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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

W-B Republicans: They huff and they puff and they get blown away

With the election done and gone, a few incendiary thoughts.

Now that the mayoral scrum in this city has been decided, it’s good to see that a certain county commissioner has stopped slinging accusatory arrows at Mayor Tom Leighton over the impending fate of the Hotel Sterling and has decided that the county should rightfully take the lead on the demolition funding.

So a hearty pat on the head goes out to the little fella.

As far as that supposedly hotly-contested mayoral race is concerned, is there an actual Republican party in this city? I mean, like, do they have semi regular meetings and funding sources and business cards and everything? Seriously, is there an official Wilkes-Barre Republican party apparatus in place?

Because I have to say, when you look at the ill-qualified and ill-prepared candidates that keep getting stoned year-in and year-out in this city, and when you see the threadbare campaign coffers and even the garishly painted homemade yard signs, it sure doesn’t seem as if there’s much of an organization.

And if there is an organization in place, what does it do other than firing off phalanxes of right-to-know requests?

And who’s responsible for the amateurish and ill-conceived “Take Back City Hall” cards that were distributed at the polling places on election day?

On the front side, just below the list of city Repugnicans seeking elected office it says, “Be sure to vote for all electing just one won’t get it done!” Or, vote a straight party ticket.

But on the flip slide, the condescension, the self-importance and the lecturing begins with “Its time to vote for the person not the party.” Nothing totally contradictory going on there. Nope. Pure genius.

So, you can’t even publish a stinkin’ poll card that makes sense, but you want me to put you and yours in charge? Fat chance, fathead.

Face it, you're no Renita.

Whoa! And those folks over at Betsy’s Vote4Betsy Facebook election page are of the unhinged variety. It's obvious that this area is woefully short on doctors specializing in shock therapy. Let me see….oh, yeah, try this from one of the asylum escapees...

As it was told on Moonbats4Betsy, the FBI assigned a field agent to take down Tom Leighton, but according to one of Betsy’s followers, Leighton “turned him.”

He turned him? What, did they drag him up to the DPW building and water-board the dude until he promised to vote a straight Democrat ticket? What are you going to do when the loonies get to creating their lunacy? Scream? Run like hell?

Oh, and this one is a classic direct from the guy who specializes in slander as well as illegal parking. According to this guy, our chief of police is having an affair with a heroin addict and is also protecting her drug house.

Here’s the cut, copy and paste, his words not mine:

“Show up at City Council Thursday (5:30-6pm). Some vey big news will be announced. If you care about corruption and institutional silence... then show your support.
On the docket: Aldulterous sex scandal with Dessoye and heroin addict and protection of drug house.”

Oh, baby! Andrew Staub will go all carpel tunnel on his note pad when this slanderous bomb drops in public!

Anyway, to the Repuglicans and Independents of Wilkes-Barre I say, y’all gotta do better than this. Because if this is all you got, you ain’t got nothin‘ at all.

Sez me, Markie…a registered Republican.



Andrew Staub said...


I always appreciate the insight of your blog posts. They are reasonable, rational and fair. In fact, I found this entry dead-on with the questions it raises about the Republican Party in Wilkes-Barre.

However, you chose to include a line that directly attacks my ethics. I'd like to respond respectfully.

To suggest that I am some sort of caricature of a journalist who just scribbles excitedly in my notebook when potentially libelous accusations surface is not only offensive, it lacks an understanding of what journalists do.

I will write down what I hear or see at the meeting. That's what I do every day. That's what other journalists do every day. It's the definition of reporting. You can mock me for practicing methods you seem to believe are laughable, but it just doesn't make much sense when you really think about it.

You also seem to draw the conclusion that whatever enters my notebook is simply printed in the paper with wanton disregard of the power words can carry. That's just not true.

The allegations you're referencing were first raised weeks ago at a public meeting. Unlike the Times Leader, I didn't write about them after that meeting, and I won't write about them unless something substantial arises. Whether that happens at tomorrow's council meeting or in a week or in a month from now is yet to be seen. I'm sure my editors and I will have a judgment call to make tomorrow if the allegations arise again.

All of this isn't to say I haven't asked questions about the accusations over the past few weeks. Any self-respecting journalist would have to look into allegations raised against a public official at a public meeting, especially in a two-newspaper town in Luzerne County.

I bet some people never thought two judges would lock up kids to line their own pockets with cash, either, but reporters had to ask questions regardless. I'm sure lots of people just tossed aside the rumors about Jerry Sandusky, too. A reporter asked questions and exposed a grand jury investigation (and no, I am not comparing that situation to the allegations you referenced). The point is, you never know what the truth is until you dig. Sometimes digging leads to nothing. You just never know.

You can label me however you want. That's fine. I don't expect or aim to change your mind with this response.

All I know is that, at the end of the day, I'd prefer to be known as a reporter who challenged officials even if it was the unpopular or difficult thing to do rather than be known as the reporter who was too soft.

Since I've been covering the city, I believe citizens have been more informed of what's happening in their government than ever. While I cover the obligatory press conferences, events, etc., things that were kept quiet before also have been brought into the public eye. That's a good thing for the community. People can judge the news for themselves. I don't tell them what to think.

Either way, I just wanted to put that on the record in a respectful manner. My email address is, and I certainly welcome further critiques, challenges and suggestions any time. I'd be more than happy to discuss city news whenever you'd like.

I look forward to reading your blog in the future.

Take care,
Andrew Staub

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what Mark, Andrew can sure dish it out but the second anyone mentions his name in a statement he is all out defensive. When a reporter responds the way he just did to a random blog it sounds like he has a guilty conscience. Maybe it's finally getting to him.

zorcong said...

I can’t speak to the state of his conscience, but I did talk to him on the phone today.

When I typed what I did, my intent was not to bust his stones or to question his ethics, etc., etc., etc. What I was envisioning was a studious reporter busily trying to keep up with the self-appointed energizer slanderer on steroids.

Andrew has covered city politics and the like very, very closely this past year. Whether any of us deems it to be good or bad, fair or biased, left or right, he’s been on it like white on rice. And for that, he does deserve some accolades.

I think he gave a good, concise and honorable accounting of himself with his comments, and I’ll leave it at that.

The election is over. It’s time to let the wounds heal.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, baby! Andrew Staub will go all carpel tunnel on his note pad when this slanderous bomb drops in public!"

The sentence gets Staub to accuse you of questioning his ethics...Wow! Since he was so far up Jimmy Hayward's ass leading up to the election, I guess he forgot the true definition of ethics.

I did see a copy of the Joursalism Ethics which he seemed to avoid after the 6th article on Mayor Leighton's kids working as summer interns. I missed the article on Tom Makar's or Christine Jensen's kids, or even better was the "How Many Barney Farms kids had jobs" slant.

Andrew, you jumped in the sewer with the rats, and now get defensive when someone says you might have a little stink to you. My sources say they haven't seen you leaving Charlotte's house lately. I guess the pow-wows have stopped.

My favorvite campaign slogan was Summers over Hummers!!!

Anonymous said...

Leighton won.

Staub, the useful tool, lost.