Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cuozzo And Deakos Cost Taxpayers Thousands And Were Dead Wrong

Hazleton's constant complainants, Dee Deakos and Grace Cuozzo teamed up against their own City of Hazleton to make incredulous allegations regarding a lease arrangement including debt passed by Hazleton City Council to the Department of Community and Economic Development filed June 27, 2011. Their initial complaint was faulty and they resubmitted an amended complaint on June 30, 2011.

SOP has obtained a copy of the decision by C. Alan Walker, Secretary of Community and Economic Development in favor of the City of Hazleton in their latest unfounded attack. Categorically, the Secretary catapults their claims as inaccurate through failing to provide any concrete evidence to their assertions with phrases like - in this regard the Complainants have not provided any concrete evidence, the Complainants challenge that the nature of the project is inconsistent with the provisions of the URA law is also without merit, and the Complainants do not cite any specific provisions of the URA law.

The best one that sums up the inability of these two vexatious complainants is this description found on page 6. Finally, the Complainants allege that the borrowing should have been approved by ordinance, not by resolution, in accordance with the Third Class City Code. This allegation is without merit factually. The city did pass an ordinance for the Project, No. 2011-10 on June 7, 2011, not a resolution.

In part II of his answer titled "Challenges to the Regularity of the City's Debt Proceedings" the Secretary reminds them that his department does not deal with allegations of violations of the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law or the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act.

The pair also alleged that the borrowing was an open ended agreement with no limitations on maximum interest payments and was summarily dismissed as misplaced. In part III they had to be reminded that Tax Anticipation Notes are not "debt".

None of this information made Kent Jackson's article in the Standard Speaker regarding this matter. He reported that their complaint was dismissed because it wasn't timely filed.

Hazleton mayoral candidate Grace Cuozzo challenged the city's plan to borrow $5.6 million too late, a state lawyer said when explaining why her complaint was dismissed.

Scott Longwell, assistant counsel for the state Department of Community and Economic Development, said Cuozzo needed to challenge the tax and revenue anticipation note when the city borrowed it in January. Instead, she and Hazleton resident Dee Deakos filed the challenge this summer after the city sought to extend the repayment and long after the 15-day deadline ran out.

Cuozzo said dismissing the challenge on a technicality leaves unanswered two concerns that led her to file the challenge.

It seems odd to SOP that a letter signed by the Secretary is quoted in a newspaper article as information from the assistant counsel.  It seems even odder that given the detail with which the Secretary dismissed their complaints only timeliness made it to the people of Hazleton via publication. It is also evident that Cuozzo appears to mislead the public about the entire content of the Secretary's letter.

Kent Jackson wrote about the cost of their futile challenge to the taxpayers of the City of Hazleton.

Hazleton's acting Director of Administration Mary Ellen Lieb said the complaint delayed the borrowing and cost the city $20,000 to $25,000 in legal fees. Also, additional interest paid while extending the original loan, which expired June 30, exceeds $10,000 so far and will accrue at $270 a day until the new loan is finalized, which Lieb said might take a few more weeks.
The accrual could amount to thousands more if it will take a weeks to resolve. 

Civarella Sentence- 28 Years

Judge Edwin Kosik sentenced former Judge Mark Ciavarella to 28 years in prison. According to Sue Henry of WILK news radio Ciavarella intends on surrendering today.

Update:  The Times Leader is reporting this storyM on the sentencing of disgraced former Judge Mark Ciavarella in what the U.S. Attorney's Office is calling the most corrupt investigation in local history. The federal investigation, the largest and the most sustained political corruption inquiry in the history of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, was initiated under the direction of former U.S. Attorney Martin C. Carlson, now a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Middle District, and continued under Dennis C. Pfannenschmidt, who succeeded Carlson as court-appointed U.S. Attorney in 2009, and Smith, the current U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Disjointed Democrats Blame The Tea Party

It is hard to believe that during the present debt crisis and downgrade by Standard and Poors the best the Democratic party can come up with is "blame the Tea Party" as reported in this FoxNews article.

Ilogical, disjointed, disconnected, scattered, SOP could go on and on about the lost message John Kerry and Howard Dean are pursuing to save their President. Shoot the messenger is the best they can come up with??

Obama doesn't have a clue, Geithner is worse. The current debt ceiling crisis and associated credit downgrade started along time ago. Clinton, Bush, and Obama are all to blame. The Tea Party platform only highlighted what America was facing. To call this a "Tea Party downgrade" is like calling melting snow due to the weatherman.

One thing the Tea Party accomplished was stopping Harry Reid, Nancy Pelois, and Barney Frank from blaming George Bush for the country's problems. Obama squarely owns them now. The Democrats are even resorting to vicious name calling like "terroists" and "hostage takers".

 On the other side, Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips said on his group's website that it is Democrats causing this mess. "This is the Obama depression and this is the Democratic downgrade," he said, adding that the Tea Party is also fighting "establishment Republicans" to cut spending.

But Standard & Poor's Managing Director John Chambers said there's "lots of blame to go around." He agreed with several officials that the environment in Washington is "dysfunctional," and said the fact that the dysfunction put the United States within hours of hitting its debt ceiling was a driving factor in the downgrade decision.

 The second factor, he said, was the country's "fiscal trajectory."

"The fiscal situation in the United States is not sustainable," he told Fox News.

Who cares who is at fault.  Democrats start talking about job creation and less about government entitlements.  Leave the name calling for another time.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blame The American Will

The downgrading of American debt rocked the foreign markets this evening according to this ABC news report.

Blame the American will. Washington was sent a message last election. You can be a liberal, liberal or a conservative, conservative. Regardless, take notice. OUR COUNTRY needs fixin and quite frankly Scarlet we don't give a damn.

Unions who rely on government for employment cannot have a blank check. Social programs who rely on Americans cannot have a blank check. States who look to the Federal government to solve their problems cannot have a blank check. End of story. Because obviously our credit is not a blank check according to ratings agencies.

Now, does that mean the federal government cannot collect taxes and redistribute it to the masses to effect growth? Hell no. But don't disguise an agenda behind the true meaning of government assistance. For the day of atonement is upon those who want government to tax more for their benefits and salaries.

FDR made people work for government money. John Kennedy asked not what can your country do for you, ask what can you do for your country. Tomorrow lay down the pulpits of party and unite for the country's sake like they did when our Founding Fathers created this country. Small states vs. large states, southern states vs. northern states, all had an agenda to prevent the formation of our great Union, a republican form of government. Yet it was accomplished and worked. Tomorrow tell America what you are willing to do to make it succeed. For any less committment is a phony obligation to the future.

Are you willing to have those in India and China who struggle take over your country because they are more committed to bettering themselves? More willing to study, more willing to work long hours, more willing to sacrifice the pleasures of life for a sustaining future? Our children are awash in fancy cars, summer vacations to the shore, Iphones, Ipods, laptops, cash in their pockets, gasoline money, etc. etc. etc. If we learn to say no our country will benefit in the long run. In the short run we are failing the future by demanding a blank check.

Forget what America is facing, what is America's vison, ask how are we going to chart its future?

Today Seal Team Six devoted its lives to our pettiness. Tomorrow we owe it to them to sacrifice like they did for a common cause.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Straight off the PR Newswire. ACORN's strong arming lead to an unprecedented number of invalid voter registrations in the state of Colorado.

Judicial Watch, a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law, uncovered documents from the Colorado Department of State showing that ACORN and its affiliate, Project Vote, successfully pressured Colorado officials to implement new policies for increasing the registration of public assistance recipients during the 2008 and 2010 election seasons.

The documents, obtained pursuant to a June 8, 2011, Colorado Open Records Act request to the Colorado Office of the Secretary of State, include approximately 400 internal emails. They relate to a complaint by ACORN and Project Vote that the state of Colorado was in violation of Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Under Section 7, states are required to offer voter registration services at all public assistance agencies, including unemployment offices and food stamp offices.

As a result of this collaboration between ACORN, Project Vote and Colorado officials, the number of voter registrations at Colorado public assistance agencies rose from 3,340 in 2007 to almost 44,000 in 2010. (In a February 15, 2011, email to Project Vote, Christi Heppard, Special Projects Coordinator for the Elections Division of the Colorado Department of State, wrote, "…I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the numbers.") However, the collaboration also led to a large number of invalid and duplicate voter registrations. A total of 8% of rejected registration forms came from public assistance agencies in Colorado in 2009-2010. This is more than four times the national average of 1.9% for that same time period.

According to the documents, Amy Busefink, who at the time was under indictment on 13 voter registration violation charges in Nevada, stemming from her time as regional deputy director for ACORN, later she managed the online program for Project Vote nationally, including Colorado.

Project Vote's Busefink ultimately entered an Alford plea to two gross misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit the crime of compensation for registration of voters. (An Alford plea is a guilty plea, where the defendant does not admit the act and asserts innocence, but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.)

Democrat Bernie Buescher, who served as Colorado Secretary of State from January 2009 through January 2011, received support from the Secretary of State Project, an organization funded in part by liberal financier George Soros and organized by the leftist group (In April 2010, Buescher campaigned with former State House Speaker Terrance Carroll for a proposed bill that would have implemented universal mail-in balloting, same-day voter registrations and pre-registration of 16 year olds. Facing stiff opposition from county election clerks, the bill was tabled on April 21, 2010.)

According to the documents, while Colorado officials took measures to satisfy the demands of Project Vote related to the registration of public assistance recipients, Buescher sought a waiver from the Obama administration that would allow a delay in sending out ballots in time for the military to vote in the last election. The Department of Defense rejected the request.

"The ACORN/Project Vote gang has not gone away, and continues to help generate fraudulent voter registrations that can lead to voter fraud. These emails clearly demonstrate that the corrupt organization ACORN/Project Vote had an inappropriate level of influence over the electoral process in Colorado," said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. "Colorado officials bent over backwards to abide by the demands of ACORN/Project Vote, which was helped to run by an activist facing criminal charges. So it comes as no surprise that there was a sharp increase in voter registration irregularities. And it is shameful that the concern for voting rights of the citizens of Colorado did not apparently extend to military personnel in the state. If we're going to protect the integrity of the 2012 elections, attention must be paid to the continuing nefarious activities of ACORN/Project Vote."

MoveOn, George Soros, Democrats, voter fraud??? Say it isn't so. They weren't ZIPcars that were spotted in the Poconos during the 2008 election. Heaven forbid there was voter fraud in Pennsylvania. Of course our then Secretary of the Commonweath Pedro Cortes said it wasn't so saying the state has laws and safeguards in place to deter voter fraud.

Pedro, venga aqui. There are laws against child abuse/pornography, bank robbing, and murder. Of course EVERYONE obeys them. Tu eres un idiota.

End of this story. Acorn filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy November 2, 2010. Look at this file photo of Acorn activists

They sure as hell sold "economic recovery" as the path to the future. But Obama failed miserably in delivering on that promise of change. How could he being from Chicago and part of their polluted political machine.

Obama Doesn't Understand Debt Period

The debt crisis held the country's attention. Republicans in Washington worked on the underlying problem of too much government spending(yes, Gort too much spending, not spending alone) during the negotiations while Obamacrats wanted tax increases aka MORE government spending.

This spendthrift President threw billions at the economy and look where it is today. But that action wasn't enough to ruin the United States.

On Tuesday last week he continued the train wreck by catapulting our debt to new heights. In one day we went from $14.294 trillion to $14.532 trillion adding $239 billion. (and I guess that was George Bush's fault again). Obama, in one day, used up 60% of the debt ceiling increase You can read all about it in this Washington Times article.

The previous one-day record debt increase was $186 billion, set on June 30, 2009. Imagine that, another Obama record.

Standard and Poors for the first time in history announced a downgrade of our credit according to this ABC NEWS article.

For the first time ever, the United States lost its perfect credit rating as Standard & Poor's reduced its U.S. long-term debt assessment from AAA to AA+ with a negative outlook.

In announcing the move late Friday, the ratings agency said a deal this week to reduce the nation's debt did not go far enough and exposed paralyzing political dysfunction.

The downgrade could cost the government and ordinary consumers billions of dollars by jacking up interest rates the U.S. must pay on its $14.4 trillion debt and a host of rates consumers pay for items such as mortgages, car loans and credit cards.

The move by S&P follows decisions by two other major ratings agencies, Moody's Investor Service and Fitch Ratings, to maintain the United States' AAA rating, though Moody's assigned a negative outlook.

When will this President and the Democrats get it. Enough is enough. Excessive government spending is not a Tea Party issue. It is a crisis for all Americans.

Barack Obama was ill prepared for this job but more importantly so are those who surround him it seems.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Vinsko's Mess- River Road or Railroad

Today's Times Leader features this article by veteran reporter Jennifer Learn-Andes reporting that Wilkes Barre (aka Tom Leighton's Cook County Version) was rescinding its controversial deal with Leo Glodizk III to sell him the former Old River Road Bakery.

The city is expected to appear before the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board today seeking forgiveness of more than $445,000 in back taxes on the property so it won’t be listed in a September back-tax auction.

School board members said no to the request once, in part due to public complaints about the handling of the sale to Glodzik.

The city did not publicly advertise the property to ensure it obtained the highest offer from prospective buyers. Glodzik, owner of LAG Towing, the city’s towing contractor, has donated $10,400 to city Mayor Tom Leighton’s campaign committee since 2005.

Leighton has said in the past that political donations have no bearing on city business. The mayor also said other buyers had expressed interest in the property, but none were willing to pay close to the $38,000 offered by Glodzik.

Take a look at that picture and convince yourself that the building and property aren't worth more than $38,000.00. It was assessed at $478,300.00.

Sources close to SOP tell us that Attorney Vinsko failed to file papers on time in this matter leading to the current situation.

Leo Glodzik III of L.A.G Transport Inc, a staunch Leighton political supporter, wanted to use the property as storage for his towing business.

A federal lawsuit was filed in Scranton back in 2009 over this property as described in this Times Leader article by Terri Morgan-Besecker.

Tyler and Antonia Hammond claim Leighton and Vinsko took steps to deprive them and other persons of the right to purchase the property at 250 Old River Road so that it could be sold to a person who was a private client of Leighton’s real estate business and Vinsko’s law firm.

The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Scranton by attorney Cynthia Pollick, does not identify the person to whom the property was sold. But details contained in the suit indicate it revolves around the sale of the defunct bakery to Leo Glodzik III of L.A.G Transport Inc.

Glodzik recently purchased the property for $38,000 to house a storage facility for his towing business. Luzerne County had assessed the 1.14-acre property at $478,300.

Wilkes Barre City is asking for the Wilkes Barre Area School Board to forgive $445, 000.00 in back taxes owed on the property. Or is the translation Leighton is asking the school board to forgive $445, 000.00 in back taxes so he can get Vinsko off the hook and sell the property to his political buddy, Leo Glodzik, III.

It should be worth noting that the City of Wilkes Barre enforced liens it had on the Hotel Sterling project against CityVest according to this TL article by Jennifer Learn-Andes back on June 21. Ask Wilkes Barre Area to do what the Wilkes Barre City wouldn't. Hmmmmm

Tammany Hall..lets see...

Chicago Unemployment Up 48% Since Obama Elected

No wonder Rahm Emanuel is hiding...And he has the nerve to put this commercial out there. What does he mean moving forward?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Third Circuit Court Of Appeals Vacates Own Order Against City of Hazleton

On September 10, 2010 it was reported that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the City of Hazleton concerning its local ordinances dealing with the effects of illegal aliens within its borders. This year the Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Third Circuit in June and remanded the case back to them for further review.

Today sources tell SOP that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated its own decision from last September meaning the City of Hazleton no longer has a decision against it from that court.

This development is significant for the City of Hazleton, Congressman Lou Barletta, Mayor Joseph Yannuzzi, and Councilwoman Evelyn Graham who spearheaded the ordinances in 2006.