Friday, May 19, 2006


Time For A Little Break

Post Election Analysis

Now that the election is over, I can get back to cataloguing my Lawrence Welk records. I promised an analysis of the election, and I will provide that before I take my leave. Baker people need not read this, because it will get in the way of your kool aid drinking.

The election came down to that old saying: "You can fool all of the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people all of the time. "

Lisa Baker spent twenty years running for this seat. The powers that be chose her to be Charlie Lemmond's replacement long before any of the other candidates decided to run --the best we can guess is sometime in the late 1980s. They realized that Baker would make the perfect front person for their needs. She was semi-attractive, semi-articulate, and semi-intelligent. She also lacked any leadership ability which would only be a detriment, because God forbid she thought for herself. This qualities and lack of qualities made her ideal for their plan. She was good at following directions, and that is exactly what they needed. She was also a non-offensive person -- always ready with a phony smile, a insincere handshake, and usually carrying a large check of other people's money.

Being the chief of staff for Lemmond, a title we believe was made up after the fact, she was able to travel the district glad handing and taking credit for the Lemmond "accomplishments." We note accomplishments, because an in depth look at Lemmond's record proves another old saying --- even a blind chicken gets a kernel of corn now and again.

When the Republicans took over the governor's mansion in 1995, the powers that be decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to send Baker to Harrisburg. They called in a few favors, and reluctantly, newly elected governor Tom Ridge, gave her a position of "deputy chief of staff." "Deputy chief of staff" sounds impressive, but it is impressive in title only. The position, one of fifteen or so, is given primarily as a political payoff.

This position again allowed Baker to take credit for projects to which she was only tangentially connected. Many of these projects were listed on her website as "her accomplishments." Remember this simple truism: the easiest way to pad your resume is to take credit for other people's successes. Taking credit for the stuff she took credit for is like 20thsenatorial taking credit for the success of the blogosphere. This may come to a shock to many of our loyal readers, but 20thsenatorial is only one of millions of blogs, so whereas we may have added to the success of blogs in general, we only played a miniscule role.

All good things must come to an end, as did Baker's job as deputy chief of staff. Fortunately for Baker, she had a golden parachute in the form of the Blue Ribbon Foundation. This gave Baker another opportunity to travel throughout the district and hand out other people's money. The most offensive thing about this job was that the money came directly from higher health care premiums. We had the honor of personally hearing Baker say the money "doesn't come from premiums." Well, let me tell you this, the Blue Ribbon Foundation doesn't run fund raising bake sales. Baker's comments are either outright lies or demonstrate a complete ignorance of how the health care system works.

So for twenty years, Baker was able to establish a reputation of being the "woman with the big check." She never faced adversity head on, and when something adverse did happen -- the gas spill in the Hazleton area -- she ran for cover. This image of a smiling, check giving woman was very hard to overcome.

Russ Bigus began an attack on Baker and the Blue Cross connection, but unfortunately, he did his attack in newspaper ads. Sorry Russ, nobody reads them. Haggerty continued the attack on the airwaves. Unfortunately, Haggerty's attack began too late. Baker had already solidified herself as the "Golden Child." Lemmond and Ridge said she was "top shelf." We were particularly offended by Ridge calling Baker "a leader." For 20 plus years all Baker demonstrated was her ability to be a good staffer and good at following orders. It appears Tom gave the "leader" comment about as much thought as that color code crap.

In the end, Haggerty's attack ads on Baker paid off, but not to his benefit. The top beneficiary of the Haggerty attack ads was Madeira. Without the Haggerty attack, Baker's percentage would have topped 65%. Unfortunately for Haggerty, he experienced some "shoot the messenger" wounds. People began to question Baker, and they needed an alternative. They found that in Madeira, and to a lesser degree Bigus. Baker should thank her lucky stars that this was a multi-candidate race. If the opposition had gotten together, Baker would be looking to Pat Solano, et. al. for another golden parachute.

As for me, there is an old saying, "Old bloggers never die, they just fade away into the blogosphere." Thank you everyone for this opportunity. We appreciated all your kind words and all your comments. We have certainly had a diversity of opinion on 20thsenatorial, and to that the citizens of the 20th owe all of you a big thank you.

We wish Bob McNamara all the luck in the fall, but this district is way too Republican for him to have a chance. To Lisa Baker, we hope she rises above the political hacks who put her where she is today, and we pray to God that Tom Ridge's "leader" comments were more than the bullshit we know they were. We do not look forward to the 20 plus years of mediocrity which Baker is bound to give us. Please prove us wrong Lisa. Please prove to us that you are not just another puppet of the powers that be. You don't need them anymore. Break away and put that Shippensburg education to use.

As for us, we believe Lawrence put it best: adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen

Not bad, Norton. I was hoping for Bigus, Haggerty, Sutton, that order.
Thanks for the coverage!!!
See you later Jim - hear they're hiring attorneys up in Boston
Thank you, Norton. It's a shame to see the jealousy directed at Haggerty. Lisa Baker couldn't shine Haggerty's shoes when it comes to education or charisma. Come to think of it she was probably the least educated and by far the least articulate of the bunch. (Unless we include that three week course she took at Harvard, on the taxpayers dime.)
A job well done Norton
Let's just sum up the situation in a very simple manner:

Irrelevant rust belt NE PA listen up; Fret not, we're in charge as usual. For your benefit the PA conservative revival just passed over the area at 41,000 feet. It did for the most part because you know where to come when you need something. After all this is the way we have always done things. We all know that you sheepeople are not really smart enough to get out of your own way let alone discern how to choose a leader. Fortunately for you, we at the Westmoreland Club do. We can and will decide what's best for you after our needs are met first. Rest assured that if one of your quaint little volunteer social organizations needs some help, Ms. Baker will send one of her junior deputies to speak to them while she is directing and organizing the big activities at the WB Chamber. For the next 40 years, adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen, and nos waith dda.
NEPA voters didn't seem to get that same meesage of reform the rest of the state got. Hopefully Lisa will have the courage to stand on her own.

And I think she will have no choice but to stand on her own, now that Jubes and Brightbill are gone.
All the education in the world didn't do much for lack luster Haggerty. Law degrees and MBA's are absolutely worthless if there is no vision or specific agenda for the future. In Baker's case she just had the self interest local money crowd in hand a long time ago.
2:46 got it right. Under the dynasty of Lord Ha Ha Lemmond, The Noble, no growth, declining population, higher taxes (and big pay raises), and more government. The conservative message never resonated here until Toomey & Madeira. RINO Baker will continue to 'rein' on course as she commented in South Gibson one recent Monday night.
Sad to see politics as usual. I think any of the candidates, except Lisa, would have been a plus to this area. Too bad we couldn't have got together and given the "queen" a good whoopin.
No one can complain...she would have been destroyed if only people had gotten off their asses and voted. I cannot understand what is wrong with people.
People did get off their asses and voted - they voted for Lisa. Twice as many votes as her next opponent. One can reason that if 1,000 more people came out to vote She'd get 400. Lisa Baker was the best candidate. And by the way, the district is bigger than Luzerne county (the self interest big money Westmoreland crowd) Lisa won EVERY county in the district! Hey, maybe they liked her!
Maybe they liked her? Maybe they wanted to keep their jobs or the jobs of family members. Maybe they liked her parties. Maybe they like the business they'll continue to get. Lots of maybes.
NOrton - don't leave - we need you.Otherwise:
Andy will tell Lisa to heel
Rusty will tell Lisa to rollover
Patsy will tell Lisa to sit up and beg
Jubelier will tell Lisa - hey baby
Charlie L. can nap now all day long - oops - that is what he has done for 20 years
Don't end the blog!!!!
Northeast Pennsylvania needs the truth. What will Lisa do without late nite Jubelier to control her -hey, how many jobs will she give to good old Patsy?
Norton, you can't end the blog. I need to make new endorsements.

Continue to hold their feet to the fire, and maybe in 4 years we can unite behind one candidate and break this log jam that passes for politcs in NEPA!

Thanks for the investigative memories!
For God's sake - don't stop!! NOrtheast Pa. is controlled by Pat Solano and we need truth to finally overcome this evil. Lisa is a puppet of Pat - nothing more - your blod can stop the evil.
Be not dismayed. Baker will only 'rein' if we let her. Like the pay raise she too can be dumped.
Baker's real problems are just beginning. The daunting question is will she be able to handle what lies ahead? The other candidates who worked hard to fund their campaigns with small donations from average citizens just basically wanted good government for a change. Many of Baker's heavy hitter benefactors (RINO's and some Dem cross filers) are vicious and will stop at nothing to get what they want and what they paid for. They care nothing about values and governance issues, only an agenda with respect for their own personal gain. The $325k handed to her just didn't roll in without a hefty price. Personally I would want to walk backward facing this bunch as I exited a room.

On the other hand there is now an electorate that is energized, growing and wants the GOP to return to a moral conservative agenda of less government, lower taxes, and self reliance. Abortion, government spending, onerous regulation, taxation, tort reform reform, eminent domain, and school choice issues are also going to plague her as she's been soft on these hard issues.
birds - you ought to run for office, or did you? If you take a closer look at Baker's campaign expense report (I found it online at the Dept. of State website) you'll see donations came from hundreds of donors in every county of the district. Many small donations from average citizens just like me. I wished I could have given her campaign more money, but my chiropractor bills are enormous.
4:46 You sound like the typical Back Mountain RINO asshole. Everything about tepid Baker and her mindless fan club is about swarmy politics as usual.
Your bills are high becuase they are having trouble finding your spine!
Spine you say Arlen or is it Charlie? Let's address the spine issues. Less government, lower taxes, and personal responsibility. Does this sound like a Republican agenda or a Democrat one? How about pro-life, tort reform, Second Amendment rights, education reform, and etc.? It takes a spine of courage to overcome the status quo that keeps everyone bitching and complaining about how bad everything is, and yet we can't elect a good local leader to do what is right and moral. NEPA can't seem to get out of it's own way and becomes more irrelevant in terms of productivity each year. It doesn't take any 'spine' to be a do nothing RINO or Democrat. I'm sure with Baker everything will be window dressing as with Lemmond. Lots of meetings to fix the old broken down systems that never worked in the first place. As for you mentally challenged 8:51, why don't you admit the true agenda you really seek, higher taxes, more government programs, and more regulation?
Sorry sick of u, your vitriol should have been to 4:46, that is who I (8:51)was refering to concerning the enormous bills and lack of spine.

You do get the issues right though!
Sorry, my victrola doesn't work anymore ;-)
Would somebofy wake up Lemmond and tell him his term is almsot over? He is being replaced by the Patsy Puppet - Lisa!!!! Good dog
I'm a lifelong Republican and I consider Baker's nomination an insult to my intelligence-- sort of like the joke candidate (a goldfish) some friends and I "nominated" for student government as a college prank. As I understand, her work experience consists of giving away other people's money to make Blue Cross of Northeast PA look good. BCNEPA's own accomplishments, meanwhile, consist of asking for rate hikes while doing nothing to demand that their health care providers (hospitals) implement quality systems to hold down the cost of medical care. This is hardly the work background of the kind of person we need to solve Pennsylvania's health care crisis.

Baker's "solution" to the malpractice crisis is to cap non-economic damages (i.e. treating the symptoms) instead of addressing the underlying problems. This alone should disqualify her from office.

Re: " She also lacked any leadership ability which would only be a detriment, because God forbid she thought for herself."

I grew so rich that I was sent
By a pocket borough into Parliament.
I always voted at my party's call,
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.
I thought so little, they rewarded me
By making me the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

Also, remember that, in 2005, someone ran an anonymous smear campaign against Rep. Phyllis Mundy in the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader, on the assumption that she was going to run for Lemmond's seat. Was this a preemptive strike by Lisa Baker and her backers? It is of course difficult to have any respect for anyone who is unwilling to sign their names to statements like the ones that were made against Mundy and the voters should be reminded of this. It's understandable why BCNEPA was upset with Mundy for demanding that it actually earn its keep instead of just asking the insurance commissioner for rate increases.
Jimbo you're back!
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