2-27-2006 Political suck-up re-visited


From the Citizen‘s Voice:

WILKES-BARRE--City resident Carl Romanelli Jr. wants to take the Green Party platform all the way to Washington, D.C.

Romanelli, 47, accepted the party’s nomination Sunday for U.S. Senate. He will be Pennsylvania’s first ever Green Party candidate for that office.

“People in the United States are dissatisfied. They’re ready for a change,” Romanelli said during his acceptance speech.

That story did not appear on the Voice’s web site, but I’m sure it’s out there on the web somewhere if you‘re interested in reading it in it‘s entirety.

Look, I disagree with much of what most Greens believe and I’ve certainly had some fun at their expense. I rarely agree with what Carl has to say, but it needs to be pointed out that he’s a quality person. He’s a good guy, he studies the issues and he definitely gets involved in his community. Short of the Green Party making significant political inroads, worse things could happen than to have him pull off a huge political upset. He votes his conscience, and if more of the elected folks did as much we’d be in a lot better shape than we currently find ourselves. Good luck, Carl. You’re gonna need it.

Nord End goes to Washington?

It wouldn’t be the first time.

Breaking news just in to The Mr. Bloggo News Network:

For your information:

Humford Equities
15 Public Square
Suite 302
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
(570) 822-5126

For Release: February 27, 2006

Campus Square Set to Open on Public Square in May

(WIlkes-Barre, PA) A new destination for downtown patrons to "stay and play" in Center City Wilkes-Barre is Campus Square billiards entertainment center, a new 25 table, $450,000 facility scheduled to open its doors to amateurs and professionals alike in early May.

Peter Fusco, professional pool player and trainer of famous billiard players Karen Corr, ranked #2 in Woman¹s Professional Billiards Association, and Julie Kelly, ranked #8, will open Campus Square on Public Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre. The 10,300-sq. ft. billiards entertainment center will feature 25 regulation pool tables and 2 ping pong tables. The opening is set for May 2006.

According to Fusco, Campus Square will be located at the former CVS Drug Store space on 39 Public Square, in the Wilkes-Barre Center building. Over $300,000 will be invested. The facility will be patterned after a popular billiards center Fusco owns, called The Spot, in Trevose, PA, northeast of Philadelphia.

Campus Square will be a smoke-free facility with a snack bar (no liquor) and have a state-of-the art Bose sound system. There will be interior surveillance cameras stationed throughout. The property currently has exterior cameras. This will be a "membership club." For the first nine months, the facility will be open to the public; then membership will be required.

Campus Square will have pool leagues and anticipate a "Campus King and Campus Queen" championship between local colleges.


Attached - Slide Show: The new Campus Square billiards entertainment center on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre will be similar in design to The Spot a popular billiards entertainment center owned by Peter Fusco in Trevose, PA Pictures of The Spot attached for your review.

Media contact:
Marianne Puhalla
(570) 814-XXXX cell

Interviews and additional information available upon request.

Very interesting. An upscale pool emporium in downtown Wilkes-Barre. They ain’t got that particular niche covered up there on the hill in Sprawl Township, now do they? That’s exactly what the downtown needs--unique businesses. Unique businesses, by the way, which seem to be coming out of the woodwork all of a sudden.

I just have to wonder which negative ninnies are going to show up at the next council meeting complaining about this place. Professional pool players? Oh no. We don’t want that sort of element. Whatever.

We’ve all heard the stories about how the Chamber was planning a theater project and the, then, proposed call center project only to have the former mayor hijack those projects and turn them into a couple of costly and highly visible failures.

And we’ve also heard all the inane banter about how the Chamber folks were conspiring to keep high-paying jobs out of the area. We’ve been treated to the gibberish about how Humford Equities prefers empty storefronts to having their massive amount of available square footage occupied. The downtown area has been in a death spiral of sorts for years on end and meanwhile, the conspiracy theories grew legs amongst the populace. Fact is, when the downtown was redrawn after the ‘72 flood, it was redrawn incorrectly, which directly led to it’s eventual demise.

A while back I got to researching all of the urban planning muckity muck that Larry Newman kept referring to, and I quickly realized he knew what he was talking about whereas urban planning was concerned. It was at that point that I realized the Chamber folks were not our enemy, and they in fact had some smart people on the payroll. And when I said as much, I was attacked via the e-mail inbox by my cohorts in peasantry.

Much the same thing happened when I dared to state unequivocally that Tom Leighton was the right man for the job of leading Wilkes-Barre back from the Act 47 abyss. I heard it all. I was “in the loop,” I was awestruck because he made an appearance at our block party, I was angling for a cushy city job and I was also purported to be deaf, dumb, stupid, fat, bald, unemployed and suffering from a very rare penile disease. To adequately sum up all of the predictions and whatnot, I was right and the hordes of anonymous detractors were absolutely wrong. But I digress.

Yesterday I tuned into WILK’s “Outlook on Northeast PA” radio show hosted by Shadow Steele. The show was taped late last year and the question posed to a prominent city businessman was Is the mayor’s ‘I believe’ mindset working? He had good things to say about the mayor’s performance of late, as well as some negative things. He’s not alone in that respect. But he did make a comment that made me turn up the volume.

“Tom Leighton is more Chamber-centric.”

He also said Leighton is “Chamber-driven,” and needs to be more “all-inclusive.“ Um, you mean Chamber-driven as opposed to the previous mayor who obviously preferred the one-man-show approach to urban planning and revitalization? Now, with progress seemingly popping up all over place after $200 million in economic investments found their way to this city, my question to the lot of you is: Do you still perceive the Chamber to be an outfit that is working to keep us down? And make note of the fact that I, myself, used to refer to them as “The Chamber of Golf Pros.” That was real funny and all until Larry Newman single-handedly caused to me do a bit of research and educate myself. I can admit it when I’m wrong on a given issue. Can you?

If Wilkes-Barre ends up booming once again, the Chamber folks should be deserving of their fair share of the credit. As it turns out, the Chamber folks are not our enemies. And Humford Equities is not a gargantuan monolith standing in the way of progress. There were capable business and urban planning professionals here all along, and Tom Leighton tapped into all of their talents to get the massive ball of progress rolling.

Yeah, I know. They all got themselves hefty salaries and palatial estates to hear the hoi polloi tell it. But if the class-envy stuff is pitched aside for just a moment, is it not obvious that their recent efforts are about to pay some decent dividends?

I dunno. It’s easy to rip all of the high-profile movers and shakers to shreds when things have obviously gone horribly awry, but will they get any appreciable credit from the oft-disgruntled serfs when the good times get to rolling again? We shall see.

From The NJPA Real Estate Journal (NJPAjournal.com):

Wilkes-Barre is a city on the move with…

Before we explore the latest from the e-mail inbox, I’d like to point out a couple of things. First, I fully realize that I come across as an acerbic and an overly abrasive sumbitch on the internet. I do know as much and I often point out that I’m not so bad in person. Whatever. I’m a cretin. Let’s move on, shall we?

Second, I’m doing the déjà vu all over again thing since I stated that I support J.J. Murphy over the multitude of other declared candidates for Kevin Blaum’s position. There’s really no need to return to the vacuous days of I was “in the loop,” I was awestruck because he made an appearance at our block party, I was angling for a cushy city job and I was also purported to be deaf, dumb, stupid, fat, bald, unemployed and suffering from a very rare penile disease. I support the guy. There it is in a nutshell. If you want to try to rip him to shreds, by all means, have at it. All’s fair, or so they say.

Third, I am nobody’s political attack dog, nor do I play one on television. If I tell you I have a particular problem with candidates X, Y and Z, then simply take it for what it is--my opinion. And opinions are like Access Cards--we’ve all got one, or...the Democrats and Greens are promising us one for our vote. Something like that. I forget. No habla.

With all of that having been said, let’s do the e-mail.

From the e-mail inbox I just wanted to point out i agree with everything you say..But, i believe that you have a love for this country, loving this country means believing in all of its principles, and freedom of religion is one of those, also, freedom of speach, exactly what you are doing......Why don't you write nice things about Ed Mitchell, i see him out all the time talking to younger guys, seems very nice, and careing, anything you have to say about a guy being nice to us guys, when im out with my friends he is nice to us....seems like a nice phella......Also, i have to admit i read your blog today....your not really a jimmy johnson fan...i mean come on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once again, I fail to see how criticizing ones “religion” precludes them from practicing it.

If I told you I had invented a new religion all by my lonesome, you’d mock me to no end. And if I told you my new religion was partially based on space aliens visiting the Earth and whatnot, you’d be on the floor laughing uncontrollably and trying not to projectile-vomit Coke from both of your nostrils. Conversely, if I told you I followed the “teachings” of such a guy, you’d dismiss me out of hand. Admit it. Why is it I’m coming under increased scrutiny, while scientology is so easily refuted as being the abject quackery that it is?

Ed Mitchell? I didn’t say anything remotely negative about him, or his performance as a political consultant. What I said was, he does not scare me in the least as a potential political opponent. He’s the high-powered political consultant that works his electoral magic in conjunction with hundreds of thousands of dollars. He’s good at what he does, but he doesn’t do it on the cheap by any means. Give me anywhere from $100,000 to a quarter of a million dollars and chances are that I’ll get you elected, too.

The other thing I made reference to was the fact that he sold us on Tom Leighton in 2003, so how could he now tell us that Tom Leighton’s immediate underlings are not worthy of being elected just as Tom Leighton’s campaign promises are coming to fruition? I think it presents a bit of a quandary as far as negative campaign tactics are concerned, don’t you?

Look, I’m not voting for O’Donnell, I’m not attacking Ed Mitchell and Jimmie Johnson makes me wanna put a lamp right through the screen of my imported video advertising box. Forget all of this political tomfoolery. Kevin Harvick was never even a factor yesterday. I’m glum.

From the e-mail inbox With the talk of Blaum's vacant seat heating up on your site I wanted to take an opportunity to throw my 2 cents your way. I'm an avid viewer of your site and I think you do an excellent job of putting local legislation and news-makers under the microscope. I'll be up front in saying that I'm an O'Donnell supporter, and obviously took notice to the blog regarding his retention of one, Ed Mitchell. I think O'Donnell made a mistake by retaining Mitchell and that his "old politics" mantality will be challenged by the new blood sweeping into local governemnt. That being said, I thought you did a commendable job of calling Mitchell out as a "political extroidinaire" and an advertising mastermind. I thought your attacks on him were fair and that he is overrated, however you left out the biggest issue ... he's (deleted) ... Looking forward to your next post.

Here we go again.

I did not intend for my comments about Ed Mitchell to come off as an attack. He does what he does, he does it well, but he’s mucho, mucho expensive. But never underestimate a more grass roots-styled campaign wherein the candidate of said campaign presses the flesh in a big way and convinces the average types that he’s sincere, committed and definitely up to the job. Does anybody remember how William Amesbury got himself elected and at who’s expense?

The biggest issue? The biggest issue???

For you, maybe, but not for me. Look, as I previously alluded to, do not make the mistake of thinking that I’m an attack dog looking for anything at all to exploit. I do have a serious problem with fringe “religions” invented by persons of obvious ill-repute, but a highly respectable person’s sexual preferences matter not to me for the most part and I’m seriously annoyed that anyone would even dare bring any of that up here.

The only reason I even posted your e-mail was to highlight the kind of sh*t I have to sift through on a daily basis, while those that read this site infrequently continue to mistakenly think that I’m the loosest cannon out here.

Look, you were doing real good right up until the end of your electronic pulse. You were looking forward to my next post? I’m thrilled to be able to disappoint you.

What’s next? Candidate X believes in the Beer Fairy?

From the e-mail inbox Dear Mark,

Two days ago I was going to write you with positive praise towards your blog. Today I find myself unable to do that. I am still somewhat confused about these Ed Mitchell claims and the religious references. I am however surprised and offended by your apparent implications about Dr. O'Donnell. I am lifetime resident of Wilkes-Barre, a graduate of Wilkes University and have a career within city limits. I am also a current supporter of this city administration. With that said, I have no connection to city government or the candidates in this race. I feel that Mayor Leighton has proved himself to me as a respectable and hardworking mayor. Now I'm sure Mr. Murphy is also working hard for this city, quite honestly I can't imagine how he is not. I just don't see how he is any more capable than Dr. O'Donnell or Mr. Reilly. It appears that you are Mr. Murphys number one fan, and that is great, I am glad you feel this confident about someone in our local government. However, with that confidence also comes disappointment. Now I'm sure I will still read your blog, but I can't help but feel you are far less objective than it first appeared. I have spent the past three weeks spreading the good word of your blog to my family and friends. Suddenly I am wishing I had not. This blog started to feel like the blue collar or common persons view of Wilkes-Barre, a view my family and I openly share. I don't think my family and friends want to read a blog titled "The Thetan Vote?". Just like we don't want to read a blog titled the Catholic Vote, Jewish Vote or the Muslim Vote. I cannot tell you who I plan on voting for right now. At this point I really just don't know. I can tell you that negativity like you portrayed should have no place in what appeared to be a somewhat objective blog like yours, towards what also appears to be a respectable guy like Dr. O'Donnell. I was under the impression that you were speaking on the behalf of the common people of Wilkes-Barre, and not the special interest of those in office. Nobody is perfect, especially politicians. It would make more sense to discuss their positions on the issues and not their religious involvement. But that's just my opinion.and you have yours.


Dan X.

While I can appreciate your mostly respective comments, I do have to take issue with your assertion that I’m not ‘objective’ simply because I strongly support one candidate over yet another. And I find it somewhat troubling that some would take issue with me rather than considering what’s been put on the table for all to ponder over. I have no problem with Brian O’Donnell other than the cult thing. And his credentials and accomplishments speak volumes about his ethics, if not his character. But, in all honesty, the dubious scientology connection is something that I simply cannot ignore. To me, it’s a really big deal. You can ignore that if you choose to, but I won’t think anything less of you for doing so.

I do find it curious that when I happen to support the “outsiders“, which I have done on occasion, I’m suddenly objective and purported to be the “Voice of the People.” But when I openly and excitedly support those thought to be “in the loop,” then I’m quickly deemed to be no longer speaking for the downtrodden masses permanently banned from living the quiet life in Barney Farms. At that point, I’m obviously on the take, or some such other equally vapid charges of a nonsensical nature. I’m not calling you out as much as I am reliving the non-stop bunkum I’ve been treated to for five-plus years. No biggie. I brought it all on myself.

This blog started to feel like the blue collar or common persons view of Wilkes-Barre, a view my family and I openly share. I don't think my family and friends want to read a blog titled "The Thetan Vote?". Just like we don't want to read a blog titled the Catholic Vote, Jewish Vote or the Muslim Vote.

Um, excuse me for saying so, but Catholics, Jews and Muslims currently reside on this extremely jumbled planet of ours. But the last time I checked into it, Thetans did not. So, with that said, was I somehow way off-base to suggest that someone who believes in the existence of the legendary ghosts of Theta is not the candidate for me? Call me all of the aforementioned insults if you will, but from where I’m sitting, that’s the stuff of purple Kool-Aid stories on the A&E Network. Sorry, but I can’t get past that.

It would make more sense to discuss their positions on the issues and not their religious involvement.

Um, you are correct, although, being that religious sects have entered the discussion, it seems as if you’re trying to deflect away the issue at hand. The old ’misdirection’ ploy that so many of you college-educated folks consistently rely upon when dealing with the likes of common hardscrabble miscreants such as myself. Chia Kev does that on a daily basis.

The thing is, I tried. I really did. I read his speech and all that I found was cookie cutter campaign rhetoric not worthy of being repeated.

He’s for safety, security, the war on drugs and most importantly…he’s concerned about the well-publicized needs of our senior citizens. Blah, blah, been there, heard that, blah, blah, frickin’ blah. In other words, he’s openly courting the rather sizable senior citizen vote, while every other politician worth noting recognizes that the way to change this county’s long-sagging fortunes is to appeal to the best-and-brightest--the younger folks among us--that keep getting away no matter how hard we try to keep them here.

From PoliticsPA.com:

Declaration of Candidacy for State Representative PA 121st House of Representatives by Dr. Brian O’Donnell - 2/24/2006

And if that’s not revolting enough whereas the issues are concerned, a quick visit to his campaign web site‘s issues page contains all of the following: “Coming Soon.”

Spare me. Please. I may be one of those amusing buffoons toiling away in my peasantry, but I’m not completely stupid. He’s not running on any issues. He’s running on his name recognition, his family’s name and little else. He’s got the big bucks, but he hasn’t got the message that will ultimately resonate.

Coming Soon

Where does Brian O’Donnell stand on the most pressing of issues? Stay tuned, kiddies.

It’s “Coming Soon.”

Meanwhile, still others are seeking the very same position as the most argued about.

Jim Williamson’s campaign site.

You guys have me all stressed out at this point and I really feel the need to retreat to that special place that makes me feel all safe like, comfortable as if being back in the womb and completely surrounded by those that I love. I’m gonna cry…

I feel all better now. Sort of.

I gotta go.

Wifey’s cardboard-stuffed meatloaf is well done and we’re gonna continue to wallow away in our abject peasantry. Iffin’ we hit the goll danged lottery one day, I reckon we’ll get us some of that ‘pensive catsup suchlike just like the ‘portant people do.

We can dream, hayna?