I was pleasantly surprised this morning after learning from WILK’s Sue Henry that the May primary election is but two weeks away. Wow. Already?
Once I got home from work, I decided to take a trip over to the Luzerne County Web site, and take a look at the sample ballot--the one with all of the candidates names penciled in. After some initial confusion, it quickly dawned on me that I very recently switched my party affiliation. So away went the democrat ballot, and up came the PDF file listing all of the republicans.
The first few races, Justice of the Supreme Court, Judge of the Superior Court and Judge of the Commonwealth Court are all being sought by candidates from counties far, far away from here, candidates that I have never even heard of before. And since I ain’t yet heavily addicted to GrassrootsPA, or PoliticsPA, I might just have to skip those electoral frays.
Then we got the judge race, Luzerne County style…17 candidates slugging it out over two vacant judgeships, and we can only vote for two. And since I previously said I‘ll probably snub the good old boys network by voting only for chicks, for me it comes down to Jennifer Rogers, Tina Polacheck Gartley and Molly Hanlon Mirabito. I am yet to decide on which of the two I will vote for.
Ah, the County Controller…vote for one. Robert Sypnewski, Alice B. Coffman, Nanda Palissery, Edward A. Brominski and Walter L. Griffith Jr. Here’s my quick rundown.
Palissery and Coffman disqualified themselves by scoffing at working fulltime hours if elected. Sypnewski blew it when he decided to launch into his venomous anti-lawyer tirade at one of the recent debates. Brominski has himself a political pedigree, so he’s out. And last but not certainly least is Walter.
Walter’s tenaciousness as a government watchdog is matched only by his full understanding of the county code. He’s attended the meetings, he’s called the politicians on their many flubs and oversights, as well as pointed out their own lack of knowledge of the inner workings of the county government on occasion.
He has promised to be there tirelessly doing his job to the tune of fulltime hours. And to prove his seriousness and commitment to the position, he has promised to sell his business upon being elected. He’s definately got my vote.
Then we have the prothonotary race between Carolee Medico Olenginski and Walter Mitchell.
Carolee previously served as the prothonotary before being run out of the courthouse by the corrupt powers that be. And it’s undeniable that she ruffled the feathers of many entrenched democrats, and could never be accused of going along to get along.
And Mitchell, well, Mitchell is the Mayor of Bear Creek Village, the tiny hamlet that was flooded into financial chaos because it neglected to secure the necessary flood insurances and the like, despite the fact that said hamlet envelopes a large body of water.
I’m going with Carolee.
For Register of Wills, we have Gina Nerenglosky running unopposed. What am I supposed to do with a one-horse race?
And for both Jury Commissioner and Magisterial District Judge, again, we have lone candidates running unopposed in each race.
And for the first time ever, I am actually interested in the Wilkes-Barre School Director contest. We have eight contestants, four of which are currently serving on the school board, with four newcomers challenging the lot of them. Thanks to the scandal brewing within the district as a result of the ongoing FBI investigation, the four newcomers have it.
And I especially like Harry Haas, a bright young mind who lives in the city and is also an educator in the Dallas Area School District. This is a guy who convincingly comes across as wanting in only for the sakes of the kids. If he doesn’t win a seat on that board, I will be annoyed with the electorate. Seriously annoyed.
Then we have another guy, Vern Kozicki, running unopposed for Inspector of Elections. Who? What? Yawn.
And lastly, what I like to call “The big two.” We’ve got the Government Study Commission Referendum question, in which we are supposed to vote either yes or no, for or against forming yet another government study commission. Yes? No? I’m still not sure which way I’ll fall off that fence.
And then we’ve got twenty people running for the study commission, if and when the voters vote yes to the formation of another governmental reform brain trust. I believe we can vote for eleven.
I have followed the less than heavy publicized exploits of this current group, and I have followed the latest on their Web site. And I have to tell you, other than Walter Griffith, this group is comprised of 19 complete strangers. In all honesty, I know so very little about any of them, I fail to see how I could or would cast a vote for any of them. A commission of unknowns? Who best? Got me by the ball bearings.
And whatever you do, resist the sudden urge to chastise me for not attending any of their far-flung public informational events. Hey, I didn’t demand a revolution, so don’t harp on me for not attending something I never asked for in the first place.
I received more than my fill of unwanted, unneeded and unearned chastising from the radio talk show hosts on WILK after David Yonki’s Lu Lac Political Letter sponsored a judge forum and practically nobody bothered to attend it.
Yeah, I know, I know…17 lawyers want to be judges. And I fail to see how a five-minute dissertation could make any of them decisively stand out over the others. And a short question and answer period reveals next to nothing, if the person providing the answers is less than honest and forthright.
I attended two of these meet the candidates events in the past, and I can’t envision a scenario wherein I would ever bother to attend one again.
Anyway, yes or no? Yet another government study commission or not? I guess I’ll decide that one when they close that imaginary voting curtain behind me. Either which way, as always, I can’t wait to vote. And with scandals breaking out all over the place, I hope everyone who reads this is itching to vote as well.
Them’s my thoughts on all of that.