5-17-2006 Surprise, surprise

I warned y‘all. I frickin’ warned ya.

I said Eddie Pashinski had a good shot at the 121st Democrat crown, but nobody wanted to entertain such local political heresy. The conventional wisdom has it that you have a recognizable name, you run in political circles, you hire Ed Mitchell, you drop a quick quarter million and Voila!!! You are elected! Forget the political baggage. Forget the iffy track record. You went and got Ed Mitchell and blammo!!! You da man!

In actuality, I think Brian O’Donnell’s expensive advertising blitz was inept at best. He’s for public safety. Like…who the hell isn’t for public safety? He’s for safer neighborhoods. And that message stands out how? That differentiates him from every other candidate in what way? If you ask me, I’d say Ed Mitchell owes him a sizable refund. But you didn’t ask me, did you?

You could say that Eddie Pashinski’s ads were also less than inspiring, but his charm and personal warmth is immeasurable when he sells his message face-to-face. And judging by the results of the election, he got his message out. I warned y’all. I did.

The local blogosphere in it’s entirety predicted that O’Donnell would be the last man standing. One went as far as to endorse him. Although, I’m not sure how much weight that carries. As for myself, I neither predicted the results of any race, nor did I officially endorse anyone. (Whatever that means.) I merely stated for the record that I intended to vote for Pashinski and that his chances of winning should not be underestimated. So, who nailed it?

The other area races did not interest me in the least as they had no bearing at all on Wilkes-Barre’s eventual future. But I was curious about the fate of Don Sherwood. He criticized Bill Clinton for porking young women, and then turned around and followed Bill’s less than stellar example. And being that Don Sherwood fended off his primary challenger, I’m left to assume that his constituents are content with his hypocrisy so long as Don brings home an oversized federal check every now and again. He can pork whatever he wants, as long as we get some pork, too. What a bunch of maroons. Glad I don’t live in his hayseed-dominated district.

Getting‘ there

Speaking of the local blogs, one in particular claimed that Pashinski’s win was the result of his having gone negative during the campaign’s waning hours. (?) Um…I’d sure love to have that one explained to me in detail. Where and when was this? Another blogger claimed that “…a few insiders were at his victory party.” What’s with that? Yesterday, Ed Pashinski was considered by all to be the outsider. Today, he’s an insider? Where is this stuff coming from? The ever-fledgling Katsock Nation? No biggie.

WILK’s Sue Henry and her new favorite sidekick did an awesome job of providing the latest numbers and suchlike from the field late last night. As early as 10:15, both Rob Neyhard and Sue had reported that an unconfirmed rumor was circling that O’Donnell had already conceded the race to Pashinski. Turns out, the rumor was accurate. On an unrelated note, even though I completely loathe the guy, I was saddened to hear that Kevin Lynn had lost his dad. It definitely came across over the airwaves that Kevin and his dad had a very special relationship. I cannot pray for him, but I can hope the typically painful event goes easy on him.

So, all eyes turn toward the November general election in which our Republican, Christine Katsock, will square off against our Democrat, Eddie Pashinski, in their ongoing quest to claim Kevin Blaum’s soon-to-be vacated seat in Harrisburg.

From what I could gather, the consensus seems to be that Christine Katsock will be a formidable opponent come November. Frankly, I don’t see it that way. First of all, her excellent showing against Tom Leighton in ’03 was definitely fueled by and anti-incumbency bent in Wilkes-Barre at that time. After Tom McGroarty‘s travails, much of the electorate was grumbling aloud about the prospects (or lack thereof) of replacing McGroarty ( a former three-term councilman) with yet another sitting councilman. And Katsock benefited by painting herself as the political neophyte and champion of the over-taxed downtrodden masses. To many who voted for her, her message mattered not. All that mattered was that she was not an elected city official.

Her well-practiced platform did resonate with some, but lowering taxes while increasing services sounds really good in theory, yet makes no practical sense outside of Donna Reed‘s neighborhood.. Fact is, hiring more cops, paving more streets and saving crumbling firehouses requires piles of money. Money the city certainly did not have. If she had upset Leighton, the reality and the gravity of Wilkes-Barre’s situation would have had her abandoning her strategic plan right quick.

The perennial candidates such as Katsock always seem to go on and on about reducing taxes, but what they see as needless expenses, others like Leighton see as investments in our future. Theatres won’t work. But firehouses will. (?)

During the upcoming election go-round, the perennial outsider will be facing an outsider, so it’s gonna take a bit more than the tired anti-incumbent routine. In this case, Katsock has more political experience than Ed Pashinski.

While there’s no denying that she’s well-read and has crafted definitive talking points on damn near every issue, what else has she got to do? This is what she does. She’s run for council, the school board, the mayoral slot and Blaum’s seat twice. She had better be up on the issues at this point. One of these days.


Should prove to be fun.

S. Main

Public Square

It’s getting late.