Sunday, November 14, 2010

TL LETTER TO THE EDITOR -Forget smoking in parks; W-B has bigger problems

The following is re-posted from the Times Leader. I hope its writer Mr. McDougal doesn't mind:

Other than serving as rubber stamps for the mayor, members of the Wilkes-Barre City Council don’t seem to do very much.

So I guess that explains why they passed an ordinance banning smoking in all public parks. What a relief! That is, no doubt, the number-one problem we have in our fair city. It will provide something to show the people when they run for re-election.

It appears to me that the police have their hands full dealing with illegal drugs and other crimes; but I guess they can spend some time cruising the parks, passing out tickets to those old guys smoking on Public Square or in Kirby Park. Have to protect the children.

While council is worried about someone smoking in a park, it seems to have no problem with supporting the opening of every new bar in downtown. Now, who is likely to be more of a problem: the guy smoking in the park, or the guy drinking alcohol?

Once they get park smoking under control, no doubt they can move on to protecting us from salt, fat and toys in the Happy Meal. Won’t that be great?

As for our Baghdad-style roads, broken sidewalks, blocked storm drains, broken and missing street signs, littered streets, under-funded city retirement fund and deteriorating neighborhoods, expect no improvement.

-by Bob McDougal of Wilkes-Barre

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tim Mullen Top Vote Recipient Among Libertarian State Rep Candidates

Tim Mullen told the Times Tribune that he felt "a little disheartened" after receiving 15% of the vote in the 120th district race, second to (D) Mundy's 53% and (R) Goldsworthy's 32%. Some Mullen campaign workers expected him to come in second, especially since he had knocked on 12 thousand doors. Lou Jasikoff thought Mullen would at least receive 20% of the vote.

Despite having fallen short of his high goals, Mullen was the most successful libertarian State Rep Candidate in Pennsylvania. Vance Mays from out in Western PA won a greater percentage of votes in his district with 15.8%, but Mays only had to run against one other candidate, and Mays received 2,473 total votes to Mullen's total of 2,858.

[Update 2-8-11: Mullen Campaign Director Lou Jasikoff says Mullen received the most (or at least second most) votes of any Libertarian candidate running against two other candidates in the nation.]

Mullen made significant headway in the 120th. He received no less than 7% of the vote at any polling place, possibly aided by the fact that he had volunteers passing out cards at almost every one. With regard to the future, if people become used to, and comfortable with seeing a Libertarian on the ballot, they may one day just elect him.

Other NEPA Libertarian State Rep candidates were Brian Bergman, who got 4.5% of votes in the 119th district race, and Tom Anderson, who received 5.5% of votes in the 109th district contest.

Libertarian Betsy Summers got a considerable amount of the votes in the PA 14th Senate race with 5.6% of total votes or 3,737 total.

Edward Gately, Libertarian candidate for the 28th State Senatorial district in York County received 15.7% of the vote with 11,497. He only had one opponent, however, while Besty had two: Democrat John Yudichak and Republican Steve Urban*.

It seems elections will continue to be an uphill battle for Libertarian and third party candidates, especially when they run against more than one candidate. At this point, it would be a victory in and of itself if Libertarian candidates were present in every election over several years. Perhaps time is needed in order for the Party to build of steam.

*Urban has since then switched to the Democrat Party