Shocker! Poll Shows Top Dem Dog Down In Pa To Newbie

A poll released two days ago shows a 31-year-old Republican challenger to be five points up on one of the most powerful politicians in Pennsylvania.

The poll of 800 voters in Pennsylvania’s 116th legislative district shows challenger Tarah Toohil to be preferred to Democrat incumbent Todd Eachus 49 to 44 percent with 9 percent undecided. It was conducted Oct. 18 and sponsored by the Pennsylvania House Republican Campaign Committee.

Eachus is the majority leader in the State House. He was expected to easily win the race.

A Sept. 15 poll sponsored  by the committee showed Ms. Toohil down by 4 points.

Hat tip to Bob Guzzardi.

And in other poll news, Terry Madonna’s latest Franklin & Marshall Poll shows Republican Pat Toomey up by 7 points over Democrat Joe Sestak in the Pennsylvania senate race.


Obamacare Inspires Sale Of Catholic Hospitals

An attempt is being made to sell three financially solvent Catholic hospitals in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the motive is Obamacare, according to their owner.

On the block are Mercy Hospital in Scranton, Mercy Tyler Hospital in Tunkhannock and Mercy Special Care Hospital in Nanticoke, which are owned by Mercy Health Partners of Scranton.

Mercy Health CEO Kevin Cook told WNEP-TV that while the hospitals were “actually . . doing well” they expect that over the next five years “a different level of investment” would be needed that what they could do on their own.

He spelled it out by saying that the  required investment is the result of the federal health care reform bill passed last March. He said there will be the need for more spending and less federal reimbursements.

He said the legislation was “absolutely” a factor in their planning.

Mercy Hospital in Scranton was opened in 1917 by the Sisters of Mercy.

A sale is expected by the end of the year.

Poll Puts Carney Ahead Of Marino

A Lycoming College Poll released yesterday has incumbent Democrat Chris Carney ahead of Republican challenger Tom Marino in Pennsylvania’s 10th District congressional race. Carney was preferred by 43 percent of likely voters to 40 percent for Marino, a former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

The poll has a margin of error of 5.1 percentage points. Sampled were 370 likely voters, 54.7 percent of whom were Republicans, 37.8 Democrats and 7.5 percent third-party/independents.

It was conducted  between Sept. 26and Sept. 30 shortly after the NRA came out for Carney and in the midst of allegations that Marino helped a convicted felon get a casino license.

Marino led 40 percent to 36 percent in a Times-Leader Critical Insight Poll released Sept. 26.

There had been reports that the Democrat Congressional Campaign  Committee had been giving up on Carney.

Hat tip to

NRA Picks Dem, GOA Picks Lou

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund has endorsed its third Democrat in Pennsylvania congressional contests. The pick announced Wednesday was embattled incumbent Paul Kanjorski who is considered to be behind GOP challenger Lou Barletta, Hazleton’s popular mayor, in the 11th District race.

“As a member of Congress, Kanjorski has demonstrated his commitment to our Second Amendment rights by voting for legislation to allow permit holders to carry and transport firearms for self-defense in national parks and wildlife refuges, as well as voting for legislation to restore self-defense rights in our nation’s capital.” the NRA-PVF said. “He signed the pro-gun congressional amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting our individual right to keep and bear arms in the Heller case and signed the pro-gun congressional amicus brief that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that protects all Americans in the McDonald case.  Kanjorski also cosponsored legislation to force much-needed reform at the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
“In addition, Kanjorski voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which prevents attempts to bankrupt the American gun industry through bogus lawsuits, and signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder opposing the reenactment of the failed Clinton gun ban.  He also voted for the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act that prohibits gun confiscation during states of emergency as happened after Hurricane Katrina.”

Barletta, however, also considered to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment  has the endorsement of the Gun Owner of America Political Victory Fund.

“Lou’s opponent, Paul Kanjorski, likes to play both sides of the fence on
the gun issue,” the GOA endorsement statement said.  “He will cast an occasional pro-gun vote so he can go
back to the district and try to convince voters that he is pro-gun, but
he votes for the Pelosi agenda most of the time.”

The NRA has also endorsed Democrat incumbents Chris Carney in the 10th District and Jason Altmire in the 4th District. The GOA has not yet announced endorsements in those races.


A Pet’s 10 Commandments

This is courtesy of Father James Hayer, pastor of Saint Mary Church in Wilkes Barre. He said he was greatly assisted by his 3-year-old German shepherd, Euro.

I. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful.

II. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

III. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

IV. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

V. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

VI. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.

VII. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite you.

VIII. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

IX. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too, will grow old.

X. On the ultimate difficult journey go with me please. Never say you can’t bear to watch. Don’t make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so.

Take a moment to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them.

Barletta Up Double Digits Says Times Leader Poll

A poll of likely voters commissioned by the Wilkes Barre-based Times Leader showed  Republican Lou Barletta, Hazleton’s mayor, preferred 43-32 percent over long-time Democrat incumbent Paul Kanjorski in the Pennsylvania 11th District congressional race.

A Times Leader poll for the 10th District race showed Republican challenger Tom Marino favored 40-36 percent over Democrat incumbent Chris Carney.

The surveys were conducted by Critical Insights of Portland, Maine, and have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

Of the people polled, 55 percent were women, who are far more likely to vote Democrat than men.

Scott Ritter, Whatever Happened To?

Remember Scott Ritter? He was the former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998. Circa 2003 you could find him on just about any cable news show describing how evil America was for invading Iraq and how Bush was a liar etc. So in these Obama years what has he been up to?

He has been in the Poconos; in a Monroe County courtroom to be exact, trying to get charges dropped that he set up a rendezvous for improper relations with a 15-year-girl he met on the internet. The “girl”, of course, turned out to be a Barret Township police officer.

In 2001, he was nailed in a similar sting. He has said that had been an attempt by The Man to silence his expose of Bush and Evil America.

Update: Ritter was convicted on six counts and sentenced to 18-66 months in state prison.


Scott Ritter, Whatever Happened To?

 Scott Ritter, Whatever Happened To?

Chinese Cause Comeback For King Coal

Chinese demand is causing a mini-boom in Luzerne County, Pa. anthracite coal. The Chinese have imported 920,010 tons of metallurgical coal — or coal used in metal refining rather than for fuel — in the first quarter which is a 42 percent increase over a year earlier.

The most valuable metallurgical coal is anthracite. Pennsylvania, especially Northeast Pennsylvania,  is by far the leading source of it.

The Chinese need the coal for steelmaking and have turned to Pennsylvania.  Vietnam, their traditional source of anthracite, is cutting them off to use it to produce electricity for itself.

For the unemployed thinking about finding a job loading 16 tons like in the song, most of the coal today is acquired via steam shovels and surface mining. It employs about 500 people today compared to 100,000 in the 1940s.

Hat tip to Dorothy Hayer.

Judge Told To Unseal Orie Info

The state Supreme Court, yesterday, ordered the trial judge to unseal documents relating to the cases of state Sen. Jane Clare Orie (R-40)  and her sister, Janine Orie.

The Ories have been charged in Allegheny County  with theft of service and other crimes relating to the allegation that they improperly assigned state employees to work on the successful election campaign of their sister Joan Orie Melvin to the state Supreme Court last fall.

The 40th District includes part of Allegheny County.

The District Attorney is Stephen Zappala, a Democrat and a political enemy of the Ories. Among the documents the Supreme Court ordered Common Pleas Court Judge John A. Zottola to release was a motion filed by then Orie attorney Jerry McDevitt asking that the District Attorney’s Office be prohibited from investigating Orie because of conflicts of interest.

Zottola sealed the records claiming he was following the directions of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said Zottola misinterpreted them.

The petition to unseal the records was filed April 16 — nine days after the charges were levied —  by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and WPXI-TV.

Zappala has an interesting connection to the Luzerne County cash-for-kids scandal. His brother Gregory was co-owner of the PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care incarceration facilities where the youths were sent in return for kickbacks to Luzerne County judges.

Gregory Zappala has not been connected to the kickbacks although his partner Robert Powell pleaded guilty in 2009 to failing to report a felony,

Gregory’s and Stephen’s father is former Supreme Court Judge Stephen Zappala Sr. The business address for Western PA Child Care was actually the home of Zappala Sr.

Greg Skrepenak and His Luzerne County Crucifixion

Greg Skrepenak and His Luzerne County Crucifixion
Greg Skrepenak was warmly greeted when he appeared Sunday, two days after his sentencing, at the Festival and Flea Market at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Wilkes Barre. Parishioners offered him sympathy and support, and many expressed disgust at some of the things being said about him. With him is parish priest Father James Hayer.

The holy and sainted Democrats who run Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County drafted local sports legend and political neophyte Greg Skrepenak to run for county commissioner in 2003. He easily won as expected and was promptly named chairman of the board.

Skrepenak, known in the area as Skrep, won All-American honors in football and basketball at Wilkes Barre’s G.A.R. Memorial Junior Senior High School in the 1980s and was an MVP in baseball. Skrep went on to the University of Michigan were he became an All-American offensive lineman and was the Gator Bowl MVP in 1991. He went on to a respectable pro career with the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders and the Carolina Panthers.

Skrep’s life was not a bed of roses, however. Personal issues led to his retirement from football. His wife had become addicted to drugs and he was raising by himself his daughter and two sons.

Skrep as commissioner did as he was told and in return was given rein to indulge his dreams of expanding services to those with drug problems and youth at risk.  He ran for re-election in 2007 and again easily won.

Maybe the most damning thing Skrep  did in his tenure as Democrat Party puppet was vote to use private detention centers for juveniles. These centers were paid on a per prisoner basis. This resulted in horrifying abuse. Kids who committed rather minor offenses were ordered incarcerated by judges who received kickbacks. Anyway, the sin was not the vote, as dumb as it may have been in hindsight, but the kickbacks and Skrep has not been connected to them in the slightest.

What Skrep was connected to was taking a $5,000 discount from the fellow who was building his condo, a fellow who then at Skrep’s behest received some sweet tax breaks from the county. Skrep initially denied seeing anything wrong in this. He thought the discount was due to friendship and said he would have pushed for a tax break for the fellow anyway because, well, he was his friend. Those who know him believe him. Skrep could safely be described as the dream commissioner for a Luzerne County party boss.

Anyway, a hungry federal prosecutor couldn’t resist such an easy chance to put a new head on the wall and Skrep was charged with bribery, a charge to which he would eventually plead guilty.

With the big man safely down, the local media jumped on him with both feet. Every word he uttered in his defense was questioned. His children were ridiculed. The references to his religion he made during his apology at his sentencing were mercilessly mocked.

U.S. District Judge Richard P. Conaboy gave him 24 months and those who leech pleasure from others’ pain gave themselves pats on the back.

Oh, if only Skrep had been a billionaire pedophile like Jeff Epstein for whom our courageous men and women in federal law enforcement managed to also get a two-year sentence. Then Skrep could have daily furloughs to his office for his first year and serve his second year under house arrest.

But the feds have their priorities, one guesses.


The Crucifixion Of Greg Skrepenak


Greg Skrepenak and His Luzerne County Crucifixion


The Crucifixion Of Greg Skrepenak


Greg Skrepenak and His Luzerne County Crucifixion