9-22-2007 Free tickets to the circus

I got this telephone call on Friday night basically informing me that the local NAACP folks were holding a Meet the Candidates forum at the Mount Zion church at 11:30 AM Saturday morning. I was also told that both Linda Stets and Tom Leighton would be attending said soiree. To be perfectly frank, I was shocked due to the complete lack of pre-event publicity.

So, being that both mayoral candidates would be speaking, I felt compelled to make an appearance. I don’t usual attend events of this nature, but I do thoroughly enjoy walking into a room full of people who would probably prefer to see my ugly mug in an obituary. And while that’s all fine and good, I do not wish anyone ill or anything evil such as that. As I have said from day one, what motivates me is seeing to it that only capable people are elected in my city. It’s as simple as that.

Turns out, Mayor Leighton was scheduled to be at the Mister Peanut plaque unveiling at high noon, so he spoke first, he made a quick pitch for reelection and he headed on out. It was hardly fair to him, but he knew as much heading in and deserves credit for making himself available, albeit, briefly. And his pitch was familiar. He made reference to the fact that his mandate from the get-go was fiscal responsibility and making the necessary, but sometimes unpopular decisions. He deflected the oft-repeated criticism whereby he supposedly ignored the neighborhoods while focusing on the downtown by saying, “Our entire city was broken. And you have to start somewhere.” And he concluded his bit by saying, “I do what’s right. I do the best that I can.” And as far as I’m concerned, his best has been pretty good.

I do need to point out that my intent was to hear both Stets and Leighton, and then make a quick exit. Say what you want to about that, but that was the plan. City council folks can do only so much in a strong mayoral form of city government, so all that I needed to hear would come from these two people.

I’ve heard Linda Stets on WILK many, many times. And more often than not, her words and assertions get me to shaking my head in stunned disbelief. I met her during the Home Rule uprising and would have to characterize her performance as being overzealousness on steroids. And I’ve also seen her in action at a few city council meetings where she always delivers her vitriolic and accusatory grandstanding and whatnot with all of the subtlety of a nuclear-powered jackhammer. From what I’ve seen of her, she seems to be volatile and then some. She is to city politics what the mixing of Mentos and Diet Coke is. Namely, an explosion just waiting to happen.

With all of that said--one jerk’s observations--I honestly expected a much calmer and gentler Linda Stets at this Meet the Candidates event in that the baking soda and water routine would not cut it when trying to present one’s self as the future leader of the faithful. No, for an event of this nature, rationality is a must. Well, at least, you would think so.

She started out by saying she has a lengthy background is law enforcement (???) and quickly segued that into a forceful speech about “border control,” illegals and rampant drug smuggling. She even promised to secure the assistance of the United States Coast Guard in these highly questionable pursuits. Excuse me for being so intellectually inept, but how in the hell can the mayor of this tiny pin-prick of a town on a huge national map bring about “border control?”


She claims to have a degree in biology as it pertains to law enforcement. Or some such thing. I think she should have explained that inflated claim a bit better. And she claims to have a minor degree in Modern America. She went on to say that Modern America is the study of America as it is now, a changing place. That sounds wonderful and nifty and all, but I’ll never pay anyone to teach me about what I can easily glean from CNN for free. Modern America? Please excuse my insolence, but I study that subject each and every day while living it.

She was big on eradicating crime and drugs from the urban landscape, which is absolutely foolhardy at best. And, might I add, ridiculous coming from someone who lives in a city that still qualifies for Act 47, distressed city status. You see, with major crime fighting initiatives comes bills. And to crime and drugs she said, “I WILL NOT TOLERATE IT!!!” with a shrieking over-the-top cadence that would make even Hillary Clinton jealous. Quite obviously, the queen of etiquette she ain’t. In fact, her tone was alarming, if not downright threatening.

And this bombastic warning was barked four different times as she ran down the list of things she would not tolerate as mayor.




There was a menacing quality about her overall demeanor that clearly smacked of an enraged Lorena Bobbitt. If she were my better half, there’s no freaking way I would even think of cheating on her. I wouldn't want to wake-up lying right next to my Jones, you dig?

If elected, she said she will start some sort of regionalized think tank where mayors would brainstorm on how to affect “border control” and stem the flow of illegal drugs. Excuse me for asking, but isn’t she one of those people who so frequently criticize the elected folks for taking part in expensive “junkets.” Whatever. Do as she says, not as she does or proposes to do.

She is against building a new prison in this county and said we should use “reciprocity towards criminals.” I not exactly sure what that’s supposed to mean, but it sure sounded smart. (???) She went on to say that it currently costs $38,000 a year to house a criminal in the county hoosegow, but I’m not entirely sure as to what her point was. If we’re ever going to return to the days when we slept with the doors and windows unlocked, we’ll have to spend whatever it takes to incarcerate whoever needs incarcerating. I think we should build two new prisons and lose the cell door keys right after we lock up the idiots that ruin society for everyone involved.

She promised better city parks, Spring clutter cleanups and an ice skating facility. She promised and end to blight as, once again, she “…WILL NOT TOLERATE IT!!!” She promised beautiful parks, shady streets and safe streets. She promised more garbage cans throughout the city. She promised to create jobs and even went as far to promise to hire an Economic Development Coordinator. A position, by the way, that is currently filled quite capably by Kurt Sauer.

The card she handed me promises to keep our children here, better snow removal, improved services, cleaner streets, cleaner streams, and more focus on “neighborhood business districts” in this big box era where small, family-owned businesses disappear faster than witnesses at the felony trial of an illegal alien.

Funny though, she never mentioned how she would pay for this veritable laundry list of vast improvements. I suppose she WILL NOT TOLERATE deficit spending while improving practically every aspect of our lives and our city. Or as I truly suspect, she’s all bark and no fiscal bite. Or in common parlance, she knows not which she goes on and on about.

And she made a few disturbing comments. What am I supposed to think of a mayoral candidate that forcefully reminds the assembled voters, not once, but twice that “I can handle a gun.”


And she proceeded to tell a couple of little girls in attendance that with crime what it is they should always be aware of their surroundings, and that “you can be pretty little girls and you can still handle a gun?”


And to the criminals not in attendance, she said, “I am no pushover” in forceful tones. And she also said, “ They will deal with the wrath of a woman, a mother and mayor.”

As best I can recall, at that very moment the word “unhinged” came to my mind as well as “unstable.”

She also went on to say that she will be “..the female version of management at City Hall.” And following up on that, she mentioned that women have maternal instincts, and that “women care.” And from that I can only conclude that she believes that men do not care.


Earlier, she made this statement: “Parents should be running this city!” Finally. Something I can wholeheartedly agree with. Damn straight! Parents should be running this city. And since Mayor Tom Leighton has three children…

During the waning moments of her, for lack of a better word…troubling tirade, she said, “I promise you a clean, safe and serene city.”


Because she WILL NOT TOLERATE anything less. And since, she, as mayor, knows how to handle a gun and openly encourages our female youth to learn how to do as much, this city will be serene in between all of the accidental shootings.

Voters of Wilkes-Barre, know this. In my opinion, this lady is certifiable and not even worthy of carrying 10% of the total vote. As a mayoral candidate, she should be treated as a political pariah.

Sez me.

As for her husband, Republican commissioner, Steve “Dr. No” Urban, he listed his accomplishments as he saw them during his current term.

The county loaned X number of millions (sorry, missed that) on the riverfront project.

The county loaned $1 million to CityVest for the Sterling project.

The county then loaned another $5 million for the Sterling project.

Last but not least, the county loaned $1 million for the downtown bookstore project.

In other words, the ongoing revitalization of downtown Wilkes-Barre seems to be one of Steve Urban’s biggest priorities, if not one of his proudest accomplishments. Yet, his wife claims that our mayor is way, way too focused on the downtown and at the expense of our neighborhoods. There’s no continuity there, only a totally conflicted message. I dunno, but I’m thinking they need Ed Mitchell’s expertise and fast. Whatever.

I wouldn’t vote for Steve Urban if he promised to move out of Luzerne County immediately after being elected to another term.

And answer me this. How exactly did Tim Grier come into possession of e-mails sent to Tom Leighton’s office by county departments? And how much time have you spent on county time researching Leighton’s realty transactions at the OCD office? Are you busy running the county, or preoccupied with running your wife’s election campaign?

I do want to give some credit to Walter Griffith. I have jumped up and down on his stones for quite a while now. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t want him running any aspect of my beloved city. Anyway, when I walked into that church basement earlier today, he was the first one reaching for a handshake and offering some niceties to me. A classy move on his part. Kudos to him. Maybe I’ll get off of his stones from here on out. Then again, maybe I won’t.

I will admit to being supremely disappointed that moonbat extraordinaire, Tim Grier, didn’t show up with his video camcorder in hand. I was really looking forward to taunting our most celebrated narcissistic anarchist always on the prowl with his tattered civil disobedience handbook in tow. Truth be told, I’d just assume take him out back and use him like my personal speed bag, but he obviously shies away from those sorts of necessary learning experiences.

How typical.

As for this nonsense where Linda Stets was removed from the council meeting the other night, this is kind of old news. The self-aggrandizing heroes in their own minds show up, cause a regrettable scene and then call WILK the very next day and cite it as proof of some sort of governmental abuse. Nifty, isn’t it? Cause the problem in the first place and then complain about it afterwards.

As for Linda Stets’ assertions on WILK‘s Corbett rantfest, Kathy Kane was showing too much cleavage at the council meeting? What? Are you jealous? Are we feeling a tad concaved while in her presence?


What the fu>k is wrong with these people who would be king?

And if that’s not completely sad enough, now they have that half-witted birdbrain, Steve Corbett, agreeing with all of the vile half-truths and the misrepresentations coming out of their always flapping mouths. Although, I guess it’s not really his fault. It’s blatantly obvious that he’s about as bright as a black hole, but that didn’t stop him from endorsing for mayor a woman who can’t get through a campaign speech without reminding us that she can kill us by way of a firearm. Then again, she’s got Steve’s sorry act down. Not a single radio talk show goes by without Steve reminding us of his martial arts training and the like. Yeah, he purports to be all grown up now and not a proponent of violence. Yet, he reminds us at every turn that he could kill us with his bare hands (not his chest) if he so chooses.

But, I figure he provides a valuable service. You know, empowering the same dozen or so loons who fancy themselves as revolutionaries, free speech advocates and knowers of the sacred political truths. The thing is, duping that loudmouth Steve Corbett is no challenge at all since he comes off as a hopeless dupe himself.

Revolution, baby!

Yeah, Steve. Whatever. Blah, blah, fu>king-blah.

You called for a regime change in Wilkes-Barre only because the Mayor of Wilkes-Barre will not return any of your many calls. And how completely irresponsible and completely self-centered is that, you incessantly clueless blowhard?

The speed bag thing suddenly comes to mind again.

So anyway, I’m glad that I took in not quite an hour of the Meet the Candidates event. Because listening to Linda Stets’ completely unrestrained valedictory reminded me that there is nothing so exulted on the face of Allah’s great Earth as that prince of premiums: free tickets to the circus.

Vote for me, “I can handle a gun.”



‘Til next time.

Make checks payable to: Leighton for Mayor