In this week's Roderick Random notes veteran politics reporter BORYS KRAWCZENIUK opines on the merits of an O'Brien challenge to Paul Kanjorski's seat in the 11th Congressional district. Corey O'Brien, Lackawanna County Commissioner, is taking a bold step in his political career by challenging Kanjo's 24 year occupation of that seat.
Borys details the winning percentage points by Kanjorski against Lou Barletta. He highlights many reasons why O'Brien may be able to unseat Kanjorski. However, Jeff Brauer, a political science professor at Keystone College sums up the argument against an O"Brien win with this statement.
"I can't imagine why he thinks he can win,"
I spoke with a potential candidate for the 116th seat in Pennsylvania. I told him that loses are as important as wins. Kanjorski lost to Ray Musto, Jim Nelligan, and Frank Harrison before he beat Harrison for the seat. Those loses built notoriety. Of course after winning the seat Kanjorski built notoriety of his own but that is another story. You are the company you keep, Charlie Rangel, John Murtha, etc.
If O'Brien loses it isn't a devastating loss. Just the fact the he wants to run against Kanjorski shows that there is more than one sector of voters who really want Kanjorski out. Corey's statement on WILK that those who have benefited from Kanjorski's seniority the most was Paul Kanjorski and family sums up the sentiment behind the challenge.
Kanjorski is proud of his association with Barack Obama. If anything was learned from the Luzerne County mess it should be that one party political dominance is never a good thing for the citizens. I am sick of hearing how bad the Republicans are, that they are contrarians right now. Well, someone should be questioning policies and legislation. IF that questioning is quelled and suppressed you end up with the mess in Luzerne County that is beyond comprehension.
Much has been made of the judges in Luzerne County. Forget that. Take a look at all the other persons involved who had nothing to do with judiciary. The culture of corruption pervaded the halls of an institution that took an oath to protect and serve, not injure and profit.
To rally behind Paul Kanjorski over seniority is like supporting a false prophet. Paul has developed an arrogance in office like the culture that infected Luzerne County. I am not saying he is guilty of any crime, just that he feels his seniority allows him to ignore constituents and still be elected.
He didn't want to host town hall meetings on healthcare reform because, as he stated on WILK, he could reach more constituents by phone. Paul, you need to face your people, see their expressions, look at their body language. That is how you gauge what they really feel. It's hard to do that by land line.