Back on October 2, 2009 famed WILK Talk Show Host Steve Corbett wrote the following editorial " One Is As Bad As The Other". Here is it's content.
One Is As Bad As The Other
Steve Corbett Reporting
Friday, October 02, 2009
Hunger and pain is easy to overlook as long as you’re not hungry and in pain.
Sen. Bob Mellow is neither hungry nor hurting.
Rep. Todd Eachus is neither hungry nor hurting.
Mellow, the Pennsylvania Senate minority Democratic leader and Eachus, the majority House of Representatives Democratic Leader, are bloated plutocrats who have lost all connection to the real world of hunger and pain outside Harrisburg where they are paid handsomely to uphold the public trust.
Their failure to lead lawmakers into passing a long-overdue budget can no longer be excused or overlooked. Their self-absorbed impressions of themselves are hurting people. Their willingness to live the good life while their constituents are living no life at all can no longer be accepted.
Both men are powerful Democrats.
Other powerful Democrats should call them out.
Elected Democrats to local and state positions must focus on alerting Mellow and Eachus to the damage being done to our communities.
Mellow really should know better. As the state’s longest sitting senator, he knows the rules of the game as well as anyone. Or does he?
Mellow might have outlived his usefulness to anyone than himself and those campaign donors to whom he is indebted and wants to remain connected. That does little good to the process of good government that he supposedly understands and is paid to uphold.
Eachus also is no use to anyone but himself and those who created him as a monster manipulator who really isn’t even all that good at political wheeling-and-dealing.
When I visited Harrisburg recently, I spoke with a number of Capitol insiders who said that Eachus is not well respected among the rank-and-file lawmakers and definitely does not know how to negotiate or get things done.
In the old days, even in the midst of the corruption that sent legendary Sen. Vince Fumo to prison, where he now sits during the budget debacle, things got done. It took awhile but Fumo knew what strings to pull and pulled them. Fumo was a master at negotiation – by hook or by crook.
He was a criminal bully and a shameless intimidator but he got the job done.
Mellow doesn’t know how to put together a package that helps the people in Pennsylvania who desperately need help. Even if he wanted to help, Mellow never knew how to create connections and alliances that brought strength rather than weakness to progressive public policy.
Eachus doesn’t even have a clue.
This week the untested, unseasoned know-it-all even went so far as to criticize Gov. Ed Rendell, a brother Democrat who is as adept at politics as anybody in America. Eachus said he did not believe Rendell understood the rules of the House of Representatives.
If Eachus’ arrogance wasn’t so pathetic and counterproductive it would be funny.
But the budget impass is no laughing matter
And Eachus is digging us into a deeper hole rather than building ladders to help get us out.
How Eachus got to the position of power where he finds himself today is truly beyond me. State government was in such a state of disarray when Eachus arrived on the scene that I believe he just fell into the job.
He never impressed seasoned old-timers and today lacks the real behind-the-scenes support of the remaining political fixers who know how to get things done. If anything, he interferes in a way that causes resentment and makes life worse instead of better
I watched Eachus last Friday show up for the rededication of the Luzerne County Courthouse. He started shaking hands in the parking lot as soon as he arrived and graduated to handshakes and hugs throughout the morning – empty greetings to other empty suits.
Walking in the shadows of power and corruption with a lackey aid walking two steps behind him, Eachus struck me as a terribly insecure man who is working overtime not at passing a budget but at overcompensating for his inability by get the job done. Instead of hunkering down in Harrisburg, he wasted precious time and money at an event that only served to highlight the terrible state of despair in his own home county.
Yet Eachus did not seem embarrassed. Oblivious to his own failings, he merely further distanced himself from the life and death problems of the people he supposedly serves.
Mellow is a lost cause.
Eachus is a just a younger version.
Re-election might not be as easy as they think.
Even hungry people in pain can vote.