of things with the college kids that call this city home for four years at a clip. And as Murphy plied his skills, I belittled his efforts at just about every turn. And as it turned out, he was well aware of my internet scribbling, be it fair or not. Who knew.

What I was used to was public figures I had criticized cursing me, chasing me, or trying to run me over with their SUVs. I exaggerate not. McGroarty mockingly called me “tough guy” to my face and laughed at me as we stood side-by-side watching the Holeplex site being excavated. I had said the city didn’t have the necessary funding to undertake such an expensive project. He said “It’s getting built, isn’t it?” Who looks smarter now?

But J.J. Murphy was the very first person I had endeavored to belittle on the internet that asked me to enter into a dialogue about where Wilkes-Barre had been, where it was, and where it might go, rather than just shouting at me in direct response to all of my madness. I had unmercifully mocked his efforts for all to read, and yet, he chose the diplomacy route over turning me into a hood ornament as so many others before him had chosen to do. I may be Wilkes-Barre’s equivalent of a trailer park redneck, but what I encountered that day was a genuine class act. Even a dummy like me could recognize as much. Needless to say, I was impressed. And we did do that dialogue bit, none of which I will share with you here today.

I’ll admit to being shocked when I attended the press conference whereby Tom Leighton introduced his handpicked underlings to the city only to learn that J.J. Murphy would be his second in command. But at the same time, after what the previous administration had done to this city, why the hell not introduce some young, capable blood into the mix? Judging from my e-mail at that time, many others were not quite so open-minded about his appointment as I was, but my fall-back position was that I had placed my trust in Tom Leighton. And if Tom Leighton trusted J.J. Murphy, that was enough of an endorsement for me. After being elected mayor, Tom Leighton was definitely in sink-or-swim territory, and I figured he was planning on swimming rather than sinking.

Being the second in command in a city seemingly always short on available dollars, but long on vexing problems, I’m sure he has ruffled plenty of feathers since settling into the fourth floor at city hall. With responsibility and decision-making that affects other’s lives comes sometimes vocal detractors. That’s par for the course. Anything less would suggest that this administration was shying away from making the tough decisions that really need to be made. Been there, done that. No matter what the enterprise may be, all employees are confident in the knowledge that the management team in place sucks. Well, at the least the management teams that are taking care of business, that is. It goes with the territory.

I snagged the following from the Kings College archives:

KING'S COLLEGE HONORS J. J. MURPHY

FOR PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT

June 1, 2005- King’s College is honoring Wilkes-Barre City Administrator J. J. Murphy with the Leo Award during Reunion Weekend at the College’s Sheehy-Farmer Campus Center. The Leo Award is presented to an alumnus/alumna within fifteen years of graduation who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in his/her professional or community activities. The award is named for the King’s College mascot; it suggests the energy, pride and sense of purpose which the recipient personifies.

J.J. Murphy of Wilkes-Barre is a 1993 graduate of King’s College. He has distinguished himself in both military and civil service, while also spending many hours volunteering in the communities in which he has lived. As a military officer, Murphy volunteered over 3,000 hours and received the 2001 Volunteer of the Year award. He is the recipient of the Air Force Achievement Medal in 1998 as well as the Air Force Commendation Medal in 2000, 2003 and 2004. Murphy was also the primary public affairs representative for the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center in Virginia’s during the September 11 attacks.

In February 2003, J.J. Murphy was mobilized for 13 months as a reservist in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In civilian life, he is currently the youngest city administrator in the history of Wilkes-Barre. As founder and president of GOALS Foundation, J.J. is dedicated to helping children afford youth sports programs. He has coached, tutored, refereed, trained hockey officials and coordinated visits to multiple Veterans Administration hospitals.

Is it beginning to sound as if I’m imploring him to seek his very first elected office?

That I am.

Where once I stunned an unsuspecting city councilman by incessantly haranguing him to attempt to knock-off a, then, two-term mayor, now I am doing much the same thing to a sitting city administrator. I know he knows the issues through-and-through. I know he has enough political connections to make a decent go of it. I know firsthand that he can be very diplomatic. I know his commitment to our military far outshines anything any of the other hopefuls can lay claim to. I know that by volunteering his limited time to further youth sporting leagues he is giving back to our community. And I am supremely confident that he would be a force multiplier whereas Wilkes-Barre’s future is concerned.

force multiplier--A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment.

Make checks payable to: J.J. Murphy for House of Representatives

If he chooses not to run, he’s gonna have to hockey fight me. Well, that is, if wifey can find my hockey skates in that pile that has become the basement.

It’s been a while.

Bravo Company homecoming
Who was there when Bravo Company came home?

And since he’s one of those Search & Rescue flyboys, I can’t help but to take this opportunity to make him squirm just a tad.

Watch the video.

This is a cool photo coming to you direct from Iraq. This is a night-vision photo taken of a Wilkes-Barre native who’s name I am not at liberty to share at this time. Actually, he’s a fellow Nord Ender.

HOO-AH!!!

And let it be known that he has re-upped and re-upped and re-upped. While the lefties keep crying on cue about how bad our troops have it, our troops remain committed to the mission.

Patriots? I haven’t met many lately in these parts, but they are out there somewhere. Force multipliers all!

I support the troops and the fu>king war!

Me gotta go. I got grandrodents all over the place all of a sudden.

Later





Make your own free website on Tripod.com