Leighton's cousin Bill Vinsko and J.J. Murphy's relative Patrick Murphy lost their Democrat primary elections.
It appears as though the house of Leighton is again unable break out from the political underworld of Wilkes-Barre City. Bill Vinsko, city attorney and cousin of Leighton, lost to Gene Stilp in the Democrat primary for the 11th Congressional District. Word had it that Democrat party elites had backed Vinsko. Interestingly, both Vinsko and Stilp were King's grads, but this was their lone similarity.
While Stilp seemed like an honest activist, Vinsko was more than complicit with all of W-B city's corruption; most notably, the contract he wrote between the city and price-gouging tow-truck operator Leo Glodzik. Although the contract mandates that logs be kept of each tow, they haven't been since it was written in 2006. Mayor Leighton has refused to enforce these provisions even after activist Mark Robbins went to the papers in 2011. All the while, Vinsko has looked the other way. Moreover, Vinsko has incorporated several businesses for Glodzik and was Facebook friends with him.
The Glodzik scam or "Cars for Cash" works like this: W-B City cops call him to tow a vehicle. He then charges outrageously high towing fees, which poor people can't afford to pay right away. Then, Glodzik charges high impounding fees, so that the person has virtually no hope of ever getting their car back. Meanwhile Glodzik guts the car and sells its parts. Each year, $50,000 of Glodzik's revenue goes to Wilkes-Barre city as mandated by the contract: a sort of legal pay-off. Glodzik is supposed to be prevented from price gouging people because the contract mandates that he charge industry standard and that logs be kept of these tows by city police. Glodzik lied to the Times Leader saying the flat rate of $200 he charged Mark Robbins for a rollback tow was industry standard, when it is actually around $80.* Robbins won a right to know request against W-B City Police and Glodzik, and according to Robbins, the records they produced did not match. This is the sort of baggage Vinsko carries around.
Stilp also had a modest but far-reaching celebrity status over his activism and opposition to the PA Legislature's pay raise vote. His demonstrations involved a pink pig prop, which he parlayed into a symbol of his campaign, even placing it as the background on his yard signs. If Stilp beats the emasculate "play it safe" dud Lou Barletta in the general election this November, hopefully he will continue with his opposition to corruption and not be a rubber stamp for the wantonly corrupt Obama agenda.
J.J. "the snake" Murphy is a former Wilkes-Barre City Administrator, and is said to be Leighton's top schmooze-artist. If his relative Patrick Murphy won the primary for attorney general and were elected, there would be absolutely no hope whatsoever of any W-B City Government corruption ever being investigated by the attorney general's office. Murphy lost primarily because his opponent Kathleen Kane (no known relation of W-B city controller Kathy Kane) received Bill Clinton's endorsement. It's amazing how simple-minded and sheepish Democrats are that they would be so affected by an endorsement from an establishment sleezebag like Clinton. Regardless, Kane probably also wouldn't investigate Cars for Cash, since even the Republican attorney general has hesitated to do so.
In 2010, Leighton lost to John Yudichak in the state senate primary 69% to 31%. We were told by an old resident of Wilkes-Barre that four or five families maintain political control over the entire city. Like modern Medici, their kind predominate in government offices throughout Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County. But their political reach doesn't seem to go far beyond city limits, as these losses seem to attest.