...we have this story that appeared in yesterday's edition of the Scranton Times.
Wansacz is somewhat "less than thrilled" with both the headline and the actual possibility. This comes on the heals of the disclosure that both Mr Eachus & Mr Wansacz have been using their Per Diem pay...you know, that "no proof of expenses required" reimbursement for their travel expenses...to make mortgage payments for Harrisburg investment properties. Others (such as NEPArtisan) have talked about that one already, so I'll just keep it simple: it's another example of the incredible arrogance that permeates the Pennsylvania Legislature like the smell of Curry in an Indian restaurant.
The actual race to replace Senator Mellow is getting interesting. On the Democratic side you have three major candidates...
...endorsed candidate Joseph Corcoran who is nothing more than a tired old politician who seems to believe that he is entitled to this position as as result of his stellar service as county commissioner. How stellar his performance? It was sooooo stellar that he actually lost to Bob Cordaro. He also gave us Randy Castellani, and has been an active supporter of current county controller Ken McDowell, someone who managed to lose millions of dollars while running the Single Tax Office. I could go on, but the point is made. Scratch this one.
...Bob Mellow's mini-me, Representative Wansacz, who, as noted above, is facing a whole slew of bad publicity coming from a slew of bad decisions. Yes, it is WRONG to accept the Per Diem money as currently constructed. Sure it is allowed, but slavery was allowed in America at one time as well, and neither are right. That WRONG is compounded by using the money as a way to buy a personal investment (namely his Harrisburg property). He might as well use the money to buy shares in publicly traded company. The man seems to have developed a bad case of "Legislative Entitlement" disease...this is the same thing that inflicted Bob Mellow...something like 29 years ago. Oh, and as noted above, there is a fighting chance that Rep. Wansacz may called to be testified and basically say "yeah, we all did it" in the Veon trial. That will be priceless.
...Chris Doherty, who I would prefer stay as mayor of Scranton. Someone has to be the counter to Janet Evans & her "I can reduce taxes by increasing unionized city employee costs" mentality. Yes, Mrs Evans has a few good ideas, but it's pretty clear that she is squarely in the pocket of the police and firemen unions. Chris Doherty may have taken things a bit to far in failing to reach reasonable agreements with the police and firemen (make no mistake about it, both groups DESERVE reasonable cost of living raises) but Janet Evans is just as extreme on the opposite end of the spectrum. If Doherty wins, Scranton City Council would most likely appoint Janet Evans as mayor, which would be a disaster. Lastly, there is a credible question of physical capability that needs to be asked: If Janet Evans is disabled to the point of no longer being able to teach English at Scranton High School, how could be be physically capable of handling the demands of being mayor?
The above makes me think that the best choice may be in one of the other candidates, such as Chris Phillips. Mr Phillips has two things going for him as far as I am concerned:
1. He has pissed off a lot of people, including many numerous anonymous Internet message board posters. That's a good thing. On the other end of the spectrum I am sure that Chris Doherty isn't much of a fan. In my book, if you are pissing people off at either end that generally means that you are actually doing something right.
2. He can disagree while still being respectful. For example, he fought the ill-conceived sale of the South Side Complex in Scranton for years, but unlike some others, he did it in a way that was respectful and grounded in logic and reasoning.
I know there are others running, but I have to be honest in that I don't know who they are, so no offense to anyone who I neglected to mention. They will just have to do without the publicity generated by the two people that actually read this stuff.